Monday, July 2, 2012

2012 Western States 100.. one for the ages

 The dirt road along the American River.. just before Rucky Chucky Crossing. (Galen Burrell footage)

What an awesome race last weekend. I'd told myself going into it that my primary goal was to make the 100 mile running experience as fun as possible. Given the unseasonably cool weather, my expectations were met by simply having a blast out there, except for maybe 10 miles of grinding around mile 30 and 90.  I wish I had time for a race report, but Galen Burrell and Rickey Gates, my stellar pacers, took some fine footage. 

Rucky Chucky Crossing, mile 78..feeling good

The best single track section of Cal Street, if not the whole race.. mile 74 or so..


The Bondi B in action (Tim Olsen, new WS 100 record holder, wrote: "Next thing we knew, Mackey makes a Killian move up on the bank and goes screaming down the trail, as someone muttered, “Time to Fly,” which cracked us all up as Mackey’s Hokas went bombing down the hill.")

As far as fueling, I found my magic Vitargo formulation to be 5 scoops of Vitargo per water bottle (4 plain unflavored with 1 flavored (ie Grape or Tropical punch). Thus made it very easy to mix the morning of the race, without having to use a blender.
1) Fill bottle half with water, pour in one scoop. Shake vigorously . Add another scoop. Shake
2) Add a couple more ounces of water and a scoop. Shake. Add one more scoop.. shake.
3) This is 4 scoops now and you are getting close to a gel.. Add a bit more water and the last scoop gradually. With the right vigorous shaking the gel/drink like mix will form. Just be sure to shake immediately when adding scoops. 5 scoops= 700 calories.
I carried 2 bottles most of the first half of the race, with a few short sections of one bottle. I also ate some real food (ie PBJ and bananas), but ate no commercial gels at all. 80% of my calories were from Vitargo, about 10% from PBJ, and 10% from bananas and a couple handfuls of chips.

Rickey Gates photos below. Rickey won the Montrail 6K Uphill the day before the WS 100, followed in 2nd place by my other pacer, Galen Burrell. I felt obligated to be the first to the top of Squaw in my165K  race, felt fine with the altitude and weather, so I didnt disappoint. Sorry I couldnt win my race though, guys. I really tried.

Galen kept me in smiles on Cal Street

Tom Lyons: the best crew guy in the world has crewed me 4 times at WS 100 now. 

Thank you Tom, Rickey, Galen, Mark Richtman, and Jed Tukman, Russell and the Injinji crew for housing me and good bonding (and Tom had a couple other folks helped him crew here and there that  I didn't even see). Thanks Vitargo for the endless energy, Injinji for keeping me comfy underfoot, Hoka for generalized elevation in all my running, and Udos for quicker recovery.  Congratulations to Tim and Ellie Greenwood on their records, and to all who tried this massive accomplishment.


  1. Another great result, well done. Regarding the Vitargo - When i first tried it i was expecting the initial rush of energy you get, similar to that of gels but it doesnt happen. What it does do is give you a constant stream of energy without the blood sugar spikes and gut stress gels dish out.

  2. Dave, it's good to see footage of western states race conditions like the videos you have..Love the river crossing. Man you look strong. I had trouble posting comments and had to use anonymous, sorry for that; I think there is something wrong with blogger. Well done young man! Tom from England

  3. amazing job Dave, just awesome to see you had such a great race.

  4. Loved the video footage!!! And great job on a great run!!!

  5. Love the chopps! Solid running Dave.

  6. Great race!
    How do you get enough water carrying 2 bottles of the "gel" ?

  7. It is quite a distance. But at least you enjoyed it and it is a great place to run it.

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