A couple of weekends ago I crewed my sister in an ultra marathon race called Western states. Western States is a 100 mile race (yes, they do run this all at once) and is a grueling up and downhill climb from Squaw Valley to Sacramento. It’s the second time that I crewed for Kami for Western States but this time around it was a little bit easier on us “crew” members.
When my husband and I arrived at Squaw Valley we were greeted by my sister and her husband, who were just chilling out before race day. Kami told me that our day was looking easy because there was snow at lower levels than they officials had anticipated and that we’d be only able to crew from mile 55+. Sucks for Kami, good for us.
We slept in to about 8am, but my sister did get up at 3:15 to get to the start on time. I was happy to get up and cheer her on before the start but then I quickly went back to bed. When we woke up at 8am she had already been running for 3 hours. I felt guilty (only to a point, my sister is world champion and wasn’t suffering at that moment, most likely) as we enjoyed our eggs and toast and coffee.
Off we went at 10am to get to the end Hotel at Auburn and then back to mile 55 for our first big crew station. Kami made sure to prepare us with notes and outlines of what we needed to bring and when we needed to give it to her. Here’s the thing with crewing; you basically wait around all day and your runner comes through and yells stuff at you for 30 seconds and then is off again. Being prepared is key. This is why I brought the matching T’s and hats that said “Kami’s Crew” and the glow sticks and glow in the dark gloves. I thought these items would be useful after it got dark out. Turns out they were not. We also forgot our tapes for the camera, so lugging around the camera and tri-pod was a pain in the butt which was entirely my fault.
At mile 55 we were prepared. We talked over our game plan, had everything out and in our possession ready to give to Kami. She ran in and yelled a few things at us (nicely) and off she went. I told her I thought the leader who was 7 minutes in front of her at the time was lagging a little. She appreciated that info and off she went!
At mile 97 Kami was in the lead by about 7 minutes. We were elated and thought for sure that she would win the race. She was looking good; strong and seriously I couldn’t believe that someone would actually run 100 miles at once. We went back to the stadium to await her arrival…here’s what happened next, according to Kami. http://www.kamisemick.blogspot.com/
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