When Kevin showed up at my door at the crack of dawn for our first run, I had no idea that a) he is the only human who can live without sleep, b) he is funny, and c) he is a highly accomplished ultra runner, who came in second at the Vermont 100 last summer. He is also so humble that neither he nor Jeannie let on that my 20 miler was a rehab run for him while he nursed an ITB injury.
Last year, Kevin got screwed out of the Western States 100 by a wildfire that canceled the race. This weekend, Kevin gets his second chance at Western States, the most prestigious of ultras.
100 miles is so easy to type. Nine keystrokes. It takes me two seconds to type it. Let's do it the justice it deserves. One hundred miles. ONE HUNDRED MILES. ONE HUNDRED MILES. ONE HUNDRED MILES. If I knew html, I'd put it in 48-pt font.
Kevin is running 100 miles, climbing 18,000 feet and descending 22,000 feet along the way, with starting and finish temps forecasted at around 100 degrees. Only 65% of entrants typically finish this race, with only 21% completing it in under 24 hours. There are checkpoints called Devil's Thumb and Last Chance.
I could go on about how impressive this race is, but that's not really Kevin's style, so I just ask that you send him strength, wit, and optimism this weekend. Leave your well wishes in the comments for Kevin--you all know how much those mean in the latter miles of a race. You know, like miles 95, 96, 97, ......
I simply love to run. It allows me to be human - in a very pure and undistracted way - and to really push myself to the outer edges of my self. That said, this race - for me - is not really about me but about the human potential - the power and the challenge to "do". I so strongly believe that we under-live and underperform our potential, not as individuals (although that's true to some extent too) but as human beings. Ultra races really test the human body as well as the human mind and spirit (just as much). We see and learn to love more of ourselves in moments where we must rely on ourselves, face fears and pain, and struggle through to a better place etc. It truly is a wonderful experience of exploring those boundaries - or, in some cases, finding that those boundaries don't exist and that the human potential is greater than we all think.
Run well, Kevin.