The Western States Endurance Run is one of the oldest ultra trail events in the world and certainly one of the most challenging. It's the "Granddaddy" of ultras, the race every ultra runner aspires to run. Sort of like the Boston Marathon for serious road runners. The Run is conducted along the Western States Trail starting at Squaw Valley, California, and ending in Auburn, California, a total of 100 miles. Most of the trail passes through remote and rugged territory. The trail ascends from the Squaw Valley floor (elevation 6,200 feet) to Emigrant Pass (elevation 8,750 feet), a climb of 2,550 vertical feet in the first 4½ miles. From the pass, following the original trails used by the gold and silver miners of the 1850’s, runners travel west, climbing another 15,540 feet and descending 22,970 feet before reaching Auburn.
A few of my trail running friends will be toeing the starting line in about one hour. I'll be checking in during the day (and night) to watch their progress. They are all mentally strong runners so I'm sure they'll do well. I just hope the weather isn't insanely hot as the temperature in the canyons can rise to well over 100 degrees. Running 100 miles in 100 degrees, there's something very wrong with that. And to think I entered the the lottery to run this thing! What was I thinking?
Lucky for me, I never win anything.