Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Moab Pacing - Bridger Jack to Wind Whislte

30.4ks logged pacing Grant overnight from Brigder Jack to Stay Mountain .  Started in a Canyon then climbed Mount Shah,  4,600 ft elevation gain with a 2,100 ft. elevation loss.
Shay Mountain

Getting ready to Pace

and now for the story ...there is always a story!

It took Patrick and I a few hours of off roading  to get into the " Bridger Jack " aid station.  We had a high Chevy V8 4X4 and we needed it!   Just getting here was an adventure in itself.   Was in camp a couple of hours before Grant arrived around 7:30 pm ,  still twilight but getting dark fast.  We got food and water into him then he headed to a tent we had set up for 2 hours of sleep.  At this time he had covered his first 100 miles and had been going for 36 hours with two hours sleep.   When he arrived he told a story about a pet turtel on a leash that a guy walked 2 miles everyday ...I was a little worried about his mental state until someone at the aid station confirmed his story ...phew!  Getting Grant up and moving occurred fast and before I knew it I was heading down into the Canyon a little after 10:00 pm.   I ran with my usual head lamp,  waist lamp and I added a hand held and was I ever glad I did.

NOTE to self....Never and I mean never run a trail overnight without a hand held light.

Trail markers were good but sometimes they could be KMs apart.   As we headed across the Canyon there was a bit boom...thunder!   Saw a little bit of lightening around 10:30 but that was about it.   Apparently it hit the camp we had just left ...lucked out there!  Picked up another runner an hour or so into the Canyon...he had a story about Drangons ....the mind plays tricks when your sleep deprived and exhausted.    He tailed along for a few minutes then backed off leaving Grant and I alone in the Canyon.  As we neared Shay Mountain we were following a " Wash Out "  ,  basically a dry river bed that floods when there is rain at higher elevation.  I was fascinated by the structure ,  basically sheer walls of rock and sand 20 to 30 ft high in spots.  If there had of been a flash flood it wouldn't be good to  be where we were.   The Wash's were not very well flagged so I was watching for footprints in the sand to ensure we were on course.  After the Washes we started up Shay gradual at first then the fun began.  We hadn't been climbing to to long when we came across #39 Ramil Balagat.  He was having trouble navigating and joined Grant and I through to the Shay aid station.   The climbs were monster at times and seemed to never end.   I would run up ahead ,  turn my lights off and admire the night sky letting Grant and Ramil catch up with me.   We were taking consonant breaks to catch our breath as a result of the climb and thinning air nearing 7,000 ft in elevation.   On one of the breaks Ramil said that " This is a harder climb the the Tour de France".  He has completed the tour de France ...go figure you never know who you may hook up with on a Mountain in the Moab in the middle of the night.    I had a pretty good idea how the course snaked its way up and around Shay...I was using the night sky to know which direction we were heading and how close we were to the aid station.    After we achieved our maximum elevation we dropped down a gravel road bleeding off just about everything we gained only to turn around and climb 2/3 of what we lost ....on a gravel road! Temps were freezing on the decent and lack of muscle heat made things rather chilly....we all added some clothing!    Going down we bumped into Ausi Jason Dean #21 ...a funny guy who was full of talent and really lightened things up for awhile.     We got to Shay aid station a little before 7am ,  this was the half way mark and it was completed in 48 hours.     Patrick was suppose to meet us at Shay but was delayed by his great adventure at Bridger Jack AS.  I was cold really cold btu I ran around helping runners keep warm and fed.    Patrick arrived around 08:30 ...I was relieved!    He quickly suited up and headed out with Grant.  I spent an hour or two organizing the truck before heading over to " Dry Valley" to meet Grant and Patrick and head back out for my next pacing assignment.

Pacing Grant at Moab 240 - Dry Valley to Wind Whistle

24ks done last night pacing Grant from Dry Valley to Wind Whistle.  Grant had some back issues so it was a very very long night.

Yes there is another story to be told!    Patrick paced Grant from where I left him at "Shay Mountain" to  " Dry Valley  " AS.  I arrived at Wind Whistle before lunch on Sunday morning after being up all night.   I was exhausted ,  I was also in a truck in the middle of the desert on a windy cold day.  I figured that I would see them around 4pm so I tried to sleep only maybe getting an hour at the most 2 or maybe even less...its a bit of a blur.   The last thing I wanted to do but the first thing I would absolutely do were one and the same and that was to pace Grant to "Wind Whistle"   Now this was an easy section,   all road!   It was easy for me but not so much for Grant.   Grant and Patrick arrived around 3:30 pm about 7 hours after they left Shay,  Grant sat down at the AS and ate,  drank and ate ...very encouraging.  Heading out at 4:30 Grant was leaning to the left and in allot of pain.   Every few hundred meters he would pause for a moment ,  stretch and the continue on.   We were heading North towards Moab into a 50 kmh cool ,  dry desert wind.  The first couple of hours in the Sun were OK,  not  too cold.   When the Sun went down so did the temps dropping to near freezing quickly and still into a 50 kmh wind!    Grants lean continued to get worse and as time went on he was leaning more as well as stopping every 200 meters.    With the slow pace and constant breaks I was cold ...Grant had a down coat on and was still in shorts.   I got him to stop and get his pants on which made him a little cold but we had hours to go so it was a good move!   This stretch was what you would expect from a desert,  wide open with big skys and at times we could see for at least 50 km making it very difficult to judge distance.   We were passed by a dozen or more other folks all stopped to check on Grant and offer assistance.   We borrowed Advil and Robaxiset but it didn't make any difference.     I had one runner comment to me later on that he had never seen anyone in such rough shape that was still moving!   Grants stops became more frequent even wanting to lay down and sleep roadside.    Things were not looking good but he was determined to go on and was hopeful that somehow he could get some help at the AS so he could continue.   On a side note it was a very clear night with a crescent moon low in the sky early on.  We were passing a Bute and the moon hung just above it with some nearby starts.  It was so clear the universe looked 3 dimensional it was a truly amazing moment.   In the last few Ks to Wind Whistle it was really tough for Grant both physically and mentally...he wanted to go on but he was coming to the realization that probably wasn't going to happen.   We arrived at the AS at 11:00 pm Grant sought immediate help and in a few minutes he was in a tent sleeping.    The plan was to give him a couple of hours and then wake him up to determine if he can continue.    He didn't have much choice to go on because the medical personal were going to pull him off the course.   I was frozen and couldn't get warm at the fire while Grant was sleeping.   We ran right past Patrick on the way in to  the AS.  Met up with Patrick around midnight and dove into a warm truck getting out of my running clothes.   Sometime after 1am we woke Grant up and he pulled the plug ...I was happy that he called it vs getting a medical.   It took awhile but we managed to get him in the truck and back to Moab grabbing a hotel around 3am  where Grant hit the sack in full running gear falling asleep almost as soon as he hit the sheets.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Sunrise at Delicate Arch

4k power hike out and back to "Delecate Arch" at Sunrise this morning.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Moab Running

20ks today running up and down mountains in the Moab Desert. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Monday and Tuesday

4.8 ks done on the backyard trail both Monday and Tuesday.  The weather was fantastic for early October.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Mid 4

Last of 4 mids tonight..been brutal sleeping.   Logged another 10Ker on my meal break anywhere from a 7:30 to 5:00 pace. 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Mid 3

Just a lazy 10K on the treadmill on my meal break this morning.   Lifted afterwards.