LiveBLOG — Crewing for the Silver Rush 50 mile run

With a small group of friends, I’m helping crew for the Silver Rush 50 Run. I’m attempting to live-blog during today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday).

I say attempt because I don’t know if/when/where I’ll have service. I might even abort the whole project if I get annoyed or bored.

Also, this is for my 4 friends who might find this is interesting.

If you want to start from the beginning start at the bottom and read up.

This will be live-ish—I might post a bunch of updates all at once, but with a time stamp.


5:15 PM

I asked what his final words on the race were and he said, “Let’s do it again.”

5:12 PM

Other guy in the race came up. It was his first 50 and he’s doing the 100 too, like Aaron.

He asked how it went and Aaron said the last few miles were brutal.

5:11 PM

He said he went for it (and hit the lungs) because why not. It would be good practice for the 100. I think implying that if going for it didn’t pay off, it would be good practice for a 100 miler—getting into trouble and dealing with it.

5:06 PM

Bria remembers the celebration bubbles we got. We thought then more fun than Aaron lol.

Just before 5:00 PM

Bria gets a call from up on the hill—He’s coming!

Bria loses her brains!

He kicks in in down the hill!

10:59:26—which is an insane amount of time to do pretty much anything.

He said his lungs got him. His body feels “great” but that his lung got him.

He said he was running seven-minute pace for like 5 miles, then his lungs.

He keeps coughing.

He said after 20 miles his legs just got in a rhythm.

4:04 PM

Make moves to find a good spot at finish.

3:55 PM

Now we start speculate how soon Aaron might be in. We see another dude who was 20-30 ahead of Aaron, so we realize maybe we shouldn’t hang out lounging much longer.

Matt’s going to climb the big start hill and do a test call and see if he can call us when he sees Aaron and then we can get our asses to the finish line. Or well, closer to it.

The margarita pizza Matt was maybe going to go pick up has been postponed. (Damnit).

3:36 PM

Still wait, sort of sleeping or sleepy. Hungry.

And that’s just us, not Aaron.

3:10 PM

Arrive at finish, be tired.

2:53 PM

We roll out of the campsite and to the finish.

2:11 PM

We decide to grab the other car at the campsite and see people finishing from afar.

2:00 PM

Heading to the finish.

1:48-ish PM

Aaron’s on his way to the finish. 14.5 miles left. The first four-ish are uphill, the last ten-ish are down.

He’ll probably walk the up.

Matt’s says it could take him 3.5 hours. We’ll see. Projected finish time is during the 5 o’clock hour.

1:35 PM

Bria starts screaming as Aaron comes over the hill. She’s so excited. It’s so adorable.

Matt offers: Poptarts or bar. Bar.

Aaron asks for if there’s Porto. We tell him yes and he heads towards them. Bria fills his bottles after tasting them to determine if they are undrank fluids or new water from the last, uncrew’d aid station. It’s water—so he finished his last stuff.

Bria prompts him, asking if he’s still having fun. He confirms.

We’re asking what else he wants.

He needs some anti-chafe and tells us to watch our eyes as he apply more Vasoline.

Bria R8s his quads. Matt hands him Red Bull.

He talks about the snow, calls it “refreshing”. He eats a rice ball. Matt forces him to eat another rice ball. (Which isn’t as cool as when Matt stuffed gummy worms in his mouth last stop.)

Bria and Matt each take a foot and lube it up. Matt tels him he has to finish the Red Bull before he leaves.

He asked for a new watch which Bria brings. Matt start strapping on his belt. Bria helps get watch right. Matt makes him finish the Red Bull. He declines another rice ball and GTFO before we make him eat more.

Bria yells, “I love you baby shark!!!” as he runs off down the road. And then adds something about doing it for the puffins as he disappears.

1:31 PM

Bria’s waiting about 50 meters up the course from us. She turns and shouts, “Guys. Soon.”

I believe she’s basing it off some people who’s gone past.

1:22 PM

Any moment now Aaron should crest the hill.

Andrew climbs down a hill to pee off a big rock.

1:13 PM

Matt predicts Aaron in the next 5-10 mins.

1:11 PM

Bria decided to take a risk and goes to pee. Aaron probs won’t beat her back.

1:08 PM

We offered the R8 to woman with a cramping IT band.

12:53 PM

Bria and Matt start mixing Aaron’s drinks, while Bria continues to tell everyone good job (which is my favorite).

A guy went by with a shirt so cool—a cat riding a shark (and adult shark)—that people are calling him “cool shirt guy” instead of Mohawk guy.

12:46 PM

One of the women comes through and Bria tells her nice work and she ask if she can drop some trash with us and we are enthusiastic about telling her she can.

The next woman is close behind her and Bria also tells her good job and she thanks her and tells Bria she wishes she had Bria’s chair. Bria tells her she can have it.

That woman has been about 10-ish mins in front of Aaron. We’ll see if her passing is an indicator of his impending arrival. People are thinning out.

I wish I could crew a race once a month. This shit is awesome.

12:38 PM

As we set up people are coming through already crushing this race

This time instead of coming down the road and up and over the hill, Aaron will be coming up and over the hill and down the road. So, we set up further down the road and away from the congestion.

Bria is posted up on the side of the road (we’re off the road) like this is a parade, cheering for people. It’s cute. I take a pic for you.

12:22 PM

The rain stops and we make moves.

But first we move up one more spot.

12:15 PM

Bria passes around a bag of Aaron’s gummy worms and we take turns taking hits.

An SUV in front of us moves and we score an even better spot (barely).

Bria points out that the last 10-ish miles of the race might be all downhill. We check the map and it appears to be so. Someone saying “He can let it rip” turns into more far jokes.

12:13 PM

A woman walks by with an umbrella that’s just wrecked. At least three of the spines are out, but it could have been five.

Jeep playlist while we wait out the rain for Aaron.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

One Headlight

(I stopped paying attention, sorry.)

12:09 PM

The big ol raindrops turn to almost-hail and Matt shivers in his shorts about the new Jeep.

12:06 PM

(Finally it’s PM!)

The regular raindrops turn to big ol raindrops, Bria casually says “Aar-bear” to herself.

11:53 AM

We go rouge through downtown Leadville, taking back streets, on the way to the next stop.

It’s now raining. It had been hot and sunny, but clouds rolled in and dragged the rain with it.

I’m not entirely sure Matt knows where we are, I think the new Jeep fosters some unfounded confidence in directional awareness.

But truth be told, I think we are on the right road.

Andrews says, “It’s getting tired in here.”

Which it kind of is. The rain is physically on our parade and like 5% on mentally on our parade.

There’s a point before Printer Boy where the race crosses the road. The woman who seems in charge of traffic at the crossing is dancing as she waves people through.

Her dancing inspires Matt to turn on Walk It Out and we look for the best parking spot at Printer Boy because this is no longer our first rodeo—it’s our second.

11:42 AM

It’ll be around two hours before we see Aaron again. We’re predicting he could be done during the 4 o’clock hour.

11:35 AM

When I get back to the car Bria and Matt are prepping for the last aid station, back at Printer Boy again.

I overheard a woman say that her dog pooped on its leash. She told the person walking with her to go on without her. “It’s no reason for you to miss…”

11:24 AM

Someone say something like if he doesn’t say he’s having fun at the next stop, we’re in trouble.

Down we hike back to the car. I’m behind because I took to long to type this.

11:20 AM

There are baby SHART jokes as we clean up the yoga mats.

11:16 AM

He’s off again. 24–ish to go.

10:59 AM

Aaron is spotted in the distance and Bria lightly goes bonkers and cuts across some grass to meet him.

He’s going to round the corner and come by us. Before that though, Bria is yelling stuff like, “It’s baby Shark!!”

As he runs up and past to the half point and turnaround he passes them his belt after Matt asks if he wants to lighten up for a few.

After a quick few minutes and he’s back. Matt starts barking (coaching) orders like, “Eat this whole pack of Poptarts.”

He says he feels good and that it’s fun, but with a touch less enthusiasm this time. He seems surprised when he realizes he’s been running for five hours.

He’s been eating his food, but really only drinking water because it’s “so refreshing”.

Aaron changes his shorts and into a tank top under the aromatic farted-under pines.

Matt helps Aaron get his toes lubed up and socks back on. Bria applies a fresh coat of sun screen. Andrews pours water on him while telling him to keep eating his Poptart. Aaron puts his Boulder Underground hat back on.

Matt’s mostly last words take the form of a threat in, “All that food better be gone when we see you again.”

10:49 AM

Bria day, “Come on baby shark doot doot doot dddoot doot…” and flosses to it.

Matt says, “Aar-bear doot dooott doot…”

Scribblets were mentioned again then we started prepping for Aaron’s first pass through.

10:41 AM

Andrew says, “Something smells like roses out here.” Bria was all like, “really??” as Andrew rips a hole in a Roll Recovery mat.

And Matt can’t tell if he farted or if it was Andrew.

10:37 AM

Aaron’s been running consistently since about September of 2018. This is his race fourth race ever under normal training conditions, according to Bria: a 4-mile turkey trot, CIM relay half marathon leg, LA Marathon.

“He basically doubles the distance each time,” says Bria.

10:35 AM

Someone farts and Matt asks if I want something to write about at 10:36 AM.

10:30 AM

Dry turkey sandwiches.

10:20 AM

Check the map and decide not to hike all the way up to the Stumptown aid station. If we stay “here” we’ll see Aaron twice, once before and once after Stumptown.

We set up cute little cozy camp under the shade of two aromatic pines.

10:06 AM

Begin climb to aid station.

9:55 AM

We pressure Matt to drive his new Jeep further and further up the almost two track. He stops and asks someone how much more it goes up so he can stop driving up more. We let him off the hook.

We’ll have to hike a bit for this stop.

9:43 AM

Leave Safeway.

9:26 AM

Safeway stop.

9:23 AM

We muse over whether or not Aaron was delirious. He probably wasn’t, but a few things he said and lack of food was suspect—ish.

9:11 AM

Bria reporter that Aaron said he felt amazing. Matt reporter that he needed to eat more.

Then we leave for the next station.

En route Matt points out where he dropped off his Chipotle from last night.

9:06 AM

Correction: Matt wasn’t putting his socks on for him, he was lubing toes.

9:02 AM

We get asked if we’re doing a documentary (the answer is probably), then we pack up to move onto the next aid station: Stumptown.

9:01 AM

He’s off up, over and down the hill.

8:53 AM

Aaron’s sitting and the crew is tending to him.

He’s all smiles and said an emphatic something like “It’s so fun”.

He rolls out with the R8, gets fluids, sun screens, shoves things in his mouth that I’m too far away to see, repacks his fancy pack, claps out his shoes, Matt helps him get on new socks. A tub of Vasoline was involved.

8:45 AM

Someone who looked like Aaron, but isn’t Aaron.

8:41 AM

Light encounter with red ants.

8:33 AM

I pass the camera off to give my photo eye a break. Bria (and maybe Matt) has gone further up the course. From there she can catch him and direct him our aid station within the aid station. It’s going to be so adorable.

Most people who’ve passed through the station aren’t stopping for much because it’s still pretty early and a lot of people are carrying nutrition/hydration with them.

Aaron will probably do a full stop and get more of everything because this 50 is a dry run for the 100 miler he’ll be doing in August.

And it’s a dry run for us crewing because most of us will be crewing for him at the Leadville 100.

8:18 AM

Matt and Bria get back from their run. I trade spots with Andrew watching for Aaron through the zoom lens.

8:11 AM

A guy comes in but the crowd cheers louder for the second woman coming through. She’s smiling and talking as she pauses at the aid station.

The crowd is getting bigger and I start to wonder what if…

The third woman comes in. And fourth. Stupid emotions.

…Aaron does get in early.

Andrew comes over and grabs his camera with a long lens so he can peep from further away.

8:08 AM

The first woman comes in and I unexpectedly get a little emotional about it. (I tend to get emotional watching races. No you shut up.)

8:05 AM

At this aid station, runner’s come down the road from I don’t know where, touch the aid station for whatever they might need, and run toward a small wall of humans and bright yellow cones that yell things like “great job!” at them and point at the pretty nondescript hill they’re supposed to disappear over.

7:55 AM

I had noticed the crowds mannerisms shift a little a bit ago and now they lightly clap as the first four men trickle through.

We’re approaching two hours.

People begin clapping again as another dude practically breezes through the station. Someone says something like, “Good job Matt,” and so I assume his name is Matt.

If Aaron runs 10 mins pace—which he probably won’t because it’s mostly incline to this station and he talked about hiking some of it—the earliest he’d likely arrive is 10:30.

This isn’t really notable, but there’s more dogs and children here than I expected there to be.

7:45 AM

I contemplate being done with Pringles for life (never!) because my stomach hurts from them.

7:34 AM

I ask Andrew what he think Aaron’s doing.

“Running,” he says. (Duh.) Then he says, “I wonder what he’s thinking.”

Instead of responding I write this down.

7:24 AM

The aid station went from two Portos and a trailer to three Leadvilleraceseries.com tents, six bins for trash type things, five plus Igloo coolers for drinks, two cots, lots of bowls of fruit and things, many many cups, stacks of mostly green bananas, rows of cookies, boxes of GU and Honey Stinger products and more.

I’m eating Pringles and forcing down a dry ass bagel—because the cream cheese has become questionable and I’m refusing the peanut butter in protest. It’s only a matter of time before I move onto the beef sticks.

Yes, I know I’ll regret this. Shut up.

7:11 AM

Bria and Matt head out for a run. I’m in the car trying to revive my phone while blogging on Andrew’s phone. Andrew’s probably reading. Maybe sleeping.

Now we wait.

6:51 AM

Matt signed up for text updates—but doesn’t remember how so I can’t advice—and it said Aaron made it to the top of the hill. The one we were standing on when he airplane armed on.

6:40 AM

I take advantage of one of the Poly Johns.

6:30-ish AM

We pack up stuff for Aaron and walk it down the road about 100 meters to set up camp.

It feels like a cross county race day, only worse. That implies I don’t like cross county, but I do.

We start asking questions about where people will be coming and going from at this station and pick a spot and get chilling.

Matt says he’s going to go get a running book and start reading—for all those he coaches.

6:22 AM

We arrive at Printer Boy, but I think it’s a parking trap and we should be driving further down the road for a prime spot.

No one is listening to me to though, except Bria. After she closely considers the map we decide to go and check it out.

But then Matt asks someone and turns out this is the aid station and there’s no walking anyways. Score!

5:19 AM

We drive by, what I can only assume are, old mining structures as we are transported back in time even further as we climb to Printer Boy.

6:14 AM

We sing Down with the Sickness as Bria tries to navigate an iPhone (she’s a Samsung woman) to get us to the aid station. It’s 14.5 miles into the race.

6:05 AM

We take a last look at the map and head off to the first aid station, Printer Boy.

It’ll be a few hours before we see Aaron but we gotta get a good spot.

6:00 AM

The race starts.

We’re halfway up the 100-meterish hill the race starts directly at the bottom of.

Down with the Sickness starts playing over the loudspeakers as we are transported back in time.

Aaron gives us a smile and airplane arms as he goes by us.

5:59 AM

They start counting down from 15 seconds.

5:58 AM

National anthem with a flag at the top of the hill.

It’s an electric guitar rendition with cheering on the track, I think.

4:54 AM

Six mins to race start.

A guy over the loud speaker asks if everyone is ready is ready and because nobody is, they aren’t loud and he makes them do it again.

4:50 AM

Matt arrives from his parking adventure.

5:48 AM

Over the loudspeaker, they ask runners to start lining up.

Aaron and Bria to the typical before race ritual of hemming and hawing about if he should take his pants off yet. He settles for strapping on his hydration belt.

5:45 AM

Aaron asks me to take a photo of him with the race director, whom is holding a shotgun.

It’s open/empty and we speculate whether that’s the start gun.

5:40 AM

We take before and after photo and video of Aaron.

I ask Aaron, “So how ya feelin’?” to which he says, “Good.”

Then we mill around being lightly chilly.

5:36 AM

Aaron lightly sings along with a country song that’s playing over a too-loud speaker so slowly numb his sanity.

Then we all kinda sing and dance to it.

5:33 AM

Wait for Aaron and Bria at the Porto Pots.

I confuse another man coming out of a Porto with a man bun for Aaron and his man bun, even though Aaron is wearing a hat.

5:29 AM

We leave Matt to figure out the car and Andrew misses filming a special moment of Matt and Aaron hugging.

Some man keeps seemingly ambiguously yelling, “All the way to the top of the hill!”

I fart along—literally—as I get separated from the group.

5:25 AM

Aaron puts his number on as someone drives by and tells us we can’t park here. Lol.

5:19 AM

I put my Briks back on with my socks from yesterday and eat a few Pringles as it turns to twilight.

And we try to help Aaron get set up, but he don’t need us.

Also, for those concerned, it turns out they were telling people to park here at the urgent care

5:13 AM

There’s a mini traffic jam for trying to get into the start’s parking lot. We wait in line as a fire truck beeps at us to move.

Bria farts a few times. After a few farts Aaron registers that she’s been farting ON him the whole time.

“It’s wafting into my jacket,” he says.

And then he burps he way out of the car as we’ve parked in an urgent care’s parking lot (the other lot is full).

5:10 AM

Aaron tells us that everyone he talked to at packet pick up yesterday, who is running the 50-miler today, is also doing the 50-mile bike on Sunday.

What a boost for his confidence.

After that story Bria defines what a scribblet is and Andrew spots an owl.

5:00 AM

We load everything into Matt’s car (which smells like smoke—he bought it on Carvana everyone!) and then try to get in while remarking about how maybe we should have used the other car.

“Once we get rid of Aaron we’ll have so much more room,” says Bria.

And we’re off to the start.

The sun is definitely not up and the landscape, and massive mountains in the distance, are all wonderful shades of black and light gray.

4:43 AM

Aaron reenacts the tent scene from Austin Powers while he gets dressed.

He emerges from the tent in short Colorado shorts and says, “Skies out thighs out!” and proceeds to stand directly over the fake fire and shake his knees.

4:37 AM

By the light of a phone, I wonder off to pee. I can see where everyone else’s peed because they apparently didn’t wander very far.

When I get back to the “fire”, Bria is putting in to contacts and talking about how she got “han-i-sizer” (hand sanitizer) in her eyes.

“You gotta make sure each one works on its own,” she says while opening and closing each eye a bunch before saying, “It’s too dark to tell.”

4:30 AM

I get out of the car, finally, and join Aaron and Andrew by the fake fire. Bria joins us with some used coffee she brought from the office.

“I shouldn’t have scratched that,” says Bria about a bug bite in a disclosed location, but a location I didn’t hear.

4:21 AM

Andrew misses getting Aaron farting while cooking on the stove.

Aaron’s eating Wonder Bread and Jiffy.

Andrew’s creepily filming Matt from outside his car.

4:13 AM

Aaron knocks on the window and sort of nods like this sort of activity is normal for him and Andrew let’s him in.

All the food’s in this car. We all get up to eat with Aaron because we’re all super supportive and it’s not at all because everyone has to pee.

9:54 PM

Andrew asked me to live-blog that he misses Matt.

9:47 PM

Bria real puts out the fake fire.

We all go to bed to lay awake all night.

9:43 PM

Aaron cracks Matt’s back and while they do that Bria askes, “Are you going to fart on his [struck from the record]?” and while Andrew tries to take a pic with his phone.

9:27 PM

We clean up camp for the night. Aaron puts dirt in the pan to clean it. We put the food in the cars. I stop live-blogging to help…

9:08 PM

Bria low key almost falls in the fake fire.

Aaron makes some balls of rice from a special recipe he got out of a book.

Andrew farts at almost the same moment Bria burps. It’s a beautiful moment.

Aaron repeats parts of the plan over again to Matt…

While Bria was over here studiously taking notes and double checking things with Aaron, Matt was over there pretending he was memorizing everything.

Fake fire spoiler: he wasn’t.

9:06 PM

Aaron wraps more little plastic baggies of white Tailwind powder for the AM.

(Bria has previously made jokes about what the bags look like.)

9:03 PM

Lots of off the record jokes ensue.

8:52 PM

Bria calls our Radiate portable camp fire a “fake” fire and Aaron gets defensive and says something like: “It’s not a fake fire, Bria!”

Because it is, in fact, a real fire.

(It’s just not a camp fire.)

Evening activities:

  • Belly bumps (or something) — Bria and I stuffed pillows in our jackets and acted like cute idiots.
  • Football throwing
  • Music listening
  • Mosquito swatting
  • Eating Pringle’s and beef sticks
  • Aaron offering to long run with Matt after this race.
  • More farting–altitoots!!
  • Matt reads blog so far, allowed

8:03 PM

Andrew realizes the mic wasn’t on, so we had to have a redo.

8:01 PM

Andrew begins filming and shit gets weird.

“Some people say diarrhea is bad, but I believe it’s necessary.”

7:58 PM

Aaron will be hydrating with Maurten and Tailwind.

He has four paper Trader Joe’s bags that are labeled. One label we can’t read all the way but no one seemed too concerned.

7:41 PM

Lotsa farts around the Roll/yoga mats while Aaron shares the game plan for tomorrow.

Bria farts in my face. We all laugh.

Farts continue to be interspersed with Aaron’s words as he tells us where to be when tomorrow.

7:30 PM

United with the whole crew!

7:19 PM

I buy a large bag of deli style beef sticks and a Mega Stack of Original Pringles.

7:09 PM

I listen to A one-sided convo between Aaron and Matt.

“Pop tarts…”

“Oh I love gummie worms!”

7:05 PM

Aaron gets a call from Bria and the rest of the crew.

6:57 PM

Gallons of water are sold out so we move to talking about rationing bottles of water for the crew (one an hour for 12 hours). Aaron says we don’t have to ration it, but I plan to talk about rationing it a lot.

6:51 PM

“DR MIGGINS!”

6:48 PM

A few more Hary Miggins jokes, sorry.

“You’re a Miggins Harry!!”

6:45 PM

We cease some Hary Miggins jokes. #insidejokes

“Hand it over!”

6:41 PM

Overheard Aaron say he was ready for tomorrow. Which is must be bullshit because ain’t nobody ready for a 50 mile run.

6:39 PM

Aaron sees someone he knows. Not surprised.

6:29 PM

Aaron’s finishes Normatecing. But I’m in no hurry to get out of the door chairs they are using for demo, so I’m glad when Aaron’s starting asking the people about what other events they are racing.

6:14

Aaron does Normatecs I take an altitude pee.

6:09 Aaron signs out poles for fun. He has poles, but these poles are sexy af.

5:55 PM

Aaron tries out Leki poles

5:45 PM

Arrive at packet pickup.

5:15–ish PM

I lightly choke on a slice of orange.

Then as some point when everything is setup we head to town for packet pickup.

4:54 PM

Pee on my Birks and socks.

5:54 PM

Aaron says, “Outdoor plumbing!” Then he takes a piss and starts setting up camp.

4:48 PM

Drive around and look for a camping spot.

The dispersed camping area is pretty full but we keep pressing and find a sweet spot with some shade.

4:38 PM

Sign that says, “Welcome to Leadville. On top of it all.”

4:15 PM

Off highway to Leadville.

Then we ooo and aaahh the mountains for 10-15 mins.

4:08 PM

I see sail boats on Lake Dillion and lose my mind for 3-5 seconds about how beautiful the sailboats are on the lake.

“Oh my god!”, I say. Or Aaron said I said it—I’m not sure.

4:00 PM

We hit the big tunnel and we wonder if we’re going downhill, because it looks like it. Aaron pulls something up on the Subaru dash that says we’re actually kind of going up.

Whodathunk.

3:45 PM

First bathroom break in George Town/Georgetown.

3:00 PM

Pass through Golden and head to Grand Junction.

2:15 PM

I got in the car with my newest drink obsession a Thai iced tea. Aaron decided he needed one too, so he got one and we hit the road.

We saw Andrew walking to get one too on the way out.

Friday 2:15 pm

I’m hitting the road for Leadville, CO with Aaron Lange. He’ll be the one running the 50 miles.

Andrew Kitto, Matt Hensley and Bria Wetsch (Aaron’s fiancée) will be joining us later in the evening.

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