LIVEBLOG—Crewing the Leadville 100

Alright, this is going to be a long one.

I’ll be a member of the crew who will be supporting my friend/teammate Aaron Lange for 100 miles starting about 4 a.m. Saturday until… probably 24+ hours later.

Most of this same crew supported him during a 50-miler in July (I live-blogged that if you want to read that here—there’s a lot of fart talk) and we’re excited to double the fun with 100 miles.

But it’s gonna be a long one.

So, starting sometime today the live-blogging will start for the 2019 Leadville 100 and continue on for a very long time.

Cell service will be spotty at best so, it will often be hours between updates. And then when I do update it will be a bunch of words.

To the five people who might read this: enjoy!

As always, this live-blog reads from bottom to top, with the latest updates just below this sentence.


10:27 PM — The Glow Sticks

As we get closer to camp we see the green glow stick again and we’re reminded there’s still a race going on, on top of all the stranded people.

9:56 PM — Still People Left

Matt said there will still 30-40 people left to somehow get back still after he got on the last bus.

We all hop in Wayne’s van—where Aaron was sleeping—and he drops Andrew, Bria, Matt and Aaron at the Roll van and we head back to the campsite we still have to breakdown.

9:49 PM — Next Bus

They are dropping people literally in the bushes. Bria’s yelling Matt’s name.

We hear Bria lose her mind saying Matt’s name.

And we finally have him! And my phones about to die.

9:44 PM — A Smaller Bus Arrives

Everyone is so stiff coming off the buses you can tell they’ve been cold and sitting for a long time.

No Matt so far…

No Matt. Some one he’s friends with said she waited for the bus for four hours. She also said Matt’s on this bus or the next—so let’s hope the next.

9:31 PM — No Matt

Word is there’s two more buses. Hopefully he’s on one of them.

It’s sort of how I imagine it’s like waiting for people in rescue boats.

9:22 PM — THERE’S A BUS!!!

It has to turn around down the road before anyone can get off.

Other vehicles were following the van and when they open their doors tons of people fall out.

Still waiting on the bus.

Everyone’s perked up and waiting with so much anticipation.

Bria said getting Matt right now is a bigger deal than waiting for Aaron.

9:10 PM — Someone Got a Text

Someone got a text from her husband saying that we was on a bus. So there’s at least one bus.

Also there’s a sheriff here now.

8:57 PM — Might Missing Matt

We found Aaron three hours ago now. It’s dark. Matt has no idea what any of us are doing. If he steps off one of these busses it will into pretty much darkness, save headlamps and headlights.

He left for the shuttle around 1? I don’t want to scroll back and look. But he’s been “missing” for hours.

Are we just going to start yelling “Matt! Matt! Matt!” when he gets off the bus?

Bria likened it to being at the airport with a sign for someone.

Except they don’t know you’re there and you can’t see the sign.

8:51 PM — Buses?

Are there really three buses coming? Or are there not and there will be absolute chaos shortly?

8:40 PM — Still Missing Matt

Bria and I now want all the Leadville Fyre Festival gossip. Now that’s what we’re here for.

We don’t have more, but it’s what we’re here for.

Also still no Matt and still no busses.

8:12 PM — Update: Bus Drivers Go On Strike

We left our post and checked on Bria and Aaron at the shuttle waiting for Matt.

Aaron hopped in the van and I hopped out to wait with Bria.

Turns out—allegedly—there’s hundreds of people stuck up at that aid station. If Matt doesn’t get back on the next two busses, we have to drive up there ourselves and get him. And all the other people up there will have to get rides too.

So, ironically, they made the shuttle so people wouldn’t drive there. But here we are, probs having to drive there.

Bria also said she heard that they knew they weren’t going to be able to get all the pacers up there (BS) so there’s a chance he went out with another runner to help them.

Oh and I guess the bus drivers went on strike.

7:34 PM — Bathroom Happening

Obviously all of the bathrooms are out of toilet paper. I went in one that had a single solitary Starbucks napkin draped over a quarter inch thick piece of medal.

7:14 PM — Missing Matt

Bria and Aaron have been dropped near the shuttle station to camp out to intercept Matt from the shuttle.

Wayne went and talked to his (new) friend Brian at the radio truck and confirmed that the message got to the aid station Matt is at. But the guy didn’t know what it was like at that aid station.

Someone could have went around yelling Matt’s name. He could have asked directly for info. Who knows.

Maybe he’ll turn up on a shuttle, maybe he did something crazy and decided to run down—shrug emoji.

6:30 PM — 5 Dumps

Aaron said he took five dumps early on.

6:11 PM — DQ by Asthma

Aaron said he was having an asthma attack for during a 3-mile climb. He made it [one mile from the top] to the top of the pass and they gave him a nebulizer (sp?) but because they had to medically assist him it was an automatic disqualification.

He had one more mile to climb [to the top of the pass where he’d run down to the aid station] to get to Matt, but the medic told him if he kept climbing with what was going on it could be really bad. So essentially they sent him back down the hill.

He had to have an escort back down.

It was by chance that Bria happened to see him in the distance.

He’s in decent spirits. Even good I’d say. He’s currently eating cups off noodles and potatoes.

The bigger worry is…where is Matt?

There’s no direct communication to that aid station—no cell service—so we had to talk to people to radio people to get some word to Matt and get him back to where we are.

But so far no word, lol.

The cut off for that station was 6:00 p.m. So he’ll know Aaron hasn’t made the cut off, but he won’t know he’s not still running.

So it might be a few hours before we hear from or see him.

5:47 PM — Meanwhile, Back in the Van

After some more boring sitting and some cheeseburgers from a food truck and more fries Wayne, Andrew and I are in Wayne’s van. It sounds like we don’t know where Aaron and Matt are.

His chip registered leaving this—Twin Lakes—aid station but then not….

….and we just got a call from Bria. Aaron had to drop out 😦

More to come.

4:57 PM — I’m so bored

The bugs are moving in. I have a beanie on with my sweatshirt—that says “I woke up like this”—pulled up over the back of my head and hat to keep the mosquitos from getting in.

5:52 PM — Brown Dog and Mosquitos

I just watched a very cute brown dog try to munch some mosquitos. It kept trying for like five or six chomps and then immediately sniffed it’s own butt.

4:41 PM — Finding the Vans

So now I’m solo (now we’re split into five!) and it seems like everyone around me has a dog. I want a dog!!!

I’ve now been awake almost 15 hours (I failed a nap) and like maybe we’re half way through this.

Hopefully Andrew comes back with news—because again I don’t know what good news would be.

There’s also a strong possibility that Bria and Wayne don’t know we never took the shuttle to the aid station. And we realized we never totally had a plan for finding people when we got back, aside from probably finding each other when Aaron rolled through. But there probably would have been a significant amount of time between the shuttle and Aaron.

4:26 PM —Type Two Fun

Lotsa sitting around feeling tired and bored. It’s a bummer when you can’t see the runner come in and be all excited. It’ll be maybe even four more hours, maybe even more before we see him again.

Since we’re bored and there’s so many bugs…bugging us…. we’re going to see if we can find the vans. Andrew’s going to run up, while I sit with the stuff, and see how far away it and Wayne and Bria are.

2:16 PM — Texts Go Through

Some of our texts made it out to Wayne and is response made it to us. If our next texts made it, then they’ll know where we are.

The men’s leader when through a few minutes ago.

1:45 PM — Abort Shuttle

Andrew comes back with Matt’s bag and we go find shade. I feel like I can’t stand anymore, Andrew’s bag weighs one billion pounds.

After some I don’t know!!!s we settle into a spot.

After like three minutes we realize that Aaron’s dad is sleeping on the ground like 10 feet from us.

We catch him up on what’s happening and then he and Andrew go to sleep.

I’m keeping watch because cameras. But also I’m really tired now that I can sit and pseudo relax for the first time since about 2 a.m.

It’s cold in the shade and death hot (sorta) in the sun. Leadville is Mercury.

No, Leadville is after Festival.

1:29 PM — Andrew Goes to Find Matt

Andrew headed up to Matt to see if it’s best is maybe we don’t even try to go. We don’t really want to miss seeing him—because he’s so jacked about everything—but we also don’t want some dumb domino effect to echo through the weekend because of this failure shuttle.

I want to say hopefully he’ll come back with good news, but I don’t know what’s good news.

And also we don’t know where everyone else is.

Also also we’ve potentially separated into four. Horror movie.

1:13 PM — Bullshit

Word in the line is that pacers are missing their people. Word is also that LifeTime/Lifetime/Life Time fitness bought this race and then nearly doubled the entries. And then nothing else scaled up.

So many people in line are pissed.

1:11 PM — Matt Leaves Us

We notice they are letting pacers jump the line. So we eventually convince Matt to go on without us. We pluck a few food items from him and send him on his way while we wait in line.

And it seems like they might be loading the bus from two different lines. This will take forever.

The three hours we should have to get to the aid station is getting smaller and smaller.

Also the crew’s been separated into three. This is how horror movies start.

1:04 PM — Stupid Shuttle Bus

The line for the bus is forever and in the desert up hill in the rain and snow. We’ve all entered survival mode—survive mood—-and this line sucks.

The point of the shuttle is for us to go with Matt up to the aid station and then bring back Matt and Aaron’s extra things.

This is going to take forever and this sun blows and is not fire.

12:21 PM — ITS HIM!

His dad runs him in and Aaron’s excited-arms up and all smiles.

He plops down into the chair and one of the first thing he says that’s not how excited his is, is that he has to dump.

New socks, toes greased, new shoes. He’s interested in the accidental extra pulled pork sando, and the bacon in the cooler.

Aaron asks where the bathrooms are. We point to the port-o’s but Addie Bracey who’s hanging at this aid station said there’s more down the trail.

Aaron’s flipping through his watch before trading it off—because the battery is too low—and he has three new records on it. Typical Garmin records.

Wayne’s getting the vest packed. Bria asked if he’s greased his crotch and then sprays his exposed skin with sun screen.

He has his poles for the climb he has ahead.

We are at mile 37.9-ish.

He’s off with high-fives and smiles.

12:09 PM — “RUNNER COMING THROUGH!”

The trail version of “WATCH THE TRACK!”

11:49 AM — Back at the Crew Space

Back by all the stuff, waiting for Aaron, it’s super crowed and hectic. It’s getting harder to tell runners from crew members. Lots of people, lots of movement.

Aaron could be here in 10 minutes or 40 minutes. Bria waits impatiently, staring at the hill Aaron will bomb down before reaching us about 100 meters away.

We stand and reach as if each person in a white shirt is Aaron. Or was it a black shirt? How long have I been up—10 hours?

I’m chewing on dust.

After this our task is to rush to the shuttle. The shuttle might be 2 hours or 50 minutes. We’ve heard both.

We get asked to move once again. This women is doing a very good job at her job, but obviously we hate that we have to do things.

11:40 AM — Gallery Bracelets

After my pulled pork I took a spin in the gallery where the things are charging. I bought some leather bracelets made right here where ever we are. The women working at the gallery know my and Andrew’s names now, which is pretty sweet.

11:11 AM — First Real Food

Found a smart food truck selling things like pulled pork and fires, so Matt, Andrew and I got exactly that. I’m sitting at the table waiting to be called for the fries.

It feels so good to sit in a chair and also eat foot that’s not dry cereal, snack-type things or breakfast food.

And Andrew talked to some gallery owners and we can charge some gear batteries—mega damn score.

The drone farts in the sky above us.

10:24 AM — Next Aid Station: Twin Lakes

It took us forever to figure out logistically what’s happening next. I think I’m supposed get on a shuttle to some mystery place with Matt and Andrew after we see Aaron next.

We pretty much have to carry what we need for the next 10-11 hours, so shit’s going to be increasingly more interesting from here on out.

Once we get into wherever the shuttle takes us, Matt leaves for the first pacing leg.

Then Andrew and I have to find our way back on the shuttle to where we are right now and hopefully beat Matt and Aaron back. Because Bria needs to be prepped to continue on with Aaron and we need to be with them to move onto the next station.

Compared to the aid stations at the Silver Rush 50 Aaron ran these aid stations are a complete shit show. People aren’t obeying rules and signs mean nothing. It’s a mess.

We’ve already had to move one and are in the process of scoping out a new place to go.

9:08 AM — En Route to Twin Lakes

We laugh about how Aaron has to do what he just did three more time.

8:40 AM — He’s Here

Aaron rolls in all smiles and double high-fives. Matt takes Aaron’s shoes and socks off while saying, “looby loooby looby!”

Aaron said he’s taken about three dumps already. Matt blocks Aaron while he puts Vasoline in other places. Bria tells him he can use a dirty sock and head off to the bushes behind us if he needs to.

Wayne hands Aaron a Pop-tart while Aaron also uses the R8. Matt stuffs Aaron’s vest. Bria sprays the sunscreen.

“Ah that made my legs feel so good” Aaron said if the R8.

They get him strapped up in his vest. He ties his shoes. Wayne offers him ginger ale and he excepts.

Bria hands him the rest of his Pop-tart and he’s off.

8:31 AM — Happenings at Outward

A guy racing ran by a little goofily while texting on his cell phone.

I took a photo of two women with a sign that said “Smile, you paid for this.”

Races are walking but eating sandwiches.

“That’s him! That’s him!” Bria sees him in the distance. He seems to be chilling in a group of three and chatting, which prompts Bria to say “He’s good, he’s good.”

8:13 AM — More More Outward Bound

Andrew sets up audio to capture sound separate from his camera. A recorder and a shotgun mic are positioned on a backpack facing the chair that Aaron will sit in when he gets here.

Wayne and Bria check the book/map/thing and realize they are pacing from different places than they thought. So that’s good.

Pacers aren’t allowed until after 50 miles.

It’s crazy that this is when Aaron would have been turning around to go back during his 50-miler. We’re around mile 24 right now.

We can see people on the course in the distance. Hopefully we can spot him before he gets here and anticipate his arrival.

8:00 AM — More Outward Bound

Crew Zone sign that we skipped to just go right to the “no crew allowed” signs.

There are very clear, large signs that let us know where the crew area is. So we follow everyone else who’s gone past the “no crew member” signs to step up camp and bust open the rollie bag.

On a beach towel with palm trees Bria and Wayne lay out sun screen, ginger ale, many many bar choices, a change of clothes—included the galaxy split shorts—little Twix and KitKats, fruit snacks, Pop-tarts, etc.

Aaron’s spread at Outward Bound

I’ve also spotted the owner of the drone; it’s farting around over us. Or we’ll, it was—I don’t know where it now.

7:45 AM — Next Aid Station: Outward Bound

We dump ourselves out of the van and start prepping the wheelie bag for Aaron.

The rollie bag

The dust at the parking for this station is like nothing I’ve ever seen. It’s in my teeth and all over the cameras.

As we walk to the staging area Matt gets a Bumble match (she’s even in Leadville) and Bria drags the wheelie bag through the dusty grass prairie we parked in.

7:35 AM — Photo (if it loads)

Bria doing the work of figuring out where hell we are and how long it’s going to take us to go to the next place, amongst all the crap in the van.

7:24 AM — Wayne Drop

We drop Wayne at his van and I get to sit on an actual seat cushion and not an arm rest/cup holder thing (avoiding the claustrophobia of the last row of seats).

Off to next stop.

Matt says Aaron only has another day or so of running left…….

Bria says “less” than a day. But we won’t know for a very long time how long it’ll take. First goal is under 25 hours.

7:15 AM — Safeway Stop

We almost miss Safeway for more water and errrrt to the left and do what a bunch of other people are doing and stock back up on the H2O.

Then we’re going to ditch Wayne back at his van in town and then I don’t know what he’s doing or when we’ll see him again—someone said something about Twin Lakes.

The current van though—the Roll Recovery van—is a damn mess with all of our belonging and panic-flung things. I’m currently crushing a bag of my own groceries with my feet.

Bria said we’re packed in here like a crackerjack and I had to tell her that wasn’t thing.

6:53 AM — Back to Van

After a long and terrible hike up a hill at least a mile we’re in the can on our way to the next aid station said to be 45 mins away. (When I heard it was that far away I knew I had to pee before we left and I almost fell down a rocky hill doing so while people walked next to me on the road.)

6:16 AM — He’s Coming!

Bria comes through shouting that Aaron’s coming and he and Andrew pull up too. Aaron on foot, Andrew on blades with his camera.

Matt, Bria and Wayne scramble to get Aaron’s food and hydration set up. Matt runs Vasoline on Aaron’s feet and they get his shoes back on. Someone hands him an R8. Someone takes his headlamp because the sun is almost up.

Then he takes off and Andrew follows him and we pack back up.

6:14 AM — More MAYQween

I took a walk into the mess of people, lining the road further up, waiting for their people. Some of the people do actually have interesting ways of getting seen by their people.

Wisconsin flag, lit up orange jack-o-lantern, orange traffic cone that said “Pew Pew Princess 2019” with a picture of Princess Leia (sp?), a Maryland flag or something that looked like a Harry Potter house flag.

5:57 AM — More May Queen

Wayne says this is like the Tour de France, there’s people lining the road and in the road and in the way of the runners.

The guy in the important coat is on his walkie-talkie talking about how people “did what ever they wanted” and “aren’t following the rules”.

There’s lots of cowbell and “let’s go runners!” and people who generally think they have the best way to get their runners attention—but it’s all the same.

Important jacket guy is talking about how all the “abandoned” vehicles will be a problem.

There’s a drone farting around over us. (Which reminds me that ones farted over the start during the national anthem.)

The important jacket guy is telling us we need to all move from the side of road we’re on, to the other side, because the cars do did the wrong thing need to get through so they don’t continue to ruin it for everyone even more.

We sort of move—more like push back off the road and make it look like we’re about to move. Bria and Andrew are up the road to find Aaron and direct him in when he comes and us moving ruins that. So we stall and it seems to be working.

5:46 AM —Aid Station 2 — May Queen

The road is a complete shit show on the rest of the road up to the aid station. There’s cars parked three-wide on a two lane road is the woods.

There’s another guy in an important jacket telling people they need to move their cars if they are parked two-wide because an ambulance can’t get down the road.

Obviously no one is going to move their cars. Our van wasn’t double-parked when we left it, hopefully it’s not when we get back to it.

Now we wait 10-40 mins for Aaron to roll through.

5:18 AM — More Shit

This is not what we were planning and it’s not going extra smooth packing stuff up at the car. We’re struggling to find the baggies of Tailwind and the Vasoline for Aaron’s feet. Bria smashes Matt in the face with a chair on accident trying to get it out of the back. He said he was ok, that he has a hard head.

We get our shit mostly together and head out.

Bria and Andrew disappear off in the darkness ahead of us. She’s running with Aaron’s rollie bag and Andrew’s on blades.

4:54 AM — Shit

Shits getting getting free-for-all-ish.

We’re lined up a mile+ back. We stopped and and most us peed along the road in the dark. We started getting food out the back of the van and traffic moved just slightly but it was low key pandemonium. Cars were passing us and we were yelling “Get in the car! We’re moving!” And we crammed in four wide in the van. Then we moved 100 meters.

It happened a few more times. Once, Bria was running along us when traffic stayed moving again. We left her as we tried to get cereal.

People are staring to abandon their vehicles and walk up on foot or scoot in on wheels.

Where game-planning when’s the latest we’ll start walking up too. We’ll need to prep the right stuff for Aaron at the car and walk what Matt is estimating to be a mile. Around 5:30 we’ll need to abandon the van and start walking.

A guy rolls by us on an electric board, coming from where we’re trying to go, and tells us it’s best to park and walk up.

So we start position to turn around (because we’ll need be facing the other way on this road to get to the next station). A guy in a yellow important-looking jacket is talking to the car in front of us and he when he gets to us he tells us we can’t turn around.

Bria whispers “complete madness” while we all try to figure shit out for the next two hours.

4:29 AM — First Aid Station Potential Bust (Actual Bust)

Seems that the first aid station is block. Matt leaves is the van—taking the keys—while he does and finds out what’s up.

Sounds like they told Aaron (and everyone else) we wouldn’t need passes, but sounds like Life Time just bought the event and maybe messed up the passes situation because the troll guarding the bridge won’t let us through.

Matt’s got an idea to use the exhibitor and Andrew tries but we are denied. We’re probably going to skip this spot and hope that Aaron understands what’s going on, since no one is really going here.

The gatekeeper is being kinda mean and we’re rolling to the next stop.

Hopefully he’s good on supplies and can get what he needs before we gets to us again in about 2.5 hours / 12 miles.

When Matt turns the radio back up Taking Care of Business (or whatever it’s called) ironically plays on the radio.

4:14 AM — Recalculating Route

Bria navigates us out of the mess and we send it out into new traffic, but cut the line significantly.

We immediately join another line of tail lights—but ones that are moving. Well just kidding. We’re slow now.

Andrew said some of the leaders almost caught him on his blades they were out so hot. It’s in video, I’ll upload it later if I can.

4:06 AM — Crewing Starts

We all find our way to the one can we’re all going to cram into. I consider how I’m going to hold in all the urine on the way to the next stop because it’s bad.

Andrew and I were handed press passes while we were standing on the other side of the start which is sweet.

Aaron was smiles on the start but also has a blank nervous face during the national anthem. 100 miles man—that shits cray cray.

Off to the first aid station. (Which could take a while because there’s already a line of tail lights.

Also here’s a photo of the start:

The start a handful of minutes before the race with media people in the foreground and races behind them.

4:00 AM — The Start

They are counting down from 10 and the whole crowd counts, it’s electric with crazy runners. The starting gun is a riffle and everyone is off.

Hundred of runners with headlamps pass me while I stand in front of the start line off to the side. There’s flags and bleachers and tons of people lining the street.

Actually masses of people I don’t know where mine are….

3:52 — Stuff

We leave Aaron after he gives out hugs and kisses (to Bria). We head out to find Andrew who’s rolling around on blades.

3:46 AM — Photo (if it loads)

14 mins to the start

3:35 AM — Blades

Andrew has roller blades to film with for dope shots and Wayne asks his shel size because he wants to try them out.

More farts abound. Wayne pulls of to the side of the group to fart and acts like he’s being more polite standing 4 feet away.

To the start we go. 21 mins to start. The loud speaker is activated and the energy rises.

3:31 AM — Bathroom

Wayne shows Aaron a creative place to urinante.

Matt tells Aaron’s his GPS watch won’t be accurate to which we all said “der” and then Aaron farts while finishing the GPS convo.

28 mins out from the start.

3:21 AM — Photo (if it’s loads)

Aaron posing for a dramatic photo at first, but then Wayne told him someone he knows got up at 1:30 a.m. for this race and this was his reaction.

3:15 AM — Post Office

We find spots to park across from the post office and Andrew‘s excited because he needed a place to charge his camera batteries (to document Aaron’s race) and outlets basically appear out of nowhere just for him.

The road is filling up quickly with other race participants and crews parking along the road too.

3:10 AM — Bria’s Ambiance

Aaron spots a cemetery in the distance and it looks like many of the grave plots have what look LEDs on them. We connect that, jokingly, that’s it’s more of the glow stick and Bria says something casual about it’s lure us all there and then the graves are all un-dug and we fall in them.

Aaron basically tell her to shut up.

Then we arrive to town and figure out where to park.

It’s 47 mins to race start.

3:05 AM — Glow Sticks

The road is lined with green glow sticks and we assume it’s because the race goes this way before dawn. It looks pretty cool and injects a bit of magic.

2:58 AM — In the Vans

We make it into the vans and start figuring out how to get the vans through the campground between the people who set up their campers poorly (on the road) who will regret doing so as we drive through there camp at this being 3:01 a.m.

Wayne and Kirk are in Wayne’s van and the rest of us are in the Roll van. It’s a bit of a clusterF so Aaron gets out and walk-directs us through the campsites. We pass very closely by someone’s camping bathroom/shower and then we’re off.

I ask Aaron how he’s feeling and he says, “feeling good” and then everyone makes jokes that he asked us not to ask him that.

2:50 AM — Bib

Bria cutely pins on Aaron’s bib. Aaron stuffs his running vest while asking for candy bars and we get our last items in the van.

Aaron smiles while saying “breakfast!” and shoving two fun-sized Kit Kats and m&ms in his vest.

2:28 AM — We’re Up

That 2 a.m. wake up was a bit rough but we immediately started breaking down camp and moving things into vans and cars and tents.

There’s some confusing about the next time we’ll stop to Wayne’s van that will probably be left in town as a hub. I heard him ask, “We’ll be back to the van before I pace, right?” So which someone said a very tentative “hopefully?”

His leg, I think, starts at like 3 a.m. tomorrow, so that’ll be interesting.

There’s already farting and cursing and generally down-to-business cheeriness.

Aaron’s dad made it to the campsite shortly after we all turned down (for what), so we have Kirk with us now.

We have to fit all seven of us in the Roll Recovery van plus whatever we need before we can get back to Wayne’s van in like 24 hours.

We seem poised to leave at 3 a.m. for that 4 a.m. start. We’ll get to the first aid station—7 miles in—in the dark. Maybe even the first few.

Aaron’s updating us on some last minute crew info from his technical meeting—like there’s some lake we can only drive one way around.

For breakfast Aaron’s had an English muffin and peanut butter. He’s wearing some big old Hokas, a Boulder Underground hoodie, joggy-sweatpants, a Boulder Underground hat worn backwards, awkward nude/tan gloves and a very fancy headlamp he was gifted by a vendor a the expo (it has a rear light that is annoyingly blinking when he does normal things).

No one:

Andrew: 100 miles! Easy-peasy!

Then Matt says something about everything starts with a big dump.

And then then coyotes start yelling near camp and I’m definitely not comfortable with it and they definitely are moving closer, but everyone’s chill about it.

Andrew says they are just puppies, but I picture hyenas and wonder what they’re doing.

Aaron and Bria have setup and filled food and bottles for Aaron to have with him at the start. We’re putting finishing touches on the vans.

8:19 PM — Van and Tent Time

Finally, after talking about it forever but not fricking doing it, everyone finally splits into their sleeping quarters.

Wake up time is 2 a.m. for the 4 a.m. start. We’ll have to shuffle around a lot of stuff again, very early and finalize what vehicle is going where. I’m mostly concerned about filling my water bladder in my hiking back—though there’s much more important things to be worried about.

Okay, I don’t know, whatever, goodnight.

(Also Aaron’s dad is still m.i.a. so good luck to him finding an unmarked campsite in the night.)

7:53 PM — Andrew Takes His First Dump Ever In the Woods

Which, as a runner, is remarkable and why I’m remaking about it here. Matt celebrates with him, from afar. Andrew wants to show us (no one looks) because he’s impressed himself.

Aaron farts something nasty, scrunches his face up and says, “oh that hurt.” Then Bria immediately sneezes something hideous and terrifying and makes a barf noise. Then everyone’s quiet for a few.

Then Andrew asks if he can show me the poo. Bria comes too.

We’re all very impressed and disgusted—but interested.

Andrew thanks us for coming and Bria basically says thanks for having us.

Aaron’s briefs us on his best poo he took at soccer camp long ago.

7:48 PM — Matt’s flosses his teeth

Now we know why Bumble isn’t working, this kid brushes his teeth while camping.

7:30 PM — The Cinnamon Rolls

I’m going to regret this. We all are.

7:05 PM — The Snack Foods

Aaron pulls out the bag of fun food—and I start paying attention again—for us to bring to him at aid stations.

There’s: m&m’s, fruit snacks, Sour Patch Kids, Kit Kats, Snickers, chocolate-chip chocolate-dipped granola bars, S’mores Pop-tarts, Sausalito cookies, Twix. I heard there’s bacon in the cooler. He’s got Tailwind, Maurten, Coke, ginger ale, water water water. Red Bull’s.

Bria comments that Aaron’s so cute and I presume this thinks this nerdformance is supe cute.

Bria’s excited about eating Sour Patch Kids on her pacing legs. Matt’s pretty insistent that he doesn’t need anything for his really long climbing leg.

Wayne tells us we need the hurry the hell up because the bugs are terrible.

Bedtime looms.

6:28 PM — Team Meeting

Aaron wants to have team meeting where we’ll all inevitably get distracted but hopefully pick up the right details.

Aaron rolled out a cheap yoga mat with a beach towel with fruit on it and has started unpacking his race-day suitcase on it. We have to tell him how to repack it because we’ll be in charge of it tomorrow and for the 24+ hours the race will last.

This meeting is going to take a while to start as the campsite is littered with backpacks, camera gear, Roll Recovery expo stuff, other random gear, bedding, coolers, etc.

Aaron continues to unpack short-shorts, running tees, a pile of socks, running vests, poles, rain jackets, a beanie, soft flasks, and other shit.

Oh eff, the meeting has stated:

First is the decision of the poles. Aaron wants poles and gloves at Twin Lakes on the way out. He shows us the extra rain jackets—they are green and blue. His thermal long-sleeve goes with Matt at night—he’ll carry it in his bag—when he paces Aaron starting around 3 am.

Matt will have to take a shuttle for a reason I didn’t follow.

Aaron shows us his preferred tights, beanie (Boulder Underground one), split shorts (the Colorado ones), tees. He has three or four of each clothing item to change around every 25 miles.

The temp will he in the 40s during the 4 am start.

Aaron tells us his sock preferences while also dropping most of them. The spring out of his hands and it’s funny, but not as funny as farts.

He explains that he wants the pacers to wear an extra hydration belt, Matt separates out what he’ll need for the special stop with the bus.

Aaron has extra puffy jackets for us and him.

Wayne pulls out Joe Joe’s (Trader Joe’s Oreos) and I kind of stop paying attention, but Matt and Aaron seem to have a five minute conversation about shoes. Sounds like Aaron might change his shoes like four times.

And there’s more things but I’m over it and you get the gist.

Oh and there’s some lube jokes.

6:04 PM — Camp/dinner/farts and fart jokes

Alright, everyone’s here. Well except Aaron’s dad, who’s currently en route. Everyone is: Aaron, Bria (Aaron’s finance), Matt (the coach), Andrew (videographer), Wayne (the guy with the van) and myself (live-blogger/photographer/maybe audio).

Andrew keeps doing test film shots and getting interview clips of Aaron (well and is too).

Andrew’s prepping pacers to interview Aaron while he’s running (on phones and GoPro). Aaron told them not to ask how he’s doing because he’s just going to say he’s doing amazing.

Generally we aren’t doing much right now, except some people are farting and eating (not the same people). Soon we’ll start prepping the vehicles for tomorrow. Whatever I’m going to go eat camp diner.

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