“For crew, you also need people you can absolutely count on, and who understand you, and who understand what you need when you get into an aid station. My husband Richie has been my go-to crew master since I started running Ultras.”
You’re a few days away from defending your 2015 title – what do you remember was the hardest part of the race last year? Have you done anything differently in your preparations this year to prepare for that part?
One of the hardest parts last year was the extra mileage I put in when I got lost. I know the course much better this year, so hopefully that doesn’t happen again. Also the last 20 miles or so were very difficult. That was my first time running in the dark on the trails and it took a lot of focus and energy to stay on my feet. I am now more prepared for moonlight running and actually look forward to doing better on that section of the course.
Having a crew and pacer during a 100 miler can help make your race a success – who’s going to be helping you out this year and how did you go about choosing them?
For pacing, it’s important to have someone you know will be able to handle the distance and pace easier than you. It’s also important for that person to have a positive outlook, and to be the kind of person that can lift you up emotionally. It makes all the difference. My Pacer this year is my friend Fernando De Samaniego Steta. Fernando is someone I always look forward to sharing trails with, and I will be looking forward to reaching Forest Hill. He’s running the whole last 38 miles with me.
For crew, you also need people you can absolutely count on, and who understand you, and who understand what you need when you get into an aid station. My husband Richie has been my go-to crew master since I started running Ultras. He’ll have some help this year, with GU marketing Director Lauren O’Connor. Richie and Lauren are my “A” crew. On the other side of the river I will have the privilege of my “B” crew, my friend Ken Michal will take over for the two aid stations that you can only access from the south side. I did not have two crews last year, and I know I’m in good hands.
Last year, your nutrition plan was simple – you only drank Roctane Energy Drink and water over the 19 hours and 5 minutes you were running. What’s your plan going into the race this year?
Roctane Energy Drink was formulated for demanding events such as Western States, and my strategy worked well last year, so naturally I plan on fine-tuning a similar plan for this year. The new Summit Tea flavor has been in field testing since last year’s race, where Rob Krar and I put it through a grueling test. Since then, many other athletes have been field testing this new flavor, and I am excited to see it launch this summer. As with any challenging endeavor, it is smart to have plan B. My crew and each aid stations will have other options in case the plan has to change. It is 100 miles after all, and you never know what might happen.
I am excited to have another opportunity to stand on the starting line at Western Sates. This race holds a special place in my heart. It was my first 100 miler, a race experience I will never forget. It was an honor to enter Placer High School track in first place last year and I made a lot of new friends along the way. I wish everyone a successful journey from Squaw to Auburn this Saturday.
Has finished 23 100 milers
This will be his second time racing WS100