(excerpt from my email to the rest of the Trailheads Sept 6th)
"Ringo set off this morning on a 100 mile journey from Layton to Midway, Utah through some of the most beautiful scenery in the Wasatch Mountains. It was a beautiful start under clear, starry skies. We're far out of Hurricane Hannah's reach and the start was at a very comfortable 50 degrees and 35% humidity. With the sun rising now it's shaping up to be a spectacular day! Winds out of the South around 10 mph means it will get nippy up over 10,000 feet later tonight and we're expecting some frost, but nothing like Gumbi's recent adventure at Leadville.
The Wasatch 100 is one bad mother of a course. Just driving around the mountains here is intimidating. With over 26,000 feet of elevation gain, its no suprise that Wasatch ranks an 8.5 out of 10 on the difficulty scale (second only to Hardrock). This fills one of the few remaining holes in his Ultrarunning resume that includes 15 100 milers and Badwater 135M!
Mrs. Ringo and I will be heading out to see the Reptile at the Francis Peak aid station at mile 18.76 shortly. The plan for the day has me jumping in from mile 39.4 sometime this afternoon and pacing to mile 61.68 where Mrs. Ringo takes a turn and I get some rest. Then I pick back up around the wee(zyling) hours of the morning at mile 75 and try to keep up with him to the finish."
Ringo looked good as he came through Francis Peak, but even more impressive was Caroline Scott's crewing!
I was dying to get out on the course and mile 39 didn't come soon enough. The views from the course turned out to be even more beautiful than I anticipated. We made great time from Big Mountain Aid Station at mi 39 to Lambs Canyon at mi 53 and then put on our cooler weather gear and headlamps.
From Lambs Canyon to Millcreek 61 was some of the best night running I've done. There was a nice quarter moon, perfect temperatures and it was just magical out there with occasional city lights views of Salt Lake City.
At mi 61 I turned over the pacing responsibilities to Caroline who would get Ringo through to Brighton Ski resort around mile 75. I drove up to Brighton from Millcreek and took a short, restless nap in the back of the car.
The Wasatch course dials up the intensity in the last 25 miles. From Brighton the course heads up a steep climb over 10,000 feet. We hit the top right around dawn and it was just spectacular.
The "100 miles of heaven and hell" for Ringo came to an end after just over 34 hrs. I was exhausted after only45 miles!
I've definitely got this race on my must do list. I think the sub 24 "Royal Order of the Crimson Cheetah" is going to be tougher than the Rusty Spur though...