Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Finishing The Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run

Fr. Dale Matson

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

            I have published another book and this one deals with Finishing the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run.  As a friend once said, “Everything else is just a training run for Western States. The race is considered to be the Holy Grail of running and the Boston Marathon of Ultrarunning. It is the most difficult thing I have ever done and I failed to finish the run in my first two attempts making it to mile 78 in 1995 and mile 70 in 1996. The run begins in North Lake Tahoe at Squaw Valley and finishes 100.2 miles later in Auburn California. It begins at an elevation of about 6,000’ and immediately climbs to 8,700’ in the first four miles. There is over 22,000’ of elevation loss and 18,000’ of elevation gain. Most years, the beginning of the trail is in snow and the run descends into canyons where the temperature is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The runner has 30 hours to complete the course.
            The book includes a history of the first 100 mile run in the United States and is written as a tribute to those who have attempted the Western States run but also those who are pacers (running companions), crew or volunteers. It is also about the determination of an ordinary individual who, with God’s help (“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me) was able to overcome personal limitations, injuries, and past failures.
            I have kept a journal for nearly twenty years and much of the narrative surrounding the failures and final success in 2001 is taken from the journals. I was happily reminded how much prayer was a part of my training and running over the course of almost a decade that went into the training and attempts at finishing the run.  I have also included an interview and stories submitted to me form other runners who have finished and failed to finish.
            I would especially commend the book to anyone who is involved in endurance sports of any kind. The Kindle version is available now on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005WTR9ZI and the paperback will be available from Amazon books in about ten days.

1 comment:

Dale Matson said...

There is a film soon to be released about the running of the WS 100 called "Unbreakable". Here is a link to the trailer. http://www.ws100film.com/