Western States 100, Pre-race thoughts from Elizabeth Azze

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Part 1- Pre race thoughts:

Western States 100 endurance run whats the big deal? Why does everyone want to run this race? People keep asking me this question and I often asked myself about the hype that surrounds this race. Its just another 100 mile race isn’t it? after doing 10 other 100 mile races since I did this one in 2007 I have to say it is not.

Western States is not just another race! WS is the oldest organized trail 100 mile race in our country. The spirit of history and nostalgia along with the positive energy and organization put forth by the race directors and volunteers is unrivaled. During the entire race the aid station volunteers and spectators make you feel like a rock star, elite athlete even if your name is not Geoff Roes, or Tracy Garneau.

All of my memories from 2007 are positive I don’t think I ever smiled so much during a race! The kindness and warmth of the people propelled me towards the finish line. It was if I was being cradled to the finish line by a very loving family.

Another reason for all the HYPE, this is where we get to witness incredible athletic endeavors such as Geoff, Tony and Killian who brought out the best in each other by challenging each other all the way to the line to set a course record. I remember watching the whole thing unfold during last years race from my computer at home. I watch so intently checking aid stations splits, watching the webcast as if I was a mad spectator of the super bowl.

This years race is really no different other than Tony Kuprica being out of loop which sucks for us and of course most of all him.  This years field is stacked 20 deep on both men's and women’s field respectively. For those of us who follow the elites of the sport this is a very exciting time and especially rewarding for those who get the opportunity to have their own race and personal adventure, we get to run behind the elites on the same dirt, climbing and descending the same mountains and hopefully crossing the same finish line.

My race:

When the lottery was drawn in December 2010 I was over joyed to find out of was selected to have another opportunity to run this special race.  Soon after I hurt myself during a winter mtb ride and the injury set me back 3 months. I pretty much couldn't do anything but focus on core and total body strength. I really didn’t think I would gain my fitness back to even attempt this race but here I am willing to give it my all along side 400 other runners. Off to the start!