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June 28, 2009

Bronze Buckle

I've occasionally claimed that certain races tried to break me; Western States is the one that finally did it.

This race absolutely wrecked me, in about 20 different ways, including some that I didn't even know existed. I somehow managed to finish in 27:52, but that outcome was in doubt for about 95% of the duration of the event.

Some of you know that I was aiming for a sub-24-hour finish, and that clearly didn't happen. Very early, this race hammered me with worst-case scenarios in almost every manner you can think of, which continued throughout the day and night. In that regard, this was one of the most disappointing days I've ever experienced, but also one of the most rewarding. If that doesn't make sense, I guess you'll have to wait for the race report.

On that note ... I'm hoping to have a report posted by Tuesday night, but I'm in seriously bad shape right now, and it could take some time for me to lick my wounds enough to sit down and write a report. Plus, my calendar's pretty jammed for the week, which may cause a further delay. I'll get to it as soon as possible, I promise.

But for now, I'm going to try and get a quick nap in before picking up my bronze Western States buckle.


Backofpack 6/28/09, 10:54 AM  

Congratulations Donald! I can't even believe you have a report up already. Wow. You done good!

msimpson 6/28/09, 11:05 AM  

Why aren't you sleeping??? Quit licking your wounds and pat yourself on the back. As I was following the race (in the comfort of air conditioning) I noticed quite a few big names on the drop list: Dean Karnazes being the one that stood out from the crowd. You finished. Therefore, it didn't break you, it severely bruised you. Good job and wear that buckle with pride!

Stacy 6/28/09, 11:21 AM  

Congratulations, Donald! I can only imagine the places you've been -- physically, mentally, emotionally -- in the past day and half. Will be looking forward to hearing more in the coming days.

Thomas 6/28/09, 11:56 AM  

Congratulations on finishing, Donald. I followed your progress on the web site, and the splits told me that you must have been having a rather torrid time; I did not envy you. However, you stuck to the task when a lot of others dropped out. You're made of stern stuff, and should appreciate that.

Phil 6/28/09, 12:17 PM  

Congratulations - it's a brutal course, finishing in any time is very impressive. I was pacing a runner and while we were at Rucky Chucky Far, someone called a runner 'Donald' and I was wondering if it was you. Seeing your finishing time, it probably was.

JohnF 6/28/09, 1:08 PM  

Congratulations on finishing a tough course. There are quite a few of us who would be happy just to qualify to be able to start, much less finish the race whatever time. Excellent achievement to get there and get through this.

Dan 6/28/09, 1:43 PM  

Looks like 161 runners dropped out at various points along the course. That's roughly 40% of those who started. Regardless of your original goal, I'd say that getting a bronze buckle is something to be proud of!

Annette 6/28/09, 1:59 PM  

You did it! Woo-hoo! I can't even imagine how hard 100 miles would be. I am impressed and amazed. Can't wait to hear the run down. Sorry it was such a tough one, but you have accomplished something very few do! Congrats! :)

Dave 6/28/09, 2:41 PM  

I knew you would do it...but after some of our Texas guys (some of the toughest SOB's I know) DNF'ed...I knew things were unusually tough...heck even Karnazes DNF'ed....proud of you guy.


Spokane Al 6/28/09, 2:49 PM  

We are definitely our own toughest critics. I trust that in a couple of days or so a perspective will set in and you will celebrate your amazing accomplishment.

Congratulations - you beat a tough one.

P.S. I tried tracking you but I was never able to get the WS Live website to provide any information whatsoever.

Gretchen 6/28/09, 4:49 PM  

Oh, I totally get feeling both disappointed and rewarded, and I'm not too shocked to hear you remark on it. Don't let the post-race depression get you down, my friend. You are an absolute rock star! I never had any doubt that you would do whatever it took to get to that finish, but being out there, I could see that you would be reaching deep. You are so tough, and I am so stoked for you!Nice job!

Rest well, and just post the report whenever you can. It's a tough thing to process.

Billy Burger 6/28/09, 5:37 PM  

Wow - if WS can kick your arse up and down, what hope is there for us mere mortals?

Rest up Donald. We'll patiently wait for the RR.

Darrell 6/28/09, 5:54 PM  

Congrats on the WS buckle. I for one have no difficulty imagining this race as being both disappointing and rewarding at the same time. Sounds like you'll have some great stuff to write about. I'm looking forward to reading.

triguyjt 6/28/09, 6:16 PM  

Crap...if this kicked you arse...what hope do I have???

but seriously... I can't applaud for you enough..congrats@!!!!!!

major accomplishment and I know the report will be what you have always brought to the table...great relection..thought...humor.....
I look forward to reading about it... rest up Buckle Boy!!!!!

mindy 6/28/09, 6:26 PM  

Congratulations Donald - it sounds like it was a tough day all around. You did it though and I know the race report is going to be something inspirational and honest - can't wait to read. Rest up and bask in your accomplishment!

Cliff 6/28/09, 7:15 PM  

Hey Don,

You are a machine :)...100 miles is nuts.

RBR 6/28/09, 7:17 PM  

AWESOME AND AMAZING!! You need rethink your definition of "break you", a 27:52 finish on one of the absloute toughest days at one of the absloute toughest races is FREAKING AWESOME!!

I can not even imagine the hell you experienced out there, but you perserved. You are a machine!!

I am so happy for and awed by you!Rest up and we will all be here when your race report is ready.

My Life & Running 6/28/09, 7:46 PM  

I am, yet again, in awe of you. Congratulations Donald.

jen 6/28/09, 7:54 PM  

Wow, I can't wait to hear your story. Congratulations on the finish.

cherie 6/28/09, 8:22 PM  

Congrats! Awesome job! :)

Stuart 6/28/09, 8:28 PM  

Awesome news, from what I was hearing on Twitter and the website it really looked like a big killing field. Hi5, Kudos and congrats for getting to the finish line!

the Dread Pirate Rackham 6/28/09, 8:41 PM  

dear donald, stud, you are amazing and don't forget it.

can't wait to hear the (probably gory) details about it. I can only imaagine your broken state.

heal fast!

Jo Lynn 6/28/09, 9:36 PM  

I'm very sorry you are suffering. I commend you for finishing that race. It's tough, as we know, but the heat was ridiculous for you guys. I'm holding my breath while I wait for your report.

firepotter 6/29/09, 3:34 AM  

Aloha Donald,

It was nice chatting with you in Duncan Canyon. I too had a hard day out there. The pain and blisters will go away in couple days, but the memory will last forever. Congratulation on the finish.

Gary Wang

RunBubbaRun 6/29/09, 4:41 AM  

NIce job Donald, eventhough you don't feel like you did.

To finish something that was literaly two years in the making was a tremendous acomplishement.

Rest up mentally and physically. Looking forward in reading the report.

Anne 6/29/09, 5:19 AM  

Oh Donald, I can't tell you how proud I am of you. I followed you on the WS100 Web site, but then it went down Saturday night and I feared the worst. Sunday morning I woke up and I saw you finished and started telling everyone I know in San Diego that you'd done it.

You did it!!! Now, to take time off to heal...and write about it. Can't wait to read about this epic journey.

Paul Charteris 6/29/09, 7:10 AM  

Donald, it was a pleasure running with you a couple of times during the day. Sorry, I did not say gidday at the time - I have a habit of tending not to notice other runners on the trails, besides I was starting to enter my own personal world of hurt from Foresthill onwards.

You are a truly fine runner- and a successful finish is something you should be very proud of.

Cheers, Paul

Deene 6/29/09, 7:22 AM  


Anisha 6/29/09, 7:23 AM  

Congratulations Donald! I can't begine to imagine how hard this race was or the horrors that it brought at every turn.

I'm sure as someone that is used to attaining most of the goals you set for yourself, you might be beating yourself up for not attaining a sub-24 hour finish, but I hope that you will instead revel in the accomplishment that is completing WS. You conquered a course that only the bravest and toughest would even attempt. And for that, congratulations.

Wishing you a speedy recovery,


runningcommentaries 6/29/09, 8:36 AM  

Congrats! The weather was horrific here, so I'm sure that had something to do with it... but I guess I have to wait for the report! Congrats on finishing-- it's truly an amazing accomplishment and you should be really proud, particularly on a day like that!

Victoria 6/29/09, 5:49 PM  

Congratulations! I was at Foresthill until about 7pm and then at the finish until 2:00 am, so I think I missed you-- but way to go on a really, really tough day. Finishing is a major accomplishment.

Paul 6/29/09, 8:47 PM  

Nice work Big D! Pimping ain't easy is it? Congrats on a buckle. At least you didn't go home empty handed. Once day I hope to match you.

Rainmaker 6/29/09, 9:14 PM  

Awesome, congrats! Enjoy your rest (or whatever you're doing that isn't running). Looking forward to the write-up!

Journey to a Centum 6/29/09, 9:58 PM  

Tom Petty must have wrote this song about WS100

You wreck me baby
You break me in two
But you move me honey
Yes you do

Now and again
I get the feeling
If I don't win
I'm gonna break even

Rescue me
If I go wrong
If I dig to deep
If I stay too long... more

Nice work fighting your way to the finish line. One day perhaps I can get the WS100 DNF monkey off my back and this song will stop playing in my head.

Rick Gaston 6/29/09, 11:17 PM  

I was angry for a week before I accepted my finish at Western States in 06. It wasn't the finish I wanted. I can relate. This time being on the other side of the run, I got to see what I missed. I was told the temps this weekend was almost as hot but the carnage seems the same. So many people looked like hell out there. Bob from Drymax took a couple of pictures of me at Foresthill and all you see is shocked concern on my face. Most of the people I saw come through for the 6.5 hours that I was there looked terrible. I spoke with your friend Richard and his wife and commiserated about our worries for your race.

I'm glad I got to see you before I left to pace Carrie. You looked tired but not wrecked and you also looked grimly determined. I stopped worrying about your race after that. Didn't see you at the awards ceremony but saw that you finished. I recognized a lot of names on that list who were "off" their times. Congratulations on your finish, of being one of the 239 who did.

Don D 6/30/09, 1:43 PM  

Don't ever put yourself down. This is a major accomplishment, what few others have done.

Be proud. You've earned it. Can't wait to read the gory details.

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