Admin note: a quick post tonight that will serve as a place holder while I’m plunking out what’s turning into a seemingly Homeric Leadville 100 report. When it comes to writing, brevity has never been my strength; hopefully this post will be an exception.
It’s not much of a secret around here that my favorite sponsors are CLIF Bar and Soft Star Shoes by a long margin. And while a lot of it is attributable to the fact that they make outstanding products which suit my needs extraordinarily well, there’s also an element of caring that registers even more profoundly in this desensitized modern age.
Case in point are a couple of deliveries I received last week, both of which had a direct impact on my Leadville race.
The first was from CLIF, who sent me on my way with a box of Shot gels and Bloks that I stashed in my drop bags for race day. (I also spent two days before the race noshing on Mojo bars to avoid any unhealthy food cravings - very effective.) The Bloks in particular helped turn my race around when I was battling some nausea issues; immediately after getting sick in the middle of the night, all I could do was to suck on a single Blok until it was soggy enough to slide uncontested down my throat. A short while later, after gaining some momentum back, I nibbled down a couple more, and shortly before dawn I finished the pack and kept plugging along. Some cookies also played a role in this story, but for that you’ll have to wait for the race report.
Without question, the best gift I received was from Soft Star, who sent this care package to my room in Vail two nights before the race, along with a card that was hand-signed by all of the Elves. The box held a pair of race-ready mocs in case I needed a spare, which I turned out not to; I wore the same pair through day and night and hot and cold and wet and dry, but it was reassuring to know I had another pair in my drop bag if necessary.
What caught my attention more, of course, were the other goodies inside: some strawberry chutney from Corvallis (home of Soft Star, of course), as well as some items that tested my willpower before I even stepped to the start line. Wine and gourmet chocolates aren’t exactly the best food for tapering, but they sure come in handy when it’s time to celebrate after the race.
My only regret was that I didn’t have any Elves around in person to share them with. Obviously I need to go run an ultra in Oregon sometime.
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