WOO HOO! Leaving tomorrow morning for Las Vegas, then straight to Death Valley, CA. Furnace Creek to be exact, to prepare for the start of the 2010 Badwater Ultramarathon! 135 miles on foot. Weather Channel says Monday’s race day start will have a high of only 120 degrees. That’s downright chilly in Death Valley!
Oh, I’m NOT actually RUNNING it this year, I’m CREWING. It’s my great honor to assist one of the guys that crewed ME for three years in a row to get to the finish line. He’s run with me, walked with me, carried water and food for me, listened to me bitch about stuff like being given the wrong flavor Gatorade, massaged cramps out of my legs and generally done whatever he(and the rest of the team) had to do to keep me heading toward the finish line. And he did it 3 years in a row.
Now it’s my turn. I can’t wait. William Ansick from Auburn, Alabama will be starting his first Badwater at 6:00 am, July 12, at the young age of 23. Tamara and I have known him since he was a baby, he and his family have come to see me compete in various running and triathlon races most of his life. Later as he got older, and I started running Ultra runs, they would come watch and crew some of those.
His High School athletics consisted of Soccer and Wrestling, but once in College, he started getting interested in running, triathlons, and cycling. A good athlete and a quick study, he’s steadily improved every year that he’s been at this. First short triathlons, then longer ones up to 1/2 Ironman. Then Marathon’s and almost immediately Ultra Runs. That was natural, he was 18 years old when he and his dad, Vince were crewing for me in my first Badwater Ultra. At the time, he was just getting into the endurance sports, but was asking questions and trying to improve, it just seemed natural to me to try to get him and Vince out there with me if possible.
Even though we’d moved from Huntsville to Orlando by that time and didn’t see a lot of each other, we still consider the Ansick’s among our closest friends and I knew I could count on them to watch out for my best interests in Death Valley.
That was 5 years ago, and I don’t know how many Ultra’s and various races William has run since then, but he’s clicked off some really good races and sub-24hrs for 100 mile trail race. He’s tough, not a quitter when things aren’t going his way, and really seems to be able to take advantage of those races where things ARE going his way.
It’s going to be a blast watching him finish his first Badwater.
The proudest moment a parent has is when their kids do something great, I’ve had that feeling many times as my own Ashley, William and Emily have participated in their various events. He’s not mine, but I know I’m going to have a lot of those same feelings as I watch him make that last climb up to the Whitney Portals. Gonna be very cool indeed.
Follow the webcast, which officially starts Sunday, but they seem to already be posting things out there.