Today I will cover the last 50 miles of the 100 mile race! I didn't do a very good job explaining the timeline of the races yesterday, sorry! The marathon was in June, the 50 bike (racers could also choose to do the 50 mile run, but Jake and John both did the bike) was in July, and the 100 bike, the 10k, and the 100 run were all in August. The 10 bike was August 12th, the 10k was August 13th, and the 100 run was August 19th. Isn't that just crazy?!
I forgot to post this picture yesterday, but here's Jake telling us where he wants certain items. He handled us running around like crazy really well. He said we stressed him out a few times...I said HE stressed US out a few times, haha!
I drank WAY too much cold brew, which probably didn't help my nerves. I think I had 3 bottles and very little food...you just don't feel like eating! These are my Timps, which I love! These are also what Jake raced in. I think he only had 10 miles on his Timps before the 100 started...
Here he is, chowing down at an aid station. We had cookies, Clif bars, beef jerky, Pringles, and sandwiches for him. I think he only had a cookie or two from us. But he drank Ramen noodles a lot from the different aid stations.
This was at mile 50, where he got to pick up his first pacer. Some racers had one pacer from 50 to the end, some had more than that, and some didn't have a pacer at all. They were allowed to run with one pacer at a time. I was SO glad when Jake picked up Dwayne. It helped knowing he had someone else with him. They had gotten sleeted on while on top of the mountain right before this. I think i'm putting Vaseline on his feet here.
This external charger saved my life multiple times! I would have been upset it my phone had died and I wouldn't have been able to take pictures. We got lucky and I was able to post updates after almost every checkpoint.
Here's John at mile 60! The temperature was starting to drop, so things were getting chilly.
Here's Jake and Dwayne, his first pacer, also at mile 60. This was a cool checkpoint because it went through a little town and the racers got to run on the gravel road.
About mile 75 I started stress eating these Pistachios. They were delicious, but I know I won't be able to eat them again without thinking about this race!
Penny kept everything so organized! She said it was warm in the bed of the truck. I think we were waiting for Jake here about mile 75 or so. The last time Jake attempted this race, he pulled himself off the course at mile 83. We all knew that mileage would be hard for him emotionally, so we just wanted him to get past that. We KNEW he was going to finish, no matter what. He was still coming through each checkpoint with a smile on his face and a joke or two. I think it was about mile 75 that he was stretching and someone made a joke and he put his leg behind his head. AT MILE 75. I couldn't believe it. It lifted everyone's spirits to see him doing so well. I know he was hurting, but he rarely showed it. I get choked up every time I think about it. I've never been so impressed by someone - and I get to spend forever with him. It just makes my heart swell!
After we saw Jake at 75, the next checkpoint was the one where he pulled himself off the course two years ago. While we knew he was doing great and was going to finish, it was still emotional. My parents showed up in time for this checkpoint, too, which made me sob like a baby. Jake had called them Friday to tell them that he was proposing. They tried to get flights out, but they couldn't get anything. They called me about 9 pm on Saturday and said they were 4 hours away. I immediately started crying. I didn't know about the proposal, I just knew they'd want to see Jake finish. It meant the world to both of us that they made the drive. They got into Leadville about 2 am, got to see the last checkpoint and the finish, then they left to go back home about 11 am. They wanted to stay the night, but my Dad needed to get back to work. They're the best.
Anyway, the last checkpoint, mile 86ish, was SO cold. It was absolutely miserable. I was so worried about Jake and John. But they both came in looking good! Jake even took off the pants he had put on at the checkpoint before. I couldn't believe it. I was so glad my parents were able to see Jake at that point. After we left the checkpoint, it was time to head to the finish. I honestly couldn't believe it. Jake was going to do it. He was going to leave Colorado a Leadman. So was his Dad. Even though I never doubted for a second that they would finish, it just makes it all real when you get so close to the end. We all slept in our cars for about an hour or two at the finish line, then we grabbed coffee. I was antsy, so I walked up and down the finish line for a long time. I knew Jake would want his Kuat hat and maybe some coffee, so I paced back and forth until I saw them. I was going to walk the last mile with him, so I didn't want to miss him!
This moment was incredible. Jake is the the red and black and John is in the blue. Jake caught John in the last mile and a half and they decided to finish together. I started crying as soon as I knew this was them. I texted our families back at the finish line, and then ran over to meet the group. They were about a mile from the finish. Also, the finish line is UP HILL. No joke.
Cynthia, John, Jake, and me walking to the finish! <3 They did it!!!! 100 (and two) stinking miles.
We all crossed the finish line, the race announcer was screaming about the father and son team finishing together. It was all just SO awesome. Then Jake stopped and kind of hunched over, so I thought he was really hurting. Little did I know that he was pulling my ring out of his pocket. He had carried my ring for the entire 100 miles. Then he dropped down to one knee, but I still thought he was hurting. Then he said that he had carried this ring for the entire race and that we are a team and did this thing together. Then he asked me to marry him. Of course I'm sobbing, because how can you not be after that finish?! Then a proposal? I couldn't handle any more emotions! It was one of the best moments of my whole life. A friend got the whole thing on their phone - if you want to watch it, go HERE. Jake's Mom told the race photographers about it, so they were right there to get all the pictures. It was the best moment. <3 My Leadman.
Jake told me the ONE thing he wanted at the finish was a PBR on ice. That's just what he got!
I got to enjoy one, too!
Then it was back to the condo to shower and get ready for awards! My parents had to head out before awards, but it was SO wonderful having them there for a little bit.
My future mother-in-law, me, and my Momma! I guess I need to dye my hair blonde to match them... ; )
Jake showered, put on his winter coat, and passed out. Poor guy. I can't even imagine how exhausted he and John were.
Jake and John were pretty sore. You can see how swollen Jake's feet are - he has really narrow, skinny feet usually. He used his trekking pole to walk into awards.
The Leadmen and Leadwomen all gathering up at the front with their picks.
34 Leadmen and Leadwomen total. I think there were 200 or so that started...I'll have to double check with Jake.
After awards, we came back to the condo and I passed out pretty hard. I was so worn out! I couldn't even imagine how tired Jake and John were. Then we went out for dinner! Wings and beer. Heck yeah!
These two. Could not be more proud of them. LEADMAN!
It was pretty funny watching them hobble up the stairs...
Jake's Leadman trophy and my ring.
Then it was up early to start the drive home. Jake drove the first 4 hours, then I drove the rest of the way. He was able to sleep a little, which I was thankful for! He needed it. We tried to stop about every two hours so he could get out and stretch. I don't know that I would've been able to ride in a car for that long after doing what he did...
My Dad's office posted this of him watching the eclipse in his welding helmet. I was dying laughing! He's so awesome.
Pretty over being in the car...but the drive really wasn't all that bad!
When we got into town, we went to The Pitch to grab a pizza to take home for dinner. We had a couple beers while we waited. We were SO ready to see our babies!!!!
This pizza was DELICIOUS.
Jake's uncle and his fiance stayed at our house while we were gone. Thank you, AJ and Morgan!! Those brownies are almost gone...
I started the unpacking process Tuesday morning...All. The. Laundry.
Ordered this hat and am OBSESSED with it. I love pineapples, so it might just be my new favorite hat.
I'm going to finish unpacking today! I got a 7 mile run in this morning which felt SO good. Jake went back to work today, so we will relax tonight. He needs to really rest and recover, which he hates. I'm going to make him! ; )
I write about whatever is going on each day. I want to use this space as a place to document my dissertation and training journeys.