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2013 Western States 100 Race Report:The Search for a Chocolate Shake by Quent Bearden

After a shortened 55.7 mile Western States in 2010, Quent Bearden, the fast footed Texan, was back for another go this year and finished the Western States 100 in 23:19:45!

One may think a 100 mile trail race is an individual event for that runner with the bib number, but Quent’s report reminds us of the empowering and supportive impact of our support network, our tribe.

I stepped to the line Saturday morning with high expectations. My training had gone fairly uneventful, which in my world is always a good thing, and I felt as though I may have nailed my taper.

However, between Duncan Canyon [mile 23.8] and Robinson Flat [mile 29.7] things began to feel a bit off. I thought that soon enough I would make a turn and would get back to feeling better. That turn never seemed to transpire and the remaining 70 miles became a battle of wills. It was my will to continue versus the course’s will to pulverize me into a fine baby powder, with a snotty nose and stinky diaper to go along.

This battle continued aid station to aid station and each time I saw my crew, they would pick up my broken pieces, mend me back together, and throw me back into the heat of battle. For miles after Foresthill [mile 62], all I wanted to do was lay down and drink a chocolate shake but my pacer at that moment, which is also my sister, kept telling me that that was not conducive to me finishing. She is not a nice person. She just kept repeating to me,”I’m going to tell you what you tell me. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.” So it was at that moment that I realized that I am a jerk.

To be honest, I do not remember much of the second half of the race. Looking back now, it is all just a jumbled up blur, which may not be a bad thing considering how I was feeling. With that said, the following is what I will leave Western States with:

I am all too guilty at times of focusing on the “me” of running and not the “we.” Sometimes it takes a race like this to realize how important those that support me are to my success. I can tell you that without my crew there is no way I make it to the track in Auburn. A matter of fact, without their support, I’m probably still out in the wilderness somewhere looking for that milkshake.

My crew was rock-solid all day. Whether it was the pacing done by my wife and sister, or the work at the aid stations by them and my dad, they stayed on task and never faltered (I’d be remiss if I did not mention the work my mom did keeping my two year old company for 20 plus hours. Not an easy task).

I am glad I finished, but that is not what I will remember. I will remember the amazing work that my crew did for 23 hours. I can not be more proud of them, but next time have me a chocolate shake.

Thanks to everyone that supported me along this journey.

– Quent Bearden

Hope you since enjoyed that chocolate shake!

Special thanks to Quent for sharing with us!

About the author

Guest Author A groovy member of the TALON tribe excited to share some trail/ultra running goodness with you! Are you interested in sharing an article that will inform, inspire, or entertain our tribe on Endurance Buzz? Use the EB Contact Page to start a chat.

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