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2014 Western States 100 – Taper Chat with Steve Grossman of New Mexico

This weekend is the highly buzzed dirty trail run from Squaw Valley, California, to the track finish line in Auburn – the Western States 100. A passionate group of folks comes together as a community to crew, support, volunteer, or wear the highly coveted bib.

Fast feet, courage, determination, and compassion will be displayed in spades across the 30 hour window to complete the 100.2 miles. The TALON (TX, AR, LA, OK, NM) tribe will have 17 athletes representing the region at the Big Dance of nearly 400 runners! We originally had 19 making the trip, but fast-footed Texans, Liza Howard and Nicole Studer, had to drop out due to unfortunate injuries.

Texas will pin the largest number of bibs from the region with 12. Arkansas will claim three bibs and Oklahoma and New Mexico each with one.

I was able to get in contact with a number of the tribe excited to play and share a little pre-race elevate-the-legs taper chat with our community.

First up, Steve Grossman of New Mexico!


New Mexico

Steven Grossman #54


What is your running background and what attracted you to the trail running world?

Started road running in 2007 after joining a marathon-training group and became hooked on trail running after finishing the 2008 Pikes Peak Marathon.

You recently completed the Valles Caldera marathon at the beginning of May, what were a couple of your strongest memories from this adventure?

Having an upset stomach for the last 15 miles from testing out a new sports drink, but that did not stop me from enjoying some spectacular scenery and the community of local runners. Received some great advice from Richard Knapp, a WSER veteran, after the race on how to keep cool that has helped in training. Also loved the new cross-country section they added this year – perhaps because it was the only flat section on the course!

Being your first Western States (I think), is there a particular part of the course you are most excited to experience? Maybe a little apprehensive?

Excited – Pucker Point and the river crossings.

Apprehensive – Climbing up Devils Thumb in the heat of the day. Anything with Devil in it makes me apprehensive.

100 mile nutrition is completely specific to an individual and can often change throughout the day and night. What are a few of your favorite fuel choices for 100 mile adventures? Will there be any special comfort food items stashed in some of your Western States drop bags?

My fuel plan is to use Hammer gel supplemented with Tailwind. Late in the race will probably need to switch to fruit and then soup broth. I’ll rely on the reputation of the Western States Aid Stations to have any comfort food desired but will have a great 1972 Dead show on an iPod for comfort.

Fun Q – Which animal best characterizes that way you plan on running Western States?


I’d like to be as fearless as a Honey Badger but will run it more like a Tortoise – grandma slow but persistent.

Special thanks to Steve for sharing with the EB tribe and we wish him all the best in his upcoming Western States adventure!

Up next…Danny Ponder of Oklahoma.

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David –

[Turtle photo: Credit Ron Alford @]

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

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