“It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end.” – Ursula K. Le Guin
15 TALON (TX, AR, LA, OK, NM) athletes made the trip West for a trail running adventure of traveling 100.2 miles by foot along the mountain trails at the historic Western States 100. A race you need to have spicy tread or leprechaun luck (lottery) to be a part of. Nearly 400 athletes were just that.
A race that highlights the beauty of our world, of a community, of this life.
A race that has 1500 volunteers selflessly supporting a run in the woods.
A race that celebrates the first to the final finisher (watch 70 year old Gunhild Swanson’s finish – awesome!).
A community that celebrates those that had the courage to start.
Our tribe covered from 29.7 up to 100.2 miles.
Paul Terranova of Texas led our athletes across the finish, hanging in the top 15 of the race from the earlier miles, took three dust cloud creating diggers, and methodically moved himself up through the field to get himself into 10th position with less than 10 miles to the finish. Paul held strong to the Auburn track to cross the line and knock out a few push-ups in 17:43:17 and earned that spot back to Western States in 2016.
In her Western States 100 debut, Nicole Studer of Texas added a bit of bonus mileage but remained determined and consistent throughout the day to finished 6th female in 20:19:56 and receive a ticket to next year’s dance.
Our final TALON athlete to reach the track in Auburn was Darren Christiansen of Texas in 28:27:10.
Western States 100 Moments
A race like this has much more depth than finish times, aid station splits, and calories per hour. So I asked (or challenged ) many of our athletes to reflect on Western States and share the detailed story of one moment that made an imprint on them, that touched their soul in some way.
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