So long 2017 and Happy New Year!

As I sit here sniffling, saying goodbye and good riddance to a nasty cold, I can’t say I feel the same way about 2017. Certainly, 2017 had its share of ups and downs. It challenged me, it uplifted me, it frustrated me. But in the rollercoaster of deep physical fulfilment contrasted with injury mishaps, of emotional connectedness and joy coupled with sadness, stress, uncertainty, is… life. No year is ever perfect. Sure, some are better, or more noteworthy than others. Perhaps some even seem like they never really came together. If you are challenging yourself enough though, the path forward is never entirely certain. There are often as many failures as successes. What IS certain, at least if you are an eternal optimist like me, is a perennial sense of excitement about the future no matter what today, yesterday, or last year held.

In short, a new year is simply a reminder that if you didn’t like 2017, it is up to you to make 2018 better.

I wish you and yours a beautiful year full of love and health, coupled with the wisdom to know that you are certain to face challenges and uncertainty and setbacks on your way to personal growth. It’s all part of what makes the good stuff feel so special. Take it all, embrace it all, and let it shape you for the better.

Each time the calendar turns over to a new year, it’s an opportunity to recommit yourself to exciting goals for the months to come. Dream big, put in the work, and you will find fulfillment. I encourage you to find a group of like-minded people to share your journey with.

On that note, I’m over the moon to join the Altra Endurance Team of athletes. I have the utmost respect for the ethos of the company, for their deep commitment to the trail and ultra community and for the incredible group of athletes I now call teammates. Alta offers a wide range of shoes perfect for adventures on the trail, road or even track. I love to mix it up on all surfaces, and the versatility of their shoe collection will support me through every stage of my 2018 journey. I can’t wait to share my miles with you. Onwards 2018!

Altra 2018 01.01


Woodside 50k Race Report

On a weekend when many of my friends and fellow athletes were out celebrating the end of the racing season with a bang at headliner races TNF50 and JFK50, there I was quietly lining up at a small 50k in Woodside, California.

It had been so tempting to join in the fun at JFK. JFK had been a goal race of mine since coming in second there last year. It suits my skillset and I wanted a shot at running a faster time there. But it wasn’t to be. Injuring my foot and the weeks off that followed meant that I was only just starting to train regularly again. I wasn’t ready for a race like JFK. I wasn’t ready to risk being broken again.

Instead, I decided to focus on Brazos Bend 100 miler in December. Last year, I ran the 50 miler, which had been one of those races that delivered a gift beyond my wildest dreams. I still look back with wonder at how I did it.

You might have noticed, though, that 100 milers haven’t exactly been my forte. (Not yet?) They’re a puzzle I’m determined to get right one of these days. Stubbornly, I decided to take one more crack at it this year. This time on a course I’ve proven I can run well.

Which brings me back to Woodside. With Brazos Bend three weeks out, I needed a low key long run. Hilly trails tend to make me strong. I knew I’d need a good dose of strong at BB100. I signed up, knowing very little about the race.

When I arrived, RD Greg Lanctot told me I was in for a treat, and he was right. The Woodside trails (near Palo Alto) are fantastic. Padded with needles from the trees, the terrain was a shaded journey through tall redwoods for miles on end. On this mid-November day, conditions were perfect. Crisp, cool air. The rainfall from a couple of days previous had drained well but left everything fresh and earthy. I could have stayed out there for days.

I hadn’t done much of anything in terms of climbing for weeks because it irritates my plantar at the moment. Javelina 100k had a little, but this 50k packed in 6400ft of it according to Strava. It was almost all very runnable and nothing too steep, except for one short section of 26% grade added a few days before the race. Maybe Strava got it wrong though because I think historically the race has only had about 4700-4800ft of ascent and I don’t think too much has changed. At any rate, I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed running it all. Guess I still had a little climbing fitness left over from this summer when I was training for Headlands 50k.

A few miles from the end, I came upon a runner who had passed me before the halfway mark. I had kept it in my head not to push at the mid-point in the race. The purpose of being here was to have a fun long run, not to truly try to race it since I needed to get back to training without pause the next day. So, I thought I’d just see how things shook out and keep things steady and unforced. With a handful of miles to go though, when I saw the runner (and now new friend, Vincent), I thought it wouldn’t hurt to get in a few faster paced miles and go for it. I surged and passed him, but he wasn’t about to give up without a fight! I kept my foot on the gas and was thankful for how good my body felt. I probably felt better in those last few miles than I did the whole rest of the run. It was wonderful to run fast again. I was able to keep the momentum and finish first, winning the race outright. It was what I needed at the right time on the calendar to boost my fitness ahead of Brazos Bend. And now, to tackle the beast I fear most and turn my attention back to 100 miles. An interesting little Birthday present to myself: the gift of pain. Probably only an ultrarunner can really laugh at that one, but trust me when I say that I intend it with good will and humor. That, and the belief that one day, I will get it right.

Race day Photo Credit: Robert Rhodes

Mind Over Matter: Mad City USATF 100k Road National Championship and IAU Americas Continental Championship Race Report

Photo: Bill Thom/

Saturday March 18, text to my coach:

I’m going to pull out of Mad City. I’m not in a place mentally or physically to run a hard 100k. When running, which is normally my stress release, becomes the thing that is causing me stress (it’s a long list but definitely near the top because I care about it so much), it’s time to reevaluate what I’m doing. Simple really.

[insert supportive words from coach]

Sunday March 19:

I always want to push my boundaries as a runner and for sure that comes with a risk of pushing myself a hair too far or getting hurt. I truly wouldn’t want it any other way! It would have been glorious to run a fast 100k on the road in April or a fast 50k in March. But there are other races and other goals I can get fired up about down the road.

Thurs March 23:

I’m getting more jazzed for Mad City now. Pretty sure I’m going to do it even if it’s not a top-notch effort.

Friday March 31, after a disappointing tempo run:

From a pace perspective, this workout was beyond awful. Could NOT get legs turning over…Sure, I wish I had been quicker today, but oddly I’m totally ok with it… I know I can grind out 100k and I’m looking forward to it. The championship aspect doesn’t affect too much for me, just helps get me to the finish line.

Following a medium-long run, April 1 (one week before the race): I gotta be open and tell you this run felt like crud.

Contrast this to the training block leading up to March’s Caumsett 50k. Those weeks featured workouts that left me positively elated. I was psyched to get out and run! I felt like I was in shape to do something special out there.

As it turned out, Caumsett was a flop. The weather was bitterly cold, my body shut down and I couldn’t force out a single mile at goal 50k race pace. (Not a single one!). Talk about disappointing.

The experience damaged me. Inexplicably, my hamstrings throbbed endlessly for eight full days after the race, even though I dropped out at mile 22. More importantly though, it sucked the wind right out of my sails. At a time in my life when things are complicated and stressful enough quite aside from running (you’re just gonna have to trust me on this), the biggest casualty of Caumsett was my confidence. As someone who had never previously struggled with motivation — for pretty much anything, ever — I had days where I procrastinated running for hours.  One day, I actually cried because I didn’t want to face the workout that was on tap. That day was March 18, just three weeks before Mad City.

Part of it was because of the slipped disc in my back. According to the MRI: “disc is desiccated,” there’s “disc height loss” and “broad-based paracentral disc protrusion” with an “annular tear.” Whatever that means. Now, I don’t want to make too much of this because clearly it can’t be that bad if I’m still running. And I am still running. At the same time, it’s been a persistent issue all year. The good news is that exercise is actually a recommended treatment for herniated discs. (I’m pretty sure they mean ultrarunning.) Months of PT and several acupuncture sessions helped to make things manageable, but by the time Mad City rolled around I’d lost far too much training time to rest days. (Sorry @restdaybrags if I don’t celebrate this). Hard-earned fitness, at an all-time-high in February, had turned tide and drifted away.

So when I chose to race Mad City, it was regardless of anyone else, and in a sense, regardless of myself. I went in with a simple mindset. A clear palette if you will. I accepted that my ability to be competitive was deeply compromised. Somehow, I still wanted to do the race. No, I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is about rolling 10 x 10k road loops around Lake Wingra in springtime Wisconsin that especially appeals to me. Ultimately, I suppose I thought it would be fun to try something different. Isn’t that what running should be all about anyway? Enjoyment. It’s easy to forget that when I’m wrapped up in trying to achieve.

In the end, I guess I probably disappointed some people with my fairly conservative average pace out there (which didn’t escape being duly noted by the ultra-media). It wasn’t that slow though: I was running at course record pace for the first 40 miles or so, game to give it a go and see what shook out. I came through 50k at 3:39 and 50 miles at 6:09 (a new Masters 40-44 road record, since RD Timo Yanacheck was kind enough to have the distance certified as record-eligible by USATF). Around the halfway mark, the wind picked up fiercely. Parts of the course were fine, but on other sections, winds of up to 31 miles per hour definitely wore on me. Ultimately though, it was the fact that the depth of my fitness simply wasn’t there to see me through 62 quick miles. I finished in 7:51:03 (7:34 pace/mile), still good enough to win the national title and IAU Continental Americas Championship. It’s wasn’t my best day of racing, but sometimes staying the course despite the inevitable physical decline can make the difference between a successful day and a regrettable one.

Photo: Tracey Hulick

USATF’s Lin Gentling wrote an engaging race report of the day. This race doubled as the inaugural Continental Americas Championship, featuring men’s and women’s teams from the USA as well as Canada and Brazil. Before the race, I was asked if I’d like to represent the USA, along with Katalin Nagy. Absolutely I would!  After the race, Lin asked me for a quote for her race report. Here’s what I submitted:

“The honor of wearing the ‘USA’ singlet will always challenge me to bring the best race I can deliver. The lead-up to the race had been a less-than-ideal training cycle, which resulted in a tough last few loops. Ultimately, though, persistence won the day. My heartfelt thanks go to race director Tim Yanacheck, and all of the organizers and volunteers for all of their hard work in putting together a top quality event”.


Chatting to Lin Gentling post-race (Photo: Tracey Hulick)

The women’s podium with Race Director Timo Yanacheck (far right) and IAU President Nadeem Khan (far left). Photo: Tracey Hulick


With IAU President Nadeem Khan (Photo: Tracey Hulick)


Yes, these are sponsor plugs, but I’m lucky enough to have a choice in sponsors. I choose these because they make the products I’d be using anyway. I include details here because I find reading about race/nutrition strategy useful, so maybe you will too:

  • I used a combination of VFuel gels (2 gels per 10oz water bottle) and VFuel Endurance Formula drink mix (1/2 pack per 10oz bottle), with one bottle per 10k loop. This was definitely on the minimal side in terms of calories and hydration, but I think pretty close to the right amount for me for the type of racing and conditions. It wasn’t a super hot day (sunny and a high of 69 degrees), so I could get away with less fluids than I would normally want for a 100k. I will say this: I was super thirsty at the end! But I don’t think that affected my race much. Most importantly, my stomach stayed consistently happy all day. You can use coupon code ‘Caroline20’ to receive a 20% discount on VFuel products if you’d like to try them.
  • I wore the new Vapor Howe 4L Nathan vest. This way, I could pick up a bottle from my crew person at the start/finish area and sip on it throughout the next few miles, instead of taking the risk of overloading my picky stomach by downing it all at once. I know wearing a vest for road racing may seem odd, but it works for me. The vest is so light and comfortable I don’t even notice I’m wearing it. It’s convenient for having electrolytes handy whenever I might need them too, although I didn’t need any at all during the race, probably because the VFuel Endurance mix already has them in there.
  • I prepped about 15 bottles for the race, but in the end only needed nine. I met my awesome crew person and all-around incredible human being, Madison local Tracey Hulick (thank you! thank you! thank you!), only on race morning. We had a fairly quick hand-off before it was time to get started. I appreciate being able to organize everything I might need in my Victory Sportdesign Bear III. The 10oz bottles lined up perfectly in there, which hopefully made Tracey’s job a little easier.
  • Ultra-distance road racing is hard on the body and feet. I used ‘Maximum Protection’ DryMax socks and was so grateful for the protection they provided. 

    With crewing superstar Tracey Hulick after finishing (Photo: Gary Gellin)

    Yummy pizza and beer with Gary Gellin.

Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run Race Report

It’s the kind of conversation that husbands and wives hope they never have to have.

“I’m sorry, but everything has changed. I’ve fallen in love and there’s no going back.”

We both stared at each other. A deep well of emotions flickered between us, but we were so overwhelmed that for a while neither of us spoke. After over ten years together, who could find the right words?

Then we locked eyes. Smiled. Hugged and held hands. It had happened to both of us at the same time and it was ok.

“We’re going to have to come back again next year,” I said. “No doubt,” he responds, “and next year I’m pacing you for more than seven miles.”

Western States had snuck its way into our hearts and it wasn’t budging.

Robert and Caroline Pre-race (Photo Heather)


For those who say that Western States isn’t the prettiest ultra out there, I simply have to shake my head. Go run the first 30 miles and tell me if you still feel that way. My plan was to take the race out conservatively because the combination of altitude and climbing up the escarpment didn’t play to my strengths — but who would want to miss all that spectacular mountain scenery anyway?

As if that wasn’t enough to fill my mind, the place already has a special connection for me. I kept thinking about all the times we’d taken our young boys to Squaw. Before I discovered running, we took them out all day, hiking, carrying them in backpacks loaded with diapers and formula, sunscreen and baby wipes.


All this pleasant distraction was probably the reason that I took a couple of spills down the technical descent after the climb up the escarpment. Looking down at my filthy, bloodied hand and legs gave me a strange sense of satisfaction. Well, this is supposed to be hard. Score one for the mountain.

I’d begun my first 100 mile journey at the back of almost all of the elite women. Letting them charge ahead was mentally challenging, but I knew the danger of trashing myself up front. I’d promised myself I’d still be smiling at Foresthill (mile 62) and I planned to keep that promise.

It didn’t bother me that I was 17th female into Duncan Canyon (mile 23.8). It was actually a higher place than I imaged I’d be at that stage. I had the pleasure of running with Meghan Arbogast for many of the opening miles and she reassured me that I was right on pace for a strong finishing time. A veteran of Western States, with deep ultra experience and well known for her smart pacing, I was in good company. Besides, the relatively slow pace allowed me to take on a ton of calories (250-300 per hour) without causing any stomach issues. The simplicity of drinking many of my calories with Tailwind in the bladder of my Nike race vest was a lot easier than fussing about with numerous sticky gel packets. Seeing my “B” crew, Kristina and Norm, at Duncan Canyon made for a seamless handoff with more premixed liquid fuel. (You need both an “A” crew and a “B” crew to make it on time to all of the aid stations that allow crew on the course.)

Anywhere that a runner gets to meet their crew is always a highlight and morale booster, and another one came right up. Robinson Flat (mile 29.7) was such a party though, that there was plenty to lift the spirits even if I hadn’t seen them there. The transition was once again exactly as planned. Some new premixed fluids, a spray of sunscreen, an ice bandana, a kiss for my hubby, and I was off. Now I was in 12th or 13th, we weren’t sure.

Coming into Robinson (Photo Kyla Cassazza)

Coming into Robinson (Photo Kyla Casazza)

I met my “B” crew again at Dusty Corners (mile 38) after passing Nikki Kimball and Denise Bourassa. Both ladies looked solid and weren’t far back, so I didn’t hang around.  A switch to a new vest with a prefilled bladder and I was ready to tackle the canyons. Soon Pam Smith caught up to me and we ran off and on together for a number of miles. The whole weekend, it was such a joy to meet and run with so many of these incredible ladies who have inspired me endlessly with their accomplishments. As we ran together, we passed Nike teammate Sally McRae. I believe this was on the descent to Last Chance (miles 43.8). Pam informed me we were F10 and F11 at that stage. She joked to me about how she wasn’t planning to really race this year after coming back from a stint of overtraining and so I didn’t have to worry too much about competing with her. Then she added, “that being said, if we’re still F10 and F11 at No Hands [Bridge, mile 96.8], I’m gonna have to race ya.” Chuckling, I thought to myself, Pam, I wouldn’t want it any other way. We leapfrogged through the canyons until eventually I passed her and didn’t see her again.

I felt good in the canyons. Not overheated, not overtaxed. I was consistently taking in calories and drinking water — and it was all going down well. I had the pleasure of chatting briefly with SoCal legend Jorge Pachecho, who had started the race with the flu and was having a rough day. Mark Lantz, who achieved his 10 day, 10 year buckle this year, also kept me company for a number of miles.

I guess I should have been concerned at some point because I basically didn’t pee all day, except for a quick stop about 12 miles into the race. That’s often the case for me in ultras, but over the course of 100 miles it’s going to catch up with you for sure. There’s always so much talk about hyponatremia and over drinking, but my tendency is to get dehydrated. I feel like I drank a lot and was sipping regularly (I wore a 70oz bladder in the canyons and drained it by Devil’s Thumb, which is the end of the first canyon). Mile for mile, I drank more in this race than I think I ever have in any other ultra. Still, I became very dehydrated. Since I was running well and taking in calories without issue, it took a long time before I noticed.

Michigan Bluff (55.7) was a bit of a blur. Robert and Curt Casazza, a local and running friend, awaited me, telling me I was in 8th place. Joelle Vaught had just come in to the Aid Station but was looking rough. A brief stop and I was on my way, feeling energized. One more canyon to go, Volcano Canyon, and in the end it was a mouse compared to the monstrous Devil’s Thumb and the long climb out of El Dorado (I joked with one spectator at the top of Devil’s Thumb that perhaps a more appropriate name for it might be Devil’s Middle Finger).

Michigan Bluff. Still smiling! (Photo Kyla Cassazza)

Michigan Bluff. Still smiling! (Photo Kyla Casazza)

I felt amazing coming into Foresthill (62). I was met at the bottom of Bath Road by my first pacer Kristina Pham and Curt, who assessed my needs before running up to communicate with my husband Robert on the main stretch.

Foresthill has got to be the best aid station on earth. With so many familiar and unfamiliar faces clapping and cheering it was impossible not to be deceived into feeling like something of a celebrity. I changed my fueling plan as I came in, deciding that since the Nike race vest was working out so well I should take that with me down the upcoming Cal Street stretch. There was work to do to get it ready and The Canyons race director Chaz Sheya and a couple of others all pitched in, giving me encouragement and a helping hand. Word was that now I was in 7th and I was all smiles, not too hot, not too tired. If my fueling was off, it wasn’t manifesting yet. This was what I had planned all along – to feel good at Foresthill and run a fast last 38 miles. I kept pinching myself thinking about how well things were working out. Adding fuel to the fire, I heard there was trouble up ahead. Some of the ladies were really struggling. I couldn’t wait to see if I could progress a few spots more on the most runnable sections of the course.

Heading down Cal Street after Foresthill with pacer Kristina Pham (Photo: Gretchen Brugman)

Heading down Cal Street after Foresthill with pacer Kristina Pham (Photo: Gretchen Brugman)

Inexplicably, a few miles down Cal Street and it all turned ugly. By mile 66 or 67, I became overwhelmingly thirsty, and also felt behind on my calories. In an attempt to make things right, I drank a lot. Too much. Then I added calories to the mix and my stomach just completely shut down. Endlessly sloshy with intense nausea. I tried everything over the course of the next few hours — gin-gins, ginger ale, coke, watermelon, Tailwind, Carbopro. My stomach reacted quickly with intense and sustained nausea each time. I walked a little, but still managed to run a lot of the Cal Street stretch. My stomach became worse and worse. We got to the river crossing at Rucky Chucky (mile 78) and I was despairing that I didn’t seem to know how to fix this issue. I had long since stopped eating and drinking but it was too little, too late. I stumbled over the river crossing, bonking and sick. On the other side of the river, the volunteer took off my lifevest and said with a sense of urgency, “I’ll do this quickly so you can get going.” What’s the rush, I thought. I’m barely able to move.

Just then, something made me turn around. Sally McRae was right at my back. That tough mother impressed the hell out of me with her near sprint past me and up the imposing Green Gate climb. It was one of those moments where, since I wasn’t in any state to give chase, all I could do was admire the effort and mentally cheer her on. Nice work, Sally. Atta girl. Go get ’em.

I hiked up the climb, giving my stomach more of a chance to settle. Curt had met us at the river and told me that most of the ladies field was still hiking up this same 1.8 mile hill, some looking bad. I was within minutes of advancing a number of spots. My body was suffering much less muscular degeneration than I expected — my glutes hurt more than my quads — but without calories and with the intense nausea, there was simply no energy to fight.

I met Robert at the top of the climb as darkness descended, picking up my very expensive, newly purchased headlamp. I turned it on. Out of battery! Now, I’m usually a pretty mild-mannered person, but this was simply too much. “What the *$#@!” I yelled at my crew. The battery had been fully charged that morning, but it must have been bumped on and the battery drained in between. The back-up headlamp was a twenty year old cheapo camping headlamp with a light so dim that it was barely worth the bother and a strap that had lost almost all elasticity. It jostled endlessly atop my head. I continued on my way, tripping and stumbling along the trail, bonking, dehydrated, nauseated and largely unable to see. As it turns out, there was one silver lining to the poor lighting. Fifteen minutes ahead of us, Joe Grant had seen a bear. And a mountain lion. Whether or not they were there when we passed, I wouldn’t have known.

The hundred mile distance is notoriously difficult to get right. At various points, I leapfrogged with Brett Rivers, Joe Grant and Ford Smith over the course of the last twenty miles. Even these extraordinary athletes, with deep 100 mile experience, are capable of having a bad day. As sad as I was for them that their day wasn’t working out, misery sure does love company. I took some solace from that.

I walked off and on for many miles on the most runnable part of the course. I lost giant heaping spoonfuls of time with each trudging mile, thinking I would be caught at any moment. Hours passed. I was planning to pick up my husband as pacer at Highway 49 (mile 93.5), and I kept telling myself that I just had to make it there and then somehow, magically, it would all turn around. There was no reason why this should be the case, but I had to tell myself something to make it through those dim miles.

Deep in the land of suffer at Highway 49 (Photo: Peter Beck)

Deep in the land of suffer at Highway 49 (Photo: Peter Beck)

Finally, my stomach began feeling a little better. The sloshing and nausea was lessening. By the time I reached Highway 49, I felt I could carefully take in some calories again. After about 25 miles with nothing, it was essential that I found some small replenishment that wouldn’t be rejected. I grabbed a roll of Lifesavers candy from my crew, which turned out to be my savior, and just in time too. My husband joined me and I said a temporary goodbye and thank you to Kristina and we were on our way. A few pieces of the best tasting candy ever and guess what — I could run again! I jogged the next few miles, amazed at the difference in my physical state. We gently picked up the pace, with me moving as fast as my still-deficient body could go.

Then, descending to No Hands Bridge (mile 96.8), I thought I might have heard voices behind us. I grabbed some hard candy at the AS and shuffled across.

Getting candy at No Hands Bridge aid station (Photo: unknown -- if this is your photo please let me know!)

Getting candy at No Hands Bridge aid station (Photo: unknown — if this is your photo please let me know!)

As we began climbing again, Robert looked over his shoulder and whispered “Runners!” — but we couldn’t tell if it was a male or female competitor. My resolve flickered like a flourescent bulb for a moment before it finally turned on, full blast. Robert switched off his headlamp and we silently bolted up the switchbacks towards Robie Point aid station (mile 98.9). Adrenaline took over. I felt like I was really moving but the headlamps persisted and on one turn they were close enough to hear – two women’s voices. I was convinced it was Pam Smith, coming to make good on her promise to race me at No Hands!

We re-doubled our efforts and snuck into the aid station telling the volunteers to please not cheer or announce me by name or number. The less information that F9 got before she actually came in, the better. My whole crew was waiting for me at the Robie pick up location, but I wasn’t stopping. “We’re being chased, let’s go!” I urgently whispered. Thrilled to have my team running with me, we shared an eerily quiet middle of the night push with nothing but the sound of our footsteps racing up the road and down towards the track. I ditched my race vest on the road and sprinted the last few yards, the enormity of the moment sinking in (see video here). For as bad as the last thirty-plus miles were, I had somehow managed to defend my F8 position. A a top-ten finish guaranteed my return next year. It also gave me enough points in the race series to become the 2015 Montrail Ultra Cup champion.

With Men's Champion, Jared Hazen

With Men’s Champion, Jared Hazen

Breathing hard, I was whisked off to the medical tent after finishing, a voluntary participant in the medical study conducted by Stanford’s Dr. Marty Hoffman. Even though I had consumed what seemed like endless amounts of water, I still had lost 5% body weight and there was talk of an IV. I was also experiencing ‘ultra eye’ in my right eye –- a harmless syndrome caused by swelling in the eyeball which caused some temporary vision loss. Combined with the fairly useless headlamp and calorie deficit, it was no wonder I had been stumbling around on the trails.

As part of the study, I was randomly selected to receive a massage right after the race. It was truly an excruciating experience, but it’s a couple of days later now and I feel less sore than I would have expected to be — so maybe it actually helped.

Like I said, the massage kinda hurt (Photo: Robert Boller)

Like I said, the massage kinda hurt (Photo: Robert Boller)

I’m elated to have the opportunity to come back again next year. I’ve never experienced anything like the amazing vibe that stretched from Squaw to Auburn last weekend. Both me and my husband were blown away by it all. Regardless of how many years I am fortunate enough to be able to run in this, the most prestigious, competitive and oldest 100 mile footrace in the world, it now owns a piece of our hearts. It’s something we will always want to be involved with.

A shout out to my Nike team manager, Pat Werhane, and the whole Nike crew, for their support. In addition, many congratulations to my teammates for their exceptional performances. Kaci Lickteig, after struggling deeply at Michigan Bluff, fought back to a spectacular 2nd place. Sally McRae ran a smart, strong race start to finish, ending in 7th, and David Laney also did us proud with his 8th place finish. We’ll all #seeyouinsquaw next year!

It’s hard to express the level of gratitude I feel to all those involved in this race. Thank you, thank you, thank you. To all of the volunteers. To Race Director Craig Thornley. To Gunhild Swanson and Nikki Kimball — my heroes. To every single person who participates in and assists in making this event happen. You made this one of the most incredible experiences of my life and the truth is, I might just be obsessed. [In my haste to publish this post in a timely manner, I completely neglected to thank some of the most important people. I thanked them privately, but to have omitted them here is a huge oversight. My eternal appreciation is due to the people who epitomize what this ultra community is all about. They are people I didn’t know very well going into this adventure, but I like to think I know them a lot better now. My crew and pacers: Kristina Pham, Curt Casazza, Norm Bouillard, and their families. They sacrificed much to assist me in this, my first 100 mile journey. And my husband, Robert Boller. No matter what, I know he’s always got my back. In case you can’t tell from the rest of this post, it’s possible I might kind of like him 😉 ]

I’m over-the-moon excited to announce that a documentary film which focuses on the 2015 Western States race is in the works! The film is produced by USL.TV’s Mike Cloward, directed by Michigan Bluff Photography’s Myles Smythe and features 2015 Men’s Champion Rob Krar, UltraRunning Magazine’s Karl Hoagland and me! Please be on the lookout for it at a film festival near you later this year. You can keep informed of previews, updates and locations by LIKE-ing me on Facebook at Caroline Boller Running. Thank you!

Rob Krar at sunset during the filming for This Is Your Day (Photo: Myles Smythe)

Rob Krar at sunset during the filming for This Is Your Day (Photo: Myles Smythe)