Believe me, the real meaning of DNF (Did Not Finish) entered my mind at roughly every mile on the mile at this year's Zane Grey 50 Mile Endurance Run. However, in gutting it out I experienced enough inspiration along the way to keep me going. Fellow runners, crew and aid station volunteers made my finish happen. So, thanks to all of you! Next year I go round number ten with Zane!
Special thanks to Larry Hutton for all the photos you're about to witness.
Bedding down the night before Zane...dreaming of not getting lost.
A morning shot says it all. (from right to left) Bret Sarnquist: "Where's the start line?", Brian Tinder: "Where's my straight jacket?", Neko: "Where's my dog food?", Torrence: "Where's my bed?" Perhaps the music that was playing at that time had something to do with it?
Seconds before the 5am start, near Pine, AZ.
Flagstaff's James Willis (orange visor), Bret Sarnquist (yellow shirt) and Brian Tinder (back 'n black) await the "go" word.
And they're off.
Sunrise through the tall ponderosa pines in the Tonto National Forest.
Washington Park (mile 17)...trying to collect myself. Evan Reimondo made that possible. Thanks man!
The falls at Washington Park.
Bret Sarnquist started conservatively but finished a strong third by the day's end.
This weekend, Brian Tinder and I headed south from Flagstaff to Payson, AZ to meet with Honey Albrecht, Zane Grey 50 Miler's lead course marking official. We were charged with helping mark the miles between 17 and 33 on the race course. The trail is rocky as ever, but not as overgrown as years past. We didn't have to crawl over a single downed tree. This was due to the hard work of Chris Thornley and the work he has been doing over the past weeks. He's cleared some big trees! Other work parties have also been out on other sections of the trail. Folks running this race in less than two weeks should remember that no matter how bad they think the trail is on race day, it's nothing near like it could have been. Thanks to the volunteers that put in the work to improve what must be one of the roughest recognized trails in the country.