Michelle Hawk, #16, listens to last minute race day instructions.
Question #1: Why did I choose Stagecoach?
"I decided to run Stagecoach primarily because it was an easy travel distance from Tucson and I might be able to convince some friends to come up to crew and pace me."
Michelle heading into Hart Prairie Preserve.
Question #2: What was your favorite part of the course?
"I actually have to pick two sections of the course as my favorite. The section from Hart Prairie to Kelly Tank that took you through meadows and aspen groves were awesome. That was some sweet single track. Moqui Stage Station to Russell Tank provided me with an experience I will not soon forget. The sun was setting and darkness came quickly. Out of this darkness came the sounds of bugling elk."
Michelle minutes outside of Cedar Ranch Aid Station.
Question #3: What was the biggest challenge Stagecoach presented?
"Having never run 100 miles before (58 being my longest day ever), the biggest challenge for me was mental, believing that I could run 100 miles. The early miles seemed so easy and I kept worrying that the wheels were going to come off somewhere along the way."
Michelle, post-race, with race director Ian Torrence (left) and race volunteers Scott Bajer and Ludo Pierson.
Question #4: What was your favorite aid station?
"Wow! Favorite aid station? Do I have to pick one? Russell Tank, where disco lights, blaring music and pacers awaited. Watson Tank, where I found the race director ladling out chicken noodle soup in the middle of the night. Oil Line, cold grapes in middle of nowhere, boy did they hit the spot. Awesome aid stations throughout the race!"
Michelle shows off her "Champion" belt buckle.
Question #5: Three tips you can offer a Stagecoach first timer.
"1. Take it easy on all those easy downhill miles early in the race.
2. Look around and revel in the awesome beauty all around you. It changes again and again throughout the day.
3. Chicken noodle soup is the 'BOMB' late in the race."
Michelle, after her winning performance, at the finish line in Tusayan, AZ, with her crew and pacers.
Bonus Question: Mt. Humphrey's or Grand Canyon?
"Mt. Humphrey's only because I have never tackled it before."
Bonus Question x 2: Would I pick Stagecoach again?
"FOR SURE! Beautiful scenery! Well marked course! Awesome aid stations! A FIRST CLASS event all the way around!"
Thank you for sharing your story and photos with us Michelle! Be sure to join us on September 24, 2016 at 8:00AM for the fourth annual Flagstaff to Grand Canyon Stagecoach Line 100 Mile, 55K and Relays.