To the Wasatch and back

The Back is back, the Wasatch Back Ragnar Relay that is, and more locals participated this year than last.

Team Makin Bacon returned from last year to compete again, finishing 191 out of 545 teams, good enough for 16th in the womens open division.

Team members Julie Bunker, Aleigh Redd, Trish and Alex Lewis joined some folks only they know to form the standard 12 member team.

The Wasatch Back is a 24 hour relay race that covers 178 miles on the back side of the Wasatch Front from Logan to Park City.

Each team member runs three legs of the relay, from 3 to 8 miles in length of differing difficulty. It sounds like it’s a race thought up by someone who enjoys hurting himself/herself if you ask me.

Haley Burton also participated for the first time on team “I Thought We Were Running to Cold Stone.” It is another all girls team that finished 514th overall and 52nd in their division.

“I loved the comradery of the race,” Haley said. “With 545 teams you were always running with hundreds of people; you were never by yourself. Everyone was encouraging and looking out for each other.”

Haley found out about a part of Utah she “didn’t even know existed. It is beautiful back there,” she marveled. Most participants complete about 13-16 miles total during their three legs of the 24 hour event. The slogan on the Cold Stone team said it all, according to every participant I talked to, “Run, Stop, Eat, Sleep, Repeat.”

Lynda Boyle, a member of the Cold Stone bunch, which by the way was treated to some free ice cream at Park City Cold Stone after the race, said, “We all said never again during and after the race was over, but by the next morning we were saying maybe, and now, it’s let’s do it again!”

Anguished cries of “I want my mom” were actually and anguishingly uttered by grown women during the race. They were soon forgotten in the euphoria and exhilaration of finishing such a grueling event.

Other team members for Cold Stone are Becky Bird, Suzanne Duke, Abby Larsen, Jamie Carling, Tammy Wallace, Laura Butler, Melissa Shakespeare, Kati Nebeker, Sherrill Bowring and Rarni Schultz.

Bird felt the full impact of the race, running uphill in 90 degree heat. Team members noticed she wasn’t sweating and realized heat stroke was setting in. She needed two units of fluid to recover.

“You find out what you can do in such a race,” said Burton. “I found out I could push myself, I could run that far, not sleep much, and not eat much. It is a totally different kind of race.”

Boyle mentioned the “runners gut” that almost every runner experienced. Wendy Crane, who participated with Kathryn Hall and former Monticelloians Stewart, Stacy, and Corbin Black on team Run!Fore!Fun!, said it another way; “It was exhausting, to the legs and the bowels.”

Run!Fore!Fun! competed in the coed division and were happy to finish the race alive and thriving. None of these folks can really explain why they do such a thing, but unanimously feel proud of themselves.

“At least it got me back running” said one. So if you see any of these gals around, give them a pat on the back. They say you can’t beat the feeling of running in the moonlight at 3 am. Maybe, but I’ll most likely never find out.

I report, you decide

Remember my trip to Alaska? One more thing to add. Actually, it isn’t about Alaska, but about airports and air force and army bases. Every airport we passed through on our trip, (Albuquerque, Salt Lake City, and Anchorage) has TVs at various spots for waiting passengers to view. You’ve all seen them.

The same goes for Elmendorf Air Force base and Fort Richardson Army base, both in Anchorage. I’m not sure what this means, but in every airport on the trip, every TV was tuned to CNN. Contrast that with the Air Force and Army bases, in which every TV was tuned to Fox News Channel. Even a Burger King on Elmendorf was tuned to Fox.

And now that I think of it, every airport I’ve been in the last 10 years had the TVs tuned to CNN. Conversely, all TVs at Fort Sill Army Base in Oklahoma were Fox tuned. Unfortunately, not a baseball game, basketball game, or track competition in sight.

So where’s ESPN? Shouldn’t we be starting a campaign for ESPN in public places? If you feel likewise, call your local airport, airbase, or army base now and encourage the change!

San Juan Record

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