This year at Western States, I'll be toeing the line in Squaw Valley with a whole lot of teammates. Let's take a look:
My Montrail Teammates:
Erik Skaden, Eric Grossman, Francesca Conte, Bev Anderson-Abbs, Luis Escobar, Gary Robbins, Russell Gill. That's a pretty good looking team; arguably Montrail's best WS line-up in a few years. I say there's definitely some potential in there for some high placing, both in the girl's and boy's race!
My Oregon Teammates:
Gayman Arbogast, Willie Bogue, Stacey Bunton, Rob Cain, E. David Granum, Liz Kellogg, Hal Koerner, Jerry Letendre, Dan Olmstead, Neil Olsen, Tom Pelsor, Brad Putnam, Billyrubin Riley, Seagull Junker Riley, John Robinson, Linda Samet, Jenn Shelton, Derek Snelling, Larry Stephens, Chickenhawk Taylor, Lord Balls Thornley, Monkeyboy Wolfe, and Kelly Woodke.
Although there are a few on this team that I don't know, this is definitely the team that I know the best. Oregon seriously has the very best ultra community EVER! Show up at any ultra in Oregon, whether it's part of the Oregon Trail Series or not, and you will immediately make new friends. It's pretty cool. Many of the WS Team Oregon runners have been known to show up to WS in matching Team Oregon singlets, while their crews wear Team Oregon t-shirts. It's pretty sweet running through Robinson and Michigan Bluff seeing all of that Beaver state pride. In addition to being super-cool people, there is some big-time talent on this list, too. You know who they are.
My Marathon Maniac Teammates:
Gilles Barbeau, Rob Cowan, and Robert Towne.
Gilles has been on an ultra-tear this year with 18 ultras already. Since seeing Rob at Jed Smith, Rob has run two 100s, so he's definitely got the strength to run strong. Robert used to live in Central Oregon, where I would see him at all of the local races, and now lives in Spokane, where I still see him occasionally when I visit the fam. He's always got a great smile and additude in all of his races. Look for him to finish near the top of the 50-59 age group.
My nuun Teammates:
Scott Dunlap and Brian Morrison.
Scott will be looking to rock his first WS - as long as he can keep his hands off his camera! And Brian, well, Brian obviously needs no introduction. I'm whole-heartedly rooting for Brian to kick some butt!
My Synchro-Blog Teammates:
Scott Dunlap, Jizzle Wizzle Jones-Wilkins, and Lord Balls Thornley. As Jizzle Wizzle's first pacer, Goat Powell is also a big part of this team. This team is loaded with some proven, multi-time top-10ers, the ultra and trail blogging king, and a two-time WS age group winner.
My Central Oregon Teammates:
Oh, wait, it's just me this year. A bit disappointing after last year's conglomeration, but I'll do my best for the solo representation.
So yes, I have lots of teammates that I'll be sharing the trail with. I will proudly be running for each of these teams, and I look forward too seeing many of you before, during, and / or after the race.
Run strong, take chances, be happy, have fun, don't step in puke...I'll see you all in Auburn!
This is the final installment of Lord Balls Western States Synchro-Blog project. It has been my pleasure to join in the fun. Read what the others have to say for this final go around:
Goat wants to hear your predictions.
Scott has a crew that's looking for an adventure.
AJW is in love with Tommy Nielson.
LB discusses the merits of a pacer.