Western States 100 – squaw valley to Lyons ridge reccy

Western States 100 – Squaw valley to Lyons Ridge (checkpoint 2)

Being in Tahoe it was too irresistible for Kelly to want to see the starting point of the Western States. And I’m glad she did!

As usual, with Kelly being a keen runner also we played pass the child and went on separate runs. I headed out for a return to the third checkpoint but only made it to Lyons Ridge. Partly due to taking too many photos and because I was getting a bit fed up of wondering if iw as going in the right direction – I had no map which was a little silly.

I set off at 7am and on the way back from Lyons bumped into a whole bunch of runners who had set off from the bottom of the ski field in Squaw valley at 7:30. So I joined them for a while before tailing off with just Tom, from the San Fran Bay area, who like me was returning to Squaw on an out and back; the rest were heading on and being picked up further up the course by car. The group were mainly from Reno and thier running club help out each year at the Red Star Ridge checkpoint. It was a pleasure running with them all and I’m sure I’ll see them at checkpoint three one day!!!

The course was tough. I’m not going to run through it in detail here as this was only a little reccy of a small section but the photos below give you an idea of the trail conditions and the snow still left up there from last weeks rain/ snow fall. Its so hot here now I can’t imagine there will be much left up there in 2 weeks.

– Take a route map! You won’t need it on the day I guess but on a reccy it’s a little confusing particularly heading up the ski field at the start.
– mini streams – expect wet feet!
– the tree with a weird s shape kink in it at mile 4-5 – It has bear claws in it! (so I’m reliably told by Bruce Labelle, an annual fixture at the races and a legend it seemed as everyone who him, a lovely guy to boot). Unfortunately I took a picture of it on the way out but missed it on the return journey
– snow – beware of walking on the edges, my fit went through a few times, not good.
– Marmottes – they are everywhere, very cool. Also (and I’m no bird watcher) a really bright blue species of bird.

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