Runners ready for 100-mile Western States
With the 31st Annual Western States 100-mile Endurance Run taking place this Saturday and ending Sunday, 57-year-old Jack Emery and Patty Davidson, 48, will join the pack in a quest to achieve something that most people would only find fear in – something that on average takes more than 24 hours to complete; more than an entire day of running.
These two, however, don’t mind a little pain.
The race itself begins in Squaw Valley and finishes at Placer High School (Auburn), and on the way the runners will meet more than 18,000 feet of climbing and nearly 23,000 feet of descent.
For Davidson, this will be her fifth time competing. Over the past four years, she has finished the race each time attempted, a feat only about two-thirds of the runners can put on their resume. She has maintained a fairly steady time of 27-28 hours per race, and although the she does not intend to shorten her time a great deal she still has more she wants to achieve with the race.
“I have a goal of getting the 10-Year Buckle,” Davidson said. The buckle, naturally, is awarded only to those who finish the race 10 times, and Davidson is nearly halfway there.
Emery, on the other hand, will be making his first appearance at the run. After two years of training for this, he is confident he will complete that which he wishes.
“I’m going to finish the race,” Emery said.
He saw the race for the first time two years ago and was then inspired to work himself to a point where he could join the tireless group.
In course with his training, Emery has run in several 50-mile races, a 100-kilometer race, and a number of 5Ks. None of those, however, can compare to running a 100-miler.
It’s the preparation that motivates Emery though, moreso than the race itself.
“The real enjoyable part about the Western States is the training,” he said. Over the past two years, he has been running more than 50 miles per week; hundreds of miles since he first began.
Davidson has been a consistent partner running with Emery, prior to his first inclination to join the race. Because of that, they know each other’s running styles very well and can make educated assumptions on each other’s performance.
“He’s going to do great,” Davidson said. “He’ll finish it. Probably in 28 to 30 hours.”
That’s a bit over Emery’s 27-hour goal, but a finish is what he wants most. The finish, says Davidson, is worth the pain, suffering, and occasional tears she has confessed to.
“It feels great every single time you do it.”
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