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Rock/Creek Race Team Members Complete Tahoe Rim Trail 100 Mile

“It won’t happen over night, but it will happen”
I have heard this phrase play out in my head during times of life where I felt there were more steps back then forward. After reading the Tahoe 100 race report provided by Rock/Creek Race Team Member Matt Sims, I was reminded of the persistence and dedication certain goals require. Sims recaps this year’s success of fellow team members Natalie Sims and Chad Wamack, as they arrived for attempt #2 at the 2010 Tahoe 100. Please read below to hear the amazing accomplishments of the Rock/Creek Race Team Members and be personally inspired to go achieve your “mountains” in life. ” ~Rachel

In July 2009, 5 people from the Rock/Creek Race Team went to participate in the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 miler. 5 of them came home with a big DNF. Every single person had a pretty legitimate reason as to why they did not finish. Some of the more experienced 100 milers had some chronic pain they’ve dealt with for years. Others just couldn’t push through the mental fatigue of the last 25 miles.
Tahoe lake view pic
My good friend and team members Chad Wamack and my wife, Natalie Sims were attempting their first 100 miler in 2009. It was tough to see them quit at mile 76, but having never been at that point of exhaustion I couldn’t really relate.
For 365 days Chad and Natalie had one thing on their mind; finishing the Tahoe 100. That opportunity came again this year on July 17th. After ample training and now armed with the experience of the mental fortitude required for completion they headed back out to Nevada.
We had another small army from Chattanooga with us this year. We rented a house in Carson City called the Bliss Bungalow. This is a perfect situation if you have large groups going to this race. It has 5 bed rooms, each with their own bathroom and a huge front porch for evening carbo loading sessions. The Tahoe 100 also offers a 50k and 50 mile option, so it’s easy to recruit friends to come along and participate. Another friend, John Fellers, did his first 50 miler with ease and has now got his sites on the North Face sponsored event; Tour de Mont Blanc in Chamonix, France.
DSC03244It has been really cool to watch Natalie take on her first 100 miler. She was discouraged at not finishing in 2009 at her first attempt, but she really keeps things in perspective and has just allowed that to be a learning experience. Most people would have picked another 100 miler that wasn’t at altitude or one that didn’t have 25,000 feet of elevation gain. Not Natalie, she wasn’t going to get her 100 miler Belt Buckle Finishers award at any other race except Tahoe 100. In preparation for Tahoe this year, she didn’t necessarily run more than last year. The difference this year was that she was more aware of the mental aspect of running 100 miles.
We got to see Natalie and Chad at mile 30, 50, 80 and then at the 100 mile finish line. They looked great the entire time. Natalie came into mile 50 with a big smile on her face before she set out to do the 50 mile loop for the second time. She wore La Sportiva Crosslites during the entire race, but changed into a fresh pair at mile 50. She also went up a half size when she changed shoes knowing that her feet had swollen and would continue to during the last 50 miles. She did an entire clothing change as a matter of fact so that she would be prepared for the all night run that was quickly coming.
buckle picAt the 50 mile mark, runners are allowed to pick up a “safety runner” to keep them motivated during the last 50 miles. Last year I ran with Natalie from mile 50-76 and that was a huge mistake. I think she wanted to kill me. This year we had our good friend Julie Fingar who is a running ambassador for Patagonia and race director of Way Too Cool 50k and American River 50 miler. She was “on deck” to run with Natalie but Natalie eventually determined that running alone was better for her.
Chad on the other hand, conned his good friend Britt Reynolds into running the last 50 miles with him. Britt ended up running 17 hours with Chad which in it’s own right is HUGE! Not to mention he doesn’t even get to cross a finish line. It’s just pure selflessness and a great example of true friendship.
Natalie and Chad both crossed the finish line and it was really an emotional experience to see. I am really proud of them both and yet still have zero desire to do 100 miles. I’m going to leave that one to my wife. Natalie finished in 29 hours and 24 minutes. Chad finished with a busted shin, hobbling peg leg style across the finish line in 32 hours and 25 minutes.

  • matt karzen

    Go baby! Awesome, plain and simple.