The 2016 Never Summer 100k ultra-running trail race began last Saturday morning in Gould, Colorado. It was 12 1/2 hours later before the first of 192 competitors who successfully completed the race crossed the finish line.
That race winner was County 10 resident 30-year-old Gabe Joyes from Lander with a course-record time of 12:29:21.
By the numbers, and by any measure, this is a grueling test of the limits of human capability.
- 64.2 miles
- 11,582 feet peak elevation [gasp]
- 14,000 feet of vertical gain and 14,000 feet of vertical decent
And don't forget to add the less objectively measured trail conditions (listed on race registration site) to more fully appreciate the race difficulty: "Trail, dirt road, rough trail, high alpine, rocks"
Joyes was joined by several other Wyoming runners who successfully posted a time:
Jeff Mogavero (Havertown, PA) resides in Lander during the Summer working with NOLS posted the 3rd place time of 12:51:13 and was recognized as the "Youngest Race Finisher."
36th Josh Fuller (M), Jackson Wyoming 16:25:44
56th Janie Schneider (F), Cody Wyoming 17:40:10
81st Edwin Sheils (M), Saratoga, Wyoming 18:21:20
86th Adam Maiers (M), Casper Wyoming 18:34:13
134th James Clark (M), Cheyenne, Wyoming 20:53:04
190th Sandra Biller (F), Laramie Wyoming 23:29:48
(Never Summer 100k race trail and marker)
County 10 caught up with Joyes to visit with him about his exploits:
Is it a mental challenge to keep yourself in the race and operating at your best?
"It can be hard to mentally focus for that long on a race, so I try to really be engaged with where I am. I try to figure out how the terrain got its shape. I try to remember the names of different wild flowers."
What is the recovery time on an event like this?
"Typically it takes me a week, or maybe a little bit more, to recover from a race like this. However I have a shin injury that is all flared up again, so recovery time will likely be a bit longer this time. I took a nasty fall on my shin in a boulder field while running down Roaring Fork Mountain about two weeks before the race. I was able to just barely make it to the starting line with the help of Courtney Hansen and the team at Fremont Therapy."
What lessons have you learned that you can you share with us from these extreme experiences?
"The most important thing I've learned in ultra distance racing is patience. Everything just takes a long time. Making gains in training takes patience; returning from injuries takes patience; not going out too fast in a race takes patience. Much like in life, nothing ever happens as quickly as you'd like and patience almost always pays off in the end.
"The other takeaway from events like this is that you never succeed on your own. My wife, Jenny, drove around and hiked with our almost one-year old and four-year-old daughters all day meeting me at four different aid stations to make sure I had water and food to keep running hard. I work with a running coach, Ty Draney, based out of Afton, and with his help I felt very prepared for the challenges of the race. Never underestimate the power of positive energy and support from family, friends, coaches, and trainers!"
(Joyes, with daughter Ella post-race)
(Feature Pic: Race Winner Gabe Joyes)