This was the big one, the first 100 miler of the year and I was going for my goal of sub 24 hours and I had Alex crewing for me which made it even better.
But first, about 2 and ½ weeks before this race I made a very important life decision. I decided I was going to propose to Alex at the finish line with the hopes that she would say yes. I talked to my pacer, we worked out a plan where I could stash the ring with him till the race and he would carry it the 50 miles he ran with me so Alex wouldnt have a chance to find it. He agreed with no hesitation and was very excited to be a part of this.
Flash forward to Thursday, the day before the race we got in my car and started the drive down to Antelope Island in Utah for one of the best weekends of my life. We got in early, dropped all my gear off at the hotel then headed to the island so we could check it out and I could show Alex where she would be able to meet me and crew for me. She seemed nervous about this but we were having fun and got to hike a little bit to a cool little outlook. After exploring the island we headed out to get some dinner with my friend Christie who was running as well and her family who were renting a house. It was a blast to sit around a table and enjoy spaghetti and just talk and laugh for hours till we finally called it a night and thought the smart thing to do was to try and get some sleep.
Alex knew I was nervous/excited but she thought it was just the race, I couldnt wait to start running the next day so I could literally run to her and ask the question. The nice thing about this race is that it starts at noon which means you can sleep till 9 have breakfast then relax which is exactly what we did. After getting all prepped we headed to the race, hung out with friends before and took pictures while I fidgeted with everything getting more nervous as the race start approached. Before I knew it I was lined up and Jim was yelling go, off I went to run for 23 hours 37 minutes and cover 100 miles. Alex was waiting for me at mile 20, so being able to see her always boosts my spirits so I come into the aid station with a smile on my face, ahead of schedule and just having a great time. In and out quick and I was off on the 30 mile loop where I would see her in about 7 miles. I dont know what it is about knowing you’re running to the aid station where you know someone but it just makes it so much easier to push yourself. Before I knew it I was at the aid station, she refilled my water, handed me gels, gave me a kiss and sent me on my way till the next time I would see her. At mile 50 I was still ahead of schedule, picked up my pacer Dave who is one of my great friends and we just started running and chatting like it was a weekday Saturday morning run. He asked all kinds of questions about me proposing, he was just about as excited as I was it seemed haha.
We kinda just cruised along and everything went great till about mile 77, when the early morning cold weather got to me, I slowed, my leg started to hurt and I was very very hungry. Luckily an aid station was coming up but downside was we were next to water, temperature was dropping and I was in shorts and my jacket. I was freezing. I took this time to sit by the fire at the aid station, use the bathroom and eat 2 bacon quesadillas which were amazing 80 or so miles into a race. We left that aid station and I knew I had to get more clothes, only bad thing was alex was 5 miles away which at this pace was over an hour. Dave spent time trying to get cell service till he finally got a hold of Alex and she was able to drive down the road and meet us to give me pants. I was kinda out of it at this point due to being cold so I kinda just sat there while she helped me put on my running tights. Now thats love right? I kissed her goodbye and off we went. Warming up I started to feel good, I had time to get sub 24 and I was feeling happy. We met back up with Alex at mile 90 something at the second to last aid station, she hiked back up to the road with us then sent us on our way.
This was when I knew I was going to finish, I could feel it, you can also see the finish line at this spot which is kinda cruel. It loops you down the bottom of the island and around back to the finish. About 2 miles out from the finish Dave handed me the ring and I just had the biggest smile on my face and was ready to finish this race. We came off the mountain, hit the dirt road when the plan was in motion. Dave being the usual speed guy he is took off ahead sprinting to the finish to get Alex into the right place and to get his phone ready for the moment.
As I made my way up the road, I had the ring box in my hand. At this point my time didnt matter to me, I was going sub 24 no matter what. As I reached the finish line, there Alex was standing just on the other side waiting for me. I crossed the finish line, stopped my watch and gave her the biggest hug and kiss possible. My heart was beating a 1000 times a minute for this moment. As I started to get down on one knee she tried to hold me up thinking I was collapsing so I had to push her arms off me haha. I got down on one knee, looked up and smiled at her and said “Alex, you’re the love of my life and I want to spend my life with you, will you marry me?” as I opened the ring box. The look on her face was priceless, she had the biggest smile I could imagine and looked so happy. She pulled me up and kissed me and we embraced the moment with everyone around us clapping. We walked away, holding hands and joined my friends inside the tent and collapsed in chairs with everyone congratulating us on the race and the proposal.
Here is the video of my proposal at the finish line of Antelope Island 100 mile to Alex. I’ve shared the pictures but forgot that I uploaded the video and then got some questions if we had a video. So here it is