I wanted to send just a little email to those that ran letting you know how impressed I was and how honored I am to be connected with such an amazing group of young men and women. Wasatch Back was just another experience in a long list where I have been amazed by your hard work, determination, teamwork, guts, positive attitudes, and strength of character.
I would love to hear from each of you about how the experience went for you. I wish I could have spent more time with you guys during the relay and I wish I could have seen more of you run. In the short times that I did see you, it was so fun to hear how things were going for you. I was lucky enough to watch Hollie and Emily with their great start in the heat for the girls. I saw Leland take off from the starting line in his wrestling singlet. I got to run for just a little while with Jessie as she was finishing her killer 2nd leg. I kept hearing about how much of an animal Curtis was throughout the entire relay. We drove past Julianne as she was cruising on her 2nd leg. I saw Carlee for just a second while she was flying down the hill on her last leg. And I was lucky enough to get to see both teams finish strong. But I would love it if you all sent me an email letting me know what was memorable for you and what you enjoyed and how you felt and what you learned. I wanted to especially thank the seniors (those who just graduated) for making it so fun and for having 1 last race with your TEAM. I got a little emotional waiting for the girls to finish because I was thinking about how much you all have done and about how much I will miss you. (Really I was emotional because I hadn't slept and I ran harder than I am used to).
I can imagine that you are as tired and as sore as I am. I am having trouble moving around. But it is that kind of pain where I know I worked hard for it--I kind of like that pain and hate it at the same time. In the same way that I love the relay and hate it at the same time--but mostly love it. We will take this week pretty easy to recover and then start hitting it hard again next week.
Here is how things finished up:
Davis Boys - 20:32.10; 1st place high school boys division (beating the northern Utah all-stars by 31 minutes); 6th fastest team overall; 6:33 mile pace (15 seconds faster than last year). It was the toughest relay team we have ever put together. It was also the 5th straight year that we have won the high school division (5 out of 5 years they have had the high school division).Thanks to Steve Petty and Seth Frischknecht for being our drivers. We have the best drivers in the relay!
Davis Girls - 24:36.24; 1st place high school girls division (there were more than 1 team -- there were 2); 28th fastest team overall (out of 687 teams); 2nd place out of all the female teams (it lists 3rd on the results, but I am pretty sure the 2nd place team is an error); 7:51 mile pace (just 4 seconds off of last year). Thanks to Lisa Brown, Becky Kussee, and Jill Hedquist for driving, staying up all night, and for being prepared and inspirational.
Weber State Alumni Men's Team - (my team) - 18:57 - we finished 3rd behind BYU and the team of college runners that Seth Gutzwiller ran on. I can tell I am getting old, but it was still a lot of fun to hang out with my old teammates and to push my limits on the legs that I ran. We also had Janae's husband Kenneth on the team and Brad was our fearless, hilarious, motivational, driver.
Weber State Alumni Women's Team - both Janae and Stefanie (my wife) ran on this team. 24:24. They did a tremendous job and were determined not to get beat by our young legs. I was extremely proud of Stef and of Janae for running so hard. It was fun to compete with them again like last year. They are good examples for our girls, and I think they also learned a lot from our girls. Congrats, Janae and Stef and the other Weber women, on a great run. (We'll get you next year :)
I also saw a ton of former Darts tearing it up - Erica Christensen, Jake and Ally Thompson, Josh Adams, Seth Gutzwiller, Natalie Haws, Loren Storey, Ally Adams, Britin Storey, Bree Arnold, Carolyn Swenson
Thanks again for all of the effort and help you put into the race. I am so proud of you all. It was funny, at the finish area an old friend said, "How did your team do?" I immediately responded "Both the boys and the girls won the high school division and the girls were 2nd overall in the female division; they did great." The friend said, "I meant the team you ran on." And I realized that you are my TEAM - the ones I care most about - the ones I see working together all the time.
Caitlin Miller -
1. I LOVED IT!
2. This was the best experience to describe the word "team"
3. Our skirts were so awesome! Me and Em decided to go shopping and then got everyone to come along. It seriously took 3 hours just to decide on fabric. I even asked customers what their favorite was between two fabrics. I know, I know, we are such girls...but you have to admit our skirts were by far cooler than anybody elses.
4. The drive up to Logan was super funny, Brooke and me exchanged "awkward moment stories."
5. Watching Hollie at the starting line was so intense!! AWW!
6. When Candace got lost, people in our van were pretty annoyed...I thought it a lil bit funny and when we saw a sign that pointed straight, someone said it was annoying to have those needless signs, I made a joke of it to lighten things up and said "hey it's a candace sign." I learned that it is so important to stick together as a team, no matter what. I learned that everybody makes mistakes. I learned sometimes the best way to get over something is just by laughing it off.
7. The exchange station before we raced was super fun! They forced me to eat the pasta before I ran...yuck...I had a stomache the whole rest of the time. I can't wait to see the crazy pics we took. Me and Meg got in one of those sick showers and pulled the curtain in front of us and made faces, pretending like we were in the shower. I loved waiting there with the guys in the second van. Petty talked to me and gave me a good quote, "Half of your race is the actual race, the other half is the preparation for it."
8. My first leg was super easy! It was just a 4 miler. I pulled off 7 minute miles.
9. I found so many things that I admired in each of my teammates..... Julianne; dedication and her competetivness, Katie; she said 'thank you' everytime we gave her water on her run or ran with her, she was so sweet Talya; she is a beast, she worked so hard, Meghan; she was so happy and optimistic, Brooke; she pulled off an amazing finish
10. Oh baby! I have never pulled an all-nighter. Well now I can say that I have.
11. I absolutely loved watching you come in with Jess. That really motivated me.
12. My second leg was good. There was one gradual hill that was pretty tough though. I loved running in the dark. Haha I listened to the same song about like 4 times cuz it really helped me.
13. There are so many inside jokes that I can't even explain.
14. We slept on the grass at the exchange before my last leg. That was heavenly! Then to make it even better, we finally found out where Weber was and that we were only seven minutes behind and still had a chance...contrary to our previous thoughts.
15. My last leg felt really good. I love running in rain!!! I pulled us up to 3 minutes behind Weber.
16. After my last leg, I felt good to be done. Then came my favorite part of the whole entire race! Noone wanted to get out and run with the others. Julianne was struggling on her last leg, so I ran a ton ton with her...I loved trying to push her. She was having trouble breathing. Then Katie started and I ran with her too. Julianne thought I was insane by then, but I loved pushing them and I knew I was done so it made it easier. So then I did alot with Katie and would jump in and out of the car, and then finished the last mile with her. Talya would not let me run with her, but I did a tiny bit. That is my favorite feeling to run beside them, because I know that drives me when someone pushes me and talks to me while we run.
17. Meg is so funny! Her faces were the best on her last leg. We would yell at her to catch up to the boy ahead and ask him for his number. Then estoque was just ahead of her also and it was hillarious to see how scared he was that Meg was gonna catch him and his head looking back every couple minutes.
188. Brooke pulled off a hard finish. We were all so disappointed that we did not quite catch Weber. I was pretty bummed. It is all about whether you put everything you had into the race though, and we did. There were no regrets. We fought hard and tried our best. I learned so so much! Running is important to me, and I am willing to sacrifice so much and this made me wanna be even more dedicated this summer. Thanks for all you do for us talley!
(Ya, I know it skips from 17 to 188...I just decided I will leave out the rest of this already huge novel.....if you even got this far haha)
Meghan Hedquist -
Are we all just supposed to count it as 20 miles? My legs added up to 18.4 miles, but I didn't keep track of how far I ran other times because, during everyone's leg, a couple of us would get out and run with each other to help get through the tough parts. I don't know about everyone else in my van, but that helped me A TON when I had someone to run with up the steep hills. Even my mom got out and ran with me!! yay! Wasatch Back this year was so much different than last year, but I loved every minute!! It was definitely a lot harder than I remember, but maybe that's just because I switched from leg 6 to leg 11. During our last legs, we got within 3 minutes of Weber. It was Awesome to see the fear in their eyes!! Everyone knows that without JaNae and Stef, we would have won, and technically, they're on OUR team! Tell Stef good job! :) I had never seen the ragnar leg before, but when I saw it, I was very afraid for Katie and Talya. They ran it SO HARD and it made me want to cry to see their faces! When the van is having a hard time getting up the hill, it's hard to imagine how hard it is to run up! I was really amazed by how hard everyone worked in our van. Sometimes I just wanted to walk or be done, but it was always worth it after I finished. On my last leg, Talya's dad ran some of it with me, which helped a lot. Talk about downhill!!! HOLY COW! and I thought last year was bad.... :) And guess what!? Brandon Estoque was running that same downhill leg, but left quite a while before me, and I ALMOST caught him! Trying to catch him made it easier too because I could see him for most of it. So basically, I ran it faster than him.... ha ha!!! So anyway, I think that the fact that we ran so hard made it WAY more fun!! ( but I am seriously paying for it now. Standing up from sitting on the floor feels the worst, close second is walking down the stairs, third most painful is walking up stairs, and the next most painful is being awake :) )
Umm... Besides just running, we did a lot of crazy stuff like: learning about chestlicks at the start of the race (don't worry, it doesn't involve licking your chest... it's some heart rate monitor thingy. After the lady told us about it, we all just kind of busted out laughing! hee hee!) taking more 'jumping pictures', going down slides and swinging on swings at a park, me and Caitlyn taking pictures in the makeshift showers with our clothes on of course! (they are basically a tent with a hose in it-- very scary, don't try it!!! especially when you're the guy who got in right after us and gave everyone a show when he forgot to zip up the other side of the door that we had unzipped to take our picture! Shield your eyes! AAAAHH!) cheering for Caleb in his wrestling singlet, my mom nearly jumping off a cliff to save Julianne's water bottle :), telling the person who was running random Nacho Libre lines, katie swallowing a bug during her race, saying weird things that people who are sleep deprived might say, making fun of 'butt lights' (it kinda sounds like we're saying budlight), sleeping on wet grass in our sleeping bags (apparently it rained, but of course I was asleep), some lady sticking her butt in my mom's face, Becky starting to drive away with only my foot in the car (she THOUGHT I was in, but the door started to close and, using my ninja reflexes, I BARELY got my arm out in time to avoid being snapped off like a twig!! my arm is still swollen and has a beautiful bruise on it, but hey it's a battle wound! I guess Becky must have been distracted by Caleb in his singlet) and singing songs with the windows down (a bug flew through the window and hit me in the face and fell onto my skirt. it was dead so it must have died on impact :) We also listened to Elmo's World on the radio at 3 AM... I didn't know Elmo's world was on the radio, but it was pretty hilarious! Oh yeah, and my mom was taking me to our van after my last leg and I guess our van had pulled out and moved because my mom tried to get in the wrong van. It was pouring rain, and my head hurt after finishing my leg so I couldn't really see, so I couldn't tell her not to get in, but the guy in the front seat said, "you can get in with us if you want to!" That's not even all of the stuff we did, but as you can see, we had the party van!! :)
Thanks for all the work you coaches do for the TEAM. So far, xc has been great! See ya tomorrow!!
I just wanted to say "Thanks" for letting me be "Becky's side-kick" in Van 2 for Wasatch Back. I will NEVER forget it! What an AMAZING experience. All of the girls were inspirational! It was fun to watch them passing TONS of people on each of their legs. Brooke and Caitlyn were a little nervous, being "first-timers", but they did GREAT! They both worked so hard! Caitlyn's third leg was amazing! She was determined to close the gap between us and the Weber Team. She did! She cut off 4 minutes! Caitlyn ran a TON with Katie on Pre-Ragnar, because we didn't want to get Talya, Meghan or Brooke tired for their upcoming runs. She was the energizer bunny! We kept saying just give them water, don't run with them, but she kept running with them. I got a little emotional on our last legs. . . also probably a little due to sleep deprivation! I didn't dare sleep for FEAR of missing the hand-off on our second exchange. (: (Plus there was TONS of car alarms going off and a really LOUD lady laughing all night. . . and NO it wasn't Becky!) Some of the emotion was due to the fact that the seniors are leaving, and this was their last run together ):. and some was due to the girls determination and guts! They were so tired, but there was no way they were going to give up! I LOVE those girls, and I am so grateful for the kind of friends they have been to Meghan and the good example they are to her. . . and to ME! They are amazing! I get sad every time I think about them being gone next year. We have gotten kind of attached to them! The whole TEAM is amazing. I wish I could have run with the girls in our van more! They were just WAY too fast for me. . . and I didn't want to slow them down! It was kind of cool to run a little, and I mean LITTLE, with Meghan in the night. I loved it. I tried to run a LITTLE with some of the others, or at least jump out and give them water. They amaze me. Julianne was way competitive, as usual (: and she ran her guts out! She cracks me up! A guy on her second leg came up to her after and told her what an amazing runner she was. I think she went flying past him. She wanted to pass that Weber girl on her third leg SO bad! She was really struggling with breathing in that hard rain and the cold, but she ran very determined the whole way. I was proud of her. We all were. The girls were so supportive of each other and they all really tried their very hardest! Poor Katie had to RUN to her exchange for Pre-Ragnar and she BARELY made it to go to the bathroom and RUN again to the exchange by the time Julianne got there. The traffic was so bad and we couldn't get the van to the exchange. Katie did SO well on all of her legs, but especially the really LONG one! Holy cow! 9.6 miles! She is an amazing runner. She is always so polite and sweet. We would ask her if she wanted water, and she would smile and say "no thank you." She did great on Pre-Ragnar too. She had a look of determination on her face the whole time. Talya did great on Ragnar, too. She was scared to death after Katie started, and she saw the hills. I told her not to worry about it and to walk as fast as she could when she couldn't run, and then run as fast as she could when she could run. Man that girl can walk FAST! I think Steve Petty gave her a great pep talk too. Her dad came up and wanted to run some of it with her. She came in without him. What a good sport he was. Talya's dad ran some of Meghan's leg with her and he was so positive, and kept giving her advice. She really appreciated it. When we were standing at the exchange in the rain, which we had to walk to because we couldn't get the van up there, I was telling her to try to focus on the people in front of her, instead of the hills, and try to pass them. A guy standing behind us said "just don't pass me!" I quickly told her to definitely pass him! It was funny to watch all the men, and especially teenage boys, that the girls passed. There was one on Meghan's last leg that kept passing her back, every time she would pass him. I don't think his ego could handle it. Watching the FEAR in Brandon Estoque's eyes was hilarious. Every time he saw our van coming up next to him, he would look behind to see where Meghan was. He ran in at the finish like he was running from a BULL! (: Brooke did awesome too. Her first uphill leg was really hard, but she ran it well. She was nervous after watching Meghan run up all those hills, and knowing she was next and that she had to run up similar hills. All the girls were very determined on their last legs, because we were so close to Weber. Brooke took off like a shot after her hand-off from Meghan. She ran a GREAT leg and finished so strong for us. It was fun to get to know her and Caitlyn! They probably think Becky and I are INSANE! It was fun to see Hollie running part of her first and second legs. We drove by her for a while after the exchange. She is always so positive and smiles all the time. We didn't see much of the other van. We saw the boys twice, and that was fun. We saw them at Liberty, and hung out for a while. Then we saw them at the second exchange when Curtis came flying up the hill! Then we happened to drive by Caleb! That was hilarious. He "posed" for a picture while running! We all got out of the van to cheer him on. (That is when Meghan had her near amputation experience! (:) We had lots of fun at the park. . . as you will see from the pictures! As soon as I get them off of my camera, I will get you a CD. (We are going to San Diego this week, so it will be when I get back.) We went to Pizza Hut after with Petty's van. Great experience! Great memories! Thanks again for letting me go. Can't wait until next year!!!!! Good job to JaNae, Stef and you Talley! You guys are amazing!
Brooke Stromberg -
The relay was way fun! My mom called me during it just after my second leg and asked me if I was having fun and to be honest I had to say "NO"
My first leg was killer and I'm pretty sure that I'm not really meant to run uphill :) It was one of the hardest things I have ever run, and it's a good thing I didn't see it before I ran it or I don't know if I would have been able too. My second leg was hard just because I was so tired! Also I was having some internal problems and I had to stop for about a minute because I couldn't even stand up straight. Things rearranged themselves and I was able to finish strong on the downhill at the end 1 minute under pace. My last leg was GREAT!!! The slight downhill was perfect and I was able to cruise on to the end!
Now that it's over I can realize that it was fun and I totally would do it again
This is easily my favorite race of all time, Brad Nye and I have been counting down the days since High Altitude Camp. It was a ton of fun! I have several highlights that come to mind, one of them is Jeff. Jeff is a very healthy person and is always very good about getting to bed and waking up on time. So this weekend was new for him. It was hilarious to watch him, because he was so out of it. Some of the things he said just cracked me up because they were things that he would never say normally. During our second leg at about 4 or 5 in the morning it really started to get to him. Rather than saying good job and cheering when we drove by our runners he would climb out the window and say things like "Joe, you look so hot right now!" It was just funny to watch him. Another highlight was my ragnar leg. From what I knew about it and had heard, it sounded like it was going to be some insane hill. And it was really tough, but looking back it was not nearly as bad as I had expected. I was so excited going into it. I love running in the rain and I was ready to beat Seth's time of 34:07 from last year. The van stopped to give me a water stop at what they said was 2.5 miles in. As I checked my watch I was several minutes behind pace and I was getting worried. When I saw the one mile to go sign i checked again and I realized I had almost nine minutes to finish which was good because I knew I had to run 8:30s, and I had a downhill portion coming up. At about 32 minutes in I was getting worried again because as I would crest one hill I still couldn't see the exchange zone and I was running out of time. But eventually I saw it and I had a strong finish. I was very excited by my time of 34:16, just nine seconds behind Gutz last year. I think I ran a smart leg, i stayed strong on the hills for the most part, and when I had the small sections of level ground, downhill, or just less steep sections I really took advantage of them and picked my pace up a little bit. Another part that sticks out to me is after we finished and we were in the tent with you. Hollie said something like "It's weird to think we just ran the same races as you.... and you're really fast!" (To you) "We're so tough!" I was happy that she realized that, and pointed it out to everyone else. Granted you ran a heck of a lot faster than we did, but I don't think some of the TEAM realizes how hard they work. Sometimes it is hard to appreciate how hard we work and what we accomplish. Because at the time it doesn't always seem like a very big deal. But I think we need to look at it sometimes just to realize how good we've done, and what we are capable of. I am way excited for this Cross Country season! American Fork is going to have a killer team, but I think we can give them a run for their money at the very least. It should be exciting to see what happens. I found out that we only compete with them once before State though, and that is at Grass Relays. That could hurt us or help us depending on what happens... but the only thing we can do I suppose is be as ready as we can, and run our hardest so we can be proud of how we did no matter what. Thanks for everything you do as a coach. I think I speak for the whole TEAM when I say that we would not be as good without you. And we wouldn't have near as much fun! I have learned a lot from being on this TEAM and it is one of the best decisions I have made. I owe you a lot.
I just remembered some other highlights from the race. One of them was definately watch Jeff's first leg. We were neck and neck with the all-star team when we got the baton. Jacob Barton was running this leg and their team thought he was going to create a huge gap between him and Jeff. But Jeff managed to stay right with him the entire leg. Another was mine, Joe and Brad's first leg. After Jeff passed me the baton the all-star team didn't show up in time for the hand off. So I was running alone, a van thought I was their runner but when I passed them they noticed I wasn't and one of them yelled S*** he's going fast! After that I handed off to Joe, the all-star team managed to catch him going up his hill, and put about a half mile between us. Then Brad got the baton and began to close the gap, he caught the all-star team just before handing off to Leland. One more was my second leg. We were surprised your team hadn't passed us yet, with about a half a mile to go I heard someone coming up behind me fast, I knew it had to be either your team or the all-star team. I didn't want to let either team pass me, so I picked it up and managed to run away from him. Afterwards I found out it was your Weber State team. Along with that my last highlight is that not one runner passed me the entire race.
Wasatch Back was so much fun. I am so happy that i got to do it, it has been the highlight of my summer so far. I had been looking forward to it ever since last year. I really liked my first leg, it was about 3.4 miles and the all star team was about a minute ahead of us at that time. I wanted to catch the kid so bad. I kept trying to time and see how far he was ahead by looking at a point and then timing to see how far he was ahead of me. I kept trimming it down little by little and i finally passed him with about a half mile to go. I was so happy that i caught him, I even threw up some of my pasta dinner. I ran 4 and 1/2 minutes faster than pace. After that it was so awesome to cheer every else on. It was cool to be in the second van this time because i was in the 1st van last time. My second leg was even better than my first. It was 7.0 miles downhill and so i thought i could trim down some time. It felt so good to be running in the middle of the night. (i think we should do some this summer :) ) I made a promise that i wouldn't let anyone pass me, I was probably a little more than halfway and someone passed me. I was a little mad until i realized that he was from 26.2 running company, so i wasn't that mad. I felt so good and i guess i was because i ran 40.19 9 minutes under pace. i was so happy after that leg. I couldn't believe that i had done that. It was fun to see everyone else run, especially jeff because he had a 9.6 mile leg. He did so good and it was good to see him run under pace for that long of a leg. After a little sleep and the school, we got up and got ready for my 3rd leg. my legs weren't feeling that great from my downhill leg, but i made a promise that i wouldn't go over pace. about a mile into the race, my hamstring was just throbbing. Every step it felt like it was pulling and stretching. Every step was in pain, but i knew i had to keep up the pace or i would get behind. With about a mile to go i just gave it all i could. I knew that i wouldn't be able to cut off as much time as i did on the other ones but i knew i could make up some if i ran hard. When i got done i looked at my watch and i was disappointed at myself that i wasn't under time. I was upset at myself until logan told me that i was about 30 seconds under pace. I was so happy after that. It was awesome to see jeff run preragnar. He kept going no matter what. My favorite leg to watch was definately logan running ragnar. He wanted so bad to beat gutz's time from last year. He was hauling the whole time. It was pouring rain, and there was a head wind the whole time. He crossed the line and was so happy. he was only 9 seconds behind gutz's time. It was awesome to see him so happy, after putting in so much hard work. After that it was really cool. Joe, who hadn't felt that good on his second leg, killed his 3rd leg time by 8 minutes. After giving brad the baton, we drove to the finish line, we got on our gold capes and ran to meet brad. we gave him a cape and he hauled into the finish line. Me and logan wanted so badly to go under 20 hours this year but then we realized that they had added about 8 miles onto the race. But after we knew that at the start, we were just trying to get about what last years time was. We knew we would have to step it up. when we came through at 20:32 we were so happy. Our goal early in the race was to beat the all star team. they kept getting ahead of us, and then we would take the lead. I was way happy when i found our we won by over 30 minutes. I loved the opportunity to do this. It is always so fun, and it was fun to get to know the people in my car even better. (jeff is SO funny when he doesn't get sleep) I hope that i get the opportunity to do it again. Thanks for the opportunity to do this. I am so lucky to have a coach like you. Thanks for all you do talley.
Thank you talley for giving me the chance to run the wasatch back it was really fun. i also am having trouble moving around i am dang sore. I had a good run my first though wasnt to great the second leg i felt great and was hauling all i was thinking about was catching the team that was thinking they were better than us the only cool guy they had was coby taylor the rest i wanted to whoop them... and we did. My third leg i did really good it was tough but very satisfying; i gapped coby by 2 minutes thanks to leland and gallacher we already had a good gap on them then curtis and caleb and jason gapped them some more. leland was finaly happy he redeemed himself of the tiny little sophmore girl who thought she was all that. but the whole thing was really cool seth pretty cool dude drove well and got really into it at times it seemed like he was just going to jump in and run the race.
What $120 Bucks get you at The Wasatch Back Relay
1. Extra safety pins and deodorant at the start line. Sweet!
2. Race Course Markers that may or may not be of help.
3. Pretty much the best 90 minutes of sleep we have ever had at the Oakley
4. Sweet smelling bathrooms that some of our runners seemed to spend extra
time in…even as their runners were approaching the exchange spot. But we
never missed an exchange!
5. Something like 1,000,000 road kills. We lost count. But whatever. The girls
6. Cheering on the Boys’ Team in their Rockstar Davis Capes.
7. Running in the dark and having a creepy man watch you from his barn.
8. Wanting leg massages, but getting our backs aligned instead. A little on the
9. Getting a sweet parking spot at the Finish Line without having to lie. (We had super cute High School girls in our car. Obviously. Brad. You did not.)
10. Spending 24.36 hours with the most Amazing Girls. Ever.