The Bear 1000 – A Review in Pictures

Get it?! Like a picture is worth 1000 words?! So like, The Bear 100 turned into The Bear 1000?! Well, at least I laugh at my jokes.

Crewing for Matt is always extremely fun, even though he never believes me that I have fun. This time was my first time solo crewing, and just before the trip he surprised me with an early birthday gift that included a bunch of fun camera toys that I could try out during the race. Here’s my recap of our time in Utah, in picture form:

1.

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Crew Prep: This is one of my favorite times before a race, and definitely the most important for me. I am very bad at judging how long it should take him to get from one aid station to the next, so he helps me by calculating his goal times for each aid station, writing down what he will need at each aid station, and how long it will take me to get from each station to the next.

 

2.

 

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Course Sneak (Peak) Peek: Love getting a chance to see the start of the course in daylight, since it’ll be dark when he starts, and we won’t be back at the start since it’s a point-to-point race.

 

3.

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Bib Pick Up: The time that I always feel like I’m more nervous than Matt. He has nerves of steel when it comes to race day, and doesn’t let anything bother him, throw him off, or get his heart rate going faster than it needs to be.

4.

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*WARNING* Sappy Moment: That moment before a race where I see that face, and am so incredibly proud of this man, and feel overwhelmed with gratitude that I get to see that face every day of the rest of my life. Followed by “if he survives this ****ing race”

5.

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First Aid Station: He always comes in looking so strong and determined at the first aid station. I knew he had had a solid start to his day! I also was wearing a North Face onesie and everyone at the aid station was looking at me funny, but hey, I was warm as hell.

 

6.

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Photo Break: Took a pit stop after the first aid station along the road to the next aid station. I had just gotten a tripod and wanted to test it out with the river. A few minutes after I took this photo, I met a little girl with her grandmother and helped her collect leaves along the river.

 

7.

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Waiting: At aid station number 2, just waiting for Matt to come in. The sun was shining, and it was a beautiful temperature out now (it had started out very cold in the morning, so it was so nice to soak in the sun, play with my camera, and read a book.

 

8.

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Pupdate: Also met this very cute dog, but I forgot his name. He was a puppy there with his mom, who was crewing for his dad. He was learning to walk on a leash since he lives in the country and doesn’t need a leash at home. What a foreign concept to me as a city-dweller!

 

9.

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Aid Station 2: Matt coming in strong at the second aid station. Look at that handsome goddamn face with that handsome goddamn smile.

 

10.

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Pit Stop: Another pit stop for the crew after aid station 2. The river was just too beautiful, and the day was too lovely to miss.

 

11.

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Aid Station 3(?): Another aid station down. Matt came into this one looking a little less strong, and very hot. The sun felt great to me since I wasn’t moving, but it was hot for someone around mile 30-40 of a 100 miler.

 

12.

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Honestly though.

 

13.

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Could we have asked for a more perfect day?

 

14.

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Pretty sure it snowed HEAVILY the year before.

 

15.

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New Lens Fun!

 

16.

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Gourmet Meal: No further explanation needed

 

17.

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On The Road Again: On the way to the next aid station I saw lots of cows! We had spoken with a woman the day before who had crewed for the race, and made sure to warn me that the cows weren’t fenced in at this portion, and can sometimes be in the road. Glad she gave me the heads up, since on the way back down it was getting dark.

 

18.

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Pit Stop: Took a pit stop at a park right by Aid Station #4 (?) and it was worth every penny. I paid to park, got my gear, and took off on a little hike around the lake. It was absolutely stunning.

 

19.

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Selfie Game: The selfie game was strong with this one.

 

20.

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Selfie Game +1: The tripod really added some oomph to my selfie capabilities, but also made it really difficult to set up the shot correctly.

 

21.

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This Lens Tho.

 

22.

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Aid Station Number 5 (?): He came into this aid station looking a little down on his luck. Luckily he told me about Jeremy, switched his gear in his pack, and took off with his new running buddy, Jeremy.

 

23.

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Sunset: Now is when the camera fun really began for me. I didn’t get a lot of varied photos, but I had a hell of a time testing out exposure times and capturing the night sky.

 

24.

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Warming Up: Waiting by the fire for Matt at the next aid station. He rolled into the aid station with Jeremy looking extremely tired and very cold. I knew he was in for a rough night then, but I did my best to encourage him. He kept mentioning how bored I must be, and I kept assuring him I was having a lot of fun and so happy to be there for him. He left a few minutes after Jeremy since he needed a bit more time to warm up by the fire.

 

25.

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Nighttime: Capturing my first starry sky thanks to Matt’s birthday gift!

 

26.

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The last photo I took before Matt rolled into mile 75 and dropped from the race.

 

I wish now that Matt could have known the fun that I was having while he was running, as I think it would have lifted his spirits and pushed him to go further than 75 miles. I also wish I had captured any photos of him at mile 75. While he would have hated to look at the photos knowing that he dropped and didn’t finish the race, the look of raw emotion on his face and in his body language was extremely intense. I’ve never seen him look so emotional.

I understand and respect his decision to drop from the race, and am thankful he went on to finish another 100 miler the following month and keep up his Western States Qualifying streak. He’s truly an inspiration to me, and see him so down on himself post-Bear was absolutely heartbreaking to watch. He ran 75 really tough miles – something I can only dream I will get to do in the future, and something most people are simply not able to do. I’m an incredibly lucky woman to spend my life with this man, to get inspired by this man, and to be supported by this man.

 

 

 

 

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