This weekend Christian and Greg ran the Cascade Crest 100. I, along with Marge Yee were fortunate to be able to crew
Cascade Crest starts at 10:00 am, which provided for a nice leisurely start to the day. Coffee from Pioneer Coffee. A pancake breakfast in the Easton firehouse at the start. Plenty of time for that necessary pre-race business!!
This was the first time that I have ever crewed at an ultra. To say that I was excited would have been an understatement. At the pre-race meeting RD Charley Chrissman celebrated almost perfect weather conditions – highs in the 60’s and lows in the 40’s – and cautioned runners to remember to stay hydrated and dress warm at night. He also admonished crews to take care of themselves as well as runners.
As I wished Greg and Christian the best – I immediately thought about myself and how I could best take care of myself. The answer was a quick drive to Cle Elum for a haircut and pedicure.
At Tacoma Pass aid station (23 miles) Greg and Christian came through 3 minutes ahead of pace and looking good. Their race strategy was to run together for the first part of the race, go out conservatively, and then hold strong for a 22:30 finish.
By Meadow Mtn (42 Miles) they were 10 minutes ahead of pace. At Hyak Aid Station (53 miles) they had gained another 10 minutes. There, Kathleen Egan joined them as a pacer. From Hyak on the boys started to move! By Kachess Lake (mile 68) Christian and Greg were 40 minutes ahead of pace. At Kachess Lake – I knew a sub 22 was a real possibility for both.
At Kachess Lake, Greg’s old ski patrol friend Ryan joined Greg as a pacer and Justin Jablowowki joined Christian. Greg and Christian ran together to about mile 85, where Greg’s knee started to bother him and Christian and Justin pulled ahead. By French Cabin aid station, Christian was 1:20 ahead of pace and Greg just 10 minutes behind. Both looked great. Perhaps a sub 21 I thought??
Christian finished in 5th in 21:03, Greg 6th in 21:43. Jeff Browning took first with a blistering 18:31, knocking more than an hour of the previous course record. Top finishers were:
1 – Jeff Browning 18:31
2 – Phil Shaw 20:07
3 – Bill Huggins 20:11
4 – Adam Hewey 20:48
5 – Christian Johnson 21:03
6 – Greg Norrander 21:43
Congratulations to both Christian and Greg for great runs. And THANKS for letting me crew. Ask me again anytime… Watch for a full race report from the runners in a few days.