I am incredibly stoked and grateful to have the services of Scott "Slush" Slusher as a pacer from Fish Hatchery in (Mile 76.5), the critical part of the race where I'll need it the most.
I'm not worthy! Scott has paced Nick to a CR at Jemez, so expectations are high. Too high! He's faster than me on Towers, and just blew away his 10k PR with a 37:23, 2nd-place finish in the FC Human Race 10k. And he has a GPS watch! Just as important, though, he's got a great sense of humor. I missed out while we were in Denver, but since this summer I've found that Scott and his wife Celeste constantly make me laugh. And on a serious note, he's done work in Ghana in the Peace Corps, and I haven't gotten a chance to hear stories about it. He's got friends in every town and village from here to the Sudan, he speaks a dozen languages, knows every local custom, he'll blend in, disappear, you'll never see him again.
With any luck, he's got the grail (big buckle) already.
Earlier in the day, Scott will be running the PPA, and based on his training and racing this year, he's going to have a great day.
This is going to be awesome!
However, I do not currently have a pacer at Winfield (50-60-76.5)
Not sure about this situation: I've had a few well-meaning possibilities that didn't work out for one reason or another, and I feel strange drawing attention to myself and bringing somebody else in to an already boring, slow endeavor (OK, I'm not an advertising agent!).
But, Scott may have a friend from the ascent that might be interested -- we'll have to work on timing from the PPA, but it would likely be Twin Lakes at earliest.
I've thought about either...
1. No pacer at Winfield: Some vets have suggested this, that sometimes logistics make it more difficult and that it's not necessary. I see their point, and the muling aspect is still strange to me, but this would only be possible precisely because I do have Scott for the hardest, make-or-break part of the course, at night. Having this to look forward to will help get through those earlier miles -- I think it's going to be a mental benefit even before Fish Hatch. But over Hope Pass again, with several hundred friends hiking nearby, I won't slip on pace or motivation like what happens when we're all strung out in races with "only" 100 people or so.
But, it would be nice to have the company AND some muling help, since it's allowed...
2. Random pacer found ahead of time: Anybody interested, or know anyone? I might ask around on Friday in case somebody's interested. I regret not heading out to Silverton last month as I saw that people picked up some pacers that week.
3. Pre-paid Lifetime Fitness Pacer (with optional IV kit): Wait, that doesn't exist. Yet.
4. Random pacer at Winfield. It's been suggested. At Lean Horse, somebody asked past the turnaround if I had/needed a pacer. And, unfortunately, some pacers will be ready to rock but their runner DNF'ed. Hopefully, a knowledgeable person would see what condition my condition is in and figure out from my time what sort of pace would be appropriate. If I looked like incoherent garbage, nobody would feel obliged; if I'm still smiling, we could hitch a ride over the pass together. (At least, that's how I would decide if I wanted to pace someone randomly). This kind of has an intriguing since of adventure and randomness to it -- like hiring a mercenary -- but is it a realistic possibility?
Oh, I just decided that I'm going to refer to any of my pacers as "mercenaries" for the badass factor alone.
Anyway, if anybody has some interest, leads, or ideas, let me know!