100 Miles For Owen. Stephen Taylor Running Western States 100 (Again)May 27, 2011 by Victoria Strong
100 miles. 100 miles in 30 hours. 100 miles though the Sierra Nevada Mountains. 100 miles through extreme heat and even snow. Yep, that crazy Stephen Taylor is doing it again -- 100 miles for Owen! And we think he's incredible!
Held the last weekend of June in Northern California, the Western States 100 is considered the best ultra marathon by runners across the country. It starts in Squaw Valley and ends in Auburn, and consists of 100 miles of rocky trail running with most of the trail passing through remote and rugged territory, accessible only to hikers, horses and helicopters. Oh and within those 100 miles there is over 40,000 feet of elevation and descent; a climb of 2,550 vertical feet in the first 4 miles. Whoa!
I was able to run the 2010 Western States Endurance Run and did so with SMA angels carrying me along the way. This was my first 100 mile race, and it was also my first time applying to run the Western States. Entry into the Western States is highly coveted and difficult. There is about a 10% chance of getting into this race every year. it is one of the premier Ultra Running events in the world. That day changed my life forever and was the most gratifying experience I have ever encountered. Dozens of families who have been affected by SMA contacted me and gave me the names of their little angels who had earned their wings into heaven. Those names were written on a piece of paper and I carried them with me for the whole 27 hours it took me to complete this run. I still have this special paper and again I will be brinigng it with me. Sadly, I will have to put more names on this paper. "This is why we run, we run for those who can't."