For 43 years, The Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run has relied on volunteers, as many as 1600, to host an event that has become internationally recognized. The event has become so popular that a lottery was created to shrink the number of entries (3,510 in 2015) to 369, the number of runners allowed by permit with the U.S. Forest Service.
In 1983, “The Friends of the Trail” award was established to recognize volunteers much like Nancy Dau Yewell, who inspired others with her tireless dedication. Recently, Rho Bailey of Cool was awarded the Friends of the Trail plaque for 2016. This special plaque for this special trail advocate was made from planks of wood from the Swinging Bridge, partially destroyed in 2013. Rho’s spirit mirrors that of other pioneers of both Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run and the Tevis Cup 100 Mile in One Day Ride. Many have been friends.
The 2016 “Run” is now over and the Tevis Cup is nearly here. We applaud not just the talented athletes for their preparation and endurance, but the many generous volunteers who support these events that others identify on their personal bucket lists. Cheers Rho!
Rho completed the Tevis in 1969, 1972, 1974 and 1975. She has been a dedicated volunteer behind the scenes, on stage, and on the back of her horses and mules for both events. And she has inspired many others, including me.