2023 Wasatch 100

Wasatch 100 Sep 10, 2023

As is tradition, I was able to help out with the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run again. Honestly, an event that I look forward to every year.

For the most part, this year was pretty similar to previous ones. I took the scenic route up to Pole Line Pass via Midway, as the road from the western side of the canyon was still washed out. Wanting to play around a bit before getting to work, I left early, just to wander some side trails.

Eventually, I wound up at Pole Line, and bit by bit, the rest of the crew arrived. We got busy setting things up. Other than having one of the radio repeaters down, things were pretty uneventful. We took turns working the radio, grazing on snacks, and just hanging out. Even watched some movies.

That's right, movies.

This year, one of the guys brought along their Starlink dish and a TV. Honestly, the scene was a bit absurd. At one end of our tent, we had a Raspberry Pi using a ham radio modem to transmit data packets at roughly 0.0012 Mbps. At the other end, a widescreen TV streaming an HD movie from a home Plex server.

While it seemed a bit ridiculous, that Starlink dish ended up saving the day for us though. While having a radio repeater down for the race wasn't a big deal at the beginning, once the race really got going, the traffic started to be a bit too much. We started running into issues logging data with net control for the race, and were experiencing a lot of data transmission errors.

Luckily, the race database had a Telnet connection available. We swapped the Pi over to the Starlink, and had a rock-solid connection through the end of the race, with no issues. Probably lost some radio-cred in the process, but I think bringing satellite internet service up at least maintained the overall level of nerdery going on.

As the sun came up, we downed some breakfast burritos, and waited for the last of the runners to pass through our station. Once the last one came through, and was safely off the mountain, we tore down the station, and headed home to get some rest.

The views from here never fail to disappoint.