By Luis Alvarez
Let me start by saying that training is not overrated and should be done prior to any event
The weather was really good throughout the day with some breezes all day long which made things bearable during the heat of the day, once the sun went down the temperatures dropped enough to change into a long sleeve shirt or sleeves. The course is a 2 mile loop and while I was not crazy about the idea, it seemed that it was kind of nice being able to see the aid station at all times and the loops just kept adding the mileage, there’s lots of wildlife (wild pigs, bulls, cows, coyotes, owls and snakes) that you can see and hear while out there.
This is a very low key race and a great starter for anyone attempting their first run over 50K, Rajeev Patel, the RD (for those of you who don’t know him), is a great host, very passionate about the runners, running as a whole and made sure that people were hydrating and eating every time you passed the aid station, the start line is Rajeev calling all to a line on the path and after the national anthem he says go, the finish is the same line but when finishing they hold a “finish banner” help up by 2 people standing on chairs at either side of the path.
His support group made up mostly of his friends and family manned the aid station and were extremely helpful, they just took your bottle and filled it up with whatever you wanted, the food was a smorgasbord (homemade cakes, 2 different soups, noodles, pizza (at 6pm), grapes, watermelon and of course the usual fare for ultra runs), lots of ice and sponges to cool down.
We setup our own aid station along the path like many of the other runners had done (like Jed Smith) but we were much well prepared Our setup had our particular foods, clothing and specialty drinks, it was a very classy joint; our own pop-up tent with sun screens, outdoor carpeting, tables, coolers, chairs, lanterns and the BEST support crew ever headlined by Marcy, Nancy and Caroll.
So now to the run, we started the race at a prompt 6am and as I mentioned the weather was very nice, the loops seemed to come often enough (my thoughts were to stick to 2 loops per hour, to have enough energy for the entire race) so after my 3rd loop I noticed that I was at 1:03 which was faster than my plans so I slowed down a bit and hung to this pace for the first 20 miles, Jose lapped me after 15 miles which I had expected, I lapped Diane/Cheri and Diane lapped Cheri but we all hung in there somewhat together during the entire run. After these 20 miles and passing our aid station every loop I reverted to walking the first ¼ mile, running 1.25 miles, walking another ¼ mile and running the last ½ mile back to the aid station, don’t really know how long that lasted but somewhere the change was made to walk ½ mile and run a ½ mile for every loop. I was still feeling pretty good and there were no major malfunctions in the legs or feet.
Of course, all good things come to an end and eventually the slogging (walk/running) came to a fast walking effort for the rest of the race, the legs were beginning to feel tired and an area on the ball of my right foot started to bother and stayed with me for the remaining time, it was during this walking time that Diane and I hung together until my 100k finish. Yes, I had signed up for the full 100 miles but I decided to be realistic (actually it was the thought of going another 38 miles) and decided to drop to the 100k just so that I would be able to walk the next day (remember training?).
Cheri had foot issues (blisters) and took a 1.5 hour break to get the medics to take care of things but right after that she put her shoes back on and headed out there to finish her 50 miles and her 2nd 50 this year, Diane of course hung there as well and after medical blister control spent the next 12 hours being paced by the “crew” throughout the night and into the next day to finish her 3rd 100 this year and her 11th.
I’m not leaving out Jose just not mentioning much about him because he trained, ran well and finished his 100k, the race that he had signed for. So while any finish certainly deserves full accolades points must be taking away for doing the right thing . Seriously, great job Jose!!!
I’m sure that I’m not speaking for myself but Caroll, Nancy and Marcy are the BEST for hanging in there for 30+ hours taking care of us and making sure that we ate, drank and of course pacing all of us at one time or another, THANK YOU LADIES!!