There's really not much to say about the course. It was chip timed and it went around a horse farm with just about what you'd expect at a horse farm. There was dust. Many horses, dogs, chickens and barnyard smells. There was a section of longish mowed grass, some asphalt, and a lot of more or less packed down dirt. They did spray down the dust near the start/finish but in many places there was dust hanging in the air pretty much constantly with over 200 people on the course.
The most striking thing to me about this run was how well people were moving in the wee hours of the morning. Usually by 4am there's precious little running going on but they must grow them tough out there in CA because people were moving. And we saw so many gutsy performances by newbies. There was one woman who had never run more than 22 miles who did 64 in the 24 hour. She said she planned to keep walking the last hour but nearly passed out at one point so decided to quit at 23 hours. Many others got their first 100 mile finish.
One woman in particular, named Andrea, was running her first 100 after a couple of 50's and she looked totally solid all night. She finished around 23 hours with a remarkable steady and strong first century. There were also the gritty runners who kept at it all through the night and right up to the final hours getting their 100 miles. Very impressive stuff. There was also Tony the Endorphin Dude (that's what his cape said) who has never completed 100 miles or even come close before. This man made a lot noise but he laid it all out there on the course. Crying, puking, dry heaving and multiple collapses didn't appear to be stopping him but at around 88 miles he finally stopped, at the end of his tether for a distance pr and a race to remember.
For Liz and I it was a business like exercise. Putting in the miles for another finish. Liz won the women's race in a remarkable 21:01 with a very consistent effort. Starting this race I felt weak and dead legged. Earlier in the week I suffered a stomach virus (I believe caught from Liz) which kept me from eating at all for 48 hours and though I could eat some by Wednesday night it was only little bits at a time. Not the optimal recovery plan. Even power walking later in the race people were streaming by me and I can usually powerwalk well. With the energy issue and a 30 minute nap at 1am I managed to finish in 23:20 which I was happy with.
We hung out with friends new (mostly) and old as people finished. It was fun cheering everyone in through the barn that was the start finish area. As usual everyone there was very friendly, helpful and fun. There was food and drinks. It felt good to sit. As the clock ticked down to 28 hours several of us, organized by Martha and Ed Ettinghausen, went to a local Denny's and had some real food. We then went our separate ways. Our flight did not leave until 10:50 so we had some time. We had brought sleeping pads so that we could get some shut eye before getting on the plane which we did. More food along the way to the airport and soon we were airborne getting back into Atlanta at 6 Monday morning. I've never seen the Atlanta airport so deserted! Luckily the streets were too so the drive home was uneventful other than a stop to nap for 30 minutes half way home.
Thanks to RD Steve Harvey and all his helpers as well as the host ranch owner who's name (Beth?) escapes me now. It was a fun weekend and nice to have an "easy" run with moderate weather. We now head up to VA for Old Dominion this weekend where the weather forecast is looking good right now. Let's hope it stays that way!
|Liz and I with Old Goat Steve Harvey the RD.|
|Two of the many gutsy performers above and below. Sorry I don't know your names.|
Race count: Liz (15) Scott (10)