Saturday 1 February 2014
There was no way I was going to leave my house before 3 am to make it to the 5 am start, so I drove the evening before the race, hitting several spots of low traffic. I booked the cheapest hotel I could find in Salinas, because being a physician does not justify my splurging on accommodations I need when sleeping alone for my selfish hobby.. I checked in through a window I guess for security. I slept on not the most comfortable bed, but no bug bites.
Aside note: the last time I stayed in Salinas, was in during medical school while doing my family medicine rotation at the public hospital in Salinas. I slept barrack/camp style in a trailer with several other students.
As a 2nd aside note: Once a week during the month long rotation, I drove down to work a day with a family practitioner in King City, an hour to the south. This recent very disturbing and scary news of discriminatory abuse of power by the King City police department just came out. "California town shaken as police officers arrested."
I thought I would get to the start by quarter til, but the address on the website just got me to the entrance to the Laguna Seca Recreation Area. The start was a confusing couple of miles up a twisting road (unlike a headlamp, you can't move your head to shine car headlights to the side to look for signs). I barely made it to the start!
I looked at the course map and the turn-by-turn instructions before the race, but when we started running that twisting pink loop section at the top of the map in the dark, it was a bit confusing, even with great course markings. As the sun came up, I started passing much slower runners. I asked it they had started early; none had, and a couple told me I must have made a wrong turn and done an extra loop.
This was a bit disheartening, but when I finally got back to the Sandstone Ridge aid station (the 2nd of 3 consecutive visits; we hit this at miles 4.6, 13.4, and 19.9), Will Gotthardt asked my mileage, and told me I I had rrun the course correctly, in contrast to a bunch of people, who had inadvertently cut the course. On the next split, eventual winner Lon Freeman zoomed past me after making up the correct loop, for a total bonus of several miles.
|winner Lon Freeman at Ice Age 50 mile, May 2011|
Speaking of Will, I hadn't seen him in forever. He looked great, back after an injury that kept him out for 9 months through 2012. No photo of Will. He gets really upset when I post photos of him here. So much so that I once suspected he was an escaped prisoner.
|2nd place Matt McKurtis, finishing North Face 50 mile December 2012|
I ran a little early with this guy, who lives in the area, and designed the course. My bowels started bothering me, and I had to stop at the side of the trail to do some business and never caught up with Michael. Michael said he had his own GI issues too.
|Michael Jimenez, selfie at Fort Ord, a week post-race|
marked the first 20 something miles of the course
I ran and talked with this guy a little, doing his first 100k. He also left me behind.
|before his internal medicine internship at Stanford|
|Skyline aid station (miles 23.8 and 44.4 ) volunteers Rida Chow and Kelly Tarkowski|
The scenery was actually prettier without all those batteries and fences with signs saying there was buried ordnance and explosives, so don't climb the fence and blow yourself up. I didn't bring my camera. Trust me. The views were awesome.
At the next aid station, Creekside (miles 29.0 and 49.6), was Trevor Nederlof, who recruited at least one person, local TV news reporter Biaritz Roldan, to help out. (She got a job somewhere in the southeast, and so broke up.)
|Focused on my race, I was oblivious that these two were together.|
You may have seen her on the news.
At Toro aid station (miles 35.1 and 55.7) was Allen Lucas with his camera, so you must bear with two many photos of me, taken the 2nd time around after I'd put my jacket back on.
|running by the toilets at Toro aid station, by Allen Lucas|
We go so very lucky with the weather. It was a sunny, but not too hot, gorgeous day. Great for running. Then the next day (Sunday) it rained all day. We need rain. Great timing!
By the time I (and everyone except the winner) finished, it was dark, windy and cold. The volunteers were all shivering in blankets. I had to take off, so no post-race mugshots. But it was a still a good time!
10th overall and 3rd in division, but only 25 finishers
Basically, I sucked (for what I should have been capable of)! I think my pace per mile was slower than at Rio del Lago 100 mile last November. Nonetheless, I had a great time.
|course schwag, forgot to throw in the cap. love the large beer stein!|
sorry, turn your head to the left 90 degrees
|Franck, Judd and Allen at Toro aid station|