I didn’t get much sleep Friday night due and the fact that I had to get up at 3:15AM to head up and volunteer at Bulldog where I arrived just at 5AM. It was the start of a tried but wonderful day.
It was dark when I arrived and people were scurrying about. I started my volunteer shift a little early and helped unload shirts and goodies bags from the truck. Then my task was runner check-in. I had the first half of the alphabet and got to see many familiar faces and a few others who read my blog and I hadn’t met before that day. I was looking forward to a fun day though knew it would be long. After Bulldog I was to be off for a night out with Diana.
After all the 50K runners were checked in we started with the 25K runners at 6:30. The 50K race was off and the 25K race started at 7:30AM. My shift was supposed to be until 10:30AM but after the two races started there was very little work left to do. I did spend some time helping cross off runners who had been no-shows for the race – including yours truly (well I showed but didn’t start of course), Jorge & Sal. Both of the later two likely contenders for fist place. With many of the volunteers standing around after that I went over to the half-way point in the 50K race around 8:30AM. Again there I saw many familiar faces, most of them smiling at looking good. I saw eventual women’s 50K winner Michelle Barton, as well as all the other front runners. I saw some of the faster OCTR entrants who made the first loop in under 3 hours including EKP, Jennifer & Mark.
Around 9:30 I made my way back over to the starting area to make sure I wasn’t needed for anything (which I wasn’t). Everything was under control and runners from the 25K were starting to slowing trickle in. I saw Kos first who finished in about 2:12 good for 12th place overall! Kiko was there as well finishing right around the same time as Kos. Other OCTR 25ers were trickling in, including Skip, James, Dan, Jon R, Paul, Pete, E-Rod,
Michelle M, Sue, and Robbi. Sorry if I missed anyone – we had a lot of runners there! I actually took a nap around 10AM until about 10:45 in my car. It was refreshing though probably not enough.
After my little nap I was able to see the fabulous Michelle Barton finish first female in the 50K at about 4:37. Geesh. Michelle in first place? Is there anything new to report? Good job Michelle! Way to knock 30 minutes off your first place win from the year before.
Kirk gets the good sport award for my many jokes at his expense. But he also gets the award for best sprint to the finish. He was running hard to break 7 hours and finish just a few seconds past. A bummer for sure but still a great run for him. EKP had already finished the 50K and not long after Kirk, Kim was done as well. Jennifer had run around 6 hours which impresses the hell out of me for the lack of training that she does.
We soon found ourselves waiting for Wendy to finish the 50K. It was to be her first ultramarathon and her training had been pretty much non sufficient for this tough first ultra. 7.5 hours passed. Then 8. I figured she would have been in around 8 hours but there was still on sign of her. We watched and listened as runners toward the back of the pack finished and soon the remaining count was down to about 5 or 6 runners left. Where was Wendy??? We anxiously waited and thoughts began to cross my mind – what if she dropped? How is she doing? Kos went out looking for her at about 8:15 mark or so. She had 9 hours to finish the race. He was gone for a while. At about 8:50 into the race we saw them. Eric and Wendy were running up the paved road leading to the final stretch into the finish. Wendy was running which is pretty impressive after being out there for 9 hours. And she looked wiped out. I had never seen her look so tired before! Her unofficial finish time was about 8 hours and 55 minutes. She was the last official finisher and can now call herself an ultra runner. Amazingly enough I talked to her on Sunday and she was feeling great and not too sore!
After dropping off Wendy on my way home I took a quick shower and was off to my nighttime fun.
Diana and I went to a place called “The Cabana” in Laguna Beach. Parking was a nightmare but we finally fond a spot and made our way over. Neither of us had ever been her before and the food was great. It was really nice to be able to unwind from standing out in the sun all day. We had a few drinks and some good conversation. We met the owner as well whose name I don’t remember but he was super nice. After dinner we walked around Laguna for a while to let some of the alcohol wear off before we left. The skies were clear and it was a beautiful night. I slept good that night. Then came Sunday morning…
Those of you not from or having ever lived in California might not quite grasp this. But it RAINED Sunday morning. There was thunder. It was strange. We’ve had a super dry year and the rain we got probably did little to affect that much but it was rather different. It NEVER rains in SoCal pretty much from the end of June until November every year. It was a fluke for sure. It was cool and cloudy for much of the morning and into early afternoon but then it warmed up fast and things were back to normal. When Diana and I went into a little cafe for lunch it was cool, long sleeve weather and cloudy. When we left it was sunny, warm and time for short sleeves. Very strange day indeed!
Happy Monday Y’all,