7/22/06 and 7/23/06
I wasn’t planning on writing a report for this week-end’s races, but the story of this week-end was all about people, maniacs, courage, endurance, and HEAT! GAWD! Us PNWers just are not made for this kind of weather!
It started with the Lake Youngs Fund Raiser on Saturday, 7/22, put on by Tony Covarrubias to raise money for the Auburn Mountainview High School X-country team. They were able to raise over $1000! Yoohoo! It was a great turn-out with a lot of great people. Maniacs included Mary Hanna (maniac #299, her second ultra), Dave Murray (maniac #287, his second ultra, too, I think), tc (maniac #11, stud), tp! (main maniac #3, another stud), Nathan Greene (maniac #159, who did 4 loops, each 9.6 miles), Barb Blumenthal (maniac #268, who did great with a tight hamstring), Bill Barmore (maniac #215, who kept Barb company), Rick Haase (maniac #115, who has been dealing with sciatica I think), Robert “srlopez” Lopez (maniac # 111, who did his first ultra), Arthur Martineau (maniac #177 but not sure if he finished the whole distance-he was pushing a jogger with two of his kids!), Steve Yee (main maniac #1, the Prez!), Sue Fauerbach (maniac #7, Steve’s girl and better half), Stan Nakashima (maniac #176, always encouraging), Joe Tompkins ( maniac #292, nice to meet you!), Gayle Zorilla (maniac #235, studette), Rich Nelly (maniac # 321, who ran a fast time), and Karen Wiggens (maniac #296, who ran SOB 50K last week with her husband, who had severe muscle cramps and was forced by Karen to read my Eagle 100 mile report about my cramps). Maniac-wanna-be Cliff Richards (my very fast brother-in-law), kept Mary company and also ran his first ultra. I think Valerie Beyer is a maniac, but I couldn’t find her on the list, or my eyes were getting tired. Bill Ball was there (maniac?). Danielle, tc’s daughter ran one loop and looked like she was having way too much fun. I’m sure there were many more, and I’m sorry if I can’t remember you right now.
I had planned on meeting Dave at 6AM and run with him. He was planning on running 4 loops, me 3. But he got there at 5:30. I ran in the opposite direction that he took off on and met up with him, Lesa Overfield (maniac #49), and Dick Decker (maniac #307) in 25 minutes. Turned around with them and had a very humid warm up. I was able to keep cool with a wet bandanna wrapped on my head for the next three loops. Fortunately, it was overcast and remained relatively “cool” in the 80s. Dave decided to finish it with 3 loops as the heat was getting to him. Can’t blame him. He ran a good race and his splits were fairly consistent. But I needed to continue as I had only run 2 ½ loops at that point. So I took off and in about 5 minutes, I ran into tc, who was planning on going out for his third loop. So I went back to the start/finish area with him and ran the last loop with him. Good thing, too. He saved me from a barking dog that growled and showed his teeth to me halfway through. You’re my hero! (Eyes batting). So I ended up running 35 miles, which had me worried for my marathon the next day. My legs just ached! But Mary, Cliff, and I went and iced in the Cedar River and they felt as good as new.
Sunday, 7/23, drove to Elma for an 8AM start. But as I was pulling in on the last road, I saw that some runners had taken off at 7:30 due to the heat. I saw Cheri Gillis (maniac #12 and ever present) in that group. I also saw a woman that I did not recognize, but she looked strong. I wasn’t sure if she was running the full or half. There were many maniacs there. What would Bob Green do without us? We started at 8AM with clear skies and an already warm morning. I exchanged a few pleasantries with Greg Walchli (maniac #40) and Chuck Engle (maniac # 250 and also going for 50+ marathons in sub-2:50 or something crazy like that). Instead of an out-and-back, it was an out-and-back twice due to a “heat advisory.” Bob did not want runners to get stuck out there too far away. At the start of the race, I was very disappointed, but when I finished, I thought it was the right decision because it allowed the aid stations to be placed closer together, every 1.5 miles. Plus, you got to see everyone. The course was mostly flat with some slight inclines, although they were fairly long. I ran the first ¼ with srlopez (maniac #111) and we chatted about marathons and work. He is also going for 52+ this year. I thought our time was a little long for 6.5 miles (58+ minutes, I think). A woman accidentally erased my splits because she was taking the pulse of someone at the end to make sure he was okay. She was a paramedic, so it was okay. I decided to pick up the pace. Then I hooked up with Dave Conger (maniac #193) and Bruce Quam (maniac #195). They were from Port Orchard and are attempting to do all the marathons in Washington State this year (at least the ones recognized by Marathon Maniacs and MarathonGuide.com.) Because they stopped longer at the aid stations, I only ran with them for about 2-3 miles. I ran the second ¼ in 56 minutes, but I still felt my pace was faster than that, even with the heat. I started to pick up the early starters and noticed that the strong woman I that started ½ hour earlier was still looking strong and running my pace. I tried to look strong too and kept the same pace because my 3rd ¼ was about 56 minutes. However, according to my watch, I was not gaining on her. I saw the famous Larry Macon (maniac # 120, who did 70+ marathons last year, but didn’t get to talk to him). Jim Boyd (maniac # 122) was as chipper as always. I finished the last ¼ in about 56 minutes, so my splits were consistent. Not bad for temperatures that reached 95, but more like 100 on the roads. There was very little shade and my last 5 miles were scorchers. I was really starting to worry about the people still out there, some with over 10 miles to go and mostly walking, making there time out there even longer. I finished 3:46, first woman. I was able to gain on Jo, I found out her name in the results. She finished 3:51. Still a great time under those conditions.
After I finished, I hydrated, ate some strawberries, and soaked in the somewhat murky lake (I’m very spoiled by our crystal clear Cedar River and perfect temperature for “icing”), that was teeming with kids and probably urine. Next time you see me, you’ll think I look like a raccoon. At least I know my sunglasses block out the UV rays and protect my eyes. I’ll just get skin cancer, that’s all.
I decided to drive out and check up on the rest of the runners. I grabbed a couple cold water bottles and headed out. Dave Bridgeman (maniac #170), who I met after the race, was approaching an aid station and still looking okay, so I didn’t stop for him. I next saw Jason ? (maniac #?), who puts on the United We Run marathon from Kent to Alki in November, and gave him one of the cold water bottles. He was thankful. I then stopped for David Jones (maniac # 56), who is over 60 and ran in the Rainier to Pacific relay on Friday and Saturday, and gave him the other cold water bottle. He said I was a lifesaver. Then it was Barefoot Todd (maniac # 210). He was not running barefoot, but who could on the hot asphalt that could fry an egg? The night before I had frozen 2 water bottles and placed them in my cooler to enjoy on the ride home. But he needed it more now and I gave him one of them. The look on was face was worth it. Finally, I ran into two girls at one of the aid stations. I asked if they had any problems cramping and offered them salt capsules, but they weren’t and declined. But I gave one of them the other ice bottle and the other girl a bottle that we filled with cold water there at the aid station. They were so cute! Christina Bruce (maniac #322), I heard, is only 13 years old. With her was her sister (I don’t know how old she was, but she couldn’t have been far from 13), who was trying to qualify for the maniacs, I think with this race, but not sure. I later passed their father Tim Bruce (maniac #249) who said that Christina doubled back and did an extra three miles to run her sister in! What a great kid. You just can’t teach kids that kind of character these days. It has to do with good parenting, too, I’m sure. Later I was worried that they might have only hydrated with water, but hopefully their father had taught them to take in Gatorade as well. My intention with the water bottles was for them to use them to cool their skin. Hyponatremia is a concern in the hot weather. But when I checked with them with 7 miles to go, they were in good spirits, smiling, and walking rather than pushing it with running. Finally, I saw Barefoot Jon (maniac #209), who was not running barefoot as well but running in flip-flops! He had a couple water bottles and was well-prepared. Good thing, I had run out of water bottles. The rest of the people on the course had crew with them, so I was less worried about them. Just out of curiosity, I started my odometer at the turn around point and drove back to the start. It seemed a little long. I think the slower times reflected more the heat than the extra distance.
I stuck around to see David and Jason finish, but then I left. I hope everyone made it back safely. Way to gut it out you maniacs! See you at the races! By the way, that made it 31 for the year. I’m ahead of schedule!