Captain Grose's Marathon pages

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Only 48 finished the 50 miler (I was #47).
I beat a 55-year-old lady (she had it comin'!)

 

 
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This race was actually three races in one. You could do the 20 miler (stupid), the 50 K (stupider), or the 50 mile (stupidity raised to the infinite power).

70 people finished the 20 miler, 62 finished the 50 K, and 48 finished the 50 miler. Where did I fall out in this sea of psychosis? Well, um… 47 but I beat a 55 year old woman so I can hold my head up high. I mean this old lady had it coming and taking out her knee during the homestretch was just competition at its best.

I didn't actually do that and I thought I was last to lumber across the line. It was a shock to read the results a week later and find out there was someone behind me. She must have just made it because I was pushing the limit and didn't think anyone was behind me.

There was this one girl who took a wrong turn at about mile 45. I saw her ahead and watched her take a trail that went up a small hill. It's memorable because I thought to myself "Shit, a huge hill!" At that point my legs were not talking to me but thankfully still chugging along. When I got to the base of the hill, I saw one of the markers indicated that we take the left trail that skirted the base of the hill. So I thought to myself, "She took a wrong turn and no one is behind me to help her." I was also thinking very hard about my own time and how I was still in the red zone of finishing on time. So summoning the full force of my chivilry, I decided to let her collapse in a pool of her own excrement and die alone in the high desert.

But that moment passed and I decided to use all my masculinity and bark out my studly Marine voice to get her attention. What actually came out was a pitiful little whimper that sounded amazingly like a small woodland creature caught in a snare. Needless to say it didn't catch her attention and she was out of sight, having crested the hill. I settled on running to the next aid station (which I was desperately praying for since they seemed to stretch out as the day wore on) and inform them, thus releasing me of the responsibility. This may sound shallow but that's what THEY were there for and I was there to finish a race.

When I came up to the aid station, I told them what happened and they called around on their radios but as we were talking, she came running up from the horizon. She must have realized her mistake and recovered. Ironically, she pushed ahead of me after the aid station and beat my time. I guess nice guys DO finish last. Or at least beat the 55 year old lady!!!

Coming across that finish line was one of the most rewarding moments in my life. Gary had finished a few hours earlier after downgrading to the 50 K and was waiting there (like I knew he would be). He told me that he waited and waited and finally went to the bathroom which was the time I finally decided to show up. So upon realizing I was on my way in, he bolted to his car to retrieve his camera. I have to thank him for capturing the moment because it's something I really cherish. The last mile was so strange because I took a mental inventory of what I had just done, trying to remember as many details about the land I had just traversed and how unbelievable it was.

The last mile also marked the time that I was utterly confused as to where exactly the finish line was. I had left there over 13 hours ago but my mind was a bit melted and it was only the second time I had been in the area (the first being at the start). So just when I thought I was near, the course stretched on. I ran through a campsite and I know most of the people wondered who I was and what I was doing. I wanted to tell them so they could wonder at my superhuman accomplishment but there was no time. I was simply the very dirty, poorly coordinated running guy stumbling through camp.


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How it all started...

2000 Wild Wild West Trail Marathon
2001 Wild Wild West Trail Marathon
2002 Big Sur International Marathon
2002 Wild Wild West Trail Marathon
2002 Bishop 50-mile Ultra-Marathon

Email -- jdgrose115@polyglut.net
Web -- http://members.tripod.com/~jdgrose115/

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