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
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
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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