The return after pandemic years on a near-perfect running day (if a little difficult for driving). Tough Enough in novel form:
Noir. The Bull Canyon coyotes could barely make out the human forms moving in the pre-dawn dark, their muttering, and but for the occasional flare of a headlamp invisible.
Romance. Mauricio raised his chiseled jaw, gazing across the expanse ahead, his chest burning with hard-won confidence.
Early-90’s erotic thriller. The dense fog nestled its soft cheek close to the rough stubble of chaparral.
Literary. Michaela d’C. leaned back, looking cooly at her mother across the 52nd floor Manhattan café tabletop, wondering idly when she should text her driver, whether she should have rented a private jet—she wanted to be fresh, she had Legs 6 and 9—and too, when that Ursus americanus californiensis had replaced the maitre ‘d.
Natural history. Coreopsis, a non-native, has colonized the lower reaches of California’s Sierra Madre, and is easily seen when the west fork of Cold Spring trail ascends from the main watercourse.
Self-help memoir (including tragic backstory overcome by grit and pluckiness): I lay face-down on the trail in California’s remote Sierra Madre, bruised victim of my own too-loose shoelace. I overcame that travail, and you can too.
Fantasy/adventure: They appeared above the clouds, then descended again, running, endlessly running.
Plus some actual results:
7:17 Against Coach’s Orders (Chris F.)
8:52 Los Aztecas (Ana C.)
9:09 Trail Queens (Michaela C.)
9:28 We Run for the Hill of It (Lisa E.)
9:45 Hills, What Hills? (Jim C.)
9:55 Born to Squirrel (Karen P.)
10:50 Start Slow, Taper Fast (Valerie T.)
8:58 Hill +/- One (Kim R.): One injured runner on a bike
10:35 Cougars on the Rum (Holly B.): A little loose on handoffs after a couple of adventurous runners
got lost decided to explore some exciting alternate routes on West Cold Spring trail (Leg 2).
Everybody finished in the top ten!
In the ultra:
8:44 Ex’s and O’s: Ian Seabury & Rachel Entrekin, a CR for a two-person team
13:46 Alway Looking for Adventure: Mauricio P. & Laura B.
13:46 Nopaleros: Carlos R. & Maria N.
13:54 Jon Z., who utterly dominated the solo category!
Where has the money gone?
Direct Relief donation
Candidate changes for next year
—Adding Venmo, maybe Skrill, for payment for those who wish
—Massive advertising campaign, like maybe letters to a few local companies, posting on calendars, &c, though with a limit on entries I think and preference given to those who’ve done it before
Hats are the leading candidate for next year’s swag, based on a pretty informal survey at the finish. Suggestions open, though.
Thanks to Los Aztecas for introducing me to nopales, cactus pads that are easily prepared and delicious.
And wholehearted appreciation for Kim R., recently moved to Kauai, long-time trail boss for Ventura’s Inside Track Running Club, ever-supportive consultant and advisor on things TE, friend, a woman of integrity and honor.