Saturday, April 12, 2008


At the starting miles of the run. It starts off with a 7.7 climb to the summit. Talk about uphill starts.

If you're dumb enough to make the mistake, man up and pay the price to make it right.- About mile 42

You know what sucks? Running well in a race then getting lost. All of you who have done it, raise your hand.

I ran a really good race today, up until about mile 39. I started slow as usual and slowly gained momentum, my classic M.O. 30 miles in I was running strong looking at a possible 11 hour finish and not the 12 that I originally estimated. Then I kept going straight when I should have turned left.

I made a wrong turn 2 miles from the summit of Mt. Diablo, our second summit for the day. I skipped an aid station and went straight for the top. The trail I used was used earlier in the day and still had it's ribbons on so I thought I was ok, also got some bad info from hikers. At the summit I realized my mistake and had two choices, go back down to the aid station and back up to the summit again, which is more distance and climbing, or just cut the run short and head home from the top. I opted for the former. The extra miles minus the section I skipped only got me running another mile or so extra but it was a long climbing mile. Getting lost sapped a lot of my reserves and losing my place and momentum in the race took a lot of the fight out of me mentally. Nevertheless I somehow managed to get it back together and the rest is history.

In the end I ran a little more and got a little bit more climbing than I wanted, bad when you're trying to place well, great for training.

It could have been a better day. I hate getting lost but who doesn't. Sometimes that's just how it goes. It won't be the last either.

Mt. Diablo 50-Miler
13,300 ft. total climb, same for total loss
11:35 for 18th overall
Hot day, dusty, very light breezes, brutal climbs, hairy downhills, lots of exposed sections and lots of technical sections. The course is no joke. The hardest 50M I've ever done. I think it's harder than the Miwok 100k which is 12 miles longer.

More stories and photos to come.


  1. Ummmmmmm yeah judging from that pic, I don't think it looks like an "easy" stroll in the park LOL. YOu DID AWESOME!! ;D ;D CONGRATS HOMIE! You so rock!

  2. Getting lost and still placing 18th? That's amazing! I can very much see how an extra mile climb could sap your energy and reserve, and it's awesome that you made the decision to bite the bullet and go back to do the real course. I'm not sure I'll ever be brave enough to do that 50 miler (mostly because I cannot imagine doing that last section at night!) A serious congratulations on finishing the race strong despite the heat and misdirection. Looking forward to more stories and photos!

  3. I will totally be the person that gets lost only to end up on the wrong end of the run entirely. I think if you got lost, came in under 12 hours, and in 18th place THAT YOU ROCK!!!!!!

    Great job!!!!!

  4. Rick, awesome job, and way to recover after the wrong turn. That is WAY impressive! I hope you are resting and recovering nicely today.

    Well done!

  5. I am with Addy.... way to go! 18th and getting lost! You are amazing. Congratulations.

    I don't know how you did it yesterday... it was SO HOT. My back is BRIGHT RED.

    Congratulations, Rick. This season is going to be killer one for you. I can tell already.

  6. Both hands and 1 foot raised.

    Actually several people were noted to have done the same as you last year. They opted to go ahead rather than go back and retrace (or never realized what they did), which maybe is okay since it technically wasn't supposed to be a race), but they didn't mention this to Wendell and Sarah, which sort of annoyed some people (I ended up overtaking said person/s, so was indifferent).

    Bonus miles! But I understand your frustration when you're running well and want to see a great time and place.

  7. You still had a great time and place. Sometimes they put the increased distance to the right on the results.

  8. On the contrary ... I think your best running came AFTER mile 39, when you had the integrity to do the right thing, and the horsepower to keep powering through the course - not to mention, passing me twice! I was very impressed with your effort out there - you're going to get some big-time props in my report.

  9. P.S. Did you get the pictures I sent?

  10. Well done, Rick! Sucks to get lost but placing 18th (after losing your way) is awesome. You should pat yourself on the back for that.

  11. Congrats, Rick. I give you credit for "manning up" and re-tracing your steps, despite the extra climbing and lower rank - not that anyone on this blog would expect any less of you! You had a great run, nothing to be ashamed of. Nice job!!!

  12. Great stuff Rick. You looked impossibly strong when I saw you returning from Rock City. You had really put a lot of real estate between us since we were close together on the summit earlier in the day.

    Mark Tanaka is right, well-done on informing the race organizers that you went off course. I know of some runners that made the same mistake last year (and did not report it) and it did end up annoying some of the other fast runners. You may have cut out some distance but you also added a more intense climb.

    Cheers, Paul

  13. Oh, are a racer with all your heart, and well, it works for you! Congrats on this fine time, lost or not, and on extra heat training ealry in the season. I am scared of you now - seriously:)

  14. Not the best time or place to get in some bonus miles. But you really pulled it out! Sounds brutal but you persevered and conquered. Congrats!

  15. Way to go, Rick! You got lost, made the right decision and perservered. You're a hellavu runner.

  16. Too bad they don't have a mini GPS people like you could use specially in unfamiliar locations.