Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rio del Lago Photos

Still Waiting
Pacer Jon Kroll, Volunteers Kristin and Johana and pacer Leslie Antonis. I hung with them as we waited for our runners. Kristin and Johana were in between shifs I think.

Pit Stop
Pit stop for Runner No.8, Clare Abram. Her pacer Jon and friend Leslie help her out of her shoes. She needed to do some blister repair before heading back out on the final 33-mile loop.

Go Runner!
Ray Sanchez heading back out for the final 33. Notice he has 3 lights. Is that a runner and a pacer in the distance? Nope it's only Ray. Also he has changed to road shoes knowing the last 33 is mostly flat with a lot of asphalt bike path sections.

The Lecture
Jonathan "Gundy" Gunderson, Chikara Omine and Gundy's uncle and crew, Andy. Jon had dropped and was requesting if he could "drop back" into the race, Chikara had dropped with no intentions of continuing and Andy is just hanging and listening. Not seen in the picture is race director Norm Klein giving them a lil talk.

Obnoxious Billboard
Mood killer, an obnoxious way too lit up billboard at 4:30am. See that red thing by his left hand, that's a package of now cold French Fries. Yumm! Hey they work for him. That's his second batch which he got off a volunteer, haha, we had someone's left over dinner fries. The night just kept getting better. Not a dull moment with Gundy.

Back on the Trails
Thankfully we were soon back in the peace and quiet of dark trails.

A Breather
I knocked him out for giving me some back talk around mile 91. No haha, I kid kid, this was one of our 60 second breaks and we were back on the American River bike path.

And I'm thinking of food as he's laying there.

Morning Revival
Gundy on his last and final wind on the last 10k of the race. With a new day came new energy.

Two Tough Women
A female runner and her pacer about 2-miles from the finish, they were moving fast but so were we at this point. I saw them finish and it was a touching moment. Runner and pacer hug, congratulatory remarks give way to smiles, crying and tighter hugs. That was sweet. Gundy and I shook hands and already that was too emotional for me.

Pacer + Runner
Yours truly and Jon. He looks like he ran 100-miles. Snatching back a DNF from Rio del Lago, he did great, what a great comeback.

Final Notes on my runner and the race itself.

Gundy is extremely focused on the trail when he runs. This guy probably never gets lost or he used to before and has applied his experience. He is constantly checking for ribbons and asking me to verify our direction. Eventually I took over in the front so I could stop verifying our direction to him and just do the leading already. He never got lost during the day, we only took a wrong turn once at night and we caught that right away.

There is a locker room and showers at the finish line. Perfect for pacers who get dirty but may not have a hotel room in the area.

There is NO food at the finish line, just drinks and it's for the runners. I'm totally serious. A group of us were munching from a bag of Doritos after the race.

Finally this race doesn't give out buckles. This is what they give out instead. Enjoy. Mine sits in my parents home in Orlando, Florida.

The picture set is here if you want to see more pictures and read more captions. Enjoy and thanks for stopping by.

Addendum: A link to Leslie's photos as well. Great shots of runners during the day. Thanks for sharing Les!


  1. Hey Rick,
    Great photos. It was fun to hang out at the school as we waited for our runners. Here are the photos I took throughout the day:
    See you soon. Good luck at Firetrails. I am assuming you are trying finish in the low 8's, right??


  2. Thanks Leslie. It's great to see shots of the runners/event during the day. I can feel the heat from your pictures. You had a long day at Rio. The homemade brownies were awesome and it was totally fun hanging out.

    Yes, I am totally gunning for an under 8:34 at Firetrails, that's my best on that race and as close to 8:02 which was my best at Quicksilver earlier this year. I'd be satisfied with something in between.

  3. And thanks for the pictures. I added the link to my post. I hope you don't mind.

  4. That is a cool bear thing! No room at home for it? It would be a bit out of place in my house though.

    Very, very cool day! You sure make these ultras appealing. So much work to do first though!

  5. Dude, I don't know . . .that's kinda scary. A race that gives out bear "medals" (for lack of a better word) Were there bears out there?! LOL

    Awesome pics homie! ;D ;D

  6. Good pictures and story. You're killing me with those captions. Sounds like I might have found my 100-mile race for next year.

  7. j~mom: Nice camping photos there! I was checking them out on Facebook. I don't know, the figurine just kind of throws me off. It would be so out of place in my own home. I wish I had a picture of mine, it changes every year. What I got was a bear catching salmon with a hawk above the bear. Now that I'm talking about it I miss it.

    marcy: What I'm saying. Yes there are black bears in that area as well as mountain lions but still safer than say Montana or Wyoming where they have black bears and Grizzlies and a host of other crazy wildlife. There's three 100-mile races in Wyoming and Montana has their own trail races but no 100...I think.

    mike: Glad you liked the captions. I think this is your race.

  8. oh my - what is that bear sculpture thingy award?! they must have been leftovers from a high sierra folk craft fair. i mean, really? after 100 miles? it reminds me - on a much, MUCH smaller scale - of my first marathon (Humboldt). crossed the finish line elated and was handed the ugliest neon turquoise shirt with a bird in a tree on it. i thought i'd save my first forever. it went to Goodwill the next week. sigh. i love your pics and tales. do i say it enough? i want to hug and cry at the finish! triathlons done got me jaded. :)

  9. sammy: Yeah they are kind of funky but so funky they could be cool. Should have saved the shirt, I would have dared you to wear it at another race. Thanks for the compliments, from a published author that's high praise. Well I'm glad you like them. I can see you and Jess crying at a finish line somewhere, I mean she woiuld pace you if you decided to go beyond the 50k right? Haha, ooo don't tell her.