Sir Jovie, aka the BaldRunner, came all the way from the Philippines to run the Headlands 50-mile. BR is the RD for the Bataan102 Ultra, a race commemorating the Bataan Death March where 75,000 American and Filipino POWs were forced marched to prison camps. The race is on the original death march route.
Seven days later and I'm still smiling at how I pulled off last weekend. It wasn't that I managed to spectate at two trail running events a couple of hundred miles apart or that I was awake for most of the weekend, it was that I managed to pull it off while playing host to my sister and her boyfriend who were visiting from Orlando, Florida. Yeah! I promised them mountains, a lake and some casinos in exchange for some spectating time at an ultra race.
The day started off with a stop at the Headlands 50-Mile and Marathon, I snuck that one in. Wanted to check on some friends who were running and was treated to a big surprise when I saw another friend who I didn't know was entered in the race. A big surprise because he actually lives in the Philippines and I've only conversed with him through email, Facebook and his blog. It was a pleasure to finally meet him in person.
After a couple of hours at Headlands it was off to the main event, Tahoe and the Tahoe Rim Trail 100-Mile/50-Mile/50k. It was a lot more fun at the start/finish than I remembered when I ran the race in 2008, more people and there was music. It was a great time hanging out with friends. It wasn't the scene for Melissa and Jake but they were good sports. TRT has only two locations that is easily accessible, the start/finish area and Diamond Peak which is at mile 30 and 80. Before heading to Diamond Peak we hit the beach for some down time. The water was cold though and I didn't bring a change of clothes. I was content to hang at the beach, walk around ankle deep water. After a quick check at Diamond Peak, only the top three had come through at this point, I took the kids to South Lake where the casinos were. Parking lots was crowded because of an outdoor concert by Rascal Flatts, they had no patience, and they forced me to drive back to Incline Village where they proceeded to badger me about being hungry on the drive back. We were just in South Lake where many of the restaurants where! Throwing them out of the car was not an option so I looked for a place to eat. Incline Village at night is kind of dead and we didn't know the area very well. We stopped at what looked like an eating establishment, they did serve that and something else. The looks we got walking towards the place gave me a clue, then the stripper pole on the stage cinched it - Melissa is 21, Jake is 20 and they both look younger than their ages. Well at least the bouncer who looked amused gave us a tip on a place that was open. We ended up at the Hyatt and their bar/restaurant had excellent food and live music.
Made it back to Diamond Peak at midnight and this time the kids opted to just sleep in the car. The place was a bit livelier this time since more crew had made it to the aid station. My friend Preston McCaskill (Ultra P) was running his first 100-Mile and I wanted to see him one last time before heading back to San Francisco. Preston and I serve on our triathlon club board and I knew all his crew and pacers. As the minutes ticked away we worried, no one has seen him since mile 50, thankfully his pacer was texting updates on their location on the trail so we knew they were on their way. No details on how he was doing overall however. I was a little worried that Jamie had time to text. Finally at 4 am, just as I was about to leave, they come in. He looked great and he told us that he felt great, tired but still going strong. The temperatures during the day got up to the mid and upper 90s and the course change added over 3000 feet of climbing. They also spent a lot of time running at 8-9000 feet. It was an already hard race before and it's tougher now. Some runners coming through looked terrible and some would not continue. Who chooses a race like this for their first hundred?! Preston!
After seeing him I took off, barring any major problem he was going to finish. The kids were surprised when they woke up and saw it was past 4 am by the time I returned to the car. I got them sushi that evening to make it up to them, I'm not so mean right. Got back to San Francisco 5 minutes before the rental car was up. Hey I can time manage like a runner in danger of cut-offs if I need to. I was tired for the rest of Sunday despite a 4 hour nap but the trip was so worth it. Writing the report made me relive the whole day all over again and I'm smiling.
The Endurables; Ken, Yury and Sammy Sam hanging out after their 50k finish.
For more TRT photos, click here.