Thursday, October 1, 2009
The Super that wasn't... or "Yay Us!"
Some races go text book right, some go horribly wrong. In fact, even a tiny thing being just not quite right can upset a whole race. This was one of those races...
I was intringued by the idea of running the Super Triple, back-to-back marathons followed by a 72-mile ultra. Could I do it? I decided to give it a go. Afterall, the Triple last year wasn't so bad.
I should have known it was not meant to be when Jody and I showed up at Shelli's ranch in Riverside early Thursday morning to find that she wasn't going. Family committments. Change to Plan B - we'd still take her (big) car and JD as crew and head to Tahoe. I'd run the Super Triple, Jody and fellow TrailHeadz member Jean would run the Triple.
We met up with Jean and Gregg, checked in at the hotel and headed over to race registration. Jody and Jean decided they'd like to try the Super so switched the registration. Afterall, both races cost the same, you just get an additional 46 miles with the Super... more for your money, right?
So Day 1 I took it extra easy. No racing, just enjoying the sights and sounds of running along a busy 2-lane highway around Lake Tahoe. The sights are spectacular, the driving skills not so much. If you like the excitement of hopping over guard rails to avoid being hit by the side-view mirror of a RV or run over by a boat trailer, this is the race for you. LOL!
That evening after a birthday celebration at the Riva Grill (did I mention it was my birthday?), Jody decided she'd probably switch back to the Triple. So she called the RD to find out it was no big thing anyway because... the 72-mile race was canceled. No permit, no race.
Day 2 was not such a good day for me. I felt deflated, never really got into the spirit of the race. I just ran when I felt like it, walked when I didn't feel like running. The camaraderie of the Triplers is amazing, the folks crewing are wonderful. But still I just didn't really get into it. The highlight of the day was soaking in Lake Tahoe at the finish line. The water is unbelievably cold but Jody is quite the mermaid and decided to swim. Not me!
Day 3 is Tahoe Marathon day and is the only day that has aid stations and crowd support. I decided to hang with Jody and Jean and just have fun. "Yay Us!" was our motto and fun we had, even on the Hill from Hell. We caught up with fellow TrailHeadz Jakob Hermann who had run the unofficial "fun run" 72-mile. The 3 Amigas had fun, fun, fun all day and boy, was it a long day. Here we are at the finish line and afterwards on the beach with Jakob.
Would I do this race again? I don't know. I'd like to finish the Super but I don't know how much faith I have in a RD that "forgets" to add the 72-mile race to the official list of events and hence is denied a last-minute permit application. I just didn't drive all that way and take 4 days away from my family to run an unofficial 72-mile race with no published results. I can run 72-miles in the mountains of So Cal. Thankfully, the friendship and fun of just hanging with Jody and Jean (two of the most fun-loving, positive people I've ever met) made it a memorable trip. And I would like to take my family to Lake Tahoe on a camping trip because it is a spectacularly beautiful place.