Yes you read it right ... a 50 mile race from Fair Oaks (Sacramento area) UP to Auburn ... that was UP some very steep mountains. The first 26 miles is basically an uphill road run on asphalt. This photo is at the halfway point. My friend Ofelia is an "ultra" runner (you can imagine where that name came from) who does these runs on a regular basis. In order to take on these distances you have to have a crew follow you along the route ... and it is also helpful to have pacers who will run a specific distance with you to be sure you remain on schedule. There are time limits you have to meet at certain stations. If you miss the cut-off, they will pull you from the race. These stations also include doctors and nurses who monitor your heart rate and general appearance. If you are looking bad, they will not let you continue. This weekend I was Ofie's crew. Three of our friends also ran this race ... this is Terry's time. He was going so fast I didn't get him in the picture!!!
Unfortunately, this was not Ofie's day. She has been struggling with a shoulder injury that became highly irritated by the movement of running while carrying a heavy water bottle. Runners carry their own food and water, usually one large bottle in each hand. She did get to this station in time to continue, but the volunteer manning the table did not understand the rules. She would not let approximately 10 runners continue because of the time ... but this was NOT the cutoff station. All those runners had plenty of time to continue on to the REAL cutoff station and be allowed to finish the race. VERY BAD decision for the volunteer. These people train for years for these runs ... and if you don't let them continue, they get very upset!! Ofie and I drove to the finish line and met with the race director, and left with the trophy jacket, all the goodies, free lunch for both of us, three coffee mugs and a free entry for Ofie next year ($125). You don't mess with ultra runners!!! LOL
Our next race is up by San Francisco ... 100 MILES ... can you imagine? and yes, Ofie has already completed a 100 mile race. Very crazy!!! However, due to the arm problem, this one may get put off for another time. Even so, she is an inspiration for soooo many people. And by the way, only 5 years younger than me.