There was an amazing story in the LA Times on Sunday (and today) about a runner and his daughter who were attacked by a grizzly in Glacier National Park, Montana. Johan Otter suffered most of the injuries between the two — his scalp was completely torn off from his hairline to the base of his neck, he had a detached muscle from his right eye from a blowout fracture, 28 lacerations, puncture wounds, fractures of the second, sixth, and seventh cervical vertebrae, and broken ribs. Then only 10 months later, and after being in a halo, plus a new scalp made of skin from his thigh and muscles from his back, he ran a 3:39 in the R&R Marathon in San Diego.
Well, I’m now officially entered into Old Dominion.
Ray Waldron wrote:
> check recieved today! We’ll have your confirmation and rule book is in
> the mail to you tomorrow! Take care and see you soon!
> Wynne Waldron
> Co-race Director.
That’s what I said I’d do before I headed out beyond the Curtain Saturday morning for an OCTR-sponsored training run in Chino Hills. There was a good turnout — I think Krissy and I were the only foreigners amidst a Grove of Oranges (I don’t know what the collective term is for people from The OC, but I like the acronym — GOO), but I felt safe, since among them were Michelle, Keira, Jess, and Kim, who are so cool that I sometimes forget they’re from The OC. 🙂
I’d never run in this area before — the only previous visit was during a mtn biking excursion with some adventure racing friends several years ago through Carbon Cyn. Anyway, after a group photo (it almost seemed there were more cameras than runners at one point), we were off on our first 7 mile loop. We ran mostly together at first, then started bunching up with others who were going at similar paces. When we got to 4 Corners (equivalent to The Hub in my neck-of-the-woods), we stopped to let some of the others catch up.
I think from there, it was Greg, Eric, Krissy, Kyle, and Michelle the rest of the way. Once we got back to the car in just about an hour, we refilled for the next 10 mile loop. We stayed together until the climb up North Ridge, at which point there was a clear separation between the elite runners, and everyone else — I was of course part of the latter group. Just before we hit Sycamore, I caught up with the former group, then ran together the rest of the way back to our cars, finishing right around 3 hours. Krissy, Michelle, Greg, and Eric went out for more, while Kyle and I hung out and chatted. The conversation was diverse, but mainly focused around my dayjob as a massage therapist — perfect profession to take advantage of my sinewy forearms and supple hands. Right Keira?
Afterwards, we headed down to grab some food/drinks nearby, then went our separate ways. So I’m happy to report that I made it back to LA safe and sound, and there is proof that the OC isn’t so bad after all. Oh yeah, and the trails aren’t that bad either…
So who’s brave enough to venture into LA? What’s everyone’s doing for Memorial Day? I’m still planning on a picnic/run out in Rancho PV — details to follow.
Sunday was the first official AC100 training run from Chilao to Chantry Flats — miles 53 to 75 on the course, totaling 22 miles with 3000′ gain and 6000′ of descent. A lot of that downhill consisted of the near 1 hour quad-buster from Shortcut to the bottom of Newcomb — very similar to the Harding Truck Trail, but much shorter, yet equally boring. The good thing (?) is that during the race, we (at least I) go through there when it’s dark.
There was about a dozen of us who started the run, including last week’s Leona finishers Kyle, Michael, David, Carmella, Ben, Xy, and several others, including some rookie AC hopefuls who I didn’t recognize. Barefoot Ted ran in his custom Vibram Huaraches — I opted for some regular shoes instead. We met at Chantry, then carpooled out to the start at Chilao, so our run didn’t start until close to 9am. Gary Hilliard and Tom Nielson had marked the course earlier, so Kyle was relieved of his ribbon duties, but even still, a few people managed to get lost anyway — same turn Bill and I missed during last year’s training run, and ended up running down Angeles Crest Hwy back to Shortcut. This time, Hal drove over there to make sure everyone stayed on course — it was good he did, since a couple missed the turn just as he drove up.
Kyle caught me just before that turnoff, then we ran into Shortcut together where Hal was waiting — just over an hour into the run. I ate some bite-sized pizza and pig-in-a-blanket (I still think it wasn’t real meat), then we took off down the long fireroad. It was hot. I had a 50oz bladder and a 20oz handheld — I hardly had anything left when we refilled at Sturtevant. From Newcomb Pass to Chantry is nice rolling single-track, zig-zagging along the creek until we reach the bridge (which was taped off) at the bottom, then it’s a short steep climb up to the parking lot. About a couple miles out, we saw JR heading in the opposite direction on his training run.
We finished just about 4 hours, as the temperatures peaked into the 80’s. Hal was waiting for us again, and after a cold Mtn Dew, I took off for my friend’s b-day party.
Next up will be the PCT50 in San Diego next weekend. It’s the first 25 miles of the SD100 starting from Boulder Oaks out to Penny Pines and back. This will be my first time running this race, since I’ve been out at MMT the last two years, but have done this section 3 times while doing the 100 miler.