Archive for September, 2009

Just did it.

September 26, 2009

And at mile 7 (of the hard stuff, mile 14 overall) I thought I might not. I’d slipped 5 seconds on the pace (from 6:15 to 6:20), my HR was 92% and that was too high, my group had evaporated and weren’t there the help me, and Drea and her group were round the corner and too far ahead to be encouraging.

Ah. But then then hill leveled off, I stopped worrying about HR (or where my friends had got to) and the last mile was 6:08.


(well, then a cooldown, but that was easy)


Cold Spring: aide mémoire

September 24, 2009

It was hot already at 7 as I biked up to Cold Spring. My route went through the devastation of the Tea fire. Which stopped so close to Cold Spring trail. And a few months later the Jesusita fire went on to burn its west fork.

When I was in college I used to bike over to Chantry Flats and hike. I didn’t know where I was going, I just knew that I could go for hours without seeing a road. I would stumble back in the evening twilight. When I left Pasadena I took a few pictures, but I thought “Why bother? I can always return.”

Well, now that forest has burned up too, and I can’t return, not in my lifetime anyway.

Live Oaks and a rock near the start of Cold Spring trailSo perhaps I should take some pictures of Cold Spring — just in case.

September is probably not the best time to do this, at the end of a dry summer everything looks a little sere. But now is when I am here, thinking of it. So now is when I shall do it.

Cold Spring Trail and its treesI want to remember the simple, ordinary things. Normally I look for things that strike my fancy, but today, I want to capture the essence. These very ordinary trees reaching over the trail. Nothing special, but worth remembering nonetheless.

The stream itself is dryThe lower part of the trail goes beside (or near) the stream. Today, at the end of summer, with no rain since June, the stream is hibernating, it has hidden itself under the ground, and all I see is the dry stream bed.

In a month or two the Sycamores will start dropping their leaves. One of the few local trees that bothers to do that. But for now the sun shines brightly on those leaves…

Mud puddle Dry waterfall
Mud Normally a pretty waterfall

Fern beside a trickle of waterThe trail crosses the streambed here, and winds up on the other side. Then it crosses again and here the water has been pushed to the surface, a little of it runs over the rocks where I cross, and a fern takes advantage of the water and the sun.

Away from the creekFor a time the trail continues beside the creek, but soon it starts to climb out of the canyon. The vegetation is still comparatively lush, and there are ferns beside the trail for a while yet…

After I’ve been trotting through the canyon for about 20 minutes the trail breaks out into the sunlight. It’s hot today. Here are the powerlines. First view of the trees And here is the first view of the trees. About halfway up the trail, standing tall amid the chaparral, there are two eucalyptus trees. How they got there, I don’t know. But they are visible for a long way, quite different from the surrounding landscape, and make a clear goal. I’m going up there (and beyond). From here, just a tiny dot on top of a ridge line… but I’ll get there.whitespace

Coast, looking east toward CarpenteriaAs I climb away from the fire road that services the pylons, views open out. First a view up the coast, east, toward Carpenteria. It’s hazy this morning and I’m looking into the sun.

Then round the bend and past the “No trespassing” sign that marks the Hot Springs connector trail.

Steep bit of trailThe trail gets steep, and then opens and flattens out on a ridgeline, with the mountains just peeking down on me.



Second view of the treesFrom here I get a second view of the trees. They still look terribly far away. The trail continues on this ridge for a bit and then starts climbing, eventually reaching the hill in the distance where it is dimly visible traversing on a diagonal under the trees.


Looking back at the treesAfter 35 minutes or so from the base I have reached and passed the trees. The city of SB is in the background. Somehow they don’t look nearly as impressive when seen from above.

Now we head toward Montecito Peak. The trail is fairly exposed here and travels through chaparal (mostly manzanita) about as high as I am. Sometimes I can see over it, often not.

ViewOff to the left is the ridge line containing Camino Cielo, while on the right is the slope up to the peak.

Switchbacks criss-cross this area, eventually taking me to the shady side of the peak.


Montecito Peak Panorama

Again Camino Cielo is on the right, on the left is the trail, which bends right and follows a series of ridges which lead, eventually to the road.

Tunnel of shrubsOne of my favorite spots on the upper trail, the shrubbery becomes tall enough that it arches over the trail, leaving a pleasant tunnel through which the far ridge line is visible.

Sadly, in 2015, the Gibraltar Fire burned this area (so it was a good thing I took these pictures). This area now looks like:

Out from under the shrubbery the trail bends right and then makes a big “U”, eventually looking back on Montecito Peak.

Looking back toward Montecito peak and the oceanThe peak, with  Santa Cruz Island poking out of the haze just above it, and the city of Santa Barbara spread out below.

After a few more twists and turns I reach the top. The paved road, Camino Ciello.


CS16-Top-24Sep2009-1600Across the road lies the valley of the Santa Ynez river, and the trail beckons me on. Only “4 miles to Forebush Flats” it says.

Sigh. But that journey is for another day. Rusty has only given me a two hour run today, and it takes about one hour to get here. I must turn back now.

Santa Barbara, from aboveAs I turn back I see a better view of the city than I have yet had.

And another of Montecito Peak.

Montecito Peak

A flowerAnd here is a flower. I realize it is the first I have noticed today. Whereas a few months ago the trail had many wildflowers, today there are almost none. Spring is long gone, and now summer is over too.


Seed pods June blooms produced these pods.
Seed pods produced by these June flowers
Celmentis whilagigs clementis
And here a few seed pods from the clemantis which bloomed even earlier.

Oh Island, in the haze/ Brought to me by...Off in the distant haze Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Islands.


The trees againThe trees again, arching over the trail in a friendly way.

But between the trees, I see the barren wasteland left by the Jesusita fire.


Barren hills from the Jesusita fire.
The other fork of Cold Spring trail is all burnt up.

Slower than most nineteen year olds

September 19, 2009

But faster than a few…

According to the age-grade tables, at 50 I’m about 11% slower than I was at 19.

The pleasing thing is that I still am ahead of some.

Once a year I get a chance to see what this means. Once a year Westmont college invites SBAA to field teams for their cross-country met. Last year our men’s team failed to gel and we ended up with only 4 runners, but our woman’s team won their event. This year we had enough runners, but some of our best were unable to run (Fred Mellon twisted his ankle during the warmup and sat the race out with ice for company).

As I arrive I meet Drea pulling in. Together we go looking for a map.

And someone to explain it.

The course is twisty with lots of loops and subloops — no two the same but all alike enough to confuse. On a foggy morning. And the men run a different course from the women. And it’s different from last year because of the wildfire and reconstruction. We got there an hour and a half early to warmup on the course and learn its twists.

Then we went to get our bibs. Oh, your women picked up the SBAA packet. OK, where are the women? Out doing their warmup on a different set of twisty loops. Ah, but the packet is here amid the back packs. But it only contains the women’s bibs.

Now, it seems unlikely that the women would have removed the men’s bibs but not their own.

We go back to the organizer’s table to request a set of bibs. Time is ticking toward the start. One of our number realizes that he didn’t bring the right singlet (we’re supposed to be in uniform) and he brought an SB Run/Race singlet, not an SBAA one. Luckily, I brought a spare. So we trot over to my bike. When we return we have bibs! and it’s 2 minutes to race time, so we trot over to the start.

Well, we don’t quite start on time.

I line up at the back. The gun goes off, and we head out across the soccer fields. Most people go out way too fast. I find it kind of amusing. I am surprised when Kevin Young passes me, I’d have thought he would have known better. Once we’re off the soccer field and going up the hill I pass him back. And then I just keep passing people.

I realize that no one passed me after that first quarter mile.

A little after mile 1 people are cheering a guy whom I am overtaking. One observer yells out “Quick Henry!” and my mind turns back to “Quick Henry, the fleet” (ok, it should be “flit”, but fleet worked better here).

Now we start on the hills. Next two miles have steep climbs. It’s a good way to pass people. Many can’t climb hills fast, others will think they can and then have nothing left at the top.

Each time we head up the hill (which we do twice) the fog is lifting over the mountains and I get better and better views of the clouds rolling back and exposing the mountainside. But I’m running too hard to carry a camera today.

Each time I pass someone I worry a little that I’ll be out of sight of the next clump, but no, I there’s always someone I can follow (and overtake), until right at the end. But I’m not worried about the last two minutes of the course.

The final loop goes past the start/finish before making an excursion below the soccer fields, around them, across them and back to the finish. I pass the clock and see that I’m just under 30 minutes. Jamie yells to me that I’ve got 2 minutes to go. Nice. Down, around, up (I’m tired of up now), around, across and


31:43. Twenty seconds faster than last year, and on a much harder course.

They give me a card. I’m in 69th place. Out of 89. Still most of those 20 are college athletes, kind of gratifying to know that I can still pass a few…

Also amusing to note that I’m closer in time to the first place finisher than I am to the 89th (by a lot).

Then the women start
Women Start

After their first loop Drea is so far ahead of everyone else it is unbelievable. And then the “everyone else” turns out to be Michelle, who herself has a considerable lead on those behind her. And they increase their leads as the race goes on…
Drea Finishes Alone

Nichol points out that “69” isn’t such a bad number to have. I must admit I hadn’t thought of that. One track mind, I don’t think enough about sex…

Where’s Shiggy?

September 8, 2009

Tom Stoppard wrote The Real Inspector Hound, a play about the hard fate of the second best (or third best). I think of it often when Shiggy disappears into the horizon ahead of me.

Moon is a theatre critic for a nameless British paper. Higgs works for the same paper and is a better critic. So Moon rarely gets to criticize — Higgs usually does the job. And then there is also Puckeridge, the third string who never ever gets to do anything because the other two are there.

Sometimes Shiggy doesn’t show up. Sometimes I get to win my age-group.

I’ve never beaten Shiggy in a fair race, and I’m kind of embarrassed that the only time I have beaten him was when he got lost this past Sunday. It doesn’t really count. I kept wondering where he was…

BIRDBOOT: Where’s Higgs?
MOON: I’m standing in.
BIRDBOOT and MOON: Where’s Higgs?
MOON: Every time.
MOON: It’s as if we only existed one at a time, combining to achieve continuity. I keep space warm for Higgs. My presence defines his absence, his absence confirms my presense, his presence precludes mine… When Higgs and I walk down this aisle together to claim our common seat, the oceans will fall into the sky and trees will hang with fishes.
BIRDBOOT: (Not listening) Where’s Higgs?
MOON: The very sight of me with a complimentary ticket is enough. The streets are impassable tonight, the country is rising and the cry goes up from hill to hill— Where–is–Higgs? Perhaps he is dead at last, or trapped in a lift somewhere, or succumbed to amnesia, wandering the land with his turn-ups stuffed with ticket-stubs.

BIRDBOOT: Where’s Higgs tonight then?
MOON: It will follow me to the grave and become my epitaph— Here lies Moon, the second string: where’s Higgs? … Sometimes I dream of revolution, a bloody coup d’état by the second rank—troupes of actors slaughtered by their understudies, magicians sawn in half by indefatigably smiling glamour girls, cricket teams wiped out by marauding bands of twelfth men—I dream of champions chopped down by rabbit-punching sparring partners while eternal bridesmaids turn and rape the bridegrooms over the sausage rolls and parliamentary private secretaries plant bombs in the Minister’s Humber—comedians die on provincial stages, robbed of their feeds by mutely triumphant stooges—And march—an army of assistants and deputies, the seconds-in-command, the runners-up, the right-hand men—storming the palace gates wherein the second son has already mounted the throne having committed regicide with a croquet mallet—stand-ins of the world stand up!–


Sometimes I dream of Higgs.

I’m sorry Shiggy…

Cones? What cones?

September 6, 2009

I dreamt my alarm went off and I woke up to find it was 3am. I looked hopefully out the window and saw no moon, thinking that might mean fog — but no, the moon was at zenith and bright. Damn. Hot. (Not to be confused with “Hot Damn.”)

Moonrise Over SB Harbor, 5 Sept 2009, ~8pm
So I dozed and dreamed of the moon, and racing, and the Indian climate (Prahlad tells me they run the Mumbai marathon in temperatures in excess of 90) and other things of that kind until my alarm did go off.

No fog. Unfortunate. It will probably be hot. Now I have to decide. Do I carry water with me? If so I might as well expect a poor time; I could take a camera and just enjoy the run — or do I gamble that it won’t be all that hot at 9:20…

Here in my wind-tunnel of a canyon it is chilly.

I decide to gamble. Rusty said to wear my racing flats. Magic shoes get packed. I’m going to take some GU packs. 2? 3? Oh… and I better bring some electrolyte pills just in case.

Biking to the race it feels hot and humid on the Mesa. My glasses fog up. Perhaps I took the wrong option…

I get to the pier a little before 6, there’s Dennis out on the bike path taking a picture of the pier against a sky which is just beginning to show signs of light. Looks like it will be an interesting shot.

And there is Laura, we chat a bit. I ask her to warm up with me, but she goes in search of a bathroom instead. Laura has recently and suddenly become really good and I’m hoping she’ll be running with me, but I’m a little afraid she’ll take off at mile 8 and leave me in the dust as Drea did last year.

On my warmup I bump into Jamie. 6 months ago I was running faster than he, but no longer; he’s now faster than I. But he’s never done P2P before. So he asks how I plan to run it. About 7 minute miles for the first 4 (which aren’t so steep) and then whatever I can after that. He says that’s about what he planned too.

When we get back, the start is swarming with people. And beginning to get light. I greet my friends (or those I see). But all too soon, we line up, and are off.

Wait… we’ve started now?

I get off to a slowish start, in spite of everything I just wasn’t ready when they said “Go!”. Sara D. was right beside me on the line, but somehow she’s a pace ahead. Oh well, she’s going to be ahead, I just didn’t expect it to be happen so quickly. But I’ve found my stride and am about where I should be. Shiggy passes me (Damn. there goes any chance of being first in my age-group). I count people ahead: 12. No, the ponytail ahead of Sara is a cyclist not another runner. 11.

Down the hill under the freeway, let the legs go. Zip. Enjoy this little bit of downhill. And then up on the other side.

I’m slowly catching the guy ahead. I can tell he went out too fast and is now slowing drastically. I pass him. 10 ahead.

I try to put names to backs. Shiggy, yeah, and Sara, and Ricky. Ricky usually goes out too fast, and I usually catch him later (or I do on long courses), but Ricky has gotten fast this year, and I’m not sure I’ll catch him this time.

I’m starting a blister on my right foot, already, just between the ball of the foot and the arch. My flats give me blisters (probably because I can’t squeeze my orthotics in them, so they don’t quite fit right). I hope this doesn’t cause problems later (it’s ok for now).

Here’s the 1 mile mark. 6:34. Oopsie. I really did mean to go out at a 7 minute pace. Oh well, I didn’t. It doesn’t really matter, the first mile is the closest to flat of any, 6:30 is probably a reasonable pace. Yeah. And I’ve got a bridge to sell…

I’m catching up on the guy in front, and then I pass. Only 9 people ahead now, I’m in 10th place. That’s about where I expect to finish.

At the two mile mark I see 7:02. Excellent! that’s what I want. The guy behind (whom I just passed) runs up close enough to ask for the total time 13:30 I say (close, but it’s too much effort to remember the small digits). I add this is too fast for me (and he agrees for him too), but that the last mile was at the right pace.

Apparently not for him as he drops back again.

Feet behind. Someone else passes. Being in 10th place didn’t last long.

I realize I’ve seen no sign of Laura or Kary or Kent. I thought they might run with me, but not today. No sign of Jamie either, but I don’t know his back as well as the others, he might be ahead.

At the first water stop I take water. I normally don’t this early but I’m still worried about heat later, seems like a good precaution.

And here’s the Mission and a small crowd is out to watch the race. There’s Fred (why isn’t he running? Oh well, he’d be faster than I so maybe I’ll be 9th place with him gone). Good heavens, Mickey, a yoga friend, is watching; what’s she doing here?

We turn. Well, I turn, onto Mountain Dr. A narrow windy road. And here are the first walkers. They’re being pretty good, no large clumps. They are walking at most two abreast. I’m grateful.

At mile 3 exactly 7 minutes.

There’s a guy in front now. We’re running at a similar pace. No immediate likelihood of passing him.

I have never seen the 4 mile mark on this course. I’m beginning to think that it just never gets marked. I know it’s before the old reservoir. When I get to the reservoir I click my watch 7:52, but I really don’t know what that means as a mile pace. 7? 7:30? more?

The guy in front has slowed for the water station, and the people there are talking to him and have no water for me. I am annoyed. Water is going to be important today, but I’m not going to stop. I pass the guy in front.

About twenty feet after I hear “Do you want water or gaterade?” are they talking to me? or to Ricky? I yell back “I wanted water but you weren’t ready.” Looking back, that was nasty of me.

Still, they weren’t ready, and they should have been.

But I wasn’t ready either. I had intended to have my first GU here and then drink. But I didn’t have it out. I get it out now, ready for the next water stop.

The guy I just passed passes me. I expected he would. Still #11. At the start of Gibraltar someone cheers “Todd”. Ah. That’s the guy in front. Todd turns to talk to him. I reprove him: Never turn to look behind when racing, it slows you down.

It’s not as hot as I feared it would me. A little voice says “Not yet, anyway. Still a long way to go, and the hottest part is yet to come.”

The views are good today. Clear skies, very little haze. The islands are nicely visible.

Also visible are the scars left by the fires. First the Tea Fire, then after the switchback the Jesusita Fire.

I’m gaining on Todd, and then I pass him. I cheer him on. I’m in 9th place now.

I hear heavy footfalls behind me, and hard breath. You are running too fast, whoever you are, I think. But he passes me and keeps going faster than I.

Sigh. Ok, 10th place again.

And then more footfalls behind. Damn it. Stop passing me, people. It’s Jamie. We chat a bit and then he, too, pulls ahead. 11th.

At mile 6 (6? where was the 5 mile mark?) I see 15:38. For miles 4 and 5 together. That’s quite good for the first really steep bit (of course mile 4 was probably a bit short, but that’s still close to 8min/mile for those two. Nice. OK people may be passing me, but it’s not because I’m slow, it’s because they are fast.)

My quads let me know that they’d rather not work this hard. Silly selfish quads. I remind them we’ve a long way to go yet and they should just calm down.

I see water. Time to eat that GU.

Drink water at the next water stop.

Mile 7 is 9:53. Oh, dear, that’s not so good. Jamie and Roman (I have learned his name from people cheering him on) are running together, slowly getting ahead of me.

The big switchback. Looking straight into the sun. Can’t see anything at all. Suddenly I realize there’s a photographer in the middle of the road, he’s got a perfect shot of me, and all I see is sun dazzle.

Tammy gives me some water (thanks!), and on and up. Jamie and Roman are still in sight.

At mile 8 I see 9:06. OK, that’s not bad. 10 minute miles are too slow, but 9 min seems reasonable.

I’m getting annoyed at Roman, he keeps cutting the corners (We were asked not to do that on this course) while Jamie does not. The result is that often he and Jamie are on opposite sides of the road. The cars don’t like that and aren’t passing them so a small traffic jam develops and I start breathing exhaust.

There’s a sign “Ice ahead.”

Hmm. I could put some in my cap. It still isn’t very hot yet, but it won’t hurt.

Another sign: “5¢, exact change only.”


I get ready to hold out my cap (I assume they aren’t serious about the 5¢), but it isn’t ice, it’s a bottle of ice cold water. Even better. I drink some, and pour some on my head.

I’m shock. I gasp. It really is cold. I pour a bit more on my head. Perfect time to have my next GU. I eat it and drink more water. And an electrolyte pill too. More water.

These people were life savers. It’s not one of the standard water stations. Probably Brian’s wife and Brooke? And perhaps Nichol’s water. Didn’t recognize anyone, but I am grateful.

Hmm. But now I have a bottle to run with. Oh well, it was worth it.

Mile 9 is in the shade of gibraltar rock: 9:06. Exactly the same as the last mile, and a reasonable pace too.

We’re coming up to Flores Flats. There’s a tiny bit of down hill here and I mean to take advantage of it. I pick up the pace as the road levels, and then pound down into the gully. My friend Bob has his pottery studio (and lives) here, but I have yet to see him when I race by.

Jamie and Roman are almost out of sight now. I didn’t catch up with them by that short burst of speed.

This always feels like the steepest section, climbing out of Flores Flat.

I see Roman ahead — walking. Ah, I thought he was going too fast. He runs a bit, and then walks again. I catch him, and pass. I try to encourage him by saying that this is the steepest bit.

I’ve been there. My first (official) year I went out too fast and had to walk…

Mile 10: 9:36. Now that is excellent for this section. Let’s see I’ve been running for 1:21:?? and I’ve got three and a bit miles to go. If I can keep this pace I’ve a  chance of breaking 1:50! Nice.

Grab some water at the next stop and toss them my empty bottle.

As I come away from the stop, I realize that someone I thought was a volunteer was actually a runner, and I just passed him. I’m in 9th place now.

Best finish I’ve ever had was 10th place (and I was younger then). 9th place sounds neat. I wonder if I can maintain it.

I’m can’t pass anyone by speeding up. I can only pass people who have miscalculated and slowed down drastically because they went too fast at the start.

Of course someone might still pass me. I think that’s unlikely, but…

There’s another runner up ahead, I’m catching up quickly. He slows to a walk and moves out into the road for me to pass him. I encourage him to keep going, “Oh,” says he, “I’m just out for a morning stroll.” He’s not in the race. Rats. “You’re in fifth place.” “I am? I thought I was about 9th.” “Nope, 5th.”

I’m not sure I believe him, maybe he missed people. I start naming people I know are ahead: Sara, Shiggy, Jamie — none are likely to have problems and stop. Sara was first woman last year, Shiggy’s usually about 3rd overall. Jamie’s just good.

And here’s Camino Ciello, quick right turn, little bit of water, and up hill. Someone tells me “Turn round at the cones.” I know that, but I guess they need to tell every one.

Nonetheless the cones take me by surprise, I guess I sort of zoned out. I thought they were further away than they are. Also there’s no chalk, but I’m pretty sure this is the 11 mile mark, even though it isn’t indicated. 9:10. Not bad.

I realize I haven’t seen anyone coming down. Am I so far behind the next person?

And now there’s a nice long downhill run. Almost a mile. Well maybe ¾. I try to pick up the pace a bit. It feels like I’m just flying down the hill, but I’m probably only doing 8 minute miles or something. There’s Todd coming up. I’d hoped he was further back, but at least he’s behind me.

Down and down. Past the intersection with Gib again and on toward La Cumbra. Still down but not as steep.

Conner hails me. Where? Oh, 🙂 he’s perched on top of one of the fire reservoir spools. I try to ask how many people are ahead but I must have garbled it, for he tells me I’ve a mile and a half to go. Oh well, I knew that. I think it’s probably closer to 1 ¾ miles though.

Last year I was quite tired at this point, this year I’m feeling pretty good. Training for a 50 mile ultra is probably a good way of preparing for P2P.

At the dirt road leading to the dam the road goes back up, and I deliberately slow. If I were to try to go this fast uphill, I’d burn up.

Mile 12: 6:48. Now that is impressive. This far into the race, I was probably doing a 6:20 pace on that downhill section. Which is my half marathon pace, so, yeah, OK, that makes sense.

Last water stop. Get some water and it goes down the wrong way. Some gasping before I settle.

Only another mile. Moderately steep. Doesn’t seem as bad as I remember last year. Fair amount of shade.

Me at about mile 12. Photo by Dennis

Me at about mile 12. Photo by Dennis

I pass Dennis: “You’re second.”


I’m ninth. Or tenth. Possibly eighth. I might be off by one. But second? No way.

Well, that would explain why I didn’t see anyone on the out and back section, there was just no one ahead to be seen.

I consider picking up the pace. If I’m second now, I really don’t want anyone to pass me, for once I’ve got something to race for. But there’s still a mile to go. I feel good now, but I know that if I go to fast here I can easily burn up completely. Better not to push it. Check the watch: HR of 91% — yeah — best not push things yet.

And here’s the turn onto the peak. I think this is 13. It isn’t marked (they rarely mark mile 13 on a half). Hmm 8:55. Not bad. Next .1 mile is really steep though.

How far back is Todd. Push.

There’s the clock.

1:47:?? good heavens, maybe I’ll beat my best time even though it was on the shorter course!

But no, the seconds climb inexorably. And I pass under at 1:48:10.

That’s a PR for the longer course, and since the out and back section adds 2~4 minutes (I’ve never actually timed it), it’s a pace that would have been a PR on the shorter course too. (John (see comment below) says it took him 2:34 for the out and back section and as he wasn’t far behind me that’s probably about right for me)

I have to ask it: “What place am I?”


Gott in Himmel.

What happened to Sara, Shiggy, Jamie? And a small bunch of other people?

Eric is first. Not surprising. Why wasn’t he on my list of people ahead? I guess he was so far ahead that when I checked out the ones in front I didn’t even recognize him. Eric is far out of my league.

We congratulate each other. Both of us are masters runners. 1:48 is not a very good time for the second place person on this race (It’s good for me, don’t get me wrong, but there should be more than just Eric ahead of me). Where is everyone?

Eric wasn’t even sure he’d be able to run today (baby sitter problems or something). It occurs to me that if he hadn’t run, I’d have been first. Damn it Eric why did you find that babysitter? 🙂

Todd is third. I congratulate him.

Someone interviews me. I’ve never been interviewed before. They are surprised that a 50 year old guy was second. So am I. Well, I wouldn’t have been surprised if Shiggy were second. Where is he?

I see Sara. She looks furious. She’s first woman (of course). But she got lost. No one told her to turn at the cones so she (and a bunch of others) just ran on down (and up) Camino Ciello for an extra mile or two until they realized they’d gone too far.

Ah. I’m not really second.

What a pity.

The other side of Camino Ciello

The other side of Camino Ciello