Tues: 5.4 mile up Los Leones, down the rabbit hole. The body wasn't too energetic, but I got it done without any nagging injuries
Wed: 3.5 mi taper with Katie, just easy lap around the golf course for the sake of getting Katie (and myself) ready to enjoy the weekend.
Fri: 2 mi taper run with Katie on Acorn, I felt much better than Tuesday, but the sleepless weekend would crush my energy until I got to sleep in again.
Saturday: 25 mi (mostly hiking) with Katie while pacing during AC100. Not an easy night after crewing her (and other friends and strangers) all day.
The race (like most things in life) isn't perfect or ideal. It's a blend of good intentions, fierce lows and powerful highs, painful and glorious human interactions, and crazy stories of absurd extremes. Yet, it is without a doubt my favorite weekend of the year, anywhere in the world. Though I didn't race, I did get this powerful boost out of the weekend from the good moments of icing a stranger in need down, and getting them on their way a little faster with a little better chance of finishing. When someone really needs a helping hand, and anyone (myself or an crew/volunteer/pacer) gets selflessly invested in helping that person out, it's just a beautiful thing.
Maybe I could be more vocally involved in getting the race organization to update and improve, but I'm more comfortable with encouraging the community aspect rather than the organization aspect. When someone gets frustrated about the sign up process, I understand the justifiable anger of missing out on the running side of the event. It's a big feeling to finish the race and feel the rush of rounding the corner onto Palm Street. Still for me, it was a big feeling to run with Katie through the night when things were at their worst, and to see her persevere all the way to Altadena faster than ever before. It was a big deal to see Joe Devreese gut out a finish after having to readjust expectations all day, and especially sweet to see Billy Simpson work his butt off out of the goodness of his heart to pace him all the way to the finish.
Sure, there were some not cool things along the way to Altadena, aid stations running out of aid, crews breaking rules, etc. etc. but generally the good people that understood the necessity of supporting the dreams of the runners, filled the gaps and made the race happen. In that sense, I don't get so judgmental about race organizations. Their job is to preserve the race and keep it functioning year after year, and the community's job is to decide whether to make it a good race with awesome performances of the athletic and compassionate nature. With that said, I'll be racing next year, Katie will be crewing me, and I'll be encouraging all the entrants along the way to make the most of the gift of a spot on the starting line, and the crews/volunteers/pacers to make it the best race they ever are apart of.
The potential of the course is huge, and it's a worthy and arduous experience to train for and participate in the San Gabriels, 365 days a year.
I appreciate your level-headed assessment, free of hyperbole and vitriolic language, regarding the AC 100 and the management of the race. Like Western States, the race is bigger than those who pull the strings. It has history, a devoted group of volunteers, and a community that absolutely loves the race. I was fortunate to get in again for 2016, but if I had not, I would still want to run the original AC 100, not some "new 100" that others have called for. The RD, as you have stated elsewhere, owns the race and may do with it as he wishes. While management makes the race possible, I think the community makes the event extraordinary and that is why I want to run the AC 100. #seeyouinwrightwood
Dude............this race and the AC community at large made a huge impact on me. I love your attitude Dom and it's races like these and especially communities like these that reassure my ever growing concern for our sport. You articulated my feelings about the weekend pretty much spot on in this blog post and i appreciate you mentioning Joe and I. He certainly was worth mentioning if inspiration and perseverance had anything to do with the topic. Like another famous LA personality once said, "I'll be back."
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