This year, instead of running the F&L 50km/50 mile run put on by our great friends Don and Gillian from ZombieRunner, I volunteered at the race. This gave me a chance to rest my leg today and drink heavily last night.
I was given Mile 14 aid station - considered by all to be the most vital of all aid stations and was always entrusted to the most devoted and trusted support volunteers (although when I ran through this spot where the station was supposed to be last year, ZombieRunner Don hadn't quite got there yet....the line was long at Starbucks I suppose. Consensus was this year's Mile 14 aid station made the race).
Rare for San Francisco, it was a cold, foggy, slightly rainy start, with fog blankets whipping around the top of Twin Peaks.
Mark Tanaka readies himself for the race.
This year's crop of Fear and Lothers line up:
Don and Gillian bark out orders....oh, OK, they politely explained the course and wished everyone good luck :)
Then the fast and furious start was on:
On the top of Twin Peaks, there are coyotes to go along with the road runners:
Runners had to follow these signs throughout the city (for laughes some of us snuck out last night and flipped them in randon directions):
Down below Twin Peaks runners were just visible through the fog:
The highly organized and top-of-the-line Mile 14 aid station:
Front runner Mark Tanaka flies into Mile 14:
There Mark quickly empties the trunk of all food and drinks leaving nothing for the other runners ("You snooze you loose" he stated):
Next, in second place, is Pacific Coast Trail Run co-RD/Owner/Guru Wendell Doman ("What?! Where are all the supplies.....that darned Tanaka!"):
Next comes in KapnKirk who would have been there sooner but got sidetracked at a Trekkie Convention downtown:
This group of fun loving runners show up and re-fuel. This group consists of (in no particular order and probably with wrong names anyway....I wasn't really paying attention as I was eyeing a sushi resturant across the street): Fred, Gavin, Rick, and Steve.
Here comes the first woman - Ellen is actually an employee at ZombieRunner who I think was sent to make sure I wasn't pocketing any of the ZombieRunner supplied supplies. This was her first ultra and she trained well with some tough 5K's in college:
Then flying down the hill Mariza and Penny lead the way for Steve. The three of them stop for a bit and comment how much nicer it is to have an aid station actually in existence at Mile 14 this year compared to last.
Mariza and Penny found my stash of Thunderbird in the trunk and helped themselves:
They chose not to share the fine wine with Steve who was making breakfast crepes on the wall in the background:
One can see the strong effects of a fine vintage of Thunderbird as Steve wonders why the ladies were going so fast:
As all the runners went through my station (except those who took short-cuts or got lost), I headed over to Coit Tower at mile 17. There it was a big party (these shots were taken right before everyone donned togas and the keg was delivered):
Instead of helping these runners at Mile 17, I was taking photos of the beautiful city skyline (hey - I was volunteering....maybe ZombieRunner can actually pay us next year):
I left from Coit Tower, passing by the runners as if I were in a car and they were on foot:
I was always keeping a close eye on our runners to make sur....hey...is that a sushi restaurant?
The toga runners enter the 20 mile aid station (guess they left their togas hanging from the rafters at Coit Tower along with an empty keg, 3 cases of empty whipped cream cans and a trapeeze):
Here comes Chief Toga Runner with Ellen (who quickly ran over to snitch to Don and Gillian that I was keeping all the supplies to myself. Despite the empty energy bar wrapper in my hand, I quickly "explained" that Tanaka took them all and everything worked out well):
End of the race - back on top of Twin Peaks (surprise....fog). First place overall was Mark Tanaka who even beat Gillian and I back to the starting line (we are reviewing all videotapes of taxi cabs and buses in the city):
Mark is awarded his first place bottle of high quality wine made from Kazakhstanian prunes and bottled in the finest Mongolian wineries:
Here is Mark and Gillian with Mark showing of his wine and finisher's mug (I did note that when Gillian went to get the mug, Mark grabbed a couple cases of salt tablets, gels, and energy bars from her trunk....really Gillian, it was Mark...not me)
Here comes second place 50kmer Kap'n Kirk doing warpspeed 7 up 7th avenue towards the finish line:
I would have stayed longer but like I mentioned, I wasn't being paid....plus I had a trunkfull of supplies to empty.
Jackpot 100-mile Road Nationals: bet big, run long! - This maxim was the tag line on the bumper sticker included in the goody bag, illustrating the energy and passion which race directors, Ken & Stephanie Rube...