Memories of Avalon: 2002
by Various Authors
From Kim Montgomery:
"The sight of Nancy and Red waiting at the finish line was too much for me. After fighting cramps for the last 12 miles, and managing to hold it together, I broke into tears at the finish. I was too dehydrated to cry tears and my emotions were flying all over the place, joy to sorrow, happiness to relief, all tumbled up with the anguish of cramping with any sudden movement.
The kindness shown to me at Avalon is etched into my soul. I owe these people and others a world of thanks. A few vignettes --
- Having leg cramps so bad i could barely walk. A van from Catalina Island Conservancy pulled over. The driver got out and massaged the cramps. It seems to me his name was Boyd.
- Being out of fluids due to the Haypress Aid Station not quite being there, and having Janet Westergaard stop & give me water.
- Nancy, Red, Patti, and Tim helping me at the finish line.
- Marie giving me two bananas and taking off my socks at the hotel room."
- My thanks to all of the people at Avalon (aid stations and just ordinary people) and to the support from all of the UltraLadies."
From Patty Giebel, first time 50-miler:
"Nervous stomach. Dark and cold out. I’m actually going to do this?? I’m running between Mark and Joe, two pillars for security, our UltraLady Rhinos. I feel good going up hill, probably should slow down, but feel great and someone up there has a great flashlight. I’ll follow the light.
Wow! Below in the bay, lights remind me of a scene from Peter Pan and Never-Never-Land…incredible skyline sunrise. 3-hrs later still feel great! Mark and Joe are still right behind me. Downhill…a long downhill…remember to save the legs. I want to pass that woman ahead of me…I'm turning into Diana! Up or down…no flats…just up or down…it’s a good thing! Aid station people are Super! Two Harbors…am I going too fast? Still feel great…up hill again and down to the Isthmus.
People keep telling me I look great…hope it’s true! After the turn-around, I see that I am 6th woman in the race. Feel a little leg cramping…need salt…first time I ever took salt in a race…about mile 34…a big Buffalo at two o’clock…really close…think I can out run him?? He snorts…no one else around…you go girl!
A woman passes me and then I pass her on the hill…I’m back to 6th place woman. I pass quite a few guys… all having trouble with the heat. Good thing it’s not really hot! This is the first time I am not looking forward to the next down hill…my quads are screaming! Last long, down hill…I make my mind leave my pain…I’m skiing…faster, lets get this done! I see Avalon! I don’t believe I did it! 9hrs. 3 min.
Why am I crying?"
From Saul Hernandez:
"My most memorable experience is getting to the Whacko Cafe aid station and being offered a beer. It tasted sooo good! Coming back I had another beer. I am sure this is what fueled me to the finish. I kept thinking about that last beer waiting at the finish line. The buffalo burgers at the Pump House, mile 44, didn't hurt either. I still can't believe I ran 50 miles. I also had the opportunity to offer first aid on the trail and post-race. I think I'll bring my first-aid kit with me on future ultras. I really enjoyed the experien and would love to run more ultras, but I think 50 miles is far enough for me."
From Brigid Makiri:
"Eight years ago I couldn't run a mile
Now here I am on Catalina Isle
at the 27th mile, wearing a smile.
How did I get here,I don't know
Someone said "do you want to do 50 miles?
and I said "let's go"!
It was an awesome experience; the beauty of the stars in the morning sky, the rising sun, the blue ocean, the bison. I feel blessed to be able to do this and grateful for the friends who helped me along the way. The training, the support, all the wonderful people in our group that I've gotten to know and the people I meet on the trails truly inspire me and make this adventure of life more interesting.
From Wendy & J.R.Young:
"There are so many great things to remember from Avalon but J.R. and I think the most vivid memory was the start of the race, running in the dark with flashlights, climbing up out of Avalon, seeing the lights of the runners ahead of us and the runners behind us, snaking up the hill. Once we reached the top of the ridge, we could see the lights of the mainland to the east and the lights of San Clemente Island to the west. Soon we were treated to a sunrise over the ocean."
From Lorna Tansey::
Avalon, CA: 4:03 Saturday morning
"I open my eyes when I hear Niagara Falls or Old Faithful in the wall beside my bed, (Nancy flushed in the room above) and I see the clock reads 4:03 AM. I knew Silvia had set the alarm for some obnoxious hour, like 3:00. I exclaim "the alarm didn't go off, it's 4:00!" I hear "Oh God!" and Silvia sits up and leaps out of bed faster than Ato Boldon or Marion Jones ever moved in their lives. I think Red just kind of grunted. It's a good thing motel construction is cheap and that Nancy flushed!
When I first started running marathons in 1996, I was a member of the Westside YMCA, (the preferred hot spot for little old Jewish men and ladies). Occasionally I would ride Robert, my gorgeous purebred Arabian stallion, in 50-mile endurance rides. Whenever Robert did something funny or intelligent, I told the locker room ladies about it, and soon he became the unofficial mascot of the Y.
On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, a group of these men would jog in the 'hood and then use the resistance machines. They saw me in running gear, and I mentioned that I was training for the LA marathon. Under the incorrect impression that he was being funny, one of the little old men, Raleigh, asked "how can you look your horse in the eye? He runs 50 miles and you only run a marathon!"
Fast forward to January 13, 2002. I am standing in Robert's corral, looking him right in the eye. Raleigh, if you are still alive and kicking, I was thinking about you from 50k to mile 50."Back to story index page