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Avalon 50 Race Report

by Greg Minter

Anyone worry about the following two weeks before the race? Rain, the flu, catching cold, missing the boat, forgetting your shoes, or a hundred other things? I experimented with three different jackets myself, I was so sure it was going to rain!

When we counted up, we had quite a group. Larry, Nancy, Rick, Liz, Shannon, Tani, Judy, Pat, Kristi, Lon, Joe, Amanda, and me!

Not bad goodies for $60. Long sleeve T-shirts and long sleeve sweatshirts with the race name PROMINENTLY displayed for easy public viewing. Of course, the best part of all! The thin trail of twinkling flashlights detailing the switchbacks behind the Wrigley Memorial and the morning sun breaking through the clouds over the ocean were the best views of the day, all in the first hour! The rest of the day wasn't half-bad either. How many shades of green can you imagine? Everybody seemed to think the course was easier on our bodies than American River. Maybe another year of running long, or maybe the hills (there were plenty) let us use different muscle groups, maybe the cool weather... or maybe, as Larry pointed out, “If you noticed, at American River, the water was always running the other way... which meant you were going uphill the whole time!”.

Of course, we had great support, both from the race volunteers and our own cadre of UltraLadies who came over just to help: Bonnie, Jeannie, Ester, Sandy, Helga, and Jane. Again, a special thanks to Larry. I've never seen anyone carry six flashlights and a pair of sweaty gloves while running before. Special thanks from me personally to Bonnie and Jeannie for running me in!

Everybody seemed pretty pleased with their times. Hats off to Liz, who took second in one of only two age groups! By now, she must know she qualified for the Western States lottery!

Overall winner was Ben Hian in 6:05:32. Women's winner was Anne Langstaff in 7:54:29.

Next on the agenda, a return engagement with the American River 50 Endurance Run. See y'all there!

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