|Left bottom CW: best blood award; Joe and I ready to glow-stick; no wusses allowed!; 2 radio guys and Jim-the runner; Liza Howard doing Bulgarian squats while helping out; mash-field; "feeling great for now!".|
A tremendous thank you to Larry who stayed behind at home for a bit before coming to make sure kids are not miserable for too long (truth is, our kids don't really like being there for more than couple of hours, although they did have a grand time playing football with 2 others for exactly that long, so survived OK before night sleep), he took a shift from 10:30pm and 2:30am cooking hot soups and flipping best grilled-cheese things in the world, what allowed me to get a couple hours of napping in, he brought me a french press to make best coffee in the morning, and then in the morning he took the kids back home. It may not sound lots, but it was the best help possible - I didn't have to worry about kids' duty and was able to be completely submerged into supporting runners. Another huge thanks goes to my 3 radio guys, who not only got any info I needed, they took great interest in what we do and kept me up and entertained. Marc, Joe's right hand for the weekend (in my humble opinion) had never stopped working all the odds and ends he was thrown into, from setting up, taking down, buying and delivering, I can't even name it. Luis, Billy, Glenda, Kuss - the Tejas Trails family comes to the call so grand, it is the best community I had ever witnessed, truly, no bull. Joyce came in the morning with fresh breakfast. My radio guys and a couple of runners' husbands saved my ass when I locked my car key inside the car just before leaving! Thank God they were there! It broke me down, I was so exhausted and felt it was so unfair (so much for helping, AND for recycling and dragging a full car loaded with crap back to Austin!). They exercised their breaking in skills for an hour and were finally able to get me in. Thanks to all the guys (half of whom ran in some capacity the day before in races) for breaking down the tarp and all the metal pols in my two AS's! I hate doing this too:) Thanks to Joe for putting a first-class events and bringing best people in, whether running or helping. Thanks to the runners and their crews for their great spirits and not forgetting to thank all of us who help them reach for their goals.
Steve Moore broke his own CR but by mere minutes (I believe he went out with the relay/50M guys and kind of bonked by last loop, but held strong). He had nobody close in to chase him, what doesn't make racing easy. Rhonda Claridge from CO won the women's race, but hasn't shaken down Liza's CR - I heard rumors she said she raced lots of mountain courses yet this one is the most technical she's ever been on (there is a reason it has a rating of 5/5 in Ultrarunning magazine). Lots of feet, legs and other parts were claimed by sotol and rocks. A rude awakening to anyone who comes to the website and shrugs off "less than 2,000 feet of elevation climb per loop" description. There were many outstanding performances by local runners, not in terms of extremely fast times country-wide, but personal achievements to be proud of. Thomas Orf finished a 100 in sub-23 hrs for 4th male. Chris Russel finally chased the monkey off his back by beating my time at a race - something he tried for years on any course, and here he is, moved by this goal and done it right! David Jacobson had a fantastic 50, and David Land finished his first 100 - after not being able to do so last year. Brad Quinn did a fast 100 (to his elate) in sub-24, and Josue Stephens finished - finally! - his first, humbled by previous approach of going out too fast. Respect the distance and the course! Melissa Heggen is back from nursing a baby and kicking butty, but mainly her positive attitude shined! So many first-timers chose this course and doing well! I am sure I'll add more bits as they come to me, but in general there seem to have been more folks getting what they come there for than previous years. Rumor is I was happier than I was last year - must have something to do with Larry's help, general settling in, and you, guys, the runners and your crew, being happy, helpful and grateful! Thanks, ya'll, for the great times! Get ready to hate to love me next year!