Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Avalon Benefit 50 Mile Run 2012

Catalina or Bust
Would you trust me behind the bar?
It had been my radar for the way too long the perfect course for 
Luna Sandals and I had high hopes of running faster than  I ever had before. For Beach bum like myself racing on a small island is ideal. It's very fast course full of fire roads and short climbs.  If your a trail snob who loves getting brushed by poison oak on tight single track trails this is not the course for you.  
I was such a naive young runner!
(as opposed to the naive old cripple I have become)

In 2009 I missed out because I was Scuba diving in Mexico and Last year I ran the Calico 50k instead that same day.
At Calico  I told Barefoot Ted we need to run Catalina next year!

 Where exactly is Catalina you Ask?

Ted has great love for the Palos Verdes Peninsula and  (so do I) About 20 miles off the coast lies a Island that resembles chunk of the peninsula that broke away.  Mostly uninhabited other than small town of Avalon (pop 3,728)  on one side and the much smaller village of Two Harbors (pop 150) on the other.  The island home to many Indigenous California plants  and also has a herd of buffalo that roam it freely.
See that rock just past my pier?  That's the northern tip of the island

Let's do it.
The trip was planned and it turns out we were even gonna be joined by our buddy Reese whom we befriended at Leadville. I believe she has since become some kind of movie star?
(The video is okay but the dancing at the end is priceless)

Well life doesn't always go as planned.  I've been suffering from an Injury occurred on New Years Eve at Across the Years. January 8th was the first day I tried running again. I made in half a mile. Two days later I could run 1.5 miles. and the day before I was to leave to the island I almost got to 3 miles before the pain set in.
For the past few weeks I have been forced into a life of
Compression, Rest, Ice, Massage, Elevate

Not listening to my body got me into this predicament you'd think I'd learned my lesson but a few delusional thoughts still lingered in my brain.
"I was getting stronger, 50 miles isn't much farther than 3, right?
If only I didn't have to use my left leg?
The Hamster in my brain began to spin out all kinds of ideas
A three legged race perhaps? 
(sidenote: the dude in the center is are new friend Javier who was running is first 50 milers and finished 6th, Way to go dude)

 What about the fans would they be okay with that?

As much as I wanted to make it happen it turns out both Reese and I had bunk left legs so if we were to go the three legged route it we'd be be running in circles and I might spill my beer.  Plus the Hooker boot I found on the beach used to equalize our height discrepancy was a few sizes too small.
I was still game but sadly it didn't work out.

I earned a new nick name this weekend 
"Pat Sedentary"
My friend tried to type my name in her phone and auto correct did it's job personifying how I felt.
(I guess it's better than Pat Dysentery)

These the cards I've been dealt for now.  Well whoopidee doo! 
Time to get our butts over to the island.

 We jumped on the Catalina Express out of Long Beach  and said good bye to the mainland.
Thanks to Barefoot Ted's clever Afganny Woman disguise were able to avoid both Paparazzi and Zoo keepers.
 As we approached the Island we had a few Escorts
 Tracey and Laura.
 Joining us was a really cool couple that were friends with Ted.
Both of them had chose some most excellent footwear.
It turns out Tracey is a world class Ultra Runner who once ran  250 miles during a 72 hour race.

The view from the place we were staying was pretty rough huh?

The only way you could make it any more beautiful would be to add a hot chick wearing Luna Sandals?
In the immortal words of Barefoot Ted
(thanks Reese)
The starting line was a whole 3 minute walk from our pad
If the fridge could only hold one item I'm glad it was this. Eventually we picked up some avocados so that we had the basic two food groups covered.
Dinner at Luau Larry's 
Sadly nobody got their Wiki whacked but I did have a Green Flash I.P.A.  (well maybe I had 2)

We cruised back to our pad and crashed out at about 8p.m. so Ted could get some rest.
(I felt like 9 year old)

The night before Tracy (on the right) said was gonna run 20 miles the morning of the race.  At 4:30 a.m. freezing cold in bed I asked her if she was still gonna go run?  She just smiled.

I had nothing better to do at 5:a.m. so stumbled down to the starting line to wish Ted and others good luck.  
In case you didn't know Ted's the one in the Luna ATS sandals.  Reese was there to pace Ted but it might be difficult to run 50 miles in those big clunker shoes :)

I told them to enjoy the sunrise and then they were off and running.

(Standing on the sidelines kind of  sucks! Brrr!  I'm going bed)

Tangent of Randomness
I get back to the room and snuggled down under a barrage of blankets .  Then in what seemed like seconds later someone busts in through the door and headed straight for the kitchen.  "What Who Huh." I couldn't figure out what to say. A voice called out "Mary sent me to turn off the hot plate."
who the hell is Mary? I thought.
"I think you got the wrong place  but thanks anyway."
(on second thought it was kind of cold I wish she would have turned on the oven)

While I rested Ted and Reese saw this.
(if that aint inspiration to run next year I don't know what is?)
 Ted at Mile 37 Looking good

After A lazy morning gorging myself on chips and avocado's I  perused down to the finish line to see if my buddy Fabrice could win the race for the second year in a row

And that he did. Way to go Dude!

 It was a heart warming moment to witness as Fabrice's beautiful wife shed tears of joy for her beloved while they embraced.
After the race the three top finishers took a dunk in the Pacific together.  Congrats to them and all the other participants.
 I decided to stroll up the the final 2 miles of the course
 The flora was quite Beautiful
 And the Fauna was pretty fast
I made sure to stay in view of my home for the weekend so that I wouldn't get lost
(On second though maybe I'm better off getting lost? this place is pretty amazing)
Catalina also happens to be  the perfect place to relax in Luna Sandals.
Maybe this "Pat Sedentary" thing aint so bad after all?

After cruising  around for awhile I decided to head back to town.  
I hadn't had any avocado's in a few hours and was getting hungry a beer was also starting to sound good.

By now it was about 8:30  minutes into the race My friend Annie Seawright was running who I expected around 9 hours Ted was also still out on the course but I didn't expect him to come in until well after 10 hours.  
I headed over to the store (bought 3 avocado's a bottle of hot sauce and a beer) and by the time I got back at about 8:50 Annie had snuck through the finish line and was gone.
I never got a chance to congratulate her.  Perhaps I should go over to facebook and do that right now.
 (hold on)
Alright I'm  back.
Oh well.  I then headed back to the room for 30 minutes to eat my lunch. Reese was back, because of her sore leg she decided to only run 20 miles and then help out at an aid station.  I gave her a little kind hearted grief about only running 20 but who was I to talk I hadn't done Squat.

Time to go watch Ted finish.
by the time I got back down to the finish line he was already.  When did Ted get so damn fast?
 Ted gave me his signature pose.
I call it "The Jester"
(To me it always looks like he's pretending to juggle.  I'd of drawn in some chainsaws but by now you can probably tell how limited my artistic skills are.)

Philosophical side note:
The Jester is often the smartest man in the room.  He is aware of his surroundings and feeds off the pulse of his environment.  He dares to different, try new things, make the impossible possible and provide joy to all that are fortunate enough to be in his presence.
 Ted looked in amazing shape at the Finish line his Luna ATS was perfect for this course and it was his fastest 50 miler ever!
It took him only34,232 Seconds to go 3,168,000 inches
I was really proud of the dude.  Ted has some really exciting plans for this year and I think this race is a good Omen of things to come. Best of luck to you brother!
His feet looked great

What's Teds secret?
Rumor is that each night he spends a few hours stretching his body on the rack.
Come to think of it his legs do look a little longer than I remember.

I really didn't do much that day as far as exercise that day.  Night fell and everyone one else seemed pretty tired
I tried feeding my little buddy Reese some Bourbon.

She was a good sport but at three drops she was 2 drops passed her limit.
Her mannerisms were priceless
(and don't worry she's over 21)
about 5 minutes later she was out cold.
to her credit she managed to stay up 30 mins later than the night before.
 "8:30 p.m."

"What a rookie."

My final morning there was only one thing left to do?
Embrace all that surrounds me, take a few minutes to enjoy life and be grateful to have the opportunity to be in a place as beautiful as this. Although I couldn't run I had great time with friends both new and old. 

Eventually it was time for the tourists to get off this rock
I dig Catalina for all it's worth but I have no quarrels with heading back to the South Bay

The local's were there to see us off.
 On the boat ride home Ted and I met this kick ass dude name Rusty.  Avalon was his first 50 miler and guess what?
He ran it in Luna Sandal's.  
A "rEvolution" is a foot.
Time to embrace your inner Lunacy

Back on the mainland we headed down to my beach for the afternoon where I got in a short run with Reese and played a little frisbee with Ted.

After a little rehab twister at my pad.
Ted headed back to Seattle and Reese to Colorado
Hmm. What's a solitary Lunatic to do?
Vamos a la Playa

Time for me to spin my legs and find my stride

9 miles on Monday and a little over 10 on Tuesday.
It's not where I'd like to be but it's a hell of a lot better than last week. I look forward to whatever comes my way.
So long "Pat Sedentary" it was nice knowing you.

I got my eye on the horizon
 I'm in something good!


  1. Great post! You should not run more often.. ;-)

    Hope your healing is going well!

  2. Awesome write-up. Gorgeous scenery. Neat to see my two old friends (Laura and Tracey) made your blog post! Good people. I miss them being in Illinois, but I'm sure they are enjoying the CA sun.


  3. Good read!! Thanks for sharing.

  4. See you there in 2013! I'm running it in my Lunas

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