The obligatory pre-race speech while we were crammed in an Elementary School gym. But to be crammed in with such august company is an honor.
The Ultra Gang is representing and represented. Lil' Roy always goes for silly, even when glared at. Meanwhile, a grown-up Karate Kid shows his Crane stance in the background.
A dark start. Dark starts for dark times. I could feel the darkness within me, but it turned out to be a hiccup instead. A dark hiccup.
And they're off! Oh, I'm off too. Off my rocker in a room full of long-tailed stone cats, that is.
Marathoner Emily finally catches up with me, and was unable to get away from me for 15 lo-o-o-o-ng miles. Pity her.
Still in good spirits. Hey, we're at Al Cat's Lounge. Time for some bacon. And grilled cheese. And PB&J. And M&M's. And soda. And we spent too long there. And it was worth it.
Em and I brave the cold water. Check out where I body check that dude who got in my way. Also, try to ignore that I make so many strange noises. It's who I am.
Cat's Coffee Car is in business. I made extra sure to get the coffee without Kahlua in it. Then again, a stiff drink would have helped to counter my unease in the presense of this fell creature.
I finally catch an action shot of legendary trail runner Josh Katzman. Bob Crowley and I have been working on a nickname for him, and have come up with "Count Samuel Gonzales." Hmmm. Maybe Bob and I should avoid collaboration in the future. P.S. Josh took first place, but no one expressed any surprise at this. I long to see "The Count" at a hundred miler.
Someone got creative with the reflective tape marking the course. It was appreciated. P.S. Emily made 80% of the clothes she is wearing by herself. I have a zebra striped singlesuit on order from her. I am going to look fantastic!
Running Rob's face looks like he feels in his first 50 miler. He finished with "Flying Colors." (What an odd thing to say). Welcome to the 50 mile club, my friend. You now have bragging rights. I suggest you make use of them, but not as much as I do. That would just be crass.
Julie also appreciates the sentiment noted here. P.S. Her socks are just too cute. Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, meet Julie Longstocking.
Marilyn joined us on the last lap, against her will. "I'm dropping." She said. "That's fine" said Karen. "NO, IT'S NOT!" said Dima. "Take her with you" he comanded me. And so we did. Never argue with an intense Russian!
Marilyn and Julie enjoy the refreshing feel of near-freezing water. "You're not my favorite person right now" said Julie.
Hah hah! I'm already through the water, and you're not!
"Eat shoe leather and die, Steve" thought Julie. She didn't say it out loud. She didn't have to.
Julie performs a miracle and walks on water. Either that or those 6" thick Hoka shoes are actually pontoons. She makes a fine outrigger, I've always said.
Marilyn decided to walk slowly so as to savor the chill.
"Last time through this..Last time through this..."
An action shot of my pals running. We didn't run much in the last loop, so it was very important to document that running actually occurred (rarely).
My shiny jacket. I ran 50 miles to get this jacket. Totally worth it. As my wife said, "That is the nicest jacket you've ever owned!" And I earned it, every stitch.
I likes me some swag. Now I can scare others with a giant stone cat on my back. I will say to them "The Stone Cat is coming for your soul!"