We didn’t do anything with the name. we just liked it as our sponsor was Mayfield Toyota in Edmonton. Thanks to them for covering the guaranteed entry portion of the race fees, as well as lending us a cool Scion for a support vehicle.
Tina did wear a shirt that said ‘May the course be with you”, unfortunately the course wasn’t with her, as she was late getting to the race and missed her leg. The main reason she missed was our team was awesome. We were ahead of our projected times by about an hour after 5 legs. More on that later.
So I left the house at 4:30 to get to the start line. I was leg 4 last year, so being at the start made more sense, but this year I was running leg 9, a full 12 hours after the start. I wanted to be there. I like energy of a short race, let alone this monstrosity of a race. I had every intention of being early, however out of the rainy skies of the pre-dawn, this happened and side tracked me for a half hour while I shot photos on the side of the road.
It was all of a sudden 5:25 and I was a half hour away from the start line in Longview. I resigned myself to not seeing the start and just puddled my way along. Turns out I was a bit closer and was able to get there on time. I parked the car and found Clint and Kraig right away. It was much easier this year as I knew these guys. We exchanged friendly banter and then Clint got ready to run leg 1. It was pretty rainy out, but it let up for the start, at least for a while.
Before we knew it, the 6:00 runners were off. There is a 7am and 8am start for the faster runners. This is done so the race org doesn’t have to have Leg transitions spread out over many miles on the course. Doesn’t matter tho, as the fastest runners make up the 2 hour deficit in the first 4 hours of their run.
Kraig and I hung around, used the now empty PoP’s before heading out on the road. Our superstar dedicated support team were already out on the road and waiting for Clint. The route runs through town before heading towards the mountains, so fans and teammates can see everyone in the first click.
The rain picked up again, and for the duration of the race it went from raining, to raining hard. It was also very dark and moody out. It really created a unique atmosphere that sort of compartmentalized the area of the race you happened to be in. You couldn’t focus on the distance as there really was no distance, just mist and tail lights initially.
The first leg, and the forced start legs near the end of the race has the most congestion. with 300+ support vehicles on the road, there are time the runners are making better time than us in the cars. Everyone is eager, anxious and fresh. heh. except the runners on leg one. Lost in the initial excitement is the fact that the first leg is 18kms and pretty tough. I think the racers that do Leg 1 are a bit overlooked. or not. It just feels like the feeling-out leg, but no less running for the runners out there (was that sentence a little wordy?). The support crews are figuring out their patterns, traffic is tough and it’s easy to just say, let’s be done with leg one and move on. I spent a lot of time shooting this leg as it’s vistas are amazing and the runners are still relatively grouped together. here are a few of the photographic highlights for me.
Since I am not an actual support person on our team this year, I just sort of wander up and down the course in my car, shooting photos, checking in with our runners, just generally taking in the race. As I approached the first transition, I went past the finish and had to walk back about a mile. I try to shoot the hand off of each of our runners, but I knew I was going to be close and was hustling down the road when I found Terry in the Scion. Terry looks at me with a bewildered look. “where’s Jackie?’ I ask. He says he doesn’t know. He says that the our leg 2 runner tried to check in but they said someone already handed off from Clint.
Jacinthe pops her head up from behind the Scion, where she had been tying her shoes and says ‘Yeah, they left already'. WHO left? I asked? Jackie?. “Terry, is Jackie running? Did she pass here already?” He says he has no idea, probably.
Whelp. What to do. Well, she must have gotten by us, so we decide that Jackie must have gotten by us and that Terry needs to go up the road and find her. (hindsight: why the eff would she run past us without coming to the vehicle?).
As Terry leaves with Jacinthe to track down Jackie, I turn and see Jackie running toward me.
Now she has the wild eyes, wondering where the eff they are going. I tell her they are looking for her and that our leg 2 runner is in the car. Jackie reminds me not so calmly that she hasn’t run for a month. We see Terry get a bit caught in the traffic so I bolt after him, and I hear Jackie scream at the top of her lungs “STOP THAT CAR!!!”
made me laugh to myself as everyone within a half km turned to see what was going on (except Terry in the Scion). I was a little embarrassed, as I thought I was running at a full sprint, to turn and see Jackie jogging along keeping up to me. Oh well, such is the way it is in my world… Terry drives off into the mist as I get to my car to try and chase him down. Well that went sideways too as I get behind the one scared tourist travelling at 15 km/hr. I ended up driving all the way past the lead runner, before realizing Terry must have turned around while I was cursing the guy in front of me. I drove back a few Km’s and park, then saw Terry with Jackie in the car, so that was good. I hadn’t seen Clint and Kraig yet, knowing Clint would be beside himself, I could give him good news once we did meet up again and that was a good thing.
While I waited I did take some cool shots.
Once Kraig and Clint found me, and realized everything was fine, I drove Clint back to his car in Longview, then we headed up the road to catch up to our team. Jacinthe appeared to be doing fine, but Jackie let us know that was far from the case. So Jacinthe put off some internal organ surgery to run in this race and was struggling quite a bit. I caught up to here with about 5km left in the leg and asked her how she was, and she said ‘I’m done’. Ok. well. since Jackie had already ran this leg, I guess it was up to me. I drove up a bit, changed into my running gear, took my shoes off , grabbed the bib and was off! Woot. I was stoked to be running barefoot in the K-100, as my leg later was on trails and not barefoot friendly at all. All Jacinthe asked was that she could have the bib back with a few hundred meters to go so she can finish the leg.
So with about 400m left, we traded back and off she went. Jackie had driven my car up, so I got changed again and headed up to the transition. Everyone was there. Clint, Kraig, Terry and Jackie. Where was Jacinthe? Our leg three runner had checked in, but was no where to be found! Gaaaaaaaaaaa! Wtf is happening?!! Jacinthe just kept running since there was no one to hand off to! So. After a hunt around the area, he shows up! He was in the PoP lineup! sheesh. Once we got that figured out, we sent him in the Scion to rescue Jacinthe. They found Jacinthe a mile up the road, running the extra distance that she didn’t think she could (or should) do earlier. #superstar.
Here she is on her leg.
Here she is going through transition, only to have to keep going…
That’s about all I can handle in part 1 of our ‘interesting’ race. Stay tuned for the rest of the story.
My K-100 Flickr Photos here.