Pacer Jon Kroll, Volunteers Kristin and Johana and pacer Leslie Antonis. I hung with them as we waited for our runners. Kristin and Johana were in between shifs I think.
Pit stop for Runner No.8, Clare Abram. Her pacer Jon and friend Leslie help her out of her shoes. She needed to do some blister repair before heading back out on the final 33-mile loop.
Ray Sanchez heading back out for the final 33. Notice he has 3 lights. Is that a runner and a pacer in the distance? Nope it's only Ray. Also he has changed to road shoes knowing the last 33 is mostly flat with a lot of asphalt bike path sections.
Jonathan "Gundy" Gunderson, Chikara Omine and Gundy's uncle and crew, Andy. Jon had dropped and was requesting if he could "drop back" into the race, Chikara had dropped with no intentions of continuing and Andy is just hanging and listening. Not seen in the picture is race director Norm Klein giving them a lil talk.
Mood killer, an obnoxious way too lit up billboard at 4:30am. See that red thing by his left hand, that's a package of now cold French Fries. Yumm! Hey they work for him. That's his second batch which he got off a volunteer, haha, we had someone's left over dinner fries. The night just kept getting better. Not a dull moment with Gundy.
Thankfully we were soon back in the peace and quiet of dark trails.
I knocked him out for giving me some back talk around mile 91. No haha, I kid kid, this was one of our 60 second breaks and we were back on the American River bike path.
And I'm thinking of food as he's laying there.
Gundy on his last and final wind on the last 10k of the race. With a new day came new energy.
A female runner and her pacer about 2-miles from the finish, they were moving fast but so were we at this point. I saw them finish and it was a touching moment. Runner and pacer hug, congratulatory remarks give way to smiles, crying and tighter hugs. That was sweet. Gundy and I shook hands and already that was too emotional for me.
Yours truly and Jon. He looks like he ran 100-miles. Snatching back a DNF from Rio del Lago, he did great, what a great comeback.
Final Notes on my runner and the race itself.
Gundy is extremely focused on the trail when he runs. This guy probably never gets lost or he used to before and has applied his experience. He is constantly checking for ribbons and asking me to verify our direction. Eventually I took over in the front so I could stop verifying our direction to him and just do the leading already. He never got lost during the day, we only took a wrong turn once at night and we caught that right away.
There is a locker room and showers at the finish line. Perfect for pacers who get dirty but may not have a hotel room in the area.
There is NO food at the finish line, just drinks and it's for the runners. I'm totally serious. A group of us were munching from a bag of Doritos after the race.