First let's talk quickly about the new shoes I just bought, the Montrail Mountain Masochists.. here is my take:
Now for me the shoe rubbed my right foot, big toe and 5th toe within 7 miles so I know this is not going to work. Even when I first tried these shoes on I was a little skeptical on the fit but it being my 1st trail shoe I thought I would see how it goes running in them. Once I was done with the 7 miles, all on trail, and my little toe skin was rubbed off and hot spot on big toe I knew they were done! Overall all I do like how they feel in the heel, the foot and the lowness to the ground and response, even the rock plate protect is great, I totally stepped on some nice meaty rocks to see how it would feel and I barely noticed! So unfortunately for me, Size 15 JT, this shoe is out. I will now be looking to try the Asics Trail Sensor4:
As always Johnny BigFoot had to order them so they should, hopefully, be here this Friday. Stay tuned!!
Now, this weekend was the running of Angels Crest 100 out near Los Angeles, or really closer to Pasadena, Ca. and with that Jimmy, co-race director of DesertSky Adventures, and I headed down to pace Catra Corbitt, aka Dirt Diva. We left Saturday afternoon in timing to get to mile 52 or 59 and pick Catra up to pace. We hit mile 52 and had just missed her by about 20 mins so we headed to mile 59 aid station. Jimmy rested up as he would be up first to pace till mile 75 and then I would take over to the finish.
Catra came in about 10pm and off they went. She was doing good and was glad to see us. I was so excited to see her.. let me explain. Catra is super awesome! I have been a fan since entering the ultra scene and Jimmy has talked about her and her runs which only adds to my ultra-star struck stocker fanism!! LOL.. and when I found out that she was looking for pacer's at AC100 I quickly jumped at the chance. So when she showed up to mile 59 aid station I quickly ran over with my arms in the air clapping and yelling for her and she looked at me like I was a complete NUT but then realized I was JT and her later pacer and happy to see me greeted with a big hug. A few words were exchanged and I said I would go get Jimmy sleeping in the car. The departed and I would see them in about 5 hours.
My drive from mile 59 to aid 75 was quite Adventurous!! If anyone has ever driven the Angels Crest Highway, Hwy 2 up and around Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Rd, its like a Snake road from Hell!! and it was pitch black, not knowing where I am really going, construction, closed roads, a detour and coming back into town not knowing where the hell I came out in Pasadena area it was quite the road trip. Once figuring out where I was I made it to the area to get to mile 75 aid, but being as it was still hours before I was needed I found a Denny's and fueled up for pacing duties. I mean hey gotta eat right?!
After I finished eating I stopped by the store, got a couple of things I thought I might need and headed up to the check point only to get to the gate and another car was parked there and I noticed the gate was closed and locked. The guy came over and said that he had called the RD and they were sending someone to come unlock the gate. This was a little weird because this was the only way in and out of the park with a huge event going on but I did notice around the little area of Santa Anita/Sierra Madre the police had nothing better to do I guess and had 3 different people pulled over as I was driving around to and from Denny's. Anyway, soon enough the Ponch and Jon showed up to unlock the gate and displayed there enthusiasm for having interrupting there oh so busy night for a bunch of ultra/crew runners. I was quickly at the aid station and got my things ready for later.
A cool thing about this aid station was they had this Huge screen that displayed all the info of all the runners, times, check points, etc. It was totally awesome. But Wait.. There's MORE!! They also had 2 flat screen TV's on top of this suv with a video camera and microphone, then when Catra got to 67.9 aid station they had screens/video there and we could quickly talk and see each other!!! I asked how she was and if she would need anything. This part was really awesome!! and I give it up to the RD's for supplying that feed.
It would be about 2.5 hours till she got there so I settled in, set my alarm for 3am and went to sleep, or tried to. It's about 1:3oam and shortly after the aid crew started a Hula Hoop contest. It was actually quite funny and entertain and it was helping them keep warm in the 51* night temps. After watch for a few minutes I finally fell asleep and next thing I know my alarm went off at 3am. I didn't expect Jimmy and Catra there till 3:30am but wanted to make sure I was awake and ready. A little after 4am I see them pull into the station and I get my gear ready. I get Jimmy's attention from afar and he gives me the cut-throat sign. Ohh man, I thought to myself that something has happened to her and she is done. I take my gear off and head over to them and she quickly says that she is done because she pulled her hamstring and it's really hurting, she actually pulled it at mile 30 and three more times since then!! Can you imagine, running 45 miles with a pulled hamstring!! So tough and Amazing! Now, a person like Catra knows her body and knows when they can push through and when it's time to stop and she has clearly made her decision to stop. As a doc, a new friend and runner I have no disappointment in her decision only in the fact that she is hurt. She is talking about her leg and apologizes for stopping. I quickly tell her No Worries, things happen. I felt bad for her because as an athlete you try to do everything you can to keep going and after 12 Advil's she had. The aid station people even told her she had another 1 hour 20 mins before cut-off and should wait but she responded very positive in her decision, cut the bracelet id off. It was cut and Catra's race was done. I then worked on her shoulder area to help relieve some nagging muscles and we gathered her stuff up to head to the finish line to see her boyfriend Andy, who was on his way to a PR.
Once at the finish area we rested up and then Catra headed to get cleaned up, by then I was getting tired and we decided we would head back to Vegas as Andy wasn't due to finish for about 3 more hours. After breakfast I noticed one of my tires was low and we stopped to put air in it but soon realized it was going flat and put the spare on. It was before 7am so nothing was open and just drove back on the somewhat of a spare tire. Then one time we stopped to put gas and as I was putting the gas cap back on it has the little plastic wire that holds the cap so you don't lose it anywhere, well, I twisted it as usual but this time it BROKE off!! WTF!! I could only stop and laugh. After getting back to town, showering up and eating again I spent the rest of the day on my bed watching TV and napping.
It was great to go down and help, no matter what happened and I am glad Catra is feeling better and not seriously injured. Being around the race is just so exciting! and Scary!! I mean at mile 59 I saw 5 people drop out for various reasons which only made me think and realize that my HURT100 is coming after me and dropping is not an option!! nor is missing the cutoffs!!! Next up will be pacing for Catra/Andy at Rio Del Lago 100 in a couple of weeks and helping with the race during the day. I am looking forward to running with her and Andy as they are veterans of the HURT and will be a good time to get intel on the race.