DAY 21: RACE ACROSS AMERICA-Louis Rodriguez (catching up)

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Posted by Gail Marino on August 29, 2004 at 21:32:35:

In Reply to: RACE ACROSS AMERICA-Louis Rodriguez updates posted by Gail Marino on August 02, 2004 at 09:02:43:

RAA DAY #21 FRIDAY 7/2/04

      It was a cool start this morning, but not uncomfortable as we left Castle Dale, Utah (5771 ft) to our destination in Helper, Utah (5840 ft) for 40.6 miles with a cutoff of 11 hrs. 36 min.  Russell's temporary crew Justin, was here to replace Russell's wife for a week or so. The duo of Taka & Lou as the last pack, became a familiar site for me, as I drove to the 1st water or aid stop. Lou's achiles was almost normal. It was still larger than the other, but comparably smaller than it had been. I guess something or everything worked. On the other hand, Taka was also running better. We had been sharing with Taka, whatever we were doing to Lou's achiles.
      The road we are traveling must be a truckers route, because there are so many oversize double barrel trucks coming from each direction, that literally takes you off your feet when they pass by at high speed.   It’s another added danger for the runners & crews as the truckers are making their way quickly to their destination, while we are on their turf. But I must admit that most of them do move over as far as they can, blow their horns & wave after reading the back of our truck, as they pass Lou & whoever is with & or behind Lou.
      After a few miles out, I notice Lou doing some drills. You know the deal, knee lifts, butt kicks, striding. He's doing the drills just ahead of Taka & Taka seems to be responding to them. He still has the small stride, but is moving better, trying to stay with Lou. Taka & I both know what Lou is trying to do, so I smile & Taka realizes that he can still move. It seems that having someone in front of Taka, is giving him a focus point & is helping him to move, as well as helping him to regain his confidence. He sees that Lou is recovering & so will he. Taka is young, he will recover physically. So Lou has been working with him physically & now has incorporated the mind set.
       I met a woman who stopped me to inquire about the runners. She was deeply moved about Lou continuing on with the run, in order to raise awareness on early detection of breast cancer. She lives in the town of Huntington, Utah & her daughter in Sarasota, Florida. She gladly accepted our pamphlets for her friends & family & waited around for Lou & Taka to pass, so that she could wave at them.
       It was warming up as the day progressed. Taka was running better & encouraged Lou to move on. So Lou picked up the pace a bit & soon caught up to Olivier. Olivier was alternating with a jog & fast walk. Lou & Olivier ran together for a while. After 21 miles, I convinced Lou to shed the sweat suit. It was hot, & I was burning up just watching Lou run with full sweats on.
      By mile 24, we caught up to Don. We kept going because we had many mailboxes in our sight as well as churches for our pamphlets. We passed through many towns, some smaller than others. At about 31 miles, Lou saw a young man who had run out of gas. So Lou stopped running, to help him push his car into a gas station. They shook hands & Lou continued on. Lou finished today in 9 hrs 3 min. The finish was in a parking lot after a port of entry. We had to drive 10 miles to the hotel, but we chose to wait for the rest of the runners 1st. A couple of cars stopped to ask about the runners. Alan gladly answered their questions about the run & runners. When the woman pointed to Lou, wanting to shake his hand. Alan quickly responded, "oh, he's not a runner". After the people left, Lou approached Alan & said, "Alan, I am a runner". Alan's response was, "yes, but you're different". At that point, Taka was in our view & obviously struggling a bit. Lou ran over to help Taka  & cross the busy highway to the finish, making it in with 10 minutes to spare.
      Lou cut open the watermelon we had & shared it with Taka & his crew & Alan before heading off to the hotel. Til tomorrow.
Lou & Agnes

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