Posted by Gail Marino on September 16, 2004 at 08:49:36:
In Reply to: RACE ACROSS AMERICA-Louis Rodriguez updates posted by Gail Marino on August 02, 2004 at 09:02:43:
RAA DAY # 26 WEDNESDAY 7/7/04
Today we leave Dinosaur, Colorado (5800 ft) to our destination Elk Springs, Colorado (6371 ft) for 45.1 miles, with a cutoff of 12 hrs 53 min. Every night 2 course descriptions are delivered to every runner & crew for the next day. Last night we never received ours. This added anxiety, on to the already stressful situation from July 4th. We did not know today's course. Lou started out walking with Taka as he jogged. We were here physically, but mentally & emotionally was a different story. Running & racing require a clear head along with rest, proper training & diet. For us, everyday had an added obstacle, that we were forced to endure or leave. After the runners left, I asked Alan for a copy of the course. He didn't have an extra one, so I settled for a hand written copy of the one he had. Later on, Mary apologized for overlooking us.
The morning was cool and as the day went on, we were greeted by dark clouds, which eventually lead to an afternoon & early evening of thunderstorms. Lou stayed with Taka for the 1st few miles, but because of all the head trips since July 4th, his heart was just not into the run. So we continued on today, by helping crew Taka along this hilly course. We were in the mountains, and the course consisted of continuous, extremely long rolling hills, which became more challenging through the thunderstorms. Only the last few runners encountered this challenge, as the front runners rested comfortably in their warm motel rooms, for 5-6 hours before we even approached the finish line. Sadly, we learned a new lesson daily on human nature.
Taka was struggling through this course, not only because of the weather conditions, but because of what goes up, must come down theory. That is, the very long down hills, after the very many long up hills. It seemed as though, as the course went on, so did the length, as well as the height of the hill. We were all drenched from the rain as well as tired, as we approached the last mile & cutoff was getting very close. Lou had a cd of Japanese drums. We played this loudly from the truck with open windows for Taka, as Lou & Taka climbed up the last extremely long hill that made me gasp for air just looking at it. It seemed to motivate Taka enough to make cutoff within 7 minutes. The day was long & our hearts heavy but Taka made another day. Till tomorrow.
Lou & Agnes
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