DAY # 27 : RACE ACROSS AMERICA (Agnes still catching up)

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Posted by Gail Marino on September 16, 2004 at 15:12:24:

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

RAA DAY # 27 THURSDAY 7/8/04

We start out today from the finish line yesterday in Elk Springs, Colorado (6371 ft) to Craig, Colorado (6186 ft) for 37.7 miles with a cutoff of 10 hrs 46 min. The mornings in Colorado are much cooler than we had been used to, about 56 degrees today. Our wounds were still quite fresh from the 4th of July & being overlooked from receiving course directions for yesterday. I was still wearing sunglasses to hide my swollen eyes & it seemed to me, that Lou's head, heart & soul were not cooperating with his body today either. But Lou started out with Taka as he had been for the last few weeks. Taka had grown accustomed to Lou's company, helping him start out & finish & Lou didn't want to disappoint Taka. Lou walked the 1st 5 miles with Taka, as Taka jogged. Today was a short day as far as mileage, but the course was basically the same as yesterday, long steep rolling hills with an occaissional unsightly dead animal on the road.
We then helped crew Taka for the next 5 hrs & left our pamphlets at a few churches, that we saw along the course before we headed to the finish line at the Black Nugget Motel & our motel for the night. The motel was hidden from the main road as you drive up a small winding hill that leads to the entrance. It was remote, because it was situated up on top of the posterior portion of the hill, a huge black rock & the view from the top of the hill was spectacular. The motel owner was extremely friendly & kind to Lou & I. I actually welcomed my crew duties of laundry, supply shopping & cleaning out the truck, because it gave me less crying time.
We noticed a reporter talking to Alan & Mary, the race management (husband & wife) & a cameraman taking photos of the runners as they arrived. Sumio, Lou & I found a spot on the hill where we could see the runners approaching about a mile away. We were then joined by Olivier & his crew. We were waiting for Taka to arrive. Sumio, Kaz Olivier & his crew have many times joined us in our support of Taka. But today was different, everyone was out waiting for Taka. This never happens. I wonder if the presence of the local press has anything to do with this overwhelming support of Taka, or will this miraculous moment of comerarderie that we so desperately missed, will become a common occurance. Taka arrived within 5 minutes of cutoff, greeted by the press, as well everyone, runners & crews & a beer from Bob, as Lou & I watched in pure amazement, wondering where were these people hiding the last 4 weeks. After Taka was able to break away from his exuberant fans, he peered out of the crowd looking for Lou. He then walked over to Lou & gave him a hug, saying thank you in Japanese. We later learned from Kaz & the motel owner that the runners had been interviewed & had been on the 6pm news, as everyone watched from Bobs room. We were not invited, or even aware of the events. But Kaz told us, that he was not interviewed either & that the sign on our truck was in the news report on the television. I am fairly sure that they overlooked us accidentally today, when the interviewing was going on & when everyone was watching the news in Bobs room. I was really hurt because I had never been treated in this manor ever & how could this be possible in an athletic event in 2004. But this is a non-sanctioned run & have learned that in this run, management can make & change rules as they please fit. As difficult as it is to continue, we have never quit anything we committed to & the importance of human life to us, outweighed all the hurtful & emotional obstacles hurled our way, so we play by all the outlandish rulings & duck now & then. Till tomorrow.
Lou & Agnes

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