DAY 29 - 7/10/04: RACE ACROSS AMERICA-Louis Rodriguez and Agnes Oquendo's account of their summer journey...

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Posted by Gail Marino on September 27, 2004 at 08:58:25:

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

RAA DAY # 29 SATURDAY 7/10/04

Today we leave the beautiful town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado (6728 ft) & head to Kremmling, Colorado (7364 ft) for 48.4 miles, with a cutoff of 13 hrs 49 min. Steamboat Springs is a very busy area, inhabited by many cyclist whom we shared the road with, & highly popular for skiing in the winter. It was raining for the start & the roads were damp. But eventually the clouds gave way to clear blue skies. Lou & Taka ran together through this beautiful scenic landscaping, it is as picturesque as a postcard, through & up mountains. The 1st 10 miles, they were running about 5 minutes behind cutoff, but we weren't too worried because, it was all uphill so far & we would make it up later, besides we had over 35 miles left to this in.
We hit the Continental Divide & Rabbit Ears Pass at 18.9 miles, as the runners climbed to an elevation of 9,426 ft. A female trucker waved & blew her horn at us, I am sure after reading the sign on the back of the truck. We started making up the time, because for every uphill, there are now down hills & we are ahead of cutoff by 5 minutes. After hitting Muddy Pass at 22 miles, the elevation is now 8.772 ft & the course becomes dangerous for both runners & crew, because there is practically no shoulder the remainder of the course, and the traffic becomes heavier. After 25 miles, we found many mailboxes that belonged to huge sprawling ranches. We spoke to the owners of the Grand River Ranch about running for breast cancer, whom were extremely impressed with this feat, as we were parked in their huge gaited driveway. The traffic was extremely fast, & the shoulder was only a few inches wide, that ended with a mountain drop off on both sides of the road. It was getting more difficult finding places to pull off to for aid, because of the fast traffic. You would see a place to pull over to, & the vehicle behind you, would just not understand if you tried to make a quick stop, as they were practically in your trunk.
As Lou was running, a flat bed truck moving towards him fast, either didn't see him or didn't estimate enough room for Lou, part of the truck was overextended onto & past the shoulder. Seeing this, Lou made a quick decision & hit the ground quickly. His heart beating rapidly as he lie on the ground face down, knowing what the outcome would be, had he not done so. After the truck departed, Lou regained composure, emerging from this push up position, to continue on running with dirt on his shirt & a few scrapes from the rocks on the ground.
A few miles later, a photographer stopped Lou to take pictures & interview him & as he departed said, "I'll see you in New York". Lou finished in 11 hrs 7 min. Russell's crew, Justin was leaving & there was cake at 7 pm for him. We were getting worried that Taka had not yet arrived & was fearful because we knew how dangerous the course was. The others went to eat dinner, but we chose not to eat until Taka was finished. Taka finished within 3 min before cutoff. We then went to eat dinner with Taka & his crew just behind us. Till tomorrow.
Lou & Agnes

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