DAY 66-8/16/04: RACE ACROSS AMERICA (catching up)

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Posted by Gail Marino on September 27, 2004 at 09:00:52:

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

RAA DAY # 66 MONDAY 8/16/04

On this muggy morning of 65 degrees, we leave Waynesboro, Pennsylvania & head off to New Oxford, Pennsylvania for 36.2 miles with a cutoff of 10 hrs 20 min. The lineup is as usual. It hasn't really changed except for the times that either Lou or Olivier decided to add some excitement to the mix. After watching the runners for 2 1/2 months, I know each runners style, gait & form. Even to this day, I am flabbergasted as to the strategy used in this race. For instance, Russell wasn't worried about Bob or Lou in the 1st weeks, because he was going to move once in Pennsylvania, as it would be easy for him to make up 50 miles on the leader. Luc was running at 70 % because he was only interested in finishing. So with this strategy in mind, each & every day, they let Bob move on them without any effort of their own & keeping Bob within eye contact is certainly out of the question. Not to take anything away from Bob, he has a quick steady gait & his style & form is very similar to Mike Tobin, but unfortunately Bob lacks Mikes finer qualities. Luc has a short quick gait, it is the long distance runner gait. Russell shuffles from side to side, not graceful looking & seems wasteful of energy but it works for him. Olivier's gait changes according to how he feels. When he is running well, his stride is very nice & his walk is mere perfection. When he is walking, his stride is long & quick with a perfect arm swing. Kaz style is similar to Lou's but a little stiffer. Taka had a long stride during the 1st weeks but now it is much shorter, perhaps he was over striding when he developed the shin pain. This is my personal observations for the last 66 days.
Most of the runners walk the up hills. Lou started walking the up hills after July 4th. Sometimes, I notice him running up the hills, as hill sprints for a workout, similar to the hill repeats we do at home, but he is just continuing on to the next hill instead of using the same hill. Again, it gets frustrating when he has to stop because he caught up to the 3rd runner, which has happened quite often. I think that if he started an hour or 2 after the start, he would still catch up to the 3rd runner because he has walked for 3 hrs before running & caught the 3rd runner.
He always starts out with Taka but today is a short day & Taka says he will be fine. So after a few miles with Taka, he moves up to Kaz. After 21 miles, Lou & Olivier are running together. The traffic is heavy as well as fast. Being from N.Y., we are used to running, against the heavy traffic during rush hour. But Alan says that people in the east are not used to sharing the road with runners. Geography is not a strong subject for me, but isn't N.Y. on the east coast? I learned running against the traffic from being a Stapleton A.C. member, many moons ago. But everyday, it is something with Alan & Lou. Perhaps he does the same with the other runners, but so far for 66 days, I haven't witnessed it yet. He usually puts on his stern authoritarian look as if he is ready to scold a boy & says, "Lou get on the sidewalk, or run in single file not on the side of another runner, or you are on the wrong side of the road". I give Lou a lot of credit, because he never lost his cool with Alan.
We passed through Gettysburgh at 24 miles. The traffic was extremely busy here through this historic town. A young woman stopped me & wanted to give a donation. When I explained to her that we were not accepting donations but instead promoting the importance of awareness & education of early detection of breast cancer across the U.S. from the west coast to the east coast. She responded with wide open eyes saying, "thatís awesome". Lou finished in 8 hrs 15 min behind Olivier in 7 hrs 49 min, ahead of Kaz in 8:15 & Taka finished 29 min within cutoff. We found another shoe store in a neighboring town of Hanover, for a much needed pair. Till tomorrow. Lou & Agnes

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