DAY #34-7/15/04: RACE ACROSS AMERICA-Louis Rodriguez

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Posted by Gail Marino on September 27, 2004 at 15:53:17:

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

RAA DAY #34 THURSDAY 7/15/04

Today we start out from Byers, Colorado (5201 ft) to Lindon, Colorado (4899 ft) for 44 miles with a cutoff of 12 hrs 34 min. Now that we are basically out of the mountain area, the start is warmer. The weather prediction is hot, possibly 100 degrees. I assure you, sizzling describes it better. Lou starts out walking with Taka for at least the 1st half hour. Taka is feeling well today, also welcoming the warmer start. Lou gave the front runners a half hour start & then starts to run his own pace. It wasn't long before he caught up to Luc & Russell & of course by then Bob was no longer in their sight. As I watch the events of this "run" each day, it reminds me of the cartoons we grew up on. The roadrunner is zooming down along the road, minding his own business & then he is forced to stop for some reason, he digs down on his heels & the dust is flying all over, as he brakes to stop. This is very close to the scenario I am forced to watch each & every time Lou reaches the 3rd runner, as Lou is forced to comply with, since July 4th.
So Lou is forced to jog at their pace, when he trained for this run at a much faster pace. During the aid stops, I would jog along with them just to check the pace out. I give Lou a great deal of credit because this pace was slow for me. Lou was being challenged physically as well as emotionally & mentally on a daily basis throughout this run. Because all the years of running & racing in N.Y., we have grown accustomed to running faster, training for the PR (personal record) in our races. But here, Lou is the only one not allowed to run, not allowed to PR, not allowed to run his own pace, all because he was injured & could not make cutoff one day. But in order to stay, we must obey Alan's rule drawn up for Lou on July 4th, not to pass the 3rd runner. What I cannot understand is why didn't the 2nd & 3rd runner say, Lou go ahead. Lou's time had no affect on theirs because his didn't count. So once Lou caught up to the 3rd runner, he literally was shuffling behind them at their pace. It would be so frustrating, that times we would just stop & sit around for a half hour or more, then continue on until we catch them again. If this was frustrating to them, it was more frustrating to us because we were the ones with the obstruction ordinance.
The course mainly consisted of fields & ranches. Where there are ranches, we found mailboxes for our pamphlets. At 34 miles, we were in Last Chance, Colorado. Along this course, there were no open gas stations or stores to buy anything, not even in Last Chance. As Lou was heading toward the last mile, a hawk was circling around him as we passed by a tree. She let him go when she realized, he was not a danger to her nest. Lou finished in 8 hrs 53 min & Taka finished 30 min within cutoff. Then a 46 mile drive to the motel for the night, the Safari Motel in Limon. The pink exterior threw me off at first but the motel was very nice & clean. Till tomorrow. Lou & Agnes

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