RAA DAY # 37 SUNDAY-7/18/04-Lou Rodriguez and Agnes Oquendo, RACE ACROSS AMERICA Diary

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Posted by Gail Marino on October 13, 2004 at 12:29:54:

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

RAA DAY # 37 SUNDAY 7/18/04

It is a slightly cool morning in St. Francis, Kansas (3320 ft), as we head off to our destination at Road 29 on Hwy 36 in a small town of either Atwood or Ludell, Kansas (2850 ft) for 48.8 miles with a cutoff of 13 hrs 56 min. The line up is generally a carbon copy of the day before unless Lou, Olivier or Kaz mix it up a bit. But of course Lou is restricted to how mixing he can do. Although we are used to & love the faster lane, which is of course one reason why we love racing, but I have learned that although cotton is breathable & acceptable, silk is a richer quality fabric that is well worth the wait as well as the cost. Olivier & Don are just ahead of los tres amigos, Taka, Lou & Kaz. Taka is moving slowly as Lou & Kaz are walking, but it is a long day ahead of them. Kaz is complaining of a toothache, he accepts a few ibuprophen from us & is on his way.
The course consists of rolling hills through wheat farms, ranches & a few very small towns. It warmed up to about 97 degrees & after 21 miles, Lou & Taka are 6 minutes behind cutoff. So its time to stop walking & Lou starts with some drills in order to get Taka to move. There is 28 miles left & it is better to make up the time now instead of later. For the next few miles & hours, Lou works on drills & Taka works on trying to catch Lou. It adds a little spice or action to the wheat fields. I heard on the radio, it is Nelson Mandella's birthday.
Cutoff is 4 minutes under 14 hours. That is a long time to be out running in the hot sun & then in 10 hours start all over again. 10 hours is not enough time to rest & eat & shop & shower & prepare for the next day & drive to & from the start & finish. The stores in the towns close before we finish. So obviously the later you finish, the less advantage you have of anything. This stress along with the daily added stress is so overwhelming day after day, has made our obligations to Taka & promoting early detection of breast cancer more than just challenging. I am saddened to say that it has made me harder, as well as grayer. Perhaps quitting was the intended goal for us, & I must admit that it crossed my mind daily, but it was not an option we were going to allow at the end of each day. I curse the day I uttered the words, "who wants easy".
After a few hours Kaz felt much better & moved on. Olivier & Don finished in 11:36, Kaz in 11:00, Lou in 12:39 & Taka in 13:53. If Lou didn't push Taka, I don't believe he would have made up those 6 minutes & finish with 3 minutes within cutoff. We are only halfway to New York & for me the days get harder. But we get up & do it again & again even though each day there seems to be an extra hurdle or 2 more than yesterday to cross over. Till tomorrow. Lou & Agnes

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