DAY #38-7/19/04: RACE ACROSS AMERICA-Louis Rodriguez (Agnes still filling in the story behind the race....)

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Posted by Gail Marino on November 08, 2004 at 15:12:26:

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

RAA DAY # 38 MONDAY 7/19/04

It is a dark morning but not really cold as we leave from a marker on road 29 on hwy 36, Kansas, where we finished yesterday. Our destination today is Norton, Kansas for 53.1 miles with a cutoff of 15 hrs 10 min.
Everyone has a tired look on their face this morning. Perhaps its the darkness or maybe yesterdays 48.8 miles has something to do with it.
Last night, Jean (Luc's crew), told us that Russell & Luc were going to let Lou run past them if he wanted to. He said that they were looking for Lou to tell him so, but did not see him. Lou asked me what I thought. I said,
I think that they must know as runners this rule is ridiculous & that they are men to stand up & say so & you should run how you feel. But after
today, I have learned a great lesson.
Alan made his morning speech & pointed out that today, some of us would hit the 1500 mile mark at about 4 miles out. Then runners started
out in an unusual lineup today. It was so out of ordinary that I felt something wrong & as things unfolded then it all began to make sense to me. The packs were, Luc & Russell then Bob & Don then Olivier & Lou then Taka then Kaz. This was the lineup for the first 2 1/2 miles then Bob ran in between Luc & Russell & takes off. Then Russell & Don switch places & for the 1st time,
Don is in the 3rd position. Then shortly after, Lou catches up & is behind Don. Then Don & Luc say something to Lou but I cannot hear them. Lou
starts walking & Luc & Don run over to me. They are both talking at once to me, Luc is apologizing, saying that Lou is a nice man but that he should run either 500 yards ahead or behind him. Don is telling me that he is the 3rd
runner & Lou cannot pass him. As I listen to the 2 of them, I feel that this was a setup from the moment I saw the lineup this morning. To me, this was a cruel trick. I see a look of embarrassment on Russell's face as he puts his
head down running alone.
I felt the heaviness in my heart, as well as the tears welling up in my eyes, because this whole charade or act was another stab at us. Why
is being a journey runner such a threat? Obviously, they realize that he is faster than they are, but why drop to such a level of deceit & behavior we would not tolerate from our children. I was not used to this type of
behavior from adults, this was all new to me. I just did not understand & felt very sad & all alone. We were basicly all alone because we were
the ones being forced to leave. I do not know what was said between Lou, Don & Luc because Lou has never told me. I have my own thoughts on who
developed this plan & who were the players, but I will keep them to myself for now. The rest of the day was difficult, because we had no choice on how long we would be out on the road, as the temperature rose to 101 degrees. Of course
we made many rest stops, that we normally would not have, in order to stay out. I couldn't stop crying, so I had to wear sunglasses but between
the sun & my tears, I was having a difficult time driving. I don't believe that
Olivier, Taka & Kaz knew what had transpired & we were not going to burden them with our problems.
We passed by many fields. We finished today, even with heavy hearts, teary eyes & cluttered thoughts in 13:37, Kaz 12:34, Olivier in 12:54 & Taka in 15:01. The stores close early in the small towns but we are getting used
to having pizza hut for dinner. Lou stayed in the motel as I went out for food. When I returned, I saw Luc in the room with Lou, he apologized for todays events. Although Lou accepted his apology, I cannot find it in my
heart to do so. There are a few days during this trip that left a very bad taste in my mouth, & a hole in my heart because I could not believe
that people with the same goal could be heartless, selfish & cruel. This day is one of those days & it still hurts to think back. Till tomorrow.
Lou & Agnes

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