I should’ve known better than heading out with just 40 oz. of fluids with me, when at 7am and the cloud cover still above us, I could feel the sun's heat beaming through. This normally would've been enough hydration, but I somehow failed to take heed that the temps were expected to rise on this day.
22 runners met at Santiago Truck Trail head for the OCTR “stampede,” as Kevin called this past Saturday’s training run. Due to afternoon commitments and with a handful of other mates, I opted to do the shorter run of just under 16 miles to Old Camp and back, while the majority of the group went past Old Camp, up the infamous Joplin Trail which apparently gains 2000 feet in just under 2 miles--a decidedly more challenging run of 22 miles. Jessica, who's nursing an ailing foot, joined us on her mountain bike.
I didn't find out about the main group’s ordeal until much later. Apparently, they ran out of water with still about 9 hot miles to go. Mari and Jessica said that temps during the run reached 90deg. Had it not been for Charlie’s forethought and heroics, this run might truly have been labeled the “911-Run,” a moniker Sue and her old running pals gave the Joplin Trail due to the high incidence of medical assistance calls dispatched here. Chaz drove his SUV up Maple Springs Road and brought the lead group some much-needed cold beverages. He left some water for the “Luv From The Back” group of Skip, Nattie, Addy, and Beiyi. Unfortunately they didn't find the stash. They were still able to make it out safely, though much later in the day, when they probably took the brunt of the heat.
Our “short” run was not without incident either. Sue, who started late but caught up with us on our way back from Old Camp, took a spill and fell on a rocky section of the trail which resulted in a bloody hand, elbow and knee. We cleaned her wounds with water I had in one of my bottles, when I thought, “Damn, is this all I have with about 6 miles to go?” We also realized that we didn't have the proper first aid kit to attend to her injuries. Fortunately a mountain biker stopped and helped us out by taking care of her scrapes and gashes.
With the sun bearing down on us the last few miles, I was starting to feel like a lechon (turn me over; I’m done now and browned to perfection). I was running with Kalea through this stretch, and she was kind enough to squeeze some Ultima drink out of her Camelback. We finally made it back to the trail head where we saw early 16-mile finishers, Pam and Marissa picnicking in the sparse shade available. Other 16-milers, Wendy and Kate finished shortly behind us.
We should take some important and possibly life-saving lessons from this experience.
As trail runners, our little treks take us to places where help could be hours away. Always be aware and prepared of the conditions. Carry adequate water, and if that's not possible, make necessary arrangements like stashing them beforehand. Also carry and know some basic first aid.
In the late afternoon, I met Eusebio and other peeps from the Beach Club at Dana Point for a little sail on E's 27-footer, Lola. I was looking forward to riding the wind at the sails and jumping in the open ocean. However, because of a mishap with the master sail's line, our 3-hour tour was short lived. We couldn't get the sail to go up, and we had to put-put back into our dock, not even making it out of the harbor.
The evening was another OCTR event. This time, we had our clothes on (as in not in our running gear). Everyone sure cleaned up good. Wendy and hubby Dave, graciously hosted the party to celebrate the summer and the birthdays of June celebrants, Pam, Sue, and LW. Of course since this is a runners’ club party, much of the conversation revolved around, guess what–yep, running. Some highlights included Kelly’s famous Cookielicious cookies, Maz showing us his black big toe nail (it literally looked like a goth-style nail polish job), Wendy's never-ending drink, the tons of good food, W and D’s hospitality, and just plain hangin’ out with some really cool people.
My day started at 5am when I woke up, and ended near midnight when I finally made it home and retired to bed. Overall, a long but enjoyable day.
Photos borrowed from Greg, Wendy, and Eusebio.