Wednesday, December 8, 2010

a very late update: a beast of a monsoon hits the 09 chimera 100

Dec. 12, 2009

The problem with recapping events a year after it's happened is that sometimes you forget details, or in this case forget about the event itself. My apologies to RD Steve Harvey, but here's what happened from our point of view at the Trabuco Gate aid station of the inaugural Chimera 100 Race.

The Chimera 100 logo featured a fearsome beast which undoubtedly made its presence known through the elements that the race had to deal with. So I was wondering what the aid station situation was gonna be like. Were we going to assemble the EZ ups in the rain and get soaked in the process? Much to my delight, when Skip and I arrived at the Trabuco gate, we saw a fully enclosed tent cabin waiting for us. There was even a little space heater in there. Inside were the volunteers already setting up -- Eric K. and his mom on the ham, Marla H., the twins, Corry and Kelly, and Deirdre E. prepping the aid station food. I gotta commend Deirdre; she took charge of getting the food and drinks ready, and before too long, the aid station was ready for our first runners to come by in no time at all. It was like she was running a mess hall – such efficiency.

The first runner to come by was… hmmm, it's been a year now, so not really sure. I think it might have been Hal Koerner, though I could very well be wrong. He may not even have been running that race. Anywhoo (as my midwestern sister-in-law would say), he just cruised on by and waved at us. The next runner wasn't going to be here for a while.

The rest of the morning was spent waiting and amusing ourselves so we would forget how wet and cold we were. But the rain and the wind were just too strong to ignore. Think downpours and gale force winds. It wasn't stopping and there were no signs that it was going to let up. There was so much precipitation that our tent was leaking everywhere. To protect our ham radio equipment from our indoor condensation, we rigged up an umbrella right over it.

We slowly had some runners trickling in, and most of them were wearing some of the biggest smiles. The endorphins must've been really kicking in because I wouldn't be that happy running in those conditions. Or maybe they've been miserable the last couple of hours that seeing our aid station probably lifted their spirits. Whatever the reason may have been, they were extremely grateful. I saw several friends, most of whom asked me why I wasn't running. The knee, I said. A few minutes later, they were off.

I was thinking about my friends, Molly and Michelle who were taking over the afternoon and night shift. If the conditions continue to deteriorate, I didn't think it would be safe for anyone to be out here at night.

We heard over the ham that one of the aid station tents was blown away. I thought, uh-oh, I have a feeling that the whole race itself will DNF. At about noon, we got the official word that the race had indeed been called off.

The Trabuco Peak aid station, before and after. ©Larry Goddard.

We packed up, closed up the aid station and headed back down the hill to the relative safety and comfort of race HQ at Blue Jay Campground.

Sorry for the late report, Chimera. How could I possibly have forgotten about you.

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