Last Saturday, I ran the Double Dipsea race with a group of friends I met on the Runner's World "Loop". The pictures that Brad and Kynan posted in their blogs better describe the beauty of the race, the camaraderie, and the joy of running with good friends. Good running friends carry many of the same goals and dreams. And we know each other fairly well with all the personal blogs we have shared. Brad recently qualified for the Boston Marathon! How cool is that? Part of the beauty of the Loop is that we can live vicariously through our friends and their blogs on the Loop. And the connections we make are very real, as evident in nearly all the Loop-meetup and Loopfest stories.
At the halfway point, we got a little more serious about the race, and me and Bangle took off to shoot for a sub 3 hour race, and run a negative split. I ran harder and blew through the aid stations without stopping. I was trying to give Bangle someone to hunt down. But then I ran into a man named Xerxes Whitney. Xerxes has a moderate form of Cerebral Palsy, but he was chugging along up some really tough hills. I found his story really inspirational! He was also a high school tennis coach! I tagged along behind him and his guide for at least a mile or two. My brother also has Cerebral Palsy (although a much more debilitating form). I just found out that he is also "a three-time marathoner, a college graduate with a bachelor's in
economics from UC Santa Cruz and a master's in applied sports science
from Indiana University"! Seeing someone with Cerebral Palsy living his life so fully and successfully really touched me. I was planning to run to the finish with him, but then Bangle caught up and passed us. I bid Xerxes farewell and took off after Bangle. The hunt was on. Except now, Brad was the deer.
We ran together for a while, but Brad slowly pulled away. I hung around on his heels as best as I could. Judging from how he descended the stairs, I knew his quads were already trashed. Brad would run better and faster going uphill and on the non-technical flats, but the stairs and the technical downhills belonged to me. I kept him in my sights and on the final stretch to the finish line, I made my move. My goal was to cross the finish line with Brad, side by side. I pulled up beside him at the last second (literally) and we both did a Bangle pump at the finish. Unfortunately, there was no camera to capture the moment!
We hung around and I got to cheer for my new friend Xerxes as he crossed the finish line, and then witnessed Laura and Kynan duel some random chick to the finish. They got chick'd! But they put up a good fight!
Me and Laura enjoyed some fabulous watermelon at the finish line, and then we headed off to the beach for an ice bath in the frigid Pacific Ocean! And Laura and Kynan brought some ice cold Blue Moon beer! And they brought technu to wash off any poison oak oils we might have encountered out on the trails! It was wonderful. There is no better way to have an ice bath.
We went out to lunch together at the Lighthouse Cafe in Sausalito, which makes some awesome blueberry pancakes. The special of the day was a Crab and Lobster Sandwich, which sounded pretty good, but turned out to be a little fishy. Brad and I should have gotten the pancakes! Parting is such sweet sorrow. But we'll be back again someday soon. And next time maybe some of you will be joining us! Quad Dipsea, anyone? =)
Other notes: I took one Vespa before the race. And even though I brought a handheld with me, it probably only contained no more than 5 ounces of water in it at any given time. Brad carried no water with him and relied solely on the the aid stations. I was going to do the same, but Kynan scared me into taking the handheld just in case there weren't enough aid stations.I finished the race in 2:58:36, exactly one second ahead of Brad according to the official results.