Saturday, April 2, 2011

Run The Dove Marathon

Did you see that video above?  Actually, I think the more appropriate question would be, "Did you hear the audio in that video above?"  There's nothing to see because it's pitch black!  The only source of light was from the moon, and even then, that was minimal.  This is what it looks like at 5am in Dove Canyon. What a way to start a marathon double header!

You may recall that I took three weeks off from running back in February because of an injury that I picked up in NOLA. The sad thing is that there are so many other exciting things that I could have picked up in The Big Easy, but unfortunately it was the bum foot that I limped home with.  In any case, because I made it onto the injured reserve list, I missed out on two marathons, so I needed to make them up.  What better place to do that than in Southern California with Charlie Alewine Racing?  What I love about CAR races is that they are low key, I can get an early start, and I get to see all the "regulars."  One of those regulars is Mad Hatter Fancy Pants, who is mentioned in the above video clip.  I was especially looking forward to see M.H.F.P. because he took an even earlier start, so I knew I would have company in the dark.  Sadly, I was wrong.  So very wrong.

Can we say horror flick?
Let's get this trail 26.2 miler under way!

I ran in the dark, up and down the Bell View Trail of Canyon Dove.  I climbed over rocks to avoid mud pits.  I dodged branches hanging from tall trees.  I felt like Indiana Jones in Raiders of The Lost Dark.  While doing all this, I kept searching for M.H.F.P.  No sign of that Marathon Maniac anywhere.  So I continued to trek through the canyon.  By about 8am, the sun came up, and there was no sign of anybody.  How could three hours have gone by and no other runners showed up?  Nonetheless, I continued for the next two hours or so.  Still nobody.  It was then that I knew I was lost.  Big time.

At that point, I realized that I was in danger of the DQ, so I needed to contact the race director ASAP.  Mind you, I wasn't fearful of mountain lions, rattle snakes, or serial killers!  I can easily kick a kitty, snake, or killer's butt, but there was nothing I could do about a disqualification!  So, I whipped out my iPhone and texted the race director so that he knew I was out there.  I had my Garmin as proof of my mileage, but I felt that I needed to send pictures of me on the trail as well.  He texted back saying that he had no idea where I was.  Great!  He then texted again and instructed me to run back to the start and that he would meet me there.  I was about six miles from the start, so I turned around and headed back.  Along the way, I took some photos.  Surprise surprise, eh?

This trail had a very Dr. Seuss feel to it.  Don't these trees feel Seussical to you?
I must have circled this lake five times looking for marathoners.
Loving the flora.
Bom Chicka Wah Wah!  Get a room!
Where the heck is everybody??

By the time I reached mile 22, I headed back to the start line.  Still nobody.  I called the race director again and he told me to wait at the corner and that he would come down to get me.  Ten minutes later, he showed up--from the other side of the street!  It turns out that I was on the wrong side of the canyon all along!  He then escorted me to the correct starting line, and sitting there were the a few of my Marathon Maniac friends who had already finished!  My buddy Desert Tortoise, who had been done for about an hour, asked me where I was, and when I explained I was on the other side of the canyon, everybody got a good laugh.  At least I knew I was in the right place now, and was able to run my final four miles on the correct side of the canyon!

What a crazy day.  I am glad to be done with marathon #17, and the first of my double header.  It took me a while to get there, but I made it.  After the race, I went back to my Motel 6, soaked myself in Epsom salts, and chilled out.  Later that evening, I met up with some of my SoCal Bling Whore running buddies, and they got a good laugh at my marathon buffoonishness.  As you can see, I am also a literary buffoon, as the word "buffoonishness" doesn't even exist.  Hey, it sounds good, and you get the point, so I'm going to leave it at that!

Titanium scoreboard: 10 down, 42 to go. Woo Hoo!

From left to right: race director Charlie Alewine, Endorphin Dude (sans cape), Mad Hatter Fancy Pants, newly minted Marathon Maniac Kim Manfred, Deborah Alewine, and Desert Tortoise.

Bling Whores!  From left to right, Jenny, Diana, Elizabeth, and me.  Gotta love those furry Warrior Dash viking hats.


  1. Great job!!! Given that it was that dark, anyone could have ended up on the wrong side of the mountain.

  2. Raiders of the Lost Dark! The snail thing shows you are paying way too much attention to the trail (although I have a similar picture of a couple of newts beside a trail, so who am I to talk). The DQ was definitely the scariest thing you were facing.

  3. haha sounds like something i would do. i have the worst direction sense in the world. glad you survived though!! congrats on being that much closer to titanium glory!!