Monday, May 30, 2011

Nanny Goat's 12/24 Hour Trail Race

When I registered for the Nanny Goat 24 Hour race, I had every intention of attempting the 100 miler. However, this little injury got in the way of that goal. Being on the injured reserve list is no fun, and every weekend that I'm sitting on my couch and not out there cranking out those marathons, I feel my Titanium dream slip away. Nonetheless, I've said it before, and I'll say it over and over again: Titanium is very important to me, but I am not going to kill myself in the process to get it.  I want to be able to run a few marathons every year for the rest of life and not 52 in one year and never be able to run again. I'm still on track to hitting my goal, but it certainly makes it a bit more challenging being sidelined.

I took a few weeks off from the marathon to rest up and heal my aching body. When Memorial Day rolled around, I felt ready enough to participate in the Nanny Goat event.  I figured I had 24 hours to complete a 50k, I could crawl the whole thing and still finish with plenty of time to spare.  I also knew that this was going to be one big party with a bunch of Marathon Maniac friends, so I had to be there regardless of injuries!

Ultra Woof and I traveled down to Southern California from the Bay Area with a station wagon full of camping gear and food.  There was probably more food than camping gear.  There was A LOT of food.  What do you expect at an ultra event?  We spent Friday night at a fellow runner's place near Magic Mountain and headed to the ranch early Saturday morning. This ultra race took place on a one mile dirt loop on a private horse ranch located in Riverside, California, and at 7am, I could already feel the heat.  When Ultra Woof and I arrived, we unpacked our gear and claimed our spot in one of the stables in the barn.  The thought of hanging out in a horse stable for the next 24 hours was quite comical to me.  I felt like I needed some sort of Kentucky Derby moniker, like "Endorphin Equine!"  After setting up, I picked up my bib and chilled out before the race. 

What a bunch of Maniacs!
Unscripted. Unplanned. Unexpected. Guinness Book World Record holder Yolanda "Walking Diva" Holder greeted Endorphin Dude at Nanny Goat with an Endorphin Dudette head band on! When this Walking Diva recorded her record breaking 106 marathons last year, I sent her this honorary pink head band. I never thought she would ever wear it at a race! Since I packed all my capes for this 24 hour race, I had her model the pink Endorphin cape for the paparazzi. I am a huge fan of Yolanda Holder. I met this incredible lady after the 2010 Mardi Gras Marathon. As a brand new runner, I was so self-conscious and worried about not fitting into the "mold" of the runner. Yolanda said to me, "This is your journey. Do it your way." Indeed, I have. Thank you, Walking Diva. I am proud to have you represent the Endorphin Empire! I am also very happy to have you as my friend.
I told you we had food, food, and more food!
And we're off, just like cattle!

Was it coincidence that my bib number was 100?  Did that mean that I had to run the 100 miles?  Or maybe the 100k?  The thought of doing either crossed my mind, but reality quickly kicked in when I started to run and felt a little discomfort in my right leg.  I immediately dropped to a walk pace, and continued that pace for the next 31 loops!  That's what I love about these 24/12 hour races, there is no time constraint.  I also love the one mile loop concept because I never "fell behind the pack." Of course, in mileage I did, but because there was always someone ahead or behind me at all times, I always felt in the mix.  Ultra races always bring out a great cast of characters, and it was awesome for me to see them over and over again throughout the day and night.

We all know Ed "Mad Hatter Fancy Pants" Ettinghausen!  This guy runs every race dressed like a jester, and he goes out of his way to learn everybody's names so that he can give them a personalized woot woot every time he passes them.  Ed truly is an ambassador for our sport, and by the end of this year, if all goes as planned, he will enter the Guinness Book for having run the most marathons in one calendar year with something in the neighborhood of 111.
Here's follow Marathon Maniac and Dolphin South End Runner, Bill McCarty.  Bill ran 71 miles...with a broken arm!
Deo got his 100 miles in!
Jo Jo Starbucks!
And there's our Nanny Goat winner, Michael Miller, who ran a whopping 119 miles!
Four Divas!  Big thanks to Jessica Montoya and Diana Kitching and all the others who came out to cheer and pace us runners on.  It was also great to see Ultra Woof get her 50 miles in.  At times, my running partner in crime struggled mentally, but she persevered through it all and got the job done.
Desert Tortoise taking a little break while Bobbi Galindo waits for her man Kansas to make it to the next loop.

Nanny Goat was one big party for me.  Of course I had to work hard to get the 50k in, but I had fun doing so.  I made a lot of pit stops at the barn to refuel and socialize throughout the day and was even able to crank out seven ward robe changes!

The Red E-Dude. These boys' mother asked if she could take a picture of me. The boys posed with Endorphin Dude.
E-Dude donned the pink Wabbitz suit for Jessica Wabbitz!
Gotta have the Mad Hatter Fancy Pants ensemble!
E-Dude traded in the cape for the Monkey shirt to pay tribute to his marathon twin and nemesis, Dave Mari.  Yes, E-Dude did attempt the trademark Mari X jump, but failed miserably.
It got really hot in the afternoon, so Endorphin Dude threw on a cap.  I call this one, "Boy Wonder."
And of course, the signature Black Endorphin Dude suit!  Here I am with my stable mate (that's my mate who shared a stable with me and not my mate who is stable, although I would say that Kimberly is pretty stable!), Kimberly Lohstroh Miller.
When my race ended, I reverted back to plain old Tony Nguyen.  I wore my comfortable Nanny Goat tee and medal and cheered on the 100 milers.  Poor Deo.  There was nothing left in him after circling that ranch 100 times!

At the end of the weekend, I logged in 31 miles, which was enough to earn me Marathon Maniac credit.  My heart really wanted more, but my mind and legs said no.  I kind of feel like a slacker because I "only" completed a 50k, compared to everyone else' 50 miles, 100k, 100 miles and beyond.  But out of all honesty, I am totally cool with this.  Injuries have made this past month very frustrating for me, and completing this 50k brings me great confidence and pride.  It's good to be back!

Titanium scoreboard: 17 down, 35 to go!


  1. Thanks Tony! I know how you feel about injuries. I was just recovering from tendinitis in my right foot. I logged 20 miles and stopped . . . The doc that was treating me was there with a concerned voice called out to me, "Is that a number on you!?"

    I am working to see how I can do the Run-de-Vous in August! Keep making people smile!

    Best, Fred

  2. Great race report Tony. Michael and I had so much fun getting to know you better during the Nanny Goat!