Saturday, August 20, 2011

Run-de-Vous 50k

The name Run-de-Vous loosely translated means YOUR RUN. This is truly YOUR run. If you wish to race it, do so! If you wish to celebrate a loved one or someone who influenced you to become the person you are today, do so! Need special drinks? You've got them! Need special food during the race? Ask and you shall receive.

I asked for a sign, and I got it. How can you not ♥ Run-de-Vous?

How could you not run a race with that description? The best part is that every word is true. Rajeev Patel is an amazing race director who just wants to give back to the community, and he did so in a huge way with Run-de-Vous. I had previously run Rajeev's Ruth Anderson Ultra Races 50k and was very impressed, so I had to return for Run-de-Vous. I was not disappointed!

The course is "a fast 2-mile loop in San Martin, CA with the backdrop of hills on the one end and a few homes, with distant mountains behind them on the other." Af
ter experiencing the excruciating heat of Hotter Than Hell, the treacherous Lovely Bones fields of Cool Moon, and the killer acorns and twigs of The Dirty Dozen, I was very happy to find a straight forward, no frills, 50k! The morning weather suited me well, as I felt like I was running through Lands End in San Francisco. By mid afternoon, though, the cool overcast sky got kicked out by Mr. Sunshine, who radiated pretty hard. It got really warm really fast, but nothing like last weekend's race around the goose turd infested lake.  I got through the heat by splashing ice cold water on my head after every loop.  I hit the wall at mile 18, but because of this loop course, I got a lot of inspiration and mental help from my fellow runners, who quickly got me back on track.

Early morning shot. Love the overcast sky. That yellow dot in the middle of the road is Guinness World Record Holder, the Walking Diva herself, Yolanda Holder.
A race wouldn't be a race without Mad Hatter Fancy Pants! Notice the slight modification to his jester uniform. 
Two awesome people: Cadillac Steve and Diane. Diane, by the way, saved me in Tahoe. At mile 18 at that marathon, she saw me on the side of the road throwing up. The altitude got to me. Diane gave me meds and ginger candy and instantly revived me!  It was good to see her at this race.
I really wanted to stow away in Fred's camelback, but he didn't have one!
There's Yen Nguyen. When I first saw her name on the participant list of another race, I thought it was my mom! Yen's husband brought me a banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich), which really hit the spot at mile 14!
And the sun came up! Blue skies!
That banh mi really hit the spot!
Here I am with two fellow Marathon Maniacs, Valerie Hower and Bill McCarty.  Valerie was the overall female winner for the 50 miler!
Here I am with the awesome Rajeev Patel, Mr. Race Director Extraordinaire!

Another very unique aspect of Run-de-Vous was the opportunity to "celebrate a loved one." Rajeev set up a "wall of love" for runners to pay tribute to those who have touched our lives. There's so many people who have inspired and motivated me, but after completing this 50k, I realized who it is that I want on that wall of love: Yolanda Holder.  I always talk about this Walking Diva, but I'd really like to take this time to pay tribute to this amazing person.

It was at the 2009 Rock 'N' Roll Mardi Gras Marathon that I met Yolanda on the shuttle to the airport. Yolanda saw how fixated I was on my medal and so she struck up a conversation with me. She asked if this was my first marathon and I responded it was my fifth half marathon, but it sure felt like the first time all over again. I told her that I was training for my first full marathon, which would happen in my hometown of San Francisco. Yolanda then told me her story and I was blown away. She explained that she was a Marathon Maniac pursuing the world record of most marathons completed in one calendar year.  I thought it was 10 or so, but when she said it was 101, I nearly fell off my chair!  I asked Yolanda what a Marathon Maniac was and she gave me the low down.  In my mind, I thought this woman was nuts! I could not fathom running so many marathons! I also could not believe that there was a club like this!

Yolanda mesmerized me to the point where I just couldn't stop listening and asking questions. When I finally felt comfortable enough to confide in her, I admitted that I was so self-conscious and worried about not fitting into the "mold" of the runner.  Her response to me: "This is your journey. Do it your way." Indeed I have, and two years later, I am a Marathon Maniac with 32 marathons and 40 half marathons under my endorphin cape. Yolanda is not just an inspiration to me. This Walking Diva is the one who ignited that maniacal fire in my heart, and for this, she is plastered all over that Run-de-Vous wall of love!

I love you Yolanda!

I am very happy I came out for Run-de-Vous. Not only did I complete my 32nd life time ultra/marathon, but I also scored a huge 10 minute PR. My previous personal best was at Rajeev's Ruther Anderson race. I guess I'm just going to have to run more of his races!

Titanium Scoreboard: 25 down, 27 to go!

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