I hung out with my running buddy Abbey at the Lakeview Realty office, waiting for Brian to arrive. First, always, came the two support vehicles: with Hewett Brown, and Trevor Oxborrow behind the wheels. Jenny Scanland of Nevada State Parks had Ted Oxborrow with her; they were going to be leading the way up Hobart Rd to Marlett Lake. A few short minutes later, Brian appeared around the curve, escorted by three runners! Awesome! Personnel from Carson City Parks and Rec., led by none other than Roger Mellendorf, head of the department, had run with Brian from Washoe State Park with the intent of taking him to the Hobart Gate.
Abbey and I jumped into the group and we headed up to the gate. Some goodbyes made there, as the Parks and Rec gang peeled off and, Hewett took his leave. Unfortunately, he had a plane to catch to get back to his business. Now I know why I felt so comfortable with him in the support vehicle: his business is the Backcountry Rescue Institute where he is a medical instructor. Sweet!
Through the gate and the climb began. As this was my backyard, I gave Brian a bit of the travelogue for a while—until I noticed he wasn't really listening, just focusing on getting the job done. Fair enough. I limited my commentary to how far to the crest of the Sierra and where he was likely to see his destination for the first time.
We climbed and climbed and climbed. Finally when cresting Sunflower Hill between Hobart Reservoir and Marlett Lake, a glimpse of Tahoe was tantalizing! Not only that, there was virtually no climbing left. Down to Marlette and around, then the Flume trail, and Tunnel Creek and we would be down!
Jenny left us at that point to drive down to Spooner Lake and around on Highway 28 to meet us at the Ponderosa. Ted had broken out his mountain bike and was going to provide escort services along the Flume trail and Tunnel Creek. Felt good to know someone was behind, to act as a deterrent to getting plastered by a bike on a cliffside trail!
To my surprise and delight, when we reached the south end of Marlette, Trevor was waiting as well on a bike. They had planned to bracket Brian (and by my presence, me as well) with bikes along the flume for safety. I said these guys were good!
Remember back in my previous post when I said Brian was like a car with a 4-speed? I lied. The guy has at least a 5th gear. When we got to the Flume, he took off. It didn't matter that he had run 485 miles, he knew he had only 11 to go, the trail was beautiful, the weather perfect and he. Was. Gone. This was a learning point for me (see below).
He graciously allowed me to catch up again and we had some photo ops on the Flume. It was surprising to me that we had the trail to ourselves. We didn't encounter a single other person along the Flume, and only one bike and one hiker during our descent of Tunnel Creek.
We hit Ponderosa, and a replenishment point. Somewhere along the way, I had decided I was going to go all the way to the border with Brian. Damn but the man inspired me! We took off again along Lakeshore, doing some house shopping along the way. Saw a nice home on the lake for only $15.9 million. I would have snatched it up, but I wanted one in blue. Oh well.
Jenny had alerted a couple of kids up ahead on the bike path we were running along to what Brian was doing. Turns out they are both going to be joining the Incline High School Cross Country Team. They decided to tag along for a bit. Brian handed out useful advice for XC racing. I think they would have tagged along the entire route if not for Jenny breaking out the Mom Voice and asking if (a) their parents knew where they were, and (b) would they be OK with them being gone. To their credit, they turned around.
At that point (mile 23.5), my cookie fuel ran out (see things I learned, below), and I started to feel the miles, with still a bit over 2 left. I waved Brian on and said I would be there when I got there. Besides, it was HIS RUN! I just tagged along. Funny thing about the issue it that it was my shoulders. The pain radiating from my Nathan shoulder straps was killing me. Legs felt OK, feet were good, it was my upper torso that was screaming with every step. I popped a couple of ibuprofen and walked a bit. I recovered enough to drag my carcass across the border vertically at a respectable pace. That, I consider a victory!
1. Nutrition is a personal thing. What works for one person won't necessarily work for others. Experiment. My take on this tidbit is change my rate of Endurolyte use from 2 capsules every hour to 1 capsule every 30 minutes: it worked much better for me. Same overall dosage, but for me, the constant replenishment was more effective for me.
2. A cookie from Paul Schat's bakery worked as well as a Clif Shotblok for me. Chocolate chip and oatmeal both worked great, and they taste much better.
3. No sloshing in the Nathan pack is a scary sound.
4. There are some oddball folks waiting out there:
• Beware the crazed SEAL/Amish schizophrenic on the Appalachian trail;
• A fellow in Lamar, who has his bed and table out in a field and invites you to stop for a Coke (and a smile?)
5. Eating 1/2 gallon of ice cream in 14 minutes is an achievement. Getting up and continuing your long distance trek immediately after is a victory!
6. Team Oxborrow rocks!
7. Jenny Scanland rocks!
6. Chafing sucks.
7. Bodyglide works better than Sport Shield for me. Neither held up for more than 10 miles, though.
8. Run happy in your own shoes. Be happy with what you do, at your pace. Tough lesson for some (author looks in a mirror), but critical. I think I may have finally come to grips with it.
Brian's trip by the numbers:
1: States crossed (Nevada)
1: Pair gaiters destroyed (obviously NOT Dirty Girls!)
2: Support vehicles
4: Flat tires on support vehicles
5: Wilderness areas traversed
6: State parks visited
15: Mountain ranges crossed
496: Total miles run
2600: Miles covered by support vehicles
3992: Lowest point (in feet)
11,741: Highest point (in feet)
37,495: Feet of elevation gain
Thanks Brian, for allowing me to tag along and be a part of your adventure. You rock, man. You are an inspiration.