Well, you write one little “down in the dumps” blog post and then even your closest friends start betting against you!
I got an e-mail from my friend Dennis two days before the Condor 25k: “BTW there is betting going on about the Condor race and your name is featured prominently.” The Corvallis running group loves to speculate and bet on ultras, and I have heard they even used to draft Fantasy Western States teams. So it didn’t surprise me that they’d try to get a little extra fun out of a hometown race with two “locals”- Alinna and me- as the favorites. But it looked like my previous blog post swayed a few betters– those who read bet against me! What I forgot to mention is that my competitive drive doesn’t tire nearly as easily as my body and I love Scott shoes (particularly the T2C’s!), the prize for the race. :)
I really wasn’t trying to sandbag in that post. I only logged 45 miles in the three weeks before Condor (yeah, that’s total!) and I really had no idea where I stood going in. I did not feel great on the warm-up so I decided to run a strategic race rather than an all-out race from the gun, and the decision paid off. Alinna is a very strong hill climber, and I just dogged her the first 9 miles, which were mostly uphill. After the Saddle at mile 9.5, the course was mostly downhill, and mostly non-technical. I eat that up so at that point it was time to boogie to the finish and claim my new dancing shoes! However, I wasn’t able to catch my Salem training partners, Dan and Shawn, who bested me by 15 seconds or so. Dan obviously didn’t want to get chicked as he tried to push me off the trail when I wanted to pass! (Well, at least that’s how I’m interpreting his errant elbow jab) Nice job guys, but watch out for next time! My friend Gloria picked up the master’s win, so Salem was well represented!
|Fast Salem Women!
However, the real focus of the day was not racing or even free shoes, but instead honoring the memory of a dear friend, Dave “Condor” Bateham. Dave’s death hit me pretty hard, both because he was a healthy ultra-running cohort and because he was a father-figure type who succumbed to infection when my own father has also been plagued by post-surgical infections. But also because I feel like I owe a lot of my success in ultra-running to him. He was a fixture at the Saturday runs and he was always incredibly welcoming. The first time I ran with him, he was training for the McDonald Forest 50k with his son Eric and I remember thinking how awesome that was. Dave gave me advice when I first started running ultras and was a big fan when I started doing well. But really that had nothing to do with my running performance; Dave was the kind of guy that would make you feel awesome about yourself no matter how you did. Out on the course on Saturday when I closed the gap between me and Alinna the first time, I thought to myself, “Dave would be cheering for me to win.” But really Dave would be cheering for everyone equally, and he’d give not only his support, but his time to help others reach their goals.
The Condor 25k was a fitting memorial for Dave with local runners coming together to share the trails and do what he loved. Big thanks to Tia and Clem for putting together a great race in Dave’s honor. And thanks Dennis, Lobo, and Maistro for believing in me! Be sure to make Tia and Osito buy you the good stuff (and save some for me!) ;)