Hey all, we had a great run at Bandera today with some new faces. For those of you unable to join I thought I would give a recap with some highlights. Including a very special highlight at the end.
Around 530am, me Brian, Tom, Liza, Tony, Tim, Rich, Jessica, Jean, Eric and Paul hit the trail. It was the first time Jessica, Eric, and Paul ran with us. Liza, Tony, Eric and Tom were the lead pack with the rest of us some distance behind. We ran over Lucky’s, to the the Lodge (turn around), to Cairns, Boyle’s and Sky Island. At Sky Island, Tony and Liza headed back and the rest of us did the rest of Sky Island to trail 1, hit the back side of the Sisters the Mt Fuji way, back to trail 1 to Trail 6 and the headed back to crossroads. We refueled and said goodbye to Jessica and Paul (who got hurt…more later). Tom, Eric, me, Tim, Brian and JEan went back up Sky Island and then rand down to trail 1. Trail 1 to Ice Cream Hill, back to trail 1, to the Sisters (Tom and Jean continued on trail 1 back to crossroads), after the Sisters we made the long climb up Sky Island and then ran back to the cars. In sum we got around 24 hot hilly rocky miles in. Tom and Jean were in the 22-23 range. Rich did his own route the 2d time and got around 23. Very productive running day. On to highlights
– It was hot but very humid. Our clothes never really got dry and the sweating never stopped. Fortunately, there was some cloud cover at times. We also got some nice breezes. Got a very good breeze at the top of Ice Cream Hill of all places. We stood there awhile and enjoyed it.
– Didn’t see all the stuff Larry and Troy did. Did see one snake but that was it. No frogs, dillos, deer, hogs, Lorenzo etc. The mud puddles also pretty much dried up.
– Eric won the award for running with the most people. Early on we ran with Liza, Tony and Tom. After Liza and Tony left he slummed with us mid-packers.
– Liza’s foot passed the Bandera Rock test! She seemed excited. Eric told me it was amazing how effortlessly Liza places he feet when rock running.
– It was Jessica’s first time at Bandera and she did very well! Really did well handling the rocks. She had already signed up for CR50 and made the comment that it was a good thing she signed up before see the course.
. Paul did his best Joe T. impersonation and put his hand hard on a sotol to break his fall when he tripped. Lots of blood on hand and he hurt his shoulder. Sad thing was it happened right at end of 15 mile loop.
– Tim really rocked the Larry bandanna do-rag look. It should improve his time by a minute per mile.
– Now on to THE highlight of the day. I still get chills thinking about it. At the beginning of our 2d batch of miles we climbed up Sky Island from Crossroads, Upon approaching the Sky Island saddle there is a trail that cuts the 90 degree perpendicular angle the main Sky Island trail makes with the saddle saving valuable distance. Naturally we all take the trail that cuts the angle except for Tom. Tom runs past the shortcut trail to the main Sky Island trail junction and then turns left onto the main Sky Island trail adding at least 60 feet to his run. The rest of us stood watching with our mouths dropped open in total awe. The old Tom Bowling would have taken that shortcut but the new Tom Bowling is taking running to a whole other level. Tom was humble, of course, and tried to downplay it but the rest of us knew what we saw. In the upcoming months when Tom is setting course records and eventually winning Ultrarunner of the Year we will reflect on that magical moment on Aug 13, 2011 when Tom Bowling redefined what was humanly possible.