Well it didn’t quite work out as planned from a mileage standpoint (more on that later) but the night run was a great time on a beautiful night! We had a rather large group. At one time or another our group consisted of Jean, Connie, Jessica, Mary Vincent, Robert, Rich, Eric, Paul, Vidal, Travis, Larry, Tim and myself. Rich’s wife, Jeannie (hope I spelled it right) was there for amazing support. After caching water and gearing up we probably got started somewhere close to 530p. We ran 10 miles from Equestrian to Nachos to Equestrian. Beginning of the run was pretty warm but by the time 7p rolled around we were treated to a beautiful sunset and rapidly cooling temperatures. After arriving at Equestrian we treated ourselves to a lot of the goodies the Mihalik’s had set out. We said goodbye to Vidal who was recovering from an illness and was really having a hard time breathing even on downhills. Rich then joined us for the 10-11 mile section from Equestrian to Boyles to Equestrian. Robert left us (alonng with some jokes about how he got turned around at Boyles last week) as we went Sky Island. We stopped at the Lodge and enjoyed some of the water Rich had cached by using his former military skills to evade the scrutinizing watch of the HCSNA rangers. At the lodge Rich, Tim (nausea issues) and Jessica headed back to Equestrian via the road. After leaving the lodge we had planned on doing the same 10-11 miles in reverse direction in Cactus Rose style. Larry loaded up on about 3 of Rich’s red bulls took off and all we ever saw was his back. On the top of Boyles my bruised left foot really started to hurt and was falling way behind. When we got to the Sky Island saddle I told everyone I planned to head back the half mile to Equestrian because I didn’t want to hurt my foot further. I then tried to describe the rest of the route so those who wanted to do the Cactus Rose route could do so. After a couple of attempts I got blank looks and finally Eric said, “Chris wherever you are going we are going”. Guess they didn’t want to get lost among the coyotes. So we head back to Equestrian. From Equestrian Connie, Travis and Mary ran 6 more miles (trail 1 to Nachos and road back to Equestrian) while the rest of us either left or hung out with the Mihaliks and made sure Connie, Travis and Mary made it back ok. Which they did. On to some of the highlights:
– The Mihaliks were the MVPs. It was a lot of fun just relaxing at Equestrian enjoying the goodies and shooting the breeze on a wonderful starry night.
– In all most of us did 27 miles except for Connie, Travis and Mary who did 33 miles. It was Travis and Connie’s longest run ever!!!!
– I forgot how much the temperature can swing from the ridges to the low points. Felt like a 10-20 degree difference sometimes. On the ridges we would really go through the water
– Tim and Larry were wearing the bandannas. I will admit Tim can wear it much better than me but no one can rock it like Larry. Larry has a flair that no one else can simply match!
– Speaking of Larry he was running amazingly well so soon after Wasatch. He should do great at Cactus.
– One of the most interesting happenings was we descended down Mt Fuji into the wilderness camp that was being occupied by a bunch of Boy Scouts. I think the last thing they expected was to see about 13 headlamps coming down into the wilderness camp that time of night. They were cool about it.
– Vidal was sporting his new Hoka black light hiking shoes. They looked like a pair of military jump boots but Vidal said they were very light.
– A lot of us got really hungry on the stretch from Equestrian to Lodge. It was a good reminder that the body needs solid food at times.
– Not a lot going on on wildlife front. Saw some dillos and heard coyotes but no sightings.
– Mary won best fall hands down. On the top of Boyles she stepped on large flat rock. If she was at GC she would have been fine but as well all know Bandera rocks move. Well this rock moved and so did Mary. She did a good job of shaking it off.
– One forgets how challenging that section from Equestrian to Boyles to the Lodge and back can be in the dark. The night and the hills and rocks really make it hard to get into a rhythm. Good training for what we will deal with at Cactus.
– A couple of people relearned the valuable lesson of using Bodyglide to prevent chaffing.
So even though not all of us got the mileage we wanted the evening was an absolute blast and very relaxing. It’s hard to beat Bandera at night!