The Ridgecrest 50k

I’m not very smart. Although I try, I don’t always figure things out on my own. I’m not always quick-witted and sometimes when I attempt to be, I end up saying something stupid. I get lost everywhere I go. That is just me.
This weekend, my lack of ‘smartness’ paid off. It was not very smart to line up at the start line of a 50k only 3 weeks after my first 100 mile race. But today was the happiest day I have had since crossing the finish line at Javelina.
The start of the run was a fabulous reunion of familiar faces. When Erich and I arrived, Kathy had taken off an hour earlier, but the rest of the Goats stood in one of the college buildings getting warm. We saw Andy, Xy and Fred as we lined up. Everyone was full of hugs and excitement.
Erich and I started together and were joined here and there by Jim, Elaina, Jean and Leigh. For the first few miles, I felt good but Erich’s pace was strong. My legs were still very aware that I had just run a 100 miler and I knew it would be a struggle to stay with him. But days like this are better when shared and it looked like both of us stood a darn good chance of PRing our 50k times on this course.
It was a beautiful day in the high desert. The weather changed from nice to cold to rainy and back again. Around mile 20, I knew I would not be able to hold Erich’s pace much longer. In the distance, I saw a patch of white hair bobbing up and down. Could it be? Yes! We had caught a Frog! Froggie and I finished off the race together as Erich went on to finish about 30 minutes before us. We both PRed.
At lunch, a group of happy Goats devored Mexican food and told stories about their great adventure. Brian was truly the ‘Goat of Honor’ having won his first ultra. I smiled. He looked happy.
As Erich and I began our drive back to LA, surrounded by desert rainbows and singing loudly to bad 80s music, I reflected back on the day and smiled for myself this time. I have some great friends who make these experiences unforgettable. A high note from the passenger’s seat interrupted my thoughts and I couldn’t help but laugh. Erich was a great new partner in crime. The world is exactly as it should be. I am happy too.

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