|Sharon and her family|
I traveled to Avalon in style as a guest of my friend Sharon and her family, it was a very pleasant trip across the channel, one with laughter and some amazing sea creatures, dolphins Whales and sea lions!!
|Lt to rt, Rene, Paul, ME, Ray and Diana|
|These men are part of a special group of runners who do Avalon year in and year out!|
As we were leaving registration which had a record of over 350 runners signed up I was proud to meet 3 gentlemen who had all ran this event 20 times or more!! I was beginning to realize that this was a special event not just a 50 mile footrace.
|Here is Sharon and Hope both doing there first 50 miler.|
|My friends all sign in and Don takes the names and numbers at 4.45am|
|AT 5am the runners all leave the streets of Avalon|
Yah!! Let my adventure begin, just when I was about to give up hope of being able to crew I get the chance of a life time to ride 18 miles in a 1967 VW!!! They picked up a lot of volunteers and we were packed in solid but they made it work and I was so grateful as Wacko Cafe is were the drop off bags are located and we get to see the runners twice on the out n back 18 miles and mile 33!!
|organizing drop bags by color, 350 bags now that's a lot of bags!|
|Here I am with Mary who never stopped smiling ! we decorated the Wacko Cafe signs|
But I helped one really nice lady who worked at the schools in Avalon make 9 loaves of bread into peanut butter and jelly delights! and during idle chatter she mentioned that she missed Trader Joes !!
Although I was sad I could not run in this event being a volunteer at the Wacko Cafe aid station was a priceless moment in my 19 years of competing, this aid station had it all, Charisma, great volunteers (ahem) and also it boasted a lasso and horseshoe game which the runners could test their skills at mile 18 and then check again their coordination at mile 33!
|Usual things to see at an Ultra running aid station!!|
|And the Gal really can lasso!|
It was originally started by Ralph and Pat Morrow but due to health reasons had to hand it over. There idea was to make the aid staion a fun and happy place to pass through.
|Polly was the reason why Fabrice hardly stopped at Wacko Cafe she was third over all and on fire to catch Fabrice who she could actually see as she arrived at the aid station wow woman power!! Her finish time was 6:55:55!!|
|Before we had a chance to finish setting up the aid station Fabrice the winner of last year and in the lead again came flying through he hardly stopped and took off almost immediately! His winning time this year would be 6:44:19|
|Gary takes time at the aid station mile 18|
Gary Wang is part of the Ohana of Ultraman and was great to see him in this event which was for the records his first ever 50 miler years and years ago!
|My friends Ray and Sharon stop to eat cooked salted potatoes|
Sharon was amazing attempting her first 50 miler and knocked it out of the Ball Park !
|Brooks Cascadias enjoy a little beach time|
Here Simon shows me his love for Hammer Solids! A lot of runners were using Hammer Nutrition, was great to see that!!
|Here is Amy all smiles as she puts in an excellent 50 mile run!|
Here Johan Cronje is a happy camper as he passes through Wacko Cafe!
Fabrice explains at mile 33 there is a woman running and she is very fast!!! He must run like the wind! And he did exactly that!
Was great to see Monique Fletcher running with a broken arm and huge smile! good enough to place in her age group AMAZING!
I asked to walk with him a few 100 feet and then I had to get back to Wacko Cafe as I turned around I took one more photo of this unique human being who has inspired so many ultra runners today.
Here Hal Winton number (2) and Kent Holder (1) Share a few stories at mile 33.2 Wacko Cafe. Hal finished his event in 23 hours 59 minutes while the youngster Kent Holder at 72 years old polished off his 30th Avalon in 11 hours, 41 minutes! WOW he accredits his speed to eating Avocados!
Here some of the Foothill fliers decide to try their hands at horseshoe competition
Here I give encouragement to my friends Ray Mena and Thomas Zaide
I love this pic of Andres Urdaneta hmmm which running shoe should I try! I guess I should mention at this point his brother Alex was sharing the same drop bag so not all the shoes were his to try!
There was a tip glass at Wacko Cafe were runners could deposit small amounts of cash to aid towards the various charities the benefit run raised dollars for. The Lions Club of Avalon I think distribute all the funds from this event to charities on the Island which include Avalon hospital, Avalon High School scholarships, Conservancy, and Bill Putnam Health care fund. As you can see people were quite generous!
|The VW with a lot less baggage after the 350 plus runners had passed through twice, not a pretzel, a sandwich not am mm was left the aid station had managed to give every last runner hydration and fuel ! How is that for planning!!|
|A final glance back at Little Harbour, see you next year!!|
I cannot think of a better way to spend 10 hours than to volunteer at Wacko Cafe Aid station it was an honor and a privilege to have been part of history and I really enjoyed seeing my friends come through looking happy and tired. After everything was packed we enjoyed a lift back to Avalon along the final 17 miles, we past many runners and walkers the views were spectacular, the other aid stations were priceless too.
|I said adios to my new friends from the Saddle club!|
|Another ageless icon of Avalon Bill Dickey runs to an impressive finish|
|Amazing runners age is just a number for these men!|
|Tom also has finished Avalon numerous times|
|Reece paced barefoot Ted for 20 miles and then helped out at Wacko Cafe.|
I am sorry I never caught this remarkable woman s name but this lady had a buckle from Avalon and I think is the only female to do so!
|Was so happy to see Diana finish and having her son there just made it a truly emotional first 50 miler!|
|Flash light Paul!|
|John Radich, ME, Monique, Gary and Slater|
|Here I am with Sharon as we leave Catalina bound for the mainland.....|
So all in all Avalon 50 mile benefit Volunteer spot was a cool experience, Next year I will enjoy the camaraderie of the runners and all the aid stations and I truly hope to soak up some Californian Sun and get a finishers t shirt and medal! To the Lions Club of Avalon and Mike Bone of Spectrum Sports Management thanks for the time and effort you all put into making sure this benefit event keeps going!
|A Volunteer t shirt I can proudly wear!|