When the Race Director says to do something, you do it. When the race director is dressed in a full cow suit complete with udders, you don't question, you do. Chris, the RD for the Coyote Backbone 68 miler was very clear: Racing is bad form and you will be penalized with minutes added to your final time. Entertaining aid station volunteers, visiting interesting sites along the trail, bringing frivolity to the event will be met with minutes taken off your final time. I packed a pair of Glasses with nose and mustache in my running pack and hit the Backbone Trail at it's start in Santa Monica, California. It was Noon and hot. I was sweating like crazy before I had a chance to warm up. I watched as a few young guys took off fast up the trail, I hung for a while then fell in with Evan Hone and we chatted until I lost a piece of a pin from my pack, I stopped to search, he went on. That was the last I saw of the fast young contingent.
Coyote Cohorts are everything right with trail running. Community over competition. Fun rules the day and a sense of mischief imbues the weekend. The cast of characters who ran the race or volunteered were a list of ultra running celebrities having a blast. These are the people I want to be around. I will definitely be back for more and more and more. Thanks George for inviting me in.
Later in the week I found out I finished 5th! 41 minutes ahead of Jay even though we hit the finish line at the same time.