I didn’t run the race this year. I wanted to – I woud have liked a bit of redemption from last year’s festival of cramps – but I was nowhere near ready so soon after AC100. What I did instead was showed up with camera to Shortcut – mile 20-ish – with cameras, to cheer on friends and get a few shots.
I got there with time to spare before the front runners came through, up a long (6 miles), exposed, and hot climb. We ran this same stretch at AC100, but in the opposite direction, heading down from Shortcut, and in the evening rather than in 100 degree sun. In first place was Jorge Pacheco, who would go on to win. Jorge is a great guy, always very supportive of other runners, and I am not the only person who loves to see him win. In second place at Shortcut was Dean Dobberteen, who would eventually finish third, and in 3rd place was Dominic Grossman, who would finish 2nd. Leading the women at Shortcut by close to an hour was Ana Guijarro, not a known face to any of us. Ana finished 4th overall, and won with an hour-and-a-half lead on the 2nd place female. An hour-and-a-half is an impressive lead in a 50K.
I stayed at Shortcut until most of my friends had come through, and then headed over to the finish line at Mt. Wilson. There I talked to Jorge and Dominic, snapped a few photos, and then headed down the trail a mile or so, to the top of the climb, where I figured I might get a few pained expressions.