Monday, January 02, 2012

R.I.P. and Thank You, Robert and Linda Mathis (Ultrarunner.net)

(Robert Mathis at the 2007 Lake of the Sky 33m)
Last Friday night, Robert and Linda Mathis, founders and race directors for the Ultrarunner.net Race Series in California and Nevada, were tragically killed when struck by a vehicle while crossing the street in their home town of Incline Village, NV. You can read the account of the incident here, with the addition of the comments from family members that acknowledge the victims.

Robert and Linda were two shining stars of the ultrarunning community and we will miss them terribly. If they weren't out running or crewing, they were putting on great races on their favorite trails such as the Rucky Chucky 50k, the Lake of the Sky 33m, the Pony Express 100k, and many, many more. I ran their Series in 2007 and had the time of my life. I will always remember their smiling faces, Linda's famous homemade chili, Robert's crazy addiction to the Disney World Marathon, and the deep friendship they shared with so many in the community.

Their surviving family has arrived in Incline Village, NV, and at this time, there will be no public service. Some runners are suggesting a memorial run on 2/25 (Ed. update - casual run scheduled for 9am on 2/25 at the Auburn Dam Overlook), where they would have hosted their Cool Trail Runs 34M/21M/25K/10K. It would have been the 10th season of their races. If you are interested, please leave a note here or find the Robert and Mathis Memorial page on Facebook. Even if it's not a "race" and we just go out and run together, I'm pretty sure it's how they would want us to honor their memory.

One last request to all of you who knew them - if you have any pictures of both of them, I'm sure the family would be appreciative if you could share. Perhaps they can be used for the memorial run as well. You can send them to me at scottdunlap [at] yahoo.com and I will forward them.

We miss you, Robert and Linda. Thank you for all you brought to our lives.

[Ed. note - more photos that have been contributed by Jakob Hermann, Chihping Fu, Shelby Jones, Linda McFadden, Susan Spidle, and Bev Abbs]



(Linda Mathis cooks up her famous chili at the Rucky Chucky 50k)




(On the phone with Linda)

24 comments:

  1. Thank you Scott for posting this. I cannot even say how much I will miss Robert and Linda. They have been there for me since the beginning. It was at their Pony Express race in 2004 when Greg Soderland came to me and asked me if I wanted to run WS100. I don't think I'll ever forget his look, or Robert's, when I asked why anyone would ever want to run 100 miles. A few years later they were crewing me through one of my best WS100 races! Prior to that they had the best Green Gate aid station ever! I have filled my race schedule with Robert and Linda's races ever since then and have enjoyed the races and their company every time. They will be sorely missed.
    Bev Anderson-Abbs

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  2. Hi, I came across your site and wasn’t able to get an email address to contact you. Would you please consider adding a link to my website on your page. Please email me back.

    Thanks!

    Hailey William
    haileyxhailey@gmail.com

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  3. I ran their Cool Trail Run 34mi last Feb and both Robert and Linda were kind to me; except Linda found the time to tease me thoroughly for eating 5 bowls of salad after the race ;-). We talked at length about race directing and the value of keeping things simple. Good people.
    Tim

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  4. I've met Linda and Robert for the first and only time when I ran the Cool Moon 100 miler last year. They were so nice, upbeat and generous.

    The Cool Moon 100 is a loop ran 11 times. I recall that I finished loop 10 and Robert said: "Congratulations you're done. Great job!". I was really confused and then he said: "Just kidding. One more to go!" laughing.

    They will be missed. I've emailed you a few pictures from that race of them.

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  5. Puts everything in perspective, doesn't it?

    Tragic loss. I thought about them throughout my entire run today.

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  6. I probably can't make it at Cool run on 2/25. I deeply miss both Robert and Linda.

    I found your blog and Peter Lubbers' have some pics of Robert (and Linda). I have emailed you the pics I have.

    On the other hand, I'll be wearing the 2011 Mokelumne 50M shirt at Ruth Anderson on 4/21, the same day that Moke 50M was scheduled this year, and also during my Mathis Memorial Tahoe 72M fatass in Aug - https://www.facebook.com/events/331421313549757/

    Thank you Scott for all the blogging on our sports.

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  7. Built a little rock cairn on my daily trail route in their honor.

    Scott Weber

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  8. I have known Robert & Linda for about 5 years. I am one of those pioneers that use to run ultras in the seventies & eighties. I took time off in entering runs to raise a family. I decided I wanted to do local ultras again & that is when I met them. They were so positive & supportive. I am in my sixties now & of course have slowed down so I was always in the back of the pack. They were always willing to wait for me. I never got cut due to my slow pace. They were always joking & smiling & supportive. Linda always made sure she saved me her famous chili. I am crying now just thinking I will not see them again. I will be in Cool for the Memorial. RIP
    I will miss you both. Cathy Mason

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  9. Thanks for your post Scott. I first ran one of the Ultrarunner.net races in November 2009 at Folsom Point. I decided to run the series for 2010 and ran 9 of their races that year. It was a great experience and I got to know Robert and Linda fairly well. They were always generous, friendly and put on great events.

    I still can't believe what has happened. The entire running community has lost something with their passing. Thanks to Robert and Linda for all their time, effort and commitment so that others could pursue their passion out on the trails. They will be missed.

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  10. Thanks for writing this, Scott. It still feels like a shock - looking at all those smiling photos makes my heart ache. I wrote my own thoughts about this loss on my blog yesterday.

    Glad to hear about the memorial run. I will definitely be there.

    Take care,
    Gretch

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  11. Jennifer Lee Dicus
    Aaron Summerhays and I are planning a memorial group run in Robert and Linda's memory on February 25th. We are thinking of an out and back run, starting at the Auburn Overlook Park, then down to No Hands Bridge, up over to the firehouse in Cool, and then back. I'm tagging many people in this post in hopes that you can help me spread the word. If those of you with blogs could post a link to my FB page for updates I would really appreciate it. I also hope to have the Robert and Linda Mathis Foundation set up by then to benefit victims of DUI. Something positive has to come from this horrific event. I know I've forgotten people so please help me by reposting. Thank you.

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  12. Facebook users, you can link to Jennifer's page here. It says 7am @ Auburn Overlook Park on 2/25. Hope to see you there!

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  13. I, too, am affected by the tragic loss of these two fine people. I ran the 12 hours of Cool last year and got to meet them both. While the interactions were simple, I at least thanked them for putting on the race. Because of this, their death has more meaning to me; and I feel a deeper loss for the running community.

    Thanks for sharing, Scott.

    Mykl

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  14. Thank you Scott. I still cannot believe they are gone. They got me in to ultrarunning when I ran their Jenkinson Lake Trail Run in May of 2009. Then in June I met Norm and Helen Klein at their Auburn Trail Run where I learned about Western States 100M and decided then and there that I wanted to run that race. I finally was selected this December to run WS100 for 2012....that was the last conversation I had with Robert....him congratulating me for getting in finally. I cannot believe they won't be around to hear about it. Losing the two of them is such an enormous loss to me. I ran races in their Ultrarunner.net series and placed 3rd in 2009, 1st in 2010, and 3rd in 2011...I had a pro deal with Inov-8 in 2010 and in 2011 after placing in their series. I look around my room and I have so many things from them...I just cannot believe I won't see their smiling faces ever again. I don't think I've fully grasped the magnitude of this loss yet. Robert and Linda rest in peace...you are loved and missed so much. <3

    Jennifer Dicus

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  15. Thank you for providing all the great photos, Scott. I never got the chance to meet Robert and Linda, but I recall that whenever I'd email questions about their races, Robert would always write back immediately. You can tell -- just by looking at the photos -- what warm and caring people they were. My heart goes out to their families. Thanks again.

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  16. They directed the first ultra I ran (hotter n hell in 2008). I didn't have a clue what I was doing except for the advice from this blog. Robert was the friendliest guy and really made me feel welcome in this sport I've come to love. His personality that day made ultrarunning possible for me. Thanks, Robert, for being such a great ambassador of our sport.
    Ryan Phillips

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  17. New to this running world, Robert and Linda were working with me and the girls to get some races under our belts. My heart just hurts and I am at a loss...

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  18. I met Robert and Linda when I volunteered at their 50K at Lake Sonoma last spring - such gracious and giving people, gone so quickly. They will be sorely missed.

    Wally Bloomfield

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  19. I worked with Linda a few years back and she was such a gentle soul, sweet, funny and warm person. I am very much saddened by this tragic loss. My prayers and deepest sympathy go out to Linda & Robert's families and friends.

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  20. I hope, that some of their races can live on. I will do my best to be at the memorial run for them but even better would be to keep the legacy of their series alive somehow.

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  21. Nice pics shared. They stay as precious memories. Let the soul RIP.

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  22. A very tragic loss. I had the privilege of running Robert & LInda's Hotter Than Hell 12-Hour in 2010, and Cool Moon 100 in 2011 (the jester in the above pictures). Both were memorable experiences due to their dedicated commitment to every runner on the course. I was saddened to think I would not have the honor of seeing them again, while running another one of their great races.

    For those who may not be aware, Linda & Robert's estate has contracted to Jimmy and Carmela from ElementalRacing.com to continue their scheduled races. Now the great races they developed will live on as their legacy to the untra-running community.

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  23. The man who hit and killed the Mathis' is set for trial in May, 2013 for two counts of DUI. He was also recently arrested for assault - http://cdn.localwireless.com/wap/news/text.jsp?sid=242&nid=1069480152&cid=5038&scid=-1.

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