|(The clouds settle into Purisima, photo courtesy of Cris Gebhardt)|
Once you decide to celebrate, what is most important (as my 7-year-old, Quinn would say), is YOU DON’T HALF ASS IT. Bring food, brings friends, play games, and don’t stop until everyone is exhausted and sunburnt. Have you ever seen a famous picture of half of an ass? Of course you haven’t. That’s ridiculous. Everyone wants the full ass. It’s so fundamental, even a 7-year-old will disapprovingly shake her head (and booty) if you even try to go, say, three-quarter ass. In the celebration of life’s random chapters, no matter what it is, one must go all or nothing. (Daddy, stop trying to make #FULLASSORNOTHING a thing!)
I suspect Race Directors conjure a similar muse when they scheme up new courses. Robert Rhodes and the Baytrailrunners “Whistle Punk - The Deuce” is a perfect example. I can picture Robert, with his mischievous smile and infinite passion for adventure, routing his deep knowledge of the beautiful trails of the Purisima Open Space Preserve to inspire a vision - “what if we double everything and hit every climb in this park…26.2 miles with 6,500’ of vertical…in the most perfect late Autumn weather that California has to offer…then sit in the sun with snacks and beer and talk about it until the sun goes down, and/or our quads and calves finally stop twitching in endless revolt…”. Epic from the moment of conception, as acknowledged by the hearty volunteers who pony up, and the runners who sell out the race in days. I was lucky enough to be one of them (racing today!), and was ready for a full ass adventure.
And so at 9am this last Sunday, I helped fill the parking lot with ~100 other runners, 35 tackling the 26.2 miles of “The Deuce”, while the rest took on the challenging Whistle Punk Half. It was a perfect weather day – chilly under the redwood canopy, but warm and sunny once you broke the tree line. Thanks to the vertically challenging course, we would all visit these microclimates repeatedly.
|(Cruising under the canopy, photo courtesy of Todd Glieden)|
|(Getting it done! Photo courtesy of Cris Gebhardt)|
|(Sean Handel leads us out, photo courtesy of Cris Gebhardt)|
|(Todd Glieden gets a selfie with the Grabtown volunteer crew)|
|(Tackling the climbs, photo courtesy of Cris Gebhardt)|
|(Enjoying the shade while it lasts, photo courtesy of Cris Gebhardt)|
|(Nothing but smiles, photo courtesy of Nathan Han)|
|(Ammon enjoys some fast single track, photo courtesy of Cris Gebhardt)|
|(Me burning through the last climb, photo courtesy of Cris Gebhardt)|
|(Enjoying some post-race moments with Greg Lanctot and RD Robert Rhodes)|