SGM50k: 3 Miles From The Top

In which a Race Report is filed regarding the San Gabriel Mtns 50k.

REPORT HIGHLIGHTS:
***Life's A Bitch, then you finish uphill.
***Some runners were drinking Aid Station beer
***Why STUFF Magazine is totally cool
***Blatant Attempted Puppet Abduction
***S&R Dogs that Drink Beer and Find Amorous Couples in the Wild
***RD Jim O'Brien has a twisted sense of humor
***Ian Torrence & Jennifer Johnston win like last year.

So much for the highlights. Now is the hard-hitting report that everybody has
been waiting for. What....really happens at an end-stage aid station?

The morning dawned clear and cold. Perky weather indicators were in evidence
everywhere at the start. The sun rose and not a moment too soon for the
shivering heroes. WIth a shout and whoop, they were off and the Mt Zion Aid
Station Krewe begins its descent. Chucky the Cheez-Kutting Kougar lives
nearby, and has missed the company of chubby hikers due to the recent closure
of the Chantry Flats Picnic Area.

As befits a multi-loop course, we got to see runners when they were Young &
Restless, and then in the Twilite of Their Race. Mr Torrence scooted thru
before we were set up the first time, and ignored stern commands to return to
the aid station. His subsequent return was equally brief, only with a greater
lapse between him and his pursuers.

Aside from these distractions, we got to dissuade runners from going up over
Mt Zion twice. Some expressed regret, but most were relieved. Upon arriving at
Mt Zion the second time, a local runner hereafter referred to only as Jay G
dispatched the dregs of a Corona and then attempted to abduct the Barney Hand
Puppet of Mr Trail Safety. Mr Trail Safety gave chase, and Barney was
recovered with no evident damage. Barney is still in counselling, but shows
every sign of leading a full and productive life.

Conversations with Bob, our Ham Radio & S&R Dude were likewise informative.
His dog Hogan displays a notable affinity for fluids that have been passed
through a brewery. He also has a good nose for finding loving couples in the
rough during S&R Search Dog Field Trials. This endears him at parties, no
doubt.

Eventually the last runners came through. Every one of them expressed nothing
less than extreme jubilation when presented with the news that "The bad news
is you have 3-1/2 miles to the finish. The good news is that it's all
uphill!". We were kept busy picking up the $20 bills scattered around the aid
station. This was balanced by 2nd guessing regarding an elderly Optimus 8R
stove that was having trouble bringing an espresso pot to boil. Altitude
aside, it burned out all the residual carbon by producing a stellar pot of
200-proof French roast. And it was with this that the Mt Zion Aid Station
Krewe saluted each other, and Chris Kastner, the kind and pleasant host of
Sturdevant Camp that helped make it all possible.

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