The Homage to the epic Culo Gordo 50k was run yesterday in the Santa Monica Mountains. It followed the canonical route as laid down in the last century by the renowned "brujo-dybbuk" Devi Reinstein.
I was late to the start due to an early morning drop off at LAX. I supposed if I hadn't flipped off the security goons and waved the gun I might have gotten there earlier. But I wanted the front-runners to have a fair chance.
The morning was clear and sharp--nippleaciously perky in fact. The rain clouds of the night before had gone on to other locales. As I blundered up the trails out of Will Rogers State Park I wondered "Where's Meg Ryan when you need her? What's a tranquil Sunday morning without a loud cell-phone?"
At the Backbone/Sullivan Cyn trail jct I could feel the heat of the front-runners. Their subtle imprints in the dirt led down into the canyon. I followed the yawns and butt-flares of the bobcat and cougar. At the bottom of the canyon I turned right.
Wrong move. I put at least another mile between me and the front-runners. We were getting all spread out here. I saw the error of my ways and immediately converted to Evangelical Cross-country Bandit Trail Running. With effort I was able to catch a runner who strongly resembled "Kathy Kusner". She disavowed any recollection of Mr Trail Safety.
I pulled the Ultras-As-Sunday-School Lever and only thought pure thoughts and powered up the grade. At the top of Mulholland there wasn't a Power-Betty in sight. Hard left down Dirt Mulholland. On to the cut-off. The Garapito Trail beckoned. I imagined myself running as an oversized Mini-Me thru the bowered brush. I imagined my chiropractor's eyes lighting up. I passed.
Satan came to me. He gestured up to the distant Hub, which was about 11 miles into this whole frolic. I thanked him and gave him a quarter. I realized that catching the front-runners was not going to happen. Or even the 3/4 packers. My legs were revelling in their lo-mileage larditudes. Not wishing to have waffle-prints all over my Magic Johnson, I took the Backbone cut-off back to Will Rogers.
It was destined to be a quiet day on the trail. I imagined being able to catch up on my Westside Lifer-list activity, but there was nary a Double-breasted Hollywood Starlet or Pileated Westside VeloBetty in sight. I imagined that various mall-refuge areas had accomodated them instead.
When I got back to the car Devy, the Culo Gordo Originator Himself was stretching by the curb. He too had entertained notions of running the event but was distracted by other things.
And thus brings to a close the Fabulous Ultra Year of 02.