|Welcome Veterinarians. And if you get hurt, lost, or die—its your own damned fault.|
All had gathered for the Third Annual Born To Run Ultras, and spent their night hours building towards the inevitable Rosy-Fingered Dawn. There was a moment of silence following the five shotgun blasts which shattered the remaining dreams of the fitfully sleeping fragile eggshell minds. Then the Void was filled with ranchera drum-kits and button accordions singing of lost love, Tijuana, amor y duelo, all embroidered with other infinitive Spanish verb forms.
The Born To Run Ultras is an exclusive lifestyle spa where the select can enjoy miles and miles of dirt, Merde de Vache Aromatherapy, Vinyasa-Flow Solar Immersions complete with locally-sourced wind-borne micro-abrasian defoliating treatments. The same whispering wind has rowdy siblings that will also turn your EZ-Up into a whirling airborne object.
But enough of that! Four races were on tap: a 10mi flamer loop, a 50k, 100k, and for those so inclined, a 100-mile, all in convenient 10-mile insertions.
Now usually at this point in the narrative there are falsely modest mentions of my own particular improbable accomplishments, embellished by borrowed-interest notional topics, misleading metaphors, and so on. But not today. I was not running. I was Backwards Walking a loop of the BTR course, being a living inspiration to all the runners who were thinking "Glad as fuck I'm not him—he's overdressed, loaded down like a rented mule, and going the wrong way!"
In any event, the pre-race trail briefing by Luis Escobar in full-on charro regalia, was the usual dirt, dust, getting lost, Skirt-Man, blah-blah-blah, and duly noted and agreed to by all parties. Or what remained after topical applications of Fireball and Beer-Mile the day before. And with another shotgun blast, all 420 starters swarmed through the start area, passing under the blissfully indifferent gaze of the piñata, who awaited her fate with a perky smile.
Other reliable sources will tell you that Patrick Sweeney swept both the Beer Mile and the 50k. There were other winners who would've passed me like I was the EZ-Up tent cut loose from its moorings and been found face-down, ass-up in a dry creek bed somewhere.
The 10-mile and 50k races were pretty well done by nightfall, and the 100k was finding its winner. Meanwhile the Tribes And Shit were gathering around the fire, ready to make dubious judgement calls with the assistance of Fireball— the distilled Venn Diagram where Tic-Tacs meet artisanal acetone. I'm certain the 100k and 100-mile runners were reminded every lap that they could've been curled up in the fire getting shitfaced. But no. Somebody had to take home the most bitchin' surfboard ever, and that was James Bonnett's 100 in 15:58.
At 12 noon on Sunday the course was closed, all stragglers were shot, and everybody went home—tired but happy. You can now all go back to your texting.
FULL PIX, RIGHT HERE