Sunday, April 19, 2015

Leona Divide 50: The 34.99 Markdown Special


420 Prankster, Leona Divide 50/50 finish line. Green Valley, CA.
My sub-optimal 2015 Leona Divide 50 performance began with staying at a Motel 666 with hot-&-cold running hookers. The other was having half of my life collapse on my head a month earlier. I got both before charring the gnar, and hurting the vert.  

The 0130 booming wakeup of “When Doves Cry” is a surefire performance-enhancement. Didn't fully hear the Barry White deep sub-bass later, but I'm sure it did its job. All this was covered in the Brecht-Weill operetta "Eine Kleinischen Fückshackke" of 1928, starring Ethyl Murmanskaya, but you weren't paying attention that day in class.

Pre-Race and Scenic Comments

The Race Start was delayed while some guy droned on into a mike, probably being paid by the word. Meantime I got to check out all the current ultra-talent that was going to do better than me. Some bettie was all kitted out in a Spiderman gimp-suit, with holes in all the right places. And we were off.

The current race course is far more scenic than the one of 1990s memories—better vistas, more single-track and stellar vistas in an overlooked part of northern LA County. Its an out-n-back with a spur, long grinding climbs that will pick your pockets entirely on its own terms. Caveat emptor, et fex.


I watched as many smarter than me hit the 50k turnaround and came roaring back like champions. Little did I know I was going to be taking that route later.  

The weather was mild by current SoCal standards—low 80s, with a very low humidity index. Its always a surprise to meet the heat this time of year, but here we are. Want lies and bullshit, watch Fox News.

Freefalling Into SKT Magnificence

I was off-center in my basic orientation due to cartographic vertigo. Eventually I let that go, and just concentrated on my increasingly limited stride. Time was eaten up in larger increments. My best section was between 17-26 miles. Clearing the 26mi aid-station was essential after tanking up as fully as possible. The full-volume Journey and other 80's slush was not inspirational, but that's me. Getting away helped a lot.

Long story short, missed the 50-mile cutoff at 32.6mi by a yawning 45min gap, and was dropped down to a 50k finish. This was a total relief. That or a DNF. Yeah, I walked it in, and felt like a million dinars. A spectacular 35 mile 10+hr finish, and that’s all she wrote.

Post-Modern Moody Whining Here

Things would’ve been far worse if I hadn’t done the full 3-day cargo-load before. Wheels would’ve fallen off miles earlier. Training issues are paramount here, but fully self-reverential excuses will be made, hashtags will be flung, and sponsors placated by any means necessary.

And shit.  


Gregory Peccary, in full tapir-mode [left].
Then Dennis and Larry being wildly inappropriate, back when it was still fuzzy bunnies and rainbows.
Leona Divide 50/50.