February 7, 1999
After my “success” at Redondo Beach 10K, I went up with Laura, Barb and Diane (I called them the “3 Old Ladies” since each had recently reached a milestone birthday – 40, 50, and 60.) to run the Hansen Dam (Students Run LA (SRLA) 30K. This was part of their prescribed training for Los Angeles Marathon.
The course is two 15K loops around and over Hansen Dam, which is located in the San Fernando Valley area. I remember it as probably 5 miles of straight, flat, boring road, an ascent up a gravelly (possibly dirt) road to the dam, along the length of the dam, and then back down to the road.
At the top of the hill, they were offering Stopain (like Stop-Pain), which was a menthol-based numbing spray. While I did have some foot pain, I have an allergy to Menthol, so as I reach the top of the hill, I am running through ‘clouds’ of Menthol spray. Not good. I try to hold my breath, but I JUST RAN UP A HILL!
I finished the first 15K in 76:30 (which is like running 3 back-to-back 5Ks in 25:30), and the second half in 80:00 (not too much time loss). The one part I found amazing was that on my second lap, I was actually lapping people who hadn’t finished their first 9 miles yet (when I was at 15 miles and they were at 6 miles) – I wasn’t running that fast. Guess they were shooting for 9 or 10 hour marathons! (Perhaps over the stated LA marathon time limit…)
I had to wait a little a while for my compatriots to finish – Diane, who finished last of us 4, did pick up some hardware, though. Afterwards, we had lunch at the Long Beach Cafe (the first and last time I ate there – even though the food was great, the portions were big and the price was right).