November 30, 2018
98. Chris Bronson
I first became acquainted with Chris after the 2015 Angeles Crest 100M. That year, Laura Sohaskey was an aid station captain for Mile 89 and a number of us AREC runners volunteered for about 24 hours there. A unique circumstance of this race was that we were supposed to mark the trail between our location and the previous aid station, so Chuck Sohaskey and I marked the trail. Part of the instruction said to put the ribbon visibly and not too easy for random hikers to remove, so… I tied ribbons as high as was feasible. Turns out that Chris was one of the people tasked with removing the ribbons.
The following week, he was a new runner at Team Runners High, and we were talking about both volunteering at AC, and had a good laugh about that. Since then, he seems to run about 10 ultras a year and do pretty well.
97. Antigone Dudder
This year, I made my first attempt at the Wild Wild West 50M with Darrell and Alan. We started about 50 minutes early (which I needed for the Whitney Portal portion) and runners started catching up to me as I was struggling just to finish. In the Alabama Hills section, I was mostly walking but stayed with a 50K runner off and on for a few hours. I found her name was “Tig,” (and then later figured out the entire name from the results) and we had an unusual talk about early music. (I should clarify that the conversation was unusual in that few ultra runners know anything about pre-1700s classical music.)
That’s the nature of an ultra conversation. It’s fleeting and too soon, one runner soars ahead or turns off to finish the race while you continue on alone. Hope to run into Tig one of these days again and talk more music.
96. Kevin Mak
A few weeks ago, I completed the Chino Hills 50K. This was a “substitute” ultra, because I DNF’ed a 50K in Hong Kong in October. (Think I had said, “never again.”) There are a lot of hills in this event, so I am walking quite a bit from the get-go. There were a number of people I was back and forth with, as they would jog past me on a short section, and I would walk past them on the uphill.
I kept encountering this Chinese kid (37 years old, apparently) in green shorts for the first 10 miles, and then he got way ahead of me. I nearly caught him again at Mile 24 until I started cramping, and he ended up finishing 30 minutes ahead of me.
We had zero conversations ON the run, but afterwards, I hung out with him and his parents who came out to celebrate his completing his first 50K. They were super excited about his accomplishment, and it’s always a highlight for me to meet someone who tries a first ultra and then is excited about trying another one. A lot of people were doing Chino Hills as their first, despite it being a tougher 50K.