Saturday, May 7, 2011

Bath Road to Foresthill (Miles 60.6 to 62.0) (49 days to go)

Special thanks to Brian O'Donoghue and Paula Roberts-Banks for their donations to the Wounded Warrior Project that sponsor this section of the course tour!

Other than the river crossing at Mile 78, this is the shortest distance between two checkpoints. Runners emerge from the canyons onto Bath Road and enjoy a relatively easy jog, some of it on paved roads, into the circus that is Foresthill.

Foresthill is the biggest city along the course. It even has a school! Most of the runners pick up their pacers here, sure to have a companion runner for the final 38 miles through the night. An announcer reads the names of entering runners, who weigh in at the medical station in front of the elementary school. This is the school, minus the hundreds of people.

While Foresthill is the biggest dot on the map along the course, it's still just a small town. There aren't any hotels, and I only noticed one restaurant when I spent the better part of my afternoon waiting for Fernando's arrival last summer. That said, the energy is soaring there....runners are elated to see their families, find their pacers, and gear up for the nighttime run--including adding a headlamp for the miles ahead. It's a truly spectacular sight.

The leaders exit Foresthill at 2:45 PM. 24 hour runners won't leave until 6:45 PM, and 30 hour runners leave at 10:45. The aid station closes at 11:45 PM. I hope I don't find this out from personal experience, but I hear that this is a popular dropout point, since crew cars are mere feet away along the busy road that cuts through the town. Why drop out now? You've added a pacer....and there're only 38 miles to go!

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