Monday, June 6, 2011

Rucky Chucky Near to Rucky Chucky Far to Green Gate (Miles 78.0 to 79.8)

The eighteenth stage is a short river crossing through, or over in raft years, the American River, and the nineteenth stage takes runners on a high climb along a rocky road.

Special thanks to my college roommate Jack Schneider and his fiancee Emily Welch and two of my coworkers, Jen Whitter and Steve Pozaric, for their donations that sponsor these stages of the course tour! Steve's donation is in honor of Cal Allen.

Most years the famous river crossing brings runners chest-high into the freezing waters of the American River. Last year featured a raft crossing due to high waters on account of the heavy snowfall of the previous winter. Chances are the raft system will be in place again this year.

The trail from the river is a steep uphill climb along a fire road. This stretch of trail is one of the few spots where crews other than the pacer can accompany their pacer from one aid station to the next. It requires a 1.7 mile hike down to the river, only to turn around and head back up the incline to Green Gate. This year's competitors received an email stating that runners would be limited to one crew member and one pacer accompanying them along this stretch, but I remember little kids walking with their dad up the hill last year.

The lead runners will depart Green Gate at 5:45 PM, with the sun still high overhead. 24 hour runners will depart in the dark, at 11:20 PM, with 30 hour runners nearing dawn at 4:55 AM. The aid station finally closes after the sun will have risen on Sunday morning, at 5:40 AM. Runners have just over 20 miles to go.

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