Here is some water to get you through the race briefing, it’s quite long but then after that we can drink beer.
I was immediately put at ease by Laure who is now the race director for the LANY race since Serge Girard decided to run himself. In a small room in the Regent Hotel near Huntington Beach the 16 runners and members of support crew squeezed in to listen to the race rules. Laure said that she wanted everyone to ask any questions now before they get really tired and grumpy which usually happens after day 2.
I am amazed by how big LA is. I stayed at Ruth’s last night thinking that was near the centre. It is kind of but Huntington beach was 36 miles away. On day one I’ll run for 46 miles and still be in LA. If you did that from London you’ll most likely end up in the sea. Or worse Luton.
We all introduced ourselves. I was pointed out as the only UK national and hence seconded to help out with any language problems. Laure asked if anyone could not speak English and no one responded. Then someone asked the same question in French and Japanese and quite a few did. I was unable to help there.
I didn’t say much about myself other than I am from London and it was the fault of the other Brit on the list who made me do this. Mark unfortunately is not here to confuse the Japanese with is silly Geordie accent.
One of the most memorable intros was a Japanese chap who said he took up running because his girlfriend dumped him for being fat. He got addicted and now here he is, 2 years later about to attempt a 3200 mile race.
Dave Warady came along to give us a speech. He won the race in 1992. He said to make sure that we were only running against the vast distance of the USA and not against each other as we’ll get injured. He also advised against blogging saying it was a distraction. I’m only doing this so I have something to blog about in the first place..
There was then some talk about the rules. Some things were cleared up which was good. Highlights were;
- · There will be no water stations but the organisers guarantee to see every runner at least every hour and give them water and food as required
- · Cut-offs stand at 3.5mph pace which means the first day is 13 hours
- · From now they will talk in Kilometers only as there were no Americans and only one Brit in the race
- · You are not allowed to drink beer outdoors in the states which means you can’t drink at the finish line. This was a disappointment as she really wanted everyone to have a beer at the end of each stage
- · It’s going to get really hot. Next 8 days the temps are 21C, 26C, 31C, 41C, 40C, 41C, 40C
- · There are snakes
- · There is a 140k section along a straight road with no life whatsoever
- · The overall leader will run each day with a yellow number. She held up my yellow number as an example.
- · We need a tent. I forgot a tent
One thing that struck me was the amount of food we were given. This photo shows what we will get every 5 days. About 15 cereal bars, 15 cokes, 15 porridge sachets, loaf of bread, cliff bars and hammer gels, biscuits, juice, fruit stuff, water, coffee, jam. That is probably enough to sustain such a run. I do like burgers though.
After it was over I retired and spoke to a few people over a beer and some crisps. I spoke to Markus and Rainer who I had emailed over the last few months. I also spoke to Serge. I later went to Pizza hut with Rainer and a couple of his support crew. No one is really talking in detail about the race. Plenty of time for that later.
So it’s about 9pm here. I am off to bed and very aware that tomorrow is my last day off for a long time…