Saturday June 5, 2004
Shadow of the Giants 33.2 Mile Ultra Trail Race 

This ultra trail run was held a a pretty high elevation.  The topological map says it bops up and down several times between 5,000 feet elevation and 6,500 feet.  My daughter, Michelle Barton and I were concerned  about the thinner air, so we went a few days early and acclimated a bit to the higher elevations.  Michelle, I and grand daughter Sierra (4) were up in Foresthill at 3,300 feet over Memorial Day weekend (Western States 100 training runs), then camping in Yosemite at 4,000 feet, and finally for 3 days at a Bass Lake condo at 3,300 feet.  Had to help our lung capacity. 

Michelle didn't do great because she got lost twice - first time for almost 20 minutes with the three hot dog guys she was running with.  Kind of killed her spirit for continuing the hard push....  She should have been second female overall in under 5 hours!  Her time was 6:23:50.

The Shadow of the Giants course is certified at 33.2 miles - a bit long as a 50k is 31.07 miles.  The giant trees shading a large part of the course was most welcome.   I finished in 7:33:40, which was a lot better than the 8:25 of my first 50K ultra back in March 2004. 

Two 72 year old guys and one 70 year old lady ran it = awesome.  All finished it too!  I putzed along with tall, lanky 72 year old John Chappel between miles 13 and 16.  John told me he quit counting how many ultras he ran after doing 50 of them!  I told him this was my 2nd ultra and that my 1st was the day before my 65th birthday in March.  Later on we hit a long nasty steep uphill and HE dropped me!   45 minutes later I passed him on the long downhill.  As I passed him, he yelled out "Ahhh! The resilience of youth" to me.  I told him "I like that - a lot - thanks!".   Beat John to the finish by close to an hour. 

Unfortunately, one person who was older than me beat me.  This hasn't happened to me in a long time (mainly because I am USUALLY the oldest guy!).  Worse, this 67 year old beat me by 1/2 hour.  His name was James Bond, so I don't feel anywhere near as bad!

Friday evening - June 4th.  Sierra - time to get ready to go to the pre-race dinner

Do I have to?

Sierra was very happy to see her friends from Foresthill, Beth & Dave VanWicklin - owners of Jazz & Starfire.

Grandpa and Sierra at the pre-race dinner and raffle.  Michelle won a bottle of wine, which she promptly donated to Dad.

Race Director Baz Hawley with the family.  He gave Michelle a 2nd prize for giving her Dad her 1st prize - the wine.

Baz and Doug have been friends since 1972, when Doug hired him to work in design.
Spotting any snakes at or above 5,000 feet is unusual.  This guy is teeny - a bit less than 1/2" in diameter and about 1 foot long.

On the drive back to the Bass Lake condo we spotted two deer

The deer are circled in yellow.

Michelle is READY for tomorrow mornings 50K

Saturday morning 7 AM Start


First part of the course consists of 2 11K loops that climb up 700' (from 5,000' to 5,700') and back down again.

From about miles 13 through 16, Doug ran along with 72 year old John Chappel . John has run over 50 ultras!

Doug on the trail.

At the Nelder Grove aid station.

Dave & Beth VanWicklin

The runners relaxing for the awards ceremony AND the famous BAZ raffles.

Baz & helper get things moving.

Baz get all excited when Rob McNair gets his 2nd place award in the age 40-49.  Rob has done all 15 Shadows!

Doug finished in 7:33:40 (7th out of 12 in the 60+ age group).

Baz's raffles are famous in runner's circles.

Our WTRS friend Fred Pollard got 2nd place in the 60+ age group with a time of 6:33:01.

Gabor Kozinc was 27th overall in 5:38:53.  (Later in the month, Gabor and Fred ran in & finished the famous Western States 100 mile race.  Gabor earned a gold buckle for finishing in under 24 hours!)

Michelle finished in 6:23:50 for 3rd place in her age bracket and 9th overall female.

Sierra enjoys some munchies during the awards ceremony.

1st place female Beverlay Abbs ran it in 4:32:01.

72 year old awesome John Chappel coming to the finish in 8:39:57.

Back at Bass lake for our final night

Swimming lessons for Sierra

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