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2018_WinterEnquirer-DIGITAL

11 THE RACE BEFORE THE

11 THE RACE BEFORE THE RACE By Leonardo Zamudio Waking up at 3:45 AM is rarely an entertaining proposition, but when it’s so that you can go and actually try to run for 3 hours and 45 minutes, it’s even more daunting. The Chips bus waits for no one (okay, so maybe they do, I just don’t want to try and find out), so I wanted to make sure I was at the Capitol at least a few minutes before the boarding time of 4:45. There are so many things running through your head before the start when you’re racing 26.2 miles and up, whether it’s your first or your fifth, that it’s so easy to just not pay attention to where you’re driving until all of a sudden you’re having to turn right because you drove up to the finish line in front of the Capitol instead of looking for parking! Luckily I was able to find a spot a couple of blocks away and make it to the party bus with minutes to spare. Leonardo celebrates finishing his 5th CIM. The ride to the start gives you more to ponder, as you know you are traveling the distance backwards you will have to race, so every mile you travel is logged in your head as one that you will have to come back on. Sometimes it’s better to not look out the window and think about it too much. Pulling up in a line of yellow school buses creates imposing rows, akin to the tunnels boxers walk out of en route to the ring. The cushioned shuttle seats of the Chips bus give many reasons for one to not want to go out and brave the elements, but as countless runners know, you don’t want to be on the course in the middle of nowhere when nature calls. Rows upon rows upon rows of buses make way for one long row of port-a-potties with lines upon lines upon lines of people, each one going through their own pre-race routines. These are the moments that bring marathoners together, a community united in the buildup to the race. As the first rays of sunlight started to break through the darkness and clouds, runners began to make their way to moving trucks where a scene not unlike Pike’s Place Fish Market unfolds; countless bags being launched through the air like fish into the waiting arms of volunteers. The crowd keeps a bit of the warmth that I lose with having to put my sweats in the bag that will make its way to the start line hours before I will arrive, but the cold air serves as a reminder that the start time is quickly arriving. Dawn comes fast as I nervously wonder what I forgot to grab out of my bag, as there’s no going back now. Weaving through a sea of bodies on my way to pace signs that start with the number 3 I see familiar faces around me, whether I even know them or not: the familiar faces of runners about to embark on 26.2 miles of trials, challenges, and successes. As waves of runners start to inch forward, only one thought enters my head, here we go again...

RAE CLARK CELEBRATION 12 On Sunday, January 21, the City of Auburn held a celebration for longtime Chipper, Rae Clark. Auburn, The Endurance Capital of the World, honored Rae with a tile located in the Endurance Zone in downtown Auburn City Central. Deservedly, Rae joins the ranks of other prominent members of the endurance community honored in the Endurance Zone. Rae has run The Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run 12 times with eight top-10 finishes. He was the sixth person to receive the 10-day buckle from The Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run (finishing 10 times under 24 hours). He was inducted into the Ultra Running Hall of Fame in 2011. Rae’s American record in the 24-hour event (165.3 miles) and his record for 100 miles (12:12:19) stood for decades, unchallenged. And quite notably, Rae STILL holds the Lake Tahoe 72 mile road race record of 9:06:11 set in 1982. As much as running has given him, Rae is giving back to the running community just as much. A regular volunteer at many races, for several years he has lead different pace groups for the California International Marathon, and continues to teach students not only how to run, but how to enjoy running. Ray Clark Photo Cred: Kynan Matz The entire herd congratulates you, Rae! Rae celebrates amongst friends and family. Photo Cred: Laurie Thornley

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