After getting some sleep Saturday night, we got up at 3 a.m. to go watch runners come across the finish line. I calculated 3 a.m. in the hopes of seeing Joe Prusaitis finish, but he SPED UP over the final 2 sections and came in at 2:13 a.m. He was probably fast asleep by the time we got up, so we obviously missed him. It was fun talking with him at their rented house later in the day Sunday - he did great and had some stories to tell.
So we hung around and cheered for the final runners across the line! Some ran, others walked, at least one was hobbling, and one guy was completely zoned out. As 6 a.m. (the 48-hour cutoff) neared, we walked out to meet the 4 runners that finished with less than 7 minutes to go. Inspiring to watch!
The final official finisher, Allie Wood (on the left in white):
At 9 a.m. we were in the gym for the awards breakfast. Each finisher was recognized, and Dale Garland (the race director) had comments for many of them. His comment for John was a question to Joe - whether he had been grooming John for this race? He should own up to it if so, because John did really well.
John receiving his certificate and hug:
We sat with Markus at breakfast - we had been hoping he would finish in under 48 hours, but he had a more interesting story instead. Coming up the hill out of Cunningham (the last aid station) his brain did some strange things. It's not exactly clear what happened, but lack of sleep may have caused some hallucinations. Even with another runner coming by, Markus couldn't figure out which way to go. Eventually the aid station volunteers noticed his light sitting up there and either came and got him or he worked his way back down. He seemed to be OK with the whole thing (and acting OK in general!) when we saw him. Hopefully we'll see Markus and his wife Brandi next weekend for some training in Leadville.
Some numbers for John:
* 6th fastest split for the final section from Cunningham to Silverton!
* Not the fastest first-time finisher (not even close, as first-timers included the men's winner Kyle Skaggs, the women's winner Diana Finkel, and at least 3 others)
* Close - but not quite - the fastest runner from Texas. Glenn Mackie was having a great race until he had some issues staying on the course. He came walking in 5:12 pm, only 10 minutes ahead of John!
* Amazingly, John was only the 11th fastest male masters runner.
Thanks for everyone's phone calls and emails and blog comments - John was thrilled to hear from everyone during and after the race!