Through twist of kizmet and school break schedules, I get to do a little light crewing during the 2011 running of the Coyote Two Moon 100m/100k in Ojai, CA (March 18 - 20), and I'm pretty excited about it. C2M holds a special place in my heart. I did the 100k in 2009, and it was the first ultra I did that took me through the night, that took me well over 12 hours, and that had close to 20,000 feet of elevation gain. Plus, it was my first exposure to the ultra-as-performance-art stylings of race director, Chris Scott, who puts on a premier event while also using the runners as actors who are there to amuse volunteers, race directors, and any standers by. This is not Western States; this is not Wasatch (though it has as much climbing); this is its own beast.
|RD Chris Scott briefing the troops|
The first hint of that, apart from the amusing prose that makes up the C2M website, is the format. Starts are staggered so that everyone finishes within a 2 - 4 hour window on Sunday morning. Slower hundred milers will start Friday afternoon, and therefore, run through the night twice, seeing two full or nearly-full moons; faster hundred milers will start Saturday morning; faster 100k runners will start Saturday afternoon. While being a late starter (as I was in the 100k) can make for some pretty lonely early miles, the convergence in the closing miles, and then right into the awards/breakfast afterward, is a unique touch that makes C2M stand apart from most other races.
Other hallmarks of C2M:
Bonus/Boner minutes. Do something fun, interesting, or otherwise generally pleasing to the race director or volunteers and you can get bonus minutes that are deducted from you official C2M time. Singing Sade's "Sweet as Cherry Pie" at the Gridley Top aid station could well be worth a minute per mile in total time. Do something that irritates, and the boner minutes add to your time.
Leader beanies. Yes. Current leaders or whoever the director designates must wear a felt beanie with an honest to god propellor (see photo below).
Aid station pate'. Or is it cat food? Try it and earn bonus minutes.
Costumes. Previous incarnations saw RD Scott on the Nordhoff Ridge in full Holstein and Eastern Bunny regalia (handing out Peeps).
Goody bag. In addition to the best Patagonia race wear going, the goody bags are the most esoteric collection you will ever receive at a bib pickup. In 2009, as I chronicled here, mine included among other things: golf tees, old iron curtain beer coaster, brochure from the Intercourse Canning Co, C2M labeled toothbrush, hotel soaps, and the romance novel, "And the winner gets...married."
Elevation gain. Despite its good-natured ethos, C2M is a hard race. The 100k boasts 19,000 feet of vert, and the 100m about 26,000 feet.
Bowling. A near-must for all entrants is the bowling matchup the night before the race. Meltzer's pretty good from what I hear, though, he didn't run the year I did it so I'm getting this second hand. RD names teams and gives each bowler a special nickname - which may or may not (likely not) be too flattering.
Now on to some of the players at this year's event. It seems a large chunk of the Patagonia Ultra team will be on hand. Among the notables:
In the 100 Mile
Justin Angle, AJW, Jeff Browning, Jared Campbell, Ty Draney, Karl Meltzer, Brian Polley, Betsy Nye, and Wendy Wheeler-Jacobs.
In the 100k
Eric Clifton, Scott Wolfe, Clark Zealand, and Maggie Beach.
I'm excited to get out there and see some of the action in person.
|Dan Waddle and Meredith Terranova on the line (with leaders' beanies) for the afternoon 100k starters (2009)|