I got a ride up to Waldo 100K with Joe Condon, who was driving up to crew for Veronica Fujisawa for 43 miles, and then pace her to the end. It didn’t take me too long to figure out, since I was starting at 3 AM and Veronica was starting at 5, that if I could stay ahead of her for 43 miles, Joe could also crew for me for most of the race. So the race to 43 was on. As it turned out, Veronica pushed so hard between 37 and 43 that her stomach went into reverse and she got her first DNF, while I raced on, shuffling exuberantly, to the finish, averaging ever-so-slightly over 4 mph.
Joe decided to throw a DNF party for Veronica, and I decided to sing her a song. When I told an old girlfriend what I was planning, she said, “But you can’t sing!” “That’s not true,” I told her. “I can sing badly.” You can hear the results on Veronica’s FB page. I think your readers may get a kick out of the tortured job I did on Jim Croce’s old song, Lover’s Cross. Here they are the lyrics in their altered state:
(Sung to the tune of Jim Croce’s old song, Lover’s Cross)
DNF was bound to happen, t’was just a matter of time
So now I’ve come to an epiphany, and it won’t make you feel fine
Seems you wanted to be Nikki Kimball, or a clone with Ann Trason’s heart
But baby you can’t catch me when I’ve got a 2-hour head start.
Well I really got to hand it to you, ‘cause girl, you really tried
But for every time that you spent barfing, I had two on a downhill glide
It must have been that trickster Thornley who cast you in a tragic part
‘Cause baby you can’t catch me when I’ve got a 2-hour head start.
Stomachs are meant for churning, and toenails are meant to turn black
Gu gels are meant for hurling, when the feet and the stomach aren’t on the same track
And so I hope that you can find a race without downhills around the next bend
It will have to have a climb like Maiden and be uphill from there to the end
‘Cause I never was much on the uphills, but on downhills I’m smooth as a fart
And baby you can’t catch me when I’ve got a 2-hour head start.
I composed this in my head during the darkness before dawn while camping at “The Willows” on the west shore of Pyramid Lake in the Paiute Indian Reservation, and got up to write it down when it got light. My wife, of course, asked me what I was doing, so I explained the task and read the new lyrics to her. She immediately started trying to add to my masterpiece, so I told her to write her own piece… and she did. Here it is:
ULTRA CHICK’S LAMENT
By Paula Ainsleigh
Her gaiters they were dusty
Her thighs rubbed raw as meat
Her tongue as dry as sawdust
Raw blisters on her feet
Her hands and feet looked like old steak
From places she went “splat”
Her butt was wet with muddy flakes
From the last place that she sat
As she paused to toss her cookies
(While admiring the awesome view)
She vowed to never run again
Or suck down another Gu
“A couch potato I’ll become
Ass bigger than a house
No more will I run ultras
I’ll retire and become a souse.”
“Ultrarunners are mad!” she cried
Her toenails turning blue
“I will retire; my quads are on fire
From the last hundred miles or two.”
“Ultra runs are for the birds!”
She rasped as she stepped over fresh horse turds.
“I vow to quit, and sit, and knit,
I’ll drink straight gin and never quit.”
Like a blast from the past, Gordy Ainsleigh flew past
(On downhills his feet never doubt)
And he couldn’t be bolder, throwing over his shoulder
“Better hurry ‘cause time’s running out !”
As she paused to sink on the very brink
Of surrendering to sloth
Another runner flew by, his endorphins high
Feet light as the wings of a moth.
So she started down the trail again
With a sigh and resolve anew
With a change of heart and a silent fart
Down the trail she flew.