Old Goats 50M 2013 was a great day for some runners and a horrible day for others. Chris Price appeared to cruise in for a win and new course record. Keira Henninger looked focused and strong as first woman, despite running an extra few miles on the Blue Jay/Candy Store loop. Maggie Beach had a small lead over Keira at 20 miles, and looked strong, but when I saw her on the climb to Trabuco Peak, mile 41 or so, she was struggling. I ran her in, joined by Mari Lemus at the last aid station. Maggie was unable to hold down food or liquid. Every time she put something down, twice as much would come back up, and on a hot, exposed, hard 50 miler, that is disastrous. She needed medical attention at the finish.
Jorge Pacheco is everybody’s champion, but he had a tough race, too, and was actually behind Maggie for a while, catching her on the climb to Trabuco Peak. A lot of elites will quit if they are not assured of a win. Part of what makes Jorge a hero and role model to us all is that he won’t drop unless he has to. Bad hair days or his rank on ultrasignup don’t seem to be such a problem.
Deborah Acosta was working the Santiago Peak aid station. She writes “When Jorge got to the Peak with Maggie, he was very cool and collected and looked as if he was out for a training run. He wasn’t in a rush to leave and he was telling me how he debated to quit at the previous 2 aid stations but figured he might as well get the miles in. He was more concerned on getting Maggie taken care of rather than himself. He’s such a role model in our community and everyone can learn from him. He didn’t focus on being in the top 5, let alone top 10, he focused on not injuring himself and covering the distance once he knew his injury started nagging him. I commend him for sticking it out and crossing that finish line along with worrying if Mari would be upset with him. Love talking to him as he’s such a great guy.“
My miles with Maggie gave me a special view of her brutal suffer-fest. She was in pain, and every few minutes would double over to puke or dry-heave. Still, it looked until nearly the end like she would hold on to second place. Somewhere in the last two miles, Mari and I both looked back at the same time and saw 3rd place female Liz Onufer about half-a-mile back. We’d heard she was in pretty bad shape earlier in the race, but she’d gotten it together and was moving nicely. We looked at Maggie and then back and Liz and each decided to say nothing. There wasn’t much that could be done.