Sunday, March 20, 2005
Catalina Marathon 3/19/05
The Catalina Marathon was March 19, 2005 under overcast skies and strong winds. Although it was drizzling steadily at 5:00am in Avalon, the boat ride to the start at Two Harbors was blessedly calm. About 50 runners/walkers opted for the early start at 6:30am while 530 runners started at 7:00am. Many runners who were at the rainy Buffalo Run (Catalina Island 2/12/05) were immediately recognizable by the amount of grocery store apparel they wore. Hefty, Glad, and Zip-Loc attire was almost as popular as Adidas, Brooks, and New Balance. I didn't recognize one of my friends at the start line because only her left eyeball was visible from beneath her tightly bound hood. She told me her plan was to get "half as wet" as she did at the Buffalo Run, so she had to wear "twice as much plastic." The clouds looked ominous and there was a headwind for much of the first half, but a strong mist didn't actually start falling until around 9:30am. Somewhere around mile 18, the cloud cover became extremely heavy and the visibility was limited to about five feet (measurement based on the fact that I couldn't see my own feet). Then, for a while, the sun played hide and seek with the clouds. Eventually, I figured out that it was actually me in control of the weather: every time I put my sunglasses on, the sun disappeared behind a cloud, so whenever I wanted to work on my tan, I simply removed the sunglasses again. Although the rain & mud was not nearly as bad as it was during the Buffalo Run, there were numerous river crossings so everyone's feet got wet and I personally had about six juicy blisters. I had hoped to see a Buffalo or two, but didn't see much of anything due to the cloud cover. However, it made for good running conditions, assuming you weren't wearing too much plastic, didn't mind wet feet and remembered to wear a fog lamp.