Joel and I had a nice Saturday on the beach; we took a pickynick of cold roast chicken, salami, swiss cheese, a 1/2 loaf of fresh baked french bread, hummus, some tangelos & a couple cans of cream soda to watch runners cross the finish line at Clam Beach, just 20 minutes north of Eureka for the annual “Trinidad to Clam Beach Run.” It was surprisingly warm and not too windy, so we set up our badminton net and played a rather amateur set. The final score was 10-5 (in my favor). The picture below perfectly captures Joel’s sound defeat in the face of unrelenting prowess.
Apparently there were 4 lengths to choose from: the 14 mile, the 8.75 mile, the 5.75 mile & the 3 mile race. Everyone who ran, however, had to cross a river which was apparently quite deep (about 4 feet) with a strong current–you had to hold on to a rope to keep from being swept away! Some people finished the race barefoot – they had the choice of taking off their shoes to forge the river and pick them up at the finish line. Watching people finish was inspiring; the first batch was of course the genuinely athletic runners who train every day and for whom running 14 miles (a 1/2 marathon) is nothing but a gentle jog. Then there were the people like me, who looked very ordinary (that is: not really athletic) and finished their personal races with a look of stoic determination in their sweaty, dogged faces. My favorite contestants, however, were the elderly ladies who chatted with each other while power-walking across the sand.
Above: The HSU Marching Lumberjacks enjoy the surf.
Below: The Backwards Running Guy finishes the race. This guy is awesome. He runs all over the place in Eureka, always backwards. And this isn’t a joke–backwards running is a real sport.