Crewing Lake Sonoma 50

Just when I thought I couldn’t be more inspired by trail running and ultra-marathoning, yesterday happened.

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My training partner Jojo had her first 50 miler Saturday – the Lake Sonoma 50.  I was lucky enough to get to be a part of her big day and try to return some of the amazing support she gave me last weekend

This was a very different scene from American River 50 the week before.  This was a much smaller, all trail race, that also had a lot of hard core, talented ultra-runners.  It was a grueling course, with never ending hills, over 10,000 feet of elevation gain, but all on beautiful trails surrounding Lake Sonoma.  Yes please!

I rode up with Jojo and her crew on Friday night where consumed a yummy dinner and got to bed early.  We were all up by 4:30am the next morning, ready to drive to the race start at 5am.  After a very rainy week, it was set to be a beautiful day for a long run on the trails, although a little wet and muddy.

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We were there to see Jojo off on the start and then drove to the first crewing spot, which would be about mile 12 for the runners.  We had to park and walk in a ways, but were rewarded with some amazing scenery which definitely had me itching to put on my trail shoes and go for a run.

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We got to see the leaders come in which was really fun to watch, especially since this race was stacked with top runners!  Runners continued to come in, already wet and covered in mud, and then right on time Jojo came in looking so strong and happy. 

We had the infamous “box” from last weekend ready to go with anything one might ever possibly need in a 50 mile race.  Candy, Band-Aids, sunscreen – you name it, it’s in the box.   

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Oh and I forgot to mention, we also might have been getting a few smiles and laughs out of the runners during this time with some ridiculous wigs we had on. 

Pam and Erin, the other members of Jojo’s crew, sporting the wigs
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We were able to meet up with her at multiple more spots along the way to help her with whatever she needed, whether it was fuel, shoe changes, water refills or just a smile.  Over the course of the day, we made it to miles 12, 17, 25, 30, 38 and the finish, definitely a successful day of crewing! 

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As the day progressed, We started to get to know the other runners around her and got to watch attitudes and body language change.  Watching runners over 50 miles is truly a journey of emotions.  From excitement at the start line, to hope at mile 12, to the beginnings of exhaustion at mile 25, to fighting through pain at mile 38, to the look of pure simple joy at the finish line.  For lack of a better word, it was simply inspiring.

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Congrats to all the runners yesterday, but especially my friend Jojo.  She truly put her heart and soul into her training and was able to have the victory lap she so much deserved.  She makes me want to run further, run faster and run for the pure simple joy of it and watching her yesterday made that even more apparent.      

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I took a ton of pics of runners while I was out there, so if you ran or know someone who did, check out my picasa album!

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15 Responses to Crewing Lake Sonoma 50

  1. Jamie April 15, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    What a beautiful trail race!

  2. mamabird April 15, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    50 miles is so impressive. A little jealous that you have so many runner friends as well….what a great little community you have surrounded yourself with….Go Aron and go Jojo! Congrats on setting the bar high for yourselves, developing a plan to get there, nailing said plan and ultimately kicking butt in your races! You guys are total inspiration.

    How are you feeling one week post Ultra, Aron? Would love to hear how the week has been for you and your recovery…

  3. Janice April 15, 2012 at 12:09 pm #


    The only thing I can think of being better then running your own 50 is to support and crew for a friend. Awesomeness!!!

    At the end you said something about running further..?
    Me too!!!

  4. Allen (notthatlucas) April 15, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    Sounds like a great course and race – I love that you were able to see her so often at a trail race! And the wigs – YIKES! (But very funny and I’m sure everyone enjoyed them.) Did you see Sam from Brazen? He was supposed to do this race but I haven’t seen any results posted yet.

  5. Missy April 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    What a beautiful place to run.

  6. Kayla Moothart April 15, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    You make me feel the same! Run further, faster and for the joy of it! Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Abby @ Change of Pace April 15, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    Beautiful photos!
    I bet it was even more rewarding for you to watch knowing how much effort all those people put into preparing for race day.

  8. Jojo April 15, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

    Can’t thank you enough and so glad we were on this roller coaster of training for our first together! You were the best crew and paparazzi. Can’t wait to recover and knock a few more things off of our trails bucket list :)

  9. The Runners Bug April 16, 2012 at 5:32 am #

    That looks awesome! I just love the races you do!

  10. greengirlrunning April 16, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

    So great that you were able to return the favor for your friend and had so much fun doing it! This post inspired me to volunteer to crew for my friend who is thinking of training for AR50 next year. I sent him the link to your blog so he can read about your experience with it… you did such a great job documenting your first ultra journey :)

  11. Susan - Nurse on the Run April 18, 2012 at 6:02 am #

    You guys are making 50 milers looking awfully tempting…

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  1. URP Daily News | - April 16, 2012

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