We stopped on the way to get some Gatorade and coffee and got to the race HQ around 6. I got my number and chatted with a few other runners, like Jeremy Reynolds, who had just won the Western States Horse Race in record time (congratulations, Jeremy!).
Nancy Warren, the race director, gave us a quick rundown of what to expect. The race was very well organized, with a great group of volunteers. Robert and Linda Mathis (ultrarunner.net) were at the start tracking the runners' laps and updating the race web site real time. Nancy and her family were running the incredibly well-stocked start/finish aid station, and there was an aid station at mile 5.5, run by ultra-veterans Norm and Helen Klein. The course was well-marked with ribbon and glow sticks, so really all we had to do is run!
It was a new Moon and the sky was filled with meteor showers, which was quite spectacular if you dared to take your eyes of the trail for a second or two. Most of the sections were still pretty warm, but there were occasional cold pockets where the temperature was chilly. I finished my third loop and told Chris I was back on track. Rajeev was at the aid station and wished me good luck on the final laps. Every time I would pass the aid station, I was offered a number of delicious-sounding menu items: bacon, breakfast burritos, and, my personal favorite, pancakes. The only problem is that I don't eat too much during the race, so every time I would tell the volunteers I would be back at 7 a.m. to take them up on their offer. I had some potatoes, a little bit of coffee and I was off again for loop number 4.
Photo finish minus the finisher