Monday, January 28, 2013

The Robert and Linda Mathis Memorial Run

 A foggy morning in Auburn, and a hundred or so runners gathered at the Overlook for the second Robert and Linda Mathis Memorial Run. This gathering has become a wonderful running event, and I can't think of better motivation to get out for some mellow miles on familiar trails with smiling faces.

A group of us carpooled down from Truckee for the 9:00 am start. Let's hear it for late starts in January! Jen Dicus read a heartfelt letter from Robert and Linda's families, and we headed off down the singletrack.

Helen, JP, Me

 The four or so miles downhill to the river were spent in pleasant conversation and concerted efforts not to slip and slide on our backsides down the mud. I was happy to keep the pace quite casual through this section.

After leaving the aid station at No Hands, I made the turn up K2. This is not the official course for the run, but I was pleased to see that every runner in my vicinity made the same choice for the big hill. I mean, why not, right? 

Down at the river, it had seemed we were actually below the fog. Halfway up K2, and it once again enveloped us. It lent quite a surreal atmosphere to the surroundings, and to be honest, I had a bit of trouble staying oriented. Since I'd veered off the marked course, this made me slightly nervous. Luckily, I could see a runner ahead who ran with the air of an assured local. I stayed close enough to keep and eye on him through the fog, and when he turned, I turned. Soon enough he led me into familiar territory, and we found ourselves at the turnaround at the Cool fire station. My strategy worked!

I made the return trip with two men whose names, in my usual fashion, I promptly forgot as soon as they were relayed to me. Sorry, guys! Nonetheless, they made great companions. We chatted about Miwok and Javelina as we picked our way down the wet trail. A light drizzle kept reminding me of my last race I did with Robert and Linda, on this very trail, and the memory kept me smiling. I decided to run strong up the climb from No Hands since I'm starting to get back into shape. The legs felt great, and all in all, it was a beautiful day!

The Truckee Carpool: JP, me, Geoff, Pete, Helen

There was a potluck at the end and an amazing slew of raffle prizes to be won. RD's and organizations really came through with impressive donations for the raffle! (Sadly, I came away empty handed, but a lot of my friends were lucky winners!)

And look who I ran into in the parking lot!

I think Auburn is the capital for serendipitous trail running experiences. Jamie and I made plans for our snowshoe race the following day (Our plan was to run slow!) and we all stood around snacking on a few of the potluck goodies before heading back up to Truckee.

Thank you so much to Jen and everyone who helped to put on this event. I think this is a perfect way to remember two wonderful people who were such huge contributors to this trail running community. I still miss Robert and Linda, but I think they would be pleased with they way they are honored - by a group of people getting together to enjoy a few miles on the trails.


  1. Love your pictures, Gretchen! Hope you are recovering nicely after the double-duty weekend!

  2. Glad to hear you were there. I was too but I started at 8:30, did the same route as you but went up K2 a second time on the return trip. Got done and didn't see anyone I recognized at the finish. So sorry I didn't see you. Will probably run into you sometime this spring. Take care.

  3. It was so lovely to meet you even though it was but briefly!

  4. Beautiful day for beautiful souls. Nice to see you run!

  5. Nice report and pictures. Sorry I had to miss it this year!

  6. I still miss them too! It was great to see you. You missed the 3 large groups who started before 9am...the turnout was great. Take care--Jen :-)