|Across the Years
2004 12-Hour All-Night Fun Run
On July 5—6, 2003, the Across the Years race committee presented a free, non-competitive, all-night 12-hour run to inaugurate the newly built track at Nardini Manor, to be used for the annual races in December. Because of the success of last year's race, and to provide an opportunity to try some new things this year, the race committee sponsored another 12-hour run this year, which was run on June 12—13, 2004.
The race was moved back a few weeks this year for various logistical reasons, which had the benefit of providing more moderate weather. It was warm at the start, but the humidity was low, and the temperature dropped quickly with the onset of nightfall. The thermometer showed it below 70 degrees for most of the night, and as low as 62 during the predawn hours. The odoriferous reminder of nearby farms was present, but not nearly as overwhelming this year.
Last year the field on the north was growing corn, requiring that the irrigation canal along the north straightaway be filled, contributing greatly to the humidity along that stretch and across the Nardini campus. This year a different crop is growing in the field, and the canal was empty. In short, it was an ideal night for summer nighttime running.
Last year 35 people in all were recorded as running, 14 of whom stayed around for a group picture at the end, but this year's run had a more modest turnout, with 18 total runners recording mileage, and only five still running until the end.
Although the promise was that nothing but water would be provided, thanks to the generosity of Nardini Manor hosts Rodger and Tana Wrublik, an aid table fit for a running king was assembled by the time darkness set in, with everything a runner might need. Late at night there was even some delicious hot chili.
In 2003 all runners counted their own laps and turned in the number at the end. It did not matter, because no winner was declared. This year we had two timing systems in place. Rodger Wrublik has purchased a chip timing system — not the ChampionChip, but one powered by AMB transponders. Rodger had the sensing device buried under the surface of the ground. It does not use the giant red mats that most runners are accustomed to seeing at running events.
The system was not quite running right at first, although after a while it was apparently doing all right. Meanwhile, a backup timing system was available, a program that runs on an ancient 1980s vintage Macintosh. This computer was used for years to help time Across the Years when lap counters were required. At the end of the second hour, when we changed run directions, we were all assigned pseudo "bib numbers," and had to call out our numbers to timer Frank Cuda every time we passed by. With so few runners this was not a tedious job, except for Frank, who had to stay on duty and be alert for the next 10 hours, and who, with his wife and daughter, started the run with us, but sacrificed the rest of his own run to help out.
The track at Nardini Manor is certified at 500 meters, but we metrically challenged Americans prefer to see distances in miles.
The only pictures available from the race were taken by Rodger Wrublik early in the morning, near the end of the race, when most of the runners had already left. The runners represented here are those who stuck around to the end.
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