This evening Mark Dorion called me from the six-day
race in Douglas, AZ that is now in progress. This is a
proxy report, as assembled from a few notes and my
The race started today. He’s not planning on running
the whole thing. He’s just there partly to help out RD
Gary Cross. He’ll jun lust a while longer today. (I
think he said he was at about 37 miles, and so is one
other person, a guy from Canada.) Possibly the most
experienced multi-day runner in the race, maybe with
the exception of Mark, is John Radich, who intends to
do the six-day in New York next month, and is in
Douglas to do well. There are a few others like high
school kids who are sort of just there, one guy banging
out sub-7:00 miles for the last hour or so. Why John is
knocking himself out on this race is anybody’s guess.
Jerry Shuster (sp?) is also in it. Jerry is from AZ and
has put in some big miles at ATY on occasion.
Mark’s description of the course is hilarious. It
includes sidewalk, curb, cuts across grassy areas, and
a journey through a park that is absolutely pitch dark
at this hour. There are no glow sticks. There are some
hairpin turns. There are rocks, and Mark says there’s
one section of about 50 yards that’s comparable to
Rocky Racoon for its roots — in the dark stretch.
I don’t know how long a single loop is.
Apparently local support is not as good as it has been
the previous two years. Something to do with the local
baseball season getting started two weeks late. I
didn’t quite get what that was all about.
Lap counters are whoever Gary can get. They include
college students, whom Mark, who teaches college,
describes as “unreliable”. They may show up or maybe
not, and who knows whether they’ll count the laps
As for the motel Mark stayed in last night — he said
he would have slept better in his car.
On the positive side, the weather has been beautiful. I
wonder. It was in the mid-eighties here in Phoenix
today, which is not exactly ideal for a very long race.
At least it won’t be too cold at night.
I figure it could be worse. He could be at Barkley.
Lynn David Newton