by Deena Kastor | Aug 11, 2010 |
Our week is off to a tragic start as California Baptist University of Riverside was traveling to Mammoth Lakes for running camp yesterday and was struck by an SUV traveling in the opposite direction. Three people died in the drawn-out accident and many are in critical and stable condition in surrounding hospitals. Ryan Hall, Andrew and I went to the hospital today to give t-shirts, stuffed animals and flowers to the girls here in Mammoth Lakes. We were able to talk to Alyssa, who after surgery and morphine was the best of the injured list. Her parents are here and grateful that their daughter survived this awful ordeal.
The details of the accident are horrendous as the team members volunteered their account of what unfolded. It seems inappropriate to share the details, but the emotional scars of the entire team will need a much longer time to heal than the physical damage some of them endured. The Mammoth Track Club is trying to help the best we can.
It was difficult to grasp this news when the parks and trails were packed with runners this morning. Here in Mammoth we get over 20,000 runners coming during the summer months to enjoy altitude training and the team camaraderie that comes with having camp in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The weeks they spend here are the highlight of their season and so many memories come out of it. It is not just high school, junior college and college teams that choose Mammoth for summer camp; members of the Oregon Track Club are also up here training for their fall marathons.
I had a chance to run with Shalane Flanagan this weekend as she prepares for her marathon debut at the ING New York City Marathon. We will both be racing there and it is also the marathon I debuted in back in 2001. She is in for a great experience; one I hope wins her over to the marathon distance so many of us love.
As I am doing some television commentary at the Chicago Marathon and racing in the NY Marathon, I am also setting up a schedule to be at some of the Rock ‘n’ Roll events. I’ll keep you posted and hope to catch up with you in Virginia Beach, Philadelphia, San Jose, Denver, LA or Las Vegas. See you at the races.