It's still just a couple of miles into the race. Here I'm running with Maria Celis, one of the early starting 24-hour runners. I call her Mad Dog Maria, because I first saw her when she ran Just Another Mad Dog, an Arizona Road Racers sponsored 50-mile race in Scottsdale, in November, 1999. It was miserably hot that day. I was just volunteering, never mind running. But Maria stuck it out to the bitter end, even though she was in last place by a couple of hours. Then she showed up six weeks later, at last year's edition of Across the Years, also as an early starter.
Maria had some serious foot problems that lasted most of the night, leaving her down and out for hours. The medical volunteers worked on her for a while. Slowly she made a comeback. She finished with only 59.40 miles, but miraculously once again endured to the end. Meanwhile, she had a kid or two sleeping in her car. I don't know how she did it. (She lives in nearby Gilbert, which I'm sure helped.)