Luis Escobar: A Matter of Perspective

By Greg Minter, July 23, 2003 3:04 AM

As I mentioned elsewhere on the site, I met Luis Escobar at the breakfast immediately following the 2002 Badwater Ultramarathon, showing some beautiful photographs that he had taken with his new digital camera. Luis had crewed and paced for Mark Johnson, and ended up running, by their estimates, over 100 mile of the race at Mark's side.

In January, I got a follow-up email fro Luis telling me that he had entered the 2003 race. He also gave me some information about the 100 mile H.U.R.T. run in Hawaii and sent some more pictures which were outstanding.

So even though I was looking forward to saying "Hi" again, the staff was working on all eight cylinders at the sign-in meeting and just got a passing wave and handshake.

I saw Luis again last night on the way up Towne's Pass. On his way up with Mark Johnson (taking his turn pacing), he pulled in for oen of the turkey wraps crew member Doug Rich had been preparing as we waited. Doug had some understandable opinions on the race: "Everybody here is a should all be committed." But he did keep working. "We got about 15 minutes of rain coming up Towne's Pass at around 2500'. He said it reminded him a lot of the weather in the Hawaii race earlier this year, where I crewed for Luis."

When Luis arrived, he walked to the front of the van, sat down in one of two chairs that had been placed and propped his feet up and gave us some perspective on his race.

"I'm a cross-country coach at Righetti High School in Santa Maria, CA. I want my kids to understand that they can do anything they want to. Never give up. Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off of the goal."

Mark Johnson chimed in, saying "Perspective is the right word for what you need out here. Last year he ran with me, and this year, I'm running with im. He's much better prepared this year, and it's been a great team effort from eveyone on the crew. I think I like it more on this side of the fence!"

Luis planned to go out and "get my money's worth" as he put it, cutting a straight line down the blacktop ribbon that passes through one of the most inhospitable places in the world.