Reese Ruland’s Quality Crewing Company (Dakota Jones’ Lake Sonoma 50 Race Report)

Dakota Jones’ “interesting” take on his win at the 2012 Lake Sonoma 50 mile.

By on April 18, 2012 | Comments

Reese Ruland’s Quality Crewing Company
For When You Need To Go FAST

A subgroup of Running with Reese

Below is an excerpt from the “Testimonials” page of the Quality Crewing Company website:

Dakota Jones 2012 Lake Sonoma finish

Photo: Drymax

Hi, Dakota Jones here, recent winner of the Lake Sonoma 50 mile race in Northern California. Much has been made lately of that race and I feel that I am now obliged to respond, in order to clear up any confusion about how the race played out and why it played out how it did. You see, my result was not entirely due to my own abilities as a distance runner but was a combination of my own efforts and the superior aid of Reese Ruland’s Quality Crewing Company.

A little background here: Reese’s QCC (as it is known colloquially) was founded on the premise that no runner with enough money to pay should have to go unaided during a race, and that all customers would receive not only the finest in aid before, during and after the race, but that all other crews on the course would be shown to be greatly inferior. This gave rise to several notable crewing events, the most prominent being the strategy of Team Salomon. Quickly the company grew and was soon crewing at events nearly every weekend of the year, even offering elite athletes discounts in exchange for support. At the end of last year I became affiliated with the QCC and first used their aid at the North Face Endurance Challenge in San Francisco, where my iron-lunged crew wore aprons proclaiming: “I believe in Dakota Jones.” At that race I took second place and went home highly satisfied with the whole experience.

But as much as I like excessive attention gained at the expense of sanity, I decided that I wanted my next race to be more low-key. Enter Lake Sonoma, my first race of the year, and the first one in which my crew would be none other than Reese Ruland herself. The race began and off we went into the woods, a large pack of runners all jostling for position. At the first creek crossing I jumped into the waist-deep water and was gratified to see Nick Clark pulled under by an unseen hand.

“Bloody ‘ell! Me leg!” was all anyone heard as he went under.

The trail then continued along several miles of beautiful winding singletrack just above the lake. Soon Tim Olson took off on an early surge that surprised everyone. I was running with Jorge Maravilla, Dave Mackey, Hal Koerner and several others at this point, and we all let Tim go, choosing instead to discuss our lives in detail.

“Anyone need advice on how to live?” I asked.

“You guys should buy something from my store,” said Hal.

“I’m basically a doctor,” said Dave.

“Que pasa?” said Jorge.

A short while later we reached the first aid station, where Reese had rigged a revolving IV bag that allowed me to rehydrate without breaking stride. Soon after, Jorge and I managed to catch up to Tim Olson. He had lost his shirt and seemed to be severely shaken, even slowing down enough on the climbs to let me pull ahead. As I pulled ahead my confusion quickly turned to satisfaction – inconspicuous bruising on his legs told me that my crew was doing its job exactly as planned.

A little more than three hours into the race I came into the aid station about halfway into the race. Reese gave me some Clif Bars and refilled my water bottles (with more Clif Bars). I said thanks for all the help and she said that she was doing all she could, but I would really have to stop sitting in the massaging armchair if I wanted to finish soon. I said do you know how good this feels and she said get out of here you dumb sonofabitch. I said don’t insult me and she demonstrated that her knuckles were harder than they looked. I said okay see you at the finish line.

Dakota Jones 2012 Lake Sonoma mud

Photo: Drymax

The second half of the race went much like the first half, with the only difference being that I ran alone. All the muddy sections were neatly covered in strategically-placed towels that prevented me from getting dirty and all the creek crossings were done on well-placed wooden planks. The river crossings were navigated via boats manned by well-tanned, bikini-clad models and I had no need for a hat during the sunny sections since the QCC helicopter flew directly over me and cast its shadow over my exposed face and neck. At the final aid station Reese misdirected all the other runners in a big circle so that I wouldn’t encounter anyone on the quarter-mile out-and-back, possibly damaging my confidence. Then, after four more miles of rolling singletrack the finish line area finally came into view. Just before rounding the final corner I paused as Reese jumped out of the bushes, washed my face, added appropriate make-up and artfully dirtied my clothes and hair. Then I ran off into the finish line, taking home my first big win of the year.

I am positive that I could never have finished with the result I did had I not had Reese Ruland’s help. She was at virtually every hill, corner and creek to make sure that I was well taken care of and not hassled by other competitors. Although I have only worked with the QCC for a short time I am positive that I will never race again without their help, as they have allowed my racing to reach a new level. For anyone out there looking to reach similar levels of success, I suggest Reese Ruland’s Quality Crewing Company. They’re the best in the business!

Dakota Jones
Dakota Jones explores the wild places of the world on foot and tells us about it every few weeks. He runs for Salomon and Clif Bar.