Thursday, December 10, 2015

Crooked Road 24 hour November 21, 2015

runners on the new part of the course
So did I run this race this year?  Um no, I didn’t….  but I had to get up there to see a some of my favorite people.  

Who drives 2 ½ hours to run 10 miles then drives 2 ½ hours back home?  Well, me!  Left home about 10am.  Brought a friend along who had never been to an ultra – you know that he was in for a surprise! 

It was a great drive up to VA.  Weather was good and so was the traffic.  Got up there about 12:30.  First person I saw?  Paul Heckert!  Of course I get a BIG bear hug from him and we take a lap around together.  

It is nice this year that they changed the course to be 1.18 miles and not the .95 miler.  Two bonuses with this… the more miles you log, the more that .18 adds up.  That -.05 mile drives you crazy when you start logging big miles – lol!  The other nice thing is that “the one big hill” is no longer part of the course. 
Cant tell you how much I appreciate the friendship I have with this man! 

Lots of familiar faces there.  But one in particular stands out… His big smile when he saw I was there waiting for him – Bill Gentry.  He comes around that lap and – yep, you guessed it – another hug.  Haven’t seen him in months and it was sooo good to see him again!  

The next laps I ran were with Bill.  And we talked about everything and the miles went by too fast.  Of course I had to stop and say hi to half the people in the race but that’s what I came to do – hang out with my running family.  Its what makes me happy and really brings a lot of joy.  Good for the soul...

At some point Pam Rickard found me.  I only saw her for about a ¼ of a mile but her words of encouragement were exactly what I needed.  She is one joy filled, thankful and amazing person.  So thankful to know her!

Still chillier by the river than it is out in the middle of the course
My friend joined us for a while.  He was taking in the day, the surroundings, the people, and the friendships and slowly getting a grasp on what the ultra running community is like.  It was great to see it through a “newbies” eyes whose interest was quite piqued.  You could see “that sparkle” – you ultrarunners know that look…  what kind of cookies are these people eating and ya know, I might want one!  Stay tuned.  I may have another unknowing individual coming over to "the dark side" ;)

I told him the stories of some of the people there and the obstacles they have overcome.   Just seemingly normal people with a never give up attitude. 

I could only run about 10 miles that day.  Was planning to race a marathon next week so I was in taper mode.  Could have run many miles with everyone that day.  I felt that I was “cheating” though running from 12:30 – 3:00 or whenever it was in the sweet spot of the day.  I know full well of the long cold dark hours of running through the night.   

Still very grateful for those 10 miles - good to spend time with Ricky, Sharon, Eric, Jo, Thomas, Buddy, Jamie, Penny, Jason, James, Johnny, Tom, Charles, Veronica, and the rest of the Crooked Road peeps.  Grateful for this crazy ultrarunning sport that has brought us together into an amazing family.  

Big thanks to all those who make this race so great - the leaders and the volunteers.  A lot goes into it and this is a great, well organized event.  


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