|I explain to Brandy Burns why bagels are the most|
delicious of all the breads. Photo: Harold Hill.
|Heiko falls victim to bat peer pressure.|
|AC is Fonzarelli's biggest fan and the lone tick.|
|Sorry ladies. He is married.|
|Barefoot Josh and his patented baby food fueling strategy.|
|Brandy makes the turn at this year's strangely shaped orange cone.|
The call to the start interrupted fireside socializing and we made our way into the cold. As my more ambitious friends strategically positioned themselves near the line, I sought out some prettier faces who were likely too polite to ignore my chatter. I maintained a 9:45 pace for the first few miles, while Brandy B. tried to get away from me. After she slipped away, I managed near 11 minute pace with Sherri through the singletrack. My course knowledge advantage allowed me to keep up until we entered the bridles on Reedy Creek and then I did some alone miles.
|No expense spared at UTM. French waiters refill|
your water glass at every turn.
I was able to maintain an 11 average pretty easily, including frequent walking breaks and blood sugar checks. An extended stop for vasaline repair on my left foot at the Graylyn aid station still left me with a sub 5 time. With only the bridles ahead and feeling not too gimpy, I went completely mad and decided a 4:45 - 5:15 finish was very reasonably achievable. The cardio felt great. I did not wear a HR monitor because I wasn't going to finish, but I'd estimate bpm at a super comfortable 70% of max. Maybe lower. My iffy tendon was ok while running, a tad twingy while walking. Easily solved, just run more. I began to believe in an Umstead miracle. Just like 1984 all over again, but without all of the hockey players and USA chants. I might have chanted USA a little bit.
|Call her Steak sauce. Type A Type 1.|
|Boom! Pow! Biff! (stomach gurgle). To the|
|James, my escort to mile 20 aid station and harbinger of doom.|
|Why do I insist on running with frozen peas?|
|Doug Hensel's chauffeur service for slack runners.|
After a half hour passed, Doug H arrived in a horse drawn cart to transport me to the start. Actually, a horse drawn cart may have been slightly faster. Doug was in charge of breaking down the aid station and returning its many pieces to the start. He was driving a 1985 stolen red Chevy, loaded with runner's booty. Food, tables, water, signage. Irene Ryan was sitting in a rocking chair over the cab. He found room for me near the passenger seat and we jumped in line between 2 police cars and farm traffic. Skipping Cedar Creek, I was within 3.5 miles of the start by foot. To cover the distance outside of the park by roadway, we drove almost 13862 miles. Thanks for the ride Doug! On our journey, we got pretty close talking the day over by the fire at our campsites throughout the month or so it took to return to Lapihio.
|Sally is so bad @ss.|
|Anthony Corriveau finally gets his Opossum|
|This homeless park child beat me to the finish.|
|Galloway cheer leading section.|
|Jay Spadie (on Turkey Creek return), faster only because of the the aerodynamic properties of pasties.|
|Diane models a stress fracture, JoAnna's tights by Vera Wang. Hydration system by Jimmy Choo.|
|Duck it! Denied.|