Monday, April 18, 2011


I finished the run. Took me a grand total time of 15 hours and 41 minutes. What I tried to avoid by starting earlier in the morning still happened - I was lost, in the dark, with a non working headlamp, getting called by the police, phone battery halfway dead, and tired as never before. Two deer materialized in my vision as I was exiting Schooner Head Overlook, and I started asking them for directions as well: Me - "Hey, do you know where Schooner Head Rd. is?" Deer - "..." Me (pointing to the other deer) - "What about you, sir...or ma'am?" Deer 2 - "..." Me - "Well...Okay then." (Shuffles back to Park loop). What I imagine they said afterwards was something like that (When I'm out of sight) Deer 1: "Qu'est-ce que c'est?" Deer 2: "Je ne sais pas..." Thankfully, Ken Hill called me just in time as I was headed the wrong way on the Park loop (towards Cadillac Mtn.) and steered me towards Schooner Head Road. "only 3.2 miles Steve" "3.2 Miles! Yes!" "Sarah Luke wants to know what kind of pizza you want from Reel Pizza?" "Everything!" 3.2 Miles? I could do that in my sleep. And since I had been awake since 2 AM Saturday morning, I probably would be sleeping quite soon if I didn't hurry. I pushed myself from a march to a slog. To a shuffle. Broke the metaphorical Forest Gump casts off my legs and TOOK OFF. Others thought I was really sprinting but I knew the truth - human flight. Get wings. Like that greek dude. My brain had turned into a pile of oatmeal throughout the day, slowing down my speech, my thoughts, my concerns. Even pain wasn't a concern now. My only focus was switching gears and getting to the village green to that ULTRA-PIZZA. My stomach juices jumped up and down with every step, awaiting a tasty thanksgiving dinner to satisfy cravings. I busied myself with calculations in my head. 11 minute miles. 3.2 miles....that's...35 minutes...what about 10 minute....NO...what about 9 minute miles...that 30 minutes. Lets go under 30 BABY! I shifted into higher gears with words and grunts. "Let's do this! ARGHHH!" (Scott Grierson taught me that one. He taught me to save my energy for the final push and then... Put the HAMMER down!) Jackson Labs' lights were in sight now. Less than a mile away! 2nd gear. Arghh! 3rd gear. Arghh! Ken Hill says I'm flying now. 4th gear. Arghhhhh! I morphed my body from an old-timers electric wheelchair into a MACH JET! How? I thought to myself. How is this possible after 15 and a half hours of running? The farthest distance I had gone before this was 32 miles. Now I'm running 64? Twice as much. Past Jackson Labs, Ken Hill goes ahead to the village green. The hours on the road find me again and I slow to a shuffle walk again. Less than a mile, less than a mile... I see flashes of light. People cheering, yelling, whooping, yelping. Dogs? I climb the curb, reach the stone circle, break to my knees, and kiss the damn thing. Right next to the bird poop, I expect. 15 hours and 41 minutes ago, it was dark and cold, just as it is now. Only Kelly Reid was there, snapping a photo as I crouched in a joking manner into the sprint position at that very circle. That was my take off. This is my landing. Alina puts something heavy into my hands. Says congratulations and heres a gift. I know right away - Pickles, my favorite. Sarah Luke asks if I need an IV at the hospital, if I can walk, if I need to be carried. I'm lucid enough to laugh. I'm fine, I say, I just need pizza. Then it's in my hands,it's so warm!, and I'm at the house. And I've fallen on the couch. I can only eat a few pieces before I keel over on my side and pass out. Rest.

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