“we don’t know where we stand; until we know that we won’t run away.” -slip knot.
This weekend I could have been relaxing. Feet up enjoying a 3 day weekend (I get Columbus off though not sure how to properly “celebrate” a guy that created genocide and the tran-Atlantic slave trade ).
But instead after coaching Team Continuum’s long run I headed 7 hours deep into the south to stand for 3 hours in 30 degree weather staring into the darkness looking for the tiny lamps dancing in the dark like spirit and emerging ghosts.
My man Bobby wanted me to “pace” him for his 100 mile ultra marathon. I got miles 80-101 bc I couldn’t get there sooner with my coaching duties. With 7 hours to think in the car I thought a lot about how Insane this was for him and to a lesser degree me. Work -drive-run all night? It was so stupid Only Bobby could be the architect of such a plan (those who know him will get that.)
But at no point did I not want to do it. Not stuck in traffic; not pissing in a bottle to save time; not standing there in the freezing cold to wait for him. All I felt was that this was freakin’ epic; and I was stoked to be a part of it.
Much of that excitement was Bobby himself. I have known him a long time; and I got mad man-love for him. Also I watched him get ready. Physically with crazy ass runs; and mentally with a crazy ass beard. He was all in; and as his friend, to the degree possible, I wanted to be in too. Do something epic and it’s amazing how quickly people will rally to cheer you. Sadly for Bobby all his friends are ironman finishers so epic is defined at a higher level. Bobby inspired me. Bobby inspires me.
I also value loyalty. I kill a hooker in Vegas–Bobby shows up with two shovels and a box of trash bags. That’s my definition of friendship. If I could be there; I had to be.
The race he picked was insane. A 100 miler is insane and this event by that standard was widely thought of as ridiculous. The profile looks like a saw. As Bobby came into the check point the game was over. It wasn’t a choice between DNF and finishing it; it was a choice between carrying him from there to car or out of the woods a few k father and to a hospital. I was honored to drive 7 hours; wait and simply carry him for a bit.
I have never seen a person dig so deep. I have never seen a person try so hard. I have never seen a human so hollowed and shelled. I have never been prouder of an athlete or friend. I really don’t measure awesomeness by times; splits, or finishes. I measure it by effort, and experiences. As I get older I have less to prove and I seek experiences more than results and the experiences I saw of the athletes and the experience I had as just a friend of something like that was worth more than most races I did this year.
The next day I ran the course and realized why he was so drawn to it. It was a sublime place to run. Some day I hope to run part or all of it.
(Foto: me and Coraline who is soooo into ultra running out on the course the day after).