|Ryan and Rocky|
It's nice when things fall into place isn't it? I had been thinking for some time about taking a shot at completing a 50 mile trail run. Like many, I suppose, I was hesitant. The jump from 50k to 50 miles can seem like a rather large one. Especially when my last 50k resulted in my first DNF. Click here to read that story. I had some real doubts about attempting anything more until I mastered the 50k distance. My mind works like that. But after examining the DNF and chalk talking every imaginable angle of it with grizzled veteran trail trolls my thoughts began to change. A sample of race reports from last year at RR was all it took to hook me. I contacted Mike Rush (10th place RR50 2012) and put the idea out there that perhaps we could get a group together to throw it down Tejas style. Mike and I both hail from the Lone Star State. He was all over it. Apparently he had already decided he was all in before I mentioned it. So the feelers were put out. In the end there was just one other local runner that joined the fray, David Newman. However, as fate would have it, another local, Ryan Holler, was tapped at the last minute to pace a mutual friend for his first attempt at 100 miles so we had another sucker along for the ride. Upon further examination Ryan was planning on sleeping in a vehicle. That was unacceptable to me. I offered up a spot on the floor at my parents house in Corsicana for Thursday night and the same at our hotel in Huntsville Friday night. As for Saturday night while pacing Tim Harrington, he was on his own, because David and I were headed back to comfort in Corsicana as soon as we were done. So that's it, we were set. Shortly after picking up my son, Philip, from school on Thursday we headed south. I thought it only appropriate to include an invitation to the mini me and include him on the adventure. He was stoked because it meant one less day of school that week.
|I posed for this one.|
Mystery Man: "Yes."
David then inquires "So, what's your goal?"
The guy says "13 hours"
David realizes it's non other than Hal Koerner disguised in that awesome lumberjack beard. Meanwhile Ryan and I are standing on the balcony in the rain. Who's the sucker now?
|Dogwood Crossing post race, directing traffic, texting and looking good. (R. Holler)|
|Philip taking lessons from his Ninnie on the finer points of cake making.|
Mike Rush: Local running stud, owner of Rush Running and former member of the Razorback Track Team at the University of Arkansas. He got off course, logged some bonus mileage and still finished in the top ten with a time of 8:04:47. He says he's coming back for a shot at 7 hours flat. He wants some hardware.
|Mike Rush celebrates with Miles after his Top 10 finish. (R. Holler)|
David Newman: David committed early on and then was stricken with an ITB injury. I think over the last month his longest run was 10 miles? Yet he toed the line and gave it a shot. And damn if he didn't finish. All I know is that this dude must eat nails for breakfast.
|David "Roll Tide" Newman (R. Holler)|
Ryan Holler: Crew Cat Extraordinaire, Pacer, and all around Lead Cheer Person. Part Jedi, part wizard and all good. Ryan will downplay his role but he was a big part of our success. I know he had to cover at least 50 miles after standing on his feet all day.
|Ryan "Gandolf" Holler, the Jedi takes a snooze after 34 hours.|
Philip aka Felipe: This is the fourth time Philip has gone on a trip for a race with me and I always love having him around. He drew a Spartan, made us cake and sported that boss of a hat liked he owned it. And he finished all of his homework before we got home. How can you not love that?
My Parents: They rolled it out for our crew. It was a completely wonderful trip because of them opening their home to their half weird youngest child and his two crazy buddies. Good company, great food and more than comfortable accommodations. Next time, I want them down at the park. As nice as that hug was from Ms. Joyce at the finish, I want one from my momma and pops.
|Mom & Pop, thanks for being a part of it all. Love you!|