September 28-29, 2007
“I think they are running some sort of marathon in the mountains”
Overheard at a restaurant in Smithfield
Its 1:30 a.m., at about mile 73, on the 5th climb of the famed Bear “roller coaster.” I’m lying down on the side of the trail, breathing hard, out of gas. My first-time pacer brother, Bob, is leaning over me, “Should I get help?” “No”, is my quick reply. “This is just a bad bonk, part of this crazy sport.” Earlier, Bob was talking about the possibility of trying a 100-miler of his own. Now, looking down at my agony, he’s having lots of second thoughts about that crazy idea. Bob drapes a jacket over me and wonders if I’m going to croak. After five minutes, I feel a little better, and struggle back to my feet. I eat and drink and do the only thing I know how to do at that point – push forward. I lose my lunch several times and I hear Bob exclaim, “Oh boy!” I grin to myself and push forward even harder, feeling a little better. If the stomach doesn’t work, start it over. In another mile Bob starts to complement my strong pace. I was back in the race. How did I get here?