Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Back to Burning River

Back from vacation and stepping stones already exist between now and when school goes back into session....good grief! We're not super busy in our home but we do have major events that never span over a week apart between now and the end of August. First off, I'm running in my 12hr trail race in (gulp) 3 days time. Two weeks later is my 2nd 50K of the year, the Buckeye Trail 50K, and two weeks later is the Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run that I ran and finished in 2009 in 27hrs, 11min. In between those weeks are other things, too, but regarding running "stuff," that's the near-term schedule.

Forecast for Saturday for my 12hr? 90F. (gulp x 2)

Forecast for Buckeye Trail 50K? That's easy. Hot. Always is.

As for Burning River, the answer is "no"...I'm not running 100 miles again...yet. Instead, I was asked to pace a friend from the East Coast for the final 35 miles. Tom Sperduto ran the Oil Creek 100 with me back in 2009, it's inaugural year. We didn't meet but we were some of the last folks who finished the race. This year, he's doing a "grand slam" of 100 miles in a very short period of time. His first was the Kettle Moraine 100 earlier this month then two weeks later he did the Mohican 100. Both, he finished. The "Kettle" was actually my 1st 100-miler back in 2009. Next, he's running Burning River with a 4th 100-miler a week later. Tom lost his mom at age 40 to breast cancer and is now 40 himself. He's doing this to raise money for breast cancer research and all my job is to do is to help keep him moving forward for his final 35 here at Burning River, a course I know extremely well. Relentless forward motion, staying awake, and "eating, drinking, and peeing"...gotta help ensure all systems keep going for his 3rd grand slam finish. I think my schedule for the next month will prep me well to not fail Tom. Interested in checking out his fundraising efforts or maybe helping out? Here's his site.

Along the same vein of support and "being there," my routine read at 3:30am brought forth this today. It's from FamilyLife's "Moments with You" series and while not tied to pacing at a 100 miler, it shares some similarities. I'd like to share it not because I'm pacing but because I believe in it when it comes to family and close relationships and well, I've felt the gravity of this in recent times. It most certainly tugged at my heart strings. Enjoy and let it soak in....

"Gary Thomas, author of such inspiring books as Sacred Marriage and Authentic Faith: The Power of a Fire-Tested Life, tells the story of two American soldiers who became fast friends during their preparations for combat in World War I. Though they had known each other only a short time, the camaraderie of battle and their shared dreams of postwar life quickly cemented their relationship.
One day, these two buddies crawled from their foxhole with the rest of their unit in an attack on the German forces. After a valiant fight, the order was given to retreat. But only one of the two friends returned to the trench. The other had been hit by German gunfire and was lying about 50 yards out of reach.
Against his commanding officer's orders, the other soldier crawled out of the ditch to go find his fallen comrade. Hugging the ground and dodging enemy bullets, he worked his way across the bloody, corpse-littered ground until he finally located the friend he sought. Finding him semi-conscious, they were left with only a few seconds together before he died.
When the man returned to the trench with the body of his soldier friend, the ranking officer flew into a rage for this flaunting of his order. "Was it worth it for you to risk your life?"
"Absolutely, sir. Because when I turned him over, he looked up at me and said, I knew you'd come.'"
That's the kind of loyalty we are called to in all our relationships--especially in our homes and families. Your spouse needs to know without a doubt that when you are needed, you will be there. Your children need to know they can count on you, not just in a pinch, but also in their most routine of expectations. When they need you, can they be sure you'll come?"

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