Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Run For The Hills

The only thing better than racing Treherne is racing Treherne two consecutive years.  I love this race!  It has all the elements; gorgeous scenery, challenging course, lots of port-a-potties, aid stations around every corner, great community spirit, and -la piece de la resistance- parking right next to the start line!  Yeah, there's hills, some of them big, some of them really big, but all of them character building and to be conquered one step at a time.  This is not a race to be looking for that elusive P.B.   It's more of a slow grill kind of a race... one to be savoured and appreciated.... kind of life affirming... a 'good attitude' kind of a race. 
It was a cold one!  My hands were thick and raw.  I remember not being able to toggle between functions on my Garmin because of the numbness.  And then the sun would come out and all was well.  And then the sun would go down .... up, down, up, down, cold, warm, cold, warm... The wind was intense and from the north, but remember, it's life affirming and what's a race without a little discomfort?  I poured it on for the last three miles hoping to break 2 hours, but alas, it wasn't in the cards this time around.  My official time was 2:03:49 (about middle of the pack for my age category... not bad for Treherne).  I was sick the entire previous week so I was just happy to be healthy enough to run regardless of time.
Mario is my new hero!  You know that corner where the sign says "Wimps & Wussies This Way"  "Full Mary That Way"?  Mario went THAT way!  He was one of only 40 or so brave souls that did the Full Mary (make that the Full Mario).  I waited for him to come into sight and then cheered him across the line.  He looked strong, but clearly wiped out.  He had enough energy to hug me and give me the famous Mario Grin.  With sunken eyes he then mumbled something to the effect of "Mikey, it was so hard"  and then he walked away across the hard-top with only a slight limp.  Well done Mario.  I'm not sure I'll follow your example, but I sure do respect you for this achievement.  26.2 miles... a state of mind... 26.2 Treherne miles... a state of being!
A shout out to Race Director Gary Lodwick and his stellar race committee.  They've worked tremendously hard to deliver a serious race with all the amenities.  Kudos are also extended to the fine volunteers who went out of their way to make this a most memorable event.  And to that woman who played the theme from Chariots of Fire  on her piano with windows open as runners poured by at mile 0.5... thank you... it really made my day and epitomized the Treherne Spirit.
It was indeed a wonderful day to be alive.
See you on the trails.
M
  
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