The one thing about running is you are sure to have experiences in life you wouldn't have had watching The Flintstones. Some are planned for and others are not. Here's a few of my memorable experiences.
- Double crossing of the Grand Canyon in 2009 with Andy, Barry, and Clem. Farging A.
- Circa 1979 I was running down Devil's Elbow Road which has various twists and hills. I had heard of a big buck in the area and I was about to meet him face to face. Sunset, coming up a small rise to an open field to my left. One tree was between us when I caught a glimpse. Massive, perhaps 15 yards away. I stopped and looked right at him. He didn't move. After about 20 seconds of eye balling each other he cantored off across the road in front of me.
- My first Boston Marathon in 2002. A very patriotic year as it was the first race after 9/11. I set my marathon PR there at 40 years old.
- Around 2004 I went on a typical marathon training run of 20 miles. There was no plan, I wasn't rested...just go and get it in. There is a spot at about 0.4 miles into the run I always check my watch. I was through there about 25 seconds fast which seemed odd because I didn't feel like I was moving any faster. It just felt easy. One of those rare days you don't tire. You just go faster and faster wondering when it will end. It didn't and I logged a 2:08. I have never had a training run before or since of that length that felt so easy.
- One winter up here in Wisconsin I had a 32 mile training run planned for Saturday. Looking at the weather that Wednesday I saw the weekend was going to be -35 degree F wind chill. I got up at 2:30 AM the next morning in the middle of January and got it in. I kept thinking what my old boss used to say. "Don't let the bastard's grind you down."
- 1983 on a trainig run with two other guys from the XC team early Saturday. A truck comes by and runs us off the road. Pleasant communications were exchanged and the truck headed back. After a bit more communicating the truck turns around and tries to run us over. It is now driving through people's yards and over whatever to get us. Neighbors are wondering why a pick-up is blowing threw the lawn. No one was hurt, but we did end up seeing the guy in court.
- Around 78' I ran the Wheeling, WV 20k and stuck around for the awards banquet mainly because they drew a slew of good runners. Big banquet area and well attended. Just when it started, with few seats left open a guy sits beside me. It was Bill Rodgers. I went back in 98' and saw Bill there again after the race. I know enough about Bill that he says stuff like this to a lot of people, but he said, "We've met here before haven't we." Good enough for me. He beat me both times.
It's been fun. I've found people's dogs and lost people's dogs. I've had stuff thrown at me. People have needed help fixing tires or directions. I could feel a tool box with the tools I've found. I already told the story of coming back with three boxes of cigars for my Dad. The only thing which has not come to fruition is finding a bunch of cash. Biggest haul was about a dollar.