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5 Days to Havasu

5 Days to Havasu

Marathon runners

My intention for this post was to discuss traveling with a bike.  I’m dead tired this morning and my brain is not firing on all eight cylinders.  In fact, my brain doesn’t have eight cylinders.  To tell the truth, it doesn’t have any cylinders, because it’s a brain not an engine.

I’ll just start typing and see what comes out.  Bikes and traveling might not make it out.

I’m so tired this morning because I sat on my mountain bike for six and a half hours on Saturday.  Today is Monday.    The Wrightsville Beach Marathon was on Saturday and I swept the race.  If you’re not familiar with the term “swept”, let me explain.   The race sweeper is the person who follows that last person in the race.  In the case of a Marathon, the sweeper is usually riding a bike.

The Good

I love doing that job.  The end of the race is where you get to meet interesting people.  Actually, all people at the race are interesting, but the vast majority are running too fast to talk to you.  Bringing in the last runner across the finish line is also a rewarding experience.  They are always so grateful to have you there helping them achieve their goals.

At this particular race on Saturday, I rode the last eight miles along side of a runner named Will from Chapel Hill, NC.   It was his first marathon.  Sometimes we moved down the road in silence.  Other times we talked about his life in Chapel Hill, his training, his history.  I found out that at one time he weighed 360 pounds (for my readers in Scotland, that’s almost 26 stone!) and that he had been in a near fatal car accident.   Everything he had to overcome just to start this race seemed daunting.

He finished in 5 hours and 58 minutes.  Had he been just 2 minutes later, he would have received a DNF, but he made it and that made me feel good.

In the words of The Voice of IRONMAN, Mike Reilly,

Will was our final winner today.

The Bad

One of the downsides of sweeping a race is that you ride along side some people who you know are not going to make it.  Some of these athletes know fully well that they will be pulled off the course if they don’t reach certain mile markers within an acceptable time.  After all, the race directors can not keep traffic blocked all day.

There are, however, other athletes that are totally oblivious to the fact that they have to be somewhere by a certain time (see the previous blog post).  And most of these are usually quite belligerent when they are told to either quit the race or remove their race number.   You can’t stop them from running if it’s not against the law, but you can remove them from the protection of the organized race simply by taking their race bib.

I think last Saturday’s race was free of any serious confrontations, but there was one gentleman who was not happy about being pulled.   I get it… you’re not happy.  See the previous blog entry in this series.

The Ugly

This is endurance sport.  There is no ugly here.  But that was a good movie, wasn’t it?

WB Marathon Start Line

Wrap Up

Another reason I’m dead tired today is that I had a brick workout yesterday and I ran with Marty this morning.  If you’ve seen the TriRiot videos, you’ve probably heard me talk about Marty.  You might have even seen him in a TriRiot episode.   He’s my friend that was on the injured list for about 6 months back in 2008/2009 because he was hit by a deer on a training ride.   Marty was not an avid deer hunter before that incident.

Maybe tomorrow we can talk about traveling with a bike.

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