“If she were the Statue of Liberty, she’d be GREEN,” I’d shout, with a muffled, “dumbass” behind.
Securely surrounded by nearly 400 other highly reflective and luminous souls, it didn’t take long for our little gang to zoom … straight to the end of the line. Doe and I had a bit of trouble slowing down enough to be backpaced* by the others, but we eventually found our rhythm and settled into a nice groove of chatting, joking and making new friends.
* pacing done by someone behind you without them knowing it, matching their speed just enough to stay a little bit ahead of them … really good for overlistening ;)
I didn’t feel glowy enough, so I began picking up whatever discarded enlightenment items I found – in true pirate fashion, what I couldn’t steal, I scavenged. With the addition of a couple of necklaces and a few wristbands I felt sufficiently luminous.
Since Maureen had invited me to the group and it was she that I knew best, I ran closer with her for the first stretch. Lor-I had the Garmin®, so she was “the Pilot.” The plan was to run a mile and a half or so, then walk a half, repeating as necessary along the 8.5 [or .4?] course. I wasn’t sure whether Maureen had ever run
We passed the John Kelly, Sr. statute [“Why is there a naked dude rowing, dude?” Doe asked. I explained who Kelly was and why they renamed
It didn’t take long before the heat and humidity to produce a nice sheen of sweat on us, but nothing could prepare us for the sight we found at the first water stop just before the
That would have been an awesome sight.
We walked and chatted, some of the girls took a bio-break and we took off again. We were proceeding up
More than once did I hear “RANDY!” from the cute chorus jogging ahead of/behind me.
I pointed out the Laurel Hill Cemetery entrance, knowing that Maureen trains in one at home in Boston, and the rock tunnel where everyone screams while running in the street for PDR – sadly we had to stay on the running path, since the roads couldn’t be closed for the event. The entrance is at the end of
We ran under the
Coming off the bridge, a slight confusion began regarding the sign that said “4 Miles”
Were we for miles from the start or the finish? Since the sign had it’s back to us [going the “wrong way” we figured it was the 4 mile marker for the outgoing runners – meaning it was 4 miles to our finish.
It was about 1:15AM Sunday, but the energy and friendship felt like 8:00PM Saturday – even though Maureen was struggling a bit and Doe was riding the fine line of knee discomfort.
We had traded places with the Hessian again before meeting up break station #2. The Fuze® juice they offered was tasty, although it certainly needed ½ a cup of water per cup [rum would be nice, too. Another time]
Don’t take this the wrong way, but
Break #3 followed Break #2 pretty quickly. As we passed under the Conrail railroad bridge it occurred to me that the high pitched squeal I’d been hearing all night [which sounded so much like The Edge’s slide-guitar effect at the beginning of “With or Without You’] was in fact the screech of freight train wheels.
As we moved out from the final rest stop, I drifted back to talk to “the Pilot” [more precisely “the Navigator” but …]. She confirmed the plan for this 2 ½ mile last leg: run one, walk half, finish running. I sprinted back up to give the info to Maureen, Lor-A and Doe. It was a good plan.
As the four of us passed under the
“Should we back off” “and we tell them we’re running it out?” we asked each other, nearly simultaneously. We laughed as brothers and passed the first people we’d caught [other than our Hessian friend] in nearly 2 hours.
A sign notified us of “Mile 1” – one mile from the marathoner’s star; one mile to our finish. We both looked at our clocks. 1:45AM on mine; 1:49 on his. No matter it was the difference that counted. We didn’t know that as we passed the dam and made the turn at
As we clicked along, we passed people who had probably been only a couple hundred yards ahead of us all night long.
“Hey, dude, we’re passing people!”
Approaching the parkway, the road was shut off due to construction of the new paring lots at the Art Museum.
“Where do we go?” Doe asked.
“Um, dude, I don’t think it matters,” I answered, “If you’re worried about staying on course, I would just say ‘Follow the skinny white guys?’”
Coming past the Rocky Steps and onto the downhill to Boathouse Row, I heard voices to my left.
It was horribly ironic, running past actual homeless people, arguing/philosophizing drunkenly in the service entrance of the Art Museum, while kicking out the last 1/2 mile in an event which raised $90K for them.
Coming down that hill through the final twists and turns we confirmed that we’d wait for the girls. We didn’t cross the line but Doe clicked us out. We ran that last mile in 8:35. We finished just before 2AM
Spent and dripping in soggy summer sweat Doe and I foraged for water, juice, anything; but paid mind NOT to cross the finish [not like had ‘chips’ or anything]. While on recon, we heard “Will the runner with the light-up glasses report to the awards table please. We have something for her.”
Yeah, Lor-I won. But she wasn’t done yet.
I sent Doe off to the table to let them know, thinking that he’d have enough time to get there and back before Maureen and Lor-A finished, so we could all cross together.
Missed by THAT much.
They crossed about a minute before Doe emerged from the Hall. We guys checked in/out and the four of us waited for the rest of the team.
All in all, The Glo-Pokes and our friends held down 8 of the final 20 spots with Maureen finishing first among us.
No number on The Hessian, but there were only two dudes behind me and Doe [in that order ;)]
Slowly, saltily, and stinkily, we reconvened at Lloyd Hall.
Doe's knee hurt, Maureen didn't feel well and when I wasn't moving, all the glowy stuff just looked really gay. Hugs and high fives were given as we wound down. I handed out the Glow-Pokes shirts to the team. Offers were made to pay me, and I quickly declined.
Close to 3AM, we Jersey boys left the girls, for the evening. On the walk back to our cars, Doe's knee had something nasty to say about the effort. My main focus was, "Hey, dude. It's not the gas pedal, so you can drive home."
Even though we both had to take I-295 home, I chose to take The Ben vs. The Walt. I had a plan, sort of.
I was starving.
As I cruised down Race Street, through Chinatown, I stopped at the first place that was open. I hit my flashers and picked up pint of Veg Lo Mien and three Spring Rolls.
Forty-five minutes later, I washed them down with a couple of bottles of Victory Whirlwind.