With a Little Help From My Friends


Mendon Pond 50k.

This race is scheduled to be my last race of the most amazing season of running I have ever had.  I just didn’t want to do it.

My legs were tired.  I missed weekends watching silly movies with Noah and making chocolate chip pancakes with Natalie.  I wanted to get back to the rigor of training and avoid the taper/recover cycle of racing.  I even tried to volunteer to help clean out my mom’s garage in MASSACHUSETTS just to get out of this race.

Then a funny thing happened.  Clyde said he was running.  Roger said he was running.  Jim said he was running.   I just adore running with these folks and the friendships we have forged while running are very important to me.  Okay, I’m in.

I got to the race site and saw my friend Kinga.  This woman coached me through the Dirty Girl race and I was glad to get the chance to thank her again.  “You saved me during that race” I said to her.  “You saved yourself” was her reply. 

I had about an hour to kill before the start.  Roger and I sat in his car and watched the snowfall.  Clyde joined us after a bit.  I tried my best to get these guys to blow off the race and go out to breakfast with me, but they wouldn’t hear of it.  We ended up having a great conversation.

At the start, Roger and I spent some time with each other.  I love running with this guy as he has taught me so much about this crazy sport.  When we finally separated, I watched him morph into Superman and fly around the course.  He was in his element and having a freaking blast!

Clyde and I met up for a couple miles before the end of the first loop.  We had a nice, easy chat about nothing in particular, but it made the miles chug on by.

I was reminded of my friend Gary on the course.  Last year, he and I ran this together and I was happily thinking how his life has changed so much for the better since that run.

When I completed my third loop, there was Sam.  Sam is the (former) race director for the Beast of Burden. You have to look closely when you see Sam to notice the crazy, but this guy has completed a TRIPLE IRONMAN.  We had a nice chat, before I had to move on.

I spent the day looking for my friend Jim, and was bummed to learn that we were separated by only about 2 minutes on the trail.  Don’t worry, we’ll run together on the next BoB.

I was able to finish the race about an hour faster than I did it last year.  When I crossed the line, there was Roger.  Apparently, we had only been minutes apart the whole day.  We had another great conversation about our seasons past and future and this wonderful trail we just got to enjoy.

The course was in beautiful condition but the weather was not.  We had rain, snow, sleet, hail, and wind.  But these will not be the things I remember about Mendon Ponds 2012.  It will be my time with friends.  Some of these friends are new in my life, some have been around for a while, but all mean the world to me.  

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