November 25, 2011
Right now...its Friday morning in camp and Im sitting in front of this computer with a huge smile on my face after team RWL conquered a brutal 17-hour march yesterday that concluded just after midnight. Despite injury and illness our perserverance was strong enough to slay the beast and even earn second place in the team competition...not too shabby for a couple backyard athletes from the states. That will get us on the podium Sat night...a very cool and unexpected treat.
How do i describe yesterday? Lets just say it was a really really really long day on our feet. Literally felt like it would never end. Mike was in extreme knee pain again and had no ability to run. So we knew it would be impossible to bomb the downhills. I have a newfound appreciation for those competitors who come to these events with the sole intention of walking the entire course. I actually found it harder to walk the whole day yesterday relative to running it the way Ive done in past races. So taxi mentally. So easy to lose focus. So monotonous. While Im a very impatient person in general...yesterday I at least learned how to spell it properly. So the three of us just plodded along together one step at a time knowing at somepoint in the middle of the night all the pain would be over. We encountered four separate climbs on the day (each totaling a minimum 2500 feet) that led us to through multiple towns/villages. Everytime we crossed through someones yard sincere greetings of Namaste came from adults and children alike. It was so endearing. The people (and especially the children) have been the highlight of this race. And a postcard couldnt possibly replicate the beauty of the stunning scenery we raced through. Each summit had breathtaking views of the rice fields below and the Annapurna mountains in the back. Parts of the course were straight jungle, parts felt like the desert, parts were farmland, parts were straight mountain climbs. Amazingly diverse.
Think the key takeaway from the week was the teammwork amongst the three guys. We were on different experience levels coming in and endured different injuries, illnesses and other obstacles we couldnt prepare for. But every decision we made was based on the good of the unit. As we've said there is no I in team but there is one in Luci. It was very difficult at times early in the week when Mike wanted to push and Jesse was hurting and vice versa at the end of the week. But the goal from the start was to stay healthy and get across the finish line. And despite the myriad of challenges we faced we accomplished that.
Im so fired up to see my parents and Mary Andrews (founder of MAGIC) at the finish line tomorrow. Word on the street is that they made it to the Fulbari late last night and were seen by some of the race volunteers having a goodtime at the bar :). There are a million great causes out there and I support many of them and Ive never been one to say one is better than another. Then again I dont know how many CEOs of an organiaztion the size of MAGIC would fly halfway around the world to greet their runners at the finish line. And even moreso...I cant imagine another network of families that could possibly open up your lives and appreciate what we are doing to the extent that you have. Ive read through these comments over and over and often have to fight back tears. Some of your stories are so heartbreaking on the surface yet provide so much hope deeper down. Ive met and spoken with enough of you over the years to understand how difficult the challenges are that you face both inside the medical and the insurance communities. Its appalling. And thats why were here doing everything we can to help eradicate these injustices in the future. Unfortunately sometimes you gotta do something this extreme to get people to listen to your story. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for all the incredible words of encouragement this week. There were clearly times of doubt. Personally I was very sick much of the week. But the ironic thing is that after have just done 6 marathons in 5 days in these conditions I finally feel the best I have all week. The meds and yesterdays 17,000 calorie burn was apparently the colon cleanse from the gods that cured everything. Today I feel great and could probably start the race again...anyone game? Haha.
Like I just said...on behalf of the whole team a huge Thank You to Jolie Horvath for the amazing amount of work she has done in the last year, Terra Giddings, Alyssa Bleiberg and all the families. And lets please not lose sight of the courageous efforts of Rich, Trav and Mike. Their commitment to this project was HUGE and without them none of this happens. Tomorrow we will greatly miss Rich and Travis's presence at the awards ceremony and we will be thinking about them and honoring them as our team victory is theirs as well. Please keep them in your thoughts. We were a team of six from the start of this and as we said before this irregardless of who finished or didnt we're a team after. Love you guys....
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