Monday, April 18, 2011

"How you know Timmy?"

Tim and his Dad. Loved meeting these guys!

This is Dani, guest blogger, writing about my experience as "Crew Chief" for Jason. I am ADD so there is no promises that my thoughts will go in any order that make sense.

I LOVE crewing. Not because Jason is my boyfriend and I have to, but because I actually enjoy it. The way I see it, if you are dumb/tough/serious/insane enough to run 100 miles then I will do everything I can to help you. Whether I know you or not really isn't that important. This brings us to Timmy, and the title of my blog post. Timmy (Tim) met Jason around mile 4 of Umstead. He was crewing for himself out of race headquarters and Jason offered my services. His dad was in town but at the hotel watching basketball. He happened to drive up at the exact moment that Tim and Jason came through a pitstop. Tim told him I had his stuff and ran off. He looks at me and says (insert Long Island accent) "How you know Timmy?" Me: "I don't know him" Timmy's dad: "Well why you got all his stuff?" After me explaining myself and him warming up to me he started telling me stories about Tim and his ultra-running career. He started to leave and asked me a million times if I was SURE that I was staying in that EXACT spot. He walked to the car and brought back a target bag. "This is Timmy's turkey sandwich. Make sure he eats it. When are they gonna be done?" I looked at my pace schedule and told him 18:30. He looked at me a little skeptically and said that Tim wanted to break 20 hours. "As long as he sticks with Jason he will do an 18:30" I replied. Still somewhat skeptical he left with plans on being back at 18:30 into the race to watch Tim finish. I feel fairly confident he thought I was strange. I was helping his kid that I had never met before. I thought he was awesome because he barely trusted me with a turkey sandwich. Smart man!!

Around this time our friend Jill's friend Rachel showed up. She rocked. Never met any of us but since she lived in Raleigh she offered to run a lap with Chuck. While they were running a chick came through crying telling us about a homeless man that jumped out of the woods and starting attacking runners. Apparently he got a few punches in the faces of runners before someone held him down. My thought was "Awesome. Jason is out there fighting crime and I get to listen to him complain about how it added to his time." Turns out someone else was the crime stopper. When Rachel and Chuck came back I told her about it. She wasn't surprised telling me that there were several incidents like that. Seriously? That's crazy. I didn't give it much more thought.

Time passed by SO quickly during this race! Having Yvonne, Stephen, and Brett there made a HUGE difference. They so funny and the group dynamics were perfect. Yvonne and Stephen went out with Chuck on a lap which left me and Brett to man the crew area. Two ADD peeps. Good choice. At this point Jason would be headed out on mile 75 when he came through. My "plan" was to run the last 12.5 mile loop with him. But I wasn't sure how he would feel so I decided that I "could" run the last 25 if he needed. When Jason came through I was on the phone and Brett was watching basketball. I told Brett to see if he wanted me to run with him and he told me yes and that he wanted Gatorade. Gatorade?!? That is NOT on the list of typed instructions! Crap! We didn't even HAVE Gatorade! We stole some of Chucks powerade and off we went.

After about 15 miles I realized that it was a BAD idea to commit to the last 25. I have never run 25 miles in training in my life. But whatever. It's slow miles right? After 18 miles Jason wasn't feeling so hot. His stomach was a mess. He tried to eat a gel and immediately got sick. Major sick. He was heaving all over the place when I started to smell cigarette smoke. Now I am typically not someone who is afraid of things, but all I could think about was Rachel telling me about homeless people in the woods. I am eying my man who could normally take out pretty much anyone and he is projectile vomiting. My mind was RACING. I was seriously freaking out. I kept my mouth shut and tried to be as encouraging as possible although I was fairly confident that I was getting ready to be attacked. Woods+darkness+creepy people= not my favorite place to run. Lesson learned, next time I will pace with appropriate weapons.

I kinda tricked Jason a few times with the race time. Honestly I just wanted to get the hell outta the dark creepy woods. My math skills aren't the best but I was roughly thinking that there was a pretty good chance that 18:30 was dead on. I was right! Jason crossed the finish line in 18:29:05 and Timmy? 18:29:54. His dad was thrilled! Chuck rocked it out too coming in a bit later. Kept up his amazing attitude the whole time.

One of the coolest parts of the race was that it was 20 minutes from my dad's house so he came out. As a former Marine and Cop he is NOT easily impressed. He is never one to let anything go to your head and the next day he looked the results up. Best quote ever "Did you see that the winning time was 14:07? Jesus. I thought Jason did good. That's FOUR AND A HALF HOURS! He got his ass kicked!" Gotta love dad!

"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flames by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit." -Albert Schweitzer

Thank you Jason, Chuck, Tim, Eric, Tony and all the other Umstead runners who poured their hearts into the race for your inspiration! My spirit is officially rekindled. I am ready to run!!

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