Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving 5K - A PR Story

St. Joseph's Hospital - Great Gobbler 5K
Thursday, November 27, 2008 - Thanksgiving Day
Location: Nashua, NH
Distance: 5K
Time: 21:27 (NEW PR)
Pace: 6:55 (NEW PR)

I emerged from the car with my sister, her husband mike and my two young nephews kenny and Timmy. The air is cold and below freezing as the temps hover around 30. The sun is still struggling to rise above the horizon on this Thanksgiving Day 2008. I'm dressed for the weather in my usual cold weather garb. Fleece lined tights, red shorts, a short sleeve tech-wick and 2 long sleeve tech-wicks. I have my buff keeping my neck warm and trying to hold some of my heat in. A winter hat covers my ears, I'm not really listenning to anything in particular anyway. I'm still zoning out, still not here. Kind of in a "the lights are on but no-one's home" state of mind. I'm foggy, I'm tired and I'm lost.

As we stand in the pre-registered line we hear a gentleman step forward and offer up some instruction. I step out of line to ask him if he was the RD to which he replied that he was. I introduced myself and he whisked me away to set me up with a bib-number. I don't need a shirt, I don't need anything.. I just need to run, To push myself, to let it out. The next 30-40 minutes was spent standing in the chilly morning air, watching the sun continue to rise. The fields are covered with a thick frost from the night before as hundreds of anxious yet hungry runners mill about and exchange their hello's. They say their hello's to friends from parent teacher orgs, from school, from scouts, from sports to whatever. They all know each other. We all stand there with arms crossed and legs dancing, waiting for the moment to step forward and toe the line.

The kids start first as they participate in their own run lap around the track. Each kid gets bib #1, a friendly gesture to sportsmanship. As the kids run around its great to see them moving, their legs in motion, them earning their own turkey and various slices of pie to follow. They smile, they wagg their tongues, they gasp for air and some even look ready for collapse. We watch, we cheer we congratulate.

Now its our turn. We all follow the RD to the starting line where I take a position up front. I don't know what I want, what else is new. I know I'm here and I'm ready to run. I'm ready to take my life back.. ready to take charge. Could today be the day I make my first step? Is this the new beginning of many tomorrows? I stand on the starting line and wait for the command and moments from the past flash through my head. Hardly any are about running, thoughts, just thoughts... racing faster than my legs will ever carry me. But there was ONE memory of running that popped into my head...

Summer of 2005, I had shown up here to Mines Falls in Nashua, NH to run in a weekly 5K series that was put on by the Moose Milers. Months before I came to run, I had called their club asking if I could join up and get some help with running. They told me on the phone that I was "too slow, consider joining The Greater Derry Track Club." Funny... GDTC had just told me the same thing. I showed up on that summer night to run their weekly 5K and when I arrived the race had all ready started. Their website was wrong, and I was pissed. I threw my shoes on and asked the RD if he would record my time when I returned to the finish.. he told me, "No, you're late." I ran my fastest 5K that warm summer night, finishing in 21:39. To this day it has stood in my head as my fastest 5K.. but remained unofficial.

I thought back to that warm night in 2005 as I stood in the frigid air during this late 2008. I'm thankful to be alive, thankful I've survived the last few weeks to even be here, on this track, in this place... breathing. The hardest struggles in my life I've yet to relaize, but as I stood on the starting line of The Great Gobbler 5K with over 600 other runners, I realized that the hardest struggle, the hardest challenge of my life is now before me.. and it starts with a single step. The whistle blew and we were off, I was careful to not fall into the fast rabbit start of those with eyes bigger then their legs. I held on patiently and turned the iPod up. Yeah.. I ran with my iPod to try to drown out my racing mind.. to concentrate on the run... concentrate on PRing here again.. this time making it official.

We got off the track and ran across the field before bottle necking onto singletrack trail that leads us into Mines Falls Park. This 5K trail race is one of the few in New England on Thanksgiving morning if not the only. We wind our way along the Nashua River as the breath of 600 hungry souls lifts slowly into the air. I hear nothing, my music blares. I don't even hear myself breathing, I know I am.. but not hard. As the cold air pierces my lungs, I lift my buff to cover my mouth to try and re-humidify the dryness that gets drawn in. I look at my watch around the 1 mile mark and am astounded to see a 6:03 mile. I need to ease back off, ease into the run.. to hell with it... Just hang on.

I run fluidly and listen to the songs play as we round numerous turns. I pass folks on the small "hills" that we come to. Around mile 2 we make another turn and I know we're heading home.. I look at my watch and see 14:30. I need to hang on.. My eyes glance ahead and I feel my focus. As the music plays my thoughts come about.. "Take it back john... take back your life. You are in charge.. this is about you.. you can do it... be strong... take it back." I stare into the future, and pick up the pace. I'm breathing heavy now, my arms are cramping, my lungs burn, my legs start to tire... I pick it up some more. The pain feels good... "Take back your life John... take it back." I charge ahead, out of the woods and onto the track for the last half lap. As I take the 1st and 2nd turns on the track, I pick up the pace even more down the back stretch, I look at my watch to see that I am running at 5:18 min mile pace... I'm flying.. I pick it up even more. A tear streams down my cheek as I gasp for air.. I'm running for my life, I'm running into what I hope is the future. I cross the finish line and see the time.

21 Minutes and 27 seconds is my new official 5K Personal Best. I came in 59th out of over 600 runners. I was exhausted yet complacent. I want to vomit, I'm tired, gasping for air.. still lost. I did it.. I made a PR, why am I not happy? I start to shake again.. thats all I've done for over a week now.. I've shook. Nerve's, anxiety.. its still in charge. I'm trying to take my life back from my own inner demons, demons I thought I lost.. the race is long, and I'm still only on the starting line. Wondering, hoping.. racing.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rise From The Ashes



I don't know where I went wrong... I don't even remember half of what happened it seems. But I do know that I've hurt others more than I hurt myself and it was a thought I couldn't bear to live with. I thought of evening the score. Certainly in this life I know what I am truly capable of.. and in many aspects of my life, I'm still unsure of exactly what what is or why I do the things that I do. In my heart of hearts and in my soul of souls I feel remorse and regret for a great mistake and injustice. I broke a heart.. and in turn I broke my own. I thought about hurting myself.. I don;t even know why. Something took my life over on me.. I was losing control.

Where have I been the last few days? I checked myself into a treatment facility in Manchester where I spent 3 days in support groups and in a quiet room with no tv, no radio, no computer.. thinking... just thinking of what I've done and who I've become. As much as I thought I knew about myself and this life.. I realized in a few short days that I know nothing and I learned of the real fear I have knowing how fast things can get away from me. I'm getting help now. For the first time in my life I take medication to help me cope.. to help me sleep. I'm getting fixed, I'm getting better.

I need to get back on track. I need to rise from the ashes and take hold of my life. "I'm in control".. I need to remember this. I make my own choices, I need to know what I want and OWN what I want. I know what that is.. I'm scared to death that I'll never have it. Words will never say or show anyone how true this really is. How BAD I really want it and what I'll do to get it. And what I needed to do all along was really so simple... but I blew it.. I blew it. And now I want it even more.. because I can't stand the thought of losing it. I've met a lot of people in my short time on this earth, many have affected me, many have changed my way of thinking and feeling... but no one quite as much as she did.

I'm picking up the pieces, slowly. I finally hit rock bottom. My life in shambles but repairable. Now is the time to rise from the ashes, to climb from the hole I buried myself in. I am not a quitter.. I am a fighter and life will go on. Come with me my friends and grab my hand, walk with me to the promised land. Show me where I went astray and lead me to that long winding single-track trail I know and love. Where one adventure ends a new adventure begins. I have the power to choose what education I will gain from the experience. Mis-educative or non-educative. Given what I've learned all ready, the lessons I'll carry with me every day for the rest of my life... I gained nothing but a grande educational experience. I just need to use the tools I have to continue to fix the ship and sail into the future. I don't know what my future holds.. but I do know what I want it to hold. I can't go it alone.. I know I have amazing friends who will help me get by. I'll rely on their strength to reignite my own. And I'll continue the search within for my own Human Potential... because I know that its still in there, waiting. Waiting for me to light the torch and march on... march into the darkness with my sword in my hand. I'll slay the demons and win over the world again.

Uccidere il lupo!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pawtuck Pounding


Wow... we finally did it. We've talked about it ad-nauseam over the last year now. "Hey man.. we gotta run 3 loops in this place." I've gone out there many times with the intent of running the loop 3 times. Each time I've gone, it took me so long to do 2, and I was so wrecked after 2 that 3 became nothing more than an inside joke. Until today. Nate and I started out around 10:30am for our try at 3 loops. This place is rugged. Each loop consists of a 6 +/- Mile loop that goes up and over North and South Mountains in the park. Each loop holds about 2200' of elevation gain. On a good day, we can bang out one 6 mile loop in about 1 hour 25 minutes. The average time is about 1:35. As if its not challenging enough, we've chosen to run the loop in November, once all of the leaves are down covering the rocks and roots that make up this park. And on a day where the temp hovers around 50 and a heavy thick drizzle falls from the sky.

We held no reservations about finishing. With the uncertainty of how Nate's foot would hold up under the stress of the run, and how I would hold up staying warm given recent affects of my anemia... we agreed that we'd simply run as far as we comfortable could. If we got 3 loops in, great! If not.. ce la vie and we'd live to try another day.

The Pawtuckaway Mountains are a small, rocky, circular range that form the outline of an ancient volcanic ring dike dating from 130—110 million years ago. The ring dike, first completely mapped in 1944, is a smaller and more accessible example of the same kind of geological process that formed the Ossipee Mountains to the north. In 2008 the new public availability of aerial photography on Google Earth led one New Hampshire resident to discover the ring dike and wonder if it was the impact crater of a meteor. This same question was discussed on a geocaching forum in 2005.

Loop 1:
Rain continued to fall at a slow but steady clip this morning and not long after leaving the comfort of our cars I was soaked. Nate was wearing a light jacket and the warmth his body was generating caused him great discomfort. It didn't take him long to stop to shed a layer. We stashed a few water bottles for refills in a rock crevasse I know of near the stream at Round Pond before heading around to North Mountain. The run begins by us running down into the glacial hole that makes Pawtuckaway what it is. We make our way down a rock strewn doublewide trail to Round Pond. From here is where each loop starts and ends. The loops takes us out below The Lower Slab rock climbing area, along a marsh and then bypasses the bouldering area before making its way to the base of North Mountain. From here we climb steeply up alongside the Devils Den before topping out at a National Guard Repeater. The run then continues on to the top of North Mountain after one more gnarly incline. We then traverse the top of the mountain and get lead down a steep steep downhill section which is marred by lose rocks.

After making it to the bottom of North Mountain, we run on snowmobile trails and dirt roads across this section of the park to the base of South Mountain. From here we work our way around the trails and climb steeply once again to the top of South Mountain which is home to one of New Hampshires 14 active Fire towers. From here, we run through some large boulder areas before making our way downhill to "the stream" which we cross and then run alongside on an old road, remnants from the old town that once existed here. Then we head over to "The Switchbacks" working our way down and around to the shores of Round Pond which lead us back to the start/finish. Great.. one loop complete. Only one problem.. the downed leaves make it hard to follow the trails we know so well which causes us minor confusion along the way and a few moments of memory lapse.

Loop 2:
The rain had let up and the mist dropped heavily now. I was soaked and cold but continued to move along as gracefully as possible. I have a few kinks left from the RANH. IT Band issue in my right knee and a sore right quad and piriformis. As we completed North Mountain we ran along the snowmobile trails, I took notice as we always do to the old foundations that lie silent in these woods. We speculate one to be an old church given its enormity and the close proximity to the old Cemetery that lies forgotten in the wood as well. The settlers all died in the last 1800's at ages as old as 85! Simply unheard of for the time period and it seems as though all those who rest here, lived to be older in age! After much searching on the internet, I have found no information about this lost town.. I am intrigued.

We got lost and turned around coming off of South Mountain. It took me awhile to figure out we had gone the wrong way and only after we lost a few hundred feet of elevation. I made Nate turn around with me and return to the top so we could find our way once again. We added miles and elevation... great.

Loop 3:
We though it would kill us. We certainly hiked much slower than we had on the previous two loops and we were feeling the burn. But Loop 3 hurt no more or less than loop 2 usually does. As we ran down North Mountain we ran into two hikers, "Are you guys ok or is this your normal pace?" Must be interesting to imagine that some people "run" down mountains. hehe. We carried on and made quick work of the usual running sections before staggering up South Mountain on last time. After returning to the bottles at Round Pond, we headed back up the trail to the cars.

Pawtuckaway N-S Loop x3
20 Miles
7,000+ Feet of Elevation Gain
5 Hours 20 Minutes


It was great to be out challenging myself again. I haven;t done much running this month, or since the RANH, opting to take some time off to regather myself and allow my body a chance to rest. Nate and I had a great time reminiscing about what we've accomplished this year. I think we did all that we set out to do. We look very much ahead to 2009 and continued success and dreams. We have some great (crazy) ideas shaping up for 2009 and we hope some of you will come on out and join us in our adventures. If two knuckleheads like us can do it.. so can you. Stay tuned! Good news is.. while his foot was sore, it is evident that his foot is healing faster than I had originally thought! Way to go Nate! We talked about many things we've been waiting to talk about and it was just an all around excellent run to partake in. Snow will be falling soon and the trails will disappear.. looks like road running looms ahead.

Happy Trails
SJ

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Flakes On Kearsarge South

I hiked to the top of Mount Kearsarge back in January with my friend Pete. (Read the Old Report!) I remember the magnificent views from the top of the 2,900' peak, I knew it was a no brainer when Jen told me she wanted to go hiking Tuesday. There were many options available at first, but after a lazy start to our morning, many of those options quickly disappeared. I was left with two. 1.) Short Hike, minimal views of Manchester (Uncanoonuc) or 2.)Longer hike with 360 degree Views. Jen was quick in deciding where to go, so we loaded up the car and headed west.

We stopped on our way at National PowerSports Distributors to say hello to Nate. I haven't seen Nate since the Run Across New Hampshire. The Healing of his foot has gone slowly thus far just like the sales of raffle tickets for the bike we are raffling off. This is a great time for me to remind you all that we are raffling off a 2007 Honda Shadow 600. We will ship the bike ANYWHERE in the world. Tickets are $20 each and the drawing is around December 15th. The proceeds from raffle ticket sales go directly to The Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Hampshire. After planning some runs of our own in the coming weeks and months, Jen and I headed out to the mountain. "Just a little farther..." I should have told her the drive was a bit on the longer side.

After a tasty lunch at a coffee shop in the tiny town of Warner, we made our way to Rollins State Park where our first observation was that of a closed and locked gate of the access road to the trailhead. The trailhead had now changed and our hike was shaping up to be much longer that the .5 miles we anticipated. As we made our way up the, at times steep, road to the state Park, flakes fell from the sky all around us. The small trickling streams and run-offs on the sides of the road are now home to icicles. The high mountain ponds have a thin sheet of ice encasing the top of the water, and the tiny balls of snow bounce off of everything, sticking to only what is all ready frozen. The sky was overcast, gloomy grey and the wind picked up the higher up we went.

Upon finally reaching the summit of the Mountain, we were treated to the 360 degree views I had promised. Snow fell to the valley in the surrounding areas. A chilly wind blew from the west north west. A small group of folks had hiked up from the other side of the mountain, a few kids with a fascination of spitting off the ledge and being far too loud and crazy for the relaxing souls liking. As we explored the summit we overheard one of the mothers/babysitters talking.. what she said "explained it all." We got a good chuckle and headed back down the mountain. As the sun set for the day, the road grew darker and the earth around us more quiet. On the way up AND down the mountain, the road seemed to never end. Our small hike turned into an 8 mile jaunt. Regardless of how long it was or how long it took, it was an amazing time shared between two valued friends.

Happy Trails
SJ

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Race Director 101

I was going to write a multi-part report of my experience from this past weekends New England Ultras; but I've decided to just stick to telling you folks very matter-of-factly about my experience as a Race Director over the last year and of course this past weekend. I would start by saying that directing a race is no different then running a race. I felt just as stressed and wrecked post-race as I have at the end of any long ultra. But with the job came many highs and lows, disappointments, aggrivations, moments of elation and personal satisfaction. Here is the story:

I am very proud to be a part of the Peak Races team. We hold a series of races in Pittsfield, VT that are into our second year on the scene. We have a Snowshoe Marathon/Half, 150/100/50 Milers in Illinois in April, 50 Miler in June, Death Race in June, 6 Hour Mountain Bike Race in August.. and our new edition of our November Funeral Run. Back in April of 2007, I spoke with Andy Weinberg, Our expert RD, at the McNaughton Park 150/100/50 miler. We talked about putting on a longer race in Pittsfield and how challenging it would be given the terrain and potential of elements. As time wore on, the idea was solidified and the race was going to be put on. I really wanted to try my hand at being an RD and give back to the community I have grown to love. So after discussion with Andy, I took it upon myself to accept the job as RD of the New England Ultras in Pittsfield and Andy would be my Assistant RD.

Fast forward to April of this year. I got the ball rolling with an e-mail to the rest of the Peak Racing team. The e-mail included an action list of things that needed to be completed for the race to happen. I envisioned a very difficult, multi-loop/p2p 100 mile and 200 Mile ultra that would challenge even the seasoned veteran. The race would be very grass roots. No fancy buckles for awards, no over the top aid stations, no massive clock keeping time. Just people... running. Left, Right, Repeat. The way it should be. We offered our races at a rather inexpensive price. If you figure the Western States 100 costs $300 to enter.. our race was affordable at $210 for 200 Miles. This was also important to me, that we offer the race cheap and hope to only cover our costs.

People started signing up and the real work began. But when August rolled around, the wrenches came flying.. and very quickly I wished I had never accepted the job. Turns out that our original race date was Nov 6-9... which also happens to be youth hunting weekend in Vermont. I could envision 12 year olds with shot guns shooting at racers thinking they were frolicking white tailed deer. So we moved the race date forward a weekend. I then asked how everyone was doing on the action list. No one had accomplished anything, and then I found out that they were unable to help anyway. Great... now it was down to Joe and I. Furthermore.. no one was getting landowner permissions for us at all over the summer.. and it was now much too late to even begin to ask. So.. Joe and I scrambled to come up with an idea for a course... and we discussed at great length if we would even put the race on at all. Joe's main concern is that it ended up being a profitable enterprise. The amount of pressure I felt was getting to an insurmountable point because I had to ensure to Joe that the race wouldn't run in "the red."

Long story short (haha), we decided to put the race on anyway saying, "You've gotta start somewhere" and do our best to give the runners what we thought they'd want in a quality challenging course, good aid stations, free stuff and a great time. Thankfully, one of the Peak Organizers sacrificed some of his time to help us design a course. So to Jason Hayden, who has a beautiful loving family; and is very dedicated to his job.. I thank you for your time in helping us create one hell of a challenge for these runners. The weekend before the race, I headed up to Pittsfield to mark the course. Thanks to Steve Van Orden for his help in making sure the ribbons were hung with care. And after running the loop, we had a good sense of how seemingly impossible 200 miles seemed. Thanks to our sponsor Moeben Sleeves and Darn Tough Socks for giving us some great product to hand out to our runners.

Being a race director is a full time job. A full time job that I tried to do on part time hours. I'm embarrassed by this. I really think the race suffered because of it. In reality, there was nothing more I could do. I just spread myself too thin. I work part time at EMS, I'm a full time student, I was preparing to run across NH and I was the best man in a wedding in Virginia. All of this in the weeks directly leading up to the race. I was operating under the mind set that, "how bad could it be?" It can get pretty bad if you're not careful. I really felt like I was behind in race preparations even in the days leading right up to the race.

Regardless of how we got there.. the race was going on and I was in Pittsfield to ensure everyone got started and came to their finish-line safely. Out of the 8 who registered for the 200 mile run, only 4 showed up. Five miles into the first loop and Pete Stringer had to drop out. He slipped on some ice and aggravated an old back injury. I felt really bad for Pete as he is one of those people in our sport that you just HAVE to look up to. He is a true champion and an ambassador to say the least. The first night was a frigid 18 degrees in the valley. John Izzo came out and helped set up and feed the fire. I took a nap on the ground, all wrapped in my sleeping bag and woke up as runners came in. I napped again an hour later for another hour, woke up, helped a runner.. then moved to my car. I slept in the car for two hours. So on the first night I managed to fit 3 naps in for 4 hours of sleep. One of those times that I woke to help a runner, I had frost on my glasses, my face and everything else. It was damn cold! I can;t imagine how uncomfortable it was for the runners but this is what we wanted. This with the fact that 4" of snow covered the higher elevations of the course made it not only challenging but perfect.

When the sun rose on Friday, the aid station on the course was unmanned for most of the day. Unfortunately its not easy finding volunteers to come and help you when they all have jobs. We did our best to help the runners by periodically checking in up there. I then had the job of helping Anthony carve about 300 pumpkins for the Pittsfield Halloween Pumpkin lighting. Not very much fun to say the least but it gave me something else to do.. on top of getting ready for the 100 milers to register, check in, etc etc etc. Watching 3 runners run a 12.5 mile loop can get pretty boring but we made the best of it. I was awake for 89 hours and only managed to find time for a total of 8 hours of sleep in that time. 4 hours on Thursday Night, 3 hours on Friday Night and 1 hour on Saturday Night. I really hated leaving the race each time... I wanted to direct. It was fun. I only wish I had more volunteers and a bigger crowd running. But I suppose for a first year race it was perfect.

Highlights:
1.) The first highlight came on Sunday Morning. On his two previous trips to the Aimee Farm aid station, Randy Dietz came in and wanted to quit. We talked him back out onto the course both times. When he finished his 2nd to last lap, he came in and look haggard. I asked him, "Randy.. want a beer?" He gave me a rather quiet, tired and depressing sounding "yes." When Randy showed up, he gave me one of his favorite beers to try... As he was searching within himself for that extra something to get him to the finish, I was honored to sit beside the fire and share my beer with Randy. When we finished, he looked at me, stood up and I told him, "Get out of here.. I'll see you at the finish." This really moved me, that a runner would take the time to just sit down and enjoy a beer... a few times prior wanting to quit.. and leaving knowing he would finish. Simply amazing.

2.) For quite a long time into the race John Bridges yelled that I had better save the last 10 mile lap he had to join him. I didn't bring any of my running gear, and I didn't even want to run. But, when the time came, I was honored and humbled that John still meant it and asked me if I was ready to go. I left the race to one of my volunteers and headed off to pace John on his final 10 of 200 miles. Joe Holland came along with his wonderful dog and we really enjoyed a little over 2 hours together on the course. John is an animal and true champion. 190+ miles into the longest race.. and this guys was still running negative splits. It was a truly moving experience.

3.) Carl Asker... the course closed at 72 hours and at that point Carl had only run 150. As we tore everything down, and prepared to go home.. Carl continued on, refusing to quit until he completed 200 miles. And he did it all for Tyme For Lyme and Lyme Disease Awareness. Carl embodies what determination is. He exemplifies what strength and courage is. Human Potential... yeah, Carl's got PLENTY of that. It was amazing to watch him go... but beyond frustrating to watch him sleep! Carl slept more during the race than I still have since the race! lol.

All in all it was an amazing experience to be an RD. I don't think I can do it again at this time in my life. Timing is just bad and the work is just unreal. Putting on a 200 mile... 72 hour event was one of the hardest things I've ever done. But as the last runner came in off of the course on Sunday, I stood watching his headlamp bobbing through the woods with a real sense of pride. Pride in knowing that the mission was accomplished. The first annual New England 200 Mile, 100 Mile and 50 Mile ultras had been completed successfully. A huge thanks to all of you who came to help volunteer and an even bigger thanks to the runners who came out and tried the course. I knew that it would take a massive army to put an event like this on.. but we managed to do it with less than a dozen dedicated volunteers. Thanks to JP Lewicke, Steve and Allyson an Orden, Josh Robert and Loni Allen, Cory Delavalle, Adam Wilcox, John Izzo, Joe Desena, Andy Weinberg, Mike Halovatch, Kate Pallardy, Jason Hayden, Angela at The General Store and Ray Zirblis. You're volunteerism and help was paramount in ensuring the success of the race. Without you it would have never happened. I'm not sure who will direct it next year.. but I'll be there helping.. or maybe even running. As far as this year goes.. it was a real pleasure to be able to give back to the running community in such a small way.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Results

Here are the results from this past weekend New England Ultras
200 Miles
4 Starters
1. John Bridges M 32 69:59

100 Miles
9 Starters
1. Courtenay Guertin M 33 26:58
2. Al Laporte M 39 30:57
3. Randy Dietz M 58 31:57
4. Ri Fahnestock M 29 34:19

50 Milers
8 Starters
1. Ben Nephew M 33 8:56
2. John Fegyveresi M 31 11:55
3. Austin Stonebraker M 29 13:26
4. Charlotte Vasarhelyi F 32 14:12
5. Sharon Zelinski F 43 14:25
5. John Turner M 49 14:25
7. Jennifer-Anne Mineri F 33 15:50

Of course it wouldn't be my style if I didn't take some time to share the experience with you all. All in due time. I'm totally wrecked from directing the race this weekend. All told, I was awake for over 89 Hours and only managed to get 5 hours of sleep sprinkled into that time frame. My body hates me! So, once I get a chance to catch up with school and life.. I'll be sure to report here how things went and to tell you why I'll probably never direct another race in the immediate future. It certainly had its highs and lows, and was an experience I'll never forget.

In the mean time.. its election day. The first votes in the entire nation are cast here in New Hampshire on election day in a tiny town called Dixville Notch. Dixville Notch has a population of 21 people, and at midnight on the day of the elections they cast their votes. Very early this morning, Obama won the town 15-6. I'm off to the polls to perform my civic duty. I hope you will as well.