And then, it was time for bed

Categories: race   run   Running   support   ultra

As you’ve heard me talk about a little bit lately, I was doing a little support for Sean’s run from Athens to Atlanta to raise money for Team in Training.  This was an 87 mile stroll following the same course as the A2A skate, which Sean was participating in (sans skates). Here’s how it went down.

On Saturday, Square One Fish Company in Athens hosted a kickoff party. The party was from 2:00-5:00, with Sean planning on leaving at 4:00.  Me, my wife and son showed up about 3:15 to say hi and coordinate with the superbly motivated support team of Sean’s parents. The restaurant was nice and the staff friendly and helpful. There were some appetizers which looked really good, but being stuff I don’t eat (clams and pork), I didn’t try it. My wife ordered a salad that had some serious punch in the dressing.

Now, on a side note, just want to you know that the rock and roll police are going to come and take away my membership card. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the music was too loud. There was a 3 piece band playing on the patio where everyone was, and it wasn’t bad, but the volume was too high.  I like my loud music, but I’ve always preferred it at a volume where I can still hold a conversation (as if I had any conversational skills).  The three of us retreated inside to where it was relatively quite, and I went back out to say hi.

Wayne, with his wife and daughter, also came done. Wayne was Sean’s pacer for the first 10 miles.   I have to give Wayne credit. He believes in what the The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s and the Livestrong Foundation do, and wasn’t shy about talking sharing some of his story.

Mom and dad (who’s names  I can’t remember) were loading up their car and going over the route. We talked for a couple minutes to get coordinated. After seeing what they had packed, I had doubts on whether we needed to go out at all. Seriously, their truck was packed to capacity!

A humorous blurb from Sean:

I got my race packet last night from the skaters and they said weve never seen you skate around here. and I said thats because I dont skate. Im running all 89 miles! and I had 5 people laugh in my face. and I said no seriously. and they laughed more and then a RD came and said you must be Sean..... HEY GUYS THIS GUY IS RUNNING THE DAMN THING

About 4:00, there were some pictures to go around, and then at roughly the right time, they took off.

Hey Sean, think we should start soon? Nah. Hey Sean, think we should start soon?  Nah.

Shortly after that, we headed out. On the way out, there was a guy wearing some Livestrong bands, a trail race shirt and looking like he was trying to find someone. Knowing Wayne was waiting for someone to show up, I asked if that was who he was looking for, but no. I then realized I should ask if he was looking for Sean, but he was on the phone with someone getting directions, so figured he was taken care of.

Dianna had made some chicken soup, and I whipped up some rolls and cookies. Keeping in touch with the crew, Sean was right on schedule to hit our mile 42 aid station around 11:30 - 12:00.

We met up with Team Beth, who were going to run the rest of the way in with him. (45-ish miles.) David C was also there to hang out and cheer on.  With cowbell firmly in hand, we hung out and waited and made jokes about the police coming by to see why we were loitering.  The jokes definitely continued after the parking lot lights went out, so we really looked like a bunch of aged hoodlums.

About 12:30, the support vehicle made it to us, and we (ok, me) starting going crazy with the cowbell while Team Beth got their stuff together. A few minutes later, here comes Sean and Woody.

Woody was pacing Sean from outside Winder to us, about 21 miles.  And who’s Woody, you ask? The same guy we saw at the fish company. Looks like he found him.

Socks changes, shirt changed, bodyglide applied.  Eat a little, then “Beth Sandwich” was off and running.

Time for a quick midnight snack Time for a quick midnight snack

We gave Woody (a fellow GUTS member) a ride back to his car and got to know him a little bit.  He heard about the run, and just came out to do some miles, having never met Sean before.

Lo and behold, it was 2:15 when we got home. I may not be able to take the loud music anymore, but at least I can stay up to the wee hours of the morning!  But it was definitely past my bedtime.

Update: Sean finished around 11:30 AM with Beth P.  Beth M dropped after 30 miles due to some foot issues.  He’s now sitting and having Mom take care of him.  Great time!

Written on October 11, 2009