I had one of those magic moments last Monday as I was on my morning run. The nice thing about working "virtual office" is that I
am virtually there from 8 till 10 every day. I was doing a rest walk along the 9th fairway of the Forsyth Country Club when this
twenty-something guy runs up. I say; "Good Morning", and he stops and we start talking and walking. He was really "full of
himself" and proudly announced that he was moving up to "competitive 5Ks" this fall and was beginning his conditioning for the
fall race. I was really impressed with his knowledge about running based upon conventional wisdom and urban myth. Did you
know that heat, hills, and humidity are detrimental to peak athletic performance? Did you know that a minimum of 4-6 months
of rest was recommended between races? His ambitious goal was to increase his weekly mileage to 10-12 miles per week
over the next few months. I listened politely and told him that I had run a 50K trail run in WV on Saturday and was out on a short
12 Mi run to take the kinks out of my legs to get ready for a 50K road race in SC on Saturday. He got real quiet at that point. When
we reached my 10 Mi turn and headed for home, I couldn't help but think this guy does not have a clue. Then I began to think,
maybe I am the one who doesn't understand. Just how does one move up to Chicken Shit 5Ks? Move up from WHAT?
Rattlesnake Trail 50K
While most of the RFH ran the Grandfather Mountain Marathon last weekend, Herpes the Running Virus (Andy Colee), John
Teague, and I went up to Charleston, WV for Dennis Hamrick's Episode 11, The Revenge of the Stinging Nettles, version
of the Rattle-Tick Trail. We all camped in the Kanawa State Park @ the s/f. There was lots of cold beer, pizza, and good
stories. We got to hear about Rob Apple's excellent Western States finish (His 420th Ultra). Rob's buddy, Wes Fenton, was
there along with Anita and Jay Finkle, Dru Sexton and Graham Zollman. It was just like a reunion of old friends.
The race was yet another mighty struggle up and down the 10 mountains we cross along the course. Just pure WV
running (i.e. Straight up, run the ridge, and straight down.). To my amusement, I ran the speed limit (55 out of 98). Enough
said about the Rattle-Tick Trail for now. I will circle back to it for my closing thoughts.
Big Butt 50
I must admit that this was one the best Big Butts ever. As a club we have some of the top runners in the South in
Brian Kistner, Byron Backer and Joe Schlereth that provide a halo effect the rest of us can enjoy. When the big
dogs decide to stay on the porch or come out to work the aid stations like Joe and Cathy did, it opens the window
of opportunity for new guys like Tom Gabell to shine. Two wins in a row on the new BB course is exceptional.
Tony Rouse and I ran with Tom for 6-7 miles in the fall race. Once he got comfortable he took off and ran down
the leaders. On Saturday he left the line on fire and was not seen again. I guess letting the Moonlight Boogie win
slip away got him focused made a difference. Getting to the beer cooler 1st is always an incentive with our group.
My day went from good to GREAT when reached the 20 Mi Aid Station. Buddy Nash said; "Hey Bill, Richard Schick
is just 10 minutes ahead of you and you can run him down if you get moving." Dink Taylor won the Strolling Jim
this year on his 18th attempt and many 2nd place finishes. I have been chasing Schick since I entered
ultrarunning 19 years ago, and something really clicked in my head. I caught Schick @ 28 Mi and handed him his
ass as I passed him and ran the 1/2 Mi hill to the Heath Memorial Methodist Church. Now I do not have to listen
to his crap about my 10 minute pace. Consistency paid off and 31 consecutive 10 minute miles was good
enough for 8th place. What a GREAT day.
And now lets circle back to the Rattle-Tick 50K for this week's closing rant:
The "Some Runners are Both" Award
In keeping with the spirit of the RFH motto; Some runners are tough, Some runners are insane, and Some runners are both. I
have to extend the "Some Runners are Both" Award to Herpes the Running Virus for his non- conventional wisdom and
commitment to ultrarunning. As Hurricane Dennis was bearing down on the Fort Walton Beach/Panama City area last week, the
Governor and local authorities issued evacuation orders to all residents to move inland to higher ground. In a display of
remarkable citizenship, Andy heeded the orders and chose Charleston WV. His logic was pure RFH. "If I am going to become
a refugee, it's better to go for the extra points we get for a trail run." Andy finished about an hour after me in the Rattle-Tick, and
he sure did gain a world of respect from me. He was stuck in the park until hurricane threat was over, and he did not get back
home until Tues or Wed. I hope all was well when he returned.
As a tune-up for LV, I am off to Atlanta on 06-Aug-05 to run Sarah Tynes' Hot 2 Trot 8 Hr Run. You've just got to love a race with
a name like that that is run by a group of fine looking women. I keep hoping that the race (Hot 2 Trot) name is posing a question
rather than making a statement about the weather. Besides, I answer the "Call of the Wild".