My thanks to you and Martha for hosting the 10th
Anniversary Laurel Valley White Water Run. To me LV is the perfect venue and
challenge. Each runner who enters the course must run within his and her own
limits to exit the course (unaided) some 40 miles later @ White Water Falls. You
are responsible for your own self. Between the start and the finish the trail is
massive in it's beauty and challenge.
It is easy to develop a history
with this course. As expected the hard core LV faithful keep coming back (i.e.
Buddy Nash and Richard Schick with 9 finishes and Andy Wright and I with 8
finishes). It was good to see so many runners from the Mangum Running Club
and Sarah Tynes and her H2T crew from ATL among the 60+ runners @ the start.
It's always good to return the hospitality received @ her H2T 8 Hr Run last
week. In Andrea's absence, I got a GOOD pre-race hug (grope) from Eliza that was
good for a early morning biological seizure.
Someone asked me why we did
not start @ 0700 when it was daylight. I quipped back to her that the 1st
section is too scary to run in daylight that's why we start @ 0630 Hrs. I ran
with Andy and Alex most of the way to Laurel Falls and beyond. There were lots
of good stories told along the way. Jeff McGonnell and John Teague came breezing
past us, and I set my sights on picking them off later. In the end, Jeff was too
fast for me, but I did catch John at the approach to the Horse Pasture River.
After exchanging greetings, I asked him if he had ever heard my story about;
"the old guy with the broken leg who ran down John Teague and kicked his ass on
the Horse Pasture Bridge"? John said; "No, but it did not seemed out of the
realm of possibility". He then commenced to bend my ear and tell me about his
wife and son discovering the picture of my personal trainer and running partner,
Wild Thing, on the RFH web site offering congratulations to John for winning the
Lansford Canal 50K. When faced with pointed questions from an angry wife, John
took decisive action and blamed it all on me. It looks like I won't be getting
an invitation the the Teague's house for dinner anytime soon.
brings me to the subject of this week's rant. There are certain questions that
should not be answered. Namely;
would be quick to point out that the road-to-Hell is paved with good intentions,
and I'll have to give you credit for adding a whole new 4-lane section to that
road. You certainly had good intentions, but scientific precision and
ultrarunning do not mix. The plan to determine the course length was simple but
flawed. Inspired by inquiring minds who insist upon 3-decimal accuracy, you
found 3 gullible volunteers willing to push a measuring wheel over the entire
course length, and you sent them off. I will never forget the scene @ the finish
as long as I live. Man has seldom witnessed the convergence of unbounded
enthusiasm, teamwork, and your LMA (Limited Mechanical Aptitude) before. These 3
factors manifested themselves 12 hours later when the 3 volunteers emerged from
the White Water River Gorge and made their triumphant run to the finish line
only to discover that the counter had fallen off somewhere on the course. The
looks on their faces, when they realized that they had pushed that "F**king
Wheel" for ~ 40 miles with nothing to show for their effort, was PRICELESS. What
a "Great Moment in Sports". You just can't make SHIT like that up. In
one crowning moment, the RFH succeeded in putting the "G" into GULLIBLE and the
"FU" into FUBAR.
- "Who was that woman I saw you with last night?" ... and
- "How long is the Laurel Valley Run?"
On the way home, I was inspired by the day's
events to pen the this tribute to your misguided intentions:
Laurel Valley BFW
There once was a sailor, who before he died,
a young wife he could not satisfy.
He laid her on the bed and the
and all she could say was, "More give me more!"
So he built
himself a Big F***ing Wheel,
and on it mounted a big prick of
Two balls of brass he filled with cream,
and the whole damn thing
was run by steam.
[Chorus]There was one thing that was wrong with
So around and round went the
Big F***ing Wheel.
In and out went the big prick of
until at last the maiden cried; "Enough ... Enough, I'm
There was no way of stopping it.
It rolled out the door and into the
Mounting people it did meet.
With one puff of steam and a mighty
the whole damn street was covered with cream.
[Chorus]So if you are
out for a run one day
and see Claude's F***ing Wheel headed your
Run to Laurel Valley and run all the hills,
unless you are looking
for a lifetime thrill.
[Chorus]In the end
Laurel Valley maintains her mystique, and the true length of Laurel Valley is
still somewhere within the range of numbers between 35 and 40
PS ... Wild Thing still likes