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.

Now, this brings me to the subject of this week's rant. There are certain questions that should not be answered. Namely;
David King 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.

On the way home, I was inspired by the day's events to pen the this tribute to your misguided intentions:

The Laurel Valley BFW

There once was a sailor, who before he died,
had a young wife he could not satisfy.
He laid her on the bed and the floor,
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 steel
Two balls of brass he filled with cream,
and the whole damn thing was run by steam.

So around and round went the
Big F***ing Wheel.
In and out went the big prick of steel,
until at last the maiden cried; "Enough ... Enough, I'm satisfied!"
There was one thing that was wrong with it.
There was no way of stopping it.
It rolled out the door and into the street.
Mounting people it did meet.
With one puff of steam and a mighty scream,
the whole damn street was covered with cream.
So if you are out for a run one day
and see Claude's
F***ing Wheel headed your way,
Run to Laurel Valley and run all the hills,
unless you are looking for a lifetime thrill.
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 miles.



PS ... Wild Thing still likes John Teague

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