My thanks to you and Martha for hosting us again  this year for the Big Butt, and my thanks to Barry, Marsha, Joe & wife,  Jeff,
Wayne, and crew for the aid and encouragement provided on the  course.

I must admit that I liked the new course layout that avoids the  busy highways; however, all the loops and turns kept my head
spinning. It was  just my luck you kept the section that I don't like (25 - 31)  especially bad dog alley (26 - 28). I found a survey
stake  @ 25 that had the GPS coordinates and elevation on it. I was worried about  getting lost on the new course, and I figured I
could not get lost with known  GPS coordinates. The stick came in handy for the  dogs.

Aside from getting a new Big Butt shirt I can't wear  anywhere and a Big Butt trophy I can't hang in the office, this was a  satisfying
finish for me.  I was chasing fears and doubts trying to come  back from these stress fractures. I needed quality miles to get
back  in shape after doing 13 miles and 7 miles the last 7 weeks. Both those test runs  agro'ed the leg and I had to take 4 weeks
off. I ran by myself most of the race  as I adjusted to the changing conditions. Experience and determination ruled in  the end. A
6:36 and 28th out of 30 feels pretty danm good to  me.

There was a 5 mile section where I thought I was suffering  from too much exposure to the AZ desert sun. I saw this mirage-like
apparition  ahead in the distance. So near but so far away. It was not the mirage one sees  in the desert of cool life giving waters
shimmering on the road ahead. No, this  mirage was the vision of Eliza's LB (Lovely Bottom) gracefully swaying with each  
smooth graceful stride. Given the choice between the cool life giving waters and  the pleasures of the flesh, I will go for the
pleasures of the flesh every time.  Alas, like the desert mirage, this golden apparition faded into the  distance.

The post-race beer and pizza party was another Big Butt  classic. In any other group, the conversations and stories  are so
outside of the average person's experience that any outside observer  listening would say, "No damned way! "No Shit!" and "That
can't be  true!"   Here is just the opposite. "I was there, and I saw it." "It  remindes me of the 32-37 mile section of Ice Age"  and "It
doesn't compare  to the 50-70 mile section of Massanutten."

Andy was in rare form  yesterday. Our transplanted NJ (Northern) member was encouraging Charlie and  Lynn to try the Bull Run
Run next year. At the point I joined the conversation,  they were trying to decide which color shirt to check on the application ...  
Blue or Gray? Rebel or Yankee? I said that; "Gray is the obvious choice. Period  ... End of discussion. Where I come from, a
Yankee is like a quickie a guy does  by himself." I am glad to report they both agreed on a Gray shirt for  next year's Bull Run Run.