I will begin with a very pertinent quote from a wise man named Harvey:
“We will stop taking entries on Saturday, September 7, 2012. Our 50-miler has filled. So if you know anyone with a couple of screws loose that thinks they want to run a 100 miles, now is the time for them to enter, before common sense and reason take hold”
I could stop right there and forget trying to figure out why my brother Sean wants to run in a race 100 miles long, because even the race organiser concurs with my thinking: he is mad, insane, delusional, crazy, yes, all of the above. I just have to accept this fact and move on.
I am talking about the Run Rabbit Run 100-mile race in Steamboat Springs Colorado this Friday, the 14th of September 2012! I am however going to do more than just talk about it, I am going to be right in the thick of it, running with my lunatic brother as one of his pacers for a small part of the race!
This is a race for Ultra-Runners: isn’t that a great name for individuals who think nothing of going out for a 30-mile jog? Ultra Running is a relatively new term. I think technically it is anyone who trains and runs more than a marathon distance, which is 26.2 miles, and they do this on a regular basis. Even if one were to argue over what distance makes the run an ultra-distance, I think it is more than safe for me to say that 100 miles goes above and beyond the definition.
A little background on my bother goes like this: has been an athlete all of his life, mainly in the form of Gaelic Football, moved to Steamboat Spring in 1995, took up running in April 2009, began to take it seriously almost immediately, has run in 21 mountain endurance races, 6 which qualify as an Ultra trail marathons, of which 3 were 50 kilometres and 3 were 50 mile races.
Why, when my brother asked me to fly to Colorado to be part of his support crew did I agree to do it? There are a few reasons, and even one of them would have been enough to give him a resounding “yes” through the radio waves!
The first reason is pretty obvious; my brother Sean. Besides the obvious fact that he is my sibling and I love him, from a running stand point, I have been totally impressed with what he has done in the past 4 years. He has taken the sport to a level I thought unimaginable for him, (for anyone) and I didn’t want to miss out on what I know is going to be a most meaningful day in his life. Sharing this with him will be unforgettable.
The second reason is food!
Crappykitchen is all about food one way or another, and yet the next several posts will be all about running; How does food come into it? Well, half of the conversations I have had with my brother have been about nutrition, and coming up to the race his big question to me was “what can you make me that I will find good to eat and will give me plenty of energy during the race?” (and that means not nauseating at about mile 60!).
The other “foodie” bit for me is making great dinners for everyone who happens to drop in for a visit in the evening. I also suspect there will be a feast to end all feasts after the race!
The other reason is Jenna, a friend of Sean’s who was also an Ultra-Runner but is sadly no longer with us. I never met this person but Sean talked about her a lot when he first started to become serious about his madness (you know, ultra-running), and of how she encouraged and inspired him.
So many of our conversations after that tragic day were about Jenna and I felt like I got to know her through him. Every time I have run since and the going gets tough, I always think of her, and it spurs me on. I decided that while what Sean was asking me to do would be difficult (for me) I could do it knowing that there were, and are, people like Sean and Jenna out there proving that we have so much more potential than we think.
Stay tuned for my next post which I will write after I get to Steamboat Springs and I have a chance to see where I will be running and the real panic sets in!