I am flying over America’s Heartland en route to Phoenix, where I will meet up with my running buddy, Steve Burton (formerly of Northern Virginia, now of Tucson, Arizona). From there will we hop on another plane across broad expanses of the Pacific Ocean to the tropical paradise that is Oahu, Hawaii! Steve is running HURT… that is the HURT 100 mile run, hopefully, he is both injury and illness free.
The current plan, as I understand it, is for me to crew for Steve the first 60 miles of the race and then run the final 40 miles with him. I won’t write much about the race at this point, except that I expect the footing to be difficult (especially at night when I’ll be running) and good deal of frustration at times due to said footing. The reputation of the course and its foot is such that I had twice turned people down to pace at this year’s HURT before Steve made an offer I couldn’t refuse. You can read more about the course here and look at pictures of the course here. Despite the impending difficultly of my pacing duties, I look forward to the challenge and I secretly hope that Steve finishes early enough that I can pace a slower runner for his or her final lap. Of course, then I would have to find the official 2.2 mile long section, so that I could unofficially finish the HURT 100k! Shhh…. this is our little secret.
Not only am I very excited to pace Steve, get to run in HURT myself, and, of course, to check out paradise, I am also psyched about the opportunity I’ll have to hang out with old friends and hopefully make some new ones. Figuratively, I’m traveling half way around the world, and my social calendar is already booked. I suppose I don’t have any official social engagements, but that’s because I have the race. When Steve and I arrive, we’ll meet Greg Loomis, a Montrail teammate from Arlington, VA who is stationed at an Army base in Egypt for the year. The race is Saturday and Sunday. After the race, the head reps Montrail and Nathan (of the Montrail-Nathan Ultrarunning Team) are hosting a gathering for the team. I really look forward to meeting Paul Curran (the Montrail rep), Krissy Moehl (the Nathan Rep), and some of my other new teammates… not to mention hang out with the teammates I do know, Mike Mason and Greg Loomis. Monday night is the post-race dinner, which Steve and I will be attending. Tuesday night, Mike is hosting a gathering at the house he and Steph, his wife, are renting on the North Shore. Damn, with this schedule I should be catching up on sleep rather than blogging.