Well...It FINALLY happened! I started my run promptly at 4:00 AM Sunday morning and completed it 19 hours and 45 minutes later at 11:45 PM that evening. I ran a 10 mile loop from my house 10 times, out into a local park and green way trail. A total of 17 fellow runners took turns pacing me. A legendary local ultra runner, named Charlie Engle, ran the first 70 miles and my good friend and pacer, Chris Justice, was with me the last 30. Chris originally planned to go to California with me to pace the last 40 miles of Western States.
We started with flashlights in the dark and then experienced a beautiful morning sunrise as we crossed bridges over Lake Brandt. As the day progressed, the temperature rose into the upper 80's and we "enjoyed" the typical humidity here in the South. Between 6:00 and 8:00 PM (miles 70-80) we had a wonderful thunderstorm which drenched us. The cool rain gave me new life and I wanted to pick up the pace but my pacer was smart enough to hold me back. Somewhere during miles 80-90 I later learned my pacer started to get concerned about me and began to measure and clock my fluid intake. I still occasionally started to go faster and was quickly reeled back in. We dodged numerous fallen limbs from the storm and then sometime around 10:30 the bottom fell out again with another horrendous downpour. There was a lot of lightning and thunder, but based on the time between flashes and thunder, the actual strikes were probably 2 to 3 miles away. I wasn't the least bit worried about it at that point.
It was an incredible experience and I will probably never be the same. During the more difficult later miles I remembered each and every one of you who generously donated. I also thought about the people and animals who will benefit from the dollars you gave.
You can see pictures of the event here.
The local television station picked up the story and the news clip can been seen here.
Thank you again for your support.
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