Setting up Camp and Supper & Sleep - Friday afternoon saw Missus Gj and Grandpa John setting up camp at Sleepy Hollow State Park. Bordering a line of tress with a really big walnut tree just off center of our lot and just across from the camp showers and bathrooms our camping site was beautiful, if not to say convenient (which for us old’ guys is really appreciated J First, we unloaded the Trailblazer and then proceeded to set up our sleeping area, the tent; next, up went the screen room which was our cooking and eating area. By this time, it was almost time for me to go and pick up my racing packet for the morning race.
It only took a few minutes for me to get my packet and by the time I got back, Missus Gj had put the finishing touches on our camp site: swept the tent, made the bed, set up our collapsible chairs by the fire ring and even readied the stove for he evening meal (She is really a great help). It was then we noticed that we had forgotten to pack several needed items, especially the bug spray, so it was off to the local Wal-Mart about 10 miles away.
Arriving back at camp, Missus Gj and I settled by the fire ring and gazed off into the fire I had just started, all too soon though it was bed time. The slumbering world of dreams had called on us. Sleep although interrupted several times by nature (and the noisy kiddies) was restful and all too soon race day morning had arrived.
Everything was going very well, not too many muddy patches and by mile 4 we had crossed only 1 little stream with little mud or for that matter water (I really wanted a big stream with lots of mud and ooze to play in– must be a guy thing). Then like a sudden thunder storm, things turned dark rather quickly.
About mile 4.5 I was running down a hill when all of a sudden my trail shoes dug into some soft soil (soft soil on a heavily traveled trail? Surely sabotage) which because of momentum threw me forward rather awkwardly. To avoid tumbling and to slow down I stated to bound, or weave from side to side. Well, on my second step a broken tree limb jumped out of nowhere and smacked me really hard on my right leg, about 2 inches below my knee cap. Ouch!!! Not seeing any blood nor immediately knowing the extent of my injuries, I trudged on. Every so often though I felt a muscle pull or a stabbing pain just below my right knee, but looking down every s saw nothing.
It was around mile 7 or so that I finally noticed that I had been bleeding quite a bit from my injured leg. Was my race finished for the day, was this the race wherein I’d have to wear the DNF (did not finish) tag the rest of my running career? NO! This would not stop me: I had promised my Little Buddies this race was theirs and I was not going to let them down. Besides it was at my weakest moments like these several times before that my Little Buddies and Angels came through; they never let me down they gave me the courage and strength to carry on.
Angelic voices filled my mind and soothed my body .First it was my “Forever Heroes” carrying me forward: Austin Melgar, Courtney Saunders, Cooper Riley Proscia, Emily Adamson, Victoria Houston, John Eric Bartels, Kathy Ann Wilkinson, Alara Curran, Spencer Dolling, Marissa Monroe, Olivia Weber, Alexa Aigner, Joe Daily, Ryan Willians, Janie Kashino, and Dustin Cobb singing a song I never heard before; it was beautiful. Not really a song or spoken refrain, rather thoughts of love, beauty and pain free acceptance flooded my spirit. Like a lark on high and not remembering much I flew down the trail. Then as I near an exhausted state my Little Buddies with me in spirit all chimed in a melodic chant. Well not so much a chant, but a loud roaring cheer: Justin Gaudineer, Jackson Boyd, Nick Franca, Kerry Leary, Serena Lambert, Sammy Klimas, & Melina Riniolo all with me in spirit were hollering Go GJ! You can do it, you’re almost there, just around the bend and up the hill and you’ll own the 10 miles. Sure enough as I round the bend I saw the small hill; up I went striding all the way. As I crossed the finish line I knew we did it! The 10 miles was ours!!!
Want some Water?