Monday, June 21, 2010

Quick Mohican Result

I ran the Mohican Trail 100 Mile Run on Saturday and finished in 29:26:27. I am very happy about it! This race was one for the ages. I have started Mohican 13 times and I have seen some bad conditions but I have never, ever seen it like this.  Not even close. The heat, coupled with a new course configuration that seemed to hit runners with the toughest parts of the course at the toughest times of day yielded a finishing percentage of only 38%. Because of this I had many friends...fine, experienced runners in wonderful condition, who were taken out by the heat. It made the day a sad one in many ways.

I have also never seen such cooperation, teamwork, and comaraderie among the runners. No one seemed to finish on their own. I saw many runners slowing down to help ailing friends and strangers. I saw people with only a few swigs of water left in a bottle offer it freely to someone who needed it worse than they did. It seemed that no one actually had any property or crew of their own. Rather, any resource, renewable or not was freely offered. Many of the runners who succumbed to heat exhaustion remained on the course to assist those still in the race.

It was our community at its best.

As for me: Wonderful friends like Suzanne Pokorny and Joe Jurczyk kept me company during the early miles and Scott Wolf, Casey Clark, and Nick Longworth poked, prodded, encouraged, cajoled, and cared for me in the late night hours. Nick was supposed to run eight miles with me. He ended up running 21 miles with me...and do you know why?

He did it because I needed him to.

It was grace. I mean that literally. It was an unearned blessing, an act of korima. I accepted it because I simply could not have succeeded without it.

Thats the kind of day it was. I will write several thousand words about the race over the next week or two. I'll do it in several installments. As usual I will write it so that I will remember it when I'm 70 years old. But you are welcome to read it if you like. Peace. --Mark

12 comments:

  1. Mark, you have captured this beautifully. You are right -- so many people helped so many others. When I was suffering from the heat, a 100 miler gave me the ice out of his cap between FT and CB. I am very grateful to all the volunteers at the aid stations who took care of me. I was excited to see you finish because out of all the folks I know there -- only you and Rita Barnes finished. I would have liked to have made my 50, but considering the weather, I did great in making it as far as I did.

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  2. Happy to hear you were one of the survivors.

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  3. Very glad you finished Mark! Hope everyone that ran is okay and recovering!

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  4. CONGRATULATIONS MARK! I am so happy for you!

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  5. WOW. I don't know what else I could possibly say!

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  6. You are my best friend in the whole wide world, Mark -- and I couldn't have been happier for you finishing that BEAR of a race. I am so fortunate to have been a part of your success. The 40 miles with you were the easiest miles of the race for me -- which certainly supports your statement that those who finished were not alone. This year it sure took a community ... AND a whole bunch of good training miles, strength and dedication. AWESOME awesome awesome. Love ya!

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  7. Congratulations. When I saw the weather on Saturday, I cringed and knew that it was going to be a tough day for all concerned. Casey and Scott both stopped to talk earlier this week and shared their stories. Really a run for the ages. Terrific job.

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  8. Congrats again, Mark. You are echoing a consistent message I keep hearing...that is the word "community"...so thankful to hear it is alive and well. You also echoed comments about tough, tough conditions, and the toughest parts in the heat of the day. You pushed forward and never quit and got your buckle. Huge kudos out to Nick for staying by your side and to you for forging ahead and not taking "No" for an answer. I'm glad to know you and be part of your "community!"

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  9. Hey Mark. I was so happy to be able to continue on with you.
    I think I wanted to get you across that finish line more than you will ever know.

    Seeing you power up those hills was a complete thrill. As I said before, this was one Epic Adventure. -Thank You!

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  10. Thanks Brian, and Dan, and Elizabeth, and Red and Denise, and Frank. Nick, right back at you friend. Suzanne, thank you for being such a wonderful friend on this journey. I'm not sure i would have made the starting line without you, never mind the finish! And Nick...brother...I will never forget you or what you did for me. No way on earth was i going to finish that race without you, and casey and Scott. Thank you!

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  11. Hey Mark,

    SO GREAT to see that you finished! When I didn't see you at the award ceremony I thought that you might have had to drop. I've got a big smile on my face now that I know you made it in under the cut off - Great job!!!

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