A few months passed and I’d found myself back in college for my second year at VTC. Once again I get a phone call.
“So I’m doing the Vermont 50(his 5th attempt) in a few weeks. You interested?”
“It’s only a few more miles then you did with me back in July.”
“You’ve got to pay your dues and sleep on the ground the night before a race to offer up your willingness to suffer to the running gods.”
“The more you suffer tonight, the easier they will be on you tomorrow”
Words that still ring in my head to this day.
“Here, put this on your feet.”
I oblige and do so, sliding my cotton socks over the greasy mess. Then my new pair of trail running shoes (yes I mean brand new). I’m ready to take this on. No worries. Ah the wonders of being 18.
Look at him, he’s old and out of shape, I say to myself and then proclaim, “of course I can.”
They both laugh, they know what lies ahead. I on the other hand, do not.
“Keep moving, the devil will let go of your soul. It’ll happen.”
“RUN FOREST RUN!!”
I never looked back. I ran the last 5k that day in 30 minutes. I power hiking the up hills and held my butt cheeks apart and yelled in pain down on the down hills of that last stretch. There it was, the ski slope, the finish line, tears of joy and pain rolling down my face. I spotted another runner crossing the field ahead of me. I say to myself. “I think I can catch this guy.” I’m feeling amazing, the doubt of not finishing has left my body and I feel anew. I start catching up to the runner, it’s the last stretch, and what do you know it’s Charlie! I caught Charlie that sunny Sunday afternoon; I beat him by 2 seconds. I finished in 11:38:19, a full 5 minutes ahead of my dad.