Last Saturday, April 19, we had Hope's birthday party. Hope is my youngest daughter who turned 2, therefore Elmo was the main character and theme of her party. The party was in the afternoon, so mid morning I told my wife that I was going for a "quick" six mile run. This week was a recovery week as I had been pounding hard for two months with lot's of speed work and increased milage.
At mile three, I met another runner. To let you in on a little secret, runners love to talk to other runners, and this guy was no different. He starts the conversation by saying, "Hey kid you look good, what ya trainin' for." I respond..."I'm thinking about 50 miler...." The gentleman comes back with, "which one?" Now when someone responds as he just did that means he is familar with ultramarathon races. I told him my plans of The North Face Endurance Challange. I learned that he was Greek. The only people that talk more than Italians are Greeks...and Italians like to talk. I know; I married one.
At this point, I knew he was familar with really long runs so I invited him to finish my run with me. I wanted to pick his brain and for the next three miles I learned alot. His name was Tony. He holds the record for his age group on the JFK 50 miler. He has ran it 10 times. He has ran ultramarathons all over the world. He told me his philosophy on the races, on fuel, on water, on pace, on runners, on life. Did I tell you he was Greek...did I say Greeks like to talk. I soaked it all in. I figured him to be about 60 years old. When I had to peel off and head home, I asked, "So Tony, how old are you?" "71," he grinned. Wow!
I started for the house. I had an Elmo party to go to, and a celebration of my sweet daughter. Before the party, I went ahead and registured and payed for the TNF 50 mile race.
That Morning I had made a new friend and had a great run. What I beautiful day. Tony Keep it Up.