"I will endure it, keeping a stubborn spirit inside me, for already I have suffered much and done much hard work on the waves and in the fighting. So let this adventure follow." -- Odysseus
"First and foremost," I began, "There is an open farting policy in Van 1." There were looks of relief, looks of horror and looks of confusion. "Come on people, someone could die if we try to hold that in."
Let me back up.
Surely you know that if there is anything that is going to pull one out of the Boston Marathon hang over, it must be a race of epic proportions. Still...
Even in November when the idea was first presented to me, I had my doubts. A 200 mile relay just 12 days after running Boston? At first I declined. I said I'd be happy to support the team and be a driver. But the memories of doing the Ragnar Relay came to the surface, not all at once, but piece by piece.
Maybe it was the camaraderie with my team and vanmates. Could have been the strange discussions at 6:00 in the morning, getting woken up by elementary school girls thinking we were a gang of homeless man sleeping on their soccer field, then there were the sloppy joes instead of sleep at a church in the middle of nowhere, Maryland.
So it wasn't just one thing, rather the collective memories and accomplishments that I, that we, endured over 32 hours of running from Cumberland, MD to Washington, D.C. Of course the answer became a resounding "yes!"
For Ragnar, we were team "Got the Runs." I've teamed up with my fabulous co-captain Sarah Finding Fit from that team to bring together "The Most Interesting Team in the World."
Like running itself, the idea of the relay draws mixed reactions from people. These are generally the same people who criticize the general concept of paying money to sign up for a race. "So, let me get this straight," they'll start. "You're going to pay to run?"
"Well, no, but, I guess yes, yes I'm going to pay but you get this t-shirt and other people are with you, and to cross the finish line, it's just well, there's nothing like it."
Similarly, "So, let me get this straight...you're going to drive two hours to Gettysburg...then run back? WHY!?"
For many reasons then, not just one, tomorrow, I'll pile into a van with four of my closest friends. We'll follow another van with six others and we'll turn around and we'll run all the way back home. From Gettysburg to D.C., we'll run. We won't sleep. Most won't shower. We'll gorge ourselves on peanut butter sandwiches. Beef jerky will be as good as sex! We'll probably get cranky. We'll question why we're doing it. We'll insist that we finish. We'll fart! And in the end, we'll all cross the line together.
'For if I wait out the uncomfortable night by the river, I fear that the female dew and the evil frost together will be too much for my damaged strength, I am so exhausted and in the morning a chilly wind will blow from the river; but if I go up the slope and into the shadowy forest, and lie down to sleep among the dense bushes, even if the chill and weariness let me be, and a sweet sleep comes upon me, I fear I may become spoil and prey to the wild animals.’ --Odysseus