Finally, a few words about the FANS race.
Again this year, as the day approached, I wondered if I really could run around Lake Nokomis over and over again. And again this year, I wondered if I would be able to do so in rain and puddles.
I prepared an iPod with songs and sermons, hoping that as a last resort, I could at least drop into a U2 induced coma. By noon, I had listened to Matt Chandler, R.C. Sproul and 2 Piper messages.
For the first couple of hours, I ran steadily at a 6 mile an hour pace. By noon, I had unwisely fallen into a bad habit of running too fast when I would run. Fortunately, Kevin Martin jumped in and with great care, helped me back off to a more steady running pace that enabled me to run longer between each walk. This set a great tone for the whole race.
Christian Jakob Burmeister Hicks. I met Christian during an underground 50 miler several years ago and he's impressed me ever since. He balances life, family, sports and all so well. I'm pretty confident that he did a lap with me because the conversation I remember having with him seemed long.
Steve VerBeek. As the sun set, Steve from church came with his wife and two boys. He intended to do one lap and ended up doing many. His wife drove to get me espresso. By this time, it had stopped raining.
Steve Grabowski and Bill Pomerenke and Brent. Steve told me he'd join at 10pm and run until 3am. He brought along Bill and then stayed until 7am. Bill let me borrow his lighter headlamp, and Steve was able to get in a full marathon. I hadn't known that Brent was going to join.
Dean Malley. Dean is my great friend. We met at church about 2 years ago. Dean and his wife have spent many a night at our house after spending a Saturday afternoon watching parenting videos. Last year, Dean did a few laps with me. This year, Dean arrived around 3am and said he might be able to stay until 4:30. At 5:20, after no one at home was answering the phone, he decided that everything must still be okay and continued with me until 7:30. It was a great reunion with him and his wife as they met me (what was left) in the church bookstore later that morning. Mara-Liisa, thanks for letting me have your husband. His sharp, and ever poignant discussions actually kept me awake. He is a sharp thinker even in the wee hours. At 4, before the sun came up, I was slurring my speech. At 7:30, as he and Helen Lavin made the last lap with me, I was literally swaying between the two.
Helen Lavin. Helen was at the beginning and the end. Helen weighed me in in the morning. She stayed around for awhile. Then, she drove to the Kettle race in WI to pace someone. Then all of the sudden, I saw her again later in the race. She had come back due to the severe weather over there. Helen ran the last lap with me and Dean.
Nobody really wants to read the details about the miles, etc. Suffice it to say that there were so many there who accomplished more than they could have imagined. Like the runner who walked with one leg in a cast using crutches, the entire 24 hours. I could never have done that.