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OUR SON THE ULTRA MARATHONER

Posted May 28 2009 10:35pm
Pat did it. Our son completed his goal. He wanted to run an ultra marathon to celebrate his 30th birthday. his 30 miles would have been fine...but since I had run a 50 k about 6 weeks ago, he mapped out a course that was 31.8 miles...just over 50 k. Why not one-up the old man??
He recruited his friend Bridget, who is married to his longtime pal, Chuck. Bridget used to be a bike messenger and she knew she could go the hilly mileage. They started in Chardon. Pat had the camelback..Bridget had lots of water in the back of the bike, and I packed lots in a cooler.
I was gonna sherpa the run. Diving in and out along the way and running about half the mileage.
Chucks house is about 1200 feet above sea level. Chardon is one of the high points in north east ohio. So the run would take two big elevation drops and climbs before finishing in Ohio City where Pat lives.
I ran the first 2.5 miles, said so long and ran back to the starting point to get the car. Pat wanted to do 6 hours. It was warm but not real hot. There was a breeze and some cloud cover. Driving to catch up to the pair, I did not see them... "No way they have gone this far"?? But they had. He was making good progress.
Near 12 miles is Chagrin River Road and Wilson Mills. The bridge was being worked on. I tried to talk the construction guys into letting them walk through when they got that far. Nope. So, we had to put the bike in the trunk and drive a detour of 5 miles to got to the other side of the bridge which was only 200 feet away. I told Pat, that its just a long water break. Don't let it get you down. We got to the other side..Pat ran 200 feet extra to make sure and off we went. I ran 2 miles up Wilson Mills, then ran back down to the parking lot on the south end of North Chagrin.
They were making good time. By the 22 mile mark (Monticello & Mayfield), Pat was feeling dizzy and storm clouds were coming. We rested a bit...he ate more and drank more and the air cooled, but the rains came. Not heavy rains, but cooling rains.

Pat was struggling at the point and I could see the doubt on his face. The Bride called and was worried about the weather. I called Fox 8 and the experts said the storms were lessening in intensity and any new ones to come would not have thunder. That reassured the pair and of course The Bride.
He kept motoring. The run down Carnegie is more than 5 miles. Then a tour past Progressive field and then over the Detroit/Superior bridge and home free. Finish point was The Old Angle Tavern on West 25th. Pat and I went to his apartment two blocks away and Bridgets family joined her in the Tavern. I got Pat the bag of ice...15 in the ice bath and he was on the road to recovery. Though he felt lousy the rest of the night..he was very happy to reach his goal.
We are very proud of the two of them. Pat ran in just over 6 hours. I tallied 15.9 miles in my sherpa-running buddy role. As I write this the next day, Pat is demolishing a good chunk of pork grilled on our grill. I think he's gonna be fine.
This Saturday I am aiming for an 18 mile trail run. Anyone game???
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