Going Solo at the American Odyssey Relay

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I sit here, sore but surprisingly not crippled, and I’m just barely beginning to comprehend what I just finished this weekend—running 202 miles in just a shade over two days (50 hours, 16 minutes, 58 seconds) on long country roads from Gettysburg, Pa. to Washington, D.C., as part of the American Odyssey. Many people have told me that this adventure should be new a book. Perhaps, but honestly, I think it may just be a new chapter. A thick and interesting chapter, but just a chapter. However, I can now turn the page on something I have been planning, fretting over, and worrying about for almost two years. Yep, this has been in my mind for almost that long.

Two years ago, I was a designer of these types of courses—the 200-mile (ish), 24-hour (ish) running relays. The year before that, I had participated in one with a fantastic group of friends and that relay led to this vocation. That job led to where I am now. But somewhere in the middle of all of this I thought about the potential of running one of these relays solo.

The original thought process had me doing the Reno-Tahoe adventure, but the timing did not work out properly. A confluence of events did, however, come together to allow me to start planning last summer for this particular race, which leads me here to the bed I am lying in, contemplating whether I should shower, eat a steak for breakfast/lunch (was craving one the entire race) or what.

I know I have to put down on paper my thoughts and experiences about this race but when and where I will do that I am unsure right now. But I do wish to thank the veritable bevy of supporters I have had along the way and most importantly my wonderful crew. All novices in the race crewing arena (and even if they had been seasoned veterans, crewing for just one person like this over 48 hours would be a whole different story) they kept me upright and going with their actions, thoughts, and humor. (e.g. “Sure you are tired but imagine how much this is going to piss off those who don’t like you!”)

As I have said repeatedly with regards to my 52 Marathons in 52 Weekends, (and can now add this past weekend into the equation) there is no telling what you can achieve until you ignore the impossible. Why did I do this? Well…

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