We have the good fortune to live near a very nice community… Suwanee, GA. There is a town center/green that is surrounded by residential and retail. Back behind the town center and residential area is a beautiful nature preserve with miles and miles of trails.
Our run store is in this retail area. And they host group runs on the greenway trails. It has been a great place to meet other runners and make friends.
Our son is employed at the running store and has also been able to meet many people. And although he isn’t running right now, we all share the same acquaintances and friends.
One of the people that my husband, son and I all enjoy is R. He is great encourager to all and well liked within our running community. In fact R is the one who influenced so many of us to try out an ultra marathon!
R and his wife recently welcomed their first child, a boy. As a result, they have decided to move back to Michigan, where their families live.
As a parting gesture, R decided to run 100 miles in consecutive loops around the .36 mile perimeter of the town green. He put out an open invitation for members of the running group to join him. And started off his run this past Friday evening.
Over 50 runners joined R for parts of his run. My son ran with him on Friday night. By the time we all joined him on Saturday around noon, he had 76 miles in. Another friend, who my husband nicknamed ‘the closer ‘ (b/c she helped me finish my ultra) showed up around 1 with the intention of helping R finish.
But by Saturday afternoon, it had gotten extremely hot. We left for an hour for our run down the greenway in the shade. When we came back, R hadn’t gotten much farther. And he didn’t look good. We left, and wondered if he’d finish.
Much later in the day (6:15), my daughter wanted to go for a run. So we went back to the greenway. As we drove past the town center, we could see the gang still out there running. I wanted to go run with them, but in her strange 15 year old way she didn’t want to be seen there with her mom. So we ran in the shady woods where it was less likely that she would be seen. When we finished, we checked on the gang again.
The scene I witnessed was straight out of Forest Gump….R in the lead with about 15 people trailing him. Then he just stopped. Was he done? Had he accomplished his goal? Was he quitting? I wasn’t allowed out of the car. But when I got home, I saw a new FB post that he had just finished!! Over 27 hours after he had started, and with help from a lot of friends, R had run 100 miles!