"Only those who risk failing greatly can ever succeed greatly." –RFK
Thursday, September 25, 2008
(pic: lunch - Lisa, Tim, Glenn, Allison)
I got my race packet and number (#228) and I'm ready to roll! We had a perfect pre-race meal packed with good energy for the race.
Just a few stories for fun:
We rented a car when we arrived in Athens. We were automatically upgraded to this Mercedes. Most of the cars here are very small. Lots of Smart Cars. We needed the room. It drives very nice.
(pic: Megara, where Euclid invented geometry. A bit of triva from Tim the mathematician)
We drove the course from Athens to Sparta and used up all our gas. We were literally driving on empty for say, oh about 50 miles. All the gas stations (at 1:30 am) turned us away. "No gas." they said. Hm. Fortunately, we made it back to the hotel on the fumes.
The next day, the one gas station near where we are staying had a long 4-block line. Huh?! Tim dropped Glenn and I off at the orthopedic store (where I should own stock by now) and he went to go wait in line. While at the store, we asked the very friendly and helpful salesperson about the gas. "On strike" she said. "As usual....should be over in a day or two." Oh crap, we hoped Tim would be ok.
Well, as it turned out, he ran out of gas. The car sputtered once and petered out in the middle of the busy road. Have you seen how the cars drive in Athens!?! He feared for his life and he had no choice but to push the car up on the center median. He walked to the gas station - the one with the LONG line - and was able to get a very small amount of gas. He made a funnel out of a plastic water bottle and went back to the car, surprised it was still there and not hit. He had just enough gas to get back to the station to fill up (after waiting in the long line). There was no fighting or panicking, so I presume they are used to this kind of thing here.
(pic: Piotr, who last year ran from Poland to the Spartathlon, 3000 km. He's back for more this year.)
(pic: Piotr Kurylo and his brother Pawel ran from Poland to Athens to run the Spartathlon. These are their carts they towed.)
The weather is supposed to be good. High 70s, cloud cover later and mid 70s on Saturday.
This year there is a SPARTATHLON LIVE UPDATE on the website! They will be updating the runners' status from the 10 major checkpoints.
I'm off to try to get some sleep.
Best of luck to all the runners and their support crews!
I am an ultra runner, physician and have been medical director of some of the toughest ultras. I tend to be a mover and a shaker and louder than my size suggests. However, my Gemini twin is gentler and contemplative, an artist, a writer, and a poet. I am a dog lover, a believer in souls, and have a special affinity for those who struggle because I have been there.
This is my crazy lovable huggable Weimaraner, Steely Dan. I call him Steely. He left us in January of this year at only 6 years from lymphoma that did not respond to chemotherapy treatments. Steely was a total goof. He loved trail running, road running, treadmill running, new experiences, making eye contact, sleeping on his back, me, kids, and liver treats. He was Zappa's best friend. We miss him dearly.
This is Stella. A rescue from the shelter. She's about 6 months old and a Border Collie. She is a joyous bundle of energy and curiosity and now also Zappa best friend. She will make a nice running partner when she grows up.
This is the now the big brother of my family - a rescued Greyhound. His name is Frank Zappa. I call him Zappa. He's 7 years old and has learned all about life beyond the track and crate from Steely when he was with us. It was very rewarding to watch his personality bloom as he settled into the family. And yes, he runs like the wind!
This is Natasha, my dearest friend. She was with me through college, medical school, residency, and she moved with me from Chicago to Spokane several years ago. She was my best running partner for 10 years. My sweet Natasha died from bone cancer in 2006. I miss her still. I hung a windchimes over the deck outside. When it chimes, I smile and think she has finally -- wherever she is now -- caught a squirrel!