At Run to the Sun, everyone has their own story and every story is different. In fact, our particular stories often differ drastically from year to year. The "people" stood out in my mind more this year than ever. It started with the race directors. Maybe I just knew more than ever before about the monumental amount of work that John, PJ and Bram put in to make this race happen. Maybe it also was because I never realized, until this year, that there are 137 (or so) volunteers, unselfishly giving their time and effort for all of us. These volunteers really help make the race FUN !
Like I said , everyone has their story, and if you like, you can hear mine. Mine is all about friends...the HURT family of friends...my buddies, and the comraderie we share, all the time...but especially at Run to the Sun. For example, Gordon Lau had stated emphatically, that he would not be returning to R2S this year. So, Ernest Tay and I made it our personal project to get Gordon to change his mind. I won't say that Gordon is hard-headed, but he's certainly not a push-over. Fortunately, Ernest was especially persistent. The thing that we had going for us was that Ernest and I REALLY wanted Gordon to go. We had been like a team last year and it wasn't going to be the same without him. Suffice it to say...Gordon gave in...and even admitted after the race, that he had a good time. Speaking of having a good time, I had the pleasure of running a while with Cat Moore, who's really a kick to be around, and I was extremely lucky to have newcomer Linda Takane with me, making the last few miles a real pleasure. It was reported that my good running buddy Cheryl Loomis was spotted dancing and doing hula. Cheryl always has a good time !
Heather and I were very lucky to get to sit on the airplane next to one of our heroes, Paul Sibley, both over and back. Paul, as most of you know, is a recent cancer surviver and ultra-athlete, competing in multiple sports. He is an inspiration to all of us who know him. Being able to hear his touching stories before and after the race was worth the trip by itself.
A race like this one is always about courage and mental toughness.Four examples that I witnessed first-hand were Ernest Tay, Judith Inazu, Wendy Minor and David Carlsson. I'm sure there are MANY others that deserve mention, (and I apologize) but personally seeing the courage these tough athletes showed, just to finish, really touched me.
It was a beautiful day to be spent on the mountain, surrounded by wonderful friends and new acquaintances. Aloha ! Don