I'm missing running in Hawaii with the HURT group. I'm currently in Herat, Afghanistan doing security work. One of the guys on my team, Dave Alvarez is a runner. He started running with me shortly after he moved from his compound to my compound. He just recently joined my Security team and we've been running together 5 days a week since. He's kept track of the miles we've run together and it's over 100 miles. Not bad for less than four weeks.
Being in a war zone we just can't walk out of the gate and go running. Well maybe we can but it would not be a good idea. Fortunately we live in a rectangular shaped compound. If we hug the walls we for one lap we get .26 miles of unobstructed running. Such a short distance basically means we're running in circles, clockwise one day then counterclockwise the following day. The furthest we've run at one time inside our compound has been 10 miles. Do you how many laps that is clockwise? How about the number of laps counterclockwise? Answer= A lot, no matter which direction we run. Good thing I have my Garmin GPS to keep track on the total distance we run each day. I tried counting laps but usually lose count after 10 laps. As boring as it may seem running laps, it does have some advantages. The first is that we don't worry about the environment around us. Not only are there people running around with guns, there are also some pretty big doggies. Can you say rabies? We also can run without carrying our weapons.
Now I've told Dave all about HURT. He's inspired by all the stories, of the steep hills, rocks, roots, rain, lots of pain and all that other good stuff. He's told me that one day, he would like to participate in the HURT 100 miler. Yes, he wants a HURT shirt and he wants it bad. I've showed him a couple that I brought with me and it's a good thing I carry a gun. If not, he would have taken one from me at gun point. Being armed is the only way of keeping Dave away from my HURT shirts.
One thing I didn't mention about Dave. He's very smart. He must always thinking about HURT because during one of our runs he told me that he came up with a great name for our two man running group. He calls us HURT, Afghanistan. Does the name HURT sound familiar? Now don't be alarmed. He's not copying the original HURT. He's honoring the name. If you haven't figured out what HURT for Dave means, it's Herat Ultra Running Team. And you know what? It is a great name.
John and PJ,
Does Dave deserve a real HURT shirt? Just look at his face. If you think he does and would like to send him one, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He wears a size Large. He would really appreciate it. Mahalo and Aloha.