Sep 19, 2005

Atanarjuat: The fast runner

Posted by Mary |

It's got nothing to do with the intriguing Inuit movie. It's got everything to do with Tom and the Equinox Marathon.

Tom has been working hard and training all summer for the marathon, which follows a particularly grueling trail to the top of Ester Dome and back. Some call it the second-toughest marathon in the United States. Part of the course runs along Goldhill Road. Since Hidden Hill is about 3 miles from the finish line, I decided to gather a crowd to support Tom. We met with chairs, barbecue and keg in Susan's driveway and settled in around 10:30 a.m. to wait for the runners. We didn't have to wait long.

We were joined at various times by James Savage, Gretta and Jacob Stone, William Walters, Scott Bell and his daughters, Melissa Hart, Ian Burcroft, Nancy Fresco, Jay Cable, Jen Wenrick, Don Crow, Margaret Friedenauer, Justin and Sofia, two women we didn't know and two guys who stopped their car to see if they could have some beer, then gave it to their friend who was running.

I had made signs to encourage Tom, since I was sick and couldn't yell much. We clapped for all the runners until we saw Tom coming down the road. Then we started yelling and cheering. He was about 20 minutes ahead of his projected schedule, and looked like he was in great shape. He called out to us as he went by, but didn't stop for a hamburger or a beer.

Melissa lent me her fancy digital camera so I could head for the finish line and capture Tom in all his sweaty glory. As the clock ticked steadily closer to 4 hours, Tom appeared out of the woods and headed for the finish chute.

At 3:46:32.5, Tom crossed the finish line in 22nd place. He was in suprisingly good shape considering what he'd just put his body through. After numerous congratulations, I left him to shower and headed back to the party.

With only Bob Eley left to root for, we started offering up beer to the runners along with the water and Powerade. Only 14 people took us up on the beer offer, and none would go for a kegstand. Bob Eley passed up the offer of a beer and finished the race in 6:57:47.1, a great time for someone who was not exactly active until a year ago.

I hope Tom plans to run the race again next year, because we had a great time encouraging all the runners. I'm grateful to all my friends who came out to help support Tom, and I'm incredibly proud of Tom for blowing a lot of the competition out of the water in his first marathon. Way to go!!