Postscripts

     There’s too little sun, too much cold and gloomy weather at this time of year for us poor northern types stuck up here in New England.  A little humor might be just the thing to lighten the load enough to grease the wheels; perhaps distract us from the harsh elements of winter as we march towards Boston.  And me towards ultra running’s Grand Slam, but I’ll save that quixotic challenge for another column.  (But yeah, it really is on my schedule this year.)

     Speaking of which, the ultra running slogan is “You must be first willing to attempt the absurd, in order to accomplish the impossible.”

     And a trail newbie was asking Wasatch 100 race director John Wondam if there would be showers available at the finish, to which he laconically replied, “All depends on the weather.”

     Some favorite quotes overheard on the trails:

“I was passing rocks and trees like they were standing still!”

“But I’m not hurt.  I just run this way.”

“But this is my finishing kick!”

     On giving running advice:

“Light travels faster than sound.  That’s why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.”

“You can keep your chin up and your head held high, but remember to keep your nose at a friendly level.”

Legendary Park Barner, asked about his minutes-per-mile pace on one of his epic runs, “Where’s the fire?”

Immortal Walt Stack, upon nearing the finish of Western States, “I’m going to sue the county for building the trail so close to my ass!”

Dr. James Greene’s wife, “What difference does it make how fit you get, if you’ve lost your mind?”

Western States entrant Brian of Atizipan, Mexico in pre-race bio questionnaire:

Things I hate most about ultras: “The 42 minutes of sleep the night before.”
Injury history: “Fell on my head as a baby.  N-n-nothing since.”
Favorite running surface: “Inclined mid sole, finish lines.”
Why I do ultras: “Because it feels so good when I stop.”
Favorite ultra quote: “We’ve got lumps of it round the back.”

     And finally, a shortened version of a story contributed by that fearless Mr. Anonymous:

     Seems that four guys were running the golf course early one morning.  Runner A complains that he had to promise his wife he’d wash the car when he got back to be allowed to go off for his hour long run while she got the kids up.  Runner B states that he had to tell his wife they’d go out to dinner that evening.  Whereupon Runner C exclaims, “That’s nothing!  I had to commit to painting the kitchen!”
     About this time they realized they hadn’t heard from Runner D, who was strangely silent, but come to think of it, never seemed to have their trouble meeting his buddies for their early A.M. runs at the golf links.
     “And how do you manage so well, Joe?” they asked him.  “Oh I just say ‘Golf course or intercourse, sweetie?,’ and she just turns over and says, ‘Don’t forget your sweater.'”

See you on the trails,

Pete

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