Titles: 2004 Eagle Run

By John A. Dodds

Photos: Michele Burr except for Team Mango photos Anstr Davidson.

Gary and the WomenUsually, I can't begin to write a report unless I have first thought of a title. Sometimes, I have a hard time picking out a title. This report is different because I had several choices, but I couldn't pick out the best one. Here they are:

Anstr said people will write the list saying how great a particular event was and then later during a training run will tell you all the bad things about it. We're not going to do that here because we don't have to suck up to the RD. I think most people will agree with me that it was way too cold, the ground was too hard, and there wasn't enough pizza or wine. But for men and women alike, it was a good opportunity to hug and kiss people you don't know and have them sit on your lap and you sit on theirs. But let's talk about Team Mango.

Team Mango -- Click for LargerTeam Mango. Team Mango was invented by Kerry not too long ago, and it has created a lot of interest. Kerry proved that she doesn't care what people really think about her because she wore a mango bikini during the run. Kirstin wore one as well. I think the consensus (which doesn't include Frank) is that they looked pretty good. I asked Kerry to let me know how many women came up to her during the run to ask her where they could get one. Apparently, that number is a well-guarded secret. The latest development is that Mike Bur has been added to the Team Mango roster. The excitement is building for Bull Run.

Distances. There were 3 distances to run: long, short and mid. I ran the mid course up until Gunston Hall. Then I tried to do the loop behind Gunston Hall. Unfortunately, I was with the group that listened to Tom who said go left to make the loop. Kerry led the way. Somewhere in that loop I stopped to retie my shoe and got separated from the group. I continued on and before I knew it I was back at Gunston Hall. I saw Gary at the top of the trail, and I asked him where Kerry was. He said she wasn't back yet. He asked me if I ran to the water, and I asked, "What water?" It seems like every time I run with Kerry, I cut the course short. This wouldn't have happened had we run the loop in the right direction and could follow the ribbons the way they were supposed to be followed. Way to go, Tom - it's all your fault.

Anyway, at Gunston Hall Gary told the group we were at the 10-mile point. About five minutes before I had asked Russ how far he had run up until then. Checking his super-duper GPS techno-gadget, he told me he had run 14.6 miles. I figured that I had run about 13 (subtracting out some of that missed loop). I'm not sure how Gary got 10 miles unless he was talking about the short course or else he was using Horton miles. And here's a question for you: what's longest: nautical mile, statute mile, country mile or a Horton mile? You can mail your entry (plus the $5 entry fee) to my address on the members-only site.

After waiting in Gunston Hall for the pizza to show up and letting our body temperatures go below their normal levels, we started running again - I was freezing. Although I had planned on running the mid course, I opted for the most direct route back to the house. Yes, Gary, the pizza should have been delivered earlier. I mean how tough can it be to single-handedly organize an ultra run for over a 100 runners, mark the course, buy all the food and drink, arrange for roving aid stations, arrange for pizza delivery at two different times and locations, schedule a talk at Gunston Hall, etc.? But we do thank you for the corkscrew to open the wine. We all agreed to let you organize this run next year.

The Dog but not Michele. She was the photographer.Michele and the Dog. Back at the house, most people were huddled in the garage trying to keep warm. Someone brought back a few pieces of pizza from Gunston Hall. Michele started eating a piece and then decided it didn't taste too good because it was basically frozen. Since Major was right there, I told her to give the rest to him. She asked me if a dog should eat pizza. She didn't want to get blamed for the dog later throwing up on the carpet inside the house. Sometimes, it's hard to believe that Michele has a Ph.D. I had to explain to her that a dog will eat just about anything and that if Major threw up later, no one would know who gave him the pizza in the first place. So Michele pretended she was stretching and with her outstretched hand gave the rest of her pizza to the dog. So, if any of you were trying to eat pizza with a dog staring at you with expectant eyes, you have Michele to blame. And when five hot pizzas arrived right after that, Michele made sure she was the first one to get a slice.

Kerry's Frozen Nipple. Kerry normally runs with a Camelbak, but the other day she carried a water bottle. As we were running, I told her the bottle would freeze. I said that when she took a drink, the liquid in the nipple will freeze. Then she won't get the nipple open. She could then unscrew the top but that would only work once. Once she drank, the liquid would go over the threads and freeze and then she wouldn't be able to unscrew the top. Finally, the liquid in the bottle would freeze. She asked me how I was such a know-it-all. I told her it had happened to me on the moonlight run and that's why I was now wearing a Camelbak under my jacket. She then asked if I really thought just because something happened to me that it would happen to her. And I thought, "Frankly, Kerry, I don't give a damn." Nah, not really. Not too long after that, her nipple froze and soon thereafter I think she just ditched the bottle in someone's truck.

Ivy's PussyIvy's Pussy. I'm just going to let you use your imagination on this one.

Not the Parking Brake. I'm not sure it would be a successful advertising campaign for Toyota to show how many trail runners can fit into an Echo. They might not sell any cars, but wine and pizza sales would certainly go up. At first, I thought it was kind of rude for some people to sit in a warm car while the rest of us were freezing our butts off. Just to show how good a sport I was, I went over to the car and asked them if I could get them some pizza. Yes, they said, but it had to be without ham. After delivering a couple slices, I was actually invited to join them. When I realized how warm the car was, I readily accepted (somehow it didn't seem so rude after all). We talked about all kinds of neat and personal stuff, none of which will be repeated here except this (and it was at my expense): there came a time when Laurie and I switched positions - this time she would sit on my lap. Because the car doesn't have a lot of leg room, when she started to get back in the car and sit down, I told her it was going to be hard. Meaning difficult. I could tell by the amount of laughter in the car that we were dealing with a fairly immature crowd. Now you have some context for the "That's not the parking brake" comment which I won't go into any further. As an alternative event next year, I thought we could all meet in a parking lot somewhere and load up each car with twice the occupants it normally carries, have pizza, wine and beer delivered and see what happens.

The Party in the CarI talked to Gary a couple days after the run, and he said on Sunday he thought about telling the people in the car to just go get a room. I told him that he did actually say that. Then he got concerned, fearing that he had said other things he had only thought about saying. I agreed wholeheartedly; I can't imagine what it would be like if Gary verbalized all his thoughts. As Deb would say, "kinda scary."

And one other thing: I was sort of embarrassed for Joe. When Maria and Laurie came out with some rather, shall we say, crude expressions, Joe admitted that he hadn't heard them before, saying, "I wasn't in Vietnam." Some of you might know what I'm talking about. The women later told me that we needed to work with Joe. And here's another thing: I saw Gary take a woman (not to be identified) over to Joe, and Gary introduced him by saying, "Here is our president." She gave Gary one of those "you've got to be shitting me" looks. Joe, realizing her apparent consternation, meekly said, "I guess I don't look too presidential." I guess we'll have to work on that, too.

Eagles. I've done the Eagle Run twice and have seen a total of 3 eagles (I think that's what they were because I can't recognize birds from 5 miles away). Before each run, Gary announced that we probably wouldn't see many eagles because the water is frozen. And now I'm thinking why don't we schedule this run in a month sometime other than in the middle of the freakin' winter. To Gary's credit, several days before the run, he met with the chief eagle and arranged for a flyover by one eagle at the start of the run. After the eagle flew away, Mike Bur - bless his simple heart - shouted out: "OK, let's party now!"

I guess one day the temperatures will rise, the ground will thaw, the ice will melt, and the eagles will come out. Or were they just waiting for us to leave?

Well, I gotta go check on a horse.


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