Election Results Finally Certified for 2004 VHTRC Stupid Award

By Brian McNeill

Many of you may recall last spring that I proposed the creation of new award for the Club, named in honor of Bob Coyne, the VHTRC “Next year I’m not doing anything stupid award.” The purpose of the award is to recognize especially bad decision-making on the part of members of the club and the sort of “running with scissors” judgment that on a grander scale leads one to be to nominated for the “Darwin Awards.” http://www.darwinawards.com

I suggested the idea to Joe “Why the hell’s he still president?” Clapper and the Senior Web Guy, Anstr Davidson. They liked the idea, but suggested that we make Peyton Robinson permanently ineligible for the award, since he would likely win the award every year and eventually qualify for the aforementioned Darwin Awards. (Wasatch as a triple out-back-and-out-again while pushing a baby jogger, anyone?)

Senior Web Guy created a ballot, elections were held, and awards were given to the winners. Now that six months have passed and the last litigating attorney has had a stake driven through his heart and garlic placed beneath his tongue, I’m prepared to announce the certified results. (I just got busy and forgot about it until Steve Pero mentioned it at the Mountain Masochist a couple of weeks ago)

The Winner

To no one’s surprise, Deb Pero was the winner in a landslide. After I nominated her, she wrote me a long email about why she shouldn’t be nominated. I’ve excerpted a few snippets from her award-winning anti-entry below. Denial is a terrible thing.

The winner’s anti-entry:

So off we start... while trying to dodge the snowmobiles going approx. 90 mph past us. At about mile 15...you can either continue the run on packed snowmobile trails or take a 5 mile post hole on a section of the Appalachian Trail...which by the way is in the middle of freakin' NOWHERE!...Of course, we take the AT. I think the temps were around zero, but it was well below that with wind-chill.
On top of that, last winter was a near record snow year... enough snow so that the blazes on the trees, normally well above eye level, were buried under the snow...We were walking on perhaps 8 feet of snow, up in the trees. The going was slow. And of course we were wearing running shoes...The going got slower and slower, as the trail became harder and harder to find. At several points, all eight of us fanned out in every direction to try to find any sign of a trail. A few times we lost each other for a short period. We were so far up in the trees that no visual clues of an opening in the woods could be found. After several hours of this and still no sign of a trail, we begin to think this might not work. We could either bushwhack down the mountain, (risky) or backtrack. At this point, we've been out here so long it is growing near dusk, getting even colder, and most of us could no longer feel our feet.
The powerline was wind-whipped and bitter, but the snow was packed and runnable. It is sort of interesting to run when you can't feel your legs from the calves down. I was imagining this is what it would feel like with the prosthesis I would surely need after they amputated my feet...
Most everybody's feet had thawed by the time we got down off the power line, just from being able to move and run. I guess I didn't realize mine were still numb. They looked okay when I changed into dry socks. They were a little purple looking, but they didn't hurt, honest...On the ride home, gosh, my feet began to hurt. They were finally beginning to thaw. The pain woke me up in the middle of the night. The next morning, the tell-tale blisters and eventual black, dead skin told the whole tale.
This kept me from running for most of the rest of the winter (heck I couldn't even wear shoes for 2 weeks) So, you can see that this really wasn't dumb. It just, uh, didn't work out exactly like we planned.

And her acceptance speech

It came yesterday!  I love it!!!  It's great. 
You LIKE me, you really LIKE me!!!

And an attempt to nominate herself for next year’s award

...So, you heard about the duct tape, eh?  You know, all I needed was a finish there, but I would have been shortly behind Steve around 30 hours, and 3rd woman if my toes hadn't exploded.  When the toenails started popping off from the cuticle end around mile 85, and  I saw my socks were soaked with blood,  I knew it was going to be hard.  Even after having to take my shoes off and walk in my socks I was STILL third place until I had to stop at the 95 mile  aid station where they taped the sandals to my feet.  A whole slew of people, including a bunch of women, went past me while I was sitting there. Oh well....

Gary Knipling and Deb Pero with Sue Johnston in background. Photo: Steve PeroAlas, I have no pictures of the lovely and charming Ms. Pero with her award, but Steve Pero took an excellent shot of her with Gary Knipling, demonstrating her decorum and good taste.

Lifetime Achievement Recognized

When we announced that Peyton would be permanently ineligible for the award, because Joe and Anstr didn’t want to contribute to his incarceration, disbarment, injury, or death, I received about eight-to-ten emails from folks demanding that we change this rule, because each of them had a different Peyton story which would ensure his landslide victory. Well, in light of grassroots support, the democratic process, and knowing when to pander to your audience, I decided to create a special “Lifetime Achievement” Award for Peyton, which I presented to him before the start of this year’s Catherine’s BigButt 50K, where he and Jeff “Who’s your daddy” Reed are co-RDs. Here are two pictures of the secret Masonic rite.

The Award Itself

Here’s a picture of the award itself, which was a surprisingly high-quality plaque, bearing a brass plate engraved thus:

Next Year I’m Not Doing
Anything Stupid Award
2004 Winner: Deb Pero

Copyright by Despair, Inc. Used by permission.

I highly recommend Despair.com. It’s one of the most honest companies in America. As an example, I refer you to the confirmation email that I received from the company after my order was accepted.

Again, thanks for your recent order from Despair, Inc.
If you have received this email, it means that your credit card information proved valid and that your order has been sent. You might assume now that we have your money that you're in for better treatment. You might also assume that if you try really hard, you will succeed. But your assumptions would, in both cases, be completely wrong. And that is why you REALLY need our products.
Regardless of those sad facts, we have some good news for you. The Demotivators(R) Greatest Hits Notecard Pack is currently available for purchase at a 20% discount through the end of June. That's almost a significant enough discount to constitute something slightly less than not quite highway robbery...Why not take the chance to prove to your friends, relatives and coworkers that you cared enough to send the very worst - or that you didn't care at all - by dropping them a card!
You'll be sorry you did, but nowhere near as sorry as they will be.
As always, if you have questions, please fill out a troubled ticket on the web at: http://www.despair.com/troubtic.html
We'll do our best to solve the problem, since, you know, we already have your money.
Automatically yours,

Founder & COO, Despair, Inc.

A parting thought

Aren’t elections fun when nothing important is riding on the outcome?

Virginia Happy Trails Running Club
Home | News | Events | Membership | Members Only | Photos
Bull Run Run 50 | Massanutten Mt. Trails 100 | Training Runs | Links