Ladies and gentlemen I have been on hard rides, I have done more than one blog post about the ones that are seared into my memory. And, I have, during a climb to Chinook pass, been told by a group of Harley riders that I was, in fact, “Hard Corp!” No matter how tough I am though, the ladies I got to spend this last weekend with are tougher than I will ever be….
This last Sunday was the Corvallis (OR) Half Marathon. Michelle and two of her best friends since college: Heidi (left) and Kim (center) were participating in this event.
In December, Kim turned 50 (I know NONE of these chicks can possibly be that age!!) and to commemorate this milestone, she is running 50 miles in her 50th year. Michelle and Heidi were here to join her
misery endeavor in the city they went to college in. (All attended Oregon State University)
I gotta show you Kim’s running pants
However, hot chicks like this should not have to do things like a half marathon alone! Mark and Rob from Santa Rosa frame, and I were there for support and filming.
We men gathered the night before at the bar to plan our strategy. Mark would cover the start, mile 2, mile 12 and the finish line for Kim. Rob, on his trusted bike, packing the drone, would go long and get aerial footage of the ladies.
I would leap-frog Michelle and Heidi with GoPro and still camera, plus carry extra liquids. We would all converge on the finish line at the end! All the ladies had to do was travel 13.1 miles on foot. OH, and in potentially in temps in the 80s… Worse, the run didn’t start until 930, it was guaranteed to be hot…
The day dawned bright and they ladies were ready to travel. All three of us guys were there to see them start and cheer them on. Here you can see me giving last-minute advice. I believe it was “Put one foot in front of the other, and soon you’ll be walking cross the floor, put one foot in front of the other, and soon you’ll be walking out the door….”
After the start, I grabbed the bike and took off. I downloaded the route, but hell, I don’t need no stinkin map! I just pointed my nose in the right direction and looked for a spot to intercept them. Sure enough, at the three-mile mark I was ahead of Kim. Her goal was to run walk this beast. She was cruising.
Michelle and Heidi, decided early on, they planned to walk this beast (and if you think its easy to do so, have someone drop you 13.1 miles from home and walk home. These ladies kicked ass)
From there on, my job was to jump ahead a couple of miles and check on those two. (Lucky for me the route was marked well. My one attempt at a short cut was an epic fail) The heat was rising quickly, and I will admit, I am mother hen, but I did get some great pictures
At every check in these two were moving strong and feeling no pain.
Now lets talk about these two for second. Heidi is a weight lifter, the woman is in incredible shape and could bench press me
13.1 miles, though, is a whole different set of muscles. Michelle has done many of these, but she has been dealing with a flare up of her autoimmune condition. No one would have faulted her for sitting this one out. But, hence the title of this post, this was NOT an option. My wife is the toughest person, man or woman I know!
These two hung together, supported each other, all the while supporting Kim from afar and hoping she hit her goal (Early on these two told Kim “Do NOT let us slow you down. You have a goal, you go get it!”)
At 11 miles, I did the last check in. They were hot, tired and determined, I offered to hang with them for a while, but they waved me off. I made a beeline for the finish line!
Sure as hell. at 3:20:55, this happened
They had enough in the tank to run across the finish line. No lie, all I could think of was how proud I was, this wife of mine rocks, and that day, Heidi was wife 2, and I was as proud of her!
My job was not over. At the end of the event, I am beck and call boy plus the shoulder to help get back to the hotel. We met up with Kim (who finished at 2:42:29 (damn girl!) and we got them their celebratory post race beverage.
These ladies had many the adventure in college! 30 years later, the lady Beavs banded together again to make yet another memory
They kicked ass and look as pretty as they did before traveling 13 miles. All three of them are tougher than I will ever be, and I am just glad I was there to help, and be part of the experience!
Love you Michelle!