Anyone who has been following me for the last week knows that during the ride on the Oregon coast, we had the best support crew ever! Michelle and Kim took very good care of us!
On Sunday, it was time for Rob and I to give back!
After we reached Crescent City on Thursday, we loaded up the car and headed for Kim, Mark and Rob’s house in Shady Cover OR. They were gracious enough to put up with Michelle and I for 4 nights.
Ladies and gents, as a rule I HATE staying at people’s houses. I feel like a burden. Our three friends and Rob’s Daughter Kourtney made us feel so welcome and so spoiled that I felt right at home! Thank you guys!
Friday and Saturday were times to relax, though there was a trip to REI I will have to explain later. but Saturday night, things started to get real. The next day Kim and Kourtney were doing the Medford half marathon. This would be Kim’s 50th mile of her 50th birthday (50 for 50) and this would be Kourtney’s first halfathon. Rob, Michelle, Mark and I were set to be support crew!
Saturday night we planned. Mark and Michelle would help catch the start of the run, then drive to the finish in case Rob and I were delayed. Rob and I would also be at the start. He was going to jet to the halfway point and fly the drone for aerial footage, while I was saddling up and riding herd along the way on the bike, leapfrogging the ladies for GoPro and camera footage.
We were all up at 5:30, but most of us did not sleep well, and out the door at 6:30. The ladies were raring to go at the start.
The run was along a multiuse trail and ended in Medford. There is a large homeless population that takes residence along the trail, and recently a flight attendant was chased for a couple of miles by a guy with a knife. Therefore, during the run, there were 3 motorcycle cops patrolling the path the whole time. Both ladies said they felt much better with them around.
My plan was mobile support. I had extra water in the bags, checked on them, and fed updates to the other folks along the way. Early on the route was crowded with people, but I slowed to their pace, chatted with the runners, and bided my time waiting for wide spots. I had more than one group of runners thank me for being a ‘polite rider’
Editors note: Not all were! One douchewaffle was barreling down the trail yelling “ON YOUR LEFT!!” forcing people to move over! I yelled at him and apologized to the runners! Really people? Have some common sense.
Early on, about mile 2 or 3, the ladies were still together.
However, as time went on, 21-year-old Kourtney, even though she was new to this, pulled ahead. Kim has NOT been able to train recently, so much like Rob on the ride last week, she was cruising on pure guts and determination. We knew there was no question she would finish!
At one point, I pulled in next to one of the motorcycle officers to wait for them. He was a very nice guy and said, “OK, if you are going to be here a bit to keep an eye on the ladies (the run was almost ALL ladies) then I will move on down.” It made me feel good to know I was helping not only our girls but the run as a whole!
Sadly, with IOS 10 updating things, the drone Rob was flying was grounded. However, he was there at the halfway mark to high five his daughter, and refill Kim’s water bottle. He then jetted to the end of the route.
At 9 miles, Kim was smiling hard! I am SO damn proud of her!
Meanwhile Kourtney was cruising right along!
This last photo was at the 11 mile point. Kim came past me NOT too far later, and was looking good. She knew she would be in at around 3 hrs for this 13.1 miles and was very happy. As soon as she passed, I saddled up and took off like a bat out of hell! I was hoping to get to the finish and film Kourtney crossing the line.
If you as her, she will tell you that at mile 12 she was ready to puke. All I know is I had the bike cranked to 17.5 MPH (the best I could do after 8 days of riding and I was dying) and I never caught her. As I rounded the last corner I heard the announcer call her name as she finished! That is one tough kid and I am lucky to have met her. And here is one proud papa!
I was there for Kim though. Michelle was at the last turn. so I parked my bike and crawled under the barricade to meet her. Suddenly I heard a lady yell, “TONY!! This is NOT a limbo contest!!” It was Kim’s stepmom Judy there to see the end, and that lady giggled for 45 minutes after scaring me. She is a great lady! Love her!
We saw Kim round the corner and come in for the finish. She finished while running and made us ALL proud. She was a couple of minutes over 3 hours and it was a damn good job! Check out those smiles!
We let the ladies walk off the run a bit, then adjourned to Ashland to the Standing Stone Brewing Company in Ashland for lunch. I had skipped breakfast and was STARVING. It was a great after race gathering.
I was kitted up for the bike ride, so I took the photo of those sporting the 50 For 50 shirts! Left to right are Rob, Michelle, Kourtney, Kim, and Mark.
5 truly amazing people, counting me 6, who truly love each other, and will do anything to make the others happy. Today was about Kim and Kourtney, two ladies who showed what guts and determination are. I am lucky to call them friends, and lucky they love me! Good job ladies!
And, for those who are curious, I will pay Michelle back for her sherpa support crew duties in November at the Seattle half marathon! All three of these ladies are tougher than I am! Love you all!