Before I talk about my first two races of 2014, I think I should mention my last run of 2013. I wish I had started this blog earlier, as I have had so many remarkable racing experiences this past year. I’m sure they will come up in later posts and if I feel suddenly inspired by a memory, I will be sure to jot it down here.
I have had this idea for a long time; to run point to point from Philadelphia to West Chester (my home town and where my supportive parents still reside) or to somewhere in the burbs outside of Philly. West Chester is 40ish miles or so and would involve running through very rough neighborhoods in West Philly or some very treacherous, busy, suburban roads. Neither of these options sounded appealing or safe to me so I decided to run to the Lynches in Collegeville, PA because I could run there entirely on bike and pedestrian paths. I chose New Years Eve as the time to do it. What better way to end an epic year of running than to, well… RUN! Plus the Lynch family helped make my 2013 one of the most unforgettably positive years in my entire life, so it was fitting I end the year with them and who crazy enough to run the 50k-ish distance to Collegeville with me than Hideki Kinoshita or more infamously known as Kino. I propose my idea and he agrees without hesitation.
Our journey begins after sundown and not without a quick trip to the 7-11 to buy Kinzey Lynch some scratch off lottery tickets for his 18th birthday. The run itself was enjoyable but cold. The leisurely pace made me forget I was even running. We pass rivers and streams and towns with names like Conshohocken which amuses Kino to no end. Hours and miles go by. Eventually after almost 6 hour on the trail I start to wonder, “Where is Main Street?” The Perkiomen Trail was supposed to intersect Main Street and take us to the Lynch’s neighborhood. We are at 30 miles and midnight is fast approaching. Our goal was ring in the New Year with Holly, Chris and Kinzey. We had to get there soon. Time was running out. It was 11:44pm. I check my iPhone to see where we are in relation to Main Street. I knew once we got to Main Street that it was 1.5 miles to the Lynches as Kinzey and I had done many runs on the other side of the Perkiomen trail before. Google maps tells me we were half a mile from Main Street. “Main Street is just up ahead, Kino. We have to hurry.” We took off sprinting! Just one minute earlier Kino says he’s bonking and takes another gel. We took it easy the whole way as he was hurting from a 50k just 3 days earlier. Where did this speed come from? I can barely keep up! We hit Main Street, 1.5 miles to go and its uphill. We continue to sprint up the hill which seems endless, then another hill and another. I don’t remember all these hills.
Finally, I see the turn and one more hill. My lungs are burning and I feel like my legs are going just stop working but somehow I manage to blurt out “I can see their house!” Kino runs faster. I follow. I look at my watch. We still have time, it’s not yet midnight. My watch now says 32.3 miles. After what seemed longer than the entire time we were on the trail I finally I hit the doorbell! I hear Holly yell from inside “No way! THEY ARE HERE!!” She opens the door and we bound inside barely able to breathe. Holly hands us champagne glasses. It is 11:59:30pm. END 2013.