Driving to Tahlequah, Oklahoma Friday October 18th for my 3rd go at Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd 100 Mile Trail Run was exciting. I just “KNEW” that the 3rd time was going to be the charm. THIS WAS GOING TO BE THE YEAR TO BUCKLE! We had stopped at Walmart
on the way to the camp ground to pick up a few things & so Skip could fix the plug on the trailer. It was dark at this point & drizzling (Yuck!) as I stood there holding a flashlight so he could fix the plug.
Once done, we headed off to Eagle Bluff. A block or two from Walmart, a nice lady pulled up along side us to let us know that the trailer door was open! A quick jump out of the car & back to the back & I closed the door & we were back on the road.
At Eagle Bluff camp ground & Skip and I began getting the trailer ready for bed when IT HAPPENED!
Me : “Skip, we have a problem!” Skip: “What sort of problem?” Me: “Skip, ewe have a BIG problem! I am missing a shoe! The shoes that I am RUNNING IN tomorrow morning.” By now, it was about 11:00 PM & still drizzling. Panicked that I was going to run in casual shoes or borrowed ones, Skip said for me to get to bed & he was going to had out to look for my lost shoe. (NOTE: Really? A dark blue shoe, at 11:15 PM in the drizzle?). At midnight, Skip opened the trailer door WITH MY LOST SHOE!
Now THIS MUST BE a Divine Sign that I was to finish & earn that coveted buckle this year.
After a good night’s sleep, I awoke to a cold morning & then a wonderful 8:00 AM start.
I was totally pumped! With my new found show (dry I might add), & tremendous excitement, we were off.
I have my crew in line & (2) pacers for loops (2) & (3).
I was set!
Loop (1) was beautiful in the sun however for some reason, many of the aid station volunteers said I did not look good. I needed some “Go Juice”. I felt good, I just could not get my mouth & face to show it.
By the 2nd loop, I was in my groove. Mishelle Hancock jumped in & we headed off. When we made it to the Mad Dog aid station, it was not yet dark (although it would be on loop 3).
This has GOT to be the aid station of all aid station. Kevin Lemaster at Ultra Gator did a GREAT job!
Matt Wisnewski jumped in for a 1/2 loop before Mishelle (my Angel Runner) jumped in to run again until daylight.
By Mile 91, I was ready to be done. With no pacers left, Skip Gensert (my Crew Chief), jumped out; jeans & tennis shoes & all; & paced me in for the last 9 miles!
At the end, I was DONE!
Well, ALMOST DONE.
What I needed, was that coveted belt buckle. The buckle that alluded me for the past (2) attempts.
This time, I FINISHED! God & me!
I am TOTALLY indebted to ALL who helped. It was not easy, & I could not have done it alone.
Seven Storey Mountain
11 months ago