That’s right. I just recently heard you aren’t REALLY married until you have a celebrity name for your coupleness. Thus, JayClay. Always put your best foot forward (first) and save the best for last.
So at some point, getting up at 4:00 a.m. to go run 13.1 miles over hilly and wild pig infested trails seemed like a good idea. I’m just not sure at what point that was. But that is exactly what we did. We woke up at 4:30 in the morning, ate come Crustables (the training guide said a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was totally acceptable as a pre-race meal), and headed to the almost-North-Shore to run all willy-nilly through a working ranch. In short, it was awesome. For instance, as we signed up to get our race bibs, I had to point out the horse, ummm, droppings in front of the table to make sure Jaime didn’t step in it. She questioned why they didn’t set up the table NOT in front of the poop. I then pointed out the other piles of poop and suggested that maybe they should have set up in front of them. Point taken.
It was a wide range of folks and after the national anthem punctuated with a cowgirl riding around in circles on her pony with an American flag waving in the wind (I was disappointed when it did not rear up at the end and do a horse wheelie), we were off like a herd including a whole lot of dust getting kicked up into our lungs. Once we finally made it around the seven teenagers (they might have been college age… who can tell these days?) in their tie-dye shirts talking about what conditioner they should use after the race, we were off on a steady pace.
About one and a half miles into the race, (well, SOMEBODY was racing, but I can assure you it was not Jaime and me), we heard a rustling sound in the brush behind and to the right of us.
“No big deal,” I thought, “I’ve seen this plenty in Arkansas… a rabbit or a bird can make a huge ruckus. Here in Hawaii, the mongoose can… OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!” as a good sized wild pig came barreling out of the best bush next to us. When I say barreling, it was not a pig in a barrel, although a pig in a blanket does sound nice right about now… no, this misguided swine charged across the trail just behind us and straight into a simple, criss-crossed wire fence: which it abruptly bounced off of.
- My first thought: “Oh, THAT’S how they make bacon.” Once it bounced off, it stopped and turned towards Jaime and me.
- Second thought: “Oooo… this is just like Lost. Maybe I can take this wild pig with my bare hands (although bear hands would be much more useful right now) and my new nickname could be Locke!”
- Third thought: “This is going to suck.”
During these three thoughts, I began subtly pushing (quickly shoving) Jaime behind me and thinking of how Bacon and I were going to resolve this issue when he finally ran back into the bush the way he came. Problem resolved. Secure in my manhood in protecting my woman, we started running again when Bacon charged back across the trail about five feet in front of us. Fortunately, he picked a spot without a fence, and that was the last we saw of him for the day.
Beyond dodging cow pies and horse poop, we plodded on to victory. Or at least our longest run to date. And we weren’t last. We ended up #81 and #82 out of 200 folks (I was #81. I think my timechip crossed the finish line first), and were happy, satisfied, and actually felt like we could have kept running. Our time was 2 hours and 30 minutes. Sure, our finishers’ medallion was a dogtag with a sticker on it, but it is one of my proudest accomplishments to date. Until we run 16 miles next weekend.