Tuesday, June 08, 1999
KM100: As Thru The Eyes Of A Childe
Note: Some of the original recipients made some suggestions and I felt that the UltraList in All It's Glory might benefit. Then again, maybe not. This is a Full-Spectrum Data Dump, so plan accordingly.
Yes. The title is a come-on and a cheap shill.
For this is really the story of one Andy Roth, who in the shape and form of VisionKwest Seeker "Casino Bingo", came to terms with Truth, Adventure, Manliness and Blood-Suckin' Freaks of Nature known as mosquitos. The wise man wonders why mosquitos don't pick on large and immobile pumpkins or zucchinis. That will be answered later.
THE STANDARD NARRATIVE
The Normal Ultra-Narrative commences here with the following incantations:
When I arrived at [race] I met [folks]. I ate the big pasta dinner at [locale]. I got up the next morning and took a good long [euphemism].
The race began. Things were looking pretty good. My splits were pretty near the [lotto numbers] I had planned. At about mile [tbd] I began to [barf/blister/heat/chill].
When I got to Aid Station [tbd] things got [better/worse]. That is when I decided to [drop/go on].
I crossed the finish line [running/walking/in the back of an ambulance].
In conclusion the race was [wonderful/hideous] and all the volunteers were [fabulous/unindicted war criminals].
AN EXPERT ADDS:
>"Despite my torn achilles and partial kidney failure I managed to get the old [lithic manroot] up long enough to [vigorously sport myself] my girl's brains out."
Next year I plan on [running it again/wrapping my legs around a bar stool].
AND NOW COMMENCES THE TRUE STORY
INSPIRATIONAL ULTRA QUOTE:
"If a revolver is shown in the first act, it will be used by the third act."
The VisionKwest Krewe consists of Liz Boyd [AKA Mrs. Casino Bingo], Leslie Sowle [Ms. Giftshop Turquoise], Tim & Susan Halkowski; Chip Parsons, UltraStud of Northern Indiana; and Yr. Humble Scribe, Draw Poker.
We are at the Kettle Moraine 100 in Southern Wisconsin. Overwhelmingly flat, lush and green. Some hills, short and steep. Mixed 5th generation broad leaf and robotic pine trees which are arrayed on 20' centers.
After seeing Andy off at the 3pm start, the next 2 aid-stations are fairly close together. The first opportunity for the crew to wait comes after about 18 miles. We stopped in the village of Eagle to pick up supplies. Among other necessities for sale were whoopie-cushions. One was secured, and the stage was set.
Andy moves though the checkpoints at a steady rate. He's holding an overall 7th-9th place. Darkness falls. The mosquitos begin their ominous drone. The casual visitor to these parts notices a pallor in the inhabitants.
The night passes. Andy's pace is gradually slowing. The first signs of possible danger are noted by Chip, who feels the CarboPlex drink mix is a little thin. This observation is crucial. Chip will be Andy's pacer at 68 miles.
The crews pass their time. I try to sleep whenever I can. Sleeping in a Chevy Blazer with the windows rolled up leads to C02 headaches. The mosquitos beat their heads against the glass in fury.
Dawn comes with a fresh breeze. The mosquitos are blown south to Illinois. Chip picks up Andy. Andy is moving slower now, he's been out for 17hrs. I pull a donut in the parking lot, sending a rooster tail of gravel into the trees. I remember the story about Jack and Diane.
We await Casino Bingo. The aid station is in the trees near a road. We wait roadside, in sunlight. The aid station people look cadaverous and drawn. Mosquitos are snoring on the ground, unable to move. The whoopie-cushion suffers an embolism and is rendered mute.
Mile 83/THE WAIT
Parked on a loop road inside Horserider's Camp, the tired VisionKwest Krewe awaits Andy. The Aid station is 100 yds away. He is due around 0815. Meanwhile, Draw Poker examines the tattered Whoopie-cushion and determines that it can be repaired. Remembering a complex procedure he saw on NOVA, he surgically applies duct-tape so structural integrity is restored. A trial inflation determines that the Sounding Device IS back, and ready to party.
Here the Krewe whiles away the time. They pondered how the "Girl From Ipanema", would have sounded with this device. Verses were supplied and the Device spoke on cue. The effect was astonishing.
Tim suggests that perhaps other runners might benefit as well. A runner is spotted. Draw Poker retires to a nearby "blind" to test the theory. Tense with anticipation, the Device speaks with a Mighty Blast that is robust,
sustained and sibillant. The unwary runner and his pacer suffer whiplash and spinal dislocation as they recoil in shock and yes...pity. The Krewe is doubled over in cotortions of merriment from witnessing the spectacle.
MILE 83/THINGS GET REAL SERIOUS
Andy and Chip approach. Everything looks good until Andy announces he is going to drop. A stunned silence ensues. Merriment is forgotten. I ask him to explain himself. He says everything just flat-out hurts. This sounds familiar. We let him finish. He sits on the ground.
Now its improv time. I have Andy lay on his back and elevate his legs against the bumper of the Blazer. We wrap him in a blanket. I am massaging his legs with Kool-n-Fit and I begin to tell some truths.
I've got him where I want him--away from the aid-station and all that suck of pity and rah-rah. He is immobilized, but not in a chair, which is the Place From Where We Never Return. More importantly, the blood is draining from his legs and back up into his head.
It always hurts like hell right about here. This is not unusual, and he's not the first. Given this is his first 100, he's in really good shape. He's not barfing and wall-eyed. His feet aren't pools of blood. His urine is clear and he's perspiring.
Nobody ever said it would be easy. In the context of his recent PhD experience he's "All But Dissertation". I also remind him that between Chip and myself we have about 15 full 100's between us, and several partials, so
he can't smoke us. All the while he's rehydrating with a "fatter" mix of CarboPlex, and the color comes back.
Andy gets up and sits up in the chair. The tension eases. He starts grinning and cracking jokes. I get the Device and run a few scales. He's ready to continue. We get him up and head him into the aid-station. Liz jogs along side him while Chip & I discuss the situation. He's in good hands.
I pick up Andy at 94.5. We walk and jog the last miles. The pace is steady. Andy finishes in 22:26, 12th overall.
Andy's finish was excellent given his training circumstances. I have no doubt that his subsequent 100s will go significantly better. Most of the issues faced at Mile 83 can be addressed in a more comprehensive and intensive training scenario. Andy understands that, and is deeply grateful he did not try Angeles Crest 100 this summer.
The Whoopie Cushion however, is an Item For All Seasons.
yours truly From the VisionKwest [Un]Divided Highway,