Before I start, let’s take a moment to remember 9/11. Fourteen years ago today, terrorist attacks devastated the world. There are people out there, who were teens at the time, who are still suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Virginia runs for them. Virginia runs so that the 15 year old boy who is experiencing a traumatic event right now might not have 14years of suffering in his future. Virginia runs for him.
At 5:37 this morning, Bruce’s boulders, cliffs and crevasses welcomed Virginia with a mighty ‘rise & shine’. She had to do more mountaineering than she did running. It took her almost three hours to navigate through the first 14km but she made it. She responded to Bruce with a –Bring it on baby!!
At 40km, Gin took a refreshing dip in the lake , dried off, rebandaged & off she went. At 5:30pm Vel & Ray were scared to tell Gin that Cathy was advising her to pull off at the 70km mark instead of the planned 80km. They knew Gin was pumped to keep going. Some of the pictures are hard to believe. Like this one with her brother-in-law. She’s glowing. Apparently this is after 57km. Really!? Come on! …I digress
I need to take a moment to try to explain how this odyssey is being orchestrated. Unless you’ve organized a trek up Mount Everest, I don’t think one can quite grasp the preparation and flawless organization needed to attempt, let alone, pull off a stunt like this. People, it’s not just about throwing on a bear bell and a camelback. Finding a trainer who believed in her vision was just the start. Virginia then had to navigate the maps and rally sponsors, captains, pacers, gear and lodging.
I have yet to meet Cathy the trainer, but based on Vel & Gin’s gushing reports, she is THE bomb! Cathy had to say goodbye last night. She had 3 kids waiting 4 hours away,with busy sport schedules to tend to. Do not fret everyone. Cathy will give ongoing motivation and guidance through communication with the captains. She will return on day ten to be at Gin’s side for the homestretch.
Pacers are key. They can’t go too fast in order to help Gin maintain her mojo. Of most importance, they are there to keep her company. The mind can play silly tricks. Pacers are ready to power slam negative thoughts. Gin has been overwhelmed by the people who have stepped forward. Tim Grant was with her again today, along with Greg Johnson from St. Thomas. Greg heard of this quest & volunteered through the Adventure Running Kids organization. Gin was honored when her brother-in-law, Pete Gingras, drove up from Sudbury to join her. Velma ran for “just” 13km today as she will need to pace again tomorrow.
Finally, there are the captains. For these first 4 days, Vel & Ray have the honors. Their small tasks include; providing fuel & water, maintaining tracking devices, navigating maps, shuttling pacers to meeting points, setting up camp –to name a few. It is detrimental that an ultramarathoner has the right amount of energy bars, salt pills, bandages, and advil in their backpacks to power through. I hope the captains have a foot fetish, because this role will give them new meaning to ‘this little piggy went to market’. They will need to repetitively soak, lube, and bandage blisters. Amidst the toe jam, they are in frequent contact with the public relations representative (moi), so you can stay in the loop. Oh yes, and after each day there will be a pile of tree sapped, sweat soaked laundry waiting.
Phwew, I got tired just writing all that
Anyway, I hope this rant gives you more clarity as you follow along.
153 kilometers down, 737 more to go!!!
Here are more videos. She’ll crack you up…