Thursday, May 28, 2009


Pat did it. Our son completed his goal. He wanted to run an ultra marathon to celebrate his 30th birthday. his 30 miles would have been fine...but since I had run a 50 k about 6 weeks ago, he mapped out a course that was 31.8 miles...just over 50 k. Why not one-up the old man??
He recruited his friend Bridget, who is married to his longtime pal, Chuck. Bridget used to be a bike messenger and she knew she could go the hilly mileage. They started in Chardon. Pat had the camelback..Bridget had lots of water in the back of the bike, and I packed lots in a cooler.
I was gonna sherpa the run. Diving in and out along the way and running about half the mileage.
Chucks house is about 1200 feet above sea level. Chardon is one of the high points in north east ohio. So the run would take two big elevation drops and climbs before finishing in Ohio City where Pat lives.
I ran the first 2.5 miles, said so long and ran back to the starting point to get the car. Pat wanted to do 6 hours. It was warm but not real hot. There was a breeze and some cloud cover. Driving to catch up to the pair, I did not see them... "No way they have gone this far"?? But they had. He was making good progress.
Near 12 miles is Chagrin River Road and Wilson Mills. The bridge was being worked on. I tried to talk the construction guys into letting them walk through when they got that far. Nope. So, we had to put the bike in the trunk and drive a detour of 5 miles to got to the other side of the bridge which was only 200 feet away. I told Pat, that its just a long water break. Don't let it get you down. We got to the other side..Pat ran 200 feet extra to make sure and off we went. I ran 2 miles up Wilson Mills, then ran back down to the parking lot on the south end of North Chagrin.
They were making good time. By the 22 mile mark (Monticello & Mayfield), Pat was feeling dizzy and storm clouds were coming. We rested a bit...he ate more and drank more and the air cooled, but the rains came. Not heavy rains, but cooling rains.

Pat was struggling at the point and I could see the doubt on his face. The Bride called and was worried about the weather. I called Fox 8 and the experts said the storms were lessening in intensity and any new ones to come would not have thunder. That reassured the pair and of course The Bride.
He kept motoring. The run down Carnegie is more than 5 miles. Then a tour past Progressive field and then over the Detroit/Superior bridge and home free. Finish point was The Old Angle Tavern on West 25th. Pat and I went to his apartment two blocks away and Bridgets family joined her in the Tavern. I got Pat the bag of ice...15 in the ice bath and he was on the road to recovery. Though he felt lousy the rest of the night..he was very happy to reach his goal.
We are very proud of the two of them. Pat ran in just over 6 hours. I tallied 15.9 miles in my sherpa-running buddy role. As I write this the next day, Pat is demolishing a good chunk of pork grilled on our grill. I think he's gonna be fine.
This Saturday I am aiming for an 18 mile trail run. Anyone game???


The Lazy Triathlete said...

Good for him!!!!! You are a great example and it never hurts to beat the old man!!

Wes said...

Awesome... May your son always one up you :-) I'd join you, but I'm in Columbus GA this weekend for the State Cup Soccer tournament. I'm sure I'll get in more than 18 ;-)

Casey said...

That's aweseome! What a great idea!

Donald said...

I did 30 on my 30th - so I guess he one-upped me, as well.

And he did all those miles on pavement and sidewalks? Whoa. You need to teach him to seek out the trails, Dad.

P.S. Is it too late for me to revise my NBA finals prediction?

Trishie said...

CONGRATS to your son! how awesome!

Charlie said...

That's cool. That was a nasty downpou. Well done

untpawgal02 said...

Congrats to your son... what an awesome accomplishment and birthday present!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Well done by him!

IronBob said...

You gotta be a proud Dad. Tell him "way to go !!"

Sorry our local Florida team did a number on yours. (Actually I am)

Missy said...

Now that is a good friend. You're the dad so you're supposed to be there but a friend to ride, rain or shine, niceeee.

Congrats to him. 30 miles on the road sounds rough!

RunBubbaRun said...

Yeah, that's a true ultrarunner you got there, running your age and then some.

Congrats to him.

Lily on the Road said...

Congrat's Pat! How wonderful all of you support one another!

So, does this mean you'll do 56 in a couple of weeks??? Your Birthday is fast approaching!!!

Marcy said...

CONGRATS to the son! Wow that's insane! Just like Dad ;D ;D

allanjel said...

WOW!! Congrats on his accomplishment. Probably has something to do with the good gene pool he comes from :)

Benson said...

You two aught to be committed to an institution. Holy crap men.
Good Job both of you.
And Bridget, IS A SAINT! good on her for support all the way.

Steph said...

Great story JT...congrats to your boy!

Cliff said...


Wow you must be very proud of your son. Running ultra is nuts. Maybe I should do a 30 on my 30th as well.