Tears are still flowing

by altardy on August 5, 2009

Hi folks, It’s 11:00p.m. on August 4th, 2009. I won’t be posting any photos tonight. But I thought I’d quickly share with you what was going on at 11:00 p.m. on August 4th, 1978. I had arrived to a point just outside my home town (and the finish line for my run) on Tuesday night. I had to stay hidden from sight for a few days because the ceremonies, and my finish, had been scheduled to take place on Saturday. I had made a couple quiet visits to friends that knew I was back. I was staying in the apartment of a woman that I had worked with, had begun dating just before I left for California, and had developed a long distance relationship with during the course of my run through phone conversations. She and her friend shared an apartment that turned out to be my refuge as the emotional wheels fell off me the night before what was supposed to be MY BIG DAY. It was right about 11:00 p.m. that I REALLY realized the end was at hand. A year and a half of training, organizing, and planning with myself and 22 people on a support team. 76 days 62 of them running. Time zones, rattlesnakes, reporters, fundraising, calls all over the country, aches, pains, a potentially long term hobble that had developed after I was told not to run anymore by a doctor in Cincinnati, sleeping in a tent, motels, people’s homes I only met the day they let me stay with them, in fields wrapped up in my rain parka–It Was All a few hours from ending!!!!! Tears began to pour out as the fear of the end poured in. Someday I hope you are able to hear the whole story and find out that I wasn’t the real “hero” as somebody called me. I was just the runner that allowed so many others to be HEROES–TRUE HEROES–UNSUNG HEROES. People without whom that run would never have taken place. The tears are flowing again right now as I type 31 years later. The thoughts I cling to right now are thoughts of the new unsung heroes that are already emerging in preparation for the run that is coming. I have promised myself that I will sing their praises and not leave them in the background. Not only will they be recognized but I just know that some of the heroes will be you and you don’t even know it yet. Please join this journey. Search in these blogs, and the information that will be put out to you, for your place in this event. Read, communicate, open your heart and you will find that spot.

Please excuse me as I close. I want to spend a bit more time remembering this time 31 years ago and those that were not only part of the journey, but the ones that are my heroes. Good Night.

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