Time moves on, and our past become blurs of faded memory. What often seems important to us in a moment, may soon become nothing more than a bump along the road of life. Yet some moments stand out; and,some people stand out. And for whatever reason, some folks come into our lives, that change them forever. We just have to let ourselves go; to become free of the notions of our insecurities and struggles with self. Here at Team Slug we have lots of those special people. On Saturday, September 29th, under perfectly clear skies with temperatures in the lowest 70's; the 18th Annual Team Slug birthday run was held. This year the Russell B. Cheney 50K attracted 22 entries. I was able to discourage seven from coming through persuasion, sworn testimonials, and indirect threats. Still, Fifteen wonderful souls showed up at the start line to partake; in all that is Slugdom.
In August, this course was certified by Guiness to be the easiest 50K in the world. However, there are some things ole Mr.Guiness don't know about. After he left, we removed the Mahogany Hand Rails, and Escalators. All the Rabid, Flyin' Delaware Squirrels were returned to their natural habitat. The beaver dam under the Troll Bridge was blown to shreds, thus releasing 45 gadzillion gallons of swamp water all over the lower portion of Numchuk Flats. And, finally the soft wood-chip surface was replaced with 2 inch jagged shale. Ah, we'll slow'm down, discourage them...and we did. Of the fifteen world class athletes that toed the line, only eleven would complete on this day. This morning, Ranger Rick is searching feverishly for the Slug Trolls, but ole Flatfoot is already headed for Key West....
Mark Crisman, just returned from Iraq three short weeks ago; was here to defend his crown. Plus, he had his heart set on the TSI trinket, this year the Team Slug Trucker's Cap. No doubt, it is a beaut. Basically, Mark got in a long training run; and was never challenged for the lead. All day, on the course that has humbled so few; Mark played it like an instrument; sailing to victory in 4:16:10. By early afternoon he was wearing his cap, and drinking Octoberfest. Life is much better in Delaware, than Baghdad. We love Mark, and all the troops; and sincerely send prayers to the entire U.S.Military. Mark was followed closely by another Mark. This one, Mr. Johnson (or so he wrote on the application.) Rumours persist that Mr.Johnson was sent by the CIA to determine just what the hell the Slugs do. After all, we're hardly a running club. This Mark turned out to be another formidable athlete and cruised in just a half hour behind Mr. Crisman. Just to be certain, the non-event director confiscated his digital camera and recorder; and tossed them into the deep end of the pond. Sluggos still safe!!!
Female winner was Alisa Springman from Mercersburg, PA. A Slug Virgin, a Notre Dame alum (who swam in college), and a mighty fine human being; she was relentlessly harassed by her fellow slugs. All day long she battled with veteran slug, Ravi G. The young Studette facing a hardened Sluggo. Ravi knew many of the short paths through the Forbidden Forest, but Alisa kept coming back. A powerful Swimmer, Ms.Alisa cut through the Swamp Juice with ease. In the end, Alisa held Ravi off; but suffered a serious cut on her knee. She lost many gallons of blood; and only 99 stitches, and Sam Adams himself could revive her. Ravi escaped the battle uninjured.
A bit back, but still with worthy times; on such a dangerous and difficult course were Derek Hills and Tom Curtis. Each are veteran slugs; who know first-hand the hell that awaits them deep in the darkness of the central Delaware jungles. Last fall, it was Derek who came face to face; with one of the Rabid Kent County Flyin' Squirrels, and lived to tell about it. While Derek suffered emotional trauma, he was able to recover enough to run on the Slug course again today. Congrats Tom and Derek for great finishes.
Now getting into True Slug Times / Territory; John Lysinger, Pete McLaughlin, Jim Simpson, and James Moore showed what being Slugs is all about. One foot in front of another, stumble, bumbler, trip, crawl; but ya don't stop. Never. The All-Niter has been a Slug since the beginning of time and heads up TSI's Executive Board of Directors, Mr.Lysinger was on a Saturday morning Harley ride, looking for the Dogfish Head Brewery, and decided he'd rather have the Original, World-Famous 100% cotton Team Slug T-shirt. Pete has recently been sent as a mole by the Trail Dawgs to determine how such a pitiful bunch of runners can successfully launch a non-event for 18 consecutive years...and Mr. Jim Simpson, of Huntington Beach, California. Mr. Simpson, a close compadre of Mr. Russell B. Cheney himself, whom today completed his 496th marathon/ultra event. It was a privilege to have him here. In true Slug form, tomorrow he will be in New Hampshire; for another marathon :)
Lastly, but not Leastly; my personal hero...the 2007 Crazy Horse Award winner, and Slug veteran; Ms. Amanda Bundek, a.k.a. Pokey-Slug. She continues to improve, and today set a Personal Record by running under seven hours for the first time. Mighty congrats to Pokey!!!
And, Finally; many THANKS to TSI's favorite race director, Ms.Lisa. I just can't say enough about the support and encouragement she has provided to Team Slug. She will receive TSI's first embroidered Thong! In the words of Race Winner, Mark Crisman, "She told me I was slowing down..." We love you Lisa!
Final and Official Results:
1. Mark Crisman, MD 4:16:10
2. Mark Johnson, PA 4:41:10
3. Alisa Springman,PA 4:53:37
4. Ravi Gooneratne, NJ 4:56:50
5. Derek Hills, MD 5:13:06
6. Tom Curtis, PA 5:14:50
7. John Lysinger, DE 5:41:07
8. Peter McLaughlin, DE 5:44:43
9. Jim Simpson, CA 6:07:15
10. James Moore, MD 6:09:15
11. Amanda Bundek, DE 6:56:06
2008 Fattest Butt Applications now being accepted. The run will be held on Saturday, January 5th, 2008 on the Slug course. We are anticipating freezing rain, hail, and over 19 inches of snow. Register now before it's too late!
Send letter of intent directly too: firstname.lastname@example.org