Monday, November 9, 2015

November - Memories That Shape Our Life

The Memories feature on Facebook makes me realize how big a month November is for us. Events on and off the race course have brought some profound changes, new goals, solidify friendships that we hope will last a lifetime, and galvanize our resolve to never give up.

In 2010 Susan and I raced in separate states on the morning our friend Michelle passed away from ovarian cancer. The shock of the news spurred us to dedicate our races to her memory. As sad as we were, it opened the door to meeting Sally and Art and Becky Klein, who started us down the path to pushing ourselves from being back-of-the-packers to being sub 2:30 half marathon walkers. 

In 2011, we raced Rock n Roll Savannah in the inaugural year. Our friend Anita had spinal fusion surgery 9 months before that and finished her first half marathon. Adding that inaugural race and Providence helped us get our first of four Rock Idol Heavy Medals.

In 2012, we were on our way to Port Douglas Australia for a marathon where the starting gun was a total solar eclipse. This was the third of the five continents we have checked off for full marathons.

In 2013, we were getting ready for the first Double Live Album tour, otherwise known as SA2LV. We finished the Rock n Roll San Antonio Half in the morning, hopped a flight, renewed vows at the starting line of Rock n Roll Las Vegas to finish out the double race day.

In 2014, we got to see an epic effort of mind over matter when we supported our friend Al at Ironman Florida. After the swim leg was cancelled due to treacherous surf conditions, he overcame a crash during the bike leg.  He rode the last half of the 112 miles and ran the full marathon with several cracked ribs. A few weeks later we did a much easier double race day at runDisney Avengers Half and RNR Las Vegas

As for 2015? We sat and watched our friends Jessica and Diana crack PR's at Revel Canyon. Running the half at Revel was six-year old Jordan, (younger brother of Blanca Ramirez, the youngest female to finish marathons on seven continents). Early over-achievement is in their blood. 

There were sad reports from Savannah this year as another runner died under hot conditions at the RNR Half. This came on the second anniversary of Jake Zeman's passing in 2013. This year, Jake's brother-in-law Dwight and his widow Erin ran with Jakes bib for during the half marathon for Team Trust. Jake's son carried it for the one-miler in his father's memory. In the shadow of tragedy, our spirits fight on.

Early last week, I got a call from my former campaign manager from Team in Training, asking if I'd be interested in coming back to coach the TNT Peninsula team and help get the Walk program going again.  Two days later, I saw a Facebook post that my best friend from sixth grade had died of leukemia. No one from my high school class knew about this, even at our 30th High School reunion last year which I was unable to attend. 

I think the coaching position is a foregone conclusion.

So much going on. Time doesn't stop just because we're not traveling. 

It's time to pack for Avengers/Vegas again. 

It's time to make some new memories.


The Pannell Report
This is an unofficial count that John Pannell does manually. Thanks, John!

With only Las Vegas and San Antonio left, 41 people have already completed the requisite 15 races for entry and another 48 still have a shot at the Hall of Fame. People are making a good push to get that epic bling, so great job on the part of CGI marketing for the incentive! The 27 sitting at 14 races is as many as there were in in all of 2014 (there were a few more with 15 since European races were not counted toward Hall of Fame).

13 21 14 27
15 17 <--- Hall of Fame 16 8 17 1 18 5 19 5 20 4 21 1

Among the Rock n Rollers that I know of completing their 15th race this weekend in Savannah and entering the Hall of Fame include Los Angeles Ambassador of Rock, Bill (@ChinoLoco).

Martin, the fifth from the 2014 Hall of Fame to repeat.

Kevin, fresh off his 100th Half at RNR Merida.

And last, but not least, the man crunching the numbers, John Pannell himself! John stayed the weekend and ran the 5K for the Remix. He also ran the 1-miler... with the Hall of Fame medal the entire way. I'm surprised he didn't topple forward from the weight!

Four more from the 2014 Hall of Fame are on track to repeat in Vegas this weekend (Wesley, Juan, Susan, and Ron) and Arnold will repeat in San Antonio. Ilona, Carl, Mitch and Joe are already in for a second year. I'm pretty sure another 4 more people will repeat, but I haven't had the chance to catch them in person to know when it will happen. 

Special Note: For those of you who are going to be at Rock n Roll San Antonio, we're trying to get a group picture of as many of us that can fit into a a shot. There might not be enough room on the stage, but keep an eye out for a meeting time and location.

Let's celebrate together.

Good luck in Vegas everyone. Light it up!  #StripAtNight

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