Let me fill you in. There is a torch being carried from California to Boston and it runs day and night, round the clock, by crazy people like me and 5 of my newest friends. And it was, by far, one of the coolest things I've ever done as a runner. Check out www.onerunforboston.com and you can even see it live on a gps map!
So last night I went to bed at 9:45 pm. And I woke up at 11:35 pm. We met at a Starbucks in Norman and hopped in the car together, all six of us, filled with anticipation and lots of snacks and water in the trunk.
And then we drove. It took a couple hours to get out into rural western Oklahoma. And let me tell you, when someone says you can see the stars better out in the country, they are speaking truth, people. It was amazingly and frighteningly DARK out there.
We found our ending point here:
Oh yes, we did. I don't think we could have found a better named bar on the face of the planet. Right?!
Anyway, the girls needed to use the potty by this time, so we all thought, Hey! Let's go in!
It seemed like a good idea at the time. Last call was about to occur. It was, after all, 1:30 in the morning.
But as we entered, you could literally hear crickets chirping. It fell silent upon our entry and EVERY head turned our direction. I will admit, I was scared. I wanted nothing more at that moment than to blend into the woodwork and disappear but we were wearing running clothes in neon colors. And so there was pretty much NO CHANCE OF THAT HAPPENING. Luckily I was surrounded by some ballsy women. And they forged a path straight for the bathroom. Past the people playing pool and smoking so heavily that my lungs went into a fit. Past the plastic tables used during the week for their famous buffet. Straight for the one hole bathroom. And then a REAL friendly old lady came over and stated, rudely, that she was going to need to see every one of our IDs if we were going to stay there. Eek! I left mine in the car! I'll go get it!
So off I went and there I stayed. Well a few minutes later I was beginning to wonder if the girls were coming, so I walked over and looked in the window. They were sitting at a table drinking a beer! Talking to the locals! They were having a grand ol' time!
Soon they all filed out (it WAS last call, after all) with a whole new set of friends. It seemed that while I sat in my car with Jerry, the girls were inside making new friends. It's a very friendly set out there in the boonies. After the shock wears off from seeing strangers enter their beloved space, they are happy to share the love! And buy you a beer!
Not long later, we were zipping down the two lane highway that we were about to run. We got to our hand off point and met our previous runner, a lady, by herself, with a dog. SHE HAD RUN FOR 10 MILES ALONE IN THE PITCH BLACK, PEOPLE. WOW. So we strapped on our headlamps and took off! Torch in hand.
When we took off, we made a plan to have someone drive the car of every leg. Who drove depended on who wasn't running that part. I ran the first two miles, then drove a few miles, jumped back on for a mile, and then drove some more. I hopped out and ran the last mile as well. But three of our runners ran the whole 12 miles, because THEY ARE THAT AWESOME. Way to go Laura, Tara, and Jerry! You are my heroes.
Sometimes when I was alone in the car for a mile (10 minutes), I wore my headlamp on low and read my book. Yep, that's how I roll.
And then on one of my stops I spotted this.
Hey, I love Jesus! And I love living in the bible belt, but I will admit to being shocked that you can apparently spend public dollars to erect a sign like that in small town Oklahoma. Who. Knew.
Well, a few miles later, we were done! Just like that.
And Laura handed it off to a man and a lady. And off went the torch, on it's way to Boston.
Coolest running experience. Ever.