Hi Friends !
Last weekend was our local 100 mile race, the HURT 100. This was the 4th year in a row that I've worked it as a volunteer and I always walk away being inspired and learning something about life. "What could you possibly learn about life by mingling with a bunch of muddy, sweaty ultrarunners?", you say. Well, one thing that definitely stands out in my mind this year revolves around the runner Judy Carluccio. If you look at the race results, you won't find her name in the results for the 100 mile finishers...instead, it's in the 100k finishers. For me, Judy's story begins after she had already passed the 100k mark and was coming into the aid station after her 4th loop, finishing 80 of the 100 miles. The best way to describe Judy at that point was "a basket case". She was a mess...especially emotionally....she was crying and shaking...her mind was doing everything in it's power to convince her to quit...and at that point, she was listening (and believing) everything her mind was telling her. Physically, she looked good, with no real problems or issues. The only other "real" issue was the cut-off time. Normally, in this very tough 100 mile race, after already punishing your body for 80 tough miles, the mind will win out. It wants you to drag your beat-up, exhausted body home, take a shower and hit the bed. It wants you to never do another 100 mile race. You generally vow to never do another, but somewhere along the way, you change your mind.
Somehow, Judy pulled herself together and forced herself back out on that last very tough 20 mile loop. Watching her leave out on that final loop made me so very happy for her. Somehow, Judy summoned the courage to make it into the two final aid stations and force herself back out...again and again... even knowing that it would be nightfall (for the 2nd time) before she would end her journey. More importantly, she left that final aid station knowing that she would not be an "official" HURT 100 mile finisher. Most would have stopped at that final aid station...but not Judy. In my mind, she finished the HURT 100...not officially...but she still finished the 100 miles.
The fact that she didn't quit...no matter how bad she felt...knowing that she would not be an official finisher, shows an enormous amount of character, which I'm confident will follow her for her entire life. It sure made a lasting impression on me...."A Lesson for Life", hopefully for the both of us. Congratulations Judy !
While on the subject of the HURT 100...Jamie and David...we missed you ! Don