Aloha Friends !
Normally I'm a happy-go-lucky guy, with rare, very brief moments of sadness. However, I had my hopes up, just knowing that I'd be able, at the last minute, pull-off volunteering and seeing my Badwater buddies in Death Valley in a few days from now. So, here I sit all down-hearted, planning to go to Badwater, and it's just not going to happen this year...boo-hoo.
There's a strange, but wonderful comraderie at the Badwater race. Maybe it's the extreme heat. Maybe it's the fact, that for most, it's not a race or competion at all...unless you consider battling the race course and mother nature a race or competition. From the very back of the pack, and for me in 2007, it was the absolute very back of the pack...all of the contestants were your supporters and would do anything to help you finish. The friendships made at Badwater are very special, just like the runners are very special. I've made a very special friendship with a fellow runner from the 2007 race who's from Germany...and several from Canada...and another from San Diego, and another from Colorado, to mention just a few. I could go on-and-on. Even Badwater Race Director Chris Kostman, who openly admits that he's a tough guy to get to know, and even sometimes tougher to deal with, is definitely someone that I consider as one of my friends, and that doesn't even take into consideration the money he spent giving 120 "I'm on Don's Team" t-shirts to all the runners and volunteers at the 2008 Badwater race showing his support in my battle with cancer. Somehow that doesn't fit my impression of a guy who's tough to get to know, much less tough to deal with.
The more I type, the sadder I get, so I'd better get off this Badwater subject. I'll be better by thinking about the 2010 Badwater race, which I definitely plan to be there in one capacity or another. I feel better already. Thanks for lending me your ear. You are a great listener. Don