Speak Eagle

Marathon Mystery

There are many marathon stories swirling around BlogLand these days with the recent events in Boston. Some stories tragic, others victorious, others angst-ridden, and all against the backdrop of a 26.2 mile fight to the finish.

This story is a bit different.  It’s a mystery.

Mix one cup of marathon with 1 liter of hurricane.  Shake well.  Add 2 cups of marital miscommunication, and- Voila!  You have a recipe for a Marathon Mystery.

It is September, 2008.  My husband has been training for the Lewis and Clark marathon in St. Charles, MO for seven months.  (What would possess someone to want to run 26.2 miles just for the fun of it is beyond me.  But then, I don’t understand why he enjoys watching golf, either.)

The day before the marathon, Hurricane Ike hits Galveston, TX.  Its path moves northeast through Missouri by early Sunday morning, dropping 5” of rain on St. Charles in just a few hours.  Below is a play-by-play recounting of the adventure.

5:00am- Every alarm in the hotel room rings, including the telephone.  Brian and Heidi are out the door in 30 minutes.

5:30am-  Heidi realizes she forgot to bring an umbrella.  She borrows a little purple cutie with flowers on it from the hotel clerk.  It has many broken spokes.  The undaunted couple run through Hurricane Ike from the hotel to the car, cameras, fuel belt, I-Pod, and course map in hand.  Heidi’s purple cutie is not much protection from the 25 mile an hour winds.  Once in the car, it won’t close.

6:30am-  Brian parks near the start of the race and opens the car door to face pouring rain and wild wind.  He stands in the very long line for the port-a-potties.  He is soaking wet.  Heidi is nice and dry.

6:40am-  Heidi feels guilty for being nice and dry.  She parks near the starting line, and gets out, thinking, “He is running in this hurricane for 26 miles. I can survive a few moments of standing in it.”  She wrestles the purple umbrella out of the car.

6:42am- Heidi stands at the starting line looking for Brian.  There are a thousand guys wearing a white tank top and a white hat.  She is drenched.  The wind blows the umbrella inside out.  She questions her guilty motivations.

6:45am- The national anthem is sung.

6:47am-  Heidi’s guilt is assuaged because she waited till the anthem was over to leave.  She  heads back to the hotel for a hot shower.

7:00am-  The rain blows horizontally with 25mph gusts of wind as Brian and the other participants wait at the starting line.  The race begins and the runners all cheer.

7:05am-  Heidi has found her way back to the hotel.  She thanks the hotel clerk for the inside-out, purple cutie, puts her soaked clothes in the dryer, and goes downstairs for a hot breakfast.

Hurricane Ike pelts determined runners
Hurricane Ike pelts determined runners

7:37am-  On mile 5, Brian is being painfully pelted by the rain as it hits him in the face at 35mph.  He sloshes through puddles.  His water-logged I-Pod quit working at mile 3.

7:37am-  Heidi is enjoying a hot shower (while praying for Brian, of course).

8:01am-  Someone yells to Brian that the course has been changed.  He isn’t sure what that means, but keeps on running.

8:01am- Heidi is in the hotel room looking at the clock and the course map, thinking she should probably be a supportive wife and go try to find Brian and take pictures of him.

8:20am-  Brian notices runners walking in the wrong direction.  He asks them what’s going on.  They answer, “They’re stopping the race at 10 miles!”  He starts sprinting to make the best of the last mile.

8:20am-  Heidi leaves the hotel to go look for Brian.  She has both hers and Brian’s cell phones at the bottom of her backpack on vibrate.

8:24am- Brian finishes his 10-mile marathon.  He eats a banana and drinks water in the race tent.

8:30am- Heidi drives along the race course, cheering along runners out her window, sizing them up to figure out whether Brian would be behind or in front of them.  She knows she has Brian’s cell phone while he is running his 26 miles, so she doesn’t consider turning hers or his phone ringer on.

8:35am-  Brian borrows a phone to call Heidi.  He leaves her a message telling her he will wait for her in the finish line parking lot.

8:45am-  Heidi continues to drive along the race course looking for a guy in a white hat.

8:45am- Brian stands in front of the Boones Lick Inn, borrows another phone and leaves Heidi another message.  He calls his phone, too, just in case.

8:50am- Heidi still can’t see Brian among the runners.  She decides to park and watch for him.

8:59- Brian goes back down to the finish line, borrows another phone to leave messages on both cell phones.

8:59- Heidi drives to a new spot to sit and watch for Brian.  Out-of- shape runners now start to appear among the pack.  Heidi drives further down the course.  She doesn’t remember him being this out-of-shape, but then again, maybe love really is blind?

9:11am- Brian goes back to stand in front of Boones Lick Inn.  One of the same guys who let him borrow his phone before sees him, lets him borrow the phone again.  Brian leaves messages as to his whereabouts.

9:11am- Heidi is getting frustrated.  Brian has given her the formula 8.35 x # of miles to figure out at what time he would be at what mile marker.  She pulls over alongside the course, adding, subtracting, dividing, and wishing she had learned how to find the square root of pi back in high school.  Her mathematical efforts are to no avail.

9:23am-  Brian finds a Starbucks, borrows the cafe phone and leaves more messages.  A couple overhears him and offers to take him back to the hotel.

9:30am- Limping runners now start to pass Heidi’s car.  She is wondering what Brian was doing during all those Saturday “training runs.”

9:45am- Brian gets back to the hotel and thaws out his frozen hands in a hot shower.

9:45am-  Heidi stands out in the driving rain, video camera in hand, peering down the route, ready to cheer on her REALLY slow husband.  She has to pee.

10:00am-  Brian is surfing the internet looking for the next marathon.

10:00am-  Heidi is searching for the perfect spot to watch for Brian along the trail where she can wait in the car.   She considers peeing in the bushes near the trail, but is concerned about all the racers that will surely be coming by any minute.

10:17am- Brian remembers to call Heidi.  He leaves messages again telling Heidi he is in the hotel waiting for her.

10:17am- Heidi has found a nice spot to wait and watch between mile 22 and 23 along the Katy Trail.  She wonders why there are no runners, and just figures they must all be really spread out by now.  Or maybe Brian is so far ahead of them all that he’s winning!

10:23am- Brian is watching ESPN.

10:23am-  Heidi recalculates the formula and suddenly realizes Brian may be at the finish line already!  She drives like a maniac, parks next to the Boones Lick Inn, and sprints to the finish line.  She wonders where all the people are.

10:30am- Brian is watching ESPN.

10:30am-  Heidi stands at the finish line, camera in hand, ready to capture “the moment.”  The moment never comes.  She asks the guy next to her, “If someone was running an 8 minute per mile race, when do you think they would get here?  He answers, “Was he running it twice or something?”  Heidi realizes something is terribly wrong, and not just with her math.  The guy tells her the news: the race was cut short at 10 miles due to downed trees and flooding on the roads.

10:35am-  Brian is watching ESPN.

10:35am- Heidi is sloshing through the mud, looking through the empty race tents to find her husband in his white hat.  She doesn’t find him, but does find the port-a-potties.  There are no lines.

10:44am-  Brian calls Heidi and leaves messages on both phones.

10:45am-  Back at the car, Heidi rummages through her backpack to find the phones.  She sees phone numbers from many different area codes.  She calls the latest phone number in the call log, thinking it must be the cell phone of someone Brian met.  The hotel clerk answers.  Heidi hangs up, confused.

10:47am- The truth begins to dawn on Heidi.  She slowly dials the hotel number again and asks for her room.  Brian answers.

Marathon Mystery solved.  Recipe not recommended.

2 thoughts on “Marathon Mystery”

  1. Hilarious!! I love it… It makes me feel so much better about the many miscommunications that Kyle and I have ☺ haha!

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