Add to Technorati Favorites "Going the Distance!": St. Louis Run with Dean Karnazes

Friday, December 15, 2006

St. Louis Run with Dean Karnazes

41.2 Miles, 8:18:55

What a day! Dean actually made it to St. Louis a few days earlier than expected so I took today off to run with him. Last night I saw on his Blog that he had stopped at 4th and Market for the evening so I figured I'd go down there to see what time he was planning to start this morning. I got down there and saw the "Mothership" but Dean and his father, Nick, were nowhere in sight. I figured they were staying at the Drury (they were parked in front) but didn't want to bother him so decided to show up there around 8:00 am this morning as he's usually been starting his runs at around 8:30 am. I got up this morning and Mindy woke up to take me down there; boy was she a trooper! Her Law School thesis was due today at 4:00 pm but she knew how important this was to me and wanted to take some pictures and meet Dean. As we passed 4th and Market at 7:58 am I looked down the street and the Mothership was gone! Immediately my heart skipped a beat as we thought about what to do next. We started down the route I figured he'd take while Mindy called the Drury Inn; they said he left around 7:20 am but had no idea which way he'd gone. We then called Brad, Mindy's brother, to track Dean on the computer. He kept us updated but still we couldn't find Dean, we wondered if he was really running or if some guy overseas was fooling us and just moving the dot; perhaps it was all a scam! Being that Mindy still had some last minute finishing touches to put on her paper I disappointedly decided to go home and give up on finding Dean. Mindy dropped me off and I hurried inside for one last shot at tracking him and sure enough the "dot" was at Hampton and 40, just a few miles away. I ran to the car and sped up there and spotted him and a few others running towards Forest Park. As I drove by I rolled down my window and told them I'd been all over looking for them and that I was going to join them. Dean said "Right On, Brother!" and I parked my car in the South Zoo Parking lot and joined the run. As I walked up Dean extended his hand to meet me I took off my glasses and he said "I know you!" And I said, "Yes you do, Carey from the Atlanta marathon!" Then we were off!

Here's how he describes the day in his blog:

"It would be hard to script a day better than today. From the moment the sun crested the eastern horizon, golden rays of sunlight shimmering off the Mississippi River, today was like a dream. The weather was perfect, sunny and warm, and the people were even better.
We weren’t sure of our route through St. Louis, so other runners had to work really hard to track us down. Thankfully, they did. It seemed like every time we stopped at a Starbucks to check our bearings, a few more runners joined the group. It took a few minutes for the GPS tracking on the website to update, so staying in the same place for a couple of moments allowed others to find us.
People came out of businesses as we ran by and wished us well. One family brought us homemade holiday cookies. We were given gifts, pictures, t-shirts, drawings, and lots of chocolate covered espresso beans. The Mothership is filled with these treasures, and I relish seeing them every time I board the faithful craft.
My desire today was to return to the place where this entire odyssey began three months ago, the start of the Lewis & Clark Marathon at the St. Charles Family Arena. Together with a group of fellow friends and runners, we made our way along the path and rounded the final corner to the place where it all started. The memories came flooding in. It was 90 days, and a lifetime of experiences ago, that I had last stood at this spot. Then there were thousands of people swirling around, and the anxiety and excitement about what the future would hold. Now there was just a dedicated group of likeminded folks who, out of the goodness of their hearts, had decided to join me.
It was at this spot three months ago, surrounded by family, that I renewed my wedding vows with my lovely wife. It was the perfect moment, one of those rare instances in life where everything seemed in harmonic alignment. Today was a similar experience. I had run back from the finish of the New York City Marathon, and arrived where we started, the Lewis & Clark Marathon, and the circle seemed complete. The exploration had fundamentally changed me, and I stood there today at the St. Charles Family Arena a different man than the one who had endeavored to make this journey three months ago. It was the same place I had stood 90 days prior, but it now took on an entirely fresh perspective. It was different now. I was different now. The exploration had changed everything, made it all new again.
And with a smile on my face, I thanked the others, and called it a run."

After arriving there we took some pictures and chatted for a while but I knew I needed to go soon, I had decided to run back to my car at the Zoo Parking Lot! I bid Dean farewell and wished him good luck, he assured me that our paths would surely cross again on some other adventure. A fellow runner, Matt, said he would join me for part of the journey. We started out the exact way we came. Matt's girlfriend picked him up after about 5 miles and I started running up Olive alone but energized from the day! I passed Gorman and Associates, my "work Starbucks" and other familiar landmarks and with a smile on my face pushed on. My goal was to make it to Clayton before dark and as the sun was setting I was running down Forsyth past people leaving work to celebrate the start of the weekend. They looked at me funny (with my hydration pack sloshing around and my shorts and short sleeve shirt on, it was getting chilly!) unaware of the incredible adventure I was returning from. I ran past Wash U. chatting with Mindy on the phone and telling her I was almost finished. One last push up the Skinker hill and I coasted to my car; excited to see it in the distance but sad that the day had to end!

May the road bring a smile to your face and renew your spirit!


Pat said...

What a run! I used to live in St. Louis and I can't believe you ran from forest park to st. charles and back. How many miles was that?

Arizona, USA

Carey said...

Hi Pat,
It really was a lot of fun, much better than running circles around Forest Park! It ended up being a little more than 41 miles round trip. After doing that I have decided that I'm going to run to my parent's house for Christmas Eve Dinner (27 miles).
Keep on running,