DAY 57: RACE ACROSS AMERICA (Agnes is still catching up...)

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Posted by Gail Marino on September 03, 2004 at 17:20:19:

In Reply to: RACE ACROSS AMERICA-Louis Rodriguez updates posted by Gail Marino on August 02, 2004 at 09:02:43:


Today we leave Lewisburg, Ohio for South Vienna for 53.8 miles with a cutoff of 15 hrs 22 min. It is a very dark, cold start with some fog. Lou starts out with Taka, whom both appear, to be still asleep. Yesterday was a late finish & we had to move the clocks ahead an hour, so we lost an hour sleep & had to drive 17 miles to the start this morning. Lou is walking, placing pamphlets in mailboxes as they go along. Taka is alternating walking with jogging. I tell Lou, that I think Taka is dehydrated, I can see the muscle definition right through his tights.
There are many mailboxes along this course. Lou decided to stay with Taka because he doesn't look well to him either. Taka looks as if he is struggling this morning. In all of the weeks, Lou has ran with Taka, he has never complained or asked for anything. He always says, he's ok. He will accept food & fluid from us, but never has asked for anything before. But today was different, he told us that he was not not feeling well & he asked me for water. He later told Lou, he was hungry. 1st the runners must run onto a very narrow bridge a mile long, that is the site of a water dam. There were runners, running along the dam, as we were on the bridge.
We had pancakes. Lou never ate the pancakes I bought for him yesterday. So Lou put them on top of the engine for a few minutes & we had warm pancakes for Taka. His eyes were aglow, when Lou presented him with the pancakes. He was extremely grateful, that was quite evident, not from his words, but from the _expression on his face. Of course he & Ryota thanked us by their traditional nod with hands together as they softly spoke in Japanese, arigatto, (not sure of spelling). But their expressions of gratitude, will leave a long lasting impression on my mind, as well as in our hearts.
Taka continued on & Lou & I continued on by helping Ryota crew Taka, for the rest of the day. Taka finished about 5 minutes within cutoff. It was another late day for Taka, Ryota, Lou & I, as we finish at about 9 pm & drive about 13 miles or so to the hotel. We have a package from my sister Tina waiting for us at the hotel with some more pamphlets. Lou & I are just too tired to eat, so we must rest for tomorrow. I hope we have enough supplies, because shopping is also out of the question for tonight. Today was one of many days, we start out in the dark, only to finish in the dark, as well. Lou ran a total of 13 miles today. I realize that there are some who do not understand why he doesn't finish some stages, but I do. Of course, there is the head trip of all the presented personal rulings & all that accompanies it, but there is more to it than that. He made a promise to himself, as well as to Sumio, that he would see to it, that Taka as well as the others, will make it into NY, even if it means sacrificing his personal pride. Those of us that know Lou, knows how he feels about his running, pride barely describes it. This also brings tears to my eyes as I watch day after day, this promise being kept & the silence we keep, as well as humiliation we must endure, in doing so. I cannot thank all of you enough for all of your support, it gave us the strength to go on. Till tomorrow.
Lou & Agnes

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