Posted by Gail Marino on October 25, 2004 at 15:01:59:
In Reply to: RACE ACROSS AMERICA-Louis Rodriguez updates posted by Gail Marino on August 02, 2004 at 09:02:43:
RAA DAY #52 MONDAY 8/2/04
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 13:51:42 -0400
It is a slightly cool morning as we leave Decatur, Illinois for Tuscola, Illinois for 41.3 miles with a cutoff of 11 hrs 48 min. In the back pack is los tres amigos of Taka, Lou & Kaz along with Don for company. Olivier is just ahead. Tomorrow is a longer day, so it seems that everyone is trying to conserve some energy. The head trips are quite unbearable, some days more than others & it is quite difficult staying focused on what is truly important in life & run & just not getting killed. I know that there is less than 3 weeks left for this incredible journey, or at least what should be incredible. I must admit that all the negativity thrown at us daily, has made me quite homesick, but leaving now is just not an option we are willing to take, because we feel an obligation to finish what we started, no matter what. So Lou runs for a few miles with the boys but his heart is just not in running, although he tries. There are some mailboxes through the towns & we welcome the people who stop to talk to us about breast cancer.
Olivier is running very serious today. He is not smiling or talking, as he usually does. His crew, Jeff says, "Olivier is being Olivier". So we know that he is probably not feeling too well today. So Lou starts throwing rocks at him & barking, which almost immediately brings a smile to his face. So the rest of the day we spend alternating back & forth between Olivier & Taka, cheering Olivier up & helping Taka finish. For us, Olivier & his family & Taka & Ryota & Satoko & Kaz & G are our friends & we enjoy their company. They haven't treated us as if we didn't belong or don't have a right to exist amongst them. I don't believe that they know totally, what we were going through, because they were not informed by race management of the ruling made for us on July 4th. Of course this is pure speculation but I believe that if Graeme had stayed things would have been different, because Graeme always ran in the front pack. But this is something that we will never know for sure, just as we will never know how many stages Lou would have finished 1st, if allowed to. But the difference is that one was a choice & the other was forced.
The cool morning lead way to a warm sunny day reaching about 92 degrees. Lou & I spent the day driving back & forth to Olivier & Taka & now & then to Kaz, offering our support & just plain old friendship in order to ensure their making cutoff. We just did not want our friends to know personally the hurt rendered emotionally from all the aspects of not making cutoff. I believe that Lou is the 1st journey runner to go the distance. Although the emotional turnmoil that went along with being a journey runner was much more difficult than the physical aspect, hence the head trips. We did have an ulterior motive to seeing our way through this journey through all the emotional hardships, educating the importance of early detection of breast cancer to as many people we can, across the U.S. & ensuring our friends will make N.Y. So saving a life & being a friend was so important to us that Lou did whatever he could, run slow, run fast, finish a stage or not finish a stage, in doing so he was jeopardizing his own training & disregarding his own personal love of running in order to accomplish this. We feel fortunate to have met our new friends & all those we met & spoke to throughout this journey. Everyone finished within cutoff. Kaz 9:16, Olivier 9:38, Don 10:56 & Taka 11:36. Till tomorrow. Lou & Agnes
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