This Post Delayed Due to Unanticipated Additional Awesomeness

05.16.2012 | 11:53 am

Dear Reader,201205161149.jpg

Due to some extra unanticipated additional awesomeness, I am having to do some rewriting of today’s post describing the secret second part of the contest I described yesterday.

I’ll get that post up late this afternoon, or quite possibly this evening.

It will be worth checking back for.

In the meantime, please feel free to speculate on what the second part of this awesome prize will be. Better yet, please feel free to go ahead and enter the contest, so you have a chance of winning something I absolutely guarantee any bike lover would enjoy.





Fight Cancer, Win a “Dream” Trip . . . And Something Else I Will Reveal Tomorrow

05.15.2012 | 11:31 am

A Note from Fatty: If you’ve already read (or are not currently in the mood to read) all the hoopla around this contest and are now in the mood to just get on with the entering of said contest already, click here to donate (in multiples of $5, please) to my LiveStrong Challenge page. Thanks!

I am a deliberate and thoughtful person. For example, it is no accident that I live where I live — I picked this place because it is an unbelievably wonderful spot to go bike riding — whether you like road or mountain biking.

Furthermore — and your mind may reel at this — it is no coincidence that I ride bicycles a lot. I do this because I like riding bicycles. And, believe it or not, I write a blog about biking because I like sharing stories and talking with people about bikes!

Your head is spinning right now, I know. But I’ve got one more for you. I spend quite a bit of time and effort putting together contests to raise money for the fight against cancer because I hate cancer.


And today I’m excited to tell you about a new contest. One that takes all these very subtle and complex nuances of my very deliberate, thoughtful self, and combines them into something so spectacularly awesome that it’s going to take a couple days to describe.

That’s right, this contest has two grand prizes, but I’m only going to tell you about one of them today.

Fight Cancer, Ride in Utah With Fatty

Hey, I’m not interested in starting any fights here, but I think I could make a pretty good case for Utah being the most awesome place in the world for cycling.

And if you win this contest, I’ll do my level best to prove it to you.

We’ll get on the phone and talk. I’ll find out what kind of riding you like to do — road or mountain biking. We’ll talk about what level of riding you like to do. And how long you like to ride.

And then I’ll start telling you about some ideas for rides you might enjoy.

For example, maybe you’d want to ride The Alpine Loop:

Or maybe you’d want to go mountain biking at what I’ve called the best place in the world, Tibble Fork, which includes the unbelievable Joy Descent:

Or if you’re feeling like doing an epic all-day road ride, we could head out and ride Mt. Nebo.

Or maybe you would rather go see a different part of Utah than my hometown. In that case, we could go to Moab.

Or we could go to Saint George and ride Gooseberry and / or Little Creek:

Or the Guacamole Trail:


Or we could go to Moab. I hear there’s some good biking there.

But Wait, That’s Not AllSLC-Logo_Color-Vertical_lg.jpg

Once we’ve figured out where and what you want to ride, we’ll figure out a time that will work for both of us (frankly, this will probably be the most difficult part of the whole shebang, but we’re smart people and will find a way, somehow).

Then I’ll fly you down / up here, and take you to SLC Bicycle Company, where you’ll get professionally fitted on the bike you’ll be using for this trip.

Yep, a professional fitting, on a top-flight bike. So the bike you’ll be riding on this trip will be the most awesome-fitting ride you’ve ever had.

Which also means you won’t need to bother bringing a bike with you.

Then we’ll head out riding. I’ll bring The Hammer along if you’re a woman, so it won’t feel like you’re on some weird creepy date with a married guy.

And if you’re a guy, I’ll see if some of the Core Team can come along for the ride, because they’re a lot more interesting than I am in person.

And then, after we ride, we’ll have brats. Unless you’re a vegetarian or something, in which case I’ll make my vegetarian burritos, which are almost as good as brats.

And I’ll put you up in a hotel so you don’t have to sleep on my couch.

And then, the next day, we’ll ride some more.

And afterward, you and I will agree that this has been the single most awesome vacation, ever.

There are a lot of cycling meccas in the world, OK? But Utah is my cycling mecca. And if you win this contest, it will be your mecca too.

Seriously, That’s Not All. In Fact, It’s Not Even Close To All.

I believe I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I was only describing the first half of the prize for this contest today.

Tomorrow, I will describe the second half. And I believe that at that point you will like this contest even more, and the idea of winning it will make you lose sleep at night.

I apologize in advance for your upcoming sleepless nights.

Why This Is Important

I believe very strongly in the good work LiveStrong does. I’ve said — many times before — that I received help and inspiration from them, firsthand, when Susan was starting her second big fight with cancer.

And more recently, I got to see up close — during the LiveStrong Assembly — some of the great ways LiveStrong puts our fundraising dollars to use.

People who are fighting cancer need help, in a variety of ways. And LiveStrong does an amazing job of providing that help.

So for this contest, I wanted to show that I am not just an observer and facilitator in my support of LiveStrong. I wanted to show that I’m willing to spend my own money and time to help LiveStrong in its mission.

So yeah, this contest is gonna cost me. Airfare, hotel, etc. won’t be cheap. But it’s totally worth it.

And not just because we’re going to get some awesome riding in, either.

How the Contest Works, And to How to Enter

For every $5.00 you donate at my LiveStrong Davis Challenge page, you’ll get a row on my magically deluxe spreadsheet, which I have affectionately and cleverly named FriendsOfFatty.XLS.

The more you donate, the more rows you get

Once the contest ends (on June 22 at midnight, MST), I’ll randomly (using, natch) choose a row on that spreadsheet. Then I’ll contact you, and you’ll start yelling and stuff (which will be totally OK, because I’ll be contacting you by email) and we’ll get this ball rolling.

[A note for my international friends: I only have so much money. If you win the contest, it's your responsibility to get to the U.S., and I'll fly you the rest of the way, OK?]

And what if you’re already a member of Team Fatty and are raising money for your own LiveStrong Challenge? Well, just keep on raising money — and maybe donate some more into your own account — because the money you’ve raised as part of Team Fatty counts toward your entry in this contest, too.

Yep, that’s right, you can join Team Fatty and get other people to donate on your challenge page, and you might win this prize. In other words, keep up the good work you’ve already started.

So, please donate. You might just win an awesome trip to ride with . . . me.

Not to mention the second half of the prize, which will make it really spectacular.

More on that tomorrow.

Decisions, Decisions

05.14.2012 | 11:08 am

Update from the Winner: I just heard from ClydeInKS, and here’s what he had to say:

Elden – I am letting you know the results of my decision and will be much less dramatic that televised nonsense of a particular basketball player. I must proclaim THANK YOU for creating the motivation and inspiring myself (and my wife Mighty Athena) for losing some excess, it was badly needed! A second THANK YOU goes for not getting the waffles out after the week 1 announcement – I would have surely been thrown off course shortly after their arrival. And finally a third, and largest THANK YOU for enabling me to become the proud recipient of a used pair of shoes!! I have a signed copy of your book and seeing the signatures of many fabulous current (and favorite) racers made the choice a challenge but I must go with Lance’s shoes, and congratulate Kukui on winning the book and autographs.

I returned to the bicycle approximately 2005 when I decided to fundraise for LiveSTRONG and ride in Austin Challenge. The decision came following my father’s diagnosis of chronic myelogenous leukemia. I understand that Team In Training raises funds specifically for leukemia and lymphoma, but didn’t see LiveSTRONG as being discriminatory toward types of cancers. I have worn a LiveSTRONG bracelet on my wrist since the day I learned of Dad’s diagnosis and stands as a reminder and inspiration still to this day. Dad has recovered remarkably and remains in remission. His courage and willpower was remarkable to witness (he was in the process of a major home remodel and continued working as his body allowed following his diagnosis and treatments) and still amazes me today.

I continue to ride when able and aim to participate in fundraising rides. The Tour de BBQ, here in Kansas City is a fabulous ride and LiveSTRONG fundraiser that you should put on your calendar, the BBQ alone would be worth the trip! I have a bare place on the wall at my work place ( an outpatient therapy clinic) dedicated toward housing a pair of Lance Armstrong’s shoes and can’t wait to see them there! LiveSTRONG, for some uncomprehended reason, occasionally brings about negative comments and feedback, but their mission is one stand by and will continue supporting in your many avenues, as well as other areas, and am looking forward to riding Nowhere to support Camp Kesem!

Congrats, ClydeInKS! And hopefully I’ll be able to get those shoes off to you sometime within the next 5-6 years.

Decisions, Decisions

Suppose you were offered a near-impossible decision. But you had to choose. For example, suppose you had to choose between never eating peanut butter again, or eating nothing but peanut butter for the rest of your life (I’d go with the latter).

Or suppose you were given the choice of having to choose only one kind of bike riding — mountain bike or road — for the rest of your life (I know, that would be really easy for some of you, but it would be a very difficult decision for me, and in fact am sweating profusely at even the thought of having to make such a horrific decision).

Or — get this — suppose you were offered the choice of having to either get a copy of my book, complete with signatures from everyone in Team RadioShack:


Or you could choose a pair of Lance Armstrong’s worn out running shoes:


“But wait!” I imagine you saying, dramatically (by which I mean that you sound dramatic in my imagination, not that my imagination is dramatic, though it may well be). “How do we know that those are really Lance Armstrong’s shoes? They could be anyone’s shoes!”

“Ah, you are an astute one,” I reply. “So perhaps this will assuage your concerns.” At which point I — with a certain practiced showmanship — pull out the insole of the left shoe:


And indeed, this is verifiably Lance’s signature.

“But just in case that is not enough,” I then say, “Perhaps this video will be enough to put your fears to rest!”

Yes, that is Lance. And yes, those are the selfsame shoes, which are now in my possession.

And yes, those shoes really do smell terrible.

Not a Hypothetical Question

I pose this near-impossible choice because it is not hypothetical. The winner of last month’s weight challenge — wherein we raised more than $4000 for LiveStrong — is right this minute contemplating this very question, assuming he got the email I sent him a few minutes ago.

That person goes by the handle “ClydeInKS.”

The second place contestant — Kukui — will get whichever is left over.

I will report the results as I get them.

PS: By the way, among the weight loss challenge participants, the shoes would be chosen by 57%, the book by 42%, with 1% undecided.

PPS: I’m sure someone else is going to point it out, so I’ll go ahead and say it first: Lance Armstrong has the tidiest closet I have ever seen in my life.

Free Verse Friday: Impending Panic

05.11.2012 | 12:34 pm

screen-capture.pngA “Hey, Come Eat and then Race With Me” Note from Fatty: Perhaps the funnest race I have ever done was the Rockwell Relay: Moab to St. George. Seriously, it was a blast. Just go read my race report and you’ll see why I loved it so much.

Well, Team Fatty (Kenny, Heather, The Hammer and I) will be racing it again this year (June 8 – 9), defending our Coed team title.

And you should come join us, for the following reasons:

  1. You will have an awesome time. I am not even remotely kidding when I say that this is a fantastic race.
  2. The scenery is incredible. You’ll be doing a combination of riding and driving on surface roads from Moab, UT to St. George, UT. It’s beautiful. Astonishingly so. Of course, part of the time it’s so dark you can’t see anything but the stars, but a starry night with no noise polution is a pretty amazing thing, too.
  3. You get a deal, just because you’re a Friend of Fatty. The Rockwell Relay is now in “late registration” mode; most teams signing up will have to pay an extra $50 fee. But if you email and tell them you’re a Friend of Fatty, they’ll give you a special registration link waiving that fee.
  4. I will serve you bratwurst, which I myself will have grilled. OK, I saved the best part for last, and put it in red, just to draw your eye to it. The Rockwell Relay guys recently called me and asked what I would do to make the race even more awesome. Nothing came to mind, so as a joke I said, “Serve my famous brats the night before the race.” To my amazement, they were all over this idea. So I told them that if they did this, I’d come over and take charge of grilling the brats and would serve them up.

So. Come on over. Eat. Race. Hang out with us. You will love it.

Another Note from Fatty: Today, I have a very special edition of Free Verse Friday. Which is not to say that any edition of Free Verse Friday is not special, but this one is very special indeed.

“Why is it so very special?” you might ask.

“It’s special,” I would answer, “Because it has actual information about stuff that’s coming up. Good stuff. Important stuff. Stuff you might actually want to be a part of.

So be sure to read it not only for its artistic merit (which is very great), but for the information contained therein.

Impending Panic: An Epic Free Verse Poem, In Informational Stanzas

Soon I shall travel

A much greater distance

Than I even knew there was


I will give away bikes

And bring back stories

I can hardly wait.

Twixt now and then, alas

I have so much to do

So much to prepare

I wince

Mayhaps I would moan and whimper

If I were not so manly

Guest Writers

While I am gone

In a far-off land

I cannot — will not! — expect to write

With any regularity

Or perhaps at all

So I ask you

Dear reader

To do my work for me

Two themes I give you

Write a story on one

Or the other

Or both if that’s your way

The themes are

“Why I started riding”


“How I got someone else to start riding”

Email your stories to

Thank you.


The Davis LiveStrong Challenge is coming!

I’m working on cool incentives and contests

I shall explain more anon

You’ll want to be a part of it.

Honest, you will.

Thank you.

100 Miles of Nowhere

If you signed up

Your stuff is being packaged even as you read this

Soon, it will be on its way


If you’re local

Plan to do the 100 Miles of Nowhere with me

It will be awesome

I hope

Thank you.

And again, thank you.

She Said, He Said

05.9.2012 | 10:26 am

A Note from Fatty: Last Saturday, The Hammer raced the Provo City Marathon; I rode my bike along the same route, leapfrogging her and cheering her along the way. Obviously, this resulted in two very different experiences.

Let’s start with The Hammer’s.

IMG_5103.jpgThe Hammer’s Story: The Best Cheering Section…And The Marathon Wasn’t Half Bad, Either

The day started bright and early, well, maybe not bright-it was 3:45 when the alarm went off. I rolled out of bed after a pretty good Ambien induced slumber. I was starting to get the obligatory pre race jitters and new I would be spending some quality time with “john” before we would head out the door at 4:30.

Yes, I did say “we.”

My sweet husband, Elden had volunteered to get up at this ungodly hour and drive me to the race start. I kept telling him that he didn’t have to do this; he could sleep in. He had had a really stressful work week and could surely use a few extra hours of sleep. I assured him multiple times that I was capable of getting myself to the starting line.

Elden would hear none of this and insisted he would drive me. Not only would he drive me to the starting line, but he was also insisting that he would ride his bike along the course and cheer me on the whole way. Wow, my own personal cheering section — how could I refuse?   

At 5:15, we arrived at the bus pickup in Provo where I met my good friend and coworker Ed. Ed was going to run the 1/2 marathon which started at the same location as the marathon and we would be able to ride the bus to the starting line together.

Ed is a remarkable person. A few years ago, Ed had gastric bypass surgery and has now lost at least a person in weight. He is the poster child for gastric bypass as he continues to keep the weight off. He has become quite the runner in the process and has participated in many 5K and half marathon races.

Way to go Ed, you are an inspiration!

2012-05-05 06.45.39.jpg
The Hammer and Ed before the race.

We said goodbye to Elden and boarded the buses at about 6:00am. Elden’s plan was to change clothes, jump on his bike and ride to the mouth of Provo Canyon where he would meet up with my son Blake (aka the IT guy). They would then ride to Vivian Park and wait for me to run by.

The race organizers did a great job at the starting line. There were fires set up for warming us, plenty of loud music, and a crowd taking their pre-race jitters out on a piñata. And — most importantly — there were plenty of potties.

There was a nice chill in the air and very little wind. South Fork Park was beautiful this early spring morning.

I was surprised as the marathon group lined up. I would guess there were only a couple hundred runners, and probably a thousand half-marathoners. Definitely a different size of crowd than the 23,000 runners at Boston!

The marathon race started promptly at 7:00 am, followed by the half marathon at 7:15. I started with the 3:25 pace group, running at 7:49 minutes per mile.

[Side note about pacers: For those of you unfamiliar with marathons, most marathons have "pacers" -- experienced runners who will carry a sign while they run the race in a specific time. If you need a 3:25 to qualify for Boston, for example, or you have a time goal of 3:25, then you can run with that pacer's group. The pacer does NOT stop at aid stations for drinks or outhouses for potty breaks. He just continually runs. Pace groups are great for people who have a time goal or who have a hard time pacing themselves.]

I started out with the 3:25 group, but had no intention of staying with them the whole race. I knew I could keep up with them for the first few miles because it’s all downhill. My plan worked out perfectly and I exited South Fork Canyon just as the 3:25 pace group passed me.

As I ran through Vivian Park — the first place Elden and Blake were supposed to be cheering for me — I quickly scanned the aid station and the ten people there cheering on the runners.

They weren’t there! Oh no. If they missed me here, would they ever find me as the thousand runners behind me exited the canyon?

But then, just as I was thinking this, I heard cowbells for the first of many times that day. Elden and Blake were just around the bend. They hadn’t calculated the time right and didn’t think they would make it to Vivian Park in time, so set up a little further down the path.

My cheering section had found me!

The Hammer discards the sweatshirt she wore for the first few miles.

The next 5 miles were down Provo Canyon on a great bike path. I know this path well; It was my training route for many years, back when I lived in Orem. I was feeling great and I was keeping the 3:25 pace group in sight.

The 3:25 pace group must have been sad as I drifted off the the back and they lost the perpetual cheering section of Elden and Blake.

Elden and Blake would ride about a mile ahead, get off their bikes, and start cheering and ringing their cowbells. I could hear the cowbells and know they were close by. What a great motivator! As I passed, I would high-five them and Elden would yell words of encouragement.

The Hammer puts her hand out for a high-five as she runs by.

At mile ten, my dad even came out and cheered me on! Thanks Dad!

The halfway point of the marathon is — naturally — the end of the half marathon, and is on center street in Provo. As I ran by the finish line, I felt a little sad that I wasn’t running across the finish line. It’s funny how much of running is mental. When I ran the Moab half-marathon a few weeks ago, I was exhausted when I crossed the finish line. I couldn’t imagine running another 13 miles!

But as I crossed the halfway point on this day, I felt great. I looked down at my watch: 1:43. Wow, not a bad time for a half marathon!

Elden had left me about a block before the finish line/half way mark so he wouldn’t get in the way of people finishing the race. He said he would catch up with me in a little while.

Blake, meanwhile, had gotten bored and left. He said he would find us at the finish line. I didn’t blame him; riding your bike at a runners pace for 26 miles does not sound like the way I want to spend my Saturday morning. I was grateful for his smiling face and expertise at ringing a cowbell! Thanks Blake!

The first six miles of this race had been downhill, but then it had leveled off and become flat by mile thirteen, and continues flat until the finish — relatively flat for a Utah marathon. Now, leaving the crowds at the finish line, the road went up over an overpass — the only “climbing” for the day.

As I descended the overpass, I realized my feet were killing me! The reason was simple: the last three or four miles had been on a concrete road. I couldn’t believe what a difference there is running on concrete vs pavement. We turned, and I was glad we were off the concrete and back on chipseal (chipseal may be terrible for road biking, but it’s fantastic for running).

The next 6 miles would be run through neighborhoods as we made our way toward Utah lake. Once we arrived at the lake we would get back on the Provo River Bike Path and head east back toward the finish line.

As I approached mile 15, the marathon blues started to descend upon me. My feet hurt, and my hamstrings and calves felt like they were on the verge of cramping up.

“What am I doing here,” I thought to myself. “Running marathons suck! Why does anybody run them?” I couldn’t figure out how in the world I was going to make it another 11 miles! I was just going to have to walk.

I was sure all those people behind me were going to start to pass me–how demoralizing that would be! Elden would see me walking when I was supposed to be having a great race! He would be so disappointed in me.

Thank heavens Blake wasn’t around- He thinks im tough, he’d be so disappoointed. And then I heard the cowbell in the distance! “Oh crap,” I thought. “Elden is back! What am I to do?”

“Hey Baby, you’re looking good!” said Elden.

“Clang, clang, clang” said the cow bell.

“You’re not being helpful,” said the grumpy runner.

That’s what I said to my darling husband who got up at 3:45 in the morning and who had been cheering me on for 2 hours! What a brat!

But I couldn’t really say anything else, I was physically exhausted and quite possibly dying!

“Is the bell too much? I’m sorry, I won’t ring it anymore,” chimed Elden.

And he proceeded to be happy and cheerful and tell me stories about people he had met on his bike…blah, blah, blah.

And the thought occurred to me that I must have sounded just like this to Elden when we were running Boston. I was happy and cheerful and talkative. Elden was not. Elden was feeling this same exhaustion and pain while we were running Boston that I was feeling now. I had a new found love and sympathy for what Elden was going through so he could be with me at Boston. What a wonderful guy!

“I’m bonking bad, Elden, I need a gel!”

“One gel coming right up!” and he produced a gel and some water and an “I love you.”

Gel may feel and taste disgusting going down, but its effect is magic. Within a few minutes, I was back. My feet stopped hurting and the blues were on their way out!

“Thanks Elden, but dont be mad if I can’t talk. I’m pretty tired.”

“I completely understand, Baby, You just keep running and I will just keep talking…if it’s helpful.”

Feel free to take a few moments to admire and envy The Hammer’s legs.

The next few miles flew by and soon I was back on the bike path headed toward the finish line–only six miles to go.

At one point I found myself alone. Well, I wasn’t completely alone. I could see one guy about 25 yards a head of me, but alone in the sense that Elden was a way behind me, talking to a different runner and I was out of cheering section for a moment. Then I heard a cowbell approaching. I thought it was the return of Elden, but was surprised to see Blake riding up to me.

Blake (The IT Guy) snaps a picture of his mom (The hammer) as she runs by.

“Mom, you look great!” Blake said.

“I do? I don’t really feel that great.”

“Well you look way better than the 200 people I just passed while I was looking for you. They all look like they are dying.”

It was sure a good thing that Blake didn’t see me 8 miles ago when I was the one about to die. My secret is still safe (I think). Blake still thinks I’m tough!

The last few miles I had a tailwind. It is amazing what a little wind on your rear can do for your momentum and spirits. Blake and Elden soon veered off the path and headed for the finish line. They wanted to be on the line when I crossed. I looked down at my watch–only one mile to go. I thought I had this in the bag until I rounded the last corner and saw the overpass!

“Crap,” I thought. “I have to go up and over that again.”

I slowed to a walk. How could I have forgotten about that? I passed a man who was walking on the sidewalk; he gave me a curious smile. At that moment, I interpreted his smile as a smirk. In my mind, the man was saying “Girl, you are almost at the finish line–it’s just over that incline and you are walking? What a wimp!”

That did it! I picked up the pace and finished strong! Elden was at the finish line greeting me with a giant hug and kiss! I collapsed in his arms–exhausted. 3 hours, 36 minutes. Not quite my fastest time, but pretty close to it! I couldn’t have done it without a fantastic cheering section!

Both glad the race is over: The IT Guy and The Hammer.

Thanks Elden and Blake, for pushing me and cheering me on during the highs and lows! I love you guys!

Fatty’s Story: Marathons Are Fun And Easy

I have little to add to The Hammer’s excellent narrative. And by “little,” I of course mean “a surprisingly large amount, due to the fact that I seem to be unable to ever shut up and let well enough alone.”

  1. It was fun to watch The Hammer actually hammer. It’s very strange that up until last Saturday, I had never watched The Hammer run a race. That’s because up to this point, she had always convinced me to run the race along with her, which meant that either she would be running way below her ability, or she’d be way ahead of me and I wouldn’t see her anyway. This time, though, I’d get to see her run, for more than the few moments it took for her to pull away from me at the starting line.
  2. I was excited to be at a running race, but on a bike. I anticipated that there would be something deliciously evil about being on a bike at a marathon. To be comfortably lollygagging along, leapfrogging the very fastest runners, without even breaking a sweat.
  3. Running makes you emotional. I’ve ridden my bike for 20 hours straight before. I was exhausted and hallucinating, but I still felt like myself — friendly, stable, and silly (the three characteristics I self-define with). Whenever I’ve gone on a long run, I’ve become much more emotional than usual. It was reassuring to see that The Hammer has to confront some bugaboos on hard runs, too.
  4. Cowbells are awesome. When The Hammer and I were in Boston, Philly Jen gave us a bunch of little Boston Marathon-branded cowbells. One of these easily fits in a jersey pocket, and Blake and I used them the whole day. Cowbells are awesome because they’re louder than clapping and yelling, and hurt way less when used for an extended period of time.
  5. Racers love spectators. Of course, I was at the race for The Hammer, but I cheered for — and occasionally rode alongside — everyone and anyone. And after the race, at least half a dozen racers came up to me and expressed gratitude for me bing there and cheering them on. It makes me think: anyone who has ever benefitted from cheering spectators needs to find time to be a cheering spectator sometimes, thus paying the good karma forward.
  6. Small races are great. Of course, the iconic marathons like NYC and Boston have their obvious appeal, but a tiny race like (fewer than 300 runners!) like the Provo City Marathon made it possible for me to — without difficulty — constantly leapfrog the runners, either by taking a different street to the next place I’d stop to cheer for them, or sometimes just riding ahead of — and even alongside — them.
  7. The Hammer is modest. The Hammer doesn’t mention in her story that she took a podium spot in her age group: third. She also doesn’t mention that her time across the line at the halfway spot for her marathon was fast enough that she would have taken first in her age group for the half marathon.
  8. Everyone has an interesting story. I sometimes stopped and cheered for people who were racing, and sometimes I would randomly pick a person racing and ride alongside her or him for a few minutes, just chatting. And you know what? There’s not a single person out there who doesn’t have an interesting story to tell. The world might be a better place if we all took the time to talk to more strangers (but don’t tell that to your kids, I guess).
  9. Riding 40 miles, slowly, over the course of four hours, is easy. Between riding from the finish line to where we first caught up with The Hammer to leapfrogging and riding along racers, I put in about 40 road miles on my mountain bike (mountain biking shoes are much better if you’re going to be getting off your bike and standing around a bunch) that morning. But it was such slow miles that I didn’t feel like I had gotten any kind of workout from it. So after I brought The Hammer home, I got back on my bike and went mountain biking for a couple hours.
  10. This item placed because people like lists of 10 better than lists of 9. Have you ever considered how much of our world is governed by the fact that most of us have ten fingers? How would the world be different if we had fourteen? Something to think about.

And in short, I look forward to spectating in the future, as The Hammer crushes other running events.

PS: I really like how my sister Jodi (Pistols and Popcorn) is helping a reader of hers (Amy) get treatment for MS. Check out Jodi’s post from yesterday, and then maybe go find $5 to help Amy too.

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