18mi. John’s longest run ever fit perfectly on his 18th birthday. As a follow up on last year’s 17 miler (also his idea) today we ran early to get to Loggerhead triathlon in time to see our friends race.Walter and Dave were supposed to start with us at 4:10am in Carlin Park, only Walter was there and ready to run when we arrived 10 minutes late. We stashed drinks and gels along the route so we would have something to look forward to down south.
Warm and one of the more humid days to long run, we started at a god pace heading south. Blinking lights for all, we knew we’d see bike riders heading up to the tri. There was no wind, perfect riding conditions for the racers, for us running, a slight breeze might have been nice. We ran south to French Connection to our gel frop point, we used the bathrooms there to get a drink, too. I felt good, the three of us running and talking. We went south on A1-A at PGA, after picking up the hidden water we put in the bushes at the corner. We wanted to go as far south as 7.5 miles, meaing a round trip run would be 15 miles. We would finish out the 18 by jogging near Anita as she ran her 5k. Running north we saw the dawn and the cars heading towards the race site. Once on A1-A in Juno we saw the police and volunteers setting up the bike course. The seas were almost flat – more good conditions for the athletes! Walter’s knee was sore at mile 13, so he slowed to walk, almost coinciding with us picking up Dave, who slept late and started running south from Carlin Park. We saew Chiara at the final water stop before the Carlin parking lot and transition zone. With 15 mi done, we stayed at the top of the parking lot to see the swimmers come out of the water. The Reback family was there waiting for John to come out of the water – he won the race finishing in a different wave than Robert who got a second place overall. It was fun to watch some of the race, then do the run course with Anita. John ended his run at 18 miles, merely yards from the finish line of the race. He deserves credit for the effort and idea. I hope he keeps this discipline at UNF!