A few more photos on Strava.
On Friday, June 5, the Connecticut Ultra Traverse (aka, CUT 112) was to take place, but like all running events since the world has moved on, it was cancelled. We'd been training for many months for this adventure that pushes runners to complete the CT portion of the New England Trail, 112 rugged and gnarly miles from the border in Southwick to the Guilford shore. I gave a go at this two years ago, earning my only DNF (Did Not Finish) ever, and was compelled to make another attempt this year.
People ask why I do stuff like this, spending a hellishly hot and humid weekend running too-long distances in the woods. Admittedly, it doesn't make a lot of sense, at least on paper.
I do this because my compulsion to run a lot is a means to an end.
I do this because there's an opportunity available with every step to experience something new while celebrating something I have already seen, either out there or within myself.
I do this because there's a community on this Island of Misfit Toys that gets it without having to exchange words, and that comes out in support of shared experiences, regardless of whether it's to share in the joy or to accept the universal truth that lies in the universality of suffering.
I do this because it helps me be a better person by engaging in behaviors like better planning and execution, and working towards a long term goal, knowing that while your plan can go to hell, you've got the basics to rely on, like making sure you drink water and eat food, check the color of your pee, put one foot in front of the other, and to just run.
And I do this because I know a day will come when I'll be stuck in a chair in my living room, knees too weak to stand myself up, with a punk rock record spinning on the turntable and the volume high enough to compensate for my hearing loss, a beer in one hand and arthritis in the other, telling stories to the pictures on my wall and laughing so hard that tears stream down my face, knowing for damn sure that when I was presented with Life's most precious gift - Time - that I used it well and often in the pursuit of happiness and being free.
Michael Dolan, we trained our asses off for this, and it sucks when the plan falls through (there's an appropriate Tyson quote for this, Champ). Back in the winter you never asked me to do this- you told me I was joining you. That scared the hell out of me. Thank you for your friendship, inspiration, and pushing me- yes, it's a two-way street. Please know you were there with me Every. Damn. Step of the way.
John Tolbert (JT), you are the Han Solo of Aid Station Captains! We just met and you sacrificed a LOT to support this effort and keep me going. You, sir, are a Legend and a King.
Brian Roccapriore, as always, one single text message a week or so ago and you were in- twice! You've stood with me shoulder to shoulder so many times for over 20 years, despite the fact that you should have busted my nose on more than one occasion for being an asshole. Thank you, as always. There will never be enough gratitude I can express.
Jimmy Mac, My Dude, pulling up the 4am shift and keeping me talking and moving. Thank you, brother, for getting me to and through the sunrise!
Art Byram, you appeared like an apparition- seriously, I thought you were a ghost. Thanks for coming out, running me in (with Brian!), pushing the HELL out of me those last X# of miles, to finish in The Sound. I'm still blown away that you'd grant me a buckle for this. It was never about that, and I recognize the importance and significance of this gesture, and I thank you- for that, and for being insane enough to put this event together in the first place!
For the record, I didn't sleep 'til Guilford, but I sure as heck will sleep well tonight.