Captain Grose's Marathon pages

 
U
N
I
T
E
D
 
S
T
A
T
E
S
M
A
R
I
N
E
C
O
R
P
S
 
 
 

 

 




"I DONT EVEN LIKE DOING SOMETHING THAT FEELS GOOD FOR 4 HOURS!!!"


Insanity, pure freakin' insanity. That's what I love about marathon running. That and no one can "cut" you from the team because it's such an individual sport. Even when you start out with friends, in the end, a marathon is a very individual, solo effort. But that doesn't mean you can't have great memories of great friends.

I'm not really sure how this started. OK, that's a lie. It started over a make-shift, green felt poker table in the garage of a friend one night back in 1999. After many hours and much loss at the poker game, the first fledgling steps into marathons, ultra-marathons, and Eco challenges begin. To read about this watershed event and the first marathon it began, click HERE.

The next step was the stupidity of making a pact to do it again the next year. Because stupid is as stupid does, the four of us once again headed to Lone Pine in 2001. Major Gary Bash had been stationed in Yuma yet made the trip happily (yes, traveling AND paying the fee to run for over 6 hours. Can you see the breakdown in simple logic here?) What was more impressive is that Major Phil Patch got out of the Marine Corps and moved to Virginia, yet still felt compelled to travel across country to join us. The Four Horsemen were together again and this time, it was Braveheart we watched during the annual hallowed eve of the race. It sure beat the hell out of Fargo the year before. But I digress...

Now in 2002, the Horsemen were hit with a severe case of vaginitus. Everyone had escaped, er, been stationed elsewhere. I had tried in vain to contact the Horsemen via email and was under the gun to get my application for the Big Sur Marathon since I was stationed in Monterey and, you know, that's the thing to do if you run marathons around the Central Coast of California. So I signed up and lo and behold, the Horsemen came calling. well, Major Bash did and wanted to run the Wild Wild West for the third year together. I then questioned the manhood of the remaining Horsemen, trying to goad them by indicating I would be willing to run BOTH marathons (a week apart) to show solidarity in the Horsemen conglomerate. Imagine my dismay when they bowed out due to school and work commitments (like those are REALLY important in the big scheme of things!!!) and then I was on the hook to run both the marathons. But being the less-than-brilliant animal that I am, I beat my chest, grunted a few unintelligible words and exclaimed that I was up to the task. So a-trainin' I then went.

About halfway through my training, my running partner (who I had almost convinced to run both marathons with me) hurt himself and had to bow out of the Big Sur. Once again, alone, thrust into the abyss.

I know what you're thinking: "Gee, two marathons in two weeks. That sounds too easy. Why stop there?" I'll respond with the same phrase I told the voice in my head that uttered the same phrase: "Kiss my ass!" oops, I mean, "Yeah...I must add yet more dung to this Aborigine fire..."

The next page in my little book of stupidity is when I saw an announcement in the Naval Postgraduate School announcement board calling for all adventure racers. Being as intelligent as a bucket of gravel, I answered the call and asked for the more information because, doggoneit, I just didn't have enough on my plate at the time. Here is the response I got back and like to label "Separating the Men from the Little School Girls."

After a good crying and testicular searching, I decided this might be soemthing I wanted to do but had to get past the $600 buy in and avoiding the wife calling the nice men with the long-sleeved white coat to come and take me away. The monetary issue was solved a day later when I got a temp job working for the Sea Otter Classic bike event. It just so happened that I got exactly $600 for four days of work so I took that as God poking me along the path. The second issue was equally miraculous because my wife was very supportive from the moment I told her. Believe me, try not to figure this one out lest your sense of logic and order in the Universe gets crumpled like dried butterfly wings.

So now I was set. I was on the path to my first adventure run which turned out to be a three day event in Tahoe during August. It involves trecking/hiking, mountain bike, mountain climbing, and kayaking. I was upfront with my abilities (or more precisely the lack thereof) to the team captain but for some odd reason, he felt that the endurance aspect of my marathon training would pull me through the rest of the events. I'm sure he was suffering from some sort of post-endurance race dementia but I ran with it (please excuse the very bad pun. I try to avoid them but many times they are like that squirrel that runs left, right, then left again but somehow finds its way under your front tire).

Oh, but this is not the end. I know, I know, where can it possibly go from here? Well, while working the Sea Otter race mentioned above, I got an email telling me that Jordan had secured an application to the Armed Forces Eco Challenge and wanted to put together a team of Marines to enter instead of the Tahoe romp. After basking in the glow and the bragging of being on that team, I sorta had to go through with it. It's 250 miles in Alaska. Somebody help me, for I know not what I do...

If there was any doubt of the vastness of my horrific self-torture, this should leave no doubt: I got an opportunity (OK, a lack of thinking things through...) to join Gary Bash in a 50 Mile Ultra-Marathon on May 18th, 2002. Like the dope I am, I accepted. Fifty miles is possible, right? Hello?....

Just in case you're keeping score of my foolishness, here is the Calendar of Pain:

April 28, 2002: Big Sur Marathon
May 5, 2002: Wild Wild West Marathon
May 11th, 2002: Physical Fitness Test for the Marine Corps
May 18th: 50 Mile Ultra-Marathon
August: Armed Forces Eco Challenge

Here are my experiences:


How it all started...

2000 Wild Wild West Trail Marathon
2001 Wild Wild West Trail Marathon
2002 Big Sur International Marathon
2002 Wild Wild West Trail Marathon
2002 Bishop 50-mile Ultra-Marathon

Email -- jdgrose115@polyglut.net
Web -- http://members.tripod.com/~jdgrose115/

Please help me keep this site going...