|$1,200 dollar truck bought in 2007.|
In 2008 I was working fulltime on my fathers farm. Part of my responsibility was to make sure all of the bills got paid at the end of each month. Since I was going to be in Hawaii the last week of June, I paid these bills a week early. One of my stops was to Neal's Auto Parts store. This parts store was run by an older man, ironically named Neal, amazing how that works. Neal was a bit confused as to why I would be paying him early. I proudly explained that I was headed to Hawaii to run a marathon the following week. His response was, "Partner, I will make you a deal. You go to Hawaii, win that marathon, return with the newspaper, and I will erase your bill." Neal used the term Partner when addressing customers whose names he could not remember. I put the checkbook back into my pocket, shook his hand. We had an agreement.
|Teaching Miles about farming.|
I would be lying if I said I returned back to Michigan to a heros welcome. Farm work and finalizing my agreement with Neal awaited me. I took my newspaper into Neal's Auto Parts store and slapped it onto the counter. His eyes fluttered. He started back pedaling. Neal is one of the more respected people in the community, nobody ever took advantage of him. I was not trying to do that either, he is the one who opened his big yapper and offered up the deal. Finally after Neal nervously scratched out all the items on our bill, the deal was finalized. I had just won a nearly 800 dollar bet, but more importantly he now knows my name. No longer am I greeted as, Partner.
|Frank Shorter, Melissa, Miles, Eddie-O and I at the 2010 awards.|
The longer I was away from my family the lower my desire to run fast went. I woke up Sunday not feeling the strongest. I was homesick and struggling to sleep well at night while there. After talking with Jon Kunitake, the race founder, I was motivated to run whatever it takes to win, but not much more. I ran the first several miles with one of the strongest runners in the country, Gary Krugger. His creditials include running 61 marathons in a year, winning 14 marathons, and having a personal best of 2:38:02. He has truly turned what some people deem, awesome, into just an average race for him. I could not take him lightly. We ran roughly 4 miles together until I pulled away. My lead had grown to 90 seconds at the halfway point.
|Getting informed I must win my 6th Marathon next year.|
|My friend, Julia Deter, who ran her first marathon.|