Back in 2007 I was heading up to run the Superior 50M trail run. It was going to be my 2nd 50 mile run, but I was dreading it because I knew how hard the Superior trail was.
In the email chain leading up to it, I received a good luck from a guy named Wayne Nelson who was going to be working the Temperance River aid station. He was just getting into this thing, and was volunteering to see what it was all about.
I remembering after finishing, telling him he know has to step up to at least the 50k for next year.
A month later we met up at the Whistle Stop Marathon, and I think he got caught up in my "throw common sense to the wind" attitude and just "run your ass off". He recalled having a rough race.
Wayne chipped away at the distances over these years, nailing off 50k's. Almost every race I have been to, Wayne has either been running or graciously volunteering. As a result of his commitment and attititude, he received the Upper Midwest Trail Runner of the year award (along side Helen.... not bad) for his involvement.
Wayne was unlike many runners, though. He showed up to a lot of races, but also struglled in a lot of races. He got some done, dropped out of some. But never did you hear one peep of self pity from that guy. He just stayed at it.
After 2 drops at the 100 mile distance, most would probably avoid the distance. Not Wayne. Attempt #3 was last weekend at KM 100. When I saw what the forecast was (80's.. which means 90s in the prairies), I thought Wayne was doomed. Sorry, that was the truth.
I got home from my blue tarp experience to find Wayne was right on trak. OK. good.
By bedtime, a lot of great runners had dropped out at the 100k point. Wayne was still in.
I woke up to find him having made it to about mile 80. Holy Cow! He might make it.
Soooo many people were dropping out, but somehow the tenacious Wayne was showing he had the Mojo.
Wayne came in at 29:30 (or just under), 44th out of 122 starters! Truly an awesome accomplishment.
By all accounts the weather was very difficult. But if you got the mojo, you got the goods, and he got it done.
It just goes to show this sport is not for everybody. But if you have the thought, the tenacity, the persistence, the patience, and the mojo, anything can happen.
Great job Wayne. You inspired me.
..... and the other inspiring story from the weekend gets a separate post
can you say "Prostate cancer? Hell no.... that won't stop me!"