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Rockledge Rumble Stumble

Saturday, I joined my fellow trail runners for the 12th annual Rockledge Rumble, which is sponsored by the North Texas Trail Runners. One of my off-line passions is trail running, and this group is one of the best in the nation. I'm privileged to be part of them. I was honored to say the prayer for the runners before we all took off on the trails.

It began as a foggy, cool morning, but progressed to a warm, humid day by the end of my 50k run. I don't know why, but every year it seems to "warm up" for the rumble, which makes the trail run more difficult than the Northshore trail, Lake Grapevine can deliver on its own. This was the first time I had run on the trail since the floods in the spring, and I liked the new sections of the trail DORBA and the Corp of Engineers had added.

That's me in the middle of the pack at the start (blue shirt, white hat). I wish I had ended up there, but I got overheated and basically stumbled in the last 5 miles. I don't know if I over-hydrated or dehydrated, but I wanted to puke the last leg to the finish.

60 of us finished the 50k, 84 the 30k, and 116 the 15k. See, there are more crazy people than you thought there were in this sport! I finished 50 out of the 60 finishers, so, first and last places remained securely out of my reach. Tom Crull and the NTTR team put on a great race, and I appreciate all they did to make it a great run.

As I've said before, my "sacred pathway" is nature, and nothing could be more "spiritual" for me than 7 and 1/2 hours running in the woods with friends.

Here I am at the 18-mile turn around. I'm not sure what I am eating (an orange or banana?) but you can tell I'm not looking so great for the next 13-mile out and back.

I finished, and at my age and ability, that is always a victory. My running hero, Jay Norman, who is 69, still outran me. He's a freak of nature...

Photos by Brad Garrison