|Illustration by David Blumenthal|
Since I am trying to break the "Fastest Known Time" (FKT) on the trail, I'm following the appropriate rules to be as transparent and open as possible during my adventure. While foolish things like performance-enhancing drugs and other forms of cheating/lying have pretty much invaded all levels of sports in the world today, I'm happy to say the long-distance hiking/running world is still one in which Gentleman's (and Gentlewoman's!) Rules are respected. Peter Bakwin has done a great job in recent years of maintaining a website where all FKTs are listed and updated as results are reported. By following the general rules prior to, during, and after a trail run, proof of your result should be clear and accepted by all in the community. Here are the simple rules to follow, per Mr. Bakwin and Buzz Burell:
- Announce your intentions in advance. Like a true gentleman, pay your respects to those who came before you, and tell them what you intend to attempt and when.
- Be an open book. Invite anyone to come and watch or, better yet, participate. This makes your effort more fun and any result more believable.
- Record your event. Write down everything immediately upon completion. Memory doesn't count.
Important note of clarification: I'm not running the Long Trail simply to set the speed record. If I do, great, but my adventure is much more important than that. Simply put, if this was 20 or 30 years ago, I would most likely be dead...I wouldn't have lived past 27 years-old. Because of the advancements made in treating many forms of cancer in the past few decades (including my non-Hodgkin's lymphoma), I was able to walk out of the hospital with a new lease on life. Much like Spiderman's powers, with that gift came great responsibility. One obvious way I give back is by helping to raise money for cancer research, but perhaps even more important to current patients is doing something that can inspire them to keep fighting.
I recall the rush of adrenaline I felt during chemo treatments when reading about survivors like Lance Armstrong who came back better than ever after cancer treatments. Even though I know I'm no Lance Armstrong, I still push myself as hard as I can to accomplish things in my new life that will hopefully serve to inspire my fellow patients. I'm running the Long Trail to celebrate this new life and inspire others.
Am I as talented as the current and former record-holders on that course? Nope! Do I have the motivation in this adventure to make up for that talent gap and seriously challenge the record? I honestly think I do.
So, let's get these gangly legs out there in the Green Mountains and see what we can do! I say "we", because with your help this will truly be a team effort. Every comment posted to this blog, and every $10 donated to DFCI will give me the strength I need to keep pushing on out there. My eyes are steel, and my gaze is long...Let's do this!!!!