Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Remember to be hospitable to strangers, for you never know who you're entertaining unawares.

This morning at work at the campground office, I was talking to my mom on my cell phone (slow day at the office) and told her, "Oops, gotta go, got a customer coming. He's dressed for running. He's got awesome thighs." She laughed and wished me luck and I hung up.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The man brought in a little bag of garbage and asked where the dumpsters were. I told him, but said, "That's small, just give it to me, I'll throw it in the trash can right here," which he did, and I did.

"How far you running today?" I asked. "Oh, 20 or 30 miles I guess," he said. "Great!" I said. "What are you training for?" He said, "Actually I'm running across the United States."

"Cool!" I answered. "So you're almost done?"

"No," he said, "I'm just starting."

"You're going east to west against the prevailing winds in late fall at this latitude? You're going to have fun when you get to Colorado!" We both laughed and he said he hoped Colorado wouldn't be too bad.

So he says, "You must be a runner. You didn't go blank or do a double take when I said how far I was running." I lifted my M-Dot Florida mug in a toast gesture and took a sip of my coffee. "Great, congratulations!" he said. "I barely survived, but it was fun," I observed. "I haven't run since, but I might go out today."

Then he says, "I just took a break from my trip, flew down to Texas, and did a 24-hour ultra. Plus I just finished running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days."

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

"Awesome!" I said. "I want to do all 50 states. Except I don't think I'll make it in 50 days :-) Another thing I want to do is cross the country, not on foot but on a bike, Pacific to Atlantic."

"That's a great goal," he said.

"You better go run, you've got goosebumps on your thighs," I said, thereby letting the cat out of the bag that I'd been ogling his thighs.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

He laughed. "Well, we gotta break camp first.... my dad is driving the camper, he's my support crew."

"Well, good luck!" I said, and he said, "You, too!" and he left. I watched them disconnecting their utility hoses getting ready to leave. Another customer came in. "See that rig leaving?" I said. "The guy was just in here.... he's running across the country east to west on Rte. 50." "Hmph," said the man. "Wonder if he knows what he's getting into as he gets into West Virginia and Western Maryland. I hear they've had snow in Garrett County already, and you know what the hills are like out there."

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I was wishing I'd given the runner guy my email address so he could let me know when he got there, like the guy I met on the bike trail last summer. I was wishing I'd had my camera so I could email his quads to my friends.

So I told some of my email friends, including Nancy, about this encounter, and told them they missed some great quads. Nancy emailed me back, "Uhhhhhh, Ellie.... did he look like this guy? (Gave me this link) Dean Karnazes????" I emailed back, "Yeah, that was him! I just put his registration info in the campground computer this morning!" So then I went to the link to see who he was.

Geez. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Dean Karnazes. I guess every runner in the world except me knows about him. He has a blog (actually several) and I left a comment on this one. On his Daily Archives page, you can see that he was staying in Winchester, VA (except they listed it as WV.) That was before he left for the ultra in TX and he just got back yesterday. That was here! That was Candy Hill Campground, Winchester, VA! I threw away his trash for him!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I'm glad I had my eye makeup on :-)


bunnygirl said...

Wow, your brush with fame!

So does that mean you're going to buy his book now?

Ellie said...

You bet. Even before "The New Competitive Runner's Handbook," which was going to be my next purchase in my Boston quest. Maybe I can get the book, chase him down, and get him to autograph it :-)

ShirleyPerly said...

How funny! I'd heard that he was very humble.

I ran alongside Pam Reed for a while at the Boston Marathon 2005 and never heard her mention who she was either. I knew already though :-)

runr53 said...

You know that Jeff Foxworthy bit about signs?? Ellie I love your blog, but your sign says "Oblivious" LOL! Run Good!

Laurie said...

Soooo cool! I read Dean's blog entry right before I read yours, how weird.

I'm not sure how you managed to get through your convo without drooling ;)

Flo said...

How very cool!!!! I can't believe you didn't know who he was, that is too funny.

21st Century Mom said...

That is hysterical, Ellie! Lucky you.

I was just reading someone else's run report on that Ultra which has a 6 hour version as well. They run in a loop over and over and over. She said it was really fun to keep passing Dean as he came the other way. Apparently he passed her a couple of times, too.

You should send an email to him via his blog. I'm sure he would be amused. I've met him a couple of times at book signings and he is a very humble, regular kind of guy.

Jack said...

Wow, that's cool! I highly recommend his book. He's truly an amazing runner.

Shelley said...

Wholly CRAP Ellie!!!! That is so cool to have met him!!!

Vickie said...

Too funny. Who would have thought?? He was here last month and ran a marathon the day before Chicago. I almost did a post on the experience, but something went wrong with Blogger (imagine that??) and I couldn't get the pictures to go through and then I forgot to post. Glad you got to see him close up. Nice looking guy, huh?

tarheeltri said...

How cool!

Barb said...

What a fun encounter! People had the opportunity to runwith him while he was doing his 50 Mary's in 50 States. That would have been fun. I understand he even keep it at a reasonable pace.

You'll enjoy his book. It's a fun read.

Julie B said...

OH my god! He had just finished the Ultracentric in TX where he placed very highly. Wow for you! I met Dean in Mpls; I've read his books, read his blog, and he just happens to come along to your camp. Wow. Many ultrarunners don't like him, I love him! And, yes, you will be awesome at the 50K in January!