“By endurance we conquer.” -Ernest Shackleton
Growing up I always heard stories about races and events my relatives were part of. My Dad was a football player in high school but after that he got a little into running and found himself taking part in the social running club, Atlanta Hash House Harriers. Their slogan is “drinkers with a running problem.” (Might explain my love for micro brews and running.) The start of their runs are somewhat secret and you have to follow a path of flour, taking you through the thick of the woods. Most stories where about running through mud and briar bushes for a few hours, then getting hammered all day. Some stories involved pounding beers during the run, beer miles and pub runs. I thought that was crazy and badass at the same time. Seems a little weird telling a little kid these stories, but that’s how cool my parents were.
Then there was my Aunt and Uncle. My Dad would tell me about marathons and 24 hour races they did. I don’t know the exact details of what they did though. (Maybe I should ask about that…haha!) Not sure if I remember this correctly, but my Aunt did a marathon just a month before giving birth to one of my cousins and did a 24 hour race a few months after. My Uncle was into marathons, did a 24 hour race as well and did the famous JFK 50 miler.
On my Mom’s side, my granny wasn’t a runner but a swimmer. Some of my earliest memories in life are of her swimming at the lake. We would pack up coolers full of food, juice boxes for me and my brother, and alcohol for the adults. We would spend the day just like it was the beach. Really it was a man made beach at the lake, so it was perfect since we didnt have to drive for hours to get there. Every time we went, my granny would throw on her goggles and swim across the cove. Back and forth for what seemed like hours! She seemed so graceful out there. In the zone and never stopping. I would sit and watch her while I munched on Graham Crackers with peanut butter on them.
I also kept hearing about this thing called an Ironman. I didn’t know exactly what it was. I just knew the way my Dad spoke of it like it was the ultimate race. He would always say his cousin had won the championship in the 80s a few years. Scott Tinley is a distant relative of ours, but I’ve never met him. I think my Dad has only met him only a few times himself. He won in Kona in 1982 and 1985.
So I guess you can say endurance is in my blood.