Donald Linville Memorial Scholarship fund
Jim Linville -
8 to 8
Two little boys, one eight and one nine, walking down the street of a small town encounter a smoldering, half smoked cigarette. A look over the shoulder and then off to the alley with their new found treasure. Smokers seem to be totally unaware of how much they impact the world around them. If not for littering, would those two little boys been spared the insanely addictive habit of smoking?
Forty eight years later, I am that eight year old little boy. I first tried to stop smoking at the age of 19. I tried almost everything until it was emphysema that became the straw making the weight of addiction too heavy for me to bear. Running is what has made it possible for me to stay stopped.
At the CIGs Race on April 28th we are celebrating the eighth year of my recovery from nicotine addiction. With the help of some friends, The Show-Me State Games and the University School of Medicine we will be raising money for smoking related disease research.
The CIGs Race is a 4 mile course that welcomes runners of any and all running condition. The course is three laps of one and one third miles around the block at Lemone Industrial and Maguire in Columbia. The size of the block makes it a little tricky getting the starting and finish lines exactly where you want them, but its worked out. Anyone wanting to walk the course are welcome to come on out and do a lap.
The craftsman at Missouri River Monument in Boonville, Missouri are donating a dozen little stone coffins for trophies. As cigarettes have been referred to as “coffin nails” a little horseshoe nail affixed to the top of the coffin represents the final destination of nicotine addiction. With a dozen trophies there are enough to award first and second places for runners of both genders in categories specific to the runners relationship with smoking; Smokers, Ex-Smokers and Non-Smokers.
From eight to eight is how I think of this years race. This year celebrates the eighth year of recovery from an addiction I started at eight years old. Come on an celebrate. There is still plenty of time to clear your calendar.
Becoming the Big River Running Man
My best friend handed me a copy of a video to watch, “Here, Jim, watch this. This guy reminds me of you. I think you’ll find it motivational.” It was “Big River Man.” It is the story of Martin Strel. He “is a man who has swum 22,000 miles of the world’s deadliest waterways.” Martin was 52 years old when he set out on his epic journey to swim the Amazon River end to end. http://www.bigriverman.com/about.html
At age 55 I’ve been running for about seven years. I'm an ex-smoker with emphysema and probably will never be fast. My niche is in long distance adventures. Last year I managed to run 150 miles over three days. We called it “Crowing the Capital.” I ran from the State Capital to Crown Center. After finishing that run I took a part time job in Quincy, Illinois. Still living in Columbia, Missouri I was working seven days a week. It is really hard to get a run in working seven days a week. That started the decline in my endurance. By the first of the year I had decided to make the job in Quincy my full time job. Still living in Columbia on weekends and in Quincy five days a week leaves getting in some running and training a challenge. I am getting back in the routine and am back up to 10 miles for a long run.
As I struggle to get back to my former condition I always see in the back of my mind the Big River Man. I know I could never come close to the feats this man has performed, but he does motivate me. Martin Strel swam the length of the Mississippi river. Now, living on the Mississippi, I dream of running the length of the Mississippi. If I could do that, I could become The Big River Running Man.
I've been getting my long run on Saturday on the streets of Columbia. Living in Midway I run through the country a lot. All the dogs that live out there know me. If I run by their house and am not greeted right away, I bark at them. That generally gets them up and going. They usually run with me at least to the end of the fence or the chain. If they are loose they go as far as they think they can get away with. For some of them, that can be miles. I know all the roads by heart and think through the trip on the way. I decide on which way to go by the number of miles I need to get.
During the week I run the streets of Quincy. Those streets are all still new to me. I only know the geography in general. So I head west toward the Mississippi. Any way you go from my apartment is uphill. It is a long gentle grade, but up hill just the same. If you head due west, it is about a mile to the crest of the hill. From the crest you can begin to see the river. It is a two block, very steep down hill run to the river.
Cresting that hill has gained an anticipation for me. I know it's there, but I don't quite have the memory canned so it is still new every time. It is awesome! I can almost imagine Martin Strel's head bobbing out there in that big old river. Awesome! I run down to Front Street and run along the river. Turning north you can see both of the highway bridges and a train bridge. Running under the highway bridges you can cut down into two roadside parks, one of them with several amenities.
Turning south on Front Street gives a little more industrial feel. In my mind I search for the way to Hannibal. I know it is out there. The street looses it's break down lane to tall grasses. I pick up the pace a bit since I am sharing the road with cars. Thankfully it is four lane. At the first opportunity to turn off is a street that skirts between two parks. One of them is South Park. I love that run. First you have to climb back up that hill. The rest of it is shared with park creatures, some of them human.
With this dream of becoming the Big River Running Man, I have a long time to build in little goals of 5ks, 10ks and half marathons. I am running the Murdock Banner Financial Group’s Warrensburg Half Marathon on September 24, 2011. My family and friends will have a booth at that event to raise awareness of the Don Linville Memorial scholarship to the University of Central Missouri's track team. I would like to invite you to join us there. http://www.sportkc.org/sportkc.aspx?pgID=866&event_id=597
I have a long way to go to become the Big River Running Man. I would like to take you every step of the way. I will use this blog to send letters from the Middle Of the Road. Will you follow me?
M.O. the R.
Unworthy, by Jim Linville
a runner's report
by Jim Linville
I've spent a good deal of the last month trying to put Crowning the Capital into words. The last few paragraphs were just not coming out. I had pretty much decided, this piece was not going to be written. Then my brother John made a FaceBook page for family photos and I found this copy of a newspaper article about our brother Donald when he was first being treated for polio. I had not seen this before. The article was titled, "Can't keep a good man down." Donald was 5 years old. He was "making satisfactory improvement" and was now able to "raise his hand from the arm of the chair." I am so unworthy to be a spokesperson for this man.
Tuesday, June 1st, 2010 - my wife Jenny took me to the State Capitol building in Jefferson City. As we circled looking for a parking place a group of kids crossed in front of the car staring at us. Jenny said, "Oh yeah, I forget I'm with you and wonder why people are staring." What! Is it the pink beard or the yellow and read crown? She found a place to park and I geared up. Jenny got a video of me on the stares of the Capitol building and a few more kids got pictures of the weird looking man. Jenny sent me on my way. I had planned on leaving at 1:00 PM and actually got an eight minute head start. My nephew Jeff Linville connected with me just past the St. Martins exit. Jeff had all my extra gear, food and fluids. I had ran out of fluids about a half an hour before and was glad to see him. Jeff scouted out the route ahead while I continued to make some time. We had not seen this part of the route on foot and it certainly makes a difference.
I was making good time although the first technical difficulty had presented itself. Using a Sportsline stopwatch I was planning to run a 25/5 interval of run/walk. The watch's buzzer quit so I was having to try to guess at the intervals while not boring myself with clock watching. I finally decided to use a method generally employed after dark. I call it, "You can't catch me walking." As long as I can see cars coming at me, I run. When I don't see cars, I walk. Dog gone it was a high traffic day. I got a lot of running in and little walking.
Jeff and I stopped in California for a sub sandwich and to stock up on fluids. I re-taped my toes and changed socks. I thought I had mastered the toe taping practice. I needed to keep my fourth toe taped up out from under the third toe to keep from pinching a blister on it. I was getting that blister anyway and now the little toe was getting it to. It was a little uncomfortable to have them taped up, but better than the blisters. We didn't get out of town before the first good Samaritan came by. A young man in a pickup stopped to see if I need a hand. I told him I had a road crew up ahead. He thought, perhaps I was doing a fund raiser. "Yes I am." He actually had a cousin that ran on the UCM track team. We talked long enough for Jeff to get worried about me and come back to see what was keeping me. It was dark now and it was not much farther that Nate Smith, Patrick Hanson and Frankie showed up to take over for Jeff.
Nate and Pat soon settled into a routine of one man walking Frankie beside me as I jogged. The roadside was bad and it seemed better to find a place to park the car where there was room. The guys had brought extra blinkies and a lantern. I had two flashlights on me and was using my favorite one. We seemed to get along pretty good with the traffic we encountered. A lot of it was big trucks. My interval timing went right on out the window. I just tried to keep a pace that was slow enough to maintain and yet faster than I walk. The conversation ran. It is times like this that you really get to know your friends. We trekked on through the night.
The next several miles and few hours were only interrupted with a down pour. Nate and I made it to the car before we got very wet. By the time I got my raincoat out and ready to brave the storm, it quit. Getting out to move on my flashlight fell apart and we couldn't find all the pieces. That is why you take two. We trekked on. Between 4:00 and 5:00 AM we decided to stop for breakfast. The guys carried me 18 miles into Sedalia and we had a Wendy's breakfast. We stocked up on fluids and they took me back out the 18 miles to where we left off. Daylight was breaking and I was on my own for the duration of the journey to Sedalia's Super 8.
As the dawn turned to day I was watching an ominous cloud sliding down from the north. I was hoping to slip past it but It started to look like I was going to get caught. That is when I realized my raincoat was still in my packs that Nate, Pat and Frankie were passing off to Jenny to meet me with in Sedalia. I had no protection from the storm. I looked for some shelter in a conservation area just east of the Lamine river. There was none. I had managed to get my cell phone into a Ziploc that had been used for first aid. The rain came. It was cold and continued for three hours. When the rain finally subsided I was disappointed to find the Ziploc had not been enough. The phone was wet and would not boot up. I was off line for the rest of the day. It did get hot and I dried out just fine.
Entering Sedalia there were billboards that suggested it was only about two to four miles from 65 highway. I was really getting hopeful. The shoulder turned just wide enough to run on. Traffic was not interested in giving any extra room. It was hot, I was tired and this was getting frustrating. Finally I reached the part of town I had ran in before. There was a nice, shaded sidewalk separated from the traffic. I remembered that I was still a good hour from 65 highway. It had been 24 hours and 60 miles getting to this point. I was reduced to walking. I could run a minute or two and then had to walk a minute or two. One block at a time and finally I could see the Super 8 ahead. I know what a mile looks like and that was all that was left to go. I knew Jenny would be coming by anytime. It was just a little before 3:00 PM. I just knew she would stop and pick me up. I would certainly take a lift about now. It was only about a hundred yards left to go when Jenny drove by. I saw her pull in the Super 8 and walk my way. I made it and seven minutes early. I got a cold bath and climbed in bed. Jenny bought us McDonald's. 62 miles in 26 hours, I crashed.
Thursday, 4:00 AM- I couldn't sleep any longer. I had set the alarm for 5:00 but I got up and started some coffee. I did my yoga and stretches and started getting ready to hit the road. I had planned on leaving by 7:00. That would give me 9 hours to make 27 miles. My sponsor, Murdock Banner Financial Group is in Warrensburg. The scholarship is to Warrensburg's University of Central Missouri. This was a high point for the run, making it to Murdock Banner Financial Group. I should be able to do this by 4:00. One thing to consider was I had no road crew that day. Jenny checked out of Super 8 and caught up with me at Knob Noster. She picked me up and took me into town and we had lunch at Sonic. After eating and using the facilities she dropped me back out at the highway. I was on my own again the rest of the way.
That 27 miles ended up being the painful. longest miles. My feet ached and the blisters on my toes were just too much. I was an hour late getting to Warrensburg. My friends at the Murdock Banner Financial Group were patiently waiting for me. We had a blast going over the plans for the next day's run, the booth at the Hospital Hill Run and the up coming Warrensburg Half Marathon. I was interviewed for the local paper and caught a ride over to my nephew Chuck's place. I got a shower and drained all of my new blisters. We had pizza and a good night's sleep.
My friend John Straka had been at Murdock Banner Financial Group. He run's on the Don Linville team. This year his daughter Joni signed up for the team as well. This was going to be her first time. John's wife Dana works with Murdock Banner Financial Group and helps us with the booth at the run. I asked John if he had ever had this problem with the blisters and all. He said to uses body glide. Now you know, I had read that and decided that didn't apply to my situation. Now, I had not much choice. My toes were all either raw meat or loose skin. There was nothing to tape to. I considered John's words.
Friday, 5:00 AM - Chuck dropped me at the convenience store at the edge of town. 57 miles to go to the Hospital Hill Run finish line by the Saturday morning 10:00 a.m. cutoff time. I had no crew today. I was carrying everything that couldn't buy on the way. It was a warm morning and there was a cloud bank that blocked the morning sun. I ran under the edge of that cloud for a good 2 hours. I've ran this road before and it felt good like an old friend. The shoulder was broad and the pavement smooth. The hours rolled by. I stopped at a convenience store for a refill and the restroom. No one spoke to me. That is different. I almost forgot that I was still wearing the red and yellow crown and this pink beard. I felt normal there for a minute.
Up around the bend was a section of 50 highway that was the old road resurfaced. There was barely enough shoulder to run on. Almost everyone that didn't have a car beside them, pulled over for me. When I saw what was going on I started making a gesture of gratitude and thanking everyone. Almost everyone of them waved back to me. It was a really strange experience. There was a lot of traffic. I finally made it back to new pavement and we all went back to ignoring each other pretty much. For lunch I stopped at Pittsville. The girl behind the counter said, "you just made my day," pulling out her cell phone to snap a photo. "This is going on FaceBook," she says. I asked her to tag me so I could get a copy of it and told her to get my information from www.cigsrace.com and she said she would. I had a burger and used the facilities. I got a couple of bottles of Gatorade and on down the road I went.
Jenny checked us in at the hotel on Crown Center Plaza and picked up my race day packet. I already had my bib. I had planned for the worse case scenario and hoped for the best. I was far beyond anywhere I had gone before. Who knows what will happen next. My legs were good and I was still running. My feet were better but it was hot and sunny. Jenny and I spent a few minutes on the phone and then she made an attempt to reach out for someone to carry my pack for me. She found that our brother-in-law was free and willing to come out and help. It was 3:00 in the afternoon when Dennis Ramsey caught up with me. We struggled through the Friday night getting home from work and leaving town traffic. There was road construction and everything else to have to contend with. It was grueling and I was at my end when we stopped for dinner. Arby's!!
Over dinner we pretty much figured out that I was not going to make the deadline and finish the run. There were a lot of different ways to end it and maintain honor. We never really settled on what would be the best. Never the less, I was pretty disheartened to have planned this thing for months, advertised it for weeks, ran for days and not make the cutoff time. We decided to run on and see how it went.
I made the Kansas City city limit sign and that was good. I made it into Raytown and that was good. Night fell and everything just seemed to go to pieces. Dennis finally came to the rescue. It was 9:00 pm and I had been running for 14 hours of the fourth day with another 37 miles. I was spent and yet determined. Dennis picked my up and insisted we go to Crown Center to work it out with our spouses. I figured that I would be able to talk to Beth Salinger, the Hospital Hill Run's race director when we got there. I figured an event as large scale as this thing would have her up into the wee hours of the night. Sure enough, she was still at it. I explained to Beth how I had not been able to finish the run and make the cutoff time. Beth, always the optimist, told me, "you just be proud of what you've accomplished. You did a big thing. Now go on up to your room and get some sleep and run that race tomorrow." I love that girl. That is just what I needed to hear. I was so defeated at that moment and she pulled me out of it and gave me hope. I did what she said and by midnight I was racked out.
I ran the Hospital Hill Run's half marathon that Saturday morning in 3:30:30. I was the last one to make it in before the cutoff. I guess another 30 seconds and I would have blown that as well. I covered a lot of miles, 125 I've estimated. That is the longest I have run in consecutive days, but in the back of my mind, I failed. Whatever else I accomplished, I failed at doing what I set out to do. "You can't keep a good man down" so they say. What does it take to be a good man. I know a man that earned that compliment at the age of 5. He went on to be one of the most admired men I have ever known. I only wish I could have been more like him. He told me once, "Jimmy, someday you'll be expected to take responsibility. If you do that, you'll be a man." He told me that the first week of June in 1971 and then died the next day. I think I grew just a little bit that week in June. Just a little bit more worthy. Yet still,... in the back of my mind...
Crowning the Capitol
6/1/2010 – 6/5/2010
150 miles from the Missouri State Capitol to the Hospital Hill Run at Crown Center in Kansas Ci
Tuesday 6/1 1:00 PM leave Jeff City go 62.9 miles in 25 hours
Wednesday 6/2 3:00 PM arrive at Super 8
Thursday 6/3 5:00 AM go 28 miles in 10 hours.
3:00 PM arrive at Murdock Banner Financial Group, Warrensburg
Friday 6/4 7:00 AM leave Warrensburg go 55 miles in 24 hours
Saturday 6/5 7 AM arrive on Hospital Hill Run 1/2 marathon race course.
The challenge - "Crowning the Capitol." The plan is to run from the State Capitol building along 50 highway to the finish line of the Hospital Hill Run at Crown Center. That is 150 miles. The run will be like two 100k's with a 50k in the middle.
The opportunity - “Vote for the dyeing.” I have grown a Hulk Hogan style set of whiskers and they are mostly white. I want you to help decide what color these whiskers will be as I run down the side of 50 highway between Jefferson City and Kansas City. Red - White - Blue. You choose.
The vote - for each one dollar donation to the Don Linville Memorial Fund you get one vote.
Picture it now, you see, I built the crown from a milk jug and painted it florescent yellow. I embellished it with UCM Mules and bling. I'll wear that crown and the color of whiskers that draw the most votes for four days up 50 highway to the Hospital Hill Run.
Please, vote early and often. You can vote as much as you want. I'll keep you posted how the vote is going.
You can still sign up to run the Hospital Hill Run on the Don Linville Memorial Fund team and get a discount. Just drop me a line or give me a call and I'll give you the discount code.
A great opportunity for fans of the Don Linville Scholarship to help a student athlete carry on Don's dream.
Why? Hospital Hill Run!
(part one, The Reason)
by Jim Linville 5/2/10
I was looking for a run in early June. June 5th is my father's birthday. June 12th is the day my brother Donald past away. The two events that shaped who I am today. I found the Hospital Hill Run on the internet and loved the idea of running the streets of Kansas City. The other thing that caught my eye was the charity program that is offered there. It is like "Bring Your Own Charity." I could raise money for the scholarship in my brother's honor. What a brilliant idea.
As I read the description of the course I thought, with the hills around Columbia, the Hospital Hill Run can't be that big of a deal. Boy was I wrong. The difference is the hills are long. You run up hill, like for ever. I had ran one other half marathon, the Columbia Half Marathon and I did it in just under 3 hours. I started the Hospital Hill Run with the 2:30 pacer. I had to let those people go by the top of the first hill. I was soon approached by the 3:00 pacer. A really nice guy, he was. We spent several miles together. There were not very many running at that pac and it was not very much farther that I had to let him go as well. The rest of the race got ugly. I was past by little old ladies and the handicapped. By the time I was just over a mile out, the 3:30 pacer had caught up with me. Now I had to keep up. I had never had a DNF and didn't want one today. I gutted it out and made it in under the time limit.
That was the longest 3 hours and 30 minutes of my life. I had my ass chewed up and spit back in my face. Hospital Hill Run conquered me. That was 2008. When I finally recovered I went out and ran another half marathon, the Warrensburg Half Marathon. There was a 3 hour time limit in the Warrensburg Half Marathon. I was feeling pretty good until both of my calves started cramping up. There was still about 3 miles left to go and I kept on going. I picked up my foot and the calf cramped. I set my foot down and the cramp released. That was every step of the last three miles of the Warrensburg Half Marathon. I made it in one minute before the cutoff and dead last. Again, the run conquered me. This was the turning point of my life as a runner. I determined to find out just how far it is that I can run.
My father past away when I was 9 years old. I had already started smoking by then. Dad didn't know that. I continued to smoke. My brother Donald became a father figure for me. Donald had been stricken with polio at the age of five. He was 10 years older than me, so I only knew him with his handicap. As he taught me to play baseball and throw the Frisbee he never once even mentioned his handicap. He gained his masters in the science of education, taught high school math and was the guidance counselor. He coached softball, bowled and loved to fish. The man was only 25 when he past away. 25 years old and still more of a man than I have yet to be at twice the age. I spent the summer with Don his last few weeks of life. I was fifteen and had already started drinking and smoking dope. Donald didn't know that. The memory of finding him dead on the coach took a long time to fade. Drugs and alcohol didn't help. It was sobriety that let the memory fade.
Why the Hospital Hill Run? I celebrate the two men in my life that gave me potential. Donald told me the day before he died, "if you take responsibility, you will be a man." With my feet already insecurely planted on the sands of addiction, it was many years before I was able to be responsible. This year, I have 14 years clean and sober and 6 years smoke free. I have started a scholarship at the University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg for a student on the track team that intends to become an educator. Donald was awarded his masters in the science of education when the university was Central Missouri State University. That was one month before he died. By helping a student athlete gain their teaching credentials, I am extending Donald's legacy into the next generation. He is the one that deserves the recognition. He is the one that did the work, had the drive, won the respective of faculty and students, he took responsibility.
Why? Hospital Hill Run? Why? because I can. That is what I learned from Dad and Don. I can. Challenges don't defeat you. Even when they break you, you can learn from them. Even when you are the one that comes in last, you can be a winner. Even when you have been conquerred, you can build from that. LIfe is full of challenges. Life is a challenge. Live the Challenge
The Freak Wins All!
by Jim Linville
March 29, 2010
I thought it was suppose to be sunny. Yeah, isn't that always the plan. Ultra running is such a time consuming hobby that you really need to run whenever you get a chance. But still, I may end up putting the Saturday run off to until Sunday, if it is suppose to be sunny. Of course, you really can't afford to do that and still burn the candle at both ends. Some days you have to decide if you're a runner or a race director. A husband or a father. A man or a freak. The freak often wins all.
The 150 mile Crowing the Capitol adventure trek is not the craziest idea I've had. It is just the one I am currently trying to master. There are a couple of other treks that are the same distance I am planning on experiencing. This event should tell me that I can do that distance and open the door to the others. This last weekend I made 20 miles on my long run. It felt really good on the way out. I would like to be running twice that far by now. But it seems, at least for me, that half of battle of ultra distance adventure running is pain management. We solved the problem of my little toe next to the littlest toe. That was good. But the chafing,.. man,.. that's got to stop. I would hate to DNF for chafing.
I went to my favorite ultra running web site and I'm told to try a farm product called utter butter or bag balm. I did go to our local farm supply store and of course there was a girl I know there to help me. "Excuse me. Can you tell me where the utter balm is?" "You mean the bag balm? You just past it. Are you serious? What are you going to do with bag balm?"
Let's just hope it does the trick. The problem is the 10 pounds I put on every winter. You would think my body would know I'm going to be running that off. You would think that between my thighs is the last place my body would try to store 10 extra pounds of fat. But noOOoooo! "Let's put it right here where we can remember where we put it."
I never really get out of shape or in shape for that matter, it's all a matter of conditioning. I've got a picture here for you of a hill that is just four miles from my home. Going out it is a long slow hill. Not bad at all to climb. Coming back home it is tall and steep. I always think of that one song, this hill tells me "what condition my condition is in". If I can run all the way up that hill, I didn't go too far. If I have to walk up this hill, it is going to be a long four miles home.
I made a friend climbing that hill one time. She was conditioning for a trek in the Rockies. I see her most weekends. We are usually going opposite directions. "Hi Tina!" "Hi Jim" "going to rain?" "Looks like it." But sometimes we get a couple of miles to share. She has good stories.
I added two miles this week. They were miles I had not seen before on foot. The creek bottoms were pretty cool. After I got up the hill on the other side there was this sign, "dangerous hill". Don't you think they could of told me that before I climbed it?
What I learned from the Middle Of the Road: I know from the miles that I've seen that I can go as far as I can see. I know from the people I've met that I'll like the people I meet.
Blog Crown the Capitol
Thoughts about Ultra Running by Jim Linville
Feb. 15, 2010
SuperBowl Sunday, I should be running. I'm not. Ultra running is such a time consuming hobby I get in a habit of putting stuff off so I can run or sleep, or eat, oh yeah,.. and work. With the holidays in December and the new year's launch of January, I have slipped out of shape and out of the routine drive to get out and get in the street. I gained 10 pounds!
Those of you that know me know that I have a goal of finishing the Bad Water. From that stand point Dean Karnazes is my hero, ww.ultramarathonman.com is one of my favorite sites and Kevin Sayers Ultra Running Resource www.ultrunr.com is where I go for advice. I am an ultra runner. For a 10 to 15 mile run to max me out is depressing. But, that is where I am. Can I get to a point in my conditioning to be able to complete a 150 mile run by June 5th? Yes, I can.
In this blog I'll try to relate to you some of the more minute details of this journey. I'll try to avoid some of the more routine. For instance; I've had an issue with the toe next to my littlest toe on my left foot. It seems as though my foot is rolling over on the toe pad and pinching a blister. I've tried several different things from wrapping the toe to different levels of control shoes. I've decided that the orthodics that I was prescribed 5 years ago are no longer what I need. Running in the standard inserts that came with the shoe is relieving the blistering with no obvious damage to my feet or ankles.
Valentine's Day weekend and between the temperature, the weather front moving in and my feet still adjusting to the absence of prescription orthodics, I turned back at 7 miles out. A 14 mile run in four and half hours, I'm okay with that.
Rocking Hospital Hill Run, Leg 4
On the finish line
a runner's report
by Jim Linville
It was surreal seeing the Kansas City Skyline after having ran for 50 miles. Now, two days later sitting in our room on the 20th floor of the Hyatt Regency, Crown Center I replay that scene and feel that moment. Ironically, we have room 2004. I stopped smoking in 2004. Going for a run when I wanted to smoke and trying to think of something besides smoking got me started thinking about just how far a man like me could possibly run. Kicking the habit kick started my life of ultra-adventure running.
My family has a booth at the Hospital Hill Run in Kansas City at Crown Center. The booth promotes a scholarship we started in honor of our brother Donald. The idea of Rocking Hospital Hill was to wear a small rock around my neck as I ran from my home in Columbia, Missouri to packet pickup for Hospital Hill Run at Crown Center in Kansas City. I had already run to Boonville so I started there. I ran 4 legs from Boonville. The first two legs were on the Katy Trail reaching Sedalia. The 3rd leg stretched 30 miles from Sedalia to Warrensburg. This, the 4th leg was 58 miles.
We have always wanted to start a scholarship to honor our brother Donald. He was an educator. He worked hard to earn his education. Helping other young people get to be educators only makes sense. I can still remember the day he received his Masters Degree in the Science of Education. The procession led down a hill on the campus of what is now the University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg. I had the movie camera and was waiting on the hill to catch Donald as he passed by in his cap and gown. As I waited I grew weary and just spaced out for a moment. All of a sudden I heard Donald's voice, “Jimmy! You better get this shot! I'm not coming down here again.” I got the shot.
Donald had a goal, a Masters degree. He had worked hard for years to complete the course. The goal had just came into view. I'm sure the moment was surreal. It had been a spot on the horizon and now he was right in the middle of it. At the bottom of that hill he would have his foot on the finish line.
I had a road crew to carry my gear from Sedalia to Hospital Hill. My brother John was my crew on the 3rd leg from Sedalia to Warrensburg. That was a 10 hour day that ended at our sponsor's office in Warrensburg. The Murdock Banner Financial Group were very open to the idea of Rocking Hosptial Hill Run when I shared my vision with them. I could not have hoped for a more enthusiastic sponsor. The staff at Murdock Banner Financial Group were all very exciting to work with. They always know how to boost my spirit and get me ready for the run.
I met the folks of Murdock Banner Financial Group at the Warrensburg Half Marathon in 2008. It was the first of they hope to be an annual event. They did a fantastic job of hosting the event. I strongly recommend anyone interested in participating in a half marathon to check this one out. It was so much fun. When I participated in this event last year, I finished in last place as a true ultra-runner might. Sometimes it seems I forget why everyone is in such a hurry. As I came around the corner and saw the finish line the surreal feeling of the goal acquired kicked in. For that one moment I was at the place for which I had worked so hard for the last three hours to get to. I was on
the finish line.
The 4th leg started at Murdock Banner Financial Group. An older brother, Chuck took the first shift. We left Warrensburg at 3 pm. Chuck's son Chuck took over at 7 pm. The second shift took us into the darkness. 58 miles is farther than I have ever ran before. So, I was planning on running a little bit behind my usual 3 mile an hour average. At one in the morning I would have ran 30 miles. That was my previous personal record. It was 12:30 in the morning when my friend Steve Kullman took my gear from Chuck. I really felt pretty good. By 2 am I was sinking into the abyss of sleep deprivation. I had wondered what it would be like trying to run in that condition. I have worked two jobs and worked all night setting up for an event. I was a bit of a partier in my younger days and all in all, I'm familiar with sleep deprivation. But to be trying to run instead of falling asleep; now that is a pretty cool feeling. I believe I will have to try that one again. We decided to take the next exit and find a convenience store to get some coffee.
Steve Kullman is such a good man. We met at the recreation center early in my running career. He is actually the guy that introduced me to the running community in Columbia. He is an avid runner, triathlete and dependable event volunteer. We have worked some interesting runs together. Through the course of this night he was my only link to the real world. It was 8:00 am when he handed my gear off to Nate Smith. I have known Nate about 5 years. He is a triathlete as well. He and Meredith brought a tandem bicycle in the back of the van. Every once in a while I would loose sight of them and here they would come on the bicycle. They took my gear the rest of the way to the Hospital Hill Run.
I was running with Nate when the Kansas City skyline first came into sight. I had pictured that moment in preparation, but I had not pictured sharing it. Sharing that moment with Nate, I won't forget that. You don't forget those moments or the one you shared them with. My brother Donald passed by me coming down the hill toward his goal. We shared that moment. I got the shot. One month later he passed away. He was one of the victims of polio from the 1950's. He was left crippled and it was his heart that finally let him down. For several years after that, as the family sat and watched that piece of film, I would hear his voice. “I'm not coming back here again.” The home movies were still silent at that time. You had to be there to know what was said.
The day that Donald past away I was the only one there with him. I am the only one that sees that scene as it replays. I had been staying with Donald over the summer. He had not felt well and just laid down on the couch for a minute. I went and got a shower and got dressed. When I came back to the living room he was dead.
One month after acquiring his goal he was dead. How often I have wondered, “why have goals?” Ultra running answers that question for me. The joy in goal acquisition. It is not so much in the having of it, it is that moment. It is crossing the finish line that is the thrill. Being on the other side of the finish line is not nearly as exciting as crossing it. The seeing of it starts that surreal sensation that fuels the rush. When you take that step that is going to land on or beyond that line, you just want that moment to last. You don't even really want your foot to land. You just want to stay in that moment. The moment for which you have worked all of those years, all of those miles, all of those dreams, all of those talks, all of those sleepless nights. That moment has come and your foot is in the air to land. Oh my god! What a rush that is.
I would like to thank my crew, the Board of Directors of Hospital Hill Run and the staff. Thank you Kristina Olkowski and Beth Salinger for putting on such an exciting event. I want to thank you and warn you. We are not done yet. I have to have goals. I'll be working at seeing you at the finish line next year. Okay?
Rocking Hospital Hill, The 3rd Leg
a runner's report
by Jim Linville
This, the third leg of a one hundred and twenty mile journey, is a dream come true in more ways than one. I had always planned to stop smoking and start running. It didn't quite go that way, but I did get stopped smoking and I am running. The motivation to stick it out has come from remembering a brother that died when I was young. Today I run the third leg, a 30 mile run up 50 highway from Sedalia to Warrensburg.
I train alone on the highways around Columbia and always run facing traffic. The only problem with that is, during an event when I have a road crew, I try to run with traffic. The pitch is different and I end up with blisters and sore legs. I have learned that if the side of the road is not good, stay off of it as much as possible. You are just asking for trouble if the side is too soft, busted up or littered. I've learned to run toward traffic and share the road as much as it is safe. Most communities do not make the main thoroughfares friendly to foot traffic. Out of town the highways are all pretty much the same.
This morning before I left the house I opened Hospital Hill Run discussion board on Facebook. Everybody does that don't they? I commented that I would be out on 50 highway between Sedalia and Warrensburg between 5:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.. I asked that anyone reading the comment and seeing me out here would honk three times. What are the odds that a passerby would just be sounding their horn 3 times. He or she had to have read my comment.
My brother John is my road crew. He follows me in the car with my gear. He and I left the Pettis County Court House in Sedalia at 5:10. It was a little cool at 50 degrees, but hey, 50 degrees for a 50k on highway 50, priceless. There were several people that honk when I am running. Some honk only once. I have to wonder if they are honking at me or the crew. We pretty much do whatever we have to do.
If you know me, you know I have this thing about running down the middle of the road. I really get a kick out of that. Well, there was a couple of miles of highway 50 that was shut down to one lane for construction. What a blast. You know I was running down the middle of 50 highway as far as I could. So cool! I really expected to draw a honk there.
There were only two people that honked twice. Those folks are either runners or someone they love is a runner. That always picks my spirits up. Still, I was hoping for the 3 honkers. Surely everyone else reads the Hospital Hill Run Facebook page every morning. There was one 3 honker just a couple of miles west of La Monte. I know that had to be a Hospital Hill Run Group fan. Super! The next 3 honker was just a couple of mile east of Warrensburg. Now this guy has to be a runner, he gave me a raised fist pump through the sun roof. I know for sure this guy read my comment. Far out! Not far behind him was another 2 honker. This gal waved great big. She is a runner fan.
Finally, Murdock Banner Financial Group up the hill. It's 2:56. I see the stir in the street like they know we are coming. High expectations. Yeah!!!
Murdock Banner Financial Group is sponsoring the Don Linville Memorial Fund booth this year. They had a banner made for us that looks fantastic. The staff of Murdock Banner Financial Group are very supportive of the running community in Warrensburg. You can Google Murdock Banner Financial Group and find the Warrensburg office very easily.
Dana relates her story of seeing us on 50 just outside of town and honking. "Did you honk twice?" "Yes I did. My husband John had called and told me he saw you just this side of Knob Noster. He said he honked." "Did he honk 3 times?" "I don't know about that but he said he waved through the sun roof." So I don't know for sure if John read my comment before he hit the road, but I bet he read it when he got home that night.
I have been carrying a little rock with my brothers name on it as I run. I have one more run to get my little rock to the Hospital Hill Run. This one will be 58 miles. I have never ran that far before. I usually average 3 miles an hour on a journey; I like to sight see a bit. At that rate 58 miles should take me about 20 hours. I am going to add a couple of hours to my estimate just because that is a long time to run. So I will plan on leaving Murdock Banner Financial Group in Warrensburg at 3:00 pm on Thursday June the 4th. I should make it to the Crown Center fountains no later than 3:00 pm on Friday June 5th for the packet pick up at the Hospital Hill Run.
I won't be running the event this year. I will be hanging out at the Don Linville Memorial Fund booth. There will be a team running for us and I will be very proud to introduce you to them before and after the event.
Please check out our site from the Charities Partners page of the Hospital Hill Run web site. Drop me a line if you want to be on my team. I would love to have you.
Along the way
by Jim Linville
Though we travel by different means, we are all going to The Pedaler's Jamboree.
Man!.. you guys amaze me! I am not a cyclist but I can't keep from wanting to join in the fun. I picture it like a rolling Woodstock. I remember meeting four kids in a VW micro-mini bus passing through Missouri. They were driving to New York to a concert that was going to be "FAR! OUT! MAN!" That was 1969 and I was 13 years old. Yep, Woodstock.
Peace and Love! What do you say? Can we look for Yasgur's farm on the way to Boonville. I'll be the old hippie hoofing it. I'll be trying to hear Jimi Hendrix jammin along the Katy Trail. I'll stop in the General Store to see if I can catch Arlo Guthrie playing with Honky Tonk. Then I'll ramble on down to the Trailside Cafe looking for Joan Baez. With any luck at all, I'll make it to the Katy Roundhouse to see the 3rd Street String Band playing with Country Joe McDonald. I can hear it now as Santana plays lead for the East Ash Street Band and the Wild Cat Daddies jam with Canned Heat. Of course, the Grateful Dead will be the opening act for Big Smith when I finally make it to Boonville.
I'm sure I'll have a serious stagger on the way back Sunday morning but I'll be trying to make it back to the Trailside Cafe before the last chords of "Hey Joe" fade away into the recesses of our collective memory.
Together we can find our way back to the place where we are all family and love is the only language that we speak. Let us catch anew the first rays of the dawning of the age of Aquarius. What's that spell?
Before we start talking about breakfast in bed for 400,000 let me explain what drew me out:
I have a scholarship in my brother Donald's memory that I raise money for by running what I like to refer to as “journeys.” I have ran 6 – 50k events and May 19th I ran one more. The next event is my first 100k on June 4th & 5th. The Pedelar's Jamboree is just an opportunity for one more training day. The why is that I was the only one there the day that Donald died. I was 15 years old and didn't realize what was happening. I didn't recognize that he was having a heart attack. I believe it is a form of survivor's guilt that drives me to honor Don's memory. Running is my therapy.
I started running to try to stop gaining weight and reduce my high cholesterol and high blood pressure. It was after I started running that I found out I have emphysema and running helped me stop smoking. So I run what I call a rhythm run and walk five minutes out of every half hour. My pace on a long run seldom exceeds 3 miles an hour. It takes all day for me to get 30 miles.
The journey that I am on now is to our Charity Partner's booth at Hospital Hill Run on June 5th at Crown Center. I live in Midway and ran to Boonville and back. Then I started at Boonville and ran the Katy Trail to Clifton City. Next, I drove to Clifton City and ran the Katy Trail to Sedalia and back. The 19th was a 50k from Sedalia to Warrensburg. From Warrensburg to Crown Center will be almost 100k. I have a rock that I wear around my neck as I run this journey. I am calling the run “Don Linville Memorial Fund rocks Hospital Hill Run.”
Now that we are all family, you can just call me Uncle Irl.
Rocking Hospital Hill Run Leg 2
I don’t know exactly
(a runner’s report)
By Jim Linville
1st leg – Boonville to Clifton City, 23.7 miles in 8 hours, 37 minutes – 2/10/2009
I headed out on Sunday March 29th to get the second leg of Rocking Hospital Hill Run in. I don’t know exactly why I had been putting it off for sure. But it was going to be now or I would not be getting it done in March. I know that it was the threat of ice that had kept me from the run on Saturday. Surprisingly the snow was still there when I got to Clifton City.
I failed to get a support crew for this leg so I was going to be on my own. That meant this would be an out and back and I wouldn’t be going as far as I had thought. So instead of Clifton City to La Monte I ran to Sedalia and back. Still that is somewhere in the neighborhood of 24 miles. I don’t know exactly why I lag behind technology. If I only had a GPS I would not have to guess at some of the mileage points. I do, however have a computer. MapMyRun tells me that I did make it out 12 miles. You don’t get to do a road trip on the Katy Trail. You just have to go for it and see what is out there. I stopped at the Sedalia Train Depot and then walked down town to the court house. I turned around there and went back out to the trail. I also have a watch, a stop watch. It is one of the more expensive water resistant models you can get at Wal-Mart. So I know I was out 8 hours on the journey.
Some locations take more time to get through. The Shaver Creek Bridge, the Osage Plains marker. You know, you have to have pictures. Oh yeah, I have a camera. It’s a JamCam my son Ray gave me. There is not a lot of settings to mess with. You just aim and shoot and then download it when you get home. Perfect for a foot journey, very light weight. As I was running through a pass cut through a hill, I had to wonder how long it had taken to erode the stone walls as much as they were. I had to slow down and look. I made it up around the bend and there was the Shaver Creek bridge. Writing on the bridge called it “Shave Tail Creek” and the plaque said that it had been built in 1910, exactly.
I don’t know exactly why I have never bothered to get an I-Pod. It seems that some people would not be able to run without one. All I have are the sounds of nature and my foot steps. There are very many of both. That leaves a lot of time for my mind to wander and that it does. I remember as a little boy riding in the back seat of the family car, I would gaze out to the horizon. I would day dream of wandering the hills with my dog Trouble. I don’t know exactly what breed Trouble was, but his mother was a beagle named Gerty. He was a long haired dog and that we had in common. I don’t know exactly whatever happened to Trouble. He just wondered off one day and never came back. Running the Katy Trail is probably as near as I will get to that childhood dream. Maybe I’ll find Trouble there.
I have a camel back. Ray bought that for me last Christmas. The camel back is exactly what I need to run the Katy Trail. It is just the right size for a half marathon and that seems to be the distance between each stop on the Katy Trail. This completes the Katy Trail portion of my Rocking Hospital Hill Run. The next leg will have to be from the Court House in Sedalia to Murdock Banner in Warrensburg. The computer says that will be 30 miles. I love a good 50k. We will be able to road trip this portion. I’ll do that next and let you know how that goes. I will know exactly when the run will be as well. I will have to get my road crew out. That is usually my brother John. He is a very patient man.
Let me leave you with this: If you want to run the Hospital Hill Run on the Don Linville Memorial team, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next leg will be from the Katy TRail depot in Sedalia to Murdock Banner in Warrensburg. Right around 30 miles.
Don Linville Memorial Fund rocks Hospital Hill Run
By Jim Linville
1st leg – Boonville to Clifton City, 23.7 miles in 8 hours, 37 minutes – 2/10/2009
Leaving out of Boonville trail head at 7:30 a.m. the plan was 23.7 miles of the Katy Trail to Clifton City. The uninitiated would say, “Why?” The frequent runner would say, “so what.”
The Don Linville Memorial Fund has a booth at the Hospital Hill Run on June 6th. The plan is to run there. The route from Boonville down the Katy Trail to 50 highway and on from there to the starting line of the Hospital Hill Run at Crown Center is around 120 miles.
With this being the first leg of the journey let me start at the beginning, “why.” I started running to live. Now running is my life.
As a child I was a Cub Scout and grew into a Boy Scout. I loved the hiking. From growing up on a farm and then in a small town, hiking lets me revisit those scenes. As I moved through my teens and twenties the parties took me through a wasteland of drug addiction and alcoholism. After having found the finish line of my race to ruin, I placed on the mantel my trophy, running.
I’m 53 years old and 5 foot 6 at 190 pounds. I am probably not the best prospect for speed. I developed emphysema from 40 years of smoking. I would guess that I have probably past my peak. What I have found in long distance running is joy. By pacing myself with a 5 minute walk out of every half hour, I can run all day. I average about 3 miles an hour and sure get a good look at the view.
Katy Trail is such a beautiful treasure. I have travelled all of the trails around Columbia. Now, headed south out of Boonville, it is all new to me. I am not sure I can put into words what I saw out there this day. If I could, it would go like this.
I see the gentle rolling hill as it folds over into the next.
I see the pasture, the field, the forest.
The cleavage plunges down into cool, moist, black earth.
The invitation of the bubbling brook grows into a creek, a lake, a river.
Together these views hold the lives of thousands of creatures
the red tail hawk, the squirrel, the bass.
The mystery is hidden in rock crevice, under brush, abandon relics of industry.
Then there is the human.
Bound to a ribbon that strings through the beauty, aroma, sensation,… life.
Donald Linville Memorial Scholarship fund
Running for better health
Download the DONALD LINVILLE MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP PDF application
Donald Linville, who was stricken with polio at the age of five, was not a person who would accept limitations on his life. He battled through several surgeries, and much hospital time and fought against all odds to continue his education. He was a graduate of Breckenridge High School in Breckenridge, Missouri. He continued his education at Central Missouri State College; where he received a Master’s Degree in the Science of Education. He was a teacher and guidance counselor at King City High School when he passed away on June 12th, 1971.
Being an Affiliated Charity with the Hospital Hill Run, the Grandfather of all Kansas City Road Races is a dream come true for the Don Linville Memorial Fund. We are indeed grateful for the exposure we will receive affiliated with the Hospital Hill Run.
This year the Don Linville Memorial Fund plans to attract 5 runners and raise $500 for the Don Linville Memorial Scholarship as well as provide an attractive booth for promoting the scholarship and the University of Central Missouri.
There are currently two other events through which the Linville’s raise money tor the scholarship. The Don Linville Memorial 50k in Breckenridge, Missouri has been held on the last weekend of August for 4 years now. The Tail-Wind 50k in King City, Missouri has been run on the day after Thanksgiving for 2 years.
Uncle Irl’s will plan on joining with the Race Directors of the Don Linville Memorial 50k and the Tail-Wind 50k as well as friends and Alumni of the University of Central Missouri to attract runners to the Hospital Hill Run.
The Don Linville Memorial Fund is owned and operated by Jim Linville, the youngest brother of Don Linville. Jim has been working to provide funds for the Don Linville Memorial Scholarship at the University of Central Missouri for four years.
Uncle Irl’s is a d.b.a. by which Jim Linville can accurately record the flow of money used in charitable activities. Neither Uncle Irl’s nor the Don Linville Memorial Fund is registered as not for profit.
The Don Linville Memorial Fund is generally able to move all of the money raised from outside sources to the scholarship fund.
TailWind Ultra Run 2008
report by Jim Linville, 11/28/2008
November 28, 8:00 a.m. This years run was so much warmer than it was last year. It was a balmy 27 degrees compared to 10 degrees last year. The high of 44 was not record breaking, but the runners were. There were 4 participants this year. Two of them participated in the 10k option, Terry Simmering of St. Louis took first place. Terry Cook of King City sustained injuries and did not finish. Terry Cook was the most spirited participant as he continued to cheer on the other athletes right down to the finish at 5:29 p.m.
What is it all about? Yes the beauty of King City is so breath taking on that 10k course. Yes the running experience of pushing to the limit and letting the rush soak in for miles. The ironic feeling of sweating at sub-freezing temperature could be it. All of those things are what make the TailWind Ultra Run one that will not soon be forgotten. But the reason we came here and did this was to raise money for a scholarship. A scholarship to honor the memory of Donald Linville and help a young athlete learn to be a teacher. If you are a student of King City High School and love to run, check with your guidance counselor about the Don Linville Memorial Scholarship.
The 20k finisher was a very inspiring runner, Kay McVey of St. Louis. Kay is a Boston Qualifier that has ran marathons in all 50 states. She patiently encouraged the 50k runner, Jim Linville, for his entire first lap. The need for speed is something only the elite runners really understand completely. The second lap she stretched out the pace and enjoyed the course all on her own as she became the first female participant in the TailWind series. Jim Linville continued to run for 9 hours and 29 minutes completing the 50k option.
First? or last? - Warrensburg Half Marathon 2008
report by Jim Linville, 9/23/2008
Running the Warrensburg Half Marathon I was a little disheartened that the time limit was 3:00 hours. I did Hospital Hill in 3:11, but I am in better shape. What the heck.
My strategy was to start out last and see how many people I could pass. That would distract me. The first young lady I ran with was on a team and only doing a 5k. After the first mile, I had to leave her behind. I caught the second young lady about 2 miles in and she was on another team doing the same thing. I ran with her till her 5k was complete. By then, the next runner was a good half mile ahead of me. I spent the rest of the race trying to catch her.
If it weren't for Paul, the street sweeper on the Gator, I would have missed the 3 hour time limit. He warned me that if I didn't get done under 3 hours, my name would have an asterisk. "Now move your asterisk," he prodded. At 3 miles, Paul came by and told me I had 45 minutes to get done. Not only did I have Paul urging me on, but the aid station workers as they headed to the finish line paused and gave me a "you can do it."
Paul came by and told me, "Down there at the bottom of this hill is the 1 mile marker. You need to be there right about now, but I know you can make it up." He went on to tell me that there were going to be about a hundred people at the final turn to cheer me on to the finish line. He wasn't kidding. Between that final turn and the finish line was a crowd of cheering fans. I held up my index fingers over my head at arms length. "Number one!.... from the rear!"
Coming in 90th out of 90 was not that bad seeing that my time was 2:54:45. But, what really freaked me out was the calling of my name as third place, Men - 52-87. Dead last, third place, old fart. What a day!
The run was scenic. The road was good. The weather was perfect. The staff was friendly, encouraging and just plain fun. All in all, the Warrensburg Half Marathon was the most fun I have ever had running a serious race.
The Tail-Wind 50K
A runners report by Jim Linville - 11/23/07
Thanksgiving night the temperature had dropped to 10 degrees. That next day the temperature never rebounded to above freezing. In the shadow of the wind mills of the Bluegrass Ridge Wind Farm Jim Linville stepped up to the starting line.
It was 8:00 a.m. on the day after Thanksgiving, November 23, 2007. The co-director, David Waltemath, called the start of the event. This days run would be 5 laps of a 10k course which Waltemath has used for the King City Chamber Fun Run. The course is a scenic tour that runs from the school house north around the reservoir, then around a country block at the northeast corner of town and back to the school.From the rolling hills the wind mills are always on the horizon. These majestic giants represent man's efforts to gain nature's assistance in fueling the age of technology.
Donald Linville taught math and science at King City high school until his death in 1971. He had graduated from high school in Breckenridge, Missouri. He gained his masters in the science of education from Central Missouri State University. These three events in the life of Don Linville is why the Linville family offers a memorial scholarship to a graduate of King City or Breckenridge that can make the track team or cross country team at the University of Central Missouri.
The Linville family wants to thank the race directors, Barbara Bulla and David Waltemath. They also want to thank Claudia Christianson of the University of Central Missouri for her efforts on the Don Linville Memorial Scholarship. Most of all, from everyone previously mentioned, a heart felt expression of gratitude for all of those friends of Donald Linville that made the donations of $635 to this event. With that level of support we will certainly bring the Tail-Wind 50k back for a sequel in 2008.
The Don Linville Memorial 50k, 2007
report by Jim Linville, 8/25/2007
Click here for information about the 2009 Don Linville Memorial 50k
by Paul Hurla
“Where did you go?” That was a very good question posed to me by the blonde
headed young man in the little white sports car as I rounded the corner
for the last two blocks of a 31.2 mile run. “I saw you every where today”,
he continued. Where had I gone? “To McDonalds & back” was the answer
I gave, but that was only the short of it. Where had I gone would be hard
a.m. the Race Director, Paul Hurla, let go with the starting whistle. Four
males & two females of various age groups were lined up at the starting
line on the old highway by the Breckenridge High School. The 5k course & the
50k course were both out & back, only a zero made the difference. The 5k
field consisted of a mother & her daughter, Kathy & Katy Lee of K.C.,
Mo., a father & his son, Mike & Joe Resor of Chillicothe & one
more gentleman that looked like he had run a race or two. Rob Clevenger of
Cameron. The 50k field consisted of Jim Linville of Columbia, one of the founders
of the Don Linville Memorial 50k returning for a 3rd running. Brother John
is back again this year to man the support crew of the Linville team.
As the 5k
runners sprinted past the gates to the cemetery, the lone 50k runner turned
in. The half mile figure 8 through the Rose Hill Cemetery quickly approached
the grave of Donald Wayne Linville. How could one man have made such a difference
in only 25 years on this earth? 18 roses lay at the headstone, “I love you,
Johnny. I love you, Donny. Got to go, Mom. See ya later Daddy.” A quick hug & that
was it for the memorial service. Miles to go before we rest. “Where did you
go?” “I went to see my family.”
heat of the Mid-Missouri summer had climbed into the triple digits for going
on two weeks. Training for a day long run was grueling. But I felt stronger
than I have ever felt before. I knew that I was going to break open a new record
in the Don Linville Memorial 50k. On to Chillicothe we went. Twenty five minutes
running & five minutes walking, mile upon mile, hour after hour. That was
the way I trained & that was the way I ran. It left little room for error.
I cut three minutes off of last year’s time & that was with a stop for
lunch with an old friend, Chuck, at McDonalds. He awoke abruptly Friday morning
with the announcement over the radio alarm that Jim Linville would be doing
a fund raiser running from Breckenridge to Chillicothe on Saturday. “Don’t
stop to pick this man up.” What a way to start the day. “Where did I go?” I
went to the edge of my limits.
been one of the old friends at dinner the night before. Paul Hurla, the race
director, along with my road crew, our wives & half dozen old friends.
I can’t help but smiling, even laughing at the memories we conjured up. All
the ones that weren’t there became the topics of conversation, “where had they
all gone & what were they doing.” As fortune would present itself, one
of our favorite topics, passed away that night in a motorcycle accident about
the same time we were discussing “where had they gone.” How tragically ironic.
was the path that this course often takes. The first year I ran this course,
as I stepped out off of the black top county road onto highway 36, an older
gentleman pulled up from the opposite direction. “Jimmy! Is that you?” It was
the undertaker that had put my father to rest on that cold February morning
back in 1965. Ironic? Where did I go? I went to see old friends, dear, bittersweet,
year we established a scholarship at the University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg
in the memory of our late brother Donald Linville. This year’s event earned
us $178.20 in donations. Some very generous friends it is that I have. I challenged
my co-workers in the University of Missouri Health Care’s Hospital Patient
Accounts to express their opinion as to whether I should let my hair grow or
continue to keep it shaved. Then I upped the anti by dying my hair bright red & my
goatee pink, The Flaming Ampersand. We will continue to grow the Don Linville
Scholarship until it reaches at least ten thousand dollars. At that point,
it will be endowed & take care of itself by earning interest. Until then,
you will hear another story or two like this from me. Where did I go? I went
to be with family & friends & that is where I’ll stay.