Mucho Gracias...

Yeah, OK. We're nuts out on an uphill lark. But time spent in the company of our fellow athletes and training partners makes this the joy that it is. You challenge us, inspire us, occasionally harass us and help us remember that there is a whole lot more to life than being number one - unless, of course, you go to Tennessee, Virginia Tech or Florida State.

Mike and I would still be on tricycles this year if it weren't for the riding we'd done with Barb, Caroline, Debbie and Kathryn, not to mention the trail running with Stacy and Debbie. If you happen to notice that these are all women, guess what - there are some strong, challenging women out there.

Mike is married to one. Karyn is one of the few people I know with the stamina to guide us through a trip like this. I have crewed at the Double Iron Triathlon in Huntsville, AL. That only lasted around 24-30 hours and it wiped me out. Karyn also knows how to not take "no" for an answer. Ask Mike and I about the times each one of us have gone down on a bike and come home with "road rash". Despite our vigorous protestations, Karyn prevailed in applying the Hydrogen Peroxide necessary to stave off infection.

Our weekly running buddies have been inspiring us for years - Dave, Kibby, Gayle, Mike B., John H., Dennis, Scott, Kathryn, Bruce, Spike, Bilbo, Bonnie, Bob, George and many others. (Do not feel left out if you are not on this list. When you try to name all the names, you invariably leave someone out so I will just quit before I shoot myself in the foot.)

Watching Richard A. and Will S. at the Double Iron has been the most wonderful lesson in how far you can go when you respect your body.

Thanks to our families, who don't exactly understand why we do what we do but they still support us.

And thanks to these who have given us more specific help with the trip:

Russell of FOne Consulting who is loaning us his digital camera so that we can post nightly pictures on the web site.

Heather from the Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity Virgina Tech Chapter who gave Hans and Eric a ride from Blacksburg, VA to Cherokee, NC.

Also:
The Blacksburg Striders, Hans' old running club which is held a trail run on Saturday, 10/9 where Hans and I continued to add insult to our injuries.

The Sauerkraut Band.... Hans is also an old krauter. Like with the name Hans you had to guess. Their beer and cheer went a long way towards healing our wounds!

And thanks to viewers like you (a little homage to PBS there). Like, for instance, all those lurkers at Florida State who didn't write in - but I know you were out there!