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My A2A 2004 story

sommemi's picture

I actually posted this on my personal website, but thought it might be appreciated here. Hope you enjoy it!

I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course. I have kept the faith.
A2A 2004

I skated in the Athens to Atlanta this year (the 23rd Annual A2A). I had so much fun, and I'm so glad that I accomplished 38 miles!!! All I wanted to do was finish it, and I did it in less time than I thought I would! I am so proud of myself, and I love the feeling that I finished something that I started. Jeannie and Branden went with me to see Atlanta and watch me cross the finish line. We ate at some great places and saw LOTS of bulldogs. I'll keep adding details to the story below when I remember them. In the meantime, check out the story below...

My Stats: Time: 3:53:38, Avg. MPH: 9.8, my number: 821, my age group: F18-29, my age: 29.

My Story: Yes. I know. I have a million "My Story" stories out here. Well guess what? There's gonna be one more. Um... I just have to get some 'work' work done first before I can let myself type it. :-) For now... Here's a little run-down of my weekend:

Thursday - Met Jean (my awesome sis) and Bran (my goofball friend-gotta-love-him-cause-he's-just-like-that-but-don't-sit-in-an-air-tight-room-with-him-and-his-brother) at the Akron/Canton airport. Arrived in Atlanta, Georgia around 9:30 or so and took a rental car to Athens where our hotel was located (Holiday Inn Express). Ordered pizza and totally passed out watching the TV.

Friday - Spent the morning lazing around and sleeping in. Ate a HUGE lunch up the street, and then drove around looking to see what stores were around that might have parts and supplies I needed. That evening, we drove to Atlanta to be in the Friday night skate, but unfortunately took a wrong turn and ended up going about 40 minutes out of the way. We got there too late for the skate, but I was able to get into Skate Escape and got parts I needed for my skates (thanks so much to the lady from Skate Escape! She rocks!). Yay! Met a few people, and then went to dinner at Buckhead Diner. Great dinner, and I got a Happy Birthday piece of Banana Creme Pie! (Even though my birthday wasn't until the next Thursday. Thanks guys.) Went out to Fado's Irish Pub after that for some people watching and music.

Saturday - Got up, sorted all my skating stuff out, got some continental breakfast, and headed down to the Expo at the Classic Center in Athens. Looked around for a little while, then we decided to drive the first few miles of the course to see what it was like. Went for a while and thought we took a wrong turn, but didn't, but decided to head back for the afternoon skate. Had lunch and got back JUST in time for that, and had a blast with the others skating around. I met some great people, too. (It was great to meet you, Rocky, Petey, John, 'Downtown Val', etc. and anyone else whose name I don't remember right now! Good to know there are other goofballs out there just like me!) 6:00 - Went to the mandatory meeting, then had dinner at Applebees where we watched the football games, and I sat quietly wondering what the heck I had gotten myself into. I felt like I was gonna puke up everything I had just eaten.

Sunday - the race! What an amazing morning - rain EVERYWHERE, but tons of happy people just waiting to skate over that starting line. The course was awesome, and had pretty country-ish scenery, and was so-far the most challenging thing I've ever skated on. I never thought the term "gator-back" was such a scary word, but once you've experienced it you understand the association. I think my thighs went numb from the vibration in my skates within the 1st half mile of it! The people were totally amazing and so supportive all along the way. Every checkpoint I came to had people cheering and clapping all the way through. If it weren't for the great spirit of those people, I would have wanted to sit down and take a break (which I think would have been a bad idea, now), but they were so encouraging that I decided just to grab some water and a banana and just keep pushing through. My goal was simply to finish my first A2A race. Just to complete the 38 mile course. The finish line was all I wanted to see. It was the BEST thing to see that finish line. I felt like it was a party just for me when I came across the 38 mile finish line. (I'm not naive - I know it wasn't just for me, but it felt good hearing the cheers anyway!) Funny thing was I totally fell on my 'arse' on the way into the store to use their sink. Figures. I came 38 miles only to fall AFTER the finish. I was laughing hysterically. Poetic justice from my feet. We went out to eat in Athens after I got showered up and ate at the Broad St. Bar and Grill, and took pictures with some of the bulldogs in the area. We also took a little tour through the campus.

7:00pm - The Awards ceremony that night was full of great energy, and we watched some great clips from Eddy Matzger (VERY personable guy!) and I got to meet more people. I even managed to say Hi to someone that my Dad used to coach back up in Ohio (Randy Bowman - 3rd place in the 87!!! Yay!). It was pretty neat. I was getting bored towards the end, and was about ready to leave cause I was starving, and I got surprised by finding out that I had received 2nd place in my age group (which totally stunned me - especially since I skated on quads!). Technically, I was 38th overall out of all age groups in the 38 mile. (Get it? 38th in the 38th?) That 2nd place was the best birthday present I could have ever gotten. It's not first, but I'm damn proud of it anyway. We went to MF Sushi to celebrate. Man, I was so happy to finally get to a Sushi bar! I called my son, Mick, to tell him the good news about my medal, and found out that he had gotten a second place that day too (for his Halloween costume). It was a great end to my weekend. It couldn't have gone any better, really.
Earlier that morning, there was a verse that Jean and Bran heard at church in the service that they thought was particularly applicable: 2 Timothy - 4:7 I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course. I have kept the faith. yup. I finished the course. And somewhere around 'gatorback', I fought a really good fight. But I definitely kept the faith.

Monday - Man was I tired. It felt great to get home. The flight wasn't that bad, but I was SO glad to get off that plane. ... Can't wait to go back next year. :-)

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