Excerpts from ‘Running Through the Millennium’ by
Lynn David Newton
Chapter 11: Across The Years
From Me To You
Wednesday, January 5, 2000
It’s the morning of Monday, January 3. Everything from here to
the end of this journal is being written from the standpoint of
having already completed all of it. To me there is no more mystery
and anticipation over what will happen. It will take a few words
to tell all that has transpired since Thursday, and finally, to
tag on some analysis and concluding thoughts, bringing this adventure
to an end.
Getting Ready to Rock and Roll
We left home in early Thursday afternoon and stopped first at my
brother Dean’s house to leave some things we would need only for
the night. Then we headed to Arizona Boys Ranch.
It may not have been clear from previous postings that there were
early start times for both 24-hour and 48-hour runners. Quite a
few persons ran the alternate times. However, the early start runs
were considered non-competitive. These runners didn’t receive any
awards for participation other than enthusiastic acknowledgment
of a job well-done. In all three ATY races, the official run was
the one scheduled to end at 9:00 AM on January 1, 2000.
When we arrived at 2:45 PM, a new crop of runners was on the track,
the competitive 48-hour runners. After saying hello to a few people,
I dropped my tent and other gear in an open area. By coincidence
I found myself next to friends of Coach George Parrott that
he had clued me to watch for, Japanese runner Tats Muramatsu and
his wife Meiko. I introduced myself. Tats was lamenting that it
was too warm for running well. The temperature was in the mid-seventies.
 George is a popular, well-informed subscriber to the running
lists, a teacher of psychology at a university in Sacremento, a
spearhead of the Sacramento-based Buffalo Chips running club, is
highly respected for his vast knowledge of running and the training
advice he gives, and is a capable runner himself.
According to George, Tats is probably the best nonprofessional
ultrarunner in Japan. A list of races he has run is impressive,
both in difficulty and number. He has run a 2:48 marathon, and his
wife 3:08. They are both active as guides for blind Japanese runners,
and they travel all over the world to races.
I also briefly met Stephanie Ehret, last year’s 24-hour overall
winner, her husband Peter Bakwin, with whom I’d communicated by
email several times the week before, and Stephanie’s parents. Her
father Richard was there to compete in his first ultra, and had
set the goal to run his age in miles: 67.
Cyra-Lea and I erected the tent in twenty minutes, encountering
no difficulties, thanks to my brother Dwight’s thorough tutorial.
Suzy documented the experience with photographs. Having literally
pounded stakes into the ground, I felt as though I had truly arrived.
I left the matter of organizing the tent to my family; I had no
intention of spending much time in it myself. Meanwhile, I walked
up to the booth to prepare and send the 3:00 PM report to the Internet
For a while we sat and watched, enjoying the environment. At 4:30
we left in order to get to Dean’s in time to watch the 5:00 PM news.
Earlier that day a TV crew from Channel 12 News (NBC) had been out,
apparently determined not to be outdone by Channel 15. Most stories
that evening dealt with upcoming year 2000 Celebrations. Our story
was not on at 5:00 PM.
Dean made us a delicious pasta dinner. On Thursday I exercised
commendable restraint all day long in what I ate. It was too late
to eat anything that would enhance my performance the next day.
My only hope was not to stuff myself.
By the time dinner and talk was over, it was pushing 7:30. Cyra-Lea,
Suzy, and Dean settled down to an old movie while I puttered around,
trying to plan my routine for the next morning. We didn’t have quite
the same sort of space available that I’m accustomed to in a hotel
room, so I needed to adjust. The consolation was that I would take
everything with me in the morning. There was no chance that I would
irrecoverably forget some detail.
Following the advice of a 6-day runner, I did some extended daughter-assisted
stretching before dinner, and afterward took a long, hot shower
and stretched a little more.
At 8:06 PM I curled up beneath the covers on the trundle bed in
my brother’s guest room, hoping to get at least ten hours sleep.
Everyone else watched What About Bob?
NBC did have our story on at 10:00 PM. Cyra-Lea taped it. I saw
it in the morning. My opinion was that it was not as good as ABC’s,
but Cyra-Lea, who spent two years taking classes in TV news journalism,
and has worked on her school paper since she was a freshman, thought
it was better. What do I know? You know you’re getting older when
your children can throw technical jargon around, and you have no
idea what it means.
 She does that with medical terminology, too. I can’t watch
ER without her around to explain it. Last week when we sat down
to watch the show together, she cautioned me as it was starting,
“Please don’t ask any questions during the show! I’ll explain everything
that’s going on to you during the commercial.” Hmmm
Excerpts from ‘Running Through the Millennium’
by Lynn David Newton