I don’t know what possessed me- perhaps it was the thought of showing up at the Good Harbor Beach Bridge at 5:30 am, our usual meeting time and place only to learn not one of the “Fish Chicks” would be there.  At any rate, I made the spilt decision to join the chicks for a half marathon in York, Maine.  Now mind you I am no longer residing on the beautiful North Shore and my split decision was conceived while jetting around the country most likely out of loneliness for my running buddies and a momentary loss of good judgment.  But somewhere between Tampa and Syracuse I signed on to run a half marathon.

I’ve done halves before, I love them.  The distance is perfect.  Just as the pain threshold is starting to creep in it’s over!  But this particular half appealed to me in more ways than one. The course wound its way along the Atlantic coastline through a quintessential New England town.  The day was one of those perfect fall days as pictured in Yankee Magazine and I was running with one thousand women and one man.  As a fundraiser for the local York high school, the race organizers held a lottery for one man to enter the all women field.  280 guys paid ten dollars each for the possibility of being the only dude to join all the women.  While our bibs all indicated our running number, his loudly proclaimed “One Lucky Guy”!

I flew into Boston late on Saturday night, rented a car and headed for Maine.  The fun already started at the airport as Avis cars saw to it that I was driving a sporty convertible this was funny to me because until Sheryl pointed it out I had no idea.  It was great to all be in a motel room again sharing beds and stories and reconnecting after my six week absence.  We have been running together for so long that our pre-race routine is as important to us as the actual run.

Inaugural races are always the best.  The food is plentiful, the race volunteers are everywhere and the spirit is always good hopeful that the positive energy created will carry on to future years with larger fields of runners, but still only one lucky guy!  I was having a blast.  I was drinking in the moist New England air my eyes fixed on the dark blue Atlantic.  The seagulls, the fishing boats, the rocky coastline all seemed to greet me upon my return to the northeast.  Everything was colored maple leaves and pumpkins. I was back!

I ran a good race. I was happy with my time considering my late arrival and the always necessity to chat it up with other runners while progressing through the 13 miles.  As Beth always points out, it is only worthwhile doing if it has the “happy factor”  The Maine Coast Half had that and then some.

No other runner was around me as I approached the finish line and so I pulled my thoughts away from the road just in time to hear over the load speaker….

#840 Wendy Booker all the way from Boulder, Colorado!”  

Yup, a New England girl at heart but proud as anything at that moment to be announced as a runner from Boulder, Colorado. Sometimes it just doesn’t get any better than that.

Climb On



1 Response to “#840”

  1. 1 Tea January 7, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    Hey Book…

    Did I tell you lately how proud I am of you…we need to get together soon I miss ya!!! I love the website….Keep up all the good work..Jonna’s engaged just thought I’d let ya know! Talk to ya soon Tea :o)

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October 2007
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About Wendy Booker

In June of 1998, this 55 year old mother of three was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS after experiencing balance problems, blurred vision and numbness on her left side. When first diagnosed, Wendy was devastated. But it took very little time for her to transform anguish into inspiration. She immediately turned her hobby of casual running into a continuous pursuit and has now completed nine marathons.

Mountain climbing became the next conquest. Wendy learned about a team of mountain climbers with Multiple Sclerosis who were attempting to climb Mt. McKinley (Denali) in Alaska. With no previous climbing experience, she dedicated a year to hard training and set off with them in 2002. Although weather conditions prohibited the team from completing, Wendy attempted the summit again in 2004 on her own and she succeeded!

The feeling of accomplishment she experienced propelled her next aspiration: to climb the highest mountain on each continent. Just five years later, Wendy Booker has successfully reached the top of six of The Seven Summits – Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. McKinley, Mt. Elbrus, Mt. Aconcagua, Mt. Vinson Massif and Mt. Kosciuszko. Mt. Everest, the highest mountain on earth, still awaits for 2010.


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