He was spared a DNF in the official results. A small act of mercy from the USATF and race officials on what could-have, should-have been one of the best days of Ryan Shay's life. I can't say I was a close personal friend of Ryan. I met him briefly at the 2003 US 25-k championships. I shared a van ride with him, spoke with him a little at the post-race bowling party and that was about it. Given that brief crossing of paths, I found it surprising how much I was affected by the report of his death Saturday afternoon. Perhaps it was because, in life, he had a reached the level of success I have only dreamed about. He had made it to the starting line of the Olympic Trials and as he stood on that starting line Saturday morning, as many of us have done albeit with less on the line, the last thing on his mind was his own mortality. He was focused on putting forth an effort over the next 2+ hours that 99% of population would be incapable of reproducing for a fraction of that time. He had gone to the mountains to train like an animal so that he could be standing in that very spot, just 26.2 more miles from his ultimate goal. And a little over 30 minutes later he was dead.
I don't aim to make sense of it here, even if I could. After stewing over it the past couple of days I'm still unable to really put into words how it makes me feel. I had just watched one of the greatest marathons run by an American. I was pumped. Watching Brian Sell fly onto the Olympic team over the last couple of miles, especially the way he did it, was inspiring. Jason Lemkuhle's run outstanding. Yet, it all feels a little empty after Shay's death. It seems cliche to say it gives some perspective, but sometimes life is cliche.
Pete ended up 82nd or so in 2:28. No race report yet, but given his place in respect to the field it looks like he ran a solid race.
As for my own (non-) running: I'm starting to come around. I got in the pool four times this week. By yesterday I was almost completely free of soreness. Of course, there was the soreness from lifting weights, but thats to be expected when I did absolutely nothing for almost three weeks. As it stands, I look to make my triumphant return to running this weekend. Of course it will probably be about a 15 minute shuffle, but a jouney of 1000-miles, yada yada...