Sunday morning at 5, a friend and I headed down the C&O for a easy run of 19 miles. The easy part was starting, the hard part continuing...after all it was like 80 degrees and 90% humidity. I found myself several times because of the heat wanting to turn around and head back to the car, but because of my commitment to run with this friend his first 19 mile run...I didn't. We just kept moving down the trail, finally after about 2 hours, we made the turn and headed back up the canal. Yes, we ran down river for the first 9.5 miles and as we headed back up the humidity broke. The temperature continued to climb but the run actually became a pleasure. As we headed back up the path, my friend noticed a waterfall that I had never seen before and I've run this path several times. Finally after another two hours of running we reached the end...and I was so glad we did. The temperature had reached into the 90s and the Heat Index had topped the 100 degree mark.
So why did we do it? Friendship. Loyalty. Companionship...all these things. We suffered through the long hot run, and in the process, we learned a little more about each other. That's what challenges do. They help us grow in appreciation of others. My friend who pointed out the waterfall...had never run this trail before, but now, I'll never forget...and every time I run past the waterfall again...I thinking of Ron....and how he toughed it out and did his first 19 mile run on the C&O on a day that was over 100 degrees.