It was a brutal run if I’m being humbly honest with how great of a job I did, I mean come on – I’m Sargento – the Big Cheese. Great things are expected of me and I’m here to deliver. So I designed a challenging course to mosey from Publix to Martha River’s Park and back – just a little over 5 miles. To my astonishment, I learned from Defib this was not a virgin voyage, but there are only so many routes from the center spoke of The Pub. It was a mixed crew of various levels but no disclaimer was provided – everyone knows to run at your own peril, right? So 0530 hit and we were off at a torrid pace. Defib is in the home stretch of his marathon training and I’m working up for a half-thon (that is a code name us runners like to throw around when we talk shop). Yeah, I’ve got a lot of options for my next “thon” – probably going to get on the road to Waco – not Texas but Cleveland County – I’ve always wanted to run by the fair and maybe grab a turkey leg – kind of like the Krispy Kreme run in Raleigh – of course that is a meager five mile run and not a “thon.” But that brings me back to this backblast. I was completely amazed that Short Sale sprinted ahead of me and Defib. Let it be known that I personally recruited him to run the Tuna last year and put him in the Emotional Headlock once again for this Fall’s Bourbon Chase and I secretly pushed him to the 2nd most miles of the entire race (second only to YHC of course!) but even more than our secret weapon QWEEESH. So it was like one of those proud papa moments to see the little seed I’ve cultivated shoot past me on the run. But like the first time Queso beat me in basketball – wait no one is supposed to know that…but it was like that moment (lucky three point shot by my boy). So I suggested to Defib I should catch him because I was in fact The Q and the Q leads, not follows. The Q does not follow! Defib said I should leave because he was patronizing me as he really wanted to perform the Burpee Mile and I was annoying him. So he started doing burpees and I took off. I finally caught my young protégée as he arrived at the entrance to Snoballs (site of my Wednesday Q – anyone else go 5 days in a row? Oh, sorry Mr. Gastone…anyone else attempt 5 straight Q’s? As Charlie Sheen once said “winning!”). I’m nearly out of breath having run a 5 minute mile pace. Mr. Sale suggests we do an ab set since we had time. So we plop down in the Snoballs parking lot and do flutter kicks until the others arrive. Stroganoff was so proud to see his favorite exercise employed, he joins us for a few and then Gastone challenges us to perform 100. I check my watch and realize it is 0555 and we’ve got to get back to the AO. As the natural leader I announce it is time to head back. We begin at a slower pace, obviously recovering from our ab set. I had no more shared the words “let’s pick up…” before Mr. Sale once again took off in an impressive sprint. The rest of us could do nothing but be amazed. I reach the crest of the hill left of the new Harris Teeter and Short Sale is not in sight. I wonder if he took an Uber. I have no choice to lead the other men left to my charge. We pick up Defib in front of his neighborhood completing his 1000th burpee. I ask where he got the water to which I learned Short Sale went into Harris Teeter to buy a Starbucks and case of waters to share with the team – I wonder why I didn’t think of that? So as he sped by, Mr. Sale offered Defib a water. I’m kind of thirsty, water should would taste good about now. I guess we better catch up. Our four man crew arrives into the parking lot at Publix at 0614, a PR for me my watch informs me. Clavin and Stone Cold are sipping cold water having completed their circuit. Short Sale is running between the medians performing a set of 11’s. Apparently my brutal workout lacked and he needed extra. I’ll consider revising my next Pub Weinke. I’m a bit surprised though as somehow he carried a case of waters and medium Mocha Frappuccino nearly two miles. Man – what kind of monster have I created? Truly a beast is all I can say, except he’s not Q’ed 5 days in a row. The gauntlet has been thrown my fellow Wolfpacker…are you up for the challenge? Oh and thanks for the water – it hit the spot. Next time I promise to include you in the back blast.