Van two decided we would be meet at Freight’s house at 07:30 on Friday. YHC arrives to find Broke already waiting. Breaker Breaker rolls in, Doodles comes in with the Van, Tater Hole is dropped off by his M, Freight makes his way out. At
07:30… I mean 07:50 Allen Tate decides to grace us with his presence. We pack up the van, which was rollin’ on dubs. After Doodles lead us in prayer – we’re on the road.
Traffic was much better than any of us expected. We stopped and had breakfast at Cracker Barrel. When the waitress comes to take our drink order, Broke is sitting there with his pants down messing with some thangs. Apparently impressed, the waitress returns with our drinks, but three other ladies had joined her. We learned a lot of thinks during breakfast. We learned that Freight has had a lot of interesting jobs. We learned the best way to kill cockroaches in by baking them at 450 degrees in the oven. We learned that Tater Hole loves to eat. I’m pretty sure his bill was 39 dollars. We pay and we are back on the road.
Good conversation was had on the ride down. We arrive into Four Oaks and everyone is pumped. Freight was the first to run out of Van 2. As he departs on his 9 mile run, we notice it is WAY to hot to be late October. But in typical Freight fashion, he pimp-slapped this run. He finished his run and turned it over to Allen Tate.
Allen Tate takes off for about a 4 mile run. It’s hot. There is zero shade. We catch up to him as he’s about a mile in. He’s hurting and it shows. He lumbers his way to the exchange zone and passes off to Broke.
Broke did what Broke does. He donkey punched his leg. Seriously – is there anyone more steady on his runs than this man?
Tater Hole was next. This was his first relay and didn’t know what to expect. This is a guy that was in good shape when he joined F3, but would admit his cardio was down. He’s worked, and he’s worked hard. It showed. He blazed on down the road to pass off to another first-timer.
Doodles was next. I don’t think I’ve ever met a cooler preacher. He brought us a van with Moto Metal black wheels on it. He even has an affinity for silver-back gorillas. (More on this in a bit).
Breaker Breaker was our anchor. He’s a rather quiet person and YHC made it his mission to get him to be louder on this trip. You want to fire him up? Act like you’re going to drink his drink. (More on this later also).
Van 2 finished and handed back off to Van1. We took off to Subway to eat and then try to get some rest. We go in and we’re about the only people there. Allen Tate apparently likes gubment cheese on his sub. Tater Hole like EVERYTHING they have on his sub. But instead of just saying to put everything on it, he made the poor guy go one by one. We even saw the guy that passed Doodles.
Ok. We ate and went ahead to the next exchange zone we’d run and tried to get a little rest. I also learned this about Tater Hole – dude can sleep anywhere. Pretty sure he and Allen Tate are the only ones to get any meaningful rest at this point.
We got up just before midnight ready to roll. We went through our van again. Freight was happier it was dark and not blistering hot. Allen Tate got him a kill and made sure EVERYONE knew about it. No seriously… everyone. Even the guy he passed. Broke once again did Broke thangs. Tater Hole, Doodles and Breaker Breaker beasted theirs legs and again, we we’re on break.
The Van decided to forego breakfast and just roll ahead to where we’d kick off again.
Our third legs were a little different. Freight took Quiche’s leg, Quiche ran Freight’s. Allen Tate took off for his last run. We catch up to him a little bit down the road. We blow the horn, and while we did, he was killed. The guy who killed him looked back at him and then waved to our van. If Allen Tate could have caught him I’m sure he would have beat his eyes shut. We’re at the exchange zone and Broke is getting ready. We wait on Allen Tate to roll in. And we wait. And then we waited. After we waited… we waited some more. At this point YHC is starting to wonder if Allen Tate jumped off the bridge. About that time he rounds the corner and Broke went to meet him. While waiting Broke said he would dial it back a little on the last run. Well… he didn’t. He averaged pretty much the same time for this run as he did for the other two. I’m telling you – consistent.
Broke is in and Tater Hole is out. While not as pumped as he was after the second run, Tater has the look like a kid on Christmas. He’s really enjoying himself.
While waiting on Tater, Doodles takes his long sleeve shirt and turns it into a tank-top turtleneck. It’s also at this point Breaker drinks his special drink.
Doodles takes off and is letting it eat. We pass him and according to Allen Tate tells us he’s fine. We went ahead and stopped anyway just in case. Doodles gets him a little H2O and continues on.
Doodles is in and Breaker Breaker is out for his glory leg. The man did a great job of organizing this race and deserved to be the man to bring it home. Powered by his special drink he’s out there killing it. We wait and bit and Allen Tate and I return to the van to grab The Leg. This race would not be complete without it. We return with The Leg just in time to see Breaker approaching and we all cross the finish line together.
Some got one medal – some got two. Some were incredibly proud of that second medal.
We all congregate, eat a little tuna and drink some cold beer.
We went to the hotel. Some showered, some went to the pool. We went to dinner. Some went back to the hotel, some went to a brewery.
Freight: this guy always wants to act like he ain’t a runner, but his actions show otherwise. He’s as sarcastic as the day is long, and that’s probably why he’s one of my favorite people. Through his sarcasm, however, it’s clear that he just wants the best for those around him.
Allen Tate: so many things I could write here. As a side note, y’all should have seen him get killed. Anyway – this is his second relay and he has a total of 31 minutes of training. He may not train, but he will not quit. He has good intentions, but some injuries prohibited him from being at his best for the Tuna – but he gave it all he had.
Broke: I don’t have enough time to write all my thoughts about this man. He’s like the Godfather. The force that keeps all things balanced. A steady runner and a better person. Always encouraging. The reaction he has watching other people do good things is infectious.
Tater Hole: probably one of my favorite memories of this relay is watching his reaction after his second run. Dude was pumped. Glad to see what he accomplished.
Doodles: first time I had spent any significant time around him, and goodness gracious, what a guy. A small sample of his character. He’s waiting to run when an older gentleman (shirtless and hairy), told him: “I’m going to hang with you for a while and then I’m going to pass you”. Most laughed. Well, that’s what he did. He killed Doodles. After his run and while we’re back in the van, the guy comes over and states in his thick accent: “You did good, son”. Most people would have probably said something sarcastic…or nothing at all. Not Doodles. Without missing a beat he responded: “You did better, sir”. More grace than YHC has for sure.
Breaker Breaker: Oh man. Captain Anchor. Glory Leg runner. Mystery drink chugger. So on leg two I went to get Tater Hole a water from the cooler but it’s dark. I can only tell that the drink I grabbed wasn’t water. Didn’t think anything about and returned it for a water. A few hours later in the daylight I could tell that this was no normal drink. The only way I can describe it (at least safely for this back blast) is to say it looked like a bottle of phallus secretion. And boy was he protective of this drink. Anyway. What a great dude. Quiet, but I’m going to break him completely out of that shell one day. He ran along and was the only one that I didn’t hear complain.
So many more memories can be written, but most will not read all of this anyway. If you’ve never participated… you’re missing out. Even if you can’t run, you can drive. It’s an experience like no other.
Honored that the men mentioned above allowed me to join them this weekend. Tater Hole – I finally have some bars.