Photo provided.

Photo provided.

Jack and Jill’s Downhill Marathon 2018

Two fat flies spin wacky spirals around my head and torso, like tiny sharks circling their prey. House flies vomit and poop when they land on you, but they don’t bite, and I have worse things to worry about, so I leave them to their fun. I’ve reached mile 20 of the Jack & Jill’s Downhill Marathon.

I’m feeling really rotten with six sure to be excruciating miles to go, so everything is bugging me. A pony-tailed young woman in navy shorts and a matching blue and white tank invades my personal space as she speeds by, continues for a couple of minutes, then walks.

As soon as I catch her, she starts running again. I just want her to go away and leave me to my pain.

In 1987, when I ran my first 26.2 miler, the Emerald City Marathon in Seattle, I gave in to the walk/run method during the final two miles.

Not only did I feel guilty every time I stopped to walk, the gap between my walk breaks and returns to running lengthened over every interval, which is why I ran a second marathon in the first place.

About mile 22, I pass a nearly dead man walking in his thirties who gives me the thumbs up sign, then returns to running, “I’m going to try to keep up with you,” (just trying to put one foot in front of the other here), “Except you’re going too fast,” (trying to ignore him in an energy-saving strategy), “My watch isn’t matching the mile markers.” (mine’s matching).

Finally, he fades, which is when I hear, for the first and only time, the lie that well-meaning spectators feel compelled to tell, “You’re almost there!” Argh!

• To read Julee Rudolf’s complete blog, go to https://juleerudolfblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/31/jack-jills-downhill-marathon-2018/

More in Life

teaser
Find a fantastic fir for your Whidbey Christmas

There are plenty of tannenbaums to choose from on the island.

Holiday Market - Amber1
Whidbey markets offer unique holiday gift items

Looking for a gift? Whidbey’s holiday markets have plenty of ideas all month.

Courthouse circa 1891
Ghost of Courts Past: The Story behind Washington’s oldest courthouse

Washington’s oldest standing building that’s ever been occupied as a courthouse is in Coupeville.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Festival of Trees goes online

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Island County’s biggest fundraiser is online this week.

Rockin’ a Hard Place: Making the most of the short end of the drumstick

So here we are, having given thanks for all our blessings on… Continue reading

The Nutcracker -Swanson
Dance theater brings Nutcracker to the drive-in, living rooms

A popular wintertime performance will be offered virtually this year.

Georgia Gerber with her whale statue on display along First Street on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020 in Langley, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Whidbey’s Georgia Gerber creates iconic shapes in bronze

She turns abstract forms into some of the region’s most beloved public art, including the Pike Place Market pig.

Cory Fakkema has brought the family farm near Oak Harbor into the modern age, using more ecologically sound practices that are considered better for the land and livestock. Photo by Ron Newberry
Regenerative agriculture: A new, healthier way to farm

A Whidbey farm is relying on more ecologically sound practices.

Sabine Wilms spent the beginning months of the pandemic taking care of two goats, Lady Yang Xiaomei and Marisol. She used Chinese medicine to help heal the goats. Photo by Kira Erickson/Whidbey News-Times.
Home for the kids: Whidbey woman takes in two goats deemed lost cause

A South Whidbey woman nursed two goats back to health with the help of Chinese medicine.

Most Read