[nobe-l] writing French in Braille

jjacks at pdx.edu jjacks at pdx.edu
Wed Oct 13 21:27:45 UTC 2010

   I got the NFB signed up as an official organization for charitable  
contributions and was training hard until my friend I was training  
with dropped out. Before I was able to find another partner the race  
was sold out. Late on Saturday the 9th I was resigned to the  
possibility that I would not be able to run much as my unofficial  
status as a runner was looking to be the least of my problems. I knew  
that it would be dark at 6:55 am and that the two running partners I  
had convinced to run with me what little they could while the crowds  
were still thick, were tenative at best. The course hits the half way  
point on highway 30 before st johns bridge and there is not a lot of  
alternative routs for someone who decides to turn away at that  
point(like someone trying to run a half marathon without having a  
number) I was afraid of the rain, dark, trip hazards, bumping into  
other runners, not being able to tell when the stations for aid were  
near, to name a few. I got a call from a friend who I had told at the  
gym that I was going to the expo and he suggested we go and see if we  
couldn't get numbers. we showed up and waddled through the throngs of  
apparel,enthusiastic folk, and event organizers. we were told  
repeatedly that the option to get a number and running without a  
number were not available, restricted, and impossible. Through some  
stroke of divine intervention both, mike, my friend and I were able to  
get numbers. so I suddenly was faced with the opportunity to run the  
following day nearly legitimately. I Got up after some fitful sleeping  
to make sure I got some food in me before mike would arrive. I made  
some coffee and proceeded to leave it on the counter in the mad rush  
to jump on the tandem and ride in the rain to the starting line. My  
friend Sarahope came along for ground support,  with the locking up of  
bikes, and getting the cheer squad in a frenzy when we passed by. I  
had brought a rubber tether with the "whozit" National federation of  
the Blind flag on it so we could both run freely and stay in contact  
with each other. Mike, had run a marathon in june, but  hadn't been  
ready for this and we began to take a pace that was slower than I  
wanted to go. We got into a pattern of me out front and he stretching  
behind me instead of side by side running. After the 17th mile my  
partner got a cramp and needed to stop. we tried to walk it off but  
when it happened again I told him I needed to finish. He told me to go  
take the tether and if there were troubles ask someone for... Once  
free I started passing all those around me and trucking up the st.  
Johns bridge. I ran for until then with no real fatigue. I began to  
remember that I would like to get to see my Piano teachers band play  
at mile marker 22. I asked a woman if I could run with her for a time  
so that I might know when that might be. It ended up being the most  
blessed thing for the both of us as we were a great pace match and  
inspiring each other to continue. We passed all kinds of people and  
made it to the finish line in 4:53 or at least I think that is what  
she said. 26.2 miles is no joke. I still feel like stairs are my  
enemy. maybe some more epsoms salt is in order. I am glad that I did  
it though. I guess I really can do anything  I put my mind to.

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