This day twenty-three years ago. Tom Brunetto (since passed) and I met at the Ridgewood Duck Pond at 4:15am. We made a pact a couple weeks leading up to this day. We both had topped off at running 36 miles in a day. So, we promised each other we would do a 40 miler together. Tom overdressed, as well he forgot his shorts. He was wearing long running pants. The temperatures soared passed eighty degrees. And for March in New Jersey that is thirty degrees higher than either one of us were accustomed to. I think it hit a blistering eighty-eight degrees.
The sky was clear blue. The last eight miles Tom was beside himself. He said he couldn't finish. Instead of my getting upset, I bribed him for the last eight miles to get us to our goal of a forty mile run. I had no energy left and still had work at 11am till 8:45pm that day. The only rest I'd get was a shower, and a drive at 3:45pm to a doctors office for four more pain patients to treat. So, Tom having other stresses in life. I decided, since I helped mangle his legs for perhaps a week's recovery. I quipped, "I'll tell you what. You run eight more miles getting us to forty. You can tell me bad stories and curse. I don't care. However, if you complete this forty miler with me. Well, my eleven o'clock pain patient cancelled. So I will give you her slot, and I'll work your legs for FREE. How's about that Buddy?" Well, he took it. And when Tom would get real beside himself as we ran, he would become hilarious. I almost couldn't complete the run as Tom had me laughing so hard for the last eight miles. We did it. Forty miles together 3/27/1998, it was a Friday.
Later, in the 2nd office I was working in, the doctor and I had a break in our work. His receptionist said, "Jody, the Doctor heard what you did today. He wants to measure your vitals and body fat." So I walked to his last treatment room. My pulse read forty-one, BP: 98/60, body fat: 8.2% In the end Tom Brunetto raced his first Ultra-marathon in November 1998. I waited and started Ultra-racing March 2001. Tom used to call me, The Tank.---Jody-Lynn Reicher