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March 21, 2008

Big Sur Marathon Meet-Up

So before we get to the main announcement, a quick question: are we all enjoying R.E.M.’s recent return to radio prominence?

I’ve never really been a diehard fan of theirs, but primarily for superficial reasons. When I was in college, it seemed like R.E.M. was absolutely everyone’s favorite band; you couldn’t go into a dorm room without seeing a poster, and couldn’t go to a party without hearing one of their CDs on the stereo (on that note - if you ever tell me you went to college in the early ‘90s, and claim you don’t know all the words to “The End of the World as We Know It”, I’ll know you’re a big fat liar. Two words: Leonard Bernstein!). So for some reason – probably a na├»ve sense of being counterculturally hip – I was always reluctant to embraced them like I did other bands.

But here’s the thing: even back then, and moving forward after college, almost every time I heard one of their songs, I’d think to myself, “Wow, these guys are awesome – why haven’t I listened to them more often?” When they released Monster during my grad school years, it became one of my favorite discs of that whole era, and I dutifully purchased most of their CDs from that point on. I guess what I’m saying is, I eventually came around.

That’s why it’s kind of nice to see them back in the spotlight (and why their new video is now playing on my sidebar). It’s a subtle reminder that some of the things I feel certain about today might change over a period of time - and that acquiring a different viewpoint isn’t nearly as terrible as I sometimes think it will be.

For example, I never thought I’d write a post about why I’m voluntarily skipping the Big Sur Marathon (See? It almost always comes back to running around here.) – but that’s exactly what’s happened. In other words, it’s the end of my marathon career as I know it … and I feel fine.

**

As to the event that I mentioned in the previous post, here it is in a nutshell: we need to have a blogger meet-up on the Monterey Peninsula during Big Sur Marathon weekend.

My suggestion is to have dinner at a local restaurant on Friday or Saturday before the race. We’ll enjoy some good food, swap stories, and I’ll be as generous with misguided advice about the marathon as anyone would like me to be. And we can finally attach some faces to blogs (and in some cases, to alter egos).

I know that readers frequently stumble across this blog when doing Big Sur Marathon searches, so let this serve as an open invitation: if you’d like to gather with a group who’ll be talking runner talk, feel free to join in. Even if you’re not doing the marathon, don’t feel too intimidated to stop by. And don’t worry about not knowing anybody – everyone else will be in the same boat.

(In fact, I’ll even invite any of you lurkers to show up and join us - and here’s how you can participate: find out what restaurant we’re dining in, then take a seat near enough to us so that you can hear all of our conversations, but not so close that anyone would notice you’re watching. Then as we walk out, look away and pretend you don’t even notice us. It’s just like our cyber-relationship, only up close and personal. It will be fun! )

I’ll pick a spot and make reservations for however many people would like to attend, and request special accommodations in advance if necessary (depending on how many people show up). I’m tentatively thinking of an Italian restaurant on Friday night, but I’m willing to change plans based on a general consensus.

However, I need feedback to gauge the interest level of others who plan on attending – so please contact me by a comment below (with an e-mail reply address), or use the e-mail address in my profile. In particular, let me know:

· If you plan on attending, and how many other people will be with you.
· Which night of the weekend (Friday or Saturday) you prefer.
· Any preference besides Italian food for dinner
· Any special accommodations (dietary restrictions, etc) you might need from the restaurant.

I’ll keep e-mail addresses and send out final decisions along with more specific instructions as race day gets closer. In the meantime, feel free to forward this post on to anyone who might be interested.

Finally, I’m happy to answer questions from anybody about the logistics of marathon weekend, or any other considerations in regards to traveling here for the race. It’s not an inconvenience – I just think of it as my little contribution to an event that has given me a lot of great memories.

Best wishes to everyone who is preparing for Big Sur, and I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

10 comments:

Backofpack 3/22/08, 8:11 AM  

Donald,
I'll email details! Thanks for hosting this.
Michelle

Bolder 3/22/08, 8:31 AM  

i watched 'Bee Season' last night as i unpacked my tri bike (been in the bike box since SOMA in October -- don't tell my coach)

thought of you. just droppin' by to say 'hi'.

and, yes. i liked the movie. even if it was kinda all over the place.

like me.

PreFan1982 3/22/08, 3:30 PM  

Happy Easter to you and yours!!

How can a guy get some free publicity by making it on your list of blogs you visit??? :)

triguyjt 3/22/08, 5:10 PM  

have a good easter and then a good dinner etc, with all the runners and lurkers.....

Dori 3/23/08, 1:32 PM  

Count me in! I sent you an email.

I stopped by to see if you were running Big Sur this year; I remember how ambivalent you were about it last year. Your ode to Big Sur last year is the reason I signed up for this year's race.

Dori 3/23/08, 1:33 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Annette 3/23/08, 2:12 PM  

Now I'm feeling like I want to run Big Sur - just for the social aspect! :) Great idea!

Loving the return of REM, too!

Rainmaker 3/23/08, 8:24 PM  

Bummer, if only Bur Sur were a weekend later, I'd be in the general area for Wildflower.

21stCenturyMom 3/23/08, 10:42 PM  

Too bad I've run a grand total of about 50 miles so far this year or I might think about it. As it is, not so much. Great idea, though!

Darrell 4/9/08, 4:51 PM  

although I'm officially out of the race, we'll be there for my son's relay leg. Its on my calendar already for 2009. CA moratorium, be damned.

I've got tentative plans for dinner with my group on Saturday evening but would love to stop by and meet everyone when and where ever. I think you've got my email address.

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