Crash Davis – the iconic fictional character from Bull Durham has an unintended place amongst my thoughts right now. A tremendous baseball player, he racked up accolades in the minor leagues, but never got a full chance to take the next step. Just a few glorious days of his career were spent in the majors before being sent back down to play out his days unnoticed.
What in the hell does that have to do with anything? – You ask.
I was intending this slot to be an exhausted, but elated race review of The Rock. Several months in the making, this race was a journey into unfamiliar territory for Rory and me as we began our next stage of plans for Vagabond Endurance. Life and nature are unconcerned with personal desires, though.
Sometimes You Win:
Rory and I had no idea what to expect when we announced our first race back in the winter of 2019. We both ran races but we had never directed one. Unwilling to take it lightly, we poured our hearts into the endeavor and tried to make the best of it. We got to meet many of the runners we’ve seen at our start lines at Charlotte run clubs that welcomed us in with open arms, letting us nervously ramble on about the Cane Creek Half and 4 Miler.
And not only did y’all welcome us to speak, but you even listened, signed up, and cheered us on. We don’t know what we did to deserve that type of reception. All we can say is that we don’t take it for granted and remind ourselves of the open arms we were fortunate enough to receive from the moment we started this.
For us, it was like we finally got scouted and signed; like someone gave us the chance to shine to see if we could make it in the majors. Hosting the race and seeing all of the runners cross the finish line smiling was a joy that Rory and I didn’t know we could feel from our work. From the moment we cheered on the first finisher to when we packed up the last of our gear to head out, we were happy. We felt successful.
Sometimes You Lose:
The pandemic is just a dreadful experience, and this is coming from someone who can be considered rather fortunate throughout the entirety of its grip. We’ve come close to losing both our businesses at varying times. To be blatantly honest, a month after the Cane Creek Half and 4 Miler in March we were fighting to get on unemployment until we were called back by the properties we paint at to continue operations of our other company.
This isn’t a plea for sympathy. Some of you reading this went through the same thing, if not worse. This is just the random kick in the groin that life can deliver after experiencing an unexpected high.
We honestly thought our chance to build Vagabond Endurance was over. It took months to get a park to agree to give us a permit, and every conversation felt like they were on the tipping point of just saying no, and telling us it wasn’t going to happen.
Sometimes It Rains:
Giving up and calling it quits would’ve been easy, and even understandable. But we kept getting support. We kept hearing from runners who thought our weird brand of inane humor and style made them smile. So, we kept trying.
Eventually, we snagged a race at Crowders Mountain and even got to hold a 3rd with Killer Creek, two races that managed to bring more new friends into our circle. Sometimes it rains good fortune when you don’t expect it.
The Rock would’ve been our 4th in-person race; our first step toward our larger goal of taking people on adventures around our state and beyond. Vagabond Endurance is meant to be our way of sharing in runner’s desires to see new places, experience new trails, and build a family on the road that supports them through it all.
We spent hours working on this course, trying to find the right path to take you on to not just give you an enjoyable run, but to give you an experience on the trails that would build a craving within you to come back to Hanging Rock.
This race will still happen, but not this weekend.
Instead of getting that next chance at the majors to shine, the weather called and sent us back down. So here we sit, waiting in the winds, looking forward to our next chance. We’ll continue putting in the hours at night and on the weekends to find new paths to take you on a journey. And we’ll continue to cherish every ounce of support and kindness you send our way.
Without it, we wouldn’t even have the opportunity to break out and go on this journey. With it, we feel like major leaguers in the making, just waiting to be called up.