I headed back to the East Coast for this race and this time I get to see my buddy John. John and I attended Sniper School together and deployed together when we were in the Marine Corps. John and I have some history so it was really special seeing him again. Besides being in the Marine Corps together, we also worked together overseas once we got out. So ya, we have known each other for awhile and I guess you can say we caused some irreversible damage that I would rather forget. John has always had my back just like I have always have his no matter what the issue. He has been a great supporter since I started this mission and even prior to the start. John has donated to Semper Fi Fund, John was able to get a donation from his local Firefighters Union to contribute to the Semper Fi Fund, John has purchased one of the mugs that was made as a fundraiser, and has supported in so many other ways. Once John found out I was headed to Maine, he took vacation and time off as a firefighter to spend the weekend with me. He brought out his girlfriend who I finally got to meet for the first time. I must say she is a pretty cool chick and if she can withstand John’s shenanigans then she has a ticket to heaven.
Just like most races, I always have a huge breakfast the day before the race then I eat light the rest of the day. We found a local restaurant and had pancakes and eggs and shared a ton of stories just remembering our times. Once that was done, we headed back since I needed to get a bike ride in and during my bike ride I saw John and his girlfriend Sherri on their bikes strolling down the strip of Old Orchard beach. Later that evening we hit the boardwalk and got some pizza but I had to call it early for the night since I had my race the next morning.
The next morning was cold and the water was even colder. Sure enough as the starting cannon went off, John was there to cheer me on but that didn’t make the water any warmer. Out of all the races, Maine had the coldest water. My feet, arms, and face were hurting so bad and of course they did get numb. The bike portion was pretty flat so I really enjoyed it since my legs have been heavy lately. Once I was on the run I felt pretty good and towards the finish there was John waiting for me just prior to the finish and Sherri was at the finish line.
One of the things I really look forward to when I travel is the food I get to eat after my race. We found a bar where I had to have some seafood since I was in Maine. John and Sherri had lobster and I had a lobster roll. It was fantastic! The best part about seeing friends I haven’t seen a long time is the time I get to spend with them, but of course the hard part is saying our goodbyes. Seeing friends you spent time with in the Marine Corps, been deployed with, or have just went thru some hard times, is like spending time with family. John is not just a friend but is one of my brothers and I cherish our brotherhood.