Wednesday, June 13, 2012

FARGO!! DONE!! 5 down 7 to go!!!

Fargo Marathon! Done!

I'm listening to the new TenaciousD album. One song inso far so good :)

Before I even got to Fargo I was digging the vibe. A lot of Fargo-ans interested in my story and excited about helping me and my cause.

Jj Gordon was one of those people. I could tell even by his emails that he was on the ball. He was a total professional. And has his shit together. He runs an improv group named the linebenders in Fargo. And he was organizing a show just for me to play in and get money for the cause. Sounded fun!

I was also getting emails and phone calls from radio, tv and newspapers. Before I even got to Fargo I did at 6 interviews. My camera guys were unable to come to Fargo so I had to figure out how to get stuff taped . Debs manager had a contact in Fargo, Doreen, and Doreen knows Tony a local tv cameraman who would help me for free. What a nice guy he is! His help was invaluable.

David j wright was my guide for this race and that meant getting two flights and two rooms to stay I for the weekend. I waited too long to book hotels. B the time I was looking rooms were either gone or almost $200 a night per room. That was for Friday and Saturday. I booked two rooms for Thursday pretty cheap at an Econo Lodge. the marathon website said the North Dakota State University offered dorm space on Friday and Saturday. I saw pics and knew it would not be as comfortable as a hotel but I had no choice.ibooked two rooms. It was pretty in expensive. Especially compared to the sky rocketed prices hotels were for that weekend. Ok so accommodations were taken care of.

Markknutson runs the marathon and was a huge help. In trying to get me extra exposure. Even asked me to be a part of the Marathon press conference and asked if I wanted to address the runners before the marathon. Of course!

So things were looking pretty good except of course for the weather. Once again thunderstorms were threatening to soak us during the run. Here we go again!

David picked me up at my house around 4am. We were flying Allegiant air which was the only flight I could find. Never heard or traveled with them before. But things worked out. It was a fine 3 hour flight.

Jj gordon picked us up from the airport. Nice guy. Gave me the rundown forthe evening. It was going to be a busy night. He gave us a recommendation of where to go for lunch. He dropped us off. We checked in. And I did a quick radio interview over the phone with Lucy! I'll meet her the following day for an in studio interview.

Lunch was at a hamburger joint called JL Beers. We had no car so we were reliant on the cabs. Our first cab driver was over half hour late and turned out he got lost and went to a different location. After meeting him it was clear he was a bit.... slow.

Fantastic beer selection and an enjoyable burger. I should say I'm writing this o June 12 while watching master chef. Writing my blogs take a very long time for me and I was constantly putting it off for higher priority things. But I'm gong to try to finish it tonight.

We went back to the hotel, david took a nap and I had no time for that. I needed up doing a o camera nervier. The guy came to the hotel and filmed me outside.

Before I knew It i t was time  to go to the fundraiser. Jj picked us up and brought us to the Fargo billiards bar and restaurant. Really nice place. Huge! Lots of pool tables  and a space in a room for a stage. Awesome! Jjs improv group the line benders are their own roadies. They set up lights and a stage and even had a two camera set up.

I was lucky enough through references to get a local camera guy for a news station, tony, to help me film some stuff. He was going to help me the whole weekend. For free!! I know!

I haven't improvised in a while. And short form even longer. I feel like we did a lot of publicity but only about 30 or so people showed p. oh well. They were a very enthusiastic audience and seemed to have a good time. I had a great time. The linebenders were tons of fun and really good people and performers.

I had a news interview live at 615 the next morning. And it was getting past my bed time. We hung out for a little bit after and then took a cab back to the hotel. I went to sleep as soon as I could.


I think I got up about 5am. I had to wake david up in his room next door. We were able to get some of the free breakfast in the lobby while we waited for our cab. We went to the fargodome and met with John. I real nice guy doing a live interview with me at about 615 or so in the morning. It was pretty short and sweet. But now david and I had a few hours to kill. That's right hours.

We checked out of our hotel because we were going to be staying in the dorms at north Dakota state university. That was offered to the marathoners. All the hotels were either highly expensive for the Friday and Saturday nights or all booked up. I haven't stayed in a dorm room in 17 years.

I had a radio interview a couple hours away and had time to kill. So david and I found a close by burger king to hang out at and waste time. I did computer stuff and david did his own thing on the computer too.

We caught a cab to a radio station  to meet with Lucy. She was really sweet and I enjoyed our talk. And she said she would make out with my girlfriend which I found interesting.

From there we took a cab back to the fargodome. I was invited to speak at the marathon press conference. My first. While we were there the expo opened up and we got our bibs and picked up supplies we needed.

The press conference was not exactly packed. It had some cameras and some reporters. The line up of speakers was interesting. A lot of athletes. Impressive runners. I had an opportunity to talk and tell my story and field questions. It was awkward and mentioned the awkwardness. :) but I enjoyed it and appreciated being there. I don't know if anybody wrote anything about me out of it and I don't know what happened to the footage taken there.

After that it was time to walk over to our dorm and check in. All the students checked out for the summer a week or two earlier. It was a decent deal they had going. Two nights for one room for $110. 2 beds. I got 2 rooms. The sucky thing was that Fargo was experiencing a bit of a heat wave. And the rooms have no air conditioning. So it was grossly hot and uncomfortable in the rooms. Checking wasa bit prison like. They give you a pillow case, 2 sheets, a towel and your key.

David went to sleep after ordering some sandwiches for delivery and I did some emails and phone calls and posts and yadda yadda. I think I fell asleep watching iron man in my iPad. And caught some zees. I asked the front check in if they could supply a fan. They did to my surprise.

Our pre dinner meal was going to be at the fargodome with the other unners doing the pasta meal. We got some free passes. We got to the dome and it was jam packed. David looked at,e and said lets go somewhere else. There was an Applebee's near by and we enjoyed some beer and pasta there. And then early to bed.

I woke up before my alarm as usual. But I think I got about 6 or 7 hours of sleep. I was woken up in the middle of the night from the rain and thunder. It was set to rain for the race, but newest reports were saying we just may miss it. Tony the camera guy came prepared at around 630 or so. My race was set to start at 815 and I get to run 3 minutes earlier with the wheelchairs. And I was invited to speak on stage to the runners and tell my story. while tony was in my room filming me get ready it started raining outside. Pouring. It was short lived but made me quite nervous.

We walked over to the start line where someone did a quick interview with me and I went in stage and talked to a couple thousand runners. Then I took my place on the start line and put my blindfold on. Number 5 here I come.

The race went well over all and people were very kind while running past me and saying nice encouraging things. It's a flat course but lots of turns. I thought I would break my personal time for this one. I purposely pushed my self a little more than usual. There were a few scary moments where i was tripping over cracks or david himself. David even voiced that he was feeling sore during the race. He concerned me because he had never done that before. The finish line was indoors in the Fargo dome.

As I entered the dome I could hear the announcer talking about me and I could hear applause and cheers. I crossed the finish and tore off my blindfold. I wanted to know my time. It was 5:20:00. My 2nd best time behind st louis. Good but I was hoping for better. I think I pushed myself too much in the beginning and it slowed me down in the end. Oh well that's ok. I was happy I got another under my belt.

David, tony and I went to Applebee's and had a feast. I was invited to speak on stage at the after party that night at the fairgrounds. It was 2 bands doing 80s covers. We went to the dorms after we ate and showered and I even got a nap in. I hated waking up. So tired. Tony picked us up and drove us to the fairgrounds and eve showed me afew places hat I missed during the run.

The concert was fun. And between the two bands I got invited on stage to talk to the 500 drunk people. I have no idea if anybody was listening I could hear all of them talking that's for sure. But it was an interesting experience. Tony left soon after and david just kept buying me beers. I drank more than I should have.

We caught a cab back and ordered pizza. De ja vu. I spent my whole 20s like this. Late night beer and pizza. Blech. Thats how I put on 60lbs.

Luckily I didn't have a hang over but I didn't feel awesome. We had a flight to catch but I really wanted to hit a few tourist spots jj told us about. When I go to these cities to run there's such little time to sight see. I called a cab and if all went smoothly we can see two good tourist attractions and make our flight but we needed a good cab driver.

We checked out and waited for our guy and low and behold! It's the guy that first drove us that was a little... Slow. Ok wellit seemed fitting to end with him. I told him the deal and the first stop was the fargo information center. He didn't know where it was. I immediately got on my phone and called another cab and told the guy thanks anyway. Another cab showed up within 15minutes, yes time wasted but the was good. Knew where we were going.

We went to he Fargo info center and took a picture with the wood chipper from FARGO the movie. Them from there we went to the Fago theater that luckily was unlocked. I asked someone there If I could take a quick pick with Margie, a wood statue provided by paramount I hear to the theater. David and I took pics with her. Ok great! Off to the airport. We made it with no problems.

Fargo was great. I hope to visit again sometime. Anks guys!

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