Saturday, January 13, 2007

The People You Meet

5 flights in 5 days is enough, and I finally made it home last night. Along the way, here's a couple of people I ran into:

On Monday at LaGuardia, it was Mike Ditka himself. He looked just like you'd expect, but he wasn't walking too good. I imagine it's from all the hits during his playing days. S. thinks it's from all the running!







On Thursday during a layover, in of all places, Dallas, I saw this guy in the airport when I got off my plane. He was in a wheelchair, and beside him was a racing wheel. When I got behind him, I glanced at the racing wheel and it had a race bib on it from NYC 2006!

I went up and started talking to him about NYC. He said he did "pretty good", and when I asked how he got in, he sheepishly said:

"Well, I uh, did uh, pretty well, and they uh, invited me".

Oh.

He also mentioned that he's done around 30, yes, 30 marathons. The guy looked like he was 21 years old! I now wished we had talked more, but I had to get to my next flight. I made a mental note to look him up based on his race bib (W12), and this is what I found ... Tyler Byers, professional athlete, 9th place NYC 06, USA Paralympic Team. Pretty cool, huh?

The rest of the week was uneventful. I intended to run during the middle of the week in Jacksonville, but I didn't manage to do so until Friday morning in Chicago. I was up until about 2:00 am working, but I hit the pavement at 7:00 am for my run. I had picked a hotel right along Lake Michigan but didn't have a firm route planned. Following Josh's suggestion, I took the 4 mile loop around Grant Park, along Lake Michigan, the Shedd Aquarium, the Alder Planetarium, and Soldier Field.

It was a great run. On one side, traffic, buildings, people; you could hear and feel the hum of the city starting to wake up. On the other, complete peace, openness, water, sky, clouds, solitude, and duck shit.

10 comments:

susie said...

Very cool meeting Tyler. I guess all your traveling has some benefits!!

Rae said...

How very cool to meet them both!

Runner Susan said...

That is cool meeting those people.

How is the weather on your side of town ? ? ? All 20 minutes from Flower Mound.

jeanne said...

you know what the say...like draws like...they are drawn to your celebrity aura. very cool meeting tyler. and nice work running on five hours sleep!

jeanne said...

what they say...

Bex said...

Tyler sounds so humble! How random (yes, and cool) that you met those folks! Glad your travel experiences this week weren't as bad as mine. You have good karma!

Josh said...

what a week! yikes.

I am impressed you got to run at all!

Glad the tip helped.

David said...

Just running north along the lake, through Lincoln Park, Chicago can wear you out. Next time.

Def sweet to meet Tyler. 24 and strong.

Analee said...

Hey! I know I don't know you... but Tyler's my husband! Glad you enjoyed meeting him, he is a great guy, and a great athlete (although not quite professional... he has a few sponsors, but he does have a regular job as well, racing just doesn't QUITE pay the bills) :)

Rocco said...

Just running north along the lake, through Lincoln Park, Chicago can wear you out. Next time. Def sweet to meet Tyler. 24 and strong.