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Team Blue Steel Runner Solicitation. Message from a captain.
by Brian Newmark, January 2006

Imagine a brisk April evening... the wind whisks by your face as your heart thumps in the night. The sky is dark and eerie, but the stars light your path and your headlamp provides you with the security blanket you need as you wonder how you got here, alone, in the dark, in your running gear, running through the California night.

An animal groans in the distance, and you speed up. Running faster now, your fear turns into adrenaline and you press on. Ahead in the distance you see another body (at least you hope that of a person) and your feet move faster. With a steadfast confidence, you stride towards the thrill of the road kill. As you approach this other lost slowing soul, your want to slow down and enjoy a moment in the night.

But deep in side you hear the voices of your other teammates cheering you on and awaiting your detailed description of how you left this one behind. How you, with your blazing speed, enthralled in the brisk April breeze, ran faster thinking of them, ran faster for the team, and pressed on in the spirit of the race. So, you jog by, small talk about the beautiful evening and how crazy you both are to find yourself in this most unlikely place. With a confident smile and word of encouragement you engage the enemy and leave them in your path. For now you are the leader, with only darkness ahead and the effervescent joy inside of this once in a lifetime experience fueling your tired bones and sore legs. And faster you go, thump... thump... as your heart reminds you that in fact you may not belong here. But alas this is the joy of the event. So on you go.

As you come around a dark bend, you see a hint of light in the distance and you know you must be getting closer. Now that the finish is nearing, the voices in your head tell you to move faster. So you continue forward with an uncomfortable feeling inside that you could perhaps turn the corner and be lost. "Did I miss the turn?" "Isn't this leg supposed to be only 5 miles?" "What is that sound in the bushes?!" But once again your teammates inspire you and you drive on faster, and stronger now...

Until off in the distance, you hear the faint buzz erupting from the transition point and your adrenaline bubbles, burning your insides like a piece of sushi with too much Wasabi. You are sprinting now. You notice your friends thrusting their hands in the air as your mind and body struggle to keep up with your speeding feet.

You reach for the bracelet and with arm extended, you pass the teams most prize possession to your teammate who, with a small pat on the buttocks, blazes off into the California evening.

You have done your part. You wander with joy bursting inside you and drift into a place that only a competitor knows, and at this very moment, only you feel.

Alas, the NEXT race of a lifetime. 24 hours, 199 miles, Calistoga to Santa Cruz.

Only one question remains. Are you in or are you out?

Team Blue Steel is accepting applicants for 2006. I look forward to hearing your excuses!