A good story of kind people who kept me running

With all the negative news, let me share a good story about some kind people.

First, the agenda: swim 1.5 miles, ride 45 miles and run 5 miles. A map of the bike route is below.
Outcome: no swimming (right shoulder pain seems to be worse) and I struggled to only run 3.5 miles.

The background: It’s a small group; 5 people. I’m the slowest of the group. They all have new, bikes. One is doing a 1/2 ironman in two weeks. Another is training to do a 1/2 marathon in sub 2 hours. They all swam 1.5 miles before jumping on the bike.

I, on the other hand, am riding a 10 year old bike (called Rebel Cause), and wear mountain biking shoes. Not a pretty site, but for now it’s all I got.

Also, keep in mind I don’t know any of these people. For the most part we’ve met 3 weeks ago, and beyond saying hello/good-bye I know nothing of them.

So, about 3 miles into the ride, after climbing a crazy hill and needing water, I realized I forgot water bottles (poor focus). As I reached the hill top, the group is waiting for me. After explaining the situation and not wanting to hold them back, I say that I’m turning around at the next corner.

They refuse to let me turn around. They insisted on waiting for me at the top of each hill (they said today is not a race), and they insisted on sharing their water and food. Later while running, I really struggled (it didn’t help by starting the run by scaling a 300 foot, 14% grade hill … that’s when the cursing began). During the entire run I whined like a baby. Wanted to stop and walk. Cursed like a drunken pirate. They ignored me, told me to keep running, and offer encouragement.

These wonderful people, who I don’t know, kept me running — physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Thank you Cliff, Bill, Melissa, and the guy wearing the red shirt.
You’re kindness is heartwarming.