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Behind the Book


Q&A with Marsh


photos, videos, music, history


From the Foreword
by Chris McDougall

From Heather’s Journals
Excerpt 1 | Excerpt 2 | Excerpt 3


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Excerpt 2. “85th Birthday”                   

... I took [Marshall’s daughter] Elaine’s rental car to Fort Collins to run a bunch of errands and do shopping. At the end of the Poudre Canyon I was able to get some cell reception and did a SpinVox update and returned several phone calls. I found a grocery store, a Wal-Mart, I believe, and did a bunch of shopping for groceries and supplies.

I also found a Runners’ Roost store and got some additional Pearl Izumi shoes for Marshall, as well as some Nike running pants (he loved these, and wore them a lot during the rest of the run!), some more lighting (we didn’t have much for red flashers, which worried me, especially getting down onto the plains and heading east into more populated areas, meaning more traffic), and some shirts for Marshall. The guy at Runners’ Roost just gave me (for free!) at least one nice long-sleeved white with red shirt from the store. It was a good stop!

While in town I also called Marshall’s mother, Clara, to wish her a happy 85th birthday. We tried to get the film crew to go to Clara’s house nearby to interview her but didn’t have any luck. Anyway, Marshall wanted to wish her a happy birthday but knew that he would not have cell reception in the canyon. So he asked me to call her while I was in town, which I did. She was grateful for the call and asked a bunch of questions about how Marshall was doing and how the run was going. It was a delight to talk with her.

As we were winding up our conversation she said, “I love you.”

I about ... well ... I’m not sure. I was shocked. Or perhaps a better way to say it was that I was pleasantly surprised. Clara is not, typically, known to be an overtly affectionate person and, as far as I knew, had not told Marshall, her own son and youngest child, that she loved him in a very long time.

I said “I love you” back and told her that Marshall loved her, too. It was the most touching conversation I had during the run. I hung up the phone and cried tears of joy for several minutes before being able to pull out onto the road again ...

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Copyright 2010-2011 by Marshall Ulrich