The following post was inspired by your comments from my last post regarding the huge cinnamon roll.
I have a friend and running buddy who is challenged by all things big. Before I met him another runner we have come to know quite well ran into my friend at a garage sale. This other runner happened to be wearing a marathon shirt. My friend mentioned that he was training to run the Portland Marathon. The other runner (tc) asked him about his training and experience with running. My friend told tc that he had never run any sort of organized race other than some high school running. I think tc probably told him to respect the distance and wished my friend good luck. My friend trained, then ran his first organized race, the Portland Marathon.
After running a few marathons my friend then set his sights on ultra running with 50K’s, 50 milers, and eventually the 100 mile Cascade Crest Classic. At the time I was running marathon and was considering dropping back down to ½ marathons because I enjoyed the speed and competition. I was of the opinion that anyone crazy enough to run a 50K or greater distance was indeed crazy. A 100 miler hinged on absolutely insane.
Rob “Rattler” Hester has not only gone big with running but I recognize a trend in other parts of his life as well. As an example he has four children. He is working on finishing up his Masters of Education while working in his first year teaching in special education.
His quirky affinity toward all that is large is also evident in his diet. I have two examples that I would like to share with you.
First I’d like to show you the “Mound Burger” that Rob discovered as we were running the Rainier to Pacific Relay last summer. This burger was practically as big as a dinner plate. Rob consumed the first ¾ of the burger without too much difficulty but the final section was obviously a challenge for him to chew and swallow. He actually managed to eat the entire burger and ran a couple of good legs in the relay powered by the Mound Burger.
Last week we went as a group to Stuffy’s Restaurant in Kelso WA after the finish of Pacific Rim 24 HR. It was as if the eatery knew about Rob’s affinity toward all things big. Right in the entry way of the restaurant there stood a glass display with a mirror backing that contained the largest cinnamon rolls I have ever seen in my life. As Rob entered he locked on to the sugary confections and it was as if the display was pulling him toward it. I’m sure he had his mind made up; he was going to eat one of those mongo cinnamon rolls if it killed him.
The Pacific Rim 24 hour had not gone as planned for Rob. His “A” plan was to run at least 100 miles. In the end, his energy level was low and he ended up running 41 miles. When the waitress brought the cinnamon roll to Rob the entire table of 10 runners stared in awe at the size and spectacle of the beast. Rob dug in with determination. Each runner was faced with our own challenge as we received our breakfasts because it seems Stuffy’s is known for their massive portions. As we all worked on finishing our meals Rob began to slow down. In the end he only really managed to finish about 1/8 the of the roll before he offered up some samples to the rest of us. It seemed that Rob had been enlightened twice that weekend on when to quit while he was ahead. He got the waitresses attention and asked to have it wrapped so he could take it home to share with his family.
I don’t know if this is a turning point in Rob’s running career or simply an off weekend. I do know that I appreciate Rob’s enthusiasm, stories, motivation, and insight. He’s the one I can blame for introducing me to trail running and shown me that what seems impossible can be achieved. He has motivated both Michelle and I to achieve what we never felt was possible with our running. We have had a lot of help from a bunch of people but Rob’s accomplishments have driven us to our own dreams come true.
I know that Rob will see big potential from his students, his family, runners, and his community. I hope and pray that his vision to “go big, or stay home” will translate to others achieving more in life than they ever thought possible. Thanks Rob!
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