Congratulations to Desi who won a Simple Hydration bottle!
Ben and I just came back from Corning, NY, which is where the Wineglass Half/Marathon took place this past Sunday. I’ll write a full race report of my half marathon very soon, but I wanted to write a bit about the pre-race pasta dinner with Bart Yasso. He’s a legend in the running world — inventor of the Yasso 800s, ran marathons in all seven continents, completed Ironman five times, and ran grueling ultras, including the Badwater 146 through Death Valley and Comrades in South Africa.
Wineglass held a pre-race pasta dinner at the Radisson for $25. I really wanted to go, but we dawdled in getting our tickets. I was disappointed when I received an email that the dinner had sold out. Ben reassured me that we would still be able to get in. I’ve been with Ben long enough to know that when he makes up his mind about something, he’ll find a way of getting it done. Getting tickets turned out to be even easier than he had anticipated. After picking up my bib and race swag, we approached the info desk where the sold tickets were being picked up. There were three unsold tickets, so we bought two.
The pre-race pasta dinner was a lot of fun. We swapped stories with other runners sitting at our table. The atmosphere was jovial and brimming with excitement and anticipation for the next day’s race. We got lucky and sat at the table that had first access to the buffet line. There were several different types of pasta and sauces, sausages, meatballs, and little bay shrimp, quinoa, various salads and toppings, and an apple crumble for dessert. We ate our fill.
Afterward Bart Yasso gave a wonderful funny and charming talk about his running career. As he was talking, I could tell that he was still incredibly moved by some of his experiences. At certain points, tears welled up in his eyes. No matter how many times he retells his stories, these experiences still get him. He hasn’t gotten bored or jaded by traveling to cities and towns, and repeating his words. Each and every time he tells his story, he relives his experience. We laughed and went along with him on his journey. Some of my favorite funny stories was the one about seeing banana bread on the side of the highway while running the Badwater ultra, being chased by rhinos, running with a burro named Taco Bell, and being tracked in a marathon in Kansas. If you ever get a chance to hear Bart Yasso talk, you should definitely go. At the end of his talk, he thanked everyone for being a part of the running community.
I follow him on twitter – lots of great advice nuggets!
He’s also very kind and gracious.
I think he’s usually at Disney for the marathons, I’ll look for him come Jan!
So cool. I would love to hear him speak! I got the chance to interview him for my blog and he seemed like such an amazing, easy-going guy. Sounds like you got to hear some amazing stories!
He travels to different races almost every weekend, so I’m sure he’ll be in your area one day soon. He’s truly a gracious man who’s so grateful for everything that he’s accomplished and experienced.
Too funny – right after I commented on your blog post I saw that he’s coming to speak at Athleta in DC in a few weeks. I’ll have to be sure to make that talk!!
Oh, yes! His stories are great. I only gave the gist of the stories because I didn’t want to ruin the fun of hearing them for other people.
How awesome… I want to meet him and Dean one day.