Mike-On-A-Bike is doing double duty filming today’s “Relive the FEAT” blog in Montclair, NJ on Day 57 of 63. The filmmakers took a detour to Baltimore, MD to interview doctors at the A-T Clinic at Johns Hopkins Hospital. We’ll hook up to cross the U.S. – Canadian border for Marathon 58!!
The filmmakers have a great excuse for delegating the shooting of today’s video blog to Mike-On-A-Bike….actually we have 500 miles of excuses. Pulling our 8×12 production trailer we average about 55 to 60 miles an hour. And we have one of our longest drives ahead of us at least eight hours and 500 miles between Wichita Kansas and Colorado Springs. We also have to meet our dear friend BreAnn who volunteered to fly in from Los Angeles and help us out on the road.
So enjoy today’s video shot by Mike Durant.
We picked up the first couple of establishing shots the night before, soon after our arrival in Wichita. It features the Mid-America All Indian Center as it comes to life at night along the confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas Rivers on land where the Wichita tribe camped a hundred years ago. It’s really stunning. The rest of the blog was filmed by Mike-On-A-Bike!
BreAnn is a fellow Radio/ TV/ Film graduate of UW Oshkosh. She’s a multi-talented lady who has selflessly volunteered her talents in photography and web design for more than three years now. She’s responsible for helping to create our one-sheet movie poster that continues to be the face of our film. She’s built and maintained http://www.featmovie.com and for those few days in Colorado she lifted Brad and I up when we felt as though we may not have the energy to keep on another going another 38 days- YIKES! I’ll be featuring her photos on the new few blogs as we’re in Colorado. Thanks so much BRE!!
From Portales, New Mexico we have a five-hour drive ahead of us to our first stop in Texas. It’s slow going along the single-lane state highway and civilization is few and far between. The grazing longhorns and oil derricks make for fabulous filming but my insistence on stopping irritates my dear husband and co-producer. Understandably, with the endless hours on the road he just wants to get to where we need to be. But my reasoning is, we’re not double-backing on these roads and this is our one chance to capture images that help paint the picture of our journey. As we were filming a corral of longhorns on the side the road, Meg & Ryan (who you’ll meet in this video) passed us. We’d lost track of the CureTour RV near the state border, and as usual now realized we were in the back of the caravan pack. We packed up our gear and got on the road. We were getting low on fuel and started looking ahead to the next town. We were looking for a while. The road continued to stretch ahead of us, the needle kept inching toward E, and our trusty Garmin indicated nothing close to rescue us. Up to this point, we’d been very careful to always fuel up when we were on 1/4th of a tank. We didn’t want to risk being in the situation we now found ourselves in; running out of fuel on some Texas back-road with no clue where we were. It’s a little unsettling. Then we rolled around a bend and in the distance appeared to be a cluster of buildings, civilization! A gas station must be near-by! We saw a Shell sign and headed that direction. Only to learn, it was closed for re-construction. The next fuel station was at least 20 miles ahead. So back on the highway we go, praying we’ll make it to the next stop. We see the town ahead and a tall station sign near the exit, we get off only to find it too is closed! Seriously! Is this some sign we should be taking literally? Stop now? Another few miles ahead, we found an open gas station and rolled in on fumes. We also purchased a 2-gallon gas can.
By the time we caught up to the rest of the crew at the hotel in Abilene we were in the middle of a downpour and had just navigated through flooded streets. We all gorged on pizza in the hotel room and hoped the weather would clear up for the morning’s run.
Up before the sun to see Tim and company off from the Abilene Zoo. Host Terry Pope and runners with the Abilene Running Club kept Tim and Mike company this morning. Local media came out and interviewed Tim along the route and by the end of the marathon Tim & Mike decided to have a little fun with the media. Tim had actually finished his 26.2 miles before reaching base-camp, so he jumped on Mike’s bike and Mike pushed the stroller. As they came to the finish line where the media was waiting with cameras rolling, we all started laughing. Tim looked pretty awkward on the bike as he’s a lot taller than Mike. It took the media a little while to realize their “money” shot was sabotaged. It was all in good fun, which you need to have when you’re on the road for 63 consecutive days.
The RV camped for the night in Cowand’s neighborhood and we were once again up before the sun. We were treated to another remarkable sunrise and Tim aimed to get some miles behind him before the heat of the day set in. Today’s route looped around Dreamcatcher Park. Folks started showing up for the tailgate party around 9am and by 10am there was a crew of people ready to join Tim and Liam on the fun run.
A 300-mile drive east across the California and Arizona deserts landed us in Surprise, on the outskirts of Phoenix. We arrived just in time to visit with the locals at a pre-marathon silent auction and dinner hosted by Jessica and Phillip Cowand. Their 6-year-old son Liam is battling A-T and Day 13 honors him.
The relentless dry heat evaporates whatever sweat a body generates and the occasional breeze feels like an over-heating blow dryer. There’s no shade on today’s course so the water balloon fight was a fantastic finish to another challenging day.
We’ve only been at this a week? Man, it seems a lot longer. The days are blending together, we’re sleep deprived, craving a home-cooked meal, the stifling heat drains energy and fuels short-tempers; and we haven’t even left the state of California! We’ve got 28 more states and a Canadian Province ahead of us! It can be too overwhelming, so once again we focus on Tim’s mantra, “One day at a time, one step at a time.”
200 miles south on the I-5 to Santa Clarita. The Thirsty Guppy RV parked in the cul-du-sac outside the home of hosts Chris & Kimmie Firth-Smith. For the first time all week, Mike, Tim, Michelle and the kids enjoyed a solid night sleep. Santa Clarita is just a 30-minute drive from our home, so we too enjoyed a solid night sleep in our own beds- how rejuvenating!
The next morning we were up and prepping our gear for the day’s run. Tim’s legs were tight and he regularly rolled out his quads on a foam roller and used “The Stick” http://thestick.com on his thighs and calves. (More on “The Stick” in a future blog)
Today’s course weaved throughout Santa Clarita and Valencia residential areas on cement bike paths. There were a number of hills as well as long flat paths. Chris and Mike kept Tim company on their bikes and Jim Achilles joined in the run around mile 20. The heat continued to be our constant companion. Just as Tim was feeling a little low on gas, he approached the Valencia High School track where dozens of people had gathered for the tailgate party and fun run.
He entered the stadium track pushing a local boy with CP. A blaze of red t-shirt clad supporters surrounded the track cheering, waving and encouraging Tim on the last few miles. The energy of the crowd revived our spirits and grounded us on the purpose for the tour.
A late night drive took us 130 miles northeast to Sacramento. The CureTour RV rolled into a local campground just after midnight giving Tim roughly 5 1/2 hours to rest before he was scheduled to appear live on the local ABC morning show. With temperatures again predicted to climb into the triple digits, Tim & Mike wanted to get out early. But Tim’s body fought him. As he would later say, “I was in the pits of despair. My body was telling me I was done. I had nothing left.” Again, Tim’s demeanor revealed little as to how he truly felt. He projected nothing but confidence, strength and determination during his live interview. The next few hours would be his darkest as he wrestled with the emotions of the challenges that lay ahead, the responsibility of knowing how many depended upon his success and the reality of what his body was telling him about its limitations. We watched and filmed from a distance as Tim and his wife Michelle sat alone under the shade of a tree, holding one another, talking and praying. After a few hours, Tim called his Stanford trainer Stacey who advised him to eat rice & Pedialyte. His guts were a mess and he needed something simple to digest and repair his intestines. No more Snickers & Coke.
Meanwhile we waited. Brad set up a base camp, prepped his bike-cam for the route and watched cartoons with Tim & Michelle’s son Colton. Joining us from Central California were Chad, Jeremy and Louise Wildoner as well as the Achilles Family. Today’s run was dedicated to Chad.
Around four o’clock, after downing rice and Pedialyte, Tim gathered the energy to start the course. Per Stacy’s advice he started off walking to see how the impact went with his guts. The Discovery Park route took him on bike paths along the Sacramento River, thankfully covered in a great deal of shade. He alternated walking and jogging and force-fed himself bowls of rice and bottles of Pedialyte. The park would close at dusk and he had seven miles yet to go. Lisa from corporate sponsor OctaPharma, who also accompanied Tim on her bike that day, suggested he finish near her home. The last seven miles were all on city streets. We broke down our base camp, packed up our production trailer, set-up our camera rig on the back of our SUV and caught up to them with four miles to go. Tim had a spring to his stride and wide smile that bore absolutely no resemblance to the man we witnessed eight hours earlier. “The rice and Pedialyte worked man, I feel great.” Astonished and relieved, we filmed the final miles as Tim came to the end of his 26.2-mile route in a parking lot where he was greeted by a crowd of cheering well-wishers.
Finally… the answer to the question you’ve been asking, emailing and facebooking about for months!
Drum roll please…
FEAT: 63 Marathons in 63 Days will be released to DVD on Friday, September 3rd, 2010.
This is a date with great significance as it is the 3rd anniversary of the start of the A-T CureTour. On this date in 2007, Tim Borland stepped off from the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, with 1,650.6 miles, 63 communities, 29 states and one Canadian Province ahead of him. Let’s just say all of us were more than a bit anxiety ridden thinking about all the unknowns that lay ahead. We soon learned Tim’s mantra “Focus On Today” applied to all us- filmmakers included.
You can pre-order the DVD now on our FEATMOVIE ONLINE STORE.
What am I to do until September 3rd you ask? Enjoy reliving the A-T CureTour as we re-release the daily video blogs filmed during each day’s 26.2 mile run!
“63 Marathons 63 Memories” will be updated daily here on our blog as well as on our facebook page. www.facebook.com/feat63
Share the links with your friends, comment, and enjoy reliving the FEAT!