What do zombies, Elvis, goats, beer bongs, fireball shots, and a motorcycle medic have in common? All part of the annual 8 Tough Mile race.
We had heard about this race over the last few years and I always thought "why run across the island....they rent Jeeps here." So last year, while lazing about one evening, (after checking the local rum for quality control purposes) I mentioned to Lisa that we should try the race......If you have read some of the previous blogs, you realize I get myself into trouble quite easily, and my wife is a saint.
What is the 8 Tough Miles? Well, it is a "race" from one end of St. John to the other via Centerline road. Starting at sea level and ending at sea level....Oh, you get to 999 feet in elevation somewhere near the middle. Effectively running up the empire state building and back down. But not quite so easy, it is not just up and down......NOOOO, that would be too easy.
All these hills go up and down and up and down and up......not to mention the goats which dart in front of you. Donkeys rambling at the side of the road, Steel band playing (really cool). Our little island of 3000 residents hosted a race for 1300 people. There are the necessary pre race parties and post race parties....If there is one thing our little island likes, it is a reason to have a party!
A number of our local friends looked at us oddly at the mention of us joining the race. Dan went so far as to point out that we have our own Jeep on island now...Smart man. But Lisa was excited and I was committed....I did raise my life insurance though.
Up early along with 1300 of our closest insane friends, lined up next to the National Park dock. They arranged us in levels of insanity. Those speed racers up front, us turtles in the back.
Many different groups on island take on the duties of handing out water and gatorade to the victims.....err, I mean participants of the race. Many come in costume. Most watering stations are about 1/2 to 3/4 miles apart.
While it is called a race, and many do race, we walked. A steady plodding pace. Up Centerline past the hospital.....then we saw the zombies and signs of the apocalypse!
We were now getting into some of the steeper areas and I was almost forced to run down hill. Expecting to do a face plant at times, I chose the better part of valor and waited for Lisa to catch up. We rounded the corner to view Coral Bay and saw Jimmy and Bridgett, They were serving shots!
8 Tough Miles is a Charity, which raises money for scholarships.
The 2018 race was run unofficially. There were many participants and from what we heard and read, it was a hit. I have no doubt that a the 2019 race will be the best ever.