MAY 2002


††††††††††† Somewhere in the Caribbean- Greetings from your traveling leader, from whom executive orders come cheaper than shuffleboard lessons on a cruise ship.

††††††††††† Iím writing while en route to the island of Cozumel for a long weekend, the demands of being President of the Pine Belt Pacers having taken their toll.Iíd like to say that I had a great reason for leaving on a momentís notice yesterday, but since I donít, Iíll suggest a few that I have thought of:

1.                    I needed to do some training in a sub-tropical climate to get acclimated for my big trip to Hawaii in October.

2.                    I am trying to be more like Becky and Hollie Ryder, who are always going on cool trips.

3.                    Iím on a continuing legal education seminar and working on a book.


I am very proud of several of the members who have achieved some outstanding goals in the last month.

††††††††††† Richard Simms and Eddie Pierce completed their first marathon in Cincinnati at the Flying Pig Marathon.Their goal was to break the five-hour mark, and they did.It is a great feeling to train for and complete a marathon, and we are excited for them.

††††††††††† Robin and Becky Ryder traveled to Boston for the Boston Marathon in April, Robin having qualified last year.Those of you who are runners understand how difficult it must be to even qualify for this famous event, which is accomplished by running a marathon within the previous two years in less time than is the mark for your particular age group.Congratulations to Robin and his family.(It must have done him some good, because since returning, heís won two 5K races while pushing Tate in a baby jogger).

††††††††††† John Pendergrass recently traveled to Tennessee and competed in an event called Powerman Tennessee, which was the national championship race for duathloners.While he fell just short of taking first overall, he did place high enough to be chosen as a U.S. team member, which makes him eligible for the world championships to be held in Austria in August. The race was tough according to John, who said it was one of the hilliest courses heís ever seen.

††††††††††† Elmer and Ann Beardshall have been doing some traveling themselves, with Elmer doing another endurance/trail run of 50 kilometers in Arkansas recently.Vicki Copeland and some of her buddies went to a bicycle race and festival in Lafayette, Louisiana last month, and Hugh Massengale is healthy and back running again.Also, Antha Estridge is over her injury and the rest of the Laurel/Ellisville contingent are doing well in local races.

††††††††††† As you probably know by now, I am going to need some help this summer as I train for the 2002 Hawaii Ironman competition in October.I never thought that Iíd have the opportunity to be a part of such an event, and I am excited about it.Iíll be spending the next five months training most of the time that Iím not working, so Iíd appreciate it if youíd email me from time-to-time and let me know about when you are running, riding, or swimming.I intend to ďgo for itĒ and try to take first overall, since I heard that the prize money is $50,000.00 for the winners.Unfortunately, when I told the folks at PowerBar and Gatorade that the other day, they declined to sponsor me.Looks like Leathaís Bar-B-Que, R.J. Reynolds, and the Pine Belt Pacers will be the only groups I endorse this year.

††††††††††† Well, I need to get off this computer and head for the deck.Theyíre about to start the shuffleboard lessons, and then after that, bingo, led by a Croatian emigrant nicknamed ďEddieĒ.As for running, this morning I had to run 860 laps around the Lido deck because the water aerobics class was cancelled. The electronic steel drums synthesizer isnít working.(I think that what actually happened was that the only who knows how to operate it, a guy with dreadlocks who tries to look and talk like Bob Marley, probably overslept.The reason I think so is that heís actually from DíIberville, the same guy who I played basketball against in high school).

††††††††††† Ciao.†††