In one day, he is going to run a marathon, then another marathon. Then he is going to repeat that the next day. And the next day. And the next day.
Ken Anderlitch is about to start his Trans-Texas quest. Running across the width of Texas, from El Paso in West Texas, San Angelo and Waco in central, then on to the border of Louisiana. 800 miles in about two weeks.
October 21, 2022 was the Cactus Rose 100-mile cross country race. This is Ken’s final long distance training run for the Trans-Texas. This is his decision point. If he can complete this, he is all in for the Trans-Texas.
50 miles and 10 ½ hours into the race, he crashes. There is no way he is going to make another lap of the rough course around the Hill Country State Natural Area. The hills are brutal and keep on coming. Over 2800 vertical feet on each lap, and there are four laps in the race. The track is rough. His shins are cris-crossed with red welts from the cactus bordering the trail.
He walks quietly to his car and ponders. He has 60 hours to complete this. He has more than a day left to complete the race. He stretches out uncomfortably in his car and passes out into sleep.
Six hours later he wakes up feeling nauseated. He lurches out of his car and promptly throws up. He knows this means he is dehydrated and his kidneys are not liking it. He drinks some water and tries to eat some crackers. He throws up again.
He rinses his mouth out and tries some Doritos. They seem to settle well. He drinks some more water. So far so good. He has some more solid food to eat, puts his running pack back on and heads back to the race course. He is wearing the same shoes and socks he started in. He slept in them.
Back on the course, he keeps up his hydration and food intake. 12 hours later he crosses the 100-mile mark to finish in 34 hours, 41 minutes. The Trans-Texas quest is On.
Ken has been through some dark places in his life. He is running to raise awareness of something I did not even know existed: bridge assistance for alcoholics. This is a service that understands that going sober is part of a journey. After getting sober, many people go back to the same situations and people they used to hang out with.
Their old friends may not accept them in their new form, and their family might not trust them. Bridge assistance offers a safe and supporting environment to help ease them back into their new life. They get support in the form of a safe, sober living environment, help with jobs, and the small steps that can be so hard on their road to recovery.
If you’d like more information, please visit the Pay It Forward San Antonio site. If you’d like to support Ken, please donate to his cause. He is running 50 miles a day for this, can you spare $50 to help someone get on the path to their new life? Donate to Ken’s Cause: Pay It Forward SA
Photos courtesy of Elmer Ferro Photography