It's been an interesting weekend to say the least. Last year I missed the very first Savannah Tunnel 2 Towers Run and resolved that I would make it this year. Well, in time, my calendar invariably changes. A few months ago I was asked to teach two courses for Task Force 1 starting today in Loveland, Colorado and agreed to take those on. But again, everything changes and a week or two ago, the class was canceled. So then I planned to go and take care of another gig I am working on (sorry, it's low profile right now).
On Thursday I found that it was probably a good thing I wasn't going to be in Loveland, as the entire region has been inundated with terrible flooding and the people I would have been teaching are actually out saving lives right now. Then, also on Thursday the arrangements for my other plans fell through. With very little notice, I jumped on the internet and registered for the Tunnel 2 Towers run, just as I had originally wanted to do.
On Friday, getting off from work, I sat down to work on this week's blogs at my place and the phone rang. Little do some of you know, I am ALSO a longshoreman at the Port of Savannah (no, five or six jobs are not enough), and I picked up work at the port from 1300 until Midnight. Yes, with a race the next morning. The result was my standing in the sun for several hours, then in the rain, then in the dark, identifying parts coming off a ship and marking them for transfer to a logistics staging area.
When I left the Port at 0000 hours, I drove the 45 minutes back home, showered, and crashed in exhaustion. And subsequently woke up several hours later to drive BACK to Savannah to be there for the early morning race start. At that point, which is a point I have found myself in many times after fighting fire all night, I was on auto-pilot. I hit Starbucks for my favorite Quad Tall Americano, which you can duplicate yourself by just dumping raw coffee into a cup and squirting a drop of water on top to wash it down. That and a few Red Bulls later, I was ready to race. I had wings, right?
And what a day it was; the crowd was ready to go, I was inspired by all the brotherhood and sisterhood, and especially those who raced in full turnouts, or even just parts (Hell, I was in running shorts and a microfiber t-shirt. Those who ran in gear made me feel totally inadequate). There were kids running, families running together, and of course, our "Brothers Over The Bridge" at Bluffton Township Fire Department, who had an awesome team put together and ultimately captured the inaugural Siller Cup.
Afterward, we of course had to replenish those carbs and celebrate the causes we had raised those funds for, and of course, remember those who fell that tragic September morning in 2001. When it was all said and done, though, we (the Hilton Head gang) and a bunch of the Savannah brothers ended up at McDonough's to hoist a few Guinness and do some post incident critiquing. That's mandatory stuff, you know.
So in a very poorly done media extravaganza, (I am usually a pretty decent photographer but my ability to manage the camera that day was obviously a little off) I wanted to provide the link to the YouTube slideshow I built so that people could see what brotherhood looks like. As always, I am so proud to be associated with this group, and especially during times like these, I am reminded why I love being a firefighter. I wanted to thank all of the community who participated and hosted us in their great city, the organizers and volunteers for the run, and of course the military, law enforcement, and other teams out there. I especially wanted to thank the firefighters from Irmo (SC), Pooler (GA), Thunderbolt (GA), Southside (GA), and any other departments I might have missed.
Of course, I wanted to thank the families, friends, and colleagues from the Savannah (GA) and Bluffton (SC) fire departments, and my extended family at Hilton Head Island Fire and Rescue, "The Pride of the Lowcountry". Thanks for a great weekend! (Now, I must sleep).