Richard Doron Johnson

September 16, 2007

Run to the Moon!

Filed under: Uncategorized — rjjazz @ 12:56 am

I love Flagstaff, AZ. The temperature here is great and so is the people. This morning I woke up and went for a run a Buffalo Park which was about 3 miles from my hotel. I had heard there was plenty of trails in this town but the one that was most talked about was this park. After arriving here and seeing the map of the two mile gravel loop I was ready begin my 12 mile run at 6am. After working out I went to the hotel to rest for awhile since I was in no immediate hurry. While there I decided to give Northern Arizona University a call to see if there “High Altitude training center was free to observe. After talking to the secretary for awhile and explaining to her that I just finished running around world, she thought that her boss would be interested in talking to me. The next thing I knew I was on the phone with the famous “Jack Daniels.” If you don’t know who he is the running community, he is one of the legends on this planet that has coached thousands of runners to a successful marathon. Our conversation lasted for about an hour and ended with an invite to his office so we could talk further in the afternoon.

Next on my list was to visit the Lowell Observatory on Mars Hill. During my research of the city I noticed this was one of the most interesting things do here so off I went. I did not know what to expect but I was very glad I went.

The entrance to the Observatory!

The Lowell Observatory!

View the heavens through Percival Lowell’s 24″ Alvan Clark refractor.

Flagstaff, AZ overview look from Mars Hill!

The view from the Observatory on the way out!

After leaving the Observatory I decided it was time to get a smoothie at a local shop. While walking around the small town and seeing what it had to offer I quickly fell in Love with this city. By now the time was 3pm and I had to start heading to Phoenix which is 150 miles south. While driving through the town getting my last glimpse of this wonderful city I noticed this guy standing across the street from this Coffee shop. I immediately thought to myself that guy looks just like Abdi Abdirahman the Olympic marathon hopeful for this year. I recognized him because just that morning I was looking at his Biography on the web. I quickly stopped the car drove around the block and waited outside the coffee shop. As he walked out I asked him was his name Abdi, he replied “yes.” we immediately started talking about running and mileage. i asked him about a great location in town to train at and he then began to tell me about a great running spot called “Buffalo Park”. I then told him that I was there at 6am this morning training an he said that he was there also at the same time.

Next during our conversation he brought up Jack Daniels and that he was heading over to his office to hang out. I said what a coincidence! We then rode over to the office and Jack was gone. I was still very excited though to have meet Abdi. We ended up talking for about 2 hours and then I had to go since I had a 2:30hr drive ahead of me. While driving I thought to myself “I must be one of the luckiest or blessed guys on the planet to keep bumping into people that I have an interest in meeting.

Abdi Abdirahman (2:08 Chicago marathon 2006) and I posing after meeting at the local coffee shop in Flagstaff!


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