Here's a story for your marathon gallery of stories. I'd like to see someone beat this.

The day before Avenue of the Giants, United airlines cancelled my flight and lost all my luggage, including my running clothes. They told us they put us on the next flight and then after it was too late to drive to registration and the pastaload, they told us they bumped us in favor of people with more frequent flier mileage. Wefrantically drove from San Francisco to make registration /dinner. By that time no stores were open so I had to buy my marathon clothes at a gas station. The only 2 shirts they had were one of a naked woman on a motorcycle with the words "Minnesota Vibrator" on top and one with a marijuana leaf that said "I hate the local police." I opted for the nudie shirt. By then our hotel reservations had been cancelled, even though I reserved with a credit card in December, because I didn't show by 6 pm. The only hotel room had rust chunks spewing from the water faucet and no phone. Plus all the restaurants had closed. I had packed breakfast for marathonam-in the lost bags.

The next morning the airlines said to hurry to Eureka airport because they had my clothes. My husband went tearing down the freeway and got pulled over by the CHP. Now I had no ride to the start so I had to hitch a ride wearing the nudie shirt. At first, no woman would stand next to me in the toilet line because of the nudie shirt which was now a wet t shirt contest because (remember) it was raining. Then I got some local to trade me for a bugs bunny shirt. I ended up bungee cording my gel packet to my waist with the nylon hose I wore on the plane. I ended up wearing a lot of the clothes i wore on the plane. I tossed my airplane jacket at the 2 mile marker and fortunately it was still then when I returned from the out and back (although it weighed 10 tons).

After the marathon I went back to my hotel, took a shower, threw the wet cotton clothes in a pool of muddy liquid an inch deep on the floor and then realized I still didn't have any clothes. The airlines hadstill not come up with my actual suitcases and I couldn't get anything to eat because I had worn my airplane clothes and had nothing to cover me but a towel the size of a facecloth. And still no water. But despite all this, I had the time of my life. Icant thank you enough. The people at the aid stations were so great I had to stop and chat with them and hang. The course was beautiful beyond belief and the organization could not have been better. The other runners were really nice too. Thanks for everything and next year I will carry everything aboard so I don't show up in a nudie shirt!