Went to Morris Bridge yesterday to check out some new trail shoes where I ran into my friend Rhonda, along with a few other Land o Lakes runners, the speedy Lee Stephens among them. Seeing few others that could keep up with (ok, ok, slow down to) my pace, Rhonda and I ran a delightful 9 miles together.
In our last mile Rhonda pointed out Melanie Peters to me. She won the Gasparilla Marathon this year and consequently competed in the US Olympic Trials in April. Turns out she had gotten injured at some race at Croom a couple of weeks before the trials. I guess the race director did a poor job of explaining that in March in Florida it's still a little dark at 7 AM, Race Directors suck, and I hear this one could give a riding Hoover a run for it's money in the Suck factor (that's what I hear.)
I digress, anyway, I really enjoyed having Melanie's company there for a mile. Got to hear a bit of her interesting story.
She is a grad student in USF's Marine Biology program, and talk about struggling. No insurance, even though she works for the state part time, and goes to school full time. I know my ex-friend Kim wouldn't agree with this, but why aren't we all insured? If we have enough money to occupy two foreign countries at a time, can't we afford to get a promise young grad student a little health care? No, we can't? oh, my bad. Hey, US Gov, Drop and give me 20!
Oh, and no scholarships or grants either, seems they have drastically cut back on those as well. Property tax cuts, my arse! Our Universities are bursting with applicants, our professor to student ratio is the WORST in the USA, and we're crying about budgets. Perhaps a little mismanagement by the state? Oh, you think? And while you're at it, give the Good Doctor and the Professor raises will ya? Hey, Florida, drop and give me 20!
Melanie also has only one minor sponsor. No, she wins races, doesn't compete, wins, she's in grad school, she's really nice. She's written to many running products companies, but has secured only a hair tie sponsor. "would have been able to pull away at 25, if my hair hadn't flopped in my eyes!" Yeah, not quite as good as a running shoe, or a power bar." Hey, Asics - Zombie Runner (I love Zombie Runner, I just can't think of another running Z) drop and give Melanie 20!
Well, at least Rhonda is going to see what she can do at Moffit, which may be something, she's been fairly successful in previous attempts. Any way, I'm cheering for you Melanie, keep on winning (she has to to pay for school) and go on and finish school, we're getting more ocean every day for you to biologize (even W has copped to Global warming now, watch your heads ladies and G's the sky may just fall!)