It's a mystical place, the moon. Surface temperature over 450 degrees; one quarter the size of the earth, very close to the size of the Pacific Ocean. No other object in the night's sky has captured our imagination so deeply. On July 20, 1969, after circling the earth for some 4.5 billion years, the moon's soft surface was, finally, touched by a human . It's said that this "one small step", firmly planted where wind and water do not exist, will remain intact for some 10 million years.
Historically speaking, the moon has also gotten a bad rap. The word "lunatic" stems from the Latin Lunacus or luna, which translates to the English word moon. Oddballs, or those considered to be "not playing with a full deck" have been labeled "loonies", likely due to the old belief that madness in humans was directly related to the phases of the moon. What are now referred to as mental institutions or even assisted living facilities were, in the day, simply "loony bins" or "lunatic" asylums.
On June 26, 2010, at 9:01 p.m., over the rocky peaks and foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, a full moon will rise from the east. With it will come its own light, gaining strength as the twilight fades from the setting sun. Underneath this same moon light, several hundred runners will be making their way toward the finish line of the Western States 100 mile endurance run. I'm looking forward to that moment.
Sometimes people ask me why anyone would want to run 100 miles. Honestly? I don't have a good answer. Marathons are one thing, but 100 miles just seems so "crazy", I often hear. Crazy? Maybe. Loony? For sure.