What fun last night turned out to be! I expected to enjoy myself, but what a long day it had already been, and with home just around the corner, I wasn't sure how long I'd last. Boy am I glad we went!
"Tropical" John Medinger and Lisa Henson (the peeps behind UltraRunning Magazine) were in town for a couple days on their way home to sunny Cali and decided it would be fun to host a little impromptu dinner party and invite all the Chicago area UltraRunning subscribers. Sweet! My subscription recently ended, but Geof still has his and he received an e-mail from John about the party a couple weeks ago. We showed up right at 6:30, at La Madia, in River North, and were immediately greeted by John and Lisa.
We sipped on wine and chatted it up with the small crowd of area ultrarunners (most of whom we didn't already know...which is funny since our 'kind' is such a small group as it is!). Eventually, fellow CHUG Vishal showed up and joined in on conversation with another fellow CHUG, Tracy. Bill Thom showed up just before we sat for dinner. So it was fun to see some familiar faces amongst all the new!
Dinner was delicious! Lots of great thin crust pizza and salads, and even better conversation. Geof and I sat at a table with an area ultra dude, Jim, and his wife, and Lisa. Lisa regaled us with highly entertaining stories about being a pacer and how she's pulled some runners back from the dead to finish a tough race. What a funny gal she is! John held down the fort at the table next to ours. Lots of great discussions going on, and fun stories about our various experiences running 100 miles. I can't stress enough just how enjoyable it is to be surrounded by all like-minded folks, geeking out about ultrarunning. I love it!
To top off the evening, Lisa and John handed out the new UltraRunning hats they just had made and we took a big group photo, wearing out new hats.
Meeting John and Lisa was really cool, and made even better by the fact that they are such fun and down-to-earth people. That's one of my favorite things about the ultra community, the people!
So, thank you John and Lisa for having us all out for dinner, and for being such great hosts!!