Across the Universe
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February 19, 1997
After finishing four races in second place, my office began to think of me as the guy who couldn't win. The Combined Forces Air Component Commander, Colonel Dougherty, made fun of me, calling me the 'eternal second place'. It was good-natured ribbing but it bothered me that I'd come so close and couldn't win.

Three days before I was to depart Turkey, I ran one last 5 kilometer run in the pouring rain. I almost didn't run it because I was on my way out and just wanted to relax. I woke on the morning of February 15, to feel the wind buffetting my tent, and the sound of pouring rain. I thought,"I should just stay in bed--it's been a good run". But then I changed my mind. I dressed down as much as possible to prevent myself from soaking up the rain, going sockless, with only my thin shorts, a thin shirt, and my running shoes, minus the insole.
I pulled out in front at the start, kept a steady pace, and as the runners-up tried to pour on the power in the second half, I did too. I didn't want it to come down to another sprint finish, which was obviously my weakness. I extended my lead further in the gusty winds and heavy rains, and at last, won by 1 minute 10 seconds with a time of 17 minutes 44 seconds. It was my first win in a run since 1991 and ironically, it was the Valentine's Day run. I won my very first race on February 11, 1989 in a Valentine's day run in Japan, and gave the T-shirt to Miimii.
The next day, while eating on my way to work, I ran into Colonel Dougherty. I invited him to my table to have a little talk about his teases...hehehe...

Below, you see some cool pictures of my flight home. I flew out of Adana, Turkey, on February 18, had a transfer in Istanbul
again, and then on to Amsterdam, Holland. The top two photos are from my approach to Amsterdam.
Amsterdam approach>>> Amsterdam departure>>>
Below, more photos of my take-off from Amsterdam. We were heading towards the North Sea.
Here comes the North Sea>>>
And above you see...the North Sea! Click on a picture to see the rest of my trip >>>