Sam Moyer had just run 11 miles, and she was panting slightly and smiling Wednesday morning in the sunshine, like she'd just come home to unexpected friends and the revelation that she'd been given some important honor.
Moyer was the main runner for Leg 279 from Cresson to Duncansville, part of the cross-country One Run for Boston 2, and her greeting party consisted not only of the five runners who were taking the baton to the next stop in Canoe Creek, but Danny Bent and Kate Treleaven, the Brits who founded the fundraiser last year after the Boston Marathon bombings and who organized a reprise for 2014.
One Run has meant 15-hour days for them, but they've been "surfing on this wave of positivity, optimism and solidarity," Bent said.
Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec
(From left to right) Joe Franco of Altoona, George Stephens of Boston, Annie Clay of Duncansville and Brent Storm of Altoona run along Route 22 outside of Hollidaysburg on Wednesday. The group of runners were part of the One Run for Boston 2 cross-country relay to raise money for the victims of last year’s Boston Marathon bombing.
Last year, they organized the event quickly, with no time to think, then went back to England, exhausted.
"It took us two months to get over it," Treleaven said.
They weren't expecting to do it again.
But as months went by, they began to get emails from Americans asking about this year, urging them.
Eventually, "we couldn't resist," she said.
But there's a cost.
"We haven't had a personal life," Bent said. "How Kate has still got her husband, I've no idea. And no way I'm going to meet a future wife."
The work - planning routes, obtaining permits, recruiting runners and sponsors and dealing with the authorities - is enough for a corporation, he said.
Yet there are "pinnacles of brilliance," he stated.
"You meet the runners, and it suddenly feels worth it," he said.
Bent and Treleaven hugged all of those who came down from Cresson at least twice.
They hung around with them and chatted for about 20 minutes.
They talked about the snow the runners saw on the Six to Ten Trail, about the runners getting lost for a while, about the contrast between the scale of the 3,000-plus mile enterprise involving thousands and the fragility and intimacy of the individual stages.
Some runners have asked Treleaven what happens if they get to the end of their leg, and there's no one there to take the baton.
"You just keep running," she's told them.
It could happen.
"What if someone oversleeps?" for a 4 a.m. leg, Bent asked rhetorically.
Moyer ran hers with buddies who are part of a regular running group associated with Fox Trot Runners, a local running equipment store.
The runners in her group have talked about their 2013 One Run experience ever since it happened, she told the organizers.
"Now we'll talk about this until next year," she said.
Imagine, such a big event "coming through our little town," she said.
"The biggest complement we can probably get," Bent said: "if we can touch the souls of people."
Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.