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Friday, October 27, 2006

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Matthew Chestnut

I ran with the group in Atlanta, Georgia this morning and am even more amazed by Dean's ability to overcome challenges.

The weather was lousy and, most of the time, we were relegated to running along the broken, potholed, water-filled sidewalks, always mindful of the cars speeding by at unsafe speeds. Yet through it all, and with his unfortunate stumble, Dean kept a very positive attitude. His spirit was contagious and the entire group fed off his energy.

The support crew was amazing. The brand-new ING Georgia Marathon course twisted and turned through many of the Atlanta area's historic neighborhoods. Atlanta traffic is a mess and, when it rains, it's even worse. Yet, through it all, we could count on our on course support.

Our group of 50 runners was a joy to run with. Veteran marathoners and first-timers ran together side-by-side, exchanging stories, strategies, hopes and fears. It was a great experience.

No one in their right mind would run a marathon on a day like today. Everyone who ran this marathon, however, would do it again in an instant! We were there to support Dean's quest for 50. I am proud to have been part of this experience.

Chris Sadowski

Dean,

I planned and tried to join you this Saturday in Florida for race #42. However, I've got to take care of my family today. I really wanted to run with you. You are quite an inspiration. In fact, I've been reading about you for years. Based on your training, I've verified that I'm not insane when I wake up at 1AM to do some of my crazy long runs and training rides. My wife is due with our second boy on December 28th. She is in her nesting phase and I will be getting the whole house and baby room ready for the next six weeks. I will be making a donation to your charity. However, when you get a chance, can you please forward me a "hard" mailing address (no P.O.'s) so that I can send you a plaque? I was involved in a pretty interesting situation at the Ironman World Championships in Kona in '04 and used many forms of inspiration to get me back on track. You were one of those. Thank you for pushing your body and beliefs to the limit. We all can learn from you. Enjoy your next nine races and Thank You.

Chris

Jon Ross

While my dream over the past several months of training for today's E50 run in Atlanta was to finish with my hands raised with Dean's, my thoughts today were focused on just finishing. As I explained to the support crew in SAG vehicle around mile 17, I have been battling a case of strep throat over the past two weeks and had just finished the last of my antibiotics. I woke this morning with a sore throat, chills, and an ongoing fever. Despite being advised against attempting the run, especially given the downpours and 50 degree temperatures that were forecast for this morning (and did not disappoint), I never considered being a spectator.

Dean has inspired me that much.

He has pushed himself through the furnace of Death Valley and the snow, ice, and sub zero temperatures of the South Pole. He battled a cold during the first half of the Endurance 50 schedule.

Dean gave me a high five at mile 19 as we approached and passed each other just before the turnaround on the Freedom Parkway.

As the lead pack pulled away and my pace slowed, it was clear that we would not cross the finish line together, but my resolve to FINISH never weakened. I had shared several miles with a true hero of mine and fifty new friends who shared the same goal.

I finished my first marathon today in 4 hours and 42 minutes, and have the inspiration of my family, friends - new and old, and a hero on a great journey to thank.

Kindest Regards,

Jon Ross

Atlanta, GA

Rod MacQuarrie

Go team Dean....It's Saturday morning and I just read about Dean's fall in Atlanta...been there done that hope all is well. Dean is an inspiration to all. I have shared his book and told his stories to many runners and non runners alike. They all come away with a different attitude. I often get a chill up my spine when I read of Dean's adventures, I am a runner and have done some races, wish I could have joined part of the 50. There in spirit...Rod.
PS I have a cold, but still headed out the door for my long run....thanks for the inspiration.

Brian Balmes

Dean,

Thank you so very much for an unbelievable experience. I knew when I signed up that it would something to remember, but the challenging weather and the power of the group made this marathon more personal and almost spiritual.

I was the runner next you to when you fell. Thank you so much for your kind words at the marathon and in your written story here. Inspiration and spiritual empowerment help us all through the challenges of life, whether it be cancer or making running history!! I am so proud to have met you, run with you and gotten to speak with you.

I look forward to seeing you in March at the ING GA Marathon.

Good Luck for your next 9 marathons!! You are truely an inspiration to us all!

Your friend, Brian

Liz Wood

Ok, so if you are going to do a 51st marathon in Washington DC, the Marine Corps Marathon is a good one to do.

Here is the link:
http://www.marinemarathon.com/page11.aspx

Remember....election day is coming! The people need you! Please pick a cause to support in DC.

Peace.

Michele Keane

Dean - Sorry about the fall. Even though I could not run today due to my schedule, I did make it out to the course to cheer you on. I think it was before your fall as you didn't look scrapped up. Nice job in the horrendous weather - sorry we couldn't be more accommodating in that department. Good luck with the last 8 runs!

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