Gotta Run: Dreams and what Ed Dupree would say about them!

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 30, 2022

All of us should have dreams, thinking about big things that are bucket list dreams and going to be a challenge to complete. I’m talking about the dreams we have while awake, not the ones that happen while sleeping. In my case, they sometimes overlap, but my imagination gets involved and then a dream becomes something that I hope to achieve. Dreams are fun and allow us to make what seems impossible possible.

Next, they become goals and we start setting deadlines and making hard plans to get the once aspirational dream on the way to reality. I am in the planning mode for my summer bike trip, already past a dream but not yet into the hard planning stage. I am not yet 100% sure where I will ride and when, just that it will be somewhere new and done at some point during the summer.

My dreams aren’t limited to the bike rides. One that is bigger is to complete 100,000 miles of running. That one is at the top of my list now but wasn’t a dream at all when I started out running. My only dream at that time was to run enough to complete a 5K, just 3.1 miles. After that, I began to dream of things much bigger and at about 50,000 miles, the thought of 100,000 was possible. Just 6,000 to go.

Many of you know about my dream of cycling solo in all 50 states and Canada, that one completed in 2021. As the years have passed, I’ve had big dreams, years in the works. But one dream that became a favorite was a complete surprise. Ed Dupree, former Salisbury Post sports editor, was a big advocate of chasing dreams. He did a much better job of planning and completing the details than I ever have or will. Ed and I had a lot of in common too, one of the best ones being that we both loved to check on how a particular friend’s running was going. We both did this, especially when we were not sure if the person was still running. We wanted that person to keep the dream of lifetime running going.

Ed had lots of other dreams too, many of which he completed. Others were on the table as his health began to fail. As memory serves, he had just completed 21 years of running without missing a day. And there were just a few golf courses left on his dream of playing in every one of North Carolina’s 100 counties. But one big dream was on Ed’s mind when I visited with him in his room at Novant Health shortly after his leukemia worsened. That dream was about running across North Carolina.

I visited in early afternoon, listened to the details of Ed’s planning and left intrigued. He wanted me to do the run and he had plenty of reasons why I should. Ed couldn’t make that trip across N.C. and the thought of the adventure left undone wouldn’t get out of my mind. I came home with a new dream, pretty much knowing I was going to move mountains to make that trip happen. Some dreams have been like that for me. I want to be challenged with my dreams and so did Ed Dupree. And we both liked to challenge others. Ed coached youth running and basketball, touching an astounding number of young lives.

The 2022 Ed Dupree Memorial 5K is next up for Rowan County. It will be held on May 7 at East Rowan High School with the start and finish on the track. All proceeds benefit the Novant Health Foundation and Ed Dupree Memorial Scholarship at East Rowan High School.

This and other upcoming events can be seen at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org

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