Monday, July 30, 2007
In Memory of a Friend
A few days ago in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, the world lost Mike Uehlein. He was found in his favorite swiming hole in the town local hot springs. To some, he was a father, a son, and a lover. To me he was a friend.
Mike came into Branford in the fall and quickly jumped into the Sound Runners crew. He grew passionate about trail running and would complete his first Ultra Marathon at the StoneCat 50 miler in Ipswich, Mass. He would also run the Rhode Island marathon and just barely miss qualifying for the Boston Marathon with a time of 3:22. Over the few months that Mike lived in Branford, we would share many days in the Supply Ponds or Lake Saltenstall, training for the next big race. He had a big heart and was a very kind man.
My most memorable moment with Chaunce,(all runners get a nickname), was when I drove him out to the Turkey Trot 5miler this past Thanksgiving. It was a very cold and rainy morning. We sat in my truck awaiting the start, trying to stay warm, and just talked and talked. Mike told me about his kids, his past business and his struggle with addiction.
Mike had confessed his long time addiction to alcohol. It is never easy to let people into your life when dealing with personal problems, but Mike was open and honest. He wasn't trying to act like someone else or pretend like his problems were solved. He let me in and I respected him for that.
Suddenly, Mike picked up and moved back to Colorado to be with his girlfriend. I would see him again but we did talk on the phone every once in a while. I hoped to meet up again during my cross country travels, but it never came about. Although Mike is now gone, he will remain in my heart and I will share my love for running with him in the future.
The below link is a beautiful article written about Mike in Colorado. I was moved by the way the author presented him as a man with a heart and not a local drunk with an alcohol problem