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We have a young friend, the 13-year-old daughter of our neighbors up the street, who is a very promising runner. She is already the fastest girl on her high school track team in the mile and 2-mile races. AT 13! So, just to improve and train, she has to find people to run with. She used to run with the boys. But now, she's faster than the boys. Sometimes she runs with one of her coaches. A while back, she got to run as a guest (I think in the marathon world they call them "pirates" or something like that-people who run the course, during the race, even though they are not registered) with another team, on which two of the state's top runners are members. I understand she found that to be a cool challenge.

We have another friend, a 21-year-old woman, who is a very accomplished runner. Runs track and cross country for a college in North Carolina. Wins a lot of medals and stuff. We're hoping to introduce our two friends. We think Dana (the older one) would be a great influence on Caroline (the younger one) a lot of ways. And being able to help a younger girl might also be very satisfying to Dana.

I hope the whole thing works out, because they are both very special people. I know this, because I have observed them (partially through the eyes of both sets of parents). But what's really cool is that neither Dana nor Caroline seems to see anything particularly interesting or unusual about herself. To both of's just running. I know one thing; I could train for a year and get a quarter-mile head start, and they would both still leave me in the dust. Probably you too.

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