A couple of years ago, I received an email from a stranger who lives in Iowa. Bruce Sheriff wanted to know about my “7 marathons on 7 continents” journey. He was on the journey himself and had found my blog post about my race in Tateyama, Japan (here’s the race report if you’re inclined). He wanted to run the Tateyama race but the only information on it he could find at the time was in Japanese. How did I manage to register? He wanted to know.

Well, I told him, Tateyama is the sister city of the city I live in, so I registered through my mayor’s office… sort of. He asked if I could hook him up. Sure I could, I said. But it would cost him a phone call so I could check him out first. I wasn’t going to connect just anyone with the wonderful, hospitable people of Tateyama because I knew what Bruce didn’t know but would soon find out: There’s no “hey we’re just dropping in to run a marathon, so if you could point me to the registration line that would be great” culture in Japan. I suspected that even though Bruce only wanted help with the registration forms, once my friends in Japan knew someone was coming, he’d get the full treatment.

So Bruce called me, and I liked him. He is a kindred spirit.

After his trip to Japan, Bruce has kept me posted on his comings and goings, and this week I received a note with an article about his journey to complete 7 marathons on 7 continents. Join me in congratulating Bruce Sheriff for following through on his dream!

Great job, Bruce!!!


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