Doc and Laura Pepper

Several years ago, Doc was sitting in a class at work when his friend, Kristina, announced that she had always wanted to run a marathon. Doc decided he would join her and they started training at Memorial Park. He says they quickly noticed all of the Park regulars and began naming them, with sometimes rather colorful monikers. They eventually signed up for the Marathon Du Medoc in France. Although Laura had not been training for such long distances, she also decided to enter the race. She originally planned to walk, however she started doing the math and determined she could not walk fast enough to finish in 6 hours, 30 minutes, which was the cut-off time to receive a bottle of wine at the finish line. This prompted Laura to take up running (at least enough to get the bottle of wine). After Medoc, Laura continued running and Doc took her to Memorial Park where he enjoyed pointing out all the colorful characters he and Kristina had named. When Doc and Laura attended the People of Memorial Park Book Launch Party in October, they were pleased to finally meet some of their fellow runners who they had seen on the trail for so many years. They had named Jacob Tonge “Bandanna Man” and discovered that in the book he actually refers to himself as “the guy with the bandanna.” They were thrilled to shake his hand and know that they got that name right! (On a personal note, Laura was my boss when I worked at NASA from 2001 – 2008. It has been fun to be able to stay in touch with her through running on the trail at Memorial Park!)