Doug Adams, the former potato chip salesman who founded the Iowans4Palin website last year, was asleep Sunday morning at home in Storm Lake, Iowa, when his wife, Diane, woke him up with a panicky phone call.
“She was squealing,” Adams said Sunday night. “I was kinda scared.”
Diane told him to get down to the lake post-haste. Sarah and Todd Palin were there, and Sarah was about to run the half-marathon. Diane had risen early to walk the course.
Adams thought his wife was joking at first, since they had just returned the night before from Indianola, more than 150 miles from Storm Lake, where they’d trekked to watch Palin’s "tea party" speech Saturday afternoon. On Friday, they’d also attended a Conservatives4Palin meetup in Urbandale, where the Palins made a surprise visit. At both events, though, the Adamses were pretty disappointed that they’d been unable to get through the crowds to meet the former Alaska governor.
Adams hopped out of bed. “I went down there and standing off by himself, there was Todd Palin, waiting for her to come in from the race,” he said. “They had their visors down low, and the sunglasses on. People didn’t know who they were. Amazing they can get in and out of a place, incognito.”
Diane Adams told her husband that Palin started the race in the back of the pack, among the walkers, keeping a low profile for as long as possible. Then she ran around them, and took off.
After Palin finished – she’s a veteran runner and kept a speedy pace, finishing the 13.1-mile course around the lake in 1 hour 46 minutes and 10 seconds—she visited with the Adamses for while and took a picture with them.
“She is gracious and friendly as she could be,” said Adams. “The thing that amazes me is that they wandered off by themselves, and then I was talking with someone else and I felt a tap on my shoulder. She said, ‘I just wanted to thank you before leaving.’ It floored me.”
The Des Moines Register, which reported her time, said Palin had registered under her maiden name, Sarah Heath.
This afternoon, Palin tweeted “Thank you, Storm Lake, Iowa. You put on a great event & we loved meeting some great folks in your beautiful town today!”
On Monday afternoon, Palin is scheduled to address a tea party rally in Manchester, N.H.
Whether she will make any kind of news about that other race is anyone’s guess.