Lather-rinse-repeat. Our summer weekends have been a whirl with mountain races. From running Big Horn & Western States in June to pacing at Hardrock 100M and the Never Summer 100K in July and now boom! it’s August and the party’s just gettin’ started!
One quick and humid 10 miler along the Rock Creek trails in DC amidst a few days of work meetings in the elegant but still windowless conference rooms of the Fairmont hotel gave me the energy I needed to stay sane and pump some oxygen rich blood through my legs. I flew back to Denver late Friday night and headed straight to Colorado Springs for the Pikes Peak Ultra early the next morning.
Even in the middle of the race and certainly in the days and hours leading up to it, I almost entirely forgot that I was running 50 miles. The small low-key race start was entirely fitting and is part of what I love about so many ultras – no fanfare, no pump-you-up music, no microphones, or crowds of cowbells. Instead, an unmistakable feeling of calm and belonging. Just a handful of runners, crickets, the setting blue moon and 50 beautiful and challenging miles ahead. No one runs these races for the applause. The motivation, awe and satisfaction is entirely internal and the challenge to run 50 miles doesn’t seem absurd. I feel completely normal here.
About 10 miles into the race I saw my friend Kerrie a few switchback behind me. I stopped and waited for her to catch up. We ran the next 40 miles together. And as the miles and hours wore on we seemed to run a little lighter. Sure, pushing hard and competing is fun. But so is running together. And some days that’s what racing is all about.
2015 Pikes Peak Ultra: Bruxvoort, Koester “race” to tie in 50-miler | Pikes Peak Sports August 2015
2015 Pikes Peak Ultra: Ryan Smith Takes the Win | Pikes Peak Sports August 2015
Thank you Justin & Denise Ricks from Mad Moose Events for putting on a great little gem of a race!