Last year, Christopher Robin and I worked the Ascent to the top of Pikes Peak. It was one of my top ten days ever, and I’m sure it was one of the shared events that pin down the quilt of our history as a pair–there are just those days when you realize that someone is right for you.
The races (Ascent and Marathon, and yes, some people do both) are this weekend. Two weeks ago, my son and his girlfriend were here from NYC and we took them for a mini hike at the top of the mountain, down and up a mile at the top. Runners were in training, doing their altitude work by doing 3-2-1s (down three miles, up three, down two, up two, down one mile, up one…maybe the most grueling mile, since it includes the euphemistically named Golden Staircase). One of the runners was a woman in her late seventies, rangy lean with a dowagers hump, short gray hair that showed off the earrings that matched her high-end running top. Inspiring, to think of being that woman at 77.
CR is busy with the US Orienteering Championships this weekend in Buena Vista and I’m doing my blitz thing (which is just my process, no matter how I’d like to be more sane), so we’re not volunteering this time. This morning, eating my cereal and getting my five minutes of world disaster news, I happened to notice the weather is going to be very grim for the poor runners this weekend–rain even in the morning (more likely to be snow above timberline) which is rare around here. Send good thoughts to them. He’s planning to run again in 2008, when he’s again at the bottom of his weight class. EDIT: I mean, of course, his age class.
I will not run Pikes Peak. (As if!) I am however, going to hike it in a couple of weeks. I have the weekend set aside, but weather considerations count, so I’m not sure which of the three days I have set aside will be The Day. Early September, and I have to avoid an event on the mountain.
Here’s a happy note for the 40 and 50 somethings reading here: women in these age groups traditionally do very well in this race. Just saying.
What would you do if you had the money, time, health and fitness to do anything? Maybe it isn’t an atheletic event, but a trip around the world or a cruise down the Danube or building a house from scratch. Dream big….what would you do?