I have been remiss in not thanking the sponsors of the PikesPeakSports.us Triple Crown Runners, Tim Bergsten who maintains this fine “digital stomping ground for the outdoor community. Ron Ilgin of the Pikes Peak Marathon and Mike Mazzola of Mountain Equipment Recyclers. It was great getting to meet most of the other team members, get our snazzy singlets and have our first training meal together. Carb loading is a good thing, especially when it involves barley-pops! I am definitely the runt of this litter when it comes to past running accomplishments, honored that they let me hang with them. Special thanks to Tim for making me look fast in the promo shot! Amazing what some of this photo software can do today. Purely by coincidence, not by design, I happened to read “Born to Run” around the time I began seriously training for the Pikes Peak Triple Crown. While I haven’t tried running the Barr Trail barefoot yet (yes, I know that some of you have and you may call me a wuss) the book did change my outlook on running. I figure if people can go out and run 50 or 100 miles at a shot, well, then I guess I can muddle through the 10-mile Garden of the Gods run for starters. After that, what’s another 3 miles for The Ascent? Oh, that’s right, that elevation thing. I did attempt to try on a pair of that funny footwear that’s gotten so popular, the ones that look like gloves for the feet. I couldn’t get my pinky toe to cooperate. That little piggy just didn’t want to go into its stall so I’ll stick with my conventional running shoes for now. I have a pair of trail shoes I run in as well but friends who have done The Ascent as well as some ultras, tell me I should try to go as light as possible for The Ascent. Those of you reading, feel free to chime in. Any and all feedback is welcome. As I said, I train a la carte, welcoming advice from all corners and playing with different techniques and strategies to see what works. In that regard, which is the better fuel, pale ale or India pale ale? More hops or less? Will more IBUs translate into more BTUs to burn on the steeps? Think I’d better continue experimenting with this formula. Research, research, research, what a bore!