Saturday, June 23 I see an e-mail about a fire near Waldo Canyon. Hmm, not good. Later, leaving for a trip to Denver I glance south from Monument and see the towering, wide white plume. Oh no, this is only going to get worse. And Waldo is so special. Then came the carnage of Tuesday night, June 26 and the horror of watching a home burn in real time on television. In the flash of a fire, suddenly the challenge of jogging up Pikes Peak looked insignificant compared with the challenge of rebuilding homes and lives. Next to the heroic efforts of the firefighters, the incredible generosity and charitable efforts of the community, completing the Triple Crown would be such a minor, personal accomplishment. Reality checks are good but unfortunate when they are this severe. Runners whose favorite trails were closed, those in serious training who had to breathe foul air or find alternative workouts indoors, had minor inconveniences to deal with. Evacuees and those who put them up had major challenges to deal with. Even though my family and I made modest contributions to the relief effort, one cannot help but feel a sense of helplessness when it comes to consoling those who lost so much. So I will run the Summer Roundup with them in mind. If it gets a little hot, a little steep or a little dusty, if I and the other runners are still inhaling a bit of residual smoke in the air around us, I will not whine! Promise. I’m looking forward to the Second Leg of the Crown. I’ve run the course enough times to be comfortable with it and the steady uphill beat it presents for the first half of the course. It will be good to see all of my pikespeaksports.us Triple Crown Runners teammates in one place again and hear of their recent adventures on the trails and mountains. As some of them have already pointed out, in times like this, it’s just good to come together, in any kind of setting, and celebrate what and who we are as a community, pushing on, ever forward, ever upward. Excelsior!