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Tim Bergsten created this Ning Network.

I got the opportunity  to meet my new fellow marmot teammates a few days before the first race of the Triple Crown Series that we where all going to blog about together.

We met father marmot Tim at the Garden of Gods, the venue of the first race, for our team photo shoot. I’d tweaked my knee a little bit at work that day after teaching yoga, spinning, and then a step aerobics class.

I felt a little ridiculous limping through the photo shoot trying to look like a “ real “ runner and felt a bit more in my niche with the posing pictures afterwards... ..

 Next, those of us who could make it  went to pizza with father marmot Tim. This ended up being just the female marmots( Wendy, Kim, and Sarah) and Tim,of course. Once  we arrived to Savelli’s in Manitou, Tim matter of factly said, “let’s order beer! “

I felt compelled to confess I was more of a wine versus a beer drinker, thinking I’d be the lone wine drinking marmot. To my delight, however, the other female marmots were also wine drinkers ordering both red wine and white wine variations. Cool! I thought all runners were partial to beer and not wine for some reason.

As we sipped wine and ate pizza we talked about things, of course running was talked about quite a bit. I learned my fellow female marmots like ultra races( really? my ultra IS the garden!) but I found these girls to be inspiring and fun; I need to run more, after all , if I’m really doing this triple crown again and hope being part of this team this might help inspire me!

We chatted about the blogs we were to write about the Triple Crown this summer, to be displayed on social media. Oh my, I made my second confession: that, contrary to popular belief, i’m an introvert  and am doing this blogging because I think it’s good for me  to try something new , but being this “ out there” is a little out of my comfort zone.This flowed into the others saying they are also a bit introverted . Wow! ! Fast new friends ! wine drinking introverts who maybe run a little more than i like, but I resolved to myself it would be a good idea to run a little more and drink a little less wine this summer as I took on this new marmot identity for a few months.... with that said, we called it an evening since introverts need their alone time!

I finally met the full male marmot team( Mathew, John, and Brian)at the race start as we posed for a full team picture. Bringing all us marmots together must be like herding real marmots for Tim, but he did it

Once the race got underway, I was overwhelmed by the sense of community I feel in these Triple Crown races, this year more than ever. I am the retread marmot, meaning I did this gig 6 years ago , the second year into these annual teams. I was amazed at how many people knew who we were in this 7th year as brief and fun laughs and words of encouragement were exchanged throughout the run with fellow runners. Race Director and marmot leader Tim makes it look easy to get all us together like this—- like artfully knowing how to put on that perfect party that is more about the people you invite  and where you have it than anything else. Wonderful high school managed aid stations, music, and a finish at Rockledge Ranch  with farm animals(first time i got to pet a pig, no more ham for me!) all with the beautiful Garden of the Gods  as the backdrop! This helped me to surpass my goal of finishing well under the 2.5 hour cutoff with relative ease,quite a feat for me  considering my generic “for the health of it” routine I’m employing these days of jogging 3 times a week for 3-4 miles..(I do have very active job, which also helps).Awesome!. Never could have pulled that off alone!

I lingered around for quite some time after to enjoy the Run Fest afterwards. I spun a wheel  at Trading Post table and got a cute sterling silver necklace and put my name in a drawing bucket at the Profile Sanford table and won some nutritional items in the drawing, which I picked up the next day at the store. that’s fun, could use help with my on the go eating habits and always like to learn about resources such as this in the community . The necklace is a runner ! I will wear that like a cute little medal as a memory of the day. luckily, the Subaru table had provided me with a little backpack to put my goodies in, as well as sunscreen and sunglasses since the suns rays where in full throttle now.  I got a re aligned spine at the Springs Family Chiropratic table and then I felt  ready for my slice of pizza! i sipped( or choked?) down half a beer while  I waited in the pizza line before throwing that beer out(next time i’ll donate my beer to a Brewers Cup member who wants a second one!)maybe my tummy was too empty for that, but I had my celebratory wine later that evening and reflected on the day. 

I reconnected with old friends and made new ones, as usual! Pretty cool. the Triple Crown races always deliver! I ended the day feeling content and grateful, now I realize why  I keep doing this through all of these varying seasons of my life.. i rated my day on a scale of one to ten. It was a ten. A “perfect 10”, exactly what my finishers shirt and finisher medal logo said!

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