The third and final leg of the 2018 Triple Crown of running is in the record books now, the Pikes Peak Ascent.
It’s old news by now, but due to the inclement weather forecast, the race was shortened to end at Barr Camp. The day before the race large hail pummeled Manitou Springs, damaging vehicles and frightening race participants, reminding race directors, volunteers, and race veterans all too much of the blizzard of 2008 that hit on Ascent day that year.
I think, as a veteran of this race with a combined 30 finishes of ascent/marathon races, I digested the news with relative ease. Sure, I was overdressed, and now my altitude training above tree line wouldn’t be showcased as I’d wanted. Obviously if we saw this coming, less hiking and more running would have been emphasized in training. But, we were all in the same boat, so off we went when the starters gun fired.
I felt as if I’d pushed myself when I crossed the line in 1 hour 58 minutes,but I recovered pretty much immediately, which was a sign I was ready to keep going and get into that thin air. But, as a veteran and a person who doesn’t exactly love racing and pain(there’s a confession!), I looked at the big picture.
I knew I’d look back on this with fond memories. the process of getting on that gorgeous mountain and training left me with that same, contented sense of completion. the racing of the triple crown left me with that same sense of gratitude for our lovely running community and the great people in it. I am about the journey of getting ready for these things, so it was like having that cake(the process of preparation)just with a little less icing(the glory of the finish as I might have ideally wished for).
I chose to walk down the trail , catching up with old friends, making new ones, cheering on racers who I overlapped with who where still coming up, and thanking volunteers who stayed at aid stations to make sure we stayed hydrated as we trekked both up and down.
It was a lovely summer for me as a blogging member of this mighty marmot team, and I do feel all the mightier for it, a little excitement is good for us, and with 30 (now 31 if yesterday “counted”), I do forget some years, but I won’t forget this one! I think i’m already even looking forward to participating again next year!