Once again, I'm quite behind in blogging, and have a few fun weekend trips (mostly mountain biking) worth writing up eventually. But otherwise, I need to tell the universe that I am absolutely stoked to be running the Bighorn 100 on Friday!
First and foremost, I'm incredibly excited and lucky to have this chance again. I'm not planning on doing 100-milers for the rest of my life, and even that much longer, so there's a short list of inspirational races and courses that I'd really love to experience. Bighorn is very near the top of that list. Numerous folks have mentioned how great it is...Alex said it's probably the most beautiful course he's seen, and let's not forget it was a spry and youthfully naive Nick Clark's introduction to 100 milers. And earlier this year, while jogging across a windy expanse near Boulder/Superior (during a winter Fatass), Dana K. told me it was the most beautiful wildflowers she's ever seen. Compared to Crested Butte? Aspen Four-Pass? San Juans? Yes, yes, and yes. Wow.
I've been near the Bighorn Mountains once, --12 years ago -- when we were moving to California. Anxious to get to Yellowstone, I made a last-minute decision to take the dotted-line "scenic route" on the map instead. Having never really seen mountains, it was the most incredible thing I'd even seen. (And it actually made Yellowstone a comparable disappointment once I saw all the crowds and traffic). Never would I have imagined, at the time, that I would come back and have a chance to run 100 miles through that terrain! Pretty sure I had never run more than 3 or 4 miles -- on sidewalks -- at that point.
I'm also lucky to be out there with my friend Chris S., who has run every distance at that race. And he has graciously offered to pace me!
And again, I'll have my sleepless, top-notch crew of J and Mama W meeting me in the middle of
the woods. Again. I hope they enjoy another random weekend in a beautiful part of the world.
I'm certainly looking forward to numerous friends from across the Front Range -- running, pacing, and crewing -- that will be out there as well. Some will be ahead of me, some near me, some behind me, and in each case it will be great to see familiar faces in addition to meeting new ones.
Lastly, I'm very excited about the vibe of the race -- the small town, the community, the support. Check out the NYTimes article from 5 years ago. It feels like the anti-Leadville, the anti-Western states -- even if I like/love those races, the pressure and scrutiny and traffic gets to be a bit much. This sounds more like my speed: a chill race and a shared sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural surroundings. More like my training runs. And a small-town feel that I'm more comfortable with.
Am I ready? Sure. I'm not as fast, but I put in the miles (and realized that flat speed was never that helpful anyway) -- more on the trail than ever before. I'll be steady and smart. I'm ready and excited to be out there as long as it takes. See you at Bighorn! (Or, online, if you're bored.)