And this blog was about local trails and runs and mountains and all that stuff. Those things are still fun, and important, and we can't focus only on the most important things in life, all the time, lest it be too dull. That variety, and sharing of it, makes us human.
But those things have fallen far down the list with a new role, the most humbling and happy I'll ever experience:
I had nothing on the schedule after Bighorn. And that nothingness was great.
The Bighorn finish means I have 2 more lottery years of eligibility for Hardrock. That's the long-term goal. I've calmly accepted that I'll get my chance eventually, and that each run or hike -- especially when it's uncomfortable -- is another training step for Hardrock.
I was able to get some good rides on the mountain and road bike instead this summer. But the most fun I had running was up by Cameron Pass, on a great weekend of scouting for Gnar Runners' Neversummer 100k slated for July next year. Since I'll still probabilistically not get into HR this coming year, which is fine, I'm excited about races like that, as well as some more hikes/runs and mountain bike rides.
The Neversummer 100k has the potential to be a phenomenal event on a very inspiring course. The only thing better than tromping through those mountains and woods will be doing it with friends and family cheering and hanging out at campfires. Can't wait!
A handful of other 100's otherwise hold my interest, but at this point it's clear that I won't spend many more years running these things, and certainly not racing them. I can finish them comfortably, with a smile on my face, but am not able or willing, for better or worse, to push into that realm of competitiveness at that distance. I've had some incredible experiences and gotten more than I ever thought out of it, but I'll focus more on variety. Hope to be on the skis and bike more -- and taking some slower, family-friendly hikes -- instead of looking too far forward.
A few months late, but the Bighorn 100 was as great as I thought.
I don't have much advice to add that hasn't been covered elsewhere.
I rode up with some friends, met some other friends at the start, and ran with some more during the first parts of the race. J and Mama W were there for crew support, with my friend Chris S. out from SoDak for night-time pacing duties.
Saw Brandon at the start -- good to see him and thanks for the pic!
I think I was pretty much this happy for the next 24 hours.
Wildflowers, mud, some moose, a couple-hour rainstorm up high at night, more mud, then a new day with even more wildflowers.
It was as gorgeous as advertised. My pre-race goal was to run in under 24 hours so as to join the arbitrary Rusty Spurs club. I ran the race almost too conservatively so as to hit this goal, figuring that missing it would be more distasteful than running slightly faster. And so it was, a nice romp through the wildflowers, ending with that last 5 mile, hot, flat run on a dirt road back into town, where I was fortunate enough to still be jogging and have my lovely wife join me for the finish.