Thursday, February 16, 2012

Highland Tap, Denver: Running with EdGe

Highland Tap and Burger Run
4 Miles (current winter route) with EdGe

My own introduction into seeing marathon running as "normal" is mostly based on two influences. The second influential event was when J and friends trained for and successfully walked the San Diego RnR marathon in 2003. Seeing them finish, and have fun in a large crowd; and then seeing and meeting Neil, who ran it and had fun (then subsequently encouraged me to train to run a half marathon), got me set to run for the next 8+ years. If nothing else, I didn't want to be left out!

But before all that was EdGe. My senior year in Madison, I lived in a house near Lake Monona with 4 other people. We all had a great time together, and one of those roommates was Corina -- the only girl, but tough enough to withstand our shenanigans and keep our place respectable. Corina was dating Ed, who was studying up in the frozen tundra of Houghton, Michigan. He was a nice enough guy with a great sense of humour, but had one odd quirk:

He enjoyed running marathons. This meant, occasionally when visiting, he would go out for mind-boggling long runs, perhaps even at weird times of day (like the early morning). Who does that?! I thought marathons were an African thing that would kill a "normal" person. But this was the first time in my life I had ever heard of somebody doing something like that for fun.

Over the years and distances, we've been happy to hear how Corina and Ed and their growing family are doing. By now, he's been doing marathons in multiple states, and checked off Colorado on his doing the Leadville marathon. He's moved up to doing 50 milers, and first became an Ironman last year. He can't be stopped, despite a hectic international travel schedule and raising a family. One of these days, we'll actually get to run in the same race!

So I was happy to meet him in Denver for the Wednesday night Highland Tap and Burger run. I hadn't done this run before, and we were a bit early, wondering where everyone was. But by 6:15, dozens had gathered, and we were off for some sort of loop of unknown duration around the city.
It was nice to catch up with Ed, and to run over the iconic Highlands bridge for the first time. Our loop ended up being 4M (online, there is mention of a 5k and 5M run, but I think the routes are occasionally altered). We headed back and met Ed's brother-in-law Kyle, and enjoyed some decent (and free!) garlic bread and pasta, combined with Avery beer specials, although the best deal is the always-$3 HTB House Ale (O'Dell's Levity).

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