That's the chant I've been hearing the last 14 hours as I watch the Chilean miners get pulled up to safety, one by one. It's really very emotional to watch each one come up. I can't imagine the excitement the entire country of Chile must be feeling now...but tomorrow, I'll be amongst them. I'm currently sitting in the Salt Lake City airport on my way to Santiago to run the Ultramaraton de los Andes. I've been anxiously awaiting this trip ever since winning the Canadian Death Race last year, as this trip is my prize. I never imagined I would be traveling to Chile at such an historic time. Very exciting indeed!
So, as my last blog post was over 5 months ago now, I've definitely been quite the slacker. I decided this year that I was going to run fewer ultras and fewer weekly miles, concentrating more on the shorter mountain stuff for races and a bit more speed during the week.
Fewer mileage definitely doesn't equate to less playing, as I've been playing a whole heckuva lot, running and racing up and down the west coast and out to the Colorado rockies multiple times. I've basically had a dream summer. I'll try to list my adventure highlights since then just by memory.
-Silver State 50k, roadtrip with Ashley, Bronco, and Yassine
-Pocatello 50 mi-turned-50k; absolutely epic snowy/windy/rainy/sleety/white-out adventure; roadtrip with Amy
-Desert RATS 148 mi stage race; incredible event, fun hanging out with Fatboy and Rob. I even got the W.
-Western States paced and crewed Jill.
-Leadville Trail Marathon, plus 2 14ers (Torreys and Grays) the day before w/Hart and another 14er (Elbert) the day after w/Hart and Jenny.
-Badwater, paced and crewed Jamie, where she got another W and CR, plus 3rd overall..
-Steens Mountain Running Camp, high school xc camp, attended as a coach w/8 Sisters Outlaws harriers.
-Cascade Lakes Relay, part of the super fun Team FootZone/Rebound/Mountain Hardwear; overall W and CR.
-Mt. Ashland Hill Climb; this 1/2 marathon w/5,600' vertical has been on my list for quite a few years. Cool race.
-Pikes Peak Marathon; another classic race that's been on my list for a long time. It's hard.
-Hood to Coast Relay; part of another super fun team, Willamette Dental; division W and 9th overall. I love relays!
-Sunrise to Summit; I really suck at this race that goes straight up Mt. Bachelor, but I did it so I could meet one of my goals this year - complete all 4 of the Oregon MUT Series races. If Erik Skaggs wasn't so fast, I would have won the series.
-Middle Sister summit w/Chris and Lori (approx. 22 mi.). It was fun passing the mountaineering group on the glacier with their helmets, ice axes, boots, crampons, etc, in our shorts, running shoes, and small hydration packs. I think they hated us.
-Spokane trip to meet up with 5 cousins to surprise Grandma; fun, fun, fun weekend!
-XTerra 1/2 Marathon; fun race, but I had a tough day, including a really hard crash with 3/4 mile to go. Ouch.
-Flagline 50k was a week later, and I really wanted to support Super Dave in his ultra-r.d.ing debut, but I DNS'd because I still hurt from my XTerra crash.
-Run Wild Adventures wedding; Gary and Shandi tied the knot and invited me to their special day.
-Dirty 2nd Half, another great Super Dave production.
-Three Fingered Jack 23ish mile loop w/William and Trevor. I'm not sure Trevor ever wants to run with the 2 of us again!
There were also many other adventures in the central Oregon mountains, i.e. Black Crater, Black Butte, Obsidian, Belknap Crater, Green Lakes, Tam McArthur, Tumalo Falls Watershed area, etc. Definitely an epic summer!
Sascha has been joining the fun on as much as she can handle, which unfortunately for me isn't as much as she used to do. It's a bit hard for me to watch her get older, but she seems content to be more of a hiker, walker, and sniffer now, but definitely still a sand bagger, as a trail-crossing squirrel brings back her younger reflexes in a heartbeat.
Now here I am, almost in Chile, awaiting yet another adventure. I'll be in Santiago this weekend (staying at the swanky W Hotel, courtesty TNF), running the race and checking out the big city. On Monday I fly to Calama in northern Chile, then bus to San Pedro de Atacama, where I get to play in the Atacama desert for the week (original thoughts of trekking in Torres del Paine National Park in southern Chile changed after learning this is rainy season there). From what I've read, the Atacama is the driest desert in the world, so rain shouldn't be an issue. I'm planning on staying in a hostel, renting a bike, climbing some volcanoes, and doing whatever other fun opportunity comes my way. There are a few peaks in the 6,000 meter range (19,685'), so it would be sweet to get up that high!
Anyway, that's kinda what I've been up to the past 5 months. I have also had the pleasure of wear-testing a few of the Spring 2011 Montrail line-up. Being sample size is pretty sweet, especially when Montrail takes the feedback from wear testers seriously and makes the necessary improvements before final production. Exciting stuff is ahead!
I have about 1/2 dozen blogs started that are hanging out in my drafts folder, some running related, some not (an op-ed or 2 in there!). Who knows, maybe you'll get to read what I really think about something sometime; this is election season...