Somehow I've wound up, yet again, in Colorado. Perhaps it's fate's way of telling me something about where I should end up after school? Who knows. For now, I'll be content with my little jaunts out here for work and play. In this case, it will be a lovely combination of the two. My first task while here was to spend a week at the National Ice Core Lab cutting and photographing some samples for my research. All went well and I was able to get some very useful imagery. Let's hope some good science comes of it.
During my down time while here, I found myself making multiple jaunts over into the mountains for some fun (when I wasn't running of course). I decided what better way to acclimate to the altitude and enjoy the mountains than to knock out a few more 14ers! So while prepping for my upcoming 3rd go at the Leadville Trail 100, I've spent as much time as possible making my way up various peaks. In total I've knocked out 7 more 14ers, putting my total at 14 now!
There's certainly a lot of detail I could go into about how my work unfolded at the ice core lab, or what difficulties I ran into on various climbs, or how crappy my hotel room was in Denver, or what I'm hoping to get out of Leadville this year....but honestly, I'm just not really sure what to say. As far as my Leadville race this year, I'd love to say that my goal is to break 25 hours and finally get that big buckle (having only missed it by 30 minutes last year), but after surviving Barkley and Badwater, I really just want to try to have fun and finish when I finish. Honestly. I keep coming back to Leadville because I like the mountains, and running over them....so that's what I'm going to focus on this time; not times, or placement, or buckles. Just playing in the mountains. It did put a smile on my face when I picked up my number today and noticed my bib was number 98. I said, "hey....that's what place I got last year!". The volunteer told me that if you place in the top 100, you get that number the following year! I definitely feel honored to wear number 98...having earned in last year. Cool.
If you feel like tracking my progress, there will probably be a live tracking feature on the leadvilleraceseries.com website. If not there, irunfar will be posting updates as well (although they will likely only mention the top runners....of which I will not be included).
So on Saturday I will be making my way along the 100-mile course, hopefully free of rain and lightning, and most assuredly smiling. Wish me luck....actually more than that, wish me joy in the mountains!
Here are some recent summit pics:
(Technically, Cameron is not considered an official 14er...but I still did it)
Keyhole on Longs Peak
Longs Peak summit
Lastly, on a random night in Denver, I decided on a whim to drive East to Kansas. Why you ask? Well because I've never been. I spent a lovely 30 minutes in the booming metropolis of Konarado, KS and even stopped in at the lovely Briggs Park (sarcasm there). That's about as much Kansas as I ever care to do. Remember that scene in Wayne's World where Wayne says, "Hey Garth, we're in Delaware....ok...Delaware....all right." That's kind of how it felt in Kansas. Not a whole lot of remarkable things to say. But now I have only four states left to visit! Good stuff.