Friday, October 3, 2014

Motivating with a new hat from Black Sheep Endurance

Last night my phone starting going nuts.  Cam was trying to organize a run via text.  About every 10 minutes, bzzzz, another text.  The texts soon degenerated into comments about "length of the run", but interspersed between the size jokes, I was told the winner of both Endure the Bear 50K and Nobel Canyon 50K, as well as the 7th place finisher of the Leadville 100 would be in the posse.

This was not a welcome sight.  I was on my ninth day of running and my legs were screaming for a break.  I normally tend to run 4-6 days straight and then take a day off.  However, I couldn't resist the chance to run with some elite runners.  Ten days in a row it would have to be.

At 6:00 a.m. we met at Questhaven Park, headlamps on.  There were nine runners, including three Ironman finishers, six ultras and me.  Although, I have run a 50K, so I guess I'm an ultra.  One dude parted ways pretty quick, but the remaining eight ran down into Elfin Forest.

Walsh, Joe, Casper, Cam, me, Rich and Chris (kneeling) on Andy's Trail.
Dax is photographer.
Around mile five, a few of the guys had to head back.  The rest of us continued on, putting in 11.4 miles with 2,000' of gain in about 2 hours.  During the run, Hoka Cliftons, Nike Tigers, head lamp lumens, hydration, nutrition, Leadville 100, Nobel Canyon 50K, Northface Endurance Challenge, Whoo's in El Moro, pacers, and mountain lions were discussed. It's the kind of run that makes you want to run ultras even if you really don't.  At the same time, it's the kind of run that you want to have every day, as being surrounded by guys who love to run, really motivates you to want to go longer and faster.

Cam in front, me in green and Rich in foreground, heading up towards Melissa's trail.
In addition, I got to meet some new people, especially Rich Airey of (soon to be  Rich took 7th in this year's Leadville 100 on his first try.  Not only is Rich a super cool dude, we also grew up 25 miles from one another in New Jersey.  At the end of the run, proving what a nice guy he is, Rich gave out the hat pictured below to everyone.

Thanks for the hat Rich!  Looking forward to wearing it with pride.  Speaking of motivating, I just got a text from Greg, who coincidentally wears trucker hats on runs.  Tomorrow at 6:30?  Sure.  Eleven days in a row?  No problem . . .

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