Photo courtesy of Andrew King - D4 Productions

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

CT - Prelude

My wife and I at Waterton Canyon - 2:45 A.M. September 2nd

Before I started this adventure I made a few statements:
  • I like to challenge myself and find out what I'm capable of.
  • Maybe I'm just stepping out of the box to redefine my own limits.
  • I never wanna look back on my life and say "shoulda, coulda, or woulda".
  • This adventure will change me.
I hold steadfast to all those statements except the last. What I came to find out on the trail is that we are who we are, like it or not. We cannot change who we are but merely change our habits and choices. Also what became more clear to me on the trail are the things most important to me in my life; good family, good friends, and a good job. The job provides for the family, the family provides the love, and the friends provide the support. But I also wondered how my running was intertwined in this paradigm??? I have an answer for that too; my running provides me good health which provides strength to give back to things most important to me. I believe I'm a better husband, a better Dad, a better friend, and a better co-worker after a liberating run. I usually solve the world's problems with my clear thoughts on a run but by the end of the day my energy is spent on the things most important to me.

So enough of the philosophical stuff and onto the "thank you's". I could not have done this unsupported and there are so many people behind the scenes that helped me achieve this magical journey. To my wife who allowed me to pursue this crazy adventure, whether she understands it or tolerates it, she is always by my side. To my in-laws, Rick and Rae Jean, who traveled many, many miles to take care of me or my family. Rick was my main man! There is no doubt that he worked harder than I did over the 12 day span. He hauled a 5th wheel every day (2000 myles of driving), set it up, cooked for me, iced my feet, tucked me in, basically catered to my every need. While Rae Jean helped take care of my kids with my wife during the week they were home. To my parents, Julian and Alverna, who traveled out from Utah both weekends and met me at critical road junctions to make sure I was taken care of during the day. My Dad also cooked in the back of his car and I can't tell you how good a hot breakfast burrito tastes when you've been going for 8 hours. My Mom was a constant motivator and cheerleader which propelled me to the next stop. To my brother Eric and nephew Jacob who met me on the first long day at critical junctions. Jacob also paced me for the first segment of day 2 which was his first run ever over 10 myles - proud of you Jacob! To my pacers; Brian Fisher, Rick Hessek, Aric Manning, Harsha Nagaraj, Paul DeWitt, and my son Jaxon, you all played such a pivotal role in getting me to my days end. Whether it was your encouraging words, dry humor, knowledge, or just silent presence, I enjoyed my time with all you on the trail. And to all the people who came out to check on me; Bill Dooper who followed me all the way up the Leadville valley, Jill Hessek who not only cleans, cooks, and supports but will put you in your place if you have words with her (Clear Creek campers), to Kent and Linda Fisher for not only coming to pick their son Brian up at Long Gulch but for the much needed food and oatmeal brownies on the first night, to Johnny and Kathy Darnold whom I met at Hard Rock this year as they are the camp hosts at South Mineral, they came out on the evening I made it to Molas Pass and sent me off the next morning, to Eric and Lynn, owners of Steam and Steel Cafe in Silverton who came out to the trailer at Molas pass to send me well wishes and provide me with all the burritos they had in stock, to all Jaxon's classmates who made the very encouraging posters along the way, to Dave Horton who provided me with expert, sound advice, to Christian Johnson who provided not only his Garmin watch but also provided the maps and plugged in all way points, to Pearl Izumi and Smith Optics for providing goody bags to all my support crew, and to Dave Wilcox for putting us up in a condo in Keystone for a night.

As you can see a long list of people who all were a pivotal part of this journey! Thank you all!

Wow! This post is turning out to be longer than I thought so I will end this post and begin the journey tomorrow in a 4 part series.
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