Shelly and I managed to get away for President's Weekend and we escaped the snow with a three day weekend in Del Mar, CA just north of San Diego. Sandwiched between two 15 mile days of running on the beach I managed to hook up with some old (and new) friends at iron Mountain for a hilly 20 miler on Sunday.
As anyone who has read this blog before knows my ultrarunning hero and mentor is Tom Nielsen and I was lucky enough to hook up with Tom, Tracy Moore (M7 at WS 2007) and David Goggins (4th Badwater, 1st Ultracentric 48 hour) for a long one in the sunshine on Sunday. Needless to say, we never ran out of things to talk about.
On a run that lasted 3 and a half hours we chatted about family, friends, races, training, the Western States political "issues", the election, the state of the union and various other topics of interest to ultrarunners. Most of all, however, we reveled in the ultrarunning lifestyle.
You see, that is something Tom and I share and love. For us, this is more than a sport, it is a life. Sure, we love the adrenaline rush of pinning on the M number at Western States but more than that we love the training, the shared adversity, and the cameraderie of this sport we cherish. Few, if any, would find utter joy in discussing the relative merits of running from the River to the Finish in under 4 hours or the hardship of being passed in the last 10 miles of a 100, or the challenge of gutting out those last few miles on trashed quads and an empty stomach but that is what we love and it fuels the fire. Everybody knows Tom and I talk alot, we think alot and we run alot and even if we only hook up once or twice a year to run the rest of the world comes second in those moments and that, my friends, keeps us going.
Here's to you Tom! I'll see you (and a few other guys!) in Ojai!