Sunday, August 24, 2008

Running with a Legend

In 1982 and 1983 Rob Landis won the Wasatch 100. He was the first person to complete the course in 24 hours. Since then he has set mountaineering records in several states of the American West and recently became the Outdoor Program Director at The Community School in Sun Valley, ID. This happens to be the school at which I currently work.

So, it is not surprising that Rob and I found each other.

Last year I had the honor and privilege to pace Rob (wearing bib #1) to an outstanding 11th place finish at Wasatch on the 25th anniversary of his first victory there. The experience was inspiring and humbling to me and got me thinking about what it would take to win the race like he did those many years ago.

Fast forward to last week. I was in Rob's office discussing the logistics for our upcoming Fall Campout. A three day period during which we take 215 kids in 14 groups out in to the Idaho backcountry for a three day backpacking experience. Rob, in his characteristically understated way, assured me that he had everything under control and then pulled out a map. I, in turn, began to freak out.

"I was thinking we could go for a run this weekend. I know you're tapering for Wasatch and this might be perfect." Rob said.

"Hmmm" I muttered, non-commitally and all that, "Sounds good. What do you have in mind."

Well, one thing led to another and at 5:30 AM this morning Rob and I met in the school parking lot. We drove out to Copper Basin (7,800 ft) and begin a truly outstanding run through the Pioneer Mountain Range of Central Idaho. We ran by five incredible alpine lakes (two of which were over 10,000 feet) we summitted Stanhope Peak (11,875 ft.) and then, just because, we threw in another trip up over 11,000 ft. to take a look over in to Surprise Valley. Needless to say, the 4,000 foot descent back to the car after that was excellent quad seasoning for Wasatch and made me think, "I love this guy!"

With that, inspired and motivated, I am ready to start school and gear up for Wasatch. Inspired and motivated by the likes of Rob Landis who wouldn't be?!

Train well, my friends.

AJW

3 comments:

Brad Mitchell said...

Landis route and a Stevens route - we should join the two!
Sounds like you are preparing well!

K. Koski said...

Back in 1992 I was racing the Great American Ski Chase and had several battles with Rob Landis. He was on the Fischer team at the time. I think your Rob must be the same guy. Say "hi" from Kraig in Colorado. I'm not sure if he'll remember me.
Good luck to you at Wasatch.

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