We started our sight seeing by visiting Fort Garland Museum with friends Donna and Daryl, who also share a passion for sight seeing and are nostalgic about running, so it was fitting that we all proceeded Alamosa for the 50 year Olympic Marathon Celebration in Alamosa for a night of Italian food, an inspiring lecture, and a run the next morning .
The celebration was in conjunction with a cross country and track and field reunion for Adams State University. I wanted to make sure I made this one(my third one) since Coach Joe I Vigil, a very inspiring professor and coach of mine in the 1980's, is now 84 years young and rumor has it he won't be traveling to these functions anymore(I'll believe that when I see it, at this rate I think he will outlive most of his former athletes as he is aging with grace and dignity)
I knew this one was going to be good, yet my expectations where far exceeded. Deena Kastor, American record holder in the marathon and coached by Doctor Vigil, was our keynote speaker. Coach Vigil humbly received and honorary award and gave a short inspiring speech(articulate speech is only one of many of his gifts)
The run the next day was to honor the fact that 50 years ago at this time, the Olympic Marathon Trials were hosted here. So we ran the race on the last 5 miles of the course with those Olympic giants alongside us. Kenny Moore, Billy Mills. Frank Shorter, to name only a few. And , for me , more personal friendships, where revisited as I jogged along with old friends and teammates from the past.
These former friends and team mates allowed me to share some posts commemorating the event, and allowed me to share on facebook(please look at those, you won't be disappointed, and I want to give these folks credit for their wonderful and thorough posts), but I made a beeline to the one priority picture I wanted with Coach Vigil. I gave him a hug and told him when he stops coming to these events, I'm stopping. But then later, I realized, I won't stop. These relationships mean too much to me, and even if he stops going, he'd want me to keep going! Plus it's pretty fun, I had lazer narrow focus while in college and now that I'm older I actually stop and notice so many things about Alamosa and San Luis Valley that I some how missed back then.
Though the celebration continued for another day, hubby and I opted to continue south and enjoy a quiet night in Taos at Art studios, eating good Mexican food, and learning about the history of that area before looping back through the first town of Colorado,San Luis, the next Sunday morning on the way home. The burn area of Springs Fire looks to be healing, though we where saddened by its destruction.
With the morning off from work on Monday and a clear weather report, I enjoyed a solitary fast hike up Peaks Peak via the Manitou Incline in cool weather conditions. I proudly donned my swag hat from the weekend. One more leg of the Triple Crown, the Pikes Peak Ascent(this will be number 31 for combined total of Marathon and Ascent races). Though I am more unfit than ever(for good reason, not a year for me to push). I'm feeling positive and grateful to have this lovely fourteener right in my backyard. And I can feed off the good memories of this past weekend for awhile as well now!