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The Pikes Peak Ascent is over and another Triple Crown Series is done! This year was quite special and being chosen for the PikesPeakSports.us Triple Crown Runners team was definitely the icing on the cake!

I am not sure how many people have even been reading the blogs, but in a way it does not matter. It has been rewarding for me to write and, again, I thank Tim, Ron, and Mike, because without them I would not have had the discipline myself to write like this and I would not have had the opportunity to meet and interact with the five others chosen!  This was perfect for me in this year of milestones!

After racing 25 times in a 34-year span, I certainly feel a part of the amazing history around the Triple Crown. It is much bigger than me, and that is what keeps me going.

People do ask me, after 25 years, if this becomes boring, and the answer is a no-brainer for me. Absolutely NOT! Every year I suppose the courses stay the same (well, mostly, but we won't start in on opening that can of worms in regards to the Summer Roundup Run). But think of how every year the dynamic of each race changes, and how no one training run or race will ever be the same in any way or form.

My gratitude list for this year is lengthy - I have my health back, even to the point of placing second in the 45-49 age group for Ascent and second in the Masters group of the Triple Crown. 

The week before the race was scetchy.  That was greatly my fault as I started celebrating the end of this summer season too early.  It was my anniversary and I had a few too many drinks and a few too many indulgent meals while celebrating with my husband in Cripple Creek the weekend before the race.

When I received my annual massage, a treat I give myself once a year before the Peak, the therapist chewed me out a bit for doing this, but reminded me I could undo some of the damage by being more mindful about what  I ate and drank the rest of the week. I think that helped, though I started the race with a tummy ache and the mindset to not be too dissapointed if I bombed the race this year.

I never did feel great throughout the race.  there was some nasty sciatic nerve pain, residual from last year.   But the training must have paid off because people kept coming back to me after Barr Camp, and my split times were boringly even, the exact even splits to run a 3:30 Ascent (one hour to no name, 1:45 45 to Barr Camp, 2:30 to A-Frame, then an hour to the top.  My final Ascent time was 3:31.

As always, J'ne Day Lucore and I finished close and shared the bus trip down, our girl-time alone annually to catch up with one another.  Welcome the world of the old-timer.  J'ne and I have quite a bond after doing this for over 30 years together even though she lives in Denver and I usually only see her this one time a year.  Her presence inspires me because she made the transition from ultra-competitve runner (winning overall and having a PR of 2:37 for the  Ascent) to being further back in the pack with the age group competitors (like me) with relative ease. That reflects how she is a true runner at heart, and that is what I wish for all runners!

Have a great Fall, everyone! Relax, and celebrate your accomplishment of completing the Triple Crown Series!

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Comment by Katie Benzel on August 23, 2012 at 12:39pm

Wonderful job in the Crown this year, running mom! Loved getting to meet you and all the others. Thanks for the inspiration and the support.

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