Tim Bergsten created this Ning Network.

Race number 1 in this venture with the Marmots is complete.  My teammates represented well with a number of age group awards.  I forgot just how awesome this race is from a race and, for sure, from a  spectacular venue point of view.  So here is my race report (think church):

As the members or our congregation gather for the service to come, there is plenty of conversation. Food is shared as well.  I mean Tim Bersten had coffee and doughnuts, the ever present bribe that every church uses to get people in the doors.  The service is scheduled for 7:00 AM, and like any good church service, the congregation wants it to be over fast.

Our minister for today's service is Dave Sorenson.  He will get things started with a BANG a minute after the program indicated we were to begin.  Dave will hand over the rest of the duties to Deacon Jerry Evans who will handle the sermon.  

The start!  Photo by Tim Bergsten

The start:  After taking a couple of nervous pees, running around Manitou for an hour, and getting pictures taken at the start by Tim Bergsten, 7:00 AM start time was here.  Pastor Dave counted us down to the start and BANG, we were off.   I settled into a pace that felt good and hoped not to blow up in the brutal hills that were to come. 

1.25 miles in to the service, and I am seated comfortably with the same people I sit with every week.  Isn't that always how it works, we sit with people we like?  We approach the first aid station where we are offered water and Gatorade, but not wine.  I guess you have to adapt when not at your regular church. The opening song is Thriller.  I think I like this church.

  1.25 miles in
shooting a snot rocket
at Marcus Lawler

Photo by Josh Garner 

 I am in the Garden, so I do a little meditation and praying. 

I think of my dead parents, I say a few prayers for my family--specifically my wife and daughters and generally my siblings.   I settle into a cadence of 3 steps for every breath, and count the breaths to 100 and then repeat. This cadence thing puts me into a trance until I get to the offertory song, Prince's When Doves Cry.  Once again, no wine, but water does just fine.  Perhaps we can find someone who can turn this water into wine.


Mile 5 Kissing Camels on the left
Photo by Nick Parton

5.5 miles  Photo by UltraRob Lucas

As I Approach the North Parking Lot aid station, the communion song is I'm Proud To Be An American.  Well, no communion, so I guess an energy gel will have to do.  I suck that down along with a cup of water and feel ready for the final 4 miles.  

Deacon Evans is within earshot now.  I hear his corny jokes from the morning.  Guys with chips on their shoulders and chips off the old block are still echoing down the valley.  He's shouting out the names of people as though they have been saved or baptized in sweat.  I hear my name and feel relieved that I am nearly done.  For me, the service is over.  An hour and 15 minutes sounds about right for a church service on a Sunday morning.  

Now for some Pizza and--no, not wine--beer!  I like this church.  

Go now in peace:

The finish line

Photo by Beck Young

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