I have finally run to the top of Pikes Peak. It was a beautiful Colorado day, a day I have most officially named, The Day of the Marmot. Our furry, mountain friends were my constant companions during the last three miles of the run, cheering me on from the edge of the trail. Here is one of my kind and fearless amigos:
I should note that I didn’t run from the bottom of the mountain to the top. Matt and I ran in on the Elk Park trail, which dumps out at Barr Camp. We ran to the top from there. Here is an awesome photo of a lovely, alpine bridge on the Elk Park trail.
I ran well the first three miles from Barr Camp to the A-Frame, almost keeping up with Matt. I felt strong and relished the slight humidity, the quiet, and the many memories of the trail. Here is a great photo from the A-Frame. That's Matt trying to get ahead of me.
From here things didn’t go so well. I ran the first mile at a 20-minute pace, doing my best to swing my arms and keep my legs moving. But as the second mile began, the lack of oxygen made itself known to my legs, who were yelling at me to stop. Thankfully, the marmots continued to push me along, with their cheerful chirping. I’m pretty sure I saw one clapping for me too.
The last mile was the worst. I clocked a 26-minute mile. Honestly, I should be able to crawl that fast. How can it possibly take me so long to walk ONE mile? The mile was made worse by the fact that I didn’t see many of my marmot friends, who obviously know that no normal mammal should ever venture above 13,000ft.
And here I am at the top. If you look closely, you can see a rain shower in the background. Breathtaking. I should note here that Matt kept telling me to smile, but this is all I had to give. A grimace.