burke didnt eat too much..but i enjoyed the pasta while burke ate my brownies...lol. it was nice to see some familiar faces..Ron and Glen from Phoenix! the pre-race meeting was just as comical as last year and the slide show brought some gasps from the crowd. experiencing this for a second time was fun as i could see all of the newbies gettin all worried and pale..as to say "what the hell did i get myself into??" but not burke..he looked calm, cool and collected. i think that he was having some fun with it too as whenpeople would ask if he had ever done the ace efore he would say..welll sort of..and just snicker. and then he would defer their questions too me...the seasoned vet...lol...for this race...having finished it makes you just that...a seasoned veteran. after getting our fill and hearing all over the tales and pre race deails we headed out. oh wait how can i foret...the weather report...one of the best gaaspers of the night...you see when we did the packet pick up there was a lady sitting there updating the current forecast at the summit and it was causing quite a stir as the whieoard was showing freezing temps with high wind gusts and a 70% chance of snow.perect whiteout conditions for the race and something else just to make it a little more fun, a little more epic if you will. that is the one thing that i really love about this race...while it is only 17.1 miles and has a little bit of a climb..the weather is the big x factor that you never know what you are going to get....sort of an element of surprise.
ok..getting back to the post meeting..burke and i walked around town for a bit and loked at somemore of the old buildins and then even stopped for an iced coffee for dessert..it was mcdonald's but it hit the spot.
the morning of the race came in an instant, no sooner after we had settled in for the night. a quick peek ouside showed signs of possible bd weather as he clouds were jusst packed in overhead and boy was it cold!after getting ready burke and I made our way out to Main Stret aand the staarting line area..after a few photos and some well wishing b burke and i found our spots in the growd and disappearred from each others sight. in the crow i was able to see another great friend of mine from the Mountain Milers of PRESCOTT...STEVE - O!! Steve and i became close friends in prescott as we aare both crazy runners and i have alot of respect for all that he has accomplished!
when the gun sounded it was 50 degrees and only 10 mile per hour wind gusts in town..not too bad...and with that we were off!i was cruising along having fun..not going too fast, and not going too slow...but yet slow enough to take it all in once aain. i annot stop from getting goosebumps when thinking about the course even when i am typing this......it iß haven. before i knew it I was making my way from lower bird camp to the upper bird camp area...a section of the course that burke had not seen yet. i kept thinking to myself and hoping and praying thatthat burke would be ok and would be able to make the cutoffs. i know that he had the heart to get it donne.just then i felt a sudden drop in temperature as my finers sarted to go numb...i had taken my gloves off shortly after the sart of the race as i had warmed up quickly and didnt want to end up overheating. as i started the final climb to the summit...1800 feet in a short 2 mile period, i was shivering like crazy and i could not feel my fingers anymore. slowly i climbed, one foot in front of the other untilfinally reaching the top...where is was flurrying , 30 degrees and there were 40 mph wind gusts. i literally had to have someone unzzip my coat pockes just so i could get my gloves out and put on. i drank a ton of soup...stripped down to my iRun t.shirt...because i promised my friend Mark Cosmos a picture in the shirt at the summit and then i got dressed in a hury and took off down the sttp downhill section of the race. i was liteally flying in my hokas! god i love those shoes! and then...efore i knew it i waas crossing the finish line in a respectable 4 hours and 3 minutes...about an hour faster than the previous year.. 40 minues aser actually i think. i was happy! i quickly grabbed my finisher's pin and retreated to a porta potty and then over to the finish line goodies for a snack. i then went back over to the finish line area and had a blast watching people come in across the finish...i was happy to see Steve, Glen and Ron all make it and then thins sarted to slowly turn to a feeling more of hope and praying as i so wanted burke to make it. i honestly had no clue where he was and how he was doing. we had each aken our phones with us...but coverage on the Pass is spotty t best.i sent burke a message to let him know i was done aand to check in on him...t fist i didnt et an answer...time was quickly pasing and still no word or sign of him.i prayed harder and harder to help burke make and and just then i got a message that burke had reahed the ssummit...had missd the cutoff but was allowed to continue. i was glad to hear from him, yet sad to hear that he had mised the cutoff and confused that he had been allowed to continue...i wasnt sure if that meant hat he was still officially in the race or not. no matter..he was good and that was all that matered..and he he been to the mountain top..something so special that it will change your life forever. about an hour later i got another message that burke was in pain and having issues and he wasnt sure how far he was from the next aid stion...i knew that he had to be close to the archway aid station whcih wwas around mile 13. so this meant that he was still about an hour or so awy from the finish line at a minimum...the only problem was that the final cuttoff was looming and the final bus backto ouay was etting ready to leave. i didnt know what else to do but to take the buse back to town 50 minutes there and 50 minutes ack to the finish area via my car. had i not done so we would have had to try to find a ride because there was no taxi service between the to towns.. and so i hopeed on the bus and left burke a message. i felt so bad. i wanted to be able to see him crossing the fiish. i nwanted to get a picture of him to commemerate this eepic journey..but it was all that i could do. i felt even worse when it started to rain as we drove back on the bus. when we got about 10 minutes outside of ouray i finally got a message from burke..he had made it...it was after the final cutoff time..but he had made it! i was so proud! after get to my r I flew back to Teluride and picked up the conquering hero and we started back to the hotel. burke was smiling ear to ear again. his firstnwordsnwere... " thank you so much Mark..next year i will make the cutoffs." i was so proud of him and i knew that he too had asted the koolaid and liked it! i gave burke my finisher's pin because no mater what the clock said...burke had finished! i look forward to doing it again with burke next year...he is now a seasoned vet too! i wonder who else we can share it with next year....hmmmm....any tackes???