Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Giving Back...

The last few weeks have been filled with lots of this...



and this...



and not enough of this...



I was however, able to break away for a few days and pace Rocho at Hardrock. So far, definitely the highlight of my summer. I have been trying to pay him back after he paced me at Leadville a few years ago and finally things came together. We drove down the Wednesday before the race and camped in the yard of the house that Paul Sweeney and Betsy Nye rented in Silverton. Despite being hot on the drive down it appeared that the field and the weather were going to allow for some fast times on the course this year. As expected the race went out fast with Scott and Karl clearing the first aid station at Cunningham in under 2 hours. We had some time to kill so Catherine, Tor, and I checked out American Basin and Cinnamon Pass before meeting Roch at Burrows, the last water opportunity before climbing Handies.





The runners weathered a hail storm over Handies and when they started to come down the other side Roch was in 18th or 19th place and on pace for a personal best. After quickly getting him in and out of Grouse Gulch we drove around to Ouray where I was finally able to jump in and pace. I managed to get in a quick cat-nap and change before Rocho and Big Jim got in just after dark. It was finally show time. We had about 20 minutes to make up to get back on pace so we pushed the road section up to Governor's Basin. We were able to move up on the field and by the time we made it to Telluride Roch was in 10th place. (Note: the snow over Virginius was hard and super-scary, luckily Roch had told me to pack a couple of tent stakes to use like ice picks to get up over the pass. I wasn't sure if it was the icy heights or the altitude that made me hyperventilate on this section.)

The climb out of Telluride (5000+ft) seemed to go on forever. I did my best to keep Roch motivated, eating, and drinking. By the time we reached Wasatch Basin and Oscars Pass the sun was just coming up. The sunrise was so breath taking it brought tears to my eyes. Truly one of the most incredibly scenic moments of my life. We buzzed off of Oscars and made our way toward the infamous Grants Swamp Pass. By this time we were a bit ahead of schedule so we tried to pick the best line through the dirt and the scree. I'm not sure there was one. By this time I was getting incredibly sleepy. I just wanted to lie down and take a nap. Luckily, Big Jim was getting ready to take Rocho home to the finish from KT. No sooner had we made it to the finish when Jim started barking orders and cranking Roch back to Silverton. And crank they did. Roch finished in 31:09 for 8th place--amazing. The Rochomatic keeps getting stronger and stronger. Thanks Rocho for letting me be part of your magic day.

4 comments:

FastED said...

YOU! Get tired around Grant-Swamp?? Naaahh.... Last time I saw you in that area you were balled up in a mummy bag in Chapman. I think something's got a spell on you over there.

Good to catch up with you at HR - hope to see you again runnin' around this year, if not next year fer sure.

Those pictures of your house look like my basement as we are at the same stage. It pays to be mexican cause all my cuzins do that kind of work...

TD said...

Okay, okay, lets not get mean here. I seem to remember a certain shaky hispanic runner peeing down his leg a few hours earlier after nearly falling to his death at Bear Creek. You're having a great season amigo. Good luck on the Colorado Trail. I'm still moving along. 40 miles and 14k gain/loss in the last two days. I may get ready for a fall 100 yet. As far as being Mexican, well, my ability to speak Spanish has not carried over to my ability to wire, that's for sure.

FastED said...

This is true - you did help me limp into Ouray with pee pants...

TD said...

Being in Silverton definitely gave me the bug. I probably won't be there next year but the sleep monster and I have some unfinished business...