30 Sep

Power line.. right about the time I left “Big Chris”

…the next “single serving friend” never happened… about the time I left “Big Chris” is when I started cramping pretty bad in my legs (roughly mike 32)!  So now all I could think of is pushing through the cramps and nothing else!  The slightest wrong step or stretch would damn near make my right leg lock up, which if that were to happen I’m done!  I was killing my time too, which was a good thing because later in the run I would need all the extra minutes I had accumulated.  So for the next 90 minutes I would cover 9 more miles and thank God most were down hill.. kind of!  Going down hill at the time allowed me to keep moving through the cramps even if I had to walk but running down hill overall actually was more painful then going up.. funny I know for most, but I would rather go up any day then run down!  As I was finishing up this leg of the run I had one last descent into Twin Lakes, which was mile marker 39.  

Twin Lakes aid station with Hope Pass in the background

As I came down the mountain I immediately started looking for Carlos, which I spotted him instantly, but I kept hearing “Kepler… Kepler.. Kepler!!!”  I look to my left and running right beside me was my boi Rhys!  If you have never met this guy you are missing out!  Rhys comes to everything we do and he doesn’t even workout anymore that I know of.  The epitome of a true friend, fan, supporter, you name it.  Seeing Rhys lifted my spirits up tremendously, and having Rhys there was such a blessing because he would play a vital part in me finishing Leadville!   So we all run into the aid station, refill my water, eat some food, and like that I am off on to the next leg,  Hopes Pass.  This leg is 11miles out with a elevation increase from 10,000-12,600 back down to 10,000 ft….  throughout the first 39 miles of the run this part of the course had been drifting in and out of my thoughts.  I had heard about, read about it, seen some video of it…  and none of it was positive!  So before Hope Pass you have to run in and out of a river the gets thigh high .. this goes on for about 2 miles.  During this time I had my first puking spell since before the start of the run… The problem was I kept trying to drink Ensures, well those bad boys are so thick that I just couldn’t stomach it.  This definitely had the other runners looking at me and asking if I was OK!  At the time I wasn’t but I said “Yes.. let’s go!”  as I was spitting and running at the same time!  Once you get through the river its time to start the Hope Pass climb and let me tell you what, it’s exactly that!  4 Miles STARIGHT UP A MOTHER F’N MOUNTAIN! 

I had to stop 6 or 7 times just to keep from passing out, and there isn’t a whole lot of trail just to chill out… one wrong step and I’m not sure when you would stop if you fell!  So for the next 90 minutes I kept looking for the tree line, once I saw the top I knew it was straight down and I could get my composure,…  well shit that didn’t happen soon enough.  Finally, I bust through the trees thinking I was about to summit the mountain, Hell No! 

the view right before the final climb to the top of Hope Pass

Once I made through the trees I still had another 2miles of climbing but the great thing was that they had a mini aid station set up, and as I walked up I mumbled under my breath “what the f*ck”, well the Doc on site heard me and quickly added “oh dear it’s only a half mile” (thinking I was discourage)  and I quickly responded, “don’t worry dear, I’m not done… but I call bull shit on the half mile shizz”  and off I went!  So for the next 30 minutes I would walk the last 2 miles before I would reach the top and let me tell you the view was one of the most beautiful sites I have ever seen!

this pic doesn’t serve the view justice..

….to be continued                 


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