Leadville

9 Nov

… leaving the last aid station it was 6am, that is 26hours after I started.  I had 13.5 miles left and 4hrs to do it.  Should be easy right?!  To backtrack a little bit, it took me 2hrs and 20minutes to run it the first time, so I should be able to walk it in 4hrs was my mindset.  I was rejuvenated to say the least.  I had made the final cutoff, with one leg to go, plenty of time left.. all positives, but physically I was falling a part.  I couldn’t run anymore, and walking was now starting to hurt.. 

I could tell Carlos was getting antsy again… we came this far and I know how bad he wanted me to finish and we had no guarantees that I would make the time limit, especially at the pace I was moving at.  Out of all the legs, this was probably the most zoned out I had been.. I had a hard time focusing, even though I was so close to my goal yet it seemed so far away… the last 13.5 miles seemed to take forever!  About the midway part of the leg I heard my name called…”Kris, Kris,..Kris!”  all with laughing, as I turn to my left to see where it was coming from and low and behold was BIG CHRIS (for those that missed the blog about him, he had finished the first 6 Leadville runs he had attempted, this would be number 7)!!  My first “single serving friend” that I attached to.  Big Chris had to stop the run around mile 36 or so because of  severe stomach pains, but because of the comradery that runs through the running community (just like crossfit) he went back to the trail to cheer on his fellow competitors.  SO for a quick second I stopped and gave him a big hug and all Big Chris said was “You are going to make it man.. don’t quit!”  That right there was huge for me!  And to be quite honest with you, it was through divine intervention that Big Chris would be standing there all by himself and for me to see him at mile 96, right when I needed him most!  So with 4 miles to go I had one last descent, and then the final 2.5 miles was a steady incline…  The crazy thing about running at night and then hitting the same trail in daylight is that nothing looks the same.. perception is all f*cked because you can’t relate certain spots with distance.  So the closer we got to the finish the farther it seemed we had to go.. with 2miles to go I finally, sort of cracked.. just a little..  We had 45minutes left to make the cutoff, with 2 miles to go but one HELL of a HILL to climb!  Carlos turned and looked at me and all he said was “Kris.. we have to move faster or we might not make it..”  and for the first time I snapped back.. ” I am moving as fast as I can f*cking go!”  Like a Pro that Los is, he took it all in stride and we actually upped the pace a little.  Just thinking about it, makes me laugh now.

FINALLY… we reach the top of the hill and down towards the bottom was the FINISH!  The streets lined with people cheering, other runners finishing.. all beaming about the experience… “I can’t believe I did it!” was what I heard most.. With about 100meters to go I turned to Carlos and thanked him for everything, gave him a hug.. and at this point the last 29 hours and 39 minutes was played back through my mind and I can feel my emotions start to build up.  As I crossed the finish line with might I add a slight jog I was greeted by the race director who gave me a big hug and placed my medal on me and the  main himself who started the Leadville race series Kenneth Chlouber gave me a huge hug.. he told me how proud he was of me and was rooting for me to finish.. ( we crossed paths a few times on the trail).  And just like that I was a Leadville 100 finisher on my first try!  To top it all off the rest of the 6Soles crew was there at the finish and I got to go and hug and celebrate with everyone.  A huge thank you to Zac, Nicole, Elliot, Lindsay, and my boy Rhys for braving the last 18 hours as my support team.  I couldn’t have done it without you and that is no lie!  So after celebrating for a minute I had to go and do my final weigh in… and then WHAM!!!

All the adrenaline, all the emotions that had carried me for the last 29+hours left me in an instance!  I all of sudden felt this overwhelming feeling of loneliness.  I laid down by a tree outside the medical tent and started crying uncontrollably…  The people I wanted there most were not there, and it felt like bitter sweet success.. I will admit it, Yes I do the crazy shit that I do for myself.. to prove to myself I can do it, but just a little is for the people around me that I want to prove something to…  After losing my shit for a minute, I go it together just about the time Rhys found me.  He helped me up, and we went to go meet the rest of the crew to eat.  After sitting in the diner for about 20 minutes just poking at my food I told the guys .. “someone help me to the car, I just want to go to sleep”.  And so my boy Elliot did just that.  E helped me to front of the diner, then went and grabbed the car because at this point walking wasn’t an option…  next, he scooped me up and loaded me up like some crippled individual I had become, and like that I was asleep.  My Leadville run that had started a little over 30 hours ago had come to an end…  I DID IT.

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