It's a small world. That's what comes to mind as I reflect on this last weekend in Leadville, Colorado. In a race that features altitudes above 13,000 feet, there were no fewer than 20 people with connections to the Omaha area, and those are just the people I know of. It's even more incredible to think that of the of the four winners in two races, the Heavy Half Marathon (15.5 miles) and Marathon, two are Nebraska products. Jordan Tucker won the Heavy Half marathon and Kerrie Bruxvoort, formerly of Omaha, and sister of our very own Molly Pearson, took the womens title in the marathon and 7th overall. As amazing as these accomplishments are, I am as much in awe, if not more so to think of the achievement realized by so many people. Leadville, for a few of us, is not new, but it never gets old. For several GOATZ, this was their first foray into the once mining capitol of Colorado and running at 10,000 feet. All came away with a new appreciation for the town, the elevation, and the unparalleled beauty of (insert personal opionion here) one of the greatest places known to man.
Highlights of the weekend were many. It is impossible for me to cover all of them, because, well, I'm just not that good a writer. Few stand out more to me than watching Richelle Hall complete her first, yes FIRST marathon and Will Turner for turning the last seven miles of the run into a race against the clock and finishing hand in hand with his daughter Hayden with a big ole smile on his face. Truth be told, the smile is rarely missing when Will is on the run. Words escape me in trying to describe the feeling I had watching these two accomplished athletes meet their goals in taking on one of the toughest marathons in the United States. Too often we reserve the word accomplished for veterans and high achievers in sport, however, accomplished is exactly what these two are. They have, as the definition states, performed, finished, and carried out the mission. I will always save my greatest respect for people who dare to try anything this far outside of their comfort zone. You don't have to be the fastest or most decorated runner to be a RUNNER. You simply have to RUN!
I am inspired by the people I have met over the past several months as this flock of GOATZ has sprouted legs. I am impressed by the friendships I see developing, and I am just plain excited to see where the trail leads this group. Thanks hardly seems enough, but I will have to leave it at that. Thanks!