Tommorrow at 5am the gun will go off in Wrightwood starting the 2014 Angeles Crest 100 mile Endurance Run. I wish all the runners good luck and if you should chance to read this I hope you run to the best of your potential this weekend!
I have a race number waiting for me up in Wrightwood but I won't be claiming it, having fractured my pelvis in a freak accident while on a training run back on May 31 (http://fredippides.blogspot.com/2014/06/training-run-gone-bad-self-rescue-with.html).
Instead, this year I will be helping out the Ultra Medical Team with logistics and set up. I'll be the guy out there handing out water wearing a silver buckle (!) and walking with crutches. (While I am cleared for weight bearing, I don't want to overdo it; long periods standing or walking tend to irritate my hip so I'll be playing it safe). I'll be setting up at Idlehour, my favorite wilderness sports injury site. How is that for irony?
A year ago today my crew was gearing up to help me with my AC100 race, and I was wigging out up in Wrightwood. But it all came together and God graced me with one of the best days of my life: http://fredippides.blogspot.com/2013/08/angeles-crest-100-race-report-.
It is amazing how fast a year goes by, and yet its sobering how much can happen. Today, my good friend Richard Peck is on my mind. He was so excited to come up and crew me last year. Just last February he was diagnosed with cancer and he passed on July 1.
All this reminds me how ephemeral life can be. There is an ecstatic aspect of life, as exemplified for me by my experience last year of running 100 miles across the San Gabriel Mountains in a day. I look back on some of the best miles I ran in that race, like the blistering stretch out of Three Points with my pal Brad Harris, the last 25 run with my pal, pacer Joe Tholt, and the experiences sharing that ecstatic race with my wife and kids and crew -- it was so fantastic! I am mindful that one day one can wake up and find such opportunities severely circumscribed -- so grab onto it while you can! Enjoy it with your friends and loved ones!
A friend asked me earlier this year if I might pace him at a different 100. I waffled due to various commitments and then the opportunity was taken away by my injury. I'm sobered by this and hope that next time I will have a right perspective and seize such an opportunity without hesitation.
I am getting preachy so its time to stop writing.
Good luck runners! I hope I see you out there!