Thursday, July 08, 2010

A "Special" Grandfather Mountain Marathon?

So what's "special" this year? Well, every year at this race is a little special. I love going to the mountains any chance I get and Grandfather Mountain is probably my favorite. Very beautiful with it's unique profile and so rocky and rugged up top. I have vague memories of my first trip there at age 5 or 6 with my family to see the Highland Games.
Of course the thing I remember the most was a little girl about my age that was one of the Scottish dancers and I thought she was the prettiest girl I had ever seen and she had my complete attention all day. Some things never change.

I heard about the marathon soon after I began running 33 years ago but it wasn't until 2003 that I finally made my first trip to run the race. The first two times I ran were special. I ran in the 4:30's and cramped up in the last few miles. Then in 2006 when I was in my best shape ever I went for a sub-4 only to find the course had a detour that year and was long. I passed mile 26 in 3:56 but had another 6tenths to the finish. I was able to run the first 11 miles with The Trail Angel before coming to my senses and backing off the pace.

I 2008 I returned, not in my best shape and was only hoping to finish without injuring myself anymore. At mile 5 I came across The Trail Angel walking due to some breathing problems so I stayed with her the rest of the way. And then last year I had the pleasure of running with The Marathon Princess and Mountain girl in their first trip up the mountain. So as you can see all 5 of my previous runs have been special but this year will be EXTRA Special.

Ever since that 1st run I have wondered what it would be like to run the course in reverse and of course being an ultra runner, naturally I thought it would be cool to do both. So, as I was running last year I made up my mind that I would plan to do just that in 2010 if everything was going well with my training and health. So yes, this year I am doing the Grandfather Mountain Double Marathon.

The plan is to run once again with Karla and Lisa for as long as I can but if I feel I need to slow down to save energy I'll let them go. Then when I reach the finish line I will reverse direction on the track and began my trip back to Boone. And this is where it gets even more special. My dear friend Jenn, The Ultra Angel is going to be waiting for me at the top and run with me on the return trip. How cool is that? And of course The Trail Angel will be running the race too so I'll have most of my "harem" as Laura refers to my Angels and Princesses in attendance. Woohoo. It's going to be FUN !!!

Oh yeah, and just for the special occasion I will be wearing the family tartan. I have a new Anderson Clan kilt and the ladies will be running in kilts too.

1 comment:

Frank Lilley said...

Joey -

This will be a special day! VERY, VERY cool! I hope there will be plenty of pictures! Best of luck! I'll be thinking of you!!