As my late ski partner, Steve Romeo, liked to say, there are two seasons in my life....winter and waiting for winter. I love that and think of him whenever the snow flies. That's a good thing. Up here in AK, winter has been creeping upon us more slowly than is typical. We've had snow up high but temps have remained warm this fall. It's made for some good hiking but I'm getting impatient for winter to arrive in full.
The end of the summer has been busy with work and moving into a condo I decided to purchase. I know. That sounds crazy. Many felt I would never stay in Alaska, being perpetually homesick for the Tetons. But I spend at least 50 hours a week at my job and I tend to like this one so I think I’ll stay for a bit. I’m not one to plan too far into the future but I decided that having my own place to base from makes sense. The other thing I noticed is that if I don’t go back to Jackson too often, I forget how great it is.
With MMR behind me I can finally relax a bit and get into the mountains for some fun and adventure. Alaska's been experiencing a pretty nice summer with dry days on end that encourage travel up high. Anchorage is close to awesome ridge cruising and trail running. I thought I'd do a few posts about some of my favorites to showcase what we have and give a sort of reference for others curious about what's involved.
It’s been three weeks since MMR. I’ve never felt so relieved to have an event behind me. Not that the experience was a bad one - far from it. But I’ve rarely experienced so much anticipation and, in a way, anxiety prior to a race. I think it was the unknown of the all out downhill portion of the course and the significant possibility of bodily injury with such an effort that caused a lot of the ruckus in my head. It seemed that nary a night passed that I didn’t think about some aspect of the race as I tried to fall asleep. And my sleep is the first thing that got better on the night of July 4th.
Well, 10 weeks of focused preparation have lead to this event. Tomorrow I get to lay it all out there and answer a few questions I've had about how this will go for me. It's hard to describe to outsiders the atmosphere of the weeks of leading up to Mt. Marathon and the general vibe in the community of Seward during this event. In South Central Alaska, there really is no other event that generates as much buzz and media attention as MMR. It's really something. And to think I have the good fortune to experience it for the first time as a competitor is pretty cool. It's certainly going to suck for part of it but if I can make down in one piece and pull off a decent performance along the way, I'm going to be pretty psyched.