By Michael "The Old Man" Miller

“So you spent your weekend running around and around on a loop for 24 hours… why would anyone want to do that”?  “Didn’t you lose your mind bored?” 

Well actually…

We arrived in this cool little Mountain town and checked into a wooden cabin on a quite creek.  We sat on a seat four feet from the creek with a cup of coffee listening to the water and holding hands.  Later we walked around the little town and snagged a neat hat and supported a local merchant.  We had a great dinner with our friends and RD’s Ken and Steph and their buddy Mark before we called it a night.

The next day we checked into our Pathfinder Ranch cabin that was right on the course (footsteps away) in a flat foothills area surrounded by beautiful high desert Mountains and an incredible Camp facility. We shared a four-bunk room with our ‘family friends’ and soon to be Newlyweds.  Later that night the cabin would provide for a night of little sleep while we all played twelve year olds with giggles and funny body sounds.  We hung around all day as friends arrived and we hugged and laughed a recalled tall tales of past events and epic runs.  As we all gathered for dinner, which like breakfast and the cabin dorms was part of many of our race entries, we were provided all the salad, pasta, fruit and brownies we could carb load on.  After dinner Beyond Limits brought in an inspirational speaker almost young enough to be my grandson who captured the awe and imagination of all runners as he told stories of his world record accents of the Seven highest summits of each continent as a teenager!  Before bed a few folks headed back over to the lake area for some additional liquid carbo loading.

The next morning prior to the 
race start we all gathered for a great group picture then listened as our friends and runners played the National Anthem on their trumpets!  We were off and for the next 24 hours I had countless experiences that added to my smile wrinkles and warmed my heart a hundred times.  Just a small sample of them include:  Getting a ton more hugs.  Exchanging hundreds of smiles with 100 friends.  Every 20 minutes I saw cool cows who wanted to say hello, a field and barn full of horses, a rooster who enjoyed timely crows as you rounded his corner of the course, a goofy looking goat, a funny pig and countless other critters.  I watched as youngin’s climbed wooden rope courses and families canoed in a lake.  I smelled the aroma as a huge group of friends sat around a bond fire cooking smores’ and laughing half the night.  I chuckled and smiled as I read signs of inspiration and humor posted along the course.  I slapped the hand of a Jester a few dozen times.  I scooped up and gave a sweaty Old Man Hug to a couple of under 10 year olds who were in the middle running over a Marathon.  I watched a cool as heck 12 year old knock out a 50 miler a week from doing 100K.  I watched as a friend crossed the line for her first Marathon.  I saw the sun rise and the sun set over spectacular Mountains.  I chatted with a running legend in checkered tights. I watched two of the fastest men I know go head to head in 8 minute miles the last 10 miles of the 100 mile race to come in 1st. I smacked the banner where another legend would again get to carry his beautiful lady across the line after finishing another 100 miler.  Ate some crazy delicious homemade Lentil Soup because the RD’s wanted there to be Vegan options. I saw that amazing Summit Seeking youngin’ running with his Mother all day long - she was happy. Watched a buddy who knocked out six minute miles all morning pumping up 15 minute milers all afternoon.  Kissed my wife under the stars.  I saw two deeply in love people renew their marriage vows in the middle of race in the middle of a meadow in the middle of a group of friends.  I watched as another friend dug deep and completed 100 miles in honor of a fallen friend who was a victim of a war.  I was there as the future bride of my brother from another mother finished her first Ultra.  Lastly, I watched two incredibly passionate friends who had a dream about putting on a race, an event, that truly gave back for all the blessings that running and the running community had given to them realize that dream as they soaked it in so hard I am sure they will stay soggy for life...

So, yeah to the question, I guess I did run around a loop for 24 hours, but bored… nah, not so much….