One of the best things about ultra-running is being able to set your sights on a lofty (occasionally crazy?) goal and achieve it with good ol' fashioned hard work (...with a dash of pain and suffering thrown in). The other "best" thing about ultra-running, for me anyway, is meeting so many great people in this sport and celebrating along with them as they achieve their own hard-earned goals.
Two years ago I wrote this post on "Dream Races" in which I listed a few of my own "bucket list" races and asked readers to list some of theirs as well. My motivation to look back to that post today was to confirm my suspicion that with the upcoming Spartathlon in September I will have run all 3 of the original dream races on my list (sure, the 24-Hour Worlds and Long Trail ended less-than-perfectly for me, but I have nothing but wonderful memories of both....OK, maybe a few mud-flashbacks still haunt me from VT, but they're mostly all wonderful memories!). The pleasant surprise and excitement I realized while re-reading the comments at the end of that post was seeing the lists of Dream Races my friends offered up; I immediately began smiling as I realized how many of those dream goals have also been achieved in just the past two years!
Tony P has become a machine in the 100+ mile world and completed his goal of Badwater TWICE and is headed back for a third this July. This recurring dream is apparently no nightmare for Tony!
Chris Roman is also checking off that Badwater box this July, and to double my excitement on that one, I'll be pacing him along the way to realizing that dream! Even more important, Mr. Roman's goal of raising money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation keeps getting bigger and bigger as he racks up the miles and dollars to support this excellent charity. Speaking of which, if you'd like to help Chris's CAF fund-raising effort at Badwater, just follow this link for all the inspiring details. Chris has all sorts of bonus/matching $$ scenarios out there, so anything you can donate will be doubled at least!
Adam Cassaday has not only achieved his dream to set up an epic 3-day stage race in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia (The Trilogy), but in less than a week he will be headed down to Georgia with his wife Kadra to begin the realization of his huge dream of hiking/running the entire Appalachian Trail! Color me white-blaze-jealous!
With so many goals already checked and dreams realized, I think it's appropriate to send out the call once again to see what races are on your "bucket list" now. The three big goals I've been thinking about over the past couple years since the last post are:
1) Completing the Grand Slam (as soon as I get into WS, it's on!)
2) Going after the Grand Canyon R2R2R2R2R record (4x crossing, current FKT is 22h48m)
3) Trying my hand at the Sri Chinmoy 6-Day race in NYC (this one is less of a Dream and more of a curiosity!).
While I may not be fortunate enough to achieve all three of these goals in the next two years, I'm happy to know that their simple existance out there on the horizon is enough to keep me motivated and day-dreaming while racking up my daily miles until the right time comes.
So how about it, what's on everyone's current Dream Race list? Judging by the success of my 2009 post on this topic, if you say it out loud, odds are it WILL come true!