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“Live in the Sunshine, Swim the sea, Drink the wild air…”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I think Emerson would have loved Colorado. We have sunshine, fresh air, MOUNTAINS, wildflowers, wild animals, incredible hiking, trail running, mountain biking, kayaking and of course epic skiing, blue skies, blue birds, purple mountain majesty lavender sunsets, and lots of unique mountain towns with even more unique mountain people to play with.
I moved here in 1982 chasing my Triathlon dreams. Diane Israel was the first pro to live in Colorado and she invited me to move to Boulder when I was fresh out of college. I was from a tiny town in Northeast Alabama called Scottsboro and I went to Auburn University which is even further South and at SEA LEVEL!
I remember arriving to Colorado and I was 22 years old. I had dreamed of living in Colorado since I was 6 and could not wait to get off the bus and get into the mountains. Well… I got into the mountains!!
At the time I arrived Diane was the “Colorado Mountain Runner of the Year” and she had a super fun trail race for us to do that day. It was called the Mt Evans Hill Climb and is considered the highest road race in America which goes from 10,600 feet to the summit which is 14,264 feet. It was a half marathon and all up hill (a SERIOUS HILL). I was a very well trained 800-meter runner so I figured I could do it without any problems. The gun went off and thousands of people started running up the most beautiful mountain road I had ever seen. I took off at my normal fast speed and did very well for the first 3 miles and then I quickly realized that someone had stolen all my oxygen. I felt myself trying to run up hill with all my might and the more I tried the slower I got. Finally, about a mile from the finish line I found myself at the back of the pack with women pushing baby joggers and I was trying to get in one of them. BUT as I came around the last corner of the race right in front of me was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL. It was MOUNT EVANS with snow on top and the most pristine blue sky I had ever seen. I also saw my first alpine lake and because I was delirious I thought I would just run over and jump in. I was wondering why no one else was swimming but that did not bother me. I quickly took off my shoes and jumped in.. and WHAT A SHOCK! In Alabama the lakes are warm, wonderful and inviting. The Mount Evans lake was so cold that my whole body seized up at once. I was in total shock from the race and the cold water. My friends had seen me jump in and they were all laughing because no one gets into that lake.
This was my introduction to Colorado and while my first day was a bit challenging I fell instantly in love with this incredible playground.. Join us June 21-23rd to fall in love with Colorado yourself!!