Updated on February 15, 2017
Living the dream
This past weekend I got the pleasure and honor and putting on a race that has been in my mind for years. When I originally found the Franklin Mountains in 2015 I was always wanting to put on a 100k or a 100miler. I knew from being on the mountain dozens of times that it had what it would take to push myself and the runners to amazing new heights. With any race that we put on, we plan for the worst and hope for the best. But when you put on mountain races with no access, no water, and no electricity well you often get the introduction to adversity.
It was an amazing week of preparing for what would be our biggest race to date. Our first 36-hour race with large loops, lots of volunteers and what would be crazy weather conditions. The race started on Saturday with the hottest day ever in el Paso history and Sunday with 60+ mph gusts on the ridgelines. The runners fought, the volunteers worked their asses off and we kept the glue together from the home base. I am always forever grateful for everyone who chooses to run, volunteer or be part of our TROT races that we put on.
There are always so many people who contribute their time, effort and sacrifice to make these events as amazing as they are. But for me, I stand back and I am always very grateful for this opportunity. Rachel and I often shake our heads at what seems to be the crazy predicaments I get us into with races but I always say look at this experience we get to have. We regularly talk about how much our lives have changed over the past few years with race directing.
But for me personally, I get a chance to look back at what used to be. I am often reminded of the destructive life I used to lead and how lucky I am to get a second chance to give back. Last year I contacted a good friend of mine Myles Smythe on a pitch idea of telling the story of how my life changed and how TROT came to be. I was fortunate enough to have Sierra Studio Films make an amazing film following us at we directed the Brazos Bend 100 2016 and tell a bit of my back story as well.
So today we release the 60-second trailer for the film Texas Trail Blazer. We will premiere the move on Feb 25th at our TROT HQ open house and will release it on Vimeo that night at midnight.
As I get my last day tomorrow loving the mountain an image sticks out in my mind from this weekend. It was the sequence of watching one of my beloved Team TROT runners Julie Koepke finishing our Lone Star 100 race. I remember watching her stumbling from the top of the last decent heading towards the finish line. The wind throwing her around from side to side as she made her way to the finish. As she finished I remember thinking how aged she looked to me from the wide-smiled Julie that I remember so well. I commented on how dirty and withered she looked after the 31 hours of fighting on the mountain. I remember her sitting down soaking it all in as she peered to the mountains. I got her a blanket to wrap up in and she kind of ducked her head in to get out of the wind. I just stared at her thinking how much she inspires me to never quit. She reminds me with her actions on why I love race directing and why it is truly my way to serve.