We admit. Europe’s “The Final Countdown” has been played on our runs more than a few times in these past weeks.
It was the song my brother Mike and I listened to over and over the summer of 1992, when I was 8 and he was 18. We’d play basketball at the park across the street from Grandma’s house and we’d have it playing in the car.
It’s 10 years later, and instead of listening to the song while we play a game of basketball, we’re going to listen to it as we drive to Buena Vista, Colo., to start what is no doubt about to become one of the most epic experiences of our lives – the Gore-Tex TransRockies Run, the 120-mile, six-stage trail run that we will start tomorrow morning, bright and early.
Let’s be honest here, we’re no contenders for the $20,000 purse. Despite months of training we’re not going to compete with the “rabbits” – the elite runners like Bernie Boettcher or Justin Ricks. Shoot, we might not even contend with Ryan Sutter from "The Bachelorette." But we’re not in it for the purse, or the competition, we’re in it for the memories and the eternal bragging rights and the entitlement to put a bumper sticker on our cars that reads, “Oh you ran a marathon? That’s cute.” Oh, and the food. We hear from Trek Tech Blog that the food is worth all the pain.
While my brother has been a machine, training like a madman in the mountains of our native San Luis Valley, I’ve not been as intense as he has, so naturally I’m going into this with a great deal of nervousness. Despite this great apprehension, I know that I’ll be alright, and not just because I know the good folks putting this race on are going to take care of me every morning and night, but because I know my big brother is going to help me every step of the way in between those two times.
You see my big brother is kind of like a hero to me. Ever since I was a little girl, he’d train me for various athletic feats. When I was just a pup, he put a football helmet on me and taught me how to throw the pigskin, then later how to catch it over my head. Then in high school, he helped me work on my mad volleyball skills. Then later in life, he inspired me when he decided to start running marathons. Now we run races together and he’s been at the starting line for every one of my marathons. There is no other person I’d rather experience this with than him and it’s bound to be full of jokes, laughter and great songs written at camp, which you’re probably going to be sad you’ll miss.
During our training we’ve been testing products like crazy, everything from TrekSta Edicts to Injinji Performance Toe Socks to SmartWool’s new PhD running wear. We plan to continue right on testing through the entire six days, should I not punk out, so stay tuned to SNEWS for reviews of our gear within the next few months.
Bye friends! Wish us luck!