There are so many different types of running. Sprinting, distance, indoor, outdoor. I’ve realized I’m a fan of a specific kind of runner: women with Colorado ties (which is why it was awesome to see Kara Goucher – CU alum – and Shalane Flanagan – born in Boulder – running at the Olympics). My friend, however, is a different type of fan: long-distance mountain running. Like the kind of people that run up and down the Matterhorn or across the Alps.
Here are some snapshots of our weekends, primarily via texts to each other.
Friend: Can I borrow your cow bell? I’m volunteering at [place near Boulder]. Maybe leave it on your stoop?
Huh? Why does she need a cowbell for volunteering?
Me: Cowbell in on porch for you to pick up.
Friend: Yay! Thanks! Kilian thanks you too!
Oh right, the Ultra Race of Champions is tomorrow in Vail, and Kilian Jornet is running. She had invited me to go with her to see it, and I might have if I didn’t have a meeting in the middle of the day and an event at night. Since she was close to my place she wanted to swing by.
6:30AM Friend: Omg, Kilian and Emelie [Forsberg] just walked by me!!!!!!!
Me: Ahhhhhh!!!!! Did you cheer loud and cowbell at them?
Friend: They just strolled by me at the start line!!! I’m in celebrity heaven.
At the event: Wait, did I just walk by Emma Coburn? Oh my, that IS Emma Coburn!!! Alissa, you should ask her for a picture! Oh, now she’s on her phone and walking away. That’s okay; it probably would have been awkward and maybe she wouldn’t have wanted to take a picture with a fan. But it was still cool to see her!
Me: Ahhh, Emma Coburn! I almost asked her for a picture before I noticed she was on her phone. 🙂
Me: Elise and Melody! [Elise Cranny and Melody Fairchild]
Ahhh, Shalaya Kipp is helping call the race! I’d love to meet her and tell her how awesome her blog is.
The race starts!
First lap: Elise in the lead with CU’s Carrie Verdon.
Coming to the finish, it’s Elise in front!
Me: Elise Cranny won!!!!!!!
Seriously, guys, a high schooler came in first place in this event? Ahead of the entire college field?!? How awesome is that!!!!
Me: Oh, and Melody won fifth as a master!
Seriously, guys, a 40-year old came in fifth in this event full of runners half her age? How fantastic is that!!!!!!!!!!!
Friend: We’re both in star heaven 🙂
Me: I know!!! 🙂 Fangirl weekend for us…
Later in the morning, friend: I think I was just standing by Emelie’s sister!
Me: How long is their race today?
Friend: 60 miles
There was a time when I would have gone bug-eyed at hearing that people were running 60 miles over passes through the mountains, but I’ve been exposed to so much running these past few years…
In the evening, friend: I got a pic with Kilian! 🙂
Friend: In fact I had a whole convo with Kilian! 🙂
Me: Yaaaaayyyy!!!!! You win. 🙂
Me: What was his time? Did he win?
Enough texting at this point. Then there was a 52-minute phone call in which we excitedly rehashed all the details of the races and the stars we saw and tried to reassure ourselves that no it’s totally not weird to geek out over runners because people geek out over football and baseball teams all the time… 🙂
No, I didn’t see my favorite runner Jenny that day. One day maybe I’ll see her, and hopefully on that day I’ll have the guts to say “hello” and “thanks for the inspiration” and possibly even ask for a picture. The picture will probably come out looking something like the one from this story…