What a long strange trip it’s been…

excerpted from Paul Salazar’s blog, Paul’s Race Reports

I somehow got to the point of creating a blog specifically for writing this report. I must think it’s important enough to go to all this trouble of registering, checking availability of blog names, etc…but the reality is that I didn’t want to clog up everyone’s email with some lengthy message that your just gonna delete anyway. With that said, here is my very first blog entry.

Where to start…I guess it would be back over a year ago backpacking in the Weminuche wilderness. Nine of us got off the narrow gauge train at Elk Station out of Durango, went into the mountains, and during the 5 day trip one of our companions passed out with a seizure. It was a terrifying moment, but my great friend, Fred, took charge and volunteered me (no prodding needed) to go on a rescue mission. I don’t want to get into the details of what followed (for that’s another story), but we ended up hiking, running and 4-wheeling (jeep ride from hell) over 150 miles in 32 hours to get our friend to safety. Two things happened as a result, my other great friend was safely gotten to a hospital, and secondly, I gained a new confidence in what I was able to accomplish, and that’s when the seeds of possibly running Leadville entered my consciousness.

What followed was a very busy fall racing schedule that included the M2M Half marathon, Willow City Half, San Antonio Marathon, followed up two weeks later with the Double Decker Marathon. I then limped into the holidays determined to get some rest on my tired legs.

2010 arrives, I’m feeling good, and the only thing on my schedule is pacing at Austin Marathon. Somehow I must have felt that wasn’t enough to do, and I don’t remember exactly how or when I decided, but I signed up to run the Bandara 50k, thinking, it’s only 50k, how hard can it be? Well the race was mid-January, I showed up and had a very miserable finish. I’m not sure the exact effect it had on me, but I knew after that race not to take any Ultra for granted.

So to make a really long story only long, I paced Austin (3:30) and had another great time, then started planning for spring trail running. I ran Hell’s Hills 50k the prior year and somehow managed a 3rd place finish, so this year my plan was to shoot for the 50miler. Meanwhile, back at casa Fletcher, Fred declares it’s time to make a run for the infamous Rim2Rim2Rim trip in early may. I’m in, without any hesitation, as we’ve been talking about it going on two years. So now I’m running a 50 miler in April, a 50 miler in May in the Grand Canyon, and I’m thinking, maybe, just maybe, I can make a run for Pbville (if you need to ask you weren’t paying attention in high school).

Hell’s Hills in Smithville,Texas was on April 2nd. I had started doing some longer training runs with Ken & Jason (Rogue Ultra Team) right after the Austin Marathon, and was feeling okay about my chances.The Rogue team had all committed… (click here for the full post!)


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