Check out this picture. Is that beautiful or what? That is the Palo Duro Canyon located just south of Claude. On Saturday I set out to run the entire canyon, 9.33 miles. To really understand how big a deal that is...check out the picture and watch the road wind all the way across this magnificent landscape. (click on it to really see it) This picture was taken from the finish line. We began where you can see the top of the canyon on the horizon.
My friend Jason Horton talked me into this race. When I started really running in March I had never considered anything other than 5k's. Jason assured me that I could make it. So I sent my money in to run this race so I couldn't back out. 9 miles is a long ways.....what the heck were we thinking?
So Jason picks me up about 6:00 am and we head for Claude. We were both jittery like little girls. When we got the canyon it was even worse. I could hardly pin on my race number I was so nervous. When we finally got started I didn't really know what pace to set to go for 9 miles. The furthest I had ever ran to that point was 7. So I was just guessing on a pace that I could keep up over the entire run.
As we dropped off the Canyon I think that we were both blown away. I had driven that road many times...but never really got to look at how amazing the sight was. Jason said it best, "spiritual." Miles 1 through 6 were pretty uneventful. We kept a great pace and really didn't get tired. Of course we were running down hill most of the way...then comes mile 6. We had to run back up this monster.
The best way to explain like this....people were dropping like flies. Most were walking...some flat out stopping...others were getting picked up because they were too tired to finish. I was determined when I started this race that I would not walk. Something inside my head just kept telling me to keep going. And keep going I did.....all the way to the top. I finished in an 1:42.00. The feeling at the top was wonderful. Thanks to all of my friends and family who called to check on me after the race. Your encouragement was awesome. Here are some pictures from the celebration at the top.
5 weeks ago