Saturday, October 10, 2009

Closer to God: The Pajarito Trail Fest Race Report

I got closer to god today.

Here's the Garmin Output for this run.

It wasn't because it was beautiful, although it was. In fact, I say without hesitation that it was most beautiful run I've ever done. Imagine hearing this song on your iPod:

Okay. Now, wait for 2:20 when the chorus sings...wait for it...wait for it...

because it was right at this point in the song that I rounded a corner--and found myself alone in an aspen grove-- and just as i did that a faint breeze rustled through the trees -
not a wind, just a bit of a breeze -

just enough to cause a sprinkling of aspen leaves to flutter down around me.

No, I wasn't closer to god today because it was beautiful.

Although it was.

Here's some more pictures:

101009 Pajalito Trail Run
Valles Caldera from 10,000 feet.

101009 Pajalito Trail Run

101009 Pajalito Trail Run

101009 Pajalito Trail Run

It wasn't that I was closer to god because I was up really, really high, although I was...


The race starts in a ski resort at 9200 feet, and climbs
up to over 10,000 feet in the first couple miles, which is where this picture was taken...
101009 Pajalito Trail Run

No, I was closer to god because I THOUGHT I WAS GONNA DIE.

You will never, ever, ever suck wind like you will at 9000 to 10000 feet. More than once I stopped, looked around, took a picture, just to catch my breath. And it was pretty. But also because I couldn't breathe.

But it was so worth it. At one point during the run, when I was in the midst of that Aspen grove, I almost cried, it was so beautiful. Right at that moment, I was just so incredibly lucky that I could power myself up a mountain to that spot and be there right at that moment.

I was the last place finisher, and got some gloves for that prize. I finished behind a woman, who mysteriously finished 30 minutes ahead of me, despite being just ahead of me about halfway through the race. In fact, on an 9-mile out and back, although ahead of me, I never saw her again. Somehow, she managed to slip past me in the woods.

Can you say "CUT THE COURSE?" I can.


It was gorgeous. Totally worth doing again and again and again. Fantastic aid stations, wonderful volunteers, very well run. Even if it took me over 4 hours to do. (Of course, Sweet Baboo finished this in 3 hours. Of course he did) I would do it again. Few things move me to tears with their beauty, and we can all use a little of that in our lives. Maybe we can use a lot.

I assumed this sign wasn't meant for me -->

And now I will eat ice cream and drink chocolate wine.



  1. Misty--Those pictures are absolutely beautiful. I'm glad you stopped to catch your breath and then share the results with us. I agree, we do need more of those moved to tears moments. I've actually wanted the "lantern rouge" prize, but have never gotten it. I can't imagine doing a run race that high up. Congratulations!

  2. These photos are amazing! I'm glad you had such a great experience.

    Enjoy your treats :-)

  3. Good God it that scenery beautiful! Breathtaking.....truly.

    I didn't know there was such a thing as chocolate wine? Have I been living under a rock?

  4. Wow, what an awesome course, thanks for the pictures. I too finished dead last in my race this weekend, but had an incredibly fun time. I'm going with chocolate ice cream and red wine, though.

  5. Wow, what beautiful pictures! I'm hyperventilating just thinking of being at that altitude, we're lowlanders here in Ohio!

  6. Congrats! Wow, I feel like such a wimp complaining to my friends about my run, on pavement, that was only 6 miles and at a .5% incline!

  7. Beautiful photos...I want to walk in the leaves and hear them rustle under my feet.

    Mark my words: you are going to do Pikes Peak one of these days and then the 10,000 feet will feel like NOTHING compared to the 14,000. :-)

  8. What a great day :) God's splendour, new gloves, and chocolate wine, too!

  9. NICE WORK! Another incredible race accomplishment.

    But more importantly, tell me more about this chocolate wine you speak of...? :)

  10. On a different note, I keep meaning to ask where you found those awesome pink gaiters?!? Every I seem them I am jealous. Those would totally get me out on the trail running. :)


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