I recently raced the Pike’s Peak marathon in Colorado.
If you’re a runner you’ve probably heard of this epic race.
Starting in the town of Manitou Springs at 6,300 feet, athletes run 13.1 miles to the top of Pike’s Peak mountain at 14,114 feet and then come back down. 7,815 feet of elevation gain and loss.
Wait? Did I say run? It’s actually more like a run-walk-hike-scramble.
And with oxygen levels 43% lower than sea level, the miles spent above 10,000 feet were kind of like being drunk without the euphoria.
The race was epic in every sense of the word. Amazing views, great production, fantastic swag and volunteer support. I can’t speak highly enough of it.
But the race wasn’t the best part of the weekend.
The best part was nervously planning gear and race strategy with friends the night before. It was slapping high fives with other friends at mile 5 because they woke extra early to hike up and support us. It was recounting every detail over burgers and a beer that evening. It was seeing so many well wishes from friends on Facebook.
The best part of racing isn’t racing.
It’s the shared experience of racing with friends.