Thursday, August 22, 2013

2013 Run to Remember - LIVE FORWARD!

I believe Pikes Peak is a metaphor for us all. In each of our lives we are striving for the Peak. The trail is long, winding in unforeseen ways, blocking our path with rocks and tree roots, and sometimes boulders. Eventually we begin to break through from those thoughts and experiences that beg us to stop climbing, to just head back down where it is comfortable. But the summit beckons, the spirit moves us, and eventually we arrive – however slowly – at our destination. In a way, we accept a calling to discover more about ourselves as well as our connectedness to our loved ones, along with strangers on the trail – really friends that we have not yet met.

Let the Run to Remember Begin so that all may Live Forward!   

It begins with a shirt bearing the name of 74 loved ones
who died in traffic related incidents. They are inspiration to all who 
know and love them, and to the members of our Run to Remember Team
as we climb upwards so that all may Live Forward!

Russ, Shawn, and Matthew on the Summit

Tom, Russ, Matthew, and Shawn framing the "America the Beautiful" Monument at the Summit. Katharine Lee Bates wrote the lyrics to this American Anthem from the summit of Pikes Peak in the summer of 1893. Thus, the color of our family t-shirts honored the lyrics, "For purple mountains majesty..."

View of the trail from the summit. Can you see the jagged switchbacks? Yes, that's the trail.

Can you spot the butterfly? 
Matthew captured this shot at 14,000 feet elevation - a sign of hope 
and new life the day before we run

Matthew provides commentary on the Barr Trail 
which we will run/hike the next day. Russ and Tom appear,
taking time to breathe in some rarified air.

The Run to Remember Team 
Mike, Shawn, Matthew, and Tom Everson, 
Dan Cockrell, and Russ Lloyd

Russ, Tad, Jona, Isaac, and his bear Alexa, named after his sister, 
one of the loved ones we ran to remember.

Russ, Matthew, Tom & Shawn just before the start

Sunbeams beckoning us to the Peak

The swarm of runners heads off for the summit of Pikes Peak

Mike Everson completes his personal record-setting run up Pikes Peak

Matthew Everson looks forward to the finish

Shawn Everson follows his nephew to the finish

Russ Lloyd nears the finish line to complete his 2nd 
Run to Remember in honor of his daughter, Shannon, 
and all her companions who carried us to the summit.

Russ with his Finisher's Medal, framed by Isaac and Tad

Tom finishing the trek to the summit

A volunteer and Dan - our teammate who ran the marathon up and down Pikes Peak on Sunday - flank me as I begin recovery from an adventure up the mountain. Along the way several runners asked about "the shirt" and I was able to share many stories. I hope the shirts that family and friends of all the loved ones we ran to remember were able to share wonderful stories of loved shared - love that inspires your life each day.

Mike - far right -receives his age group award for his personal best 3 hour and 17 minute run up Pikes Peak. Mike has participated in all 7 Run to Remember treks to the summit, and, on two occasions, back down in the marathon

Dan reaches the summit for the 
turnaround in his marathon effort.

Dan makes the turn-around to head back 
down the trail

Dan sprints for the finish on his amazing run

Dan recovering from his amazing marathon up and down Pikes Peak - in a personal record of 5 hours and 1 minute. To put in perspective, this is 36 minutes faster than it took Tom to just go up the mountain. Prior to his run Dan wrote, " I will finish! This year, not just for me, but for everyone on the shirt and everyone the KKAD25 effort saves from being lost. Live Forward!" The 2 fingers he holds up could signal "victory," but actually represent the 2 units of IV fluid he received to rehydrate. Congrats to Dan for an amazing, inspiring run.

We look forward to August 16-17, 2014 when the "Run to Remember" team takes on the Ascent and Marathon for the 8th time. 
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