Prior to that, my son - (1 month in to being a teenager - if turning 13 years old is when that officially happens) - and I met up with Steve and Kathleen - of Happy Trails fame at the US Air Force Academy. While Kathleen biked 30 miles along the roads at the Academy - Steve guided myself and the teenager around the 13 mile loop.
Temps were warm to start (just after 8 am it was already in the 70's) and continued to heat up as we moved on. The plan was twofold: 1) run for 13 miles, 2) get used to being on our feet for 2 1/2 hours or so. It was to be a training run for the 2 next races coming up for the kid and I.
The pace - easy (just wanted to get out and enjoy it).
The trail (13 miles w/ just under 1400' climbing) - fantastic.
The weather - noted already, by the time we were done was upper 80's.
The guide (Steve) - very gracious and patient with us.
The other runners (my son and I) - weary. Thursday's track workout was lingering still.
We set off going clockwise and about 3 miles in, I was spent. Wasn't hurting - was just plain old tired. My boy was too. He was carrying a 20 ounce bottle and had almost used it all up. We stopped and Steve pointed out the Burger King - couldn't smell the food cooking yet, but if we had gone the other direction and come by there a couple hours later - might have been tempted to stop in.
We kept going SW, heading towards Peregrine and Blodgett Peak
|Moon setting above the Peak|
Steve had been leading the way to this point. Shortly after cresting the high point we put the teenager up front as it was time to start heading down for a while and I thought he might be interested in leading for a while. Not really.
A couple of switchbacks faced us, coming down towards us was a group of scouts. The leading couple was about 30 feet in front of us, saw us, turned around to annouce to the rest of the troup, "Walkers coming through". Not really thinking, I immediately spoke up and told the teenager that they were calling us walkers instead of runners.
He started running, possibly the fastest, certainly with the most effort all day - as we passed the leading group - they turned around and yelled back to their group: "Runners, coming through!!!". I heard Steve chuckle behind me as I was smiling.
The kid ran all the way to the top of that high point, well and truly past the Scouts.
A big thanks again to Steve for your patience and for introducing us to a great trail - one that we both would like to do again.