Thursday, December 1, 2022

New York City!

Last year while floating down the Grand Canyon on a raft, Robyn and I talked about how we enjoy New York City, and wouldn't it be fun to see more of it together?  Eventually we concocted a scheme to spend several days there on our collective journey to France, along with John plus Cathy and their daughter Dani.  I love it when a plan comes together.

The mural outside our AirBnB in Brooklyn (and life imitating art, as we do):

Ready to roam around the city together:

While moseying along on the Highline Trail (a place we almost always go), we spied something new.  The Little Island - recently constructed and covered in plants and winding walkways.  And things to stare at:

Skyline view from the Little Island:

What a neat spot!  Every city could use more greenery and peaceful places:

Even the underside of the island is interesting to look at, reminding us of the Crowley Lake columns near Bishop, CA:

Back on the Highline Trail, checking out the street running underneath:

Construction appears to be complete at Hudson Yards and The Shed as well:

A brief pause at the library, another respite from city crowds:

There was a funny series of bug-related comics on display there, including cicadas getting shushed by a librarian:

John and I were super excited to get to see The Music Man on Broadway - so entertaining!  Hugh Jackman was great fun, Sutton Foster was wonderful, and they made each other (and us) laugh all evening.  The kids in the show are incredibly talented.  And as we were walking around the theater afterward, we happened to catch sight of Mr. Jackman exiting the building and waving to fans from his car - love it!

Found my subway stop:

Going back and forth from Brooklyn to Manhattan, we spent some time near the river about every day, and we always like the views of the bridges from various angles:

On a walk in Domino Park:

I had put in for lottery tickets to John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight" show taping but had not heard back so I figured we didn't get in.  Then the evening beforehand I got an email - would we be able to make it?  Why yes, we sure could!  We were so excited, we got there early and snagged the first place in line:

How lucky it this?  Another awesome NYC experience, this time in a small theater where we were quite close to the stage.  We had to wait a while for it to start (apparently the lawyers were clearing up a legal question), then John Oliver came out to chat with us before taping began.  The process was fascinating, from watching the teleprompter, trying to figure out how John can talk so quickly and time everything right, to seeing the retakes and laughing at John's riffs.  Highly recommend.

On my Sunday morning run I randomly happened to come across the Brooklyn Mile race, so of course I had to check in out - there were some speedsters out there:

The group of us rented e-bikes, toured around Brooklyn, met friends at Prospect Park for a little food festival, then cycled over the Brooklyn Bridge to the Staten Island Ferry.  On our way south:

None of us had been to Staten Island before, so the bit of roaming we did near the ferry terminal was new and different.  Apparently not photo-worthy, however.

Something else new for us - we took a water taxi back to Brooklyn with a view of the skyline at sunset:

Only slightly windy:

A bit of exploring in Williamsburg on Monday morning before heading to the airport - thank you John for this fun photo:

And thank you Robyn, Cathy, and Dani for all the pizza and black & white cookie experiments and an entertaining few days in the big city!

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Grand times

We spent some time in Grand Lake over the summer and enjoyed the heck out of the area.  So many places to explore!  John did some construction work and I set out to see as many trails as I could cover.  It was a solid choice as a UTMB training ground.

We even got to visit with Leslie and Noel, an excellent bonus.  Leslie and I, plus her dog Beckett, went on a run up to Crater Lake.  This was the only outing where I took many pictures.  We moved more quickly than in my normal training runs, so I probably wanted an excuse for a brief rest now and then... I'll be right there, Leslie!

I really enjoy running along a fast-moving creek.  Very different from my Arizona experiences.

Lovely waterfalls:

Beckett having a wade in Mirror Lake:

Just beyond, at Crater Lake and the end of the trail:

Beckett and the columbines:

More waterfalls:

Running back to the trailhead - many thanks for an excellent workout and great company, Leslie!

My only other photos from the area, when I climbed the North Inlet trail to Nokoni and Nanita Lakes:

Almost made it through a blog post without a picture of me:

And to close this out, something different...Two electric trucks at a Colorado charging station!  Our Rivian looks a bit small next to the Ford Lightning:

Thank you for a fun summer, Colorado!

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Hardrock race watching

We had not originally planned to be in the San Juans for the Hardrock 100 race, but doing Softrock with Robyn and seeing the race entrants list got me excited to hang around a little longer.  We towed our travel trailer to Silverton, found a boondock spot along South Mineral Creek, and got up to watch the race start.

Catching the front runners at the first road crossing, including Francois D'Haene (in the red shoes) and Kilian Jornet (in black):

I believe the women's field was the largest ever for this race (27 out of 145 runners), although that still doesn't sound like a lot:

Looking good, Ryan!

The Coury brothers ran together for a while:

Hey John Sharp, you got this!

Yay Jeff!

We hiked up toward Island Lake to watch everyone climb to Grant-Swamp Pass.  It was a lovely morning for race watching on high.  Kilian was leading the way at the time:

Followed closely by Dakota Jones (go Dakota!) and Francois:

Billy Simpson and his friend were out for a stroll in their mountain skirts (?), too funny:

Cheering on John Kelly of Barkley and FKT fame:

Wildflowers and race markings:

Go Courtney!!  She was climbing strong above Island Lake:

Maggie was not far behind - go Maggie!

A random excited runner, woo hoo!

We were having a good day too:

Doing great, ladies!

John Sharp making his way up through the willows, always fun to chat with him wherever we happen to run into him in the world:

Next we drove over to Ouray and up Camp Bird Road, pausing on the way when we spied the lead pack running toward us, hello!  Dakota, Kilian, and Francois were still running together at that point.  Dakota pulled away on the next climb while Kilian and Francois stayed together for a while.  Super fun and interesting to watch the happenings, both briefly in person and later on internet tracking.

We parked near the Governor aid station and started our next hike in the direction of Virginius Pass.  John Kelly was at the water crossing so we got to watch him dance across and then scoop some water into his bottle:

I believe this is Jeff Browning running smoothly down the road:

John took off ahead of me and made it up to the pass before starting back down.  I took my time and decided to turn around at the bottom of the first scree slope.  I caught a picture of John descending, with a couple racers on the "trail" above him:

It's a lovely afternoon for a splash through a shallow creek:

We were psyched to catch Maggie coming through the aid station - she was still moving well but dealing with some kind of blister issue:

What a great way to watch the race!  It's nice getting up into the mountains, doing our own version of a workout, able to impart some positive energy with zero crewing/pacing/volunteering stress.

We got some sleep, but less than normal - the leaders were on a smoking-hot pace to perhaps break the course record, and we were hoping to watch them finish.

And Kilian pulled it off!  He and Francois had reeled in Dakota, then Kilian turned on the jets at the end to return to Silverton in course record time (21:36), incredible.  My photos hardly do him justice, but he looks like he barely broke a sweat:

Brian from iRunFar conducting a finish line interview with Kilian:

Francois ran in soon after (21:51) and then everyone waited for Dakota's sub-24 hour finish (also amazing!).  It was entertaining listening to their conversation at the finish line as Dakota talked about making his big move and then not being able to hold off the other two at the end.

6th place overall, breaking the women's record in a time of 26:44, Courtney Dauwalter!  Yay Courtney!  So inspiring:

We would have loved to stick around for the rest of the weekend, but we had run out of extra time.  Congrats to all Hardrock runners, thanks for making us smile and cheer!