Saturday, May 26, 2012

Grand Canyon Rim2Rim2Rim, Amazing!!!

Feeling awful at 8,200 feet on the North Rim!
I am going to be blunt. What my friend Matt accomplished this past Saturday was absolutely incredible. Here is why. Never before had Matt attempted anything like this. In fact, he had never run more than a half marathon and that was back in October 2011. Is he athletic? Sure he is, but to do what he did takes a lot more than pure athleticism. You gotta have guts and heart.  It is what we have inside that makes us want to get up when we think we can't and keep going. As you can see in the photo to the left, no matter how athletic you are, you will suffer.   In this photo we were only half way, sitting at over 8,200 feet at the top of the North Rim after climbing about 4,500 feet over 6 or 7 miles. Matt struggled and admitted he had never felt this drained and nauseous, battling sheer exhaustion and dehydration.

Several months ago I told him of my plans to run the Grand Canyon, Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim, about 48 miles, with serious elevation change through the heat of one of the most beautiful and potentially unforgiving environments that exist (self supported of course). Matt never hesitated and said he wanted in. Never missing a beat Matt immediately got to training. He trained hard and blew passed the marathon distance and right into ultras completing several back to back runs of more than 30 miles. He was prepared and I know he never expected to feel as crappy as he did. In a way, I am glad. Not that he felt poorly, but that he got up and kept going so that he could feel what it is like to move past, well past all perceived limits. He ran, got his ass kicked and then fought back to complete what I am certain is one of the greatest running experiences in the world. I know this will change his life positively as similar experiences have done for me.

I have been running, relatively intensely now for several years. I have run and crewed in some of the most incredible places and met many wonderful and inspiring people. I have been inspired by my children, my wife, strangers who never give up, those who fight for their cause.....and now Matt! Totally f'ing amazing. Inspired again. Thanks Matt for having the balls to try and the courage to get up when you thought it was impossible. While this run would have been cool on its own, it is now epic for me.

I am so fortunate, because I am certain that I am going to meet many more inspiring people along the way and I look forward to sharing those experiences.

So here it is, the video recap of our day, 48 miles, 17 hours, 20,000 feet of elevation, lots of laughs, incredible scenery and lasting memories.
Thanks to my wife for her continued support and for putting together this video.

6 comments:

  1. Eric, Isn't that place beautiful? As I sit here writing this I'm drinking out of a coffee cup I bought in a Grand Canyon gift shop. Such great memories come to mind when I watch your video. Now I want to go back! Anyway, great job getting the run done and congrats to your friend Matt who didn't give up out there. Hope your training is going well. I'm 'bout ready to head out for a 30 miler after doing 25 yesterday. Why do we do this again?

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  2. why is it taking everyone so lone to complete a r2r2r? and to go into it unprepared doesn't take guts. It's stupid. Why make anything harder than it already is. It was an enjoyable 12 and a half hours for me. It shouldn't be torture!

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    Replies
    1. Cheryl, I am not sure I understand the intention of your comment. Were we underprepared because it took us longer than you? Do you think we intentionally made it difficult or was it the 48 miles, heat and elevation that made it difficult? It was enjoyable for us too and perhaps even more so since we got to spend more time in this incredible place than you. Congratulations on your run by the way. Its quite an accomplishment. Peace and Have A Great Day! E

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