Sunday, November 7, 2010

Freaks Of Nature

Was out running in the mountains around Boulder with Tony (and several others) today. We were running down Fern Canyon and began talking a bit about Kilian Jornet and his insane talent running up and/or down steep technical trail. I mentioned to Tony how I had no idea what to really expect from Kilian going into Western States this year, but how obvious it was just a few minutes into the race that he is every bit as gifted of a runner as all the hype would indicate. He has so much capability that I only needed to run with him for a few minutes to realize that we were running in the presence of someone who is one of the best in the world at what he does.

As Tony and I ran down one of the steepest, most technical trails in the Boulder area and talked about this I suddenly had this ironic "ahha" moment in which for maybe the first time I really understood how insanely talented of a runner Tony is. Here was a guy who had run 68 miles yesterday, was 2+ hours into a run in which he hadn't had a sip of water, and was running down Fern Canyon like it was a paved bike path. I was feeling really good today so it was really easy for me to stay right on his heels and admire how gifted he really is. I was shocked at how smooth he was able to run down this trail with his legs as tired as they must have been after his huge effort yesterday. I also had a bit of insight into just how dialed into the local trails he is when we were further down Fern Canyon and in mid sentence he said, "oh, that is new." That being one random rock in the middle of a thousand rocks. Intimate trail knowledge certainly helps with being able to run so smoothly down a steep, technical stretch of trail, but what I saw in Tony today goes way beyond intimate trail knowledge. It speaks rather of the reality that he (like Kilian) is one of the best in the world at what he does. Good stuff.

14 comments:

Ian Gallagher said...

and you beat them both at western states which makes you an even bigger freak ;)

ReynirJ said...

Great stuff...

Frank said...

not sure the word "freaks" works.. but i know one thing.. hard work.. and total dedication played a big role in all three earning the title..

~stubert. said...

Thought that was you I passed (going the other direction, of course) between Bear and SoBo. Great to see you out there.

Though I like to think of myself as a decent downhill runner, I am confident that you guys would completely smoke me on any terrain. Would love to get the opportunity to test that theory sometime.

Happy running!

~stubert.
Near Ned.

Anonymous said...

you are all amazing, but today we need to give it up for haile... one of the best runners in recorded history might be done forever... the whole tribe is losing something special today...

peace and good things to you,

jon

Jeff Valliere said...

Great running with you today Geoff. I was thinking the same thing about both of you guys as we cruised down Fern, it is humbling to have such talented friends to chase around the trails of Boulder. Hearing first hand about such amazing tales of battle between you guys at WS100 and other such races is a real treat.

Brent said...

I'll echo Ian's comment above and remind you that you're no slouch yourself, Geoff. Can't wait for the North Face 50 this year (my money is on you, though I won't be surprised if any one of a handful of others-- including, of course, Tony-- come out on top). Wish I could be there in person to watch it.

Happy running!

Lloyd said...

You know what? This is one of those "it takes one to know one" situations, if I've ever seen one.

HEATHERRUNS said...

You encompass the trailrunning spirit! We all appreciate each other for strengths and weaknesses. An ultra run is a journey testing those strengths and weaknesses. The final number at the end... is just a number.
Love your great sportsmanship!

Tomek Kowalski said...

Hi Geoff! just found your blog and I am really impressed.I am polish traveller. I started running few months ago, did already two ultra marathons in BC and Oregon and going to SF for TNF 50miles. It will be pleasure to meet you guys and see running (probably only first 5 minutes into race;) Do u plan to go to the UTMB next year? That would be cool to see best american ultrarunners compeeting against europeans! cheers

GZ said...

Fern is ridiculous.

Saw ya the other day (Thursday) below the Ranger cottage. Hope we can share some strides soon.

Running Brad said...

I'm sitting in my dining room, sore from a trail marathon yesterday, in absolute awe at the friendship that's in Ultra Running. To be out on the trail with what would be considered a "rival" in any other sport, talking, and enjoying the run with a friend is what life is all about!

Ferran said...

I enjoy your comments because a lot of the top mountain runners, yourself included, are very humbling guys.
I suppose you know very well Kilian because I think you met them with Anton this summer.
He was born literally in the Pirineos mountains and he's a very talented runner and mountain skier.
Have a nice fall!

Linkamp said...

Greetings from the Pyrenees on Andorra, happy running