Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Winter run for Sherry...

Today was the third race in the 4 race Pikes Peak Road Runners Winter Series.  As you may know, today was also the Virtual run to remember Sherry Arnold.  Like me, you may not know her, but you may have heard her story. I learned about it through various Facebook posts and friends, as well as from the blog, Shut up and Run (SUAR).  To learn more about Sherry's story, please read the related posts on SUAR's blog.

It is such a sad and tragic story, yet today was focused on ensuring that "Sherry's goodness, courage and strength prevail and she is not defined by the tragic way in which she died."  And it is for that reason, many of us dedicated our runs today to Sherry.

When I got up this morning, it looked to be a fairly nice day.. not too chilly, and a little bit of sunshine coming out.  However, as I drove down the pass I quickly dropped into what was becoming decent snow flurries.  After heading north on I-25, the road got nasty, and there were a few accidents (no injuries from what I could tell).

By the time I got up to the trail head for the start of the race, it was between 15-20F (-9C), the wind was blowing and it was snowing pretty good.  Today's trail was basically an out and back, with a slight uphill on the outbound, and downhill on the way back.  Fortunately the wind was behind us on the uphill, and the slight downhill on the way back helped to drive through the wind. 
I had originally put on my Merrell Trail Gloves for this run, but after looking at the snow conditions (ranging from frozen dirt, compact snow/ice, to 2-3 inches of soft snow, I opted to go with the Vivobarefoot Neo Trails. The more I run in them, the more I realize how well they are built for this exact type of run. 
Photo courtesy of Pikes Peak Sports
While the conditions may seem a bit extreme, it did feel good to get out there and run.  It's funny, but even though I never knew Sherry Arnold, just the fact that I had committed to dedicating my run in her honor made a more significant impact than I realized.  As my mind was working during the run, I became more and more thankful for everything and everyone in my life.  And, as I realized I was a bit behind my goal pace for the race at the halfway point, the feeling that I was doing this run for someone else got me energized, and I pushed harder on the second half.  I did run into a few others sporting the "Running for Sherry" bibs, so that was cool to see, and had my picture taken with a few ladies there that were also running for Sherry. 
Awesome event by the great volunteers at PPRR!

Hot apple cider, and frozen donuts!

 After grabbing a hot drink, and a mini-doughnut (I know.. I know.. but it was just a little one!), I got back into the car to head back home.  After driving through more snow, I finally began the climb up Ute Pass and back home...  as I climbed, I came up and out of the snow to pop out into a beautiful sunny day, with the trees all covered with the freezing fog that had been around earlier in the morning.

What a beautiful sight after having slogged through all the wind and snow that morning. 

In addition to completing the 3rd race in the series (1 more to go, a 10K in two weeks), I also completed day 5 of the 120 Consecutive Days of Running challenge started by Jason Robillard.  The challenge is to run at least 1 mile per day, for 120 days in a row.  So, I am 5 for 5 after today!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend, and that each of you take a moment to reflect upon everything and everyone that you are blessed with.

Happy trails!


  1. excellent update Jeff. Thanks for sharing.

    I may need to look at a good soft snow running shoe soon...maybe the Neo Trail might be the answer.

    1. For sure Stan.... if you are going to really get into barefoot running, you need a lot of different shoes! LOL

  2. Jeff, it was great to see other Sherry Runners out there yesterday! Thanks for running for her. I posted our picture on my blog:

    1. Thanks for posting the pic! That was a challenging run yesterday, but running for Sherry gave me a boost. See you in two weeks!

  3. I am so glad to hear that you ran for Sherry and other folks with your race did as well. Yes, it was a chilly morning!!! Your photos after the run were gorgeous! I need to check out the Neo Trail.


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