"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat." Theodore Roosevelt
Lifted from the Ouray 100's website:
Race Philosophy/No Whining
This event is about as tough as they come while still being doable (this is no Barkley, our oldest finisher was 62). It's low key, no frills, and pretty old school in terms of the philosophy of the race. This event goes against the grain of the everyone's-a-winner, participant-trophy nonsense that my generation grew up on, and that seems to be creeping into the sport.
Here is my reasoning. I believe in my heart of hearts that most of you can complete this. That’s why you aren’t going to get a 50 mile buckle when you sign up for the 100 miler and DNF after 50+ miles. Plus, the back 50 is harder anyways. ;)
If you want to grow at anything—anything—you have to push the envelope, to step outside of your comfort zone. You have to leave that warm, cozy place where a win is guaranteed. If you want to explore the limits of what you can really do, the only way to do that is to embrace the prospect of failure—or at least act in spite of it. That’s where the magic happens, where you might fail at something, but you just might succeed too. That’s where excitement lives, on that razor edge of uncertainty. That’s where you go if you like the feeling of butterflies in your stomach.
Our society has a distorted view of failure, that you are worthless because you failed. But it’s not that simple. Funny, it’s often not the wins, but the failures that get studied, that cause people to reflect, regroup, and come back smarter and stronger. It’s the failures that give us the biggest opportunities to grow. That is my philosophy for this race, for it to be right on the edge of what a normal, non-elite athlete is capable of. It’s designed to be hard and to test you, but also to be doable.
To that end, a no-whining rule is in effect from here on out, for the runner, the crew, the pacers. My vision for this event is not a binary one where people fall into a winner bucket or a DNF bucket. More and more I view this as a celebration of that razor edge of uncertainly. It’s a salute to a small group of people, who despite the knowledge that it could go either way, still showed up, eager for the fight.
Non Laurus Luctatio
“Not the prize but the struggle”
|A lot of ups and back downs...|
|Above: Outside Jill and Beat, centered in red and blue shirts|
I spotted fellow Blogger "Outside Jill" and her "Sig-O," Beat, standing in a line to pick up Beat's GPS Tracker...a device that continuously plots each runner's position to a website/map so crews (and the rest of us) can see how they are doing and where they are.
Both Jill and Beat are "ultra" veterans (check Jill's website for their winter Iditarod races...no dogs, just dragging a sled loaded with all their gear and food and misc. behind them).
On this day, Jill would be crewing for Beat. With considerable reluctance, I took the opportunity to intrude on Beat's pre-race focus and introduce myself to a couple that I consider more or less "rockstars," if not legends in the making. I wished Beat good luck and good weather...which likely put the kiss of death on this year's race as it was fraught with heavy monsoons and lightning. With most of the course being exposed and above timberline, lightning is the last thing a participant wants/needs...in addition to mud, high creek crossings, and running all day/all night/and all the next day. Anyway, it was nice to meet Jill and Beat, a couple I've been enthusiastically following for quite some time and, as Aretha sings, that I R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Peace out from Lovely Ouray,