“My bags are packed, I’m ready to go, I’m standing here, outside the door…”
Like a kid ready for the family’s summer vacation, Eric Strand is ready and waiting for 4am Saturday morning. It’s less than a day away- the Leadville 100. His bags of clothes, shoes and provisions are packed, he’s counting the minutes until he hits McDonalds to indulge in some greasy, carbo-loaded, sky-high sodium and fat-laden fast food. He’s been in Breckenridge for over a week so he can get used to the lower levels of oxygen. And when I mean lower, I mean 12,600 feet above sea level. A place where your mind becomes fuzzy and breathing isn’t effortless- it’s a task. And that task dictates that he complete 100 miles in 30 hours.
Eric and Tami hiked 7 miles to the 14,265 ft summit of Quandary Peak on Sunday, getting a feel of what it’s like to actually enjoy the crystal clear skies and thin air around Leadville. Mountain goats have no problems with the altitude, but it can wreck havoc with humans. Eric filmed a short video of the trek, click here to view it.
So, after all the planning, training, positive PR, overwhelming accolades, and raising over $13,000 for St. Lukes “Life & Hope Fund,” I asked Eric give us one last update.
Here it is:
2037 miles since the start of 2012 have carried me to this point in time where there is nothing left to do but to run the race. Quite frankly, I feel a little helpless at this moment . . . there is this huge tidal wave on the horizon with no means of escape and no way to better prepare for the inevitable. It didn’t help much that the race officials announced this week that the course had been changed and the total mileage would now be closer to 102 miles! This anxiety is a fairly normal part of the process. You work really hard for months and then back off as the race approaches to allow your body time to recover. Looking back at my training, I can’t think of much I would have done different. Looking back on the fundraising effort for the Life & Hope Fund to help cancer patients, I am so proud of all those who have joined us on this journey. They make me want to do this thing to the very best of my abilities.
Claire, thanks once again for all the time and energy you have put into this – we wouldn’t have raised nearly as much to help cancer patients without your awesome support!
If you would like to read the two previous blogs I wrote about Eric’s preparations for the Leadville 100, and
Click here if you would like to donate to the fund. We’ve raised over $13,000 but are still short of Eric’s goal of $15,000.
In closing, all I can say is this: Eric, you’ve trained, fundraised, strategized, all the while pushing your body further than you thought it could go. In doing so, have given those of us on “your team” a great ride as well. It’s been exhilarating to watch your videos, read your blog updates, get caught up in the fundraising frenzy and just to see you get so excited about this monumental event. Everyone involved knows that you’ve given it everything you’ve got. Whether you cross the finish line at mile marker 100, or fall a little short, it’s not about the actual miles. It’s about the man who had a dream, planned and trained for it, while raising funds for cancer patients in St. Louis- Eric, you made the dream a reality. In the end, THAT will be the sweetest, most precious and everlasting memory of all. Eric, you’re full of awesomeness- you’ve done good…real good.