Our good friend Ryan Dohnal from Telluride Sports just completed the 38th annual Imogene Pass Run this past Saturday... here's his blog from the grueling 17.1 mile run:
As I struggled up the last mile of the 10 mile climb to the summit of Imogene Pass one thought came into my head repeatedly… “Damn, this race is HARD.” You can run miles upon miles in training runs and think positive thoughts, but nothing prepares you for the feeling your body experiences at the limits of its own effort. There is no doubt that the mental battle is just as important as the physical one. Your legs feel like they are made of concrete and you are so tired you struggle to keep your upper body from slouching all the way to the ground. You think you are done when you hit the summit, but the battle is still well underway. Running downhill at a fast clip is no easy feat.
A lot of feelings go through your head when something you have put so much time, effort, and planning into is done with. The 2011 Imogene Pass Run has come and gone faster than I anticipated. I am very happy with the result, although all my goals were not met. I suppose that’s how things go sometimes. I ran 2 Hours and 51 minutes last year in my first Imogene Pass Run. That time came as a bit of a surprise and I went into this year’s race with aggressive goals. I hit the tape this year in 2 hours and 45 minutes, a 6 minute improvement from last year. I moved up from 29th place overall to 21st. I failed my main goal of being the 1st Telluride local across the line, but this town is full of great athletes who can come out of nowhere so this didn’t’ really surprise me. I was the 3rd person from Telluride to finish.
It’s fun to have goals and work towards them, but it’s more fun to be involved in such a great event. All the people who participate whether it is running or volunteering seem to have a great time and feel the same sense of accomplishment when they hit the finish line on Oak Street in Telluride. It’s a noble pursuit, and that feeling seems to be shared by all involved. Nothing showcases the best intentions of this event than the example set by Nat White of Flagstaff, Arizona. Nat set the men’s 70-74 age group record by running a 3:39 on Saturday. His race serves as a reminder that your goals are relative to only one person, and that is yourself. No doubt I will be back for more next summer.
CONGRATS and THANKS for the great write up, Ryan! We're glad you made it back home in one piece. Till next year...