Dear runners,

I’ve been meaning to post an anticipatory blog forever, but intentions that don’t translate into action are meaningless, right?  And those of you who’ve been training for this challenging event know better than anyone how important it is to make that particular existential leap.  I admire you all!

Chalk my lapse up to a couple of knee replacements and several months of travel this year.  Finally — finally! — I’m back in Escalante and canyon country, and I can’t express how wonderful it is to be here.  This is truly one of the most beautiful areas on earth.  It’s a place of respite and reflection, a place of clear skies and clarity of purpose, a place of long views and vastness.

If I could I surely would … run the marathon myself.  I loved those long training runs and marathons before my genetic makeup said no more, and it’s one of my biggest regrets that I can no longer lift both feet off the ground at once.  So to each runner who crosses that marathon or half-marathon start line and goes as far as you can go as fast as you can go:  know that I’m with you vicariously every precious step of the way.  And when you cross the finish line, I’ll be celebrating your triumph while remembering those times I broke my own personal ribbon.

This might be the smallest marathon or half marathon you’ll ever run, but I can guarantee that it will be among the most memorable races you’ll ever participate in.  There’s really nothing like it!  Think solitude, think the loneliness of the long-distance runner, think soaking in the rocks and the sky as energy sources, think breathing pure air, think running through stark slickrock to be greeted at the end by truly good people — this is what you’ll experience amidst all your own moment-by-moment impressions and efforts.

I know you’re all in the tapering phase of training at this point:  enjoy and appreciate and gear up!  If you have any questions, please contact me at, my go-to address.  I, and our race committee and our volunteers and our whole community, will be with you in spirit every step of the way on race day.  We can’t wait!

More tomorrow,