Saturday, May 03, 2008

Run in Peace My Friend: A Collegiate Peaks Remembrance

Today I ran the Collegiate Peaks Trail Run in Buena Vista Colorado. The race offers a 50 mile and a 25 mile option. I was scheduled to do the 50 but ended up running 27.08 very difficult miles.

Our lives are fleeting and fragile...they turn on a dime. Today I literally ran for someone’s life and I did not make it. I tried, believe me I tried. The aid station was too far, the oxygen was too thin, the climb was too great and I was too slow. I spent the remainder of the day running with my beloved wife trying to hope, trying to smile, trying to convince myself I had done all that I could.

I will continue to run, to run for my life, to run for his life, to run for your life.

I leave him this remembrance. God bless you on your next run my friend.

Under the azure skies we ran with snow laden peaks looking down on us, sides glistening with the bright light of a gentle sun.

Upon the brown earth we ran with banks of dusty green pine and juniper perfuming the air as a mountain creek laughed at our feet.

Through time and space we ran with our hearts pumping and our legs churning out the miles, miles and miles with smiles broadly glinting off our happy faces.

“Another day in paradise” you said to me and I smiled calmly with a quiet, joyous heart and now there you lie at my feet, head torn, and body quaking like a gnarled aspen flowing red upon our impossibly small patch of the earth.

Through time and space I ran heart pounding furiously, legs churning and burning trying to reach the place where we had smiled.

Upon the brown earth I ran cursing the climb, cursing my slow body, cursing my impotency in the face of an enormous world.

Under the azure skies your spirit soared free, high among the snow-capped peaks, gently onward to breath in the warmth of the sun.

I finished your run my friend, I finished your run bursting at the seams with life but you too were right…today was a good day to die.


  1. OMG Brian how dreadful ((hugs))take care mate

  2. Damn Brian. I've got nothing.

    But I know without a doubt that you did everything you could.

  3. There is not a smidgen of doubt in my mind that you did absolutely everything in your power to help. It is not in you to do otherwise. You did not fail your running mate, rather his body failed him. And you honoured him beautifully.

  4. Damn Brian! Is there anything that we can do! Please let me know...

    Doing all you can given the situation is really all that you can do. Take solace in the fac that you did exactly that.

    Very tough situation.....

  5. so sorry to hear about this.

    We are all mortal, you are the most balanced person I know about the mortality perspective. He died in a place he loved, doing something he loved doing. We should all be so lucky.

    Eventually I hope you arrive at the conclusion I already have - that you did everything you could, that you did your best, and that you are blameless.

  6. Brian, you're the best. You did the everything that you possibly could. I hope that I would do as well if I'm ever faced with a similar situation. Stay strong.

  7. Brian, I'm so sorry. I also know you did all you could and that his loved ones will be grateful to you for it.

  8. There may have been nothing you could've done, even if you had been an Olypmian. You did what you could and even if you don't feel like a hero, you are.

    Peace to you and to your fellow runner's loved ones.

  9. With tears in my eyes,my friend- that man was lucky that you were the last soul on earth he saw..I am wondering what happened to him? Maybe details will follow. i am so sorry..

  10. So sorry to hear this Brian

  11. Brian - As a former EMT I can tell you that at the end of the day all you can ask is "Did I do everything I could?" It sure sounds like you did. At that point it's out of your hands.

    Run in peace and celebrate the joy of life.

  12. That is a beautiful tribute. I am so sorry that you had opportunity to write it. Peace be with you.

  13. Great tribute!!! Brian I have no doubt what-so-ever that you did everything that you could. He died doing what he loves and as others have mentioned...may we all be so lucky.

  14. Sorry to hear about that Brian.

    Not sure what to say. Peace to him and to his family.

    NIce poetic tribute.

  15. Very nice tribute...

    The last line gave me goosebumps.

  16. You might not weigh in as an official big man anymore, but I can't imagine what a world we could have if all men were as big as you.

    You're a good seed, Pilgrim.

  17. Wow, bummer, I must've been right in the area, the runner collapsed just behind me I believe .. must've been horrible to have been there. It's very sad.

    be well.

  18. Brian,

    I'm sorry that you had to see that. I know you did the best you could.

    In a way I am glad it was you that was there. You have the strength to handle that. A lot of racers can't say the same thing.

    Take care, my friend

  19. Wow, I heard about the CP tragedy through the grapevine and looking for more info, I came upon your website. I've now ready your passage 3 or 4 times - compelling and beautiful. You did what you could Brian, seek solace in that.

    Hopefully John is still running, smiling down upon you with grace knowing you did everything you could.

    Carry on and run in tribute!!!

  20. That's harsh.

    What you could do, you did. Take care.