This weekend I’m running the Rio Del Largo 100-mile endurance run. About a week ago I looked at the website to see that race numbers were assigned so I clicked on the link and I couldn’t believe who was number one. Gordy Ansleigh.
The name Gordy Ansleigh probably doesn’t mean much to 99% of people in this world but it is a huge name in ultrarunning and it is a big deal to me. This is a bit embarrassing for me because I am the anti-hero worship guy. I go so far as to take an instant disliking to pretty much anyone in the public eye that gets too much press or who I hear too many people talking about with awe in their voice. The reason, I suppose, is really just that I strongly feel that too many people spend too much time living vicariously through people who actually do things with their life. My thought; get off your freakin’ ass and go grab life by the throat and never let go.
However, when it comes to Gordy I have to admit being star struck. I surprised myself with my own reaction as seeing his name as one of the registered athletes. I practically started giggling like a school girl. I guess I feel able to admit this because my admiration for Gordy is not based on me sitting on my duff basking in his feats. No, my admiration for Gordy is based on the fact that he blazed the trail that I am on. He led the way but I am hot on his heels.
Gordy Ansleigh briefly held the American record for the fastest marathon run by a Clydesdale athlete back in the early 1970’s and when his horse came up lame just prior to the Tevis Cup and he decided to RUN the 100 miles of trail alongside all the riders on their horses he invented the modern sport of ultra-distance trail running. I’ve bitched before that I’m too big to be an ultrarunner but I forget myself, forget my heritage as a big man…ultra-distance trail running was invented by a Clydesdale.
This weekend I run with a heroic figure in my world; this weekend I run with Gordy Ansleigh.