There is at Soldier Hollow a most devious, leg scorching, lung-ripping, mind numbing hill. Actually, there are several. And they follow one another in succession. One after the other after other. Until, at last the hills stop… and lap 2 begins. And so goes the carousel of bleeding ears. However, standing out among the several, is one particular hill that is overtly vexing because it sits within the last few hundred meters of the finish itself—like a kick to the groin after being beaten with a sack of marbles. It hurts. And then some. Just look at the above photo. The smoke, the cold and dreary aura… it’s all real. I swear.
As I climbed that hill for the third time on Saturday, during the Intermountain Cup’s 5th stop, I wondered if my head, or my hamstrings would be the first to explode. I gasped over the top, dizzy, blurry, euphoric… or simply just light headed. I wanted to lie down in the damp grass and nap away the day. Lyna Saffel was documenting the delirium, and with an inordinate look of glee on her face. It must have been amusing watching her husand, and all his fellow racer’s, suffer mightily while covered in mud and filth, the uncontrolled grimaces dominating our faces.
“Can you… can.. you…”
“Photoshop out… the pain? Please.”
Alas, she could not.
And so I did. In hopes that I will forevermore forget how it felt.
“Forevermore” meaning of course, “until next time.”