Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Gordy Ainsleigh, You Old Son of a B... Gun!

It's all Gordy's fault. Well first off, he is responsible for this crazy circus we call Western States, but that's not even the half of it. In all honesty, I greatly admire the guy for successfully running 100 miles on foot in 1974 and thereby creating the sport of 100 mile trail racing. My beef with Gordy goes back to 2006. Gordy Ainsleigh spoke to a group of us at Scott Jurek's camp Western States camp, and to this day, I'm haunted by his words.

I can't completely recollect what he said word for word, but I've got the gist of it. "Don't let this race beat you," he said. "Because if it does, you'll never forget it." Gee, thanks Gordon. Those words were seared into my brain, and now beaten three times (4 if you count the fires in '08), Gordy's words are playing on a loop through my head AGAIN.

It's easy to say, "Oh well there's always next year. You'll get it. It just wasn't your day." I hear a lot of things along those lines. And yes, maybe that is all true. But for my own sanity, and for that of Andrea, I've got to take a year off from this race. So there will not be a Western States for me in 2010, and as hard as this race has become to get into, I don't know for sure when I'll get to toe the line at Squaw again.

So until then, I get to fall asleep at night to Gordy's words playing on repeat through my thoughts. It's just a race, and yet it's so much more than that. I really can't do it justice with words, but there's something very magical about Western States. As much as I may hate the race, I'm absolutely captivated by it at the same time. Just like I may be haunted by Gordy's words, I see them also as a crisp orange carrot hanging at the end of long, but hopefully not endless, stick, that I may some day satisfyingly chomp into. Thanks, Gordy. I know I'll one day appreciate what you told us. But until then...

11 comments:

Kevin Gosselin said...

hey Brian,
I monitored the race on Saturday and was terribly sorry to see you drop out. I can't imagine the anguish you must have felt when making the decision. But I think you're doing yourself a great favor now. WS has been an obstacle in your mind. We all know you can finish a 100 miler(and faster than most), but this race has become more than it should be. Put it away for a while and come back to it when it is just another race and nothing more. Gordy's words may have more than one meaning. And I think the race has been beating you in your mind only. Take care and we'll see you out on the trails.

jhalekas said...

There are a lot of great races out there, Brian. I recommend going for something totally different from Western, like HURT or Bear or Bighorn, for example. It's true that Western is unlike any other 100, but other races with less hooplah and craziness and stressful energy have their own charms.

And maybe kicking ass at another race (which you will) will make it easier to come back to WS some day.

-J

Kurt said...

Man I know how you feel. I have spent the last year thinking the same thing about Leadville 100. Ken one of the race people said the same thing before last years race and I thought know way not me. Keep at it man, I feel you pain.

Ali said...

Hey Brian,
To me you won the 2006 Western States race. You were 18 minutes ahead of the next runner, at an 18 hour pace...Runners that can run for 100 miles at a 10 minute pace are Olympic Gods. Think of that day as a great accomplishment. If I have ever learned anything from when SRC coached me is that running is 100% mental! Think Postive! And have a great trip to Hawaii or wherever life leads you. Have fun when you run!

Stephen said...

Brian,
I remember that talk and you can take it in several ways. It also means you shouldn't let the race dominate your life. It can get into your blood and take more control than any race really should. Like Jasper mentions, there are many great races out there and you're a great runner. I also remember Gordy mentioning something about legumes....

Scott Dunlap said...

This race hasn't beaten you, it just likes to beat ON you. ;-)

Just go shred Waldo (which you will love), and enjoy a little down time with your sig other. I'm looking forward to hearing about it already!

SD

Brian Morrison said...

Thanks everyone. I am going to give Western a little rest. I'm not sure which hundred will be next for me, but I know there are a bunch of good ones out there. Then in a year or two or maybe five, I'll give States another crack.

Jose Suarez said...

I hope you are not also haunted by Gordy's words on "fart prevention" during that talk...

It was good to see you Brian. I'll be there volunteering for you (probably at Rucky Chucky) whenever you are ready to win it (again).

Take good care my friend and keep on running and blogging.

SeattleJohn said...

Brian,

Stayed up most of the night tracking the run. Must have been brutal. Wait a while before you junk next year. I want to be there so I hope you will be as well.

John Powell

Brian's Wife said...

I fully support the idea of taking a year off! :)

Gary said...

We will miss you at the Western States until you decide to return. Good luck to you in all that you do. Here's some photos.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/encouragement/4128103284/