Bernie Boettcher November 18, 2011 TWEET COMMENTS 0

Nature's Way - Page 2

Jared Scott won that race, beating Matt Byrne by about 30 seconds. I finished a weak sixth, one reason being that I thought the 30K course markers were set in miles, not kilometers. I reached "18" and thought I had a half mile to finish, only to realize at "19" I had eight miles to go ...

That's why it was nice to be in Yellowstone recharging my spirit. Heavy snows had the animals congregating in the valleys, creating spectacular viewing. I PR'ed seeing nine grizzlies that day.

Finishing up one run there, I descended Druid Peak (9583 feet) on a game trail. I passed a devoured bighorn carcass, then, moving as stealthily as I could, a 6x6 bull-elk carcass. Back at the car I learned two wolves had run out on the trail I was on, right past my car, 15 minutes earlier. I never saw them, just like Matt and Jared.

Driving down the road 10 minutes, I happened upon the scene of another fresh wolf kill. An excited photographer showed me his shot of the black alpha male leaping off the road 10 feet behind the doomed mule deer. The wolf had chased it down the east flank of Druid Peak, across the highway between parked cars, and killed it on the bank of the Lamar River.

The following weekend I was in New Mexico racing the Jemez Half Marathon. We climbed a mountain and at the summit, Jared Scott was leading again. As we descended the long, technical downhill I moved from third to second and got Jared in sight. His glimpse backward conjured up the image of the panicked deer and as I gained ground, I imagined myself as the wolf reeling him in. The thought made me smile. Then, as I was about to make my move, Jared pointed at something up through the trees. I looked up and fell flat on my face. I tripped again minutes later even without his help. Some wolf I turned out to be.

Finishing, I thought I was second, but learned Jared had missed a late turn and was disqualified. I won.

Jared laughed it off afterward and told me he was going to go drown his sorrows. The following weekend I read he ran the Grand Canyon and set the "rim-to-rim" record in 3:06:10, beating Allyn Cureton's old mark by 37 seconds. Apparently the Grand Canyon is a good place to "drown your sorrows."

What has nature taught us here? Never give up.

Bernie says, "Ooowooooo ..."


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