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If you’re a mountain biker, then you know this sign is in Moab, Utah.  Land of magnificent sandstone archways and red rock canyons that funnel the Colorado River toward Lake Powell.  And for a biker, Slickrock Trail stands out as one of the world’s best.  With less than one week remaining before the Moab Canyonlands Half Marathon, the neighborhood emails have reached spam proportions as everyone details their plans and arranges what will be the true highlight of the event – eating and drinking.

We’ll meet up at Pasta Jays on Friday Night, Dave will slow cook pulled pork Saturday while we swim in his condo’s heated pool, and Sunday marks Jen‘s birthday.  There are nearly a dozen of us from the hood running, but Steve is planning on hikes with his kids while Dave and Kelly are gearing up for a ride on Slickrock.  Something for everybody.  But seriously, how many of you have a dozen neighbors who could and would run a half marathon for fun?  Living in Boulder County is insane.

Since I returned to road races last summer, I’ve scored some really nice venues.  It doesn’t hurt that I live in Colorado.  The Imogene Pass Run from Ouray to Telluride stands out as the most spectacular, but Garden of the Gods wasn’t too shabby.  We stayed at the Cliff House in Manitou Springs while we enjoyed two different places for the IPR, spending the first night in Ouray at the Beaumont Hotel and the second night in Telluride at Hotel Columbia.  I don’t run a big event every weekend, but when I do I make the most of it.  Two other events I’m looking into this summer are the LaSportiva Half Marathon Trail Run in Vail and the Vasque Golden Leaf Half Marathon Trail Run in Aspen.  Those can’t be bad.

I feel good that I’ve been able to blend my fitness kick in with events that I can share with friends and family.  The Garden of the Gods run was my family’s first visit to Manitou Springs – which marks the trail head to Pike’s Peak.  The IPR was our first drive down to Ouray and Telluride which are both unbelievably beautiful.  And next week will be our first venture over to Moab.  I’m as excited as all my neighbors.