UPDATE: All the “hundreds” of 2013 Flying Monkey Pics have been moved here: Crushing Iron on Flickr
Tomorrow I will witness a legendary running race. I will stand, shivering on the sidelines as a bunch of friends and other brave souls tackle one of the harder marathons in the business, the Flying Monkey.
It is a beautiful, yet brutal run that kicks off at 8 am with a starting temperature forecast of 25 degrees. Making matters worse? It’s not supposed to get above freezing. I am totally jealous.
It’s easy to rock a race when conditions are perfect, but weather is the great equalizer. Tomorrow, we’ll find out how tough everyone is and they will carry that badge forever. It reminds me of the cold rainy day at my Rev3 race in this Spring in Knoxville, the blistering heat of Ironman Louisville this summer, and 30 degree air for the Ironman Lake Tahoe swim this Fall. All three had very, very tough weather conditions, and tomorrow, Flying Monkey will join the club.
These are the races that create fraternity for the competitors. Runners will forever be able to say “I ran the Monkey below freezing.” Alumni will be able to spot each other simply by looking in their eyes. A subtle confidence will emanate from their being.
“Hey, did you run the Monkey in 2013?” “Why yes I did.” “I knew it!” High five.
So, if you’re running in the morning and are fortunate enough to read this post before the gun, consider yourself blessed. Keep your form, don’t let snot freeze on your lip, and beat the shit out of this monkey. It will suck for a while, but the legend of this race will live a long, long time. That means years and years of conversation that will be much more enjoyable if you wipe the weather from your head, let go of the pain and leave it all on the course.
And if you want to feel sorry for someone, think of the unlucky spectators who are standing there shivering as you bathe in glorious sweat. Or, even me, who will be crouched down with frozen fingers taking pictures of your happy faces.
Go get ’em you lucky bastards!