It’s has been a few weeks since my last post… and the comments are still rolling in, both publicly on the blog and privately to me by email. Nicholas (Nick) Kruse’s recent death in RacingThePlanet’s Gobi March has clearly struck a chord. On the day I posted that last entry, this blog received over 500 hits.
I really want to thank everyone for expressing their thoughts, emotions and frustrations. Regardless of what side of the debate you fall on – and there really do seem to be two strong camps – I think it is important to discuss these issues. Everyone made really constructive points. Issues of running safety should ALWAYS be borne in mind, whether you’re an experience ultra runner, a rookie weekend warrior, or a seasoned race organizer. Why? Because the sport of ultra running is constantly evolving. It’s becoming more and more mainstream in the sense that people who had never even heard of an “ultra race” before (or “hyper race” as my friends call it) are now entering multi-day competitions. At the same time, more experienced runners are constantly searching for the next race – one that is a little bit more extreme, a little bit more remote, or a little bit crazier. The trick as race organizers is to find a way to offer events that will satisfy and thrill those of us who have already “been there, done that” while keeping the sport open to others who want to give it a go… all the while ensuring the highest standards of safety for everyone involved. The challenge as competitors is to always remain cognizant of our limitations and our abilities, and try not to let the same passion and drive that causes us to enter these races to get the better of us. Before you send in your comment, let me clarify that I was really speaking about myself there, not Nick… It is ME who often pushes myself beyond what I’m capable of and (Mom, skip over the rest of this sentence) truth be told, I’m sure luck has played a large role in helping me avoid disaster.
I don’t have any answers for you here…And I realize I’m giving you a typical lawyer response aka the Obama approach (on the one hand…on the other hand…). But I really do think it is important here to shift away from blame and focus on how we can ALL try to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
Stay tuned for my next post recapping my experience as support crew on UK Trailwalker.