The 30 mile drive from rt. 87 to the town of Lake Placid through Keene never gets old. It's become a nostalgic 1/2 hour, bringing back great memories from the annual trips up here since 2000.
The first time I ever came to Lake Placid was in June of 2000. I was racing the IM the following month, and dragged my dad up here with me to do some reconnaissance training. That was the beginning of my love affair with this place. The thing that I loved most on that trip was that no matter which direction you looked, the views were stunning. We came up on Friday and I rode the 112 mile course on Saturday by myself, then ran 13 miles (1 loop) of the run course. This trip set me up well for a solid race the following month.
Every year since, I have come back up to watch my athletes race as well as get in some great training. In 2001, I remember coming up here. I was preparing for Hawaii (which I skipped because of 9/11). I never had spectated an IM before and thought I'd really hate it - sitting on the sidelines while others participated. I soon learned that spectating here is loads of fun. I got to train with tons of others that were here to spectate the day before. In fact, I remember riding one loop of the bike in a peloton that had upwards of 60 cyclists, including Karen Smyers and Ken Glah. This ride was a blast. I attacked at the top of the downhill and for the rest of the loop, the pace was crazy. Then I got to go out for a great dinner and plenty of beers the night before the race while all the nervous athletes tried to sleep.
I arrived up here around 12:30pm today. After checking in to the hotel, Jeff Molson and I made a short drive to meet Ed Sparkowski, Mike Morrow and Charlie Cowan for a trail run. The camp officially begins tomorrow evening, but I came up early to scout out some routes. Ed has a house up here and he and Mike were nice enough to drive up for the day to show me this trail run! Charlie is a local stud here. The guy is 55 years old and holds the record for 50+ here on the IM course.
The run was great - just what I was looking for. I want the athletes to experience not just the IM course, but lots of the beautiful surrounding area while attending this camp. Right as we finished up, the skies opened. It rained only for 15 minutes or so and then the sun came back out.
Jeff and I went out for some Mexican food to complete the day.
It's always great to be back up here and I'm really excited about this camp! Stay tuned.