|Day After Grand Canyon Rim to Rim Hike (5/31/21)|
If there is one friend of mine that stands out from all others as a continual source of inspiration, it's my friend Greg. Even before I met Greg he was already legendary within athletic community. 1993 was my first year I was exposed to endurance and muti-sport biathlons and triathlons and joined the The Central Ohio Triathlon Team. Many of the club members would swim on Friday nights with the Columbus Parks and Rec which had a master's swim program.
Triathlon club members would often go out for dinner after Friday night swims and that's when I learned from Dave Fisher, another staple in the triathlon community, of this guy who was also part of the triathlon club and who was biking across country from Seattle, WA to Williamsburg, VA. The group he was riding with had a set schedule and a set route. Greg would take a detour from his group adding countless miles to his cross-country expedition just to meet for dinner and see some of his Columbus, Ohio friends. I was invited and that's when I was able to meet Greg for the first time. He ended up completing the 3,400 mile route in only 24 days averaging over 140 miles per day.
I would see Greg at social functions throughout the next eight years and somehow we figured out that we both had registered for Pikes Peak Marathon on August 19, 2001. Our training for Pikes Peak couldn't have been any more different. He spent a month traveling thru Canada with Maureen and had ample time to acclimate to the elevation whereas I couldn't afford more than a couple days off of work so my plan was to fly in and fly out for the race. Not only did we both register for the same race but a few short days before the race we both separately climbed Mt. Elbert (14,433) which is highest mountain in Colorado. Greg and Marueen climbed Mt. Elbert a few days before I did which gave them a few more days to rest. Pikes Peak was no ordinary marathon. I had already 10 marathons plus two 3 Ironman's under my belt with my fastest 3:14:08 and slowest 3:41:41. Pikes Peak Marathon starts at 6,295' and the 13.1 mile turn around was at the summit of 14,110' and then we had to return the way we came with the finish line at 6,345'. The air was thin at the top of Pikes Peak and I remember mile 12-13 took me 39 minutes to run. The 13.1 mile route to the top took me nearly 4 hours which was nearly 20 minutes off of my slowest marathon time. I finished the race with a finishing time of 7:26:02. As a comparison Greg ran a blistering fast Pikes Peak Marathon time of 5:45:34 or nearly two hours faster. Honorable mention goes out to Maureen who ran a 6:49:16 which was still 36 minutes faster than my time and I must point out she was 15 years older than me!
|Starting Line Pikes Peak Marathon (8/19/01)|
|Pikes Peak Race Results|
A year later in 2002 I was married, in 2005 moved to Seattle, WA and two years later in 2007 again moved to Los Angeles, CA. Every year since 1993 when I started racing triathlons, I would enter the Ironman Lottery. Well, finally in 2008 the Ironman gods drew my name and October 11, 2008 I had the opportunity to race Kona. I had remembered that Greg was my first friend that also had won the Ironman lottery all the way back in 1990 and I wanted to reach out and let him know I finally competed on the big island as well. November 2008, I forwarded him an email with my Ironman recap. I had started bagging state high points and by 2008 had been to 22 different states. Greg had told me a long time ago when I'm ready to climb Mt. Whitney to let him know. Since I now lived in California the planets were lining up for me to set Mt. Whitney in my sites and plans were beginning for a summer 2009 hike. In my email to Greg with my Ironman results I also let him know that next summer I would climb Mt. Whitney and a week later I heard back from him as "he was IN". Already back in 2008 he even asked, "Are you doing just Mt. Whitney or the whole John Muir Trail?"
|Iron Mountain, CA (2/8/2009)|
Greg's work brought him to Los Angeles, and he contacted me about getting together for hike while he was in town. I had seen a trailhead and not exactly sure where it went so I suggested we give it a try and both Greg & Maureen were up for the challenge, so we got a chance to catch up and start making summer plans for Mt. Whitney.
|Greg and with his already vintage tent ~ Whitney Portal Base Camp (9/3/2009)|
|Whitney Portal 8,374 ft (9/3/2009)|
|View of campsite from Mt. Whitney's Switchbacks|
|About where Greg Caught us hiking up to Summit of Mt. Whitney (9/4/2009)|
|Somehow Greg got a Signal and called Maureen from the summit of Mt Whitney (9/4/2009)|
|Breaking camp...Greg's (no backpack) vs. Brian's backpack (9/4/2009)|
|Smith Mountain (4/22/2011)|
|Manhattan Beach (4/22/2011)|
|Greg surprise visit to another one of our good friend Karen also from Ohio that moved out west|
|The Snake River (7/3/2013)|
|The Snake River ~ Idaho|
|The River Clan (7/3/13)|
|Glacier National Park ~ Logan Pass (7/9/2013)|
|Greg leading George and I into the Abyss at Logan Pass (7/8/2013)|
|Greg at the trailhead for the Highline Trail (7/12/2013)|
|Greg in the first mile of the "High"line trail (7/12/2013)|
|Dinner Laguna Beach 2018|
|San Diego hiking near Potato Chip Rock (3/2/2019)|
|Grand Canyon ~ Grandview Trail Trailhead (5/11/2019)|
|Mt Washington, NH 6,288 ft (8/3/2019)|
|Acadia NP ~ Seawall Beach (8/4/2019)|
|Greg on the The Famous Beehive trail (8/5/2019)|
|Climbing the Rock Pikes of Mt. Kathadin (8/8/2019)|
|Mt Kathadin 5,267 ft. (8/8/2019)|
Greg and George continued on into Canada for another couple of weeks of adventures.
|Cape Spear Newfoundlad|
|Grand Canyon ~ S. Kaibab Trailhead (5/30/2021)|
|S. Kaibab Trail (5/30/2021)|
|Top of N. Kaibab Trailhead at the North Rim Grand Canyon (5/30/2021)|