by Lou Myers (aka The Ancient Brit)
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
October 15, 2005
My wife ANN AND i TRAVELLED 16,000 miles in two weeks this year to attend the super Palo Duro Canyon 50 mile 50 km races, believe me, worth all the miles and hours spent travelling, as most of you are aware, I have travelled and run in some of the most interesting countries throughout the world over the years, the Palo Duro Canyon is for me, the most spectacular place not only pit your running powers to their best advantage, it is the most mind bending and peaceful course in which to find and understand what you, the person, is all about, even I, at my late time in life learns something new.
I decided to return again this year to see if last years attempt was maybe a one off, were the powerful feelings I had along the course, the overwhelming feeling of love for my fellow man just a figment of my relaxed imagination, I don’t think so, if you read the thoughts and recollections of other runners from this event, there is a serenity, a quiet reflection about being a runner and being at one with yourself.
There is a subtle and complex relationship with running inside ones mind. There is a dichotomy at the heart of ones pride at being good at it, at whatever level, for me it was a feeling of utter peace and harmony, was it the place I was in, the locals call this a holly place, a place where the spirits of a race of people long since gone rest.
If through reading or hearing about this course, you feel you might like to try running at a longer distance than the marathon, or should you wish to discover running on a surface other than a road, then this is the place to start, if you do, I doubt that you will ever run on a road again.
I should though like to make a couple of complaints on this years running. This course is run in the National Palo Duro Canyon, a place of great beauty, there has always been an understanding among the older runners and walkers, one that I, as an overseas visitor have always subscribed to, “If you it pack it in, pack it out” I witnessed several newer runners discarding wrappers and cups on the course, I also witnessed 4 runners confront an aid station volunteer, blaming her for their going off course, it is not the duty of the volunteer to find the correct course, it is surely the runners responsibility, my thought on this very bad behaviour is simple, if you cannot behave in a proper manner whilst running on the trails, don’t bother to enter these events, the organiser dosn’t want you neither do the trail runners.
Sorry about that little outburst, but bad manners annoy the hell out of me, that said, thank you to all the really lovely people that I had the privilege of meeting and running with, to all the new friends that I met out on the course, welcome to my circle of friends, all of them loved. To my wonderful daughter Chrissy and Butch, my sincere thanks for a super day and all your help in assisting me over the last 10 miles to knock an hour off last years time, it can only get better.
See you all next year, at Big Reds, Palo Duro Canyon Gathering of the Peaceful People.
Yours in Sport, The Ancient Brit.