Sunday, February 10, 2008

AJW -- Erik Weihenmayer's Climb Up Everest

There are few people I admire in ultrarunning more than Andy Jones-Wilkins. He is a gracious athlete and competitor, a big 'ol little boy out playing on the trail, and a wonderful ambassador for the sport. He used to also live in Oakland. So he was a homie, too.

In 2005 I was at the finish line of Western States watching Andy circle the track in second place. He was really trucking, giving it his all, all the way around the track. I had never seen anyone so full of the moment. I always remember watching him, thinking "Remember this moment - this is how to run a 100 mile race."

I've had the opportunity to run with Andy out at Mt. Diablo. Yeah, he lost me on the way up to the summit. I've also had a gas of a time chatting with Shelly at Javelina Jundred and flying planes with his boys. What a great crew Andy has.

Andy has a blog which reflects his enthusiasm and love for the sport. Recently he posted about a friend of his, Erik Weihenmayer, and his ascent of Everest. The video of the conversation at Sun Valley is inspiring. Eric is blind. He is the only blind person to have ascended the Seven Summits.

I can't explain Andy's choice of sweaters on the video. Perhaps it's just the boyish enthusiasm we all love in Andy.

2 comments:

AJW said...

Sam,

Thanks for the nice post. And, hey, don't knock the sweater, my Mom made it for me.

Look forward to seeing you on the trail.

AJW

Sam said...

Andy,

As someone who has treasured sweaters made by my mother, I knew as soon as I ribbed someone about a sweater, it would be one their mother made him. Well, that explains your fondness for it. And might I comment that your mother has some talent what with all those fancy patterns and such.

Thanks again for the inspiration, and keep up the training. I'll be rooting for you out at States.

Sam