A moniker I'll claim with pride, it did not come easy. Not even remotely.
The challenges were many. Sometimes curveballs from the route, sometimes from my gear, constantly from the altitude...but most often from within.
On Georgia pass I learned I wouldn't be racing this one. At treeline I only wanted to lay down and sleep. Movement was slow motion through heavy fog.
Surprises around every corner it seemed.
Companionship that I didn't know was possible in a "race" setting.
And a return home to a love grown stronger.
I am tired, skinnier than ever, feverish and sick even - yet full of contentment for having completed the beast against a stacked deck, and for how fortunate I am to have a few great people in my life.
And Stefan: thank you so much for presenting the challenge.
More later when I'm actually coherent ;)