Jocks Got a Little Bit of Crazy in 'Em

Soloists ride across the starting line at the Mt. Taylor Quadrathalon on Saturday, Feb. 17. Goooooooooo crazy people!
Soloists ride across the starting line at the Mt. Taylor Quadrathalon on Saturday, Feb. 17. Goooooooooo crazy people!
Marisa Demarco

I'm married to a guy whose goal it is to one day run the Badwater Ultramarathon , a nonstop 135-mile trek through Death Valley where temps sometimes hit 135 degrees. They say you have to run on the stripes in the road so your sneakers don't melt.

This weekend, he took on Mt. Taylor in Grants, N.M., for the quadrathalon . Luke didn't finish. He was on a fixie , a bicycle without gears or a free wheel, making the bike portion nearly impossible. Next year, though, just you wait, Mt. Taylor.

Most people do the quad in teams, but there are some soloists. Racers start with a 13-mile bike ride and begin the 1.800-foot ascent up the mountain. Then they get off the bikes and run for five miles. They get to about 1,200 feet in elevation, according to the site. Then they bust out the cross country skis and do that for two miles. Then they snowshoe for a mile. At that point, racers are at the summit.

Here's the kicker: They turn around and do it all over again in reverse.

The newspaper pamphlet thingy they hand out when you register the night before is really frightening. There are places, one rescue guy is quoted as saying, where if you go off the course, they won't find you until next Spring.

Still, the quad hasn't had any major injuries in years. Luke can attest that the volunteers run a tight ship.

Another lesson we learned: This is not a spectator thing. If you want to watch your jocko partner/sibling/friend/child in a race, this is not the place to do it. Spectators have to be bussed up the mountain in the morning. There they will stay in the cold for hours for one brief glimpse of their loved one. They can't leave Mt. Taylor until 3 p.m., because the road is open to racers only.

I had a nice day in Grants playing video games and watching such cinematic excellence as "Drumline" and "Angels in the Outfield" on cable. Phew!