When you cover 100 miles in 37 hours over the Rocky Mountains on just your own two feet, you see every kind of mountain trail.
You see these single track trails running alongside the river, completely covered and forested. You get these open green fields that go on forever. And then you get to the top of any of these peaks and you feel like you’re on Everest. In 100 miles you get every single type of beauty that the mountains have to offer you. You really get the scope of these mountains, because you have to keep going on, and on, and on.
A little over a week ago, our own Executive Vice President Jason Lippman did a truly insane thing and ran the Hardrock 100, which is essentially the race for people who think running 100 miles is easy. (You can learn more about it here.) This is where Jason would say there’s nothing special about him, as though knocking out an ultramarathon a year is just another thing he does after he picks up his laundry and helps one of his kids with their homework.
But he’s right about one thing: Everyone wants to achieve big goals. That’s not special. Make a lot of money, have a great relationship, run 100 miles over 9 mountain peaks – whatever it is to you, I can guarantee that you’ve got a big goal, and I can also guarantee that you don’t get to jump from A to Z. Everyone has to put one foot in front of the other.
Even for ultramarathoners, even for Jason, who runs an ultramarathon a year, this race is death by a thousand paper cuts. It’s not that you have one 12,000 foot mountain, it’s that you get down the fourth one and you realize you still have five more mountains to go. Around mile 45, Jason was running through Telluride, headed toward the lowest point of the whole race. He was pretty low, himself. The weather was hotter and drier than everyone had expected; it hadn’t rained in six days. Other runners kept passing him, and since you don’t get to run with a pacer until the halfway point, he was alone. Alone, and coughing up blood, he almost turned around. He didn’t think he could do this one.
Then it wasn’t one mile at a time, it was one step at a time, and he kept doing that for awhile, and then suddenly it passed. His body remembered what to do. And then his pacers – his team – joined up at the halfway point, and the sun went down and the best part began.
I told my wife is that I imagine it’s just like childbirth. When you’re doing it, you can’t imagine going through it again, but once you get to the finish line, all of a sudden it’s not THAT bad, and you start justifying it.
That night Jason ran with his friend and running partner Paul Salazar. They’d look around them, and all over the mountain, they could see all these little dots of the other runners’ headlamps. It’s the most peaceful then, quiet, in the forest. You get the scope of the race in the dark, all those little dots behind and ahead of you. You’re in the middle of nowhere, but you’re not alone.
At sunrise, Jason made it to the top of Handies Peak – the tallest peak of the race at just over 14,000 feet. He looked around & saw all those little dots again. From there, it wasn’t quite all downhill, but from there it was almost… fun. Fourteen hours later, he crossed the finish line, where his wife and children were waiting, “kissed the Hardrock” and swore never to do that again. (That statement lasted about a week.)
We work hard over here. A lot of the things we do aren’t sexy; we aren’t reinventing the wheel over here, exactly – we’re just focusing on doing the time, repeating the process, taking the next step, getting out of our own head and trusting in our pacers, our team, our colleagues. Sometimes, if you look for the next big thing, if you go over the next mountain in your head before you’ve conquered the one in front of you, you’re going to lose your momentum and lose your way.
I’ll let Jason finish…
There’s nothing special about me.
I’m not a good runner, I have no running talent.
To me, hard work trumps everything else. If you’re willing to do the work, and know the behaviors, make the investments – you can achieve whatever goal you have set out to achieve. You just have to grind it out.
Sometimes you’re looking for the next big thing… I’m not that guy. I’m not going to invent the next thing. I’m dedicated enough to do the work and that’s what sets Far West Capital apart. We do the daily work, the daily grind, to try and serve our clients every day. That’s the difference maker.
Jason would like to thank his running partners, friends & pacers Paul Salazar, Brandon Batiansila, and Ken Fries for the company and support, and his family – wife Angie & kids Alec, Isa, and Jaxon – for their support over those 37 hours and every day.