This post is in response to the Daily Prompt: First Sight – Whether a person, a pet, an object, or a place, write about something or someone you connected with from the very first second.
There are very few experiences that compare to running while the sun is coming up. Nothing quite feels the same as watching the world come alive around you as you pound the road. There’s that and then there is running when the sun rises in the middle of nowhere. I am talking not house, paved road, car, or fence in site. Just you, a dusty dirt road, and the sounds of you running. It could be anywhere from the mountains I grew up in, to the great plains where I cut my teeth running, even here on the bayous where I now live, there is nothing quite like running in the absence of everything when the sun is making first light.
I have run many mornings over the past ten years, but there are two places that I will always attempt to compare to when running while the sun comes up. The first place, and probably my gold standard, is some random dirt road outside of Dillon, MT. A group of friends and I were down there for a multi-day relay race, and on day two I had the very first leg with a start time of 6:00 am. Little did I know it would be an everlasting memory. I do remember not really wanting to run as I had been up for the past two hours and had little sleep. A cool, summer morning and five miles is all that stood between me and some more sleep in the truck. The leg was almost due east for the entire run and as I got started, the sun started to poke over the mountains causing the sky to change colors. Reds and purples, followed by yellows and oranges, and finally as the sun crested over the mountains, the blue that can only be found in the Big Sky state.
The second place I will always remember for the rising sun is Antelope Creek Road in Rapid City, SD. I ran too many miles to count on this road, but nothing can compare to me getting my lazy butt out of bed on a Saturday we didn’t have a race and running this road by my self. If I planned it right, I could catch the abrupt sunrise on the plains and watch the antelope and deer come back to life around me. Sunrise on the plains is quick, and watching the world go from grays and blacks to full color is a spectacle in its self, and running alone just enhances the experience.
I guess I am really writing about the solitude of running…
Authors Note I have a few other stories about running on Antelope Creek Road that I will share later.