i first met sean meissner at the where's waldo 100km in 2006. i crewed and paced krissy moehl that day. she beat everyone, guys included, sean included. that was the year i made the move from endurance cycling and adventure racing into ultrarunning. along the way i had heard sean's name quite a bit. i had this picture of him in my mind with a skirt on, which he was rumored to run in on ocassion. i also figured he complemented that skirt with a yellow marathon maniacs singlet, of which i was certain he was a pretentious member. i figured he wasn't going to be my kind of guy really.
i couldn't have been more wrong. not having had even as much as a real conversation sean jumped into my van for an ultra adventure that took us to run bighorn, play in the tetons for a few days, then head to tahoe to pace at western states. many more adventures followed.. and now i consider sean one of my best friends. you'd be hard pressed to find a more loyal, honest and genuine person.
in 2008 we consummated our relationship by running the trans rockies together, as team montrail. this put our running strengths in stark contrast. day one was flat dirt road for 13 miles. i stared at the mhw bolt on the back of sean's montrail jersey as the world blurred by on the sides like i was going into hyperspace. doods got leg speed. on the hike up hope pass at 12,500 feet i ran and pushed him from the waist, adventure racing style.
today i woke up in seattle, went out for a run with the thursday threshold crew, my first threshold run in months. before i left the house i saw sean had made a blog post called "matt n' me". i cringed. you see he's been taunting me about this orcas island 50km for about a month. telling me he's going to "kick my ass" and calling it a "grudge match". in the blog he calls for suggestions to what we should wager on the two races we face each other in this year. orcase island 50km and the pocatello 50 miler ~ lowest overall time wins.
i haven't raced since august 2008, when sean and i ran the transrockies race together. this fact caused @masonham to comment "Seems kind of suspicious that he wants to make the bet on your first race back after surgery."
i've been accused of sandbagging in the past, so rather than say i've been skiing more than running, etc, etc i'll give my true unfiltered opinion. the slow runnable climbs and flats favor sean. the steeper climbs and more techincal trail favor me. i think there is more runnable climbing than there is technical on this course. however i have course knowledge, sean does not. sean is more fit than i am right now. but i have gotten some good training in and i've been at altitude a lot lately. honestly though i'm not sure i have the high end fitness to run 50km flat out. with all that said... i will run as hard as i can. i will enter the pain cave and not come out until i am bleeding from my eyes or i have beaten sean meissner. i will turn myself inside out if need be and we'll let the blogosphere decide what the stakes are.
"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." ~ King Solomon