Vibrations from a tiny prop Austrian Airlines plane over Vienna with views of green forests and farmland remind me of my European heritage. I am back in Salzburg for my third run of the classic Mozart 100. I won the premier edition in 2012 and struggled through sciatica last year to barely finish in memory of my father. Northern Arizona is now very much home but my heart is filled with joy to be here in the land of the Sound of Music. Despite the two red eyes this weekend I feel awake and alive and excited to pin a bib and race Saturday on the scenic course where I first won a race in Europe. Minutes before my transcontinental journey began Friday I was running and marking the Big Pine / Blackout course in Fort Tuthill Park for Aravaipa Running. I am so proud of the folks back home who ran, especially Amy, my Arizona adventure pal! Lunch with my mom and sister in Manhattan after a stroll down Times Square was a nice break in between long overnight flights. I have big expectations for myself Saturday here in Salzburgland, but before the race I plan to wear my leitherhosen with pride and emurse myself in authentic Bavarian culture.
Silence here doesn’t indicate the excitement this Spring has brought in America. After disappointment in Hong Kong I impatiently tried to race again to soon, but since the lion roared in early March Amy and I have been exploring the Southwest’s mountains & lakes, and scouting the Arizona Trail. In April finishing with a beer in Hurricane, Utah a “Donald Duck” ran second to my old housemate, who looks a lot like Goofy, at the Sand Hollow Marathon. Orchards and canyons at Lee’s Ferry were explored. Red Rocks in Sedona were hiked. Snow covered mountains were traversed. Rattlesnakes were hurdled, a mountain lion was spotted, and deer, antelope, and elk have been raced. I even almost ran into a big horn sheep! We paddle boarded on Lake Havasu & kyacked on Lake Powell.
Vegas couldn’t handle us during the Final Four and we have visited most of the old mining towns from Utah to California along the Colorado River. Fishing has produced the same results those gold prosecutors had, but love has been found! Most exciting is the giant dog house on wheels that Zoey, the Great Dane now owns! Camping takes on an entirely new meaning. Two of the marathons I ran this season were epic Grand Canyon South Rim to River journeys, and I carried Old Glory 26.2 for Team RWB at the Buffalo Marathon after a public speaking debut at the expo opening for the legendary Bart Yasso, Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillivray, and former New York Road Runners CEO / President Mary Wittenberg. Summer Solstice will coincide with my trio of Mozart 100 finishes and I plan to make the third time a charm. With views of snow on the Alps and a loop around crystal clear lake before a 1000AD castle finale how could it not be?! Follow my race and adventures on Instagram & Twitter at @rundavejames and on my Facebook athlete page, Dave James.
A short 13 minute documentary produced by Peter Zander entitled “Dave Runs” has been submitted to film festivals and is available for preview via the motion page at this link. On a sad note, my old training partner, and on most mornings after Jen died, the reason I got out of bed, Buddy went were all good dogs go a few weeks back, heaven. He lived a great life and will be missed.