I've climbed Mt. Rose 135 times at all times of the year, but this was the best climb of all! I was racing several co-workers from IGT up the East Face, and there was over a hundred bucks and a lot of pride on the line. I had given Faz, who is 13 years younger than I am, a 40-minute head start. The "Flab Four" was a relay team consisting of four young managers. Each member of the team raced about a quarter of the route. They staged themselves before the race at various places on the mountain.
The first runner for the Flab Four got off to an early lead, but I passed him after about five minutes. As I extended my lead during the second leg, I turned around to motivate the second climber by shaking my middle finger at him. By the third leg, my legs were really burning, but I managed to extend my lead even further. When I passed the anchor climber, who was waiting for his turn to carry the baton, I had a five-minute lead with only ten minutes to go.
Two minutes later, I saw Faz and began reeling him in. It nearly killed me, but I managed enough energy to run when I passed him. He just stood there in disbelief! I ended up beating Faz by two minutes and I beat the Flab Four by six minutes. My time was 1:11:15. Victory is sweet!
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