Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rick Trujillo- Mountain Runner Legend

We sat down at a barbecue joint in Ridgway, 10 miles from Ouray, where Trujillo ordered a plate of chicken nuggets. "I don't understand how people spend lots of money on stuff that's going to be gone the next day," he said, when I inquired-this was an expense account meal, after all-whether he wouldn't prefer something a little fancier. "People ask me what my diet is, and I say, whatever's available. Iguana, goat. I eat what's there."

He bought ice cream by the gallon. "Whatever flavor is there. Whatever brand is cheapest." He ate it by the half gallon. "The one thing I can't do without is cookies."

A year later, I've returned to Ouray to see him again. He's been through a lot in that time. Besides dealing with chronic tendinitis in his Achilles tendons and a torn meniscus in his right knee, he also had a stent placed in his chest. Doctors had placed it there in October 2007, after Trujillo-worried over months of odd heartburn and episodes of breathlessness-scheduled an exam and discovered that one of his major arteries was 90 percent blocked. It was the left anterior descending artery, known among cardiologists as "the widow maker." "In other words," Trujillo e-mailed his friends, "I had been a candidate for a full-fledged heart attack for more than a year but didn't recognize it."

MY COMMENT: Rick was a fabulous runner in his day- 5 consecutive Pikes Peak Marathon victories.

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