Sunday, June 8, 2008

CDT speed attempt is over

And now for the rest of the story...

I knew David was in rough shape when he called last night, I just didn't know how bad.

Yesterday, when David lost the trail in the last few miles, he was in really bad shape.  So bad that he was on the verge of passing out. David was completely out of water, severely dehydrated with cramping and swollen hands. He found a windpump (hikers use these and are scattered throughout the area) and, before he laid down, hung up his shoes and hat so he could be found in case he passed out. David laid there for 50 minutes drinking the water and eating what little food he had left. He told me that at that point all he thought about was survival and not wanting to die. 

Shortly after he finished the 45 miles yesterday he tried to eat some dinner.  He was so dehydrated and now, nauseous, he started to throw-up whatever he ate.  David decided he might as well go to bed but cramping in his stomach and extremities, especially his hands, kept him awake all night.

The topic of not going on first came up last night but all thought it would be better to wait until morning.  Initially thinking a 'zero day' might be enough, David, JB, & Neal drove back into Deming, NM.  They spent the day at the Motel looking over maps and discussing the situation as well as waiting to see David's condition improve.  In addition, the only clinic in the area where David could get an IV was closed on weekends.

The decision to not continue was finally made and was based primarily on:

  • David's condition was not improving rapidly and would take too many days to improve to continue a speed attempt
  • The next section was more remote desert bushwacking
  • David was consuming 2litres of water every 4 miles and not able to carry enough water to compensate
  • The temps were forecasted to continue to be over 100 degrees

Talking to JB, who has seen David in rough times, described David's condition as one of the worst he has seen. David feels as though he is letting down the many people who are involved with this adventure and all those who are following along.

From my own perspective, I have seen David push through hard times; times when I would not have continued and have no doubt that his condition is worse than he has experienced before.  Furthermore, the decision to not continue was incredibly difficult for David.  This is not a result of not being in shape or being psychologically unprepared.  A successful CDT speed attempt was not a foregone conclusion and I would be kidding myself if I said David would easily finish. However, it's easy to think how tough the mountains will be but how about traversing 45 miles of desert in 108 degrees with no shade, being cut by sage and briars for 16 hours and staggered your last 7 miles after narrowly avoiding a black-out, alone and in the dark, just for starters?

It's hard to know what else to say; here it is (in 2 parts) in David's own words:

Part 1

Part 2

Please leave a comment and a word of encouragement to pass along to David!

79 comments:

Becky Ryder said...

You have made a very wise decision. Your body just would not go. That is not something over which you had control. You are alive!!!

Andrew T. said...

Dear David,

It's not over! Hundreds of us will be running all summer long through difficult conditions -- and at our lowest when we think of turning back, we will go on. Why? Because we have been inspired by you. In that way you will be running far more than 3000 miles this summer because hundreds of us carry you in our heads and hearts. I can't tell you how many times I've been in a long run and found inspiration in your accomplishments. Thanks for everything. My prayers are with you for a speedy recovery - body, soul, spirit.

Andrew Arroyo
Virginia Beach, VA

Charlie said...

David,
I know you are much tougher on yourself than anyone else would ever be. You have not let anyone down nor lost any measure of respect from anyone...
God bless,
Charlie

Jasson said...

David,

You've been a inspiration to us all. I'm sure you did the best thing. The trail will still be there if you decide to go back. Do be hard on yourself.

J

Jasson said...

correction, do not be hard on yourself.

Hagrin said...

David -

Even covering 45 miles in those conditions is simply incredible and it sounds like you made a very wise decision. Risking your health and potentially your life in such extreme conditions is inspiration enough for me to go out and train just that much harder for the last 3 races of the LUS. Speedy recovery and I wish you the best.

Robert O'Brien

Mark Swanson said...

You've always been seeking your limits, this time you found them. God had a different plan for you than you thought, His ways are best.

Steve@Hiker's Outpost said...

Thank God you're going to be OK. What you attempted under those conditions may just simply not be humanly possible. If you ever try the desert again, perhaps it should be at night behind an ATV!

Steve@Hiker's Outpost

Harry E. said...

I know you are experiencing an indescribable dissapointment right now as well as being saddled with a physical recovery scant few could comprehend let alone experience first-hand. I wish I could think of something inspirational to say during this extremely challenging time. I will offer this - As a husband and father of four, my life is mostly about being selfless and providing. And I'm ok with that because of the love and little miracles I get to experience with my family every day. But we all need something in our lives that is just for us, something special that keeps us sharp and feeling "alive". For me, that something is trail running - and I would not have that if not for your examples of sacrifice and accomplishment. God bless you for changing my life in a way that also makes me a better husband and father. You owe nothing because you gave everything - there in lies your peace. "Let thy words be few" -Ecclesiastes 5:2

V Bowman said...

Honestly Dr H. I'm more inspired by this failure than I would have been if you had done the whole thing and chalked up another record. It doesn't take any courage to attempt something you know you will succeed at, no matter how difficult it appears to others. You're still the man!

ultrastevep said...

David, my old friend....you made a wise choice. Just know that we all out here know you need to prove nothing else as it seems to me that you have done it all already!
Go home and be with Nancy, she needs you and you need her...

Hope to see you at Hellgate in December....

Your fellow aging friend,
Steve

Deborah said...

I am so proud of you DHO. You have accomplished so much in your life, so many amazing adventures. I can't imagine how difficult it was for you to make this decision, but i'm proud of you for listening to your body. You have inspired me so much in my life, you have and continue to encourage me to do things i never would have thought i could do. Thank you DHO, I am so happy to know you!
-NIDTIW, Little Ho, Little Debbie Snack Cakes

Bedrock said...

David,

You absolutely did not let anyone down. In fact, the humility (and brain cells) required to pull the plug as you did is commendable. You said yourself how you remembered what was important at that windmill. Perhaps that moment was all you were meant to get to... I hope you recover well and just know that you are truly an inspiration to us, not just as an athlete, but also as a human being.

The values you live by and the faith the guides you serve as great examples to us all. Hope to see you at Hellgate.

Bedford

Rebekah Trittipoe said...

King- I know that decision was incredibly difficult and you will probably second-guess yourself a million times over. But- DON'T! Bodies just were not made for those conditions. And, maybe this is just giving you a better idea of how the plan can be changed to make it possible. I like the idea Steve had of an ATV to carry your supplies and an umbrella rigged to your pack to give you shade. But- that's for future consideration...maybe. For now, you made a huge decision that took as much courage to make as it did to start. I was proud of you before this and and will remain so forever more. See you when you get back!

Jared said...

Don't sweat it, you're still the KING. It just wasn't meant to be(right now). Who knows what the future holds. What an inspiration you are to so many people. Maybe now we can race at Masochist! Well gotta go, going for a training run. Thank God for HOMILITY. God Bless
Junior

DSD said...

You will be back David!
The trail isn't going anywhere...
This may have just been a step on the way...
Truly inspiring...
DSD

Jeff said...

David...I praise God that He allowed your survival and that you were found. God is ALWAYS in control...and as my dad always like to say...sometimes He closes a door only to open another window through which to go. Remember that you are a blessing to all those who come in contact with you.

Jeff

Robert Webster said...

Horton,
I can't really relate to what you're feeling right now, but you made the right decision. It's one thing to be "wild-man" but it's quite another to put yourself under such harsh conditions knowing that the human body is incapable of survival. There are many people out there who care about you and are glad that you had the courage and the strength to make the decision to live to run another day. You're a daily inspiration for me in not just my running but in my spiritual endeavors and I'm glad that you will still be around come fall semester.

christian said...

...at least we know you're human.

Anything said after all these other posts is just further patronage - you know a majority of the ultra community respects and reveres you and your accomplishments in the deepest of ways.

Much respect sir, we know you'll get 'em next time, or however many times it takes.

Cheers!

Connie said...

Dr. Horton,

I am saddened to hear of your sickness and am praying for your return to good health soon.

I hope to be able to share the trail with you someday, or at the very least - meet you, shake your hand, and thank you for all you've done not only for our sport of ultra running, but for people in general.

Many, many more happy trails to you, sir.

Connie Karras
Highland, IN

MomandDadHo said...

Dr. Horton-
My heart is breaking for you right now as I know what this meant to you. I am so encouraged to know that you are human afterall and that you weren't so stubborn to push on in such insurmountable conditions. You do know that we all love you and care more about you than any CDT record. You have nothing to hang your head about. You are one of just a few who would have even considered such a feat. You will always be King to us! We just want you back healthy and strong and harassing us as usual. Your family, especially LJ and Kensey need their Granpa for many years to come and that is the right priority. All your runners need you too. Who else can be King?
Can't wait to see you and get all the gory details.
Love,
Mom and Dad HO

Anonymous said...

Ouray, Colorado
9 June, 2008

Dave

You made the only realistic choice possible under the circumstances. To have forced yourself to continue could have lead to permanent physical impairment, or worse. You are a "mountain man" with knowledge of and skills for the upland environment, but who would need more than just a little touch of "desert rat" knowledge and skills to successfully move through the heat and thorn-forest environment of the high Sonoran/Chihuahua desert. Remember, "Man proposes, Nature disposes".

But remember also: "Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow". Your 2008 CDT speed record attempt was an adventure, one which has given you the experience of the lowland but “high desert” environment in early summer, and which allows you to plan and prepare for accordingly in a future CDT attempt.

Rick

Flyin' Brian Robinson said...

David,

We feel your pain. Please don't feel you've let anyone down. True adventure requires the possibility of failure and loss. But facing that danger responsibly requires the humility and good judgement you've shown. Congratulations on proving that you're not just lucky, but like the wise mountain climber who turns back short of the summit, you know when to quit and live to adventure another day.

We're proud to count ourselves among your many friends. You stand tall with the humility of Christ.

Flyin' Brian and Sophia

Michael Valliant said...

I can't add anything that hasn't been said well here already, but wanted to add my name and thoughts to the list. Your example--actions, reports, good will, etc.--have been a key inspiration and motivation for me to push myself to further distances and adventures than I would have thought. I am glad to know that you are okay and that your adventures and example will continue. Certainly the hardest and wisest decision, and the correct one. Many thanks for all you do. --Mike V.

martha said...

Discretion is the better part of valor, as the saying goes. Your decision took great courage, experience, faith, and wisdom.

You've attempted, achieved, inspired, and given so much of yourself to ultrarunning and ultrarunners for many years -- Thank you!! There is no doubt that the future holds still more adventures for you.

Take care,
Martha
Richmond, VA

Bethany said...

Horty,
All the other posts have said it all, but I will say it again. No one is dissapointed in you; even though I know you will feel that way. I am extremely impressed that you had the good judgement to stop. There is a time to push on and show your determination (which you have done over and over) and then there is a time to think about the bigger picture. We are all here for you and I am praying that you recover quickly. You still have many adventures ahead, so keep your chin up. If you get discouraged just look at all the people who have left comments on this page. Your life has affected and inspired so many people. No one knows that better than me! Looking forward to running with you again sometime soon. Long live the King!!

Fat Girl "The Ho"

Paul Mags said...

David,

Though the journey did not go as planed, you probably learned much in the time you were out on the trail.

The trail will be there for when you wish to return.

Best of luck in all your future endeavors.

Warren Doyle said...

David,

I just found out in the Big Island Library as I gaze up and see you running along your beloved Blue Ridge in the shade of the trees and cooling yourself in the waters of Matts Creek, as others follow in your inspiring footprints with respect and gratitude.

Warren

Sophie Speidel said...

David,

I remember something you said while doing the PCT speed attempt that JB Benna captured on film.It was something about by being so emotional (after you survived the section without food) you were somehow being weak...when in fact, it struck me then (and now)that showing emotions are not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength and courage. The same idea rings true with your decision to stop the CDT attempt. It takes COURAGE to make the right decision, and you are doing that. You are not letting anyone down...in fact, you are revealing once again the important lesson of listening to your gut and respecting Mother Nature. The CDT will be there. And we are so glad you are OK and will be able to attenpt it again, if that is your plan.

HUGS

John Vonhof said...

Our hearts are with you as this ends so quickly - but the decision has to be made based on safety. You made the right call. Tomorrow will come, and with it, more opportunities. Stay strong.

Anonymous said...

David, you have not less us down. You made a wise decision to keep yourself healthy and whole. There will be many other adventures for you, and you'll continue to inspire us with your dreams, ambitions, and desires. I can't wait to hear what comes next!

Brianne said...

Dr. Horton,
You really must be crazy if you think you let anyone down! We were all praying for you, planning trips to see you and planning packages to send because we love you. And if you can believe it, running isn't why we love you. I would only have been let down if you had continued risking your life needlessly. You may not know yet what God wants you learn from this experience, but God has already revealed an important lesson to me through it! Next time you stop by my office to scare me, I'll tell you what it is! Great job Horton!

Bryan Carter said...

God answers prayers in different ways. Your decision to accept the fact that the desert ate your lunch but the Lord has given you the strenght to live and carry on for another day shows His true power in protecting and watching over you. The Lord is your Shepherd.

In Him,
Bryan Carter

Coach Spencer said...

Sounds like a good decision. Better to pull out early than have even more invested into it and be forced to pull out (by facing more serious medical problems). The conditions sound unbearable.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Horton,
I am thankful they did not find your desiccated body in the desert. Who would have directed Promise Land? In all seriousness, you have inspired me to do things that I would have never dreamed of doing and thus my life is better and for that I am thankful for you. Come home to Virginia where there are a lot of people who need you.
Best,
B. Potts

Jim Morrison said...

Hi David,

A very brave effort. You made the best decision. May God bless you and keep you safe.

Jim Morrison,
Ontario, Canada

Don Lucy said...

Dave we are truly sorry you had to make the decision to not continue. I know its tough after putting in so much preparation. I think back to my first marathon attempt,making the smart decision to drop out at 18 miles. It was defintely the smart thing to do. It was a learning experience. At our age we are wiser and more experienced to know this is not the time. Yes like you I have grandkids that I want to love and share their lives with. No risk of life is worth missing out on the experience of seeing those smiling faces. You made the right decision,we love you and look forward to seeing soon.
Take care,
Don and Barb

Anonymous said...

Dr. Dave,

We still admire you - and believe me, making a decision not to continue is sometimes more courageous (not to mention wise.) Praise the Lord that you're ok!
You're still our hero.

Jim McFarland

JimO said...

David,
You showed courage and wisdom - the qualities of a true warrior.
Thank you for your good example.

I am a runner. "We are what we repeatedly do" said...

David,

Having run in well over 100 degree temps last year when I was deployed in Egypt I can simpathize with your troubles! The body can only take so much and having completed a 40 miler there that took 2 full days of kidney pain and diarhea/cramps to finally come out of, and a 50 miler that necessitated 3 full IV bags to stop the diarhea I KNOW for fact you could not have continued without similiar help.
Recover well...Go plan in the COOLER mountains of Colorado and if you are up for it you are welcome to pace me in Silverton next month!

annette bednosky said...

David,
I am so happy you are alive! You are smart and strong. I am sitting here with tears of relief and empathy for you as I listened to your blog post. You are brave and solid and a role model for me and thousands of others. Your story is scary and smart and courageous. I am proud of you for seeing so clearly your reality and "humanness"!
I wish you a fast physical recovery from your life edge challenge and in time, complete emotional recovery from your dissapointments. You changed your plans because you had to. I admire your courage and think even more highly of you for doing the "right" thing.
With admiration, warmth and sincerity,
Annette

Heather said...

Dave,
Your still the best and by far the most inspiring ultra runner there is!
We are happy that you will be back in the 'burg soon to continue to push us all forward.
THANKS DAVE!
Heather

Anonymous said...

David- I know not what to add to all the comments. You haven't let anyone down. I'm not a mountaineer, but you remind me of the smart, brave ones I've read about who know when it's not safe to continue, and live to tell about it and fight another do while fools from their parties with "summit fever" contine and court death. I'm just as inspired by your courage in undertaking this adventure and knowing when to pack it in as I am by the successful PCT attempt. I make sure to watch again my DVD of "The Runner" before big races to draw courage and inspiration. I'll do so with even greater reason knowing now just how keen is your sense of just how far the envelope can safely be pushed. We all need to develop such as a sense for ourselves as ultrarunners, and your courageous example helps guide us.

Scott from NYC

Anonymous said...

My dear brother David:

This is your sister and I just want you to know how proud I am of you, how you inspire me to be a better person and that I love you no matter what. Get some rest and go home and see the grandbabies.

love, Nancy Beth

Molly-Catherine Goodson said...

Dr. Horton....

I am so proud of you! I could not be disappointed in you whatsoever. You are a great man of God and I think you have made a very wise decision. I am also very thankful that God kept his protecting hand on you while you were in the desert. I don't think anyone could see this as a failure or a let down. I know how much your grandkids and family mean to you and now you have all summer to be with them! :0) You will stay in my prayers and I'll be looking forward to seeing you in the fall...

"M-C hammer" :D

Anonymous said...

You're amazing David! You have not let anyone down! So many people care about you and are inspired by you. I'm so glad you're ok, you are so brave. Kathy D'Onofrio

adventurelisa said...

David,
Sounds like it was NASTY out there! Good to hear that you're ok and I'm sure that this experience will stand you in an even better position for another attempt.
Rest up and recover swiftly.
Lisa
South Africa

Paul Carrasco said...

Dr. Horton,
I am glad you are ok. You are an inspiration to all of us. Not for a minute think you have let anyone down. We will keep you in our prayers for a speedy recovery.

God bless you.

Paul Carrasco

Anonymous said...

David........we're REALLY thankful that you listened to your own body when it told you to stop.
You tried but seems the elements were against you with the heat. We're glad that you made that wise decision.

Carol & Rita

Anonymous said...

Dr. King.....we're proud of you for your effort.........and for knowing when it was time to stop.
Listening to your body was a smart thing to do.

Carol & Rita

ollie said...

I know that Mr. Horton probably loves to challenge himself. But anyone with his record of accomplishment has nothing whatsoever to prove to anyone else.

I am glad that he is safe and healthy!

He continues to be an inspiration to me (I recently failed at a much, much, much, much, much easier ultra)

But hey, it is failure that makes success mean so much!

Anonymous said...

David,

Facing the heat of that Desert is truly amazing. Your Faith is truly strong and that truly is what matters. Please recover properly. Maybe on your next attempt, I could help more, I should have helped more on this attempt. I'm sorry I got involved late. Some of Job 17 may help.

A package was awaiting you at Pie Town, NM, but it's just some candy and a poem and words of encourgagement, so no reason to recover it. I have attached the poem and words for you, maybe the words will easy your mind that you "let no one down".

My DeLorme 5.0 Topo software indicates the CDT is truly a complex maze. If you were actually able to find the CDT trail and stay close to being on-trail, you must have covered near 78 miles in 108 degrees, not 45 miles. I have attached the DeLorme Topo 5.0 views for you. From the border to Hwy 9 directly is 43 miles, with no relief. This section should be covered in probably two days, but logistics will need to be re-thought. The actual CDT is between 77 and 78 miles. You have no reason to think you failed anyone, I am impressed you did that and survived. This should give you some insight into what you actually went through and why your next attempt will be successful.

Tomorrow, I was going to send maps, profiles, another poem, candy and more words to you for the CDT from Pie Town to Chama. Also, I was preparing the Chama to Lake City section, which I have already layed out. If you still wish them, please let me know. The Chama to Lake City CDT is also a maze with lots of intersecting trails. Great views I'm sure and at high altitude.

OK David have peace and recover.

Thank you all for supporting David.

gitagoing

flame said...

David-

So glad to know that you are alive and will recover soon...thank you for taking on the challenge and being willing to share all of that- the ultimate highs and ultimate lows- with all of us. Thank you for not being either 1)the guy who won't even get off the couch! 2)the guy who isn't smart or secure enough to stop when it's time. You are, truly, such an inspiration to me. I look forward to sharing many more trails...Amy

Anonymous said...

Discretion is the better part of valor. I'm glad to hear your safe and recovering. Notice that I didn't say safe and sound because we all know better. Hope to talk with you soon.

H.T.

Anonymous said...

David, Tammy and I have prayed for your strength and safety. We now pray for your health and healing from this adventure. Right now you do not know what you will learn from this experience, but one day it will become clear. God gave you the strength to start this and now he gives you the strength to know that you made the right decision. All of our love, Rick and Tammy Gray

Dave Harper said...

David,

You are an inspiration. Take a break, recover, and you CAN do this. You haven't failed until you quit. And I don't believe you know the word quit.

stoney said...

David Horton! Hope your dissapointment is short lived and no doubt you will soon be up and at it again.

Chris in the UK

DOOM said...

Dr. Horton,

What a GIFT you have been given. The chance to know that all of these ultrarunners love you, support you, and respect you. Often times people say these things after the person is gone. What a gift you have been given indeed!

Such is the way of the world that it takes an apparent set back to show you the depth of your impact on the rest of us.

Best of luck to you on your future endeavors.

You are still the man.

Regards,
DOOM

Anonymous said...

Having helped people recover from severe dehydration and rhabdomylosis, including my brother who very nearly died after a short 13 mile run: you made the wise decision. That may seem obvious to non-runners but I know how difficult it is for you to stop. So congratulations on making the choice to live for another day. By the way - you came to mind many time the past few days; now I know the Lord was prompting me to pray for you. Thank you for listening to the Holy Spirit and being obedient to stop. As others have said - now at least there will be another opportunity.
Bill

Brad said...

Gods speed in your recovery. You are alive and you will run again. We're all thinking about you in Wisconsin. You are still an inspiration to me.

Brad Birkholz
Watertown, WI

Brad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

David
Life and family are way more important than you continuing on out there. I know it was a very tough decision but you made the right one. Concentrate on resting and recovering. You are still awesome concidering the distance you covered under the cicumstances.
Barb Isom

Megan Hendler said...

It takes so much courage to be able to listen to your body. You made a wise choice. I am happy that you are safe and your health is most important. Among all the success in running that you have one of the greatest is inspiring people. Because of you and my wonderful first ultra experience at Holiday Lake, I am more motivated than ever to build my goals and set my sights to more races and longer distances. You've been a huge inspiration to me and I'll be seeing you on the trails!
-Megan Brady-Hendler

Lonnie V. said...

David,
Man your an animal. You are an inspiration both physically and spiritually. You making this hard but correct decision show's exactly how tough you are. I don't think you realize it but you are probably saving someone's life in the future by giving us wisdom and perspective as we attempt these kind's of things. Thanks

Lonnie V. said...

David,
Man your an animal. You are an inspiration both physically and spiritually. You making this hard but correct decision show's exactly how tough you are. I don't think you realize it but you are probably saving someone's life in the future by giving us wisdom and perspective as we attempt these kind's of things. Thanks

Cassie said...

David,

Glad you live to run another day! Every experience is worthwhile. Thanks so much for sharing with the rest of us.

Cassie

Hart said...

horton you are a legend. you haven't let any of us down. those that truly risk for adventure know that there is a very real possibility of failure.

i've run the deserts in baja and moab for days each and they are nasty places.

John Price said...

Dear David
I'm sorry to see your attempt finish like this, but I know you did the right thing. I hope that sometime in the future you will make another attempt.
You have always been a friend to me since that first night I met you at Massanutten 50 miler back in 1986 and I have always and will always have the utmost respect for you.
I hope you have a speedy recovery and I'll see you down the road (trail).
John

Mike Mitchell said...

Dave,
What more can be said than has been already. You made a wise choice. Family and friends here are glad you will live to run another trail another day. You have ventured much in this endeavor and I'm sure will gain much by it. Looking forward to some fall training runs in the Blue Ridge Mountains! See you then.

janice anderson said...

Dave,
i am sorry to hear of the awful conditions but i am still in awe of you. it's the risk of failure and the difficulty that drew you to the CDT record attempt and you should be proud of what you did.
i hope you recover soon and are back to running soon as well.
janice anderson
GA

The Lisa said...

David,
Thankfully you made the right decision to stop and save your health. Think how you would have let everybody down if you pushed on and ended up severely injured - or worse!
Instead you did the right thing for you and your loved ones and decided you could not go on as planned.
Of course, I am still disappointed at DNF'ing at Hellgate last year so don't listen to me ;)
Lisa

Kay said...

Dr. Horton, You don’t know us, and we don’t know you. But we have been touched by your inspirational effort. We watched as you finished your attempt on the PCT and celebrated with you. Perhaps this very real, very human experience on your CDT attempt will make your many accomplishments even more precious. We pray for your speedy recovery and look forward to following your next adventure.

Keith and Kay Blom

Sue and Jim said...

David,

You have accomplished so much and have inspired so many people in your life. The message you have sent this time may be even more important than the records you set previously -- test your limits and dream Big Dreams, but don't sacrifice your life for it! We're glad you are safe and are recovering from your ordeal in the desert.

We hope you allow yourself to chase this dream again. If anyone can do it, YOU can! We're glad you're getting to enjoy some of the CDT in Colorado. Why not just go ahead and run the Colorado Trail while you're there? It’s gorgeous and you’ll get to see 200 miles of the CDT at the same time.

Have a safe trip home,
Sue Norwood & Jim O'Neil

Anonymous said...

David -
Ginny and I have hiked that route - but not under the conditions you encountered. We've taught other CDT hikers for the last 10 years that hiking the CDT absolutely DEMANDS flexibility. While you may believe that you let others down, I have no such illusions - you made the decision that had to be made, even though it hurt tremendously. Your decision was a fine example of the kind of flexibility that is sometimes required- on the CDT - and in life. I had great respect for you prior to this time, not just for your accomplishments, but for your character. Now my respect for you has only increased, not just because you've proved yourself "human" but because you've proved once again, your wisdom and your faith. Others can say what they will, either positive or negative, but from my viewpoint you haven't let anyone down. You have your priorities right.

Jim & Ginny
Spiriteagle

MntGoat said...

David,

You're such an inspirational runner and I love reading the stories of the many great things you have done! Keep it up and know that you are inspiring a lot of us!

jm said...

David - You know the saying....if we accomplish all of our goals, we're not setting the bar high enough. You inspire us simply because you attempt what few others would even consider. We'll reach a bit higher in the wake of your adventures, whatever their outcome. Thanks for that gift.

Jim McIntosh

Carrie Walker said...

David,
Don't feel bad you are awsome and everyone is still very proud of you ! You did the right thing.We have been thinking about you and are glad you made it home safe and sound ! Love Carrie Walker @ One Stop Cellular in Forest

Stuart said...

Despite the shortcomings on the most recent CDT you certainly have left your mark as being considered one of the most renound mega-marathon runners in the world. Your motivation and determination far exceed anything I've ever seen before and it could be argued that you are one of the most relentless athletes in the world. You are a fine American who has encouraged countless students toward lifestyle changes and have been a great health ambassador. Moreover you are a man of conviction who is true to yourself, family, and most importantly your faith.

rbaxter said...

dr. horton,

i am sorry you feel you have let folks down... we are always our own worst critic. the things you have done, and i am sure , will continue to do are amazing. having had the chance to run with you prepping for promise land, and having had the encouragement from you and others to finish, i can say that the things you do inspire us all to greatness. i am thankful for the efforts and example set by you and your peers, and hope to someday be so strong as to be one half the runner you are. by the way, i like what your pastor said about god loving us... now if only we could only love our selves and each other the same way....

until such time...

r.baxter