Not quite finished
In many, if not most, ways I'm not quite ready to leave Fairbanks. However, I made a decision based on a number of factors that added up to a move. The things I look forward to are a new job that will be more dynamic. I did not want to be waiting another 10 years for the idea of something better or retirement. Career-wise this is a good change. I also think that there will be better career opportunities for Tamara, and better health care. Those were the main reasons for the move.
For running and skiing it's a bit more mixed. After 10 years of hitting it pretty hard for both, I have felt the need for changes over the past year. Doing the same races every year--even favorites--gets a little old. Throughout this year, way before I started putting in for jobs elsewhere, I kind of had a feeling that either I'd take a break from XC skiing in the state and that I'd be aiming for new races, mostly on the "Outside." Going to Bend last December for USATF Club Nationals had a big effect on that. In particular, I'll miss the Tour of Anchorage, Midnight Sun Run, Santa Claus Half, Musk Ox Trail Run, and putting on the Interior Alaska Cross Country Series. And yes, the Equinox (but not every year).
However, in a big way I look forward to race opportunities and challenges in Colorado. I'm most interested in XC, trail races, and hill climbs. My calendar for next year is already shaping up, with USATF Winter XC Nationals in Boulder in February, some Sky Running races in the summer (vertical kilometer, and a focus on the Pikes Peak ascent to see if I can go for an age record there). then a fall marathon, likely in Bellingham, WA where my son goes to college, or something like Vancouver.
The hardest thing about leaving is saying goodbye to friends and the community. We have roots in Colorado for sure, but we really enjoyed Fairbanks and getting to know people here. I probably forget to mention everyone, but it's been great to be around people like Bruce and Dee, the Pitney's, Gillis family, the Mark and Maggie Lindberg, Max Kaufman, the Noons, Jacksons, Hoeflers, Kelly Egger, Endestads, Ken and Jane, the Lanfords, Tracey and her family, Dan Callahan, Hannibal Grubis, Sue Faukner and the Rorabaughs, the Lathrop gang of Kevin Brinegar, Ben Nelson, and Chad Carroll, Mike Kramer, Dave Arvey, the Berkelands, the Mayo clan, Kuba and the Grzeda's. And many more. Let's keep in touch.
This is not an end, Alaska will be here, but a new beginning. We'll be back!