Hope Pass

Well I'm finally getting back to training and logging the miles. At week 33 my baby was diagnosed with IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction) and I was put on bedrest, so no running. Due to the complications I was induced at 37 weeks, and after an ultramarathon 41 hour labor my sweet baby James was born.We knew he was going to be small and would likely need to be in the NICU for a bit. What we didn't expect was the news the pediatrician brought us about 30 minutes after delivery. Our beautiful baby boy was diagnosed with Down syndrome. It was like training your hardest for the Boston marathon, but instead of toeing the line in Boston you find yourself in the middle of the Leadville 100. You've trained just not quite for the right race, but in the end the beauty of the course and the rewards are so much greater than what Boston would have brought you. Sure there are more hills, more ups and downs, and your legs might burn, but the most beautiful views are after that massive climb up Hope Pass.

I returned to running about a week after giving birth to James, a month after my last run. It was definitely slow going at first, but the past few weeks I have worked my way up to over 30 mile weeks. Dan and I have even gotten a few runs together when family has come to town. This week should be over 40 with hopefully an even bigger week next week. Today I got in an 18 mile run marking part of the North Fork 50 course. It was a huge confidence booster! Despite stopping to hang flags I finished in 3:40 and felt great! I'm going to have to up my miles significantly these next few weeks, but I'm fairly certain I can do it and still avoid injury. Dan races the Leadville marathon tomorrow so with his training over I'll have more time to focus on my own training.
James getting ready to crew for Dan
In the 8 weeks I have had to get to know James he has taught me patience, acceptance, selflessness and hope. Hitting the trails after he was born allowed me to work through and accept his DS diagnosis and to deal with the medical issues that come with DS. I know there are many more hard days to come, but there are also many more miles of trail to be run.  On August 18th when I stand on top of Hope Pass I will pause for a moment to take in everything around me, the beauty of the mountains, the awesomeness of the feat I am undertaking and I will think of James and remember to appreciate it all.

June 25 - July 1
Miles Running: 39
Hours Hiking and Running:11


  1. I saw your story on Facebook and wanted to say hi. My husband and I welcomed our son Ari into the world in March and also had the unexpected Ds diagnoses. I have been hoping to meet people in Denver to connect with who also have small babies. We would absolutely love to meet you sometime if you are interested. I can't believe how fast you were running again. I still haven't been back on my road bike. Good for you for advocating for your son. You are inspirational.
    Lacey Hochman.

    1. Congratulations on Ari! I've found there hasn't been anything I couldn't work out on a long trail run, so naturally after getting the Ds diagnosis I knew after a good long run everything would be okay. We would love to get together as well. If you're going to be at the Step Up for DS walk, we'll be there hanging out with Claire's Bears, otherwise feel free to email me. siobhan.p.pritchard@gmail.com


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