Upon reaching a top-15ish AG Summit Time at the 13,114′ summit,  i pulled the throttle back for the always mystically auspicious and physically atrocious drop into Telluride finishing in a comfortable 3 hours and 40 seconds…i wanted to stay fresh for my daughter’s 4th birthday party that afternoon.  the real Sacredness of this year’s Imogene for me was the wealth of WF/HP Yoga students with whom i shared this Pilgrimage this year; over 15 students took Pilgrimage to IPR last Saturday!  next year: how about YOU!   i might even do some actual running mileage beforehand to celebrate my 50th year and 14th IPR Pilgrimage!

ipr bridge

the evening before the Sacred Pilgrimage of Imogene Pass Race with the Uncompahgre River tussling in Ouray, Colorado.  “Uncompahgre” comes from a Mountain Ute word, “Unca-pahgre” meaning, ‘hot water’ and refers to the amazing Ouray Hot Springs.  The word “Ouray” (locally pronounced ‘your-ray’) is another Mountain Ute word meaning, “Arrow” and refers to the auspicious meteor-storm birth-night of the famed Warrior and Chief of the Mountain Utes; Chief Ouray.

a genuine yogic Pilgrimage must push the warrior beyond boundaries of self…beyond the ‘second wind’ and deep into the windless wind that lasts until you drop into Divine Effort…i discovered again on this year’s Imogene Pass Race a perfect storm of wholeness that transcended all my other (12?) IPR efforts…come on, i’ll share  with you how my Pilgrimage went and what made it so Sacred…


The auspicious signs of a great Pilgrimage began on Friday, when i hooked up with Most Esteemed Shishya PY  (shown above with Chris “Raven Sister” from a training workout last year) for a ride up to the Start Line in the “Switzerland of America”,  Ouray, Colorado.  PY is focusing her entire year of Practice to c(om)plete the “Sacred Sweat Trifecta” of WF:  this means officially competing in each of the Three Sacred Pilgrimages of WF: Mt. Taylor Winter Quadrathlon (feb.),  the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic (may), and the Imogene Pass Race (sept).

not only is PY attempting to ‘check ’em off the list’…she is 2/3’s the way of doing ALL THREE IN ONE YEAR, a feat done only (and many times) by feeble ilg!     c’mon PY!!! you GO GYRL!!!!   i plan to get an interview with PY on what she TAF’d about IPR soon and how it compared to her Mt. Taylor Pilgrimage!  how friggin’ FUN is THIS PATH!?!?

and how AMAZING and INSPIRING are our Warriors of Wholistic Fitness™ like PY!?!?

let the others mess about with kettleballs and Pilates and bouncy balls that have all have an ecological half life of about a zillion years..meanwhile,  since 1982,  we’ve been simply doing functional fitness by way of multidisciplined personal training and testing our TRUE strength/agility/endurance measures by Sacred Pilgrimages!  c’mon!!!!

what ALL genuine WF Shishya’s must do in order to receive the deeper Teachings and Transmissions of WF;  the

w/rick trujillo

another Om So Ti of a Sacred Pilgrimage;  hooking up with the ORIGINATOR of the Imogene Pass Run;  Rick Trujillo…in the late ’70’s i recall SPORTS ILLUSTRATED doing a feature on “The Man Who Chases Deer”…this is him…a hard-rock miner from Ouray who regularly ran and skied over Imogene Pass to Telluride and back again…while chasing deer between!  this Elder Running Warrior can still kick my butt, your butt, and all our WF’s butt’s combined when it comes to running as fast as possible over high peaks…Rick is an Upa Guru of mine and ilg feebly requests that you too, bow before his decidedly un-lotus feet!  (we accept ALL sport-specific athletes as our Teachers, then attempt to surpass them ALL by WF versatility for – trust me – it’s only when the Student beats the Teacher in the official race when the Teacher truly smiles and becomes Free!).

ipr mtg

Rick Trujillo masterfully pulling off what may (sadly) be his final old-school Kodak slide presentation after the PRE-RACE ORIENTATION spaghetti dinner.  ilg was the last person to finish the meal (hey,  eating spaghetti with my non Dominant hand while using chopsticks is still challenging for me!).  this presentation is surely one of the highlights of the IPR Sacred Pilgrimage…”don’t just sit down on a boulder and cry, for Christ sakes!” is one of RT’s sage tidbits for new racers….as is pounding home his IPR racing maxim: “IFM…Incessant Forward Motion.”  you just GOTTA LOVE this old cat still crankin’ the high San Juan Chi!!!  in the foreground are first  timer IPR and HP Yogi Clan:  Laura Cusick with her little Rinpoche with the shocked look and Private HP Yoga Student Brendan, the amazing daddy of the Clan.

ipr course

“A pilgrimage through wild, open lands provides visions that help shape the proper attitude and inner awareness for religious practice.” –  The XIV Dalai Lama of Tibet

a shot looking back toward the start of IPR Pilgrimage from near the 13,114′ summit…to race as hard as you are able across this sparse, high terrain makes you stumble and each step seems to take twice as long as the one before it…and three times as long as all the steps you’ve taken in training to Be Here Now..yet, here you are now…and the drizzle of barometrically-challenged oxygen that you are able to eat disappears as fast as sage smoke in a sweat lodge…there is not – i promise thee – an unaching bone in your body nor does there remain an enthusiastic fiber for more punishment left in the deepest chambers of your will and you feel the little campfire of tapas within you dwindling as fast as evening sunlight in September…

ipr students

…however, by the Faithful c(om)pletion of even just one Imogene Pass Race?  you KNOW you are truly a yogi;  strong, willful, enduring, and most of all:  capable.

Head bowed to the following known Students of mine that did what it took to Toe The Start Line of one of three yearly WF Sacred Sweat Pilgrimages and take it to the Finish Line this year of years:

Art, Lisa F, bRad, Suparna, PY, Raven, Yogi Jut, BB, Rusty, Mark W, Jomanji, Lisa G, Sara (3rd OA women’s), Logan, and probably many more as i scan the Finishers List!  ilg trusts to see ALL of these and MORE next year as i tackle the IPR for my 50th year of life!

this Teaching is devoted to HP Yogi of 2010, Asoka and his beautiful wife; Melissa who brought my dry-bag up to the finish from Durango on Race Day…THANK YOU!!!!

head bowed,

coach ilg

head feeble coach and channel of:  Wholistic Fitness™ since 1982

12 Responses to “Race Report: 2011 Imogene Pass – A Perfect Storm of Wholeness”

  1. Brad Gantt says:


    Beautiful. Next year, I’ll be there with my clan in-tow. That’s a promise.

    Head Bowed,


  2. BB says:

    It was nice to finally meet you Coach and several others in the WF family at the finish line this year. I hope to see you all again at another start or finish line soon! After that wonderful and glorious pain from Imogene I have now registered for Mt Taylor, so I hope to see several people there! I guess I should probably find some skis, boots, and a road bike on craigslist!!

  3. coach says:

    Promises are fiction;
    Race Results are fact.

    head bowed in Warrior Love as ever,
    feeble ec

  4. coach says:

    Precious Shishya BB;
    you are now officially in second place to Shishya PY to do the WF Sacred Sweat Trifecta in one year! KNOCK IT OFF BABY! let me know if i can help! you did AWESOME at your first IPR! ilg was demolished for like a week after my first IPR back in the late seventies! proud of you!!

    Tsidool, here we come, baby!

    you and PY have me so stoked i might just Solo it again this year!

    in breath and posture no matter WHAT,
    your feeble coach

  5. py says:

    “there is not – i promise thee – an unaching bone in your body nor does there remain an enthusiastic fiber for more punishment left in the deepest chambers of your will and you feel the little campfire of tapas within you dwindling as fast as evening sunlight in September…”

    Om So Ti

  6. coach says:

    Most Precious PY,
    couldnt have said it better meself!

    love Thee
    waaaaay beyond whatever, howmany ever incarnations,
    our Yah-Tah-Hey Enlightenment within the Realm whereupon the “ground is soft and you will not hurt yourself when you fall,”….

    and we will fall,
    endlessly again,
    and again,
    and endlessly again until Enlightenment…

  7. Michael Wilke says:

    as i looked around at the start, i saw someone drop into a yogi squat and knew it had to be you. it was great meeting you finally, especially in the dawn hours below those cold mountains–a nice change from tucson’s lengthy summer.

    again, thanks for the tip on the zoots; i hit my summit time with 48 seconds to spare and my goal finish with six minutes to spare. i.p.r. was a most excellent experience; maybe i’ll see you at the quad next year–it’s time for me to revisit that sweet ride.

  8. coach says:

    you passed me right after Lower Camp Bird and you just kept flitting away! VERY PROUD of thee! awesome job! glad you like the Zoot!

    see you on the Start Lines…again and again until Enlightenment…

    head bowed,
    feeble ilg

  9. suparna /\ says:

    Awesomely Auspiscously Life Changing.
    mind, body & soul growing.
    now i can only humbly ask: what can’t now be done?

    beginning endlessly again..

  10. Michael Wilke says:

    will you be @ IPR this year? i don’t see your name on the list…maybe the whole day is Dewa’s this year? i’m looking towards doing “the quad” again, though, so see ya then if not before!

  11. coach says:

    Most Precious Michael Wilke!
    you called it…my family has spent each of Dewa’s first 4 Septembers serving my Sacred Imogene Pilgrimage…i’m giving it back this year for Dewa alone. however, i took pilgrimage up there a couple of weeks ago to spread the Mantra upon those Sacred Slopes for you, Sandra Lee, Bryan Bishop, and a few other of my students…so…be SURE to send an update to us from your experience and may the Mountain Gods Bless Your Breath during IPR!
    head bowed,
    coach ilg


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