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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Aspen Report Part I: Is it Oxygen Debt or Old Age?

I can finally write about my Aspen Ruggerfest experience. I just got back home to Minnesota after 4 mostly fun-filled days in the Rocky Mountains. I was lucky to have 4 Metropolis Old Boy room-mates who are really nice guys. When you room with people, you never know quite how it is going to go. In my case, sharing a condo with Bruce(to my left), Dave, Mike and John worked out very, very well with our Condo that had a million dollar view, as you can see from above.

On Thursday, I had shared a drive from the Denver Airport with Eric and Kyle to Aspen. In our quintet, I was the first person to make it to the Durant Condo and check in. I had to drag my bags and my prop-shaped physique up the 3 flights of stairs. I could not believe how winded I was doing that. There is a big difference in activity done at sea level and at over 8,000 feet. I don't mind saying that I was more than level nervous about Friday's games. We would have to finish in the top 2 of our pool to play rugby on Sunday.

After a good night sleep, it was off to play Kansas City in our first game on Friday.  I should explain that for the over 35 division, we were a mix of Omaha Goats, Metropolis, and a couple of Old Laurentians from Rugby, England. We knew Kansas City was going to be tough. The game ended up being harder than I even imagined. Their huge, strong, organized pack put a serious beat-down on us. There were a couple of scrums where I had the disquieting sensation of being literally off the ground. I cannot think of any game I have ever played where took such a physical beating at prop. It was the perfect combination of altitude, middle-age and playing very good opposition. We had a little over an hour from that beat-down to get ready for our game against Harlequins. We still did not score any tries, but I felt that at least I was having some success in the scrum(that's me on the left with the short hairdo)

We lost again against Harlequins, and were shut out again. In spite of the pain and fatigue, I have to say that I don't think I will ever play at a more beautiful venue than in Aspen...
After two losses on Friday, we had one more game to try to salvage some honor, or at least score a try. It was time to literally send in the Clowns-and that will be my subject for my next entry.

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