One week from today, a couple hundred very sore Flagstaffians will be driving back from Telluride.
For more than 20 years, a tradition has been building in which our town is dramatically represented at the Imogene Pass Run.
I’ve already written two columns about the book project I’m editing, titled “To Imogene: A Flagstaff Love Letter," and now, with many fresh-legged people still of sound mind preparing for their trip later this week for the 44th IPR, I’m putting the word out for a third and final time.
As the title suggests, the book intends to pull together stories, memorabilia, photos, poems, tweets, posts, sketches and whatever else might be appropriate to tell the story of Flagstaff’s love affair with this great American trail race.
It is intended, for artistic reasons, to be a communal project.
As you pack your trail shoes, as you reminisce about past Imogene experiences on the way through Kayenta or Cortez, Colo., as you mentally prepare for this year’s event, as you try to keep your mind occupied headed up the pass, or as you celebrate at Telluride restaurants and bars on Saturday night, please be thinking about how you want to contribute to this unique collection.
Whether you are an Imogene veteran or a first-timer, consider what friends you want to share this information with, because you know those friends will have their own compelling stories about Imogene. Share this column far and wide through social media and one-on-one pleas.
I invite you to read my previous two columns about it, from Jan. 8 and March 26. The material I have received thus far is outstanding, but it’s not enough to make the book as substantial in size and variety as I want it to be. My plan is to release the book before Imogene 2018. That may sound like a long time away, but the production schedule requires me to have all content in hand by Nov. 1, 2017, so I can edit, ask for revisions, and take care of all the other necessary editorial, production and administrative tasks.
That gives you enough time to write up something from this year’s race, conjure memories from your previous races and talk to friends in and out of Flagstaff who would have their own takes on our town’s enthusiasm for the race.
So, no more procrastinating. Contact me with your book contribution idea as soon as you return from Colorado, if not before. Ask at least three friends to contribute to this book.
Don’t let fear of writing stop you – contribute a photo or a tweet or a drawing, or talk with me about a story that you want to tell even if you’re not sure how you want to say it.
And finally, if you’re headed to Imogene to run, to cheer, to volunteer or to party (or any combination of the four), be safe and enjoy your weekend. Whether you know it or not, you’re part of a special relationship: the Flagstaff-Imogene connection.
By this time next year, I expect many people to enjoy reading about why that relationship is such a treasure.