I heard today, we lost a great one. Art Walsh. Many of you know Art, without “knowing” that you knew him – he was the final checkpoint to know that you realized your dream of crossing the finish line at Pikes Peak. For more than 50 years I think, Art was the guy that would make it official – you had finished the race in one piece – you were at the Top!
Art was a guy who loved the race probably more than anybody I ever met. During the wait times at the top of the mountain, Art would give you a big grin and congratulate you on just making it. It didn’t matter if you were one of the big guns or just a backyard racer, he knew that simply getting his wave of the checkered flag was an accomplishment that many a racer, never feels the glory of – of just getting to the top. He knew he was somehow the leader, the gatekeeper of a select club.
After hearing about Art’s passing, I wondered who he was talking to up in heaven. Was it an Unser, Donner, a Sanborn, so many racers, so many years – I am sure they were all there waiting to tell tales and “remember whens”. I hope that Art took his checkered flag vest with him.
Thanks Art for all of the years, the love of a mountain, a familiar face when I got to the top – you will be missed.