Thursday, November 22, 2012

November Ascent of Pikes Peak

Climbed the mountain via an obscure seldom traveled trail on the SW slopes.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Epic Weekend

My plan for the epic weekend was to run the Hardrock 100 starting at 6 AM on Friday morning the 13th of July and finish in about 36 hours: in time to drive (ride) six hours to Leadville in time to show up at the starting line for the Leadville Silver Rush 50 at 6 AM on Sunday the 15th so I could keep on track for a Leadman finish for 2012. I fell short of that goal.

Hardrock is hard! To reach 60 miles at Grouse Gulch (where I dropped) you have to go over five Hope Passes on steroids!! I was unable to hold down calories, vomiting up any calories I had taken in plus all my water every time I went over 12,000' in elevation. The last 15 miles took me and my pacer, John Courtney 10 hours to complete. Do the math. I was running on empty. I first took a 20 minute nap at Grouse, then I took an hour and a half nap. I was no better able to continue after that rest than when I first plodded into the aide station. Harry Harcrow had been at the Grouse Gulch aide station for eight hours getting sick and sleeping. I talked him into getting back on the course, which he did, finishing in 41 hours. He tried to talk me into getting back on the course too, but I was too weak and I still couldn't eat. I felt bad for Rick Hessek who had driven all the way down from Colorado Springs to pace me for the final 40 miles, but I just didn't have it.

I withdrew and we drove back to Silverton for breakfast. I ate only four bites of the food I got from the buffet, I felt so nauseous. 

Rebekka drove us to our room in Twin Lakes where we got a gourmet meal from the proprietors of the Twin Lakes Roadhouse. Really very well done! The gourmet meal was only for guests of the hotel. We went to bed at 7:30 and I just thought that I would show up at the starting line and see what happened.

Well, what happened is I started off slowly in the 50 miler then I accelerated to the turn around. I saw Clark Sundahl was about 200 yards ahead of me at the turn around and I got a little fire in my eyes. I kept him in sight until I finally reeled him at mile 35 and I just kept pounding it. Ran up the long hill passing another dozen or so runners and finally finished in 9 hours 7 minutes. Not bad for an old fart who struggled through 60 miles the previous day!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tour de Pikes Peak, June 17, 2012

Last Sunday Larry DeWitt and I ran to the summit of Pikes Peak via the Barr Trail. We descended on the Cog tracks to just above Windy Point, where we dropped down to an old toll road that took us down to Boehmer Reservoir and lower lakes and eventually back to the Barr Trail.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Born to Run 50K, May 19th, 2012

Los Olivos, California

“The fog is welcome. Hope it lingers.” I offered as small talk in the early miles. “I grew up in Lompoc. I’ve got a love hate relationship with the fog.” Was the response from the guy running next to me. On the central California coast a few miles inland and north of Santa Barbara, on an 8,000 acre ranch, several hundred ultra runners competed on a 20 mile figure eight course. I ran the 50K which was one complete figure eight, followed by a repeat of the first ten miles and finishing with an out and back to round it up to 31 miles. The other races were a ten-miler, a 100K, and a 100 miler.

The race director, Luis Escobar is a mini-celebrity in the ultra community, having been featured in the popular “Born to Run” book. A month before the race ultra legend Micah True went on a run from his hotel room in New Mexico and didn’t return. He was found a couple days later dead beside a creek. When this series of runs in California were re-dedicated to his memory I made a snap decision to go run the 50K. Rebekka and I bought plane tickets, reserved hotel rooms, rental car and made it happen.

The first loop of ten miles included runners running only ten miles. Ten or more runners spurted out in front of me for an early lead and after five miles about four more passed me. I had no idea how many of them would be running the 50K or longer. I finished the first ten miles of trail in 1:18 and saw quite a few runners who had cashed it in after 10 miles. I asked someone how many were ahead of me, but they didn’t know. A couple miles later on the second loop at the first aide station I learned that only two runners were ahead of me. One of them was running the 100K.

For the remainder of the run, over twenty miles, I ran by myself ultimately finishing second in the 50K with a time of 4:16. The final 10 mile loop was identical to the first 10 mile loop. I ran the first loop in 1:18 and the last in 1:21. The last mile, an out and back, I ran in seven minutes. The winner ran 4:02.

 Along the way I saw about a dozen wild turkeys, a couple rabbits, and a recently dead cow with buzzards all over it. The cow had a dead calf half emerged from its birth canal and blood flowing from its mouth, so its death was quite recent. Eerie.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

May Ascent of Pikes Peak

This time I did it from the Southwest side of the Peak, on an obscure trail that goes up from Bison Reservoir.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Pikes Peak Summit Run

My 2012 project is to run to the top of Pikes Peak every month of 2012. January and February are done, ten more months to go.