Davy Crockett’s Running Frontier

I like to Run Insanely Long & Crazy Distances                                                                                                             Pony Express Trail 100
                                                                                                                                                                            www.ponyexpress100.org

logoThe Grand Canyon certainly needs no introduction. It is one of my favorite places to run.  I’ve run more than 1,000 miles in and along the canyon and I jumped at the chance to run an official 100-mile race along the North Rim.  As tourists visit the North Rim, it is common to feel some disappointment at the views as compared to the South Rim.  From the South Rim you can view the canyon from many points but from the North Rim, in the National Park, you really just have one view from paved roads.  But the Grand Canyon 100 took us to spectacular viewpoints outside the park, that tourists miss and opened my eyes to a section of the canyon I had never seen before. continue reading…

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Lake Mountain rises 3,200 feet behind my home.  Much of my training takes place in its foothills.  A week ago I finished Salt Flats 100 which was a good race for me. I recovered very fast and by Thursday was itching to run again.  On Friday I tested things out and did a tough run from the Utah Lake shoreline to the top of Lake Mountain, a 12-mile round trip that climbs 3,200 feet.  I felt recovered and again ready for a long run this weekend.

I decided to do some unfinished business.  I wanted to run the entire Lake Mountain ridge line all the way from Eagle Mountain Ranches to the Soldier Pass road, about 16 miles.  I once did this, but not quite right, I skipped the last two miles of ridges and descended into a valley and didn’t run all the way back around to my starting point.  I wanted to go the entire distance without using any valleys to go up or down, something I’m sure no one has accomplished before.  Yes, it would be pretty crazy and required some careful study and planning, but it would be possible. continue reading…

Salt Flats 100

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For the fourth time I went to run the Salt Flats 100 near Wendover, UT/NV.  I really like the course which combines speed with some serious challenges.  The Salt Flats 100 (and 50) starts on the historic Bonneville Salt Flats Speedway.  The actual salt flats are 12 miles long and 5 miles wide covering just over 46 square miles.  Near the center, the crust is 5 feet thick in places.  That is 147 million tons of mostly table salt!  It is the site of some astounding land speed records of more than 600 mph.  continue reading…

With recent cold spring storms, I chose this weekend to stay in the lowlands for a long run. The day before I got the idea of running all the way around massive Cedar Valley which lies about five miles west of my home. It is mostly flat, 23×7 miles and surrounded on all sides by mountains.  Because my wife was gone for the evening, I decided to make this a night training run that mentally should help me in my 100 milers as I have had increased difficulty running the entire night without problems.

Cedar Valley

Cedar Valley

I’ve run in this valley many, many times but the planned a route would take me on a few roads and trails I haven’t explored before.  I would run a giant loop in the clockwise direction. I parked my car on the east end of Eagle Mountain city center and took off running south at about 8:00 p.m. continue reading…

In 2013, I discovered if I did a very long run each week instead of a series of shorter runs that my body adjusted and I recovered from these long runs much faster than if I only did one about once a month.  My recovery from 100-mile runs was faster and the pain felt during them was decreased.  I never do “back-to-back” long runs (two runs in two days) because I believe it is important to recover between them to avoid injury, but once recovered, another long run seems to be very beneficial.

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Again in 2015, I have been doing weekly very long runs.  So far this year I have run at least a 50K run every week except for three.  In addition I have been doing mid-week training and have so far run further than any year before during the first three months of the year (1,120).  This March I ran 453 miles which is my highest mileage month ever. continue reading…

Pickled Feet 100

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Pickled Feet 48/24/12/6 hour run is held at Eagle Island State Park, near Boise, Idaho.  This event is in its 4th year. They also provide a 100-mile option.  I was interested to finish my 4th 100-miler in the first three months of the year, so I signed up.  Last year I ran the 48-hour version and did pretty well, finishing in 3rd with 161 miles. The course runs on a mostly flat, smooth dirt road/trail on a 2.5-mile loop.  The scenery during the loop is great – rural farm land, by a small lake, and along Boise River.

I arrived at the park as the 48-hour runners were getting ready to start at 6 p.m. on Thursday evening.  I chatted with Israel Archuletta for a while.  He would go on to finish in 4th place with 120.280 miles.  I was happy to not be running for two days this time.  64 loops last year was tough and I knew that 40 loops for 100 miles would be plenty.

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logoMonument Valley is a region in southern Utah/northern Arizona that features a cluster of enormous sandstone buttes that tower as much as 1,000 feet above the valley floor.  Much of the area is included in the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park with its impressive views that rival any national park.  This year, for the first time, the Monument Valley 100-mile race was held in this spectacular park.  You have seen many westerns filmed there, Marlboro Man commercials, and even a Forest Gump highway scene.

After coming up short (90 miles) at Antelope Canyon 100, three weeks earlier, I was anxious to get back on the desert trails and complete Monument Valley 100.   I recovered very fast and was even able to train 118 miles during the week between the two races.  I felt strong and ready. continue reading…

Antelope Canyon 100

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Antelope Canyon 100 is run in and around the spectacular and unusual city of Page, Arizona.  Page was founded in 1957 as a housing community for those building Glen Canyon Dam across the Colorado River.  The city is perched on top of Manson Mesa above beautiful Lake Powell.  If you like running through slot canyons, on slickrock next to cliffs, across miles of open desert, this one is probably for you.  The name for the race, Antelope Canyon, comes from a famous slot canyon that we would run through, normally only accessed by private tour companies permitted by the Navajo Nation.

This was the first year for the 100-mile distance at this race and a handful of daring runners including myself decided to sign up.  Concurrently with this race are also distances of 50-miles, 55K, and 25K.  With some quick research on the race, I quickly knew that the most important word about this race was a four-letter word: SAND.  I knew that I must prepare myself for the sand and even sought out sandy areas near my home to practice and mentally prepare.  The race director, Matt Gunn, estimated that the 50-mile and 100-mile runners would be running through about 30-miles of sand. continue reading…