Davy Crockett’s Running Frontier

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Browsing Posts in 100-mile

Jackpot 100

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logoI ran Jackpot 100 again, held at Cornerstone Park near Las Vegas, in Henderson, Nevada. This race is a loop-format race on a 2.38-mile course through the park. Various races are held concurrently, 48-hour, 24-hour, 100-mile, 12-hour, six-hour, and marathon. I chose to run the 100-miler. Last year I finished in 6th, with a time of 20:51, my best 100-mile time of the year. I looked forward to another possible fast race.

But this year a terrible rain storm was forecast and the rain would pour for hours. I came prepared with rain gear and mentally prepared myself for potentially miserable race conditions. My goal was to finish in the top-five and hopefully run faster than my time last year. But I didn’t have firm, high expectations. Two weeks ago I finished Rocky Raccoon 100 and I had been sick with a sinus infection ever since, with very little training. continue reading…

Rocky Raccoon 100

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Rocky Raccoon 100, held at Huntsville State Park north of Houston, Texas has been the scene of both triumph and tragedy for me.  It was the race where I claimed my first 100-mile finish in 2005, and I’ve also posted some of my fasted 100-miler times there.  But in 2012, my last time running there, I did a very painful and slow run there on a badly injured leg.  I looked forward to returning for the first time in five years to try to claim my 6th finish there. continue reading…

Crooked Road 24 hours

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I had the great privilege of running the Crooked Road 24-hour race in southwestern Virginia.  This race gets its name from a rich local music tradition in the area.  The Crooked Road ties together 19 counties and more than 50 towns where heritage music is celebrated year round.

I had never run a race in the South.  When Ultracentric in Texas was abruptly canceled, and all the registration fees pocketed by a “crooked RD”, I turned my attention to Crooked Rd 24-hours and was pleasantly delighted with the entire experience.  I highly recommend this race.  With fixed-time races like this, the objective is to run as many miles as you can during 24 hours. continue reading…

Kodiak 100

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I again ran Kodiak 100 which is in the San Bernardino Mountains at Big Bear Lake, California.  I ran the 100 last year and enjoyed it enough to return.  This is an easier mountain 100 and has about the same difficulty for me as Tahoe Rim 100.  But make no mistakes, there are a couple very tough sections of this race involving some long, difficult climbs.  The finishing rate is only about 65% which is pretty low, but typical for newer races that attract newer ultrarunners.

The course makes a complete loop around Big Bear Lake but you rarely see the lake because generally you run up in mountains over the ridge away from the lake.  The course involves about 17,500 feet of climbing.  What keeps its difficulty down are many miles of dirt roads and a few miles of pavement.  There are also plenty of miles of fun single track, most up on the Skyline trail.  I believe the course is a bit long.  My GPS measured the course at 102.6 miles. This year they reversed the course direction from last year, clockwise, presenting a nice inviting change.  I couldn’t use my counter-clockwise split times from last year. It would be a new experience.  I believe I enjoyed the clockwise direction of this year a bit more. continue reading…

Cascade Crest 100

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Cascade Crest 100-mile Endurance Run is held in the Cascade Mountains near Snoqualmie Summit, just an hour from Seattle Washington.  This was my fifth visit and I’ve always had an enjoyable time running this beautiful forest course.  The theme for the run is “Tall Trees, Tough Trails.”  The trees are amazing, there are long climbs (22,000 climbing feet total), but the trails aren’t too technical.  The race directors do a superb job with the race, keeping it relatively small with a family feel.

For my last visit here, In 2014, I didn’t finish the race.  I became sick during the night, and while I recovered after sitting for an hour, I lost interest and decided to quit.  I was determined to not let that happen again and wanted to finish this race for the 4th time. continue reading…

Bryce 100

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Bryce 100 is held near the famed national park, on the next major ridge line to the west. The course is pretty spectacular with views of many pink hoodoos similar to those seen in the park.  It runs above and below what are called the Sunset Cliffs that face to the west.  I ran the race in 2013 and struggled with the altitude.  Much of the course runs above 9,000 feet.  Weather is always an issue: too hot, too cold, or rain.  I knew this would be the most difficult 100-miler that I would run so far this year, but decided at the last minute to give it a try.

The two major factors that make this race difficult are:  the altitude and the long distances between aid stations.  To finish up the 100, the aid stations distances are: 9.4, 7.7, and 9.3 miles.  When you are moving slowly toward the end and if the weather is hot, this can make things very difficult and for some runners, quite dangerous.  You have to carefully prepare for the worst cases and hope to do well.  Even with my previous experience with the course, I still wasn’t prepared enough. continue reading…

 

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I returned to the Seattle area to run a lesser-known ultra, mostly run by locals, called Pigtails Challenge. There were five distances, 50K, 100K, 100 miles, 150 miles, and 200 miles. I ran this race in 2014 and finished the 150-mile race. This year I entered the 100-miler.

The Pigtails Challenge is held at the Lake Youngs watershed near Renton, Washington, which is only about 15 miles from where I grew up and went to high school. The 9.4-mile loop trail runs around the perimeter of a very protected reservoir that supplies drinking water for Seattle. Along the trail, there is only one place where you can get a glimpse of the lake. The course is very easy to follow because you simply run on the outside of the high fence that guards the property. It always reminds me of the movie, “The Village” where a society lives secretly in the woods behind high walls. continue reading…

Salt Flats 100

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I went to run the Salt Flats 100 for the fifth time near Wendover, UT.  I enjoy the course because it has fast sections, fun climbs, and challenging mud flats.  In most years, the weather has been a factor with at least passing thunder storms.  This year the salt flats were under several inches of rain and yes, the weather became a major factor during the race. continue reading…