Davy Crockett’s Running Frontier

I like to Run Insanely Long & Crazy Distances                                                                                                             Pony Express Trail 100
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Squaw Peak 50 is a classic and tough 50-mile race held in the mountains above Provo, UT. During the early miles, the course climbs the slopes of Squaw Mountain (aka Squaw Peak) a prominent peak that rises above Rock Canyon, frequented by day hikers and rock climbers. It received its name back in the 1800s for “Big Elk’s squaw” who died in the canyon following a battle with pioneer settlers.

For years I had wondered if running a double Squaw Peak 50 would be possible and how tough that might be. I succeeded in 2015, running a double Squaw Peak in 29:32. I ran the first 50 loop solo and then joined the race for the second 50 with a couple hours head start. It all went very well and I was able to run with my son during portions of the second 50. that year was a mild year temperature-wise with no snow. Last year, I again attempted to run a double, but the weather was very hot and I wisely aborted after finishing the first 50.

A week before the 2017 race, I finished Pigtails 100 near Seattle, Washington. I recovered fast, so a couple days before Squaw Peak 50, I contacted John Bozung, the race director, and again received permission to run a double. Why, I’m asked? Why not? Back in 1981 I hiked up to the course for the first time and it deeply inspired me to one day explore that Wasatch back country. Little did I know. . .  continue reading…

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I returned for the third time to run the Pigtails Challenge, a lesser-known ultra, near Seattle, Washington. There were five distances, 50K, 100K, 100 miles, 150 miles, and 200 miles. I ran the 150 in 2014 and finished the 100-mile race last year. Each time I had a great first 100-mile time of around 21 hours so I looked forward to try again.

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The Pigtails Challenge is held at the Lake Youngs watershed in 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…

Buffalo Run 100

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I ran the Antelope Island Buffalo Run 100 for the 4th time. Antelope Island is the largest island in the Great Salt Lake, covering 28,022 acres. It is home to bison, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, mule deer, coyotes, bobcats, upland game birds, and waterfowl. In 2006 Jim Skaggs established the first ultramarathons held on the island and in 2011 introduced a 100-miler.

In 1848, Fielding Garr established permanent residency on the island. He grazed his own herds there as well of massive herds for the Mormon Church. At times there were nearly 1,000 wild horses roaming the island. In the 1890’s, John E Dooley owned land on Antelope Island. He bought buffalo and transported them to the Island. By 1900, the small herd had multiplied to over 100 head. Recognizing the recreation potential of the island, the north 2,000 acres were acquired by the state in 1969. In 1981 the state purchased most of the rest of the island thus preserving it as a state park for all the people to enjoy. Today the number of bison on the island number about 750. continue reading…

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I ran the Trail Trashed 100, put on by Triple Dare Running Company, held in foothills of the McCollough Range above Henderson, Nevada, near Las Vegas. This was the first time a 100-mile race was put on as a part of this running event. Other distances included 50 miles, marathon, half-marathon, 10K and 5K. I discovered the race only ten days before and decided to register. The course was only four miles from my son’s apartment in Henderson. I would be attempting to finish three 100-milers in a four-week period.

The Trail Trashed 100-mile course consists of four 25-mile loops. As I researched the course and pieced together Strava segments, I discovered that this would not be an easy 100-miler, with about 16,000 feet of climbing. “Not easy” turned out to be an understatement. This turned out to be one of the toughest 100-milers I had run in several years. continue reading…

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…

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Running at Across the Years in Arizona is now an annual running tradition for me. I’ve run 1018.93 total miles there and this would be my eighth year. This fixed-time race is held in Glendale, Arizona at Camelback Ranch, the spring training facility for the Los Angeles Dodgers. At ATY, there are four different races, running concurrently, 24-hours, 48-hours, and 72-hours and an incredible six-day race. The objective is to run as many miles as you can during your time period. You can rest all you want, but the clock is always ticking.

The 1.05-mile course is a nice loop through the baseball ranch, running past many baseball fields and a pond. The surface is a combination of pavement and dirt. The support for the race is top-notch and each year gets better with the attention to detail. 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…