Davy Crockett’s Running Frontier

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Tushars 93K

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The Tushar Mountains is the third highest mountain range in Utah behind the Uintas and the La Sals.  These mountains are mostly unknown to the running world because of their remote location.  I had never visited them and looked forward to running the new race, Tushar 93K (57.8 miles).  Because it was also my 57th birthday, I thought it would be appropriate to run 57 miles on my elderly birth anniversary to fool me into thinking that I’m still young. The Tushars are about 30 miles long and 20 miles wide in the Fishlake National Forest.  Its highest mountain is Delano Peak, rising to 12,173 feet which would be the first of three peaks we would summit. Most visitors to the area are ATVers, who ride along the Paiute ATV trail, one of the longest in the country.  We would run several miles on that route. continue reading…

At the last minute I decided to run a road race, the River Rail Relay which runs the paved trails from Roy to West Jordan.   I ran the entire distance solo.  I truly made it a solo run.  Friday evening, I parked my car at the finish, and then took Trax (light rail) and Front Runner (train) to Roy (the start) and then ran 2.5 miles to a motel.  Riding the train all that way certainly put in my mind just how far I would be running. continue reading…

I ran in the Squaw Peak 50-mile trail run, held in the mountains east of Provo, Utah.   If successful, this would be my fifth straight finish at Squaw Peak.  To me, it is one of the greatest 50-mile races in the country.  The views are spectacular and the trails are very challenging. In particular I enjoy it because of all the local participants. continue reading…

I ran in the Desert RATS 50 mile race in Fruita, Colorado. This race is part of the Trail Running Festival put on Gemini Adventures.   It used to be called the Spring Desert Ultra.  I’ve wanted to do this race for several years, but it has always conflicted date-wise with Zane Grey 50, which I have run for the past four years.   After four Zane Grey finishes, I had enough of that tough race.  I decided to give the Fruita race a try.

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I ran again in the Old Pueblo 50 in the Santa Rita Mountains, southeast of Tucson, Arizona.   I previously ran in the 2005 and 2006 editions of this race and was pleased to return.  The race is put on very well.  With new race directors this year, the event didn’t miss a beat.  It is still a well-organized, high quality event with super volunteers.

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June 7, 2008

The Squaw Peak 50 is held in the mountains above Provo, Utah, and is only about 30 minutes from my home.   It runs in the Wasatch Mountains, in the next county south of the Wasatch 100 course.  The course is tough, and it is billed as being the third toughest 50-miler in North America.  Among the features that make it tough is:  over 10,000 of elevation climb, a strong likelihood of snow to run through, and a very tough steep climb at the 40-mile point.  The course starts in beautiful Provo canyon at a popular family park and does a complete giant 50-mile loop. The course climbs up onto high ridges with great views of the cities below.   It then has a very long descent down into another valley.  The climb starts again in a very remote area.  The highlight of the course that you always keep in the back of your mind, is a very steep, tough climb up above Windy Pass at about mile 40. The highest point is about 9,400 feet.   The last leg of the course is a long 4,200-foot descent over nine miles, to the finish.

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April 26, 2008

A few months ago, at a time when I wasn’t using very good judgment, I again signed up to run the Zane Grey 50-miler.  How soon my memory faded of the pain and torture I have felt on that course in past years.   If successful, this would be my fourth straight finish on the course that claims to be America’s toughest 50-miler.   I looked at the entrants list and there were only a few others who had finished this course more than three times.  Obviously there are a lot of very smart people who don’t come back and do this course over and over again.

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June 2, 2007

The Squaw Peak 50 is held in the mountains above Provo, Utah, only about 45 minutes from my home.  The course it tough, and I believe it is one of the top three toughest 50-mile ultras in the country in addition to Zane Grey and San Juan Solstice.  Among the features that make it tough is:  over 10,000 of elevation climb, a likelihood of snow to run through, and a very tough steep climb at the 39-mile point.

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