Davy Crockett’s Running Frontier

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Browsing Posts published in January, 2013

Ultrarunner Podcast

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I was privileged to be asked to be part of this week’s Ultrarunner Podcast.  I had no idea what they would ask me.  It was fun.  My son was a little puzzled that apparently we moved to Colorado without telling him, and he lives at home with us.

Listen here

Utah Lake is a shallow fresh-water lake in Utah Valley. It is about 20 miles long and is about 6-10 miles wide.  It covers about 25% of the massive Utah Valley located about 30 miles south of Salt Lake City.  During most of the winters, it will freeze solid for several weeks.  For decades people have ventured out on the ice to fish, hunt ducks, ice skate, ski skate, and explore.  A few years ago I ventured out to ran across it which I have done many times.  I’ve run its length, run a 50-miler on it, and have even run all the way around it.   Hot springs exist in and around the lake.  Most are on the northern end, in Saratoga Springs, and toward the south near Lincoln Beach.  Great care must be taken by anyone who ventures out on the ice. Do NOT go out there alone.

This year the lake froze very quickly from a series of days with temperatures near zero.  After a couple weeks below freezing, the ice away from shore was about six inches thick.  I decided it was time to run the lake again.  My story is told in this video.

The return trip turned out to be very tough.  Almost immediately a stiff headwind kicked up bringing windchill way down.  Despite gloves, hand warmers, and pockets, my fingers kept freezing up, toes too.  Interesting little snow drifts appeared everywhere as the wind blew snow toward me.  It was pretty easy keeping a straight line, because I just ran into the wind.

As I approached closer to home, for the last two miles the wind had almost completely swept the ice of all the snow.  The ice was very slick and I had to be extra careful.  I could more clearly look down in the clear ice and see how deep the cracks went, about six inches of thickness.  The wind continued.  It felt like I was in an arctic desert.  Finally the shore came and the wind was less fierce.  I returned home a frozen runner, but I had a great time.

To close out 2012, I again ran in Across the Years (ATY), a fixed-time race held in Glendale, Arizona.  For a fixed-time race, the objective is to run as many miles as you can within a given period of time.  The clock is always ticking.  You can take rests along the way, but the clock never stops.  At ATY, there are three different races, running concurrently, 24-hours, 48-hours, and 72-hours.   This year I again decided to enter the 48-hour race.   Two years ago I won the race, and last year came in second.

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