Davy Crockett’s Running Frontier

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

Browsing Posts published in February, 2014

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Whenever anyone learns for the first time that I run 100-mile races the usual questions start coming.  I can count on this happening almost every week at work during the beginning of a meeting.  I enjoy answering these questions and watching the reactions.  But I hope they go away with a greater understanding of the sport.  Here are many of the common questions asked and my answers. continue reading…

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The historic Pony Express trail crosses about three miles from my home.  I have a passion for US history and during the winter of 2004-05, I decided that it would be fun to try to run much of the historic trail in western Utah.  I had never even driven it before, so running it would be a great new adventure and a good way to run some long distances during the winter months. continue reading…

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After just a year of true running, I discovered that many ultrarunners took winter months off. During the winter of 2005-06, I didn’t want to lose the fitness that I had so far achieved, so I looked for ways to continue to get outdoors and started running in the lowlands.  I discovered dirt roads that ran next to canals and I enjoyed increasing my foot speed on the flats.   I started running up the mountain behind my home, Lake Mountain, which had a road that went to the top.  It could be run even in the winter with snow on the road.  I also ran some on the treadmill but hated it.

I had not run a road race in nearly 30 years.  My path to ultrarunning did not come from road racing which is the normal path.  I came through long distance hiking and never before had a desire to run any road races, marathons or otherwise. continue reading…

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There are a bunch of dern fools running a 100-mile race in the mountains.”  — Overheard in a convenient store in Preston, Idaho, 2006.

It is 1:30 a.m., at about mile 73 of the 2007 Bear 100, on the 5th climb of the famed Bear “roller coaster,” in the mountains above Preston, Idaho.  I’m lying down on the side of the trail, breathing hard, out of gas. My first-time pacer brother, Bob, is leaning over me, “Should I get help?” “No”, is my quick reply. “This is just a bad bonk, part of this crazy sport.” Earlier, Bob was talking about the possibility of trying a 100-miler of his own. Now, looking down at my agony, he’s having lots of second thoughts about that crazy idea. Bob drapes a jacket over me and wonders if I’m going to croak. After five minutes, I feel a little better, and struggle back to my feet. I eat and drink and do the only thing I know how to do at that point – push forward. I throw up several times and I hear Bob exclaim, “Oh boy!” I grin to myself and push forward even harder, feeling a little better. In another mile Bob starts to complement my strong pace. I was back in the race. continue reading…

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The DNF “Did Not Finish” is usually experienced by every ultrarunner.  During my first 14 months of ultrarunning, I experienced three DNFs out of my first five 100-mile attempts. For me, my best lessons learned have come after experiencing a DNF.   As of 2014 I’ve now experienced seven DNFs out of the 66 100-milers that I have started.   Some races credit you a finish of 100K if you don’t reach 100-miles, I guess to make you feel better, like a participation award.  I still consider those as DNFs.  Two of my DNFs gave me 100k buckles. continue reading…

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Note: I write this section with some trepidation.  The number of Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim (R2R2R) runs have exploded in the past couple years and I observe on the Internet large groups being formed to run in the Grand Canyon.  Ill-prepared and naïve R2R2R runners are experiencing serious problems in the canyon and I just hope anyone reading my adventures, and wish to do the same, will be very careful.  Some runners have had to be airlifted and others finishing have been hospitalized afterwards.  The main culprit is the heat. continue reading…

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The exciting afterglow feeling of finishing a 100-miler lasted for days.  I really did it!  For several days I wore sandals to work because my feet were swollen and blistered, but I soon started thinking about what I could run next.  I had gained some good confidence and was anxious to race again.  Yes, I was really an ultrarunner, but still quite the rookie and making many mistakes. But these mistakes were somewhat overcome with my stubborn determination.  I was stumbling through this new sport mostly on my own but soon I would find more help. continue reading…

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My greatest running love is doing long solo adventure runs.  To make them even more interesting, I enjoy doing “firsts.” These are tough runs that as far as I know, no one has ever attempted or accomplished before.  By publishing these “firsts” I hope that others attempt these and even run them faster, establishing fastest known times.

My “firsts” described below were all solo and either unsupported or self-supported.  If anyone knows of someone who has accomplished these runs before or after me, I welcome the information.  When I do these runs, I don’t try for “fastest known times” because I enjoy sight-seeing and taking pictures.  My aim is to just finish. My motivation for documenting these are not to boast of “records” but to inspire others to do the same and find creative “firsts” to push the limits of what is possible. continue reading…