Davy Crockett’s Running Frontier

I like to Run Insanely Long & Crazy Distances                                                                                                             Pony Express Trail 100
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Browsing Posts published in December, 2017

nick1

It was just announced that Nick Marshall is the 2017 inductee to the American Ultrarunning Hall of Fame.  He was one of the elite 100-mile runners in the late 1970s and early 80s. Here is a chapter about Nick from my free online book, Swift Endurance Legends. Nick helped me extensively with this book to help preserve the history of 100-mile ultrarunning.

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Nick at Washington Monument, 3 minutes before his first ultra

Nick at Washington Monument, 3 minutes before his first ultra

Nick Marshall, of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania has finished 100-milers across a span of more than 38 years. In addition to his running achievements, he left a huge mark on early ultrarunning through his efforts as a historian and record keeper.

Nick started running marathons in 1973. He realized that the longer the race, the better he could compete. He said, “I was motivated by a simple curiosity over a basic question: How far can you go?” He set his marathon PR of 2:41:15 in 1975 at the Harrisburg Marathon. continue reading…

railtrail

The Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail is an amazing 27-mile smooth trail that starts near Echo Reservoir Dam and travels to downtown Park City, Utah. It is maintained as a state park and is 22 miles of smooth dirt and about 5 miles asphalt pavement.

In 1849, coal was discovered in Chalk Canyon, a community was established, and it eventually was named Coalville. In 1873 a rail line spur was completed from Coalville to Echo to transport coal to the transcontinental rail line. In the mid-1860s, silver was discovered in the canyons near Park City (known then as Parley’s Park City.) The first silver ore was shipped by wagon to Echo in 1871 and then taken by rail to Salt Lake City for smelting.

depot

Park City Union Pacific Depot

In 1880 the rail line spur was extended to Park City and used to transport silver ore from the mines to the rail line in Echo. In 1927 as construction began on the Echo Reservoir and Dam the rail line needed to be relocated higher. In the early 1960s, skiing took hold in Park City and in 1965 the rail line was used for “Ski Trains” that came from Salt Lake City, to Ogden, to Echo, and then to Park City. The final Ski Train ran in 1971.

train

Train on the rails near Echo Dam in 1985. I parked my car exactly here,

In 1989 the rail line was abandoned. The rails and ties were removed and the bed deeded to the State of Utah Division of Parks and Recreation. continue reading…

 

crazy

The treadmill. Love it or hate it? They were invented back in 1818 to help prisoners cure their idleness. In those early years they were used for punishment and certainly in modern times they are still viewed by many as a way to punish yourself. In the late 1960s, my dad built a treadmill (without a motor) to exercise on. It was an amazing difficult machine to get moving and made no sense to me. Most trail ultrarunners despise the treadmill and consider using them as wimpy when you could be running outside. However many years ago I discovered the value of doing workouts on the treadmill to improve my footspeed and increase my mental strength. I’ve shared my views and experiences in a chapter of my running book at: http://www.crockettclan.org/ultras/treadmill.pdf

The furthest I had previously run on a treadmill in one session was 34 miles in 2013. On that day I hit the 50K mark at 4:31. That run included steep inclines, climbing about 5,000 feet along the way. I knew that some serious ultra long-distance speed was possible on the treadmill but I never was motivated to try running 100 miles on the crazy machine. But in my quest to reach one hundred 100-mile finishes, I discovered a virtual race being organized, the Dreadmill 48. This event allowed the runner to choose any day in December and seek to run 100 miles or more in a 48-hour period. I thought it was a great idea, a way for me to get another 100-mile finish without leaving home. If sucessful, it would be my 96th 100-mile finish. continue reading…