Davy Crockett’s Running Frontier

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

Miles and Miles

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milesIn 2002, I started to keep track of the number of miles I ran, starting with my very first Mount Timpanogos hike in Utah. That kicked off my desire to stay fit and run on trails. At first when recording miles, I was somewhat of a trail snob, only keeping track of miles run on trails. Somehow I put in my mind the thought that unless the miles were on trails, they didn’t count. But I soon came to my senses and kept track of all my miles. For that first year I ran 691 miles. As I strived to lose weight, I also kept track of swimming miles and over the first three years swam 333 miles.

People have attempted to find the person who has run the most lifetime miles. Because proof with running logs are not very good, the best documented record probably is held by Dr. Herbert Fred of Houston, with more than 250,000 miles by the age of 85 in 2014. He kept many logbooks. His biggest year was in 1966 when he ran 7,661.5 miles. In 2011 he ran 2,886 miles at the age of 82. In April 2014, he surpassed 250,000 miles. That is further than running all the way to the moon (238,900 miles).

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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…

100-miler FAQs

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faq

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.

 

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…

old-manI attempted to run my first 100 at the ripe old age of 46. It was a failure full of introspection. I had experienced enough early failures ultrarunning (finishing nearly last or not finishing) that it caused me to conclude that I was probably too old to become an ultrarunner. But in reality, the average finisher age for those who ran my first 100-miler was age 44.

So at age 46 in 2004, I mistakenly considered myself too old to be a serious runner. After all, I knew that for most professional sports you are over-the-hill by your mid- 30s. I was still recovering from a torn meniscus and believed that I would always be a back-of-the-pack runner because of my age, and my knee.

As I started to love the sport of ultrarunning, I wished that I could have found the sport when I was much younger, wondering how well I could have performed without an aged, broken body. I wished I didn’t have a bad knee, believing that it would always limit my speed and distance.

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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…

Urban Running

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During the winter, one of the most frequent questions I receive is: “Are you still running during the winter?” Since I started running in 2004, I have never considered taking the winter months off. I usually do the complete opposite and step up my training to new levels, putting in more miles during the winter months compared to the summer. Putting on holiday weight doesn’t become a worry and the result is a solid mileage base for the races in the new year. As of 2016, I’ve run year-round for more than twelve years.

But my approach is different during the winter. Many runners in Utah in recent years have enjoyed to continue to push up to the peaks in deep snow. Perhaps that is fun, but for me, it does not contribute much toward continued 100-mile race training. I move my training down into the valleys and find ways to do creative, interesting long urban runs.

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