Davy Crockett’s Running Frontier

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

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.

click here to continue reading

aty logo

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

No comments

city

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.

Click here to continue reading

arial

Utah Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Utah.  Many rivers, streams, and creeks flow into it and there is only one outlet near my home, the Jordan River which flows to the Great Salt Lake.  Utah Lake is 12 miles across at its widest point and about 21 miles long.  This year the lake is at its 2nd lowest level in over 50 years because so much water was allowed to flow out of it during the summer for irrigation. The lake is very shallow with the maximum depth this year about 9 feet with the average less than 5 feet deep.

Each year hundreds of cyclists ride all the way around Utah Lake using a 100-mile route for a “century” ride.  There is no established trail that runs near the shores of the lake, so roads are used.  Most of the route around the lake is rural farm land with the exception of about ten miles on the east side through the Provo-Orem metropolitan area.

As far as I know, I’m the only person who has run all the way around it, with a route of about 85 miles.  I’ve run around it twice.  I looked forward to running around it again and with the low lake level, try some cross-country bushwhacking on the south end to reduce the miles. continue reading…

Crooked Road 24 hours

1 comment

logo

I had the great privilege of running the Crooked Road 24-hour race in southwestern Virginia.  This race gets its name from a rich local music tradition in the area.  The Crooked Road ties together 19 counties and more than 50 towns where heritage music is celebrated year round.

I had never run a race in the South.  When Ultracentric in Texas was abruptly canceled, and all the registration fees pocketed by a “crooked RD”, I turned my attention to Crooked Rd 24-hours and was pleasantly delighted with the entire experience.  I highly recommend this race.  With fixed-time races like this, the objective is to run as many miles as you can during 24 hours. continue reading…

Kodiak 100

No comments

logo

I again ran Kodiak 100 which is in the San Bernardino Mountains at Big Bear Lake, California.  I ran the 100 last year and enjoyed it enough to return.  This is an easier mountain 100 and has about the same difficulty for me as Tahoe Rim 100.  But make no mistakes, there are a couple very tough sections of this race involving some long, difficult climbs.  The finishing rate is only about 65% which is pretty low, but typical for newer races that attract newer ultrarunners.

The course makes a complete loop around Big Bear Lake but you rarely see the lake because generally you run up in mountains over the ridge away from the lake.  The course involves about 17,500 feet of climbing.  What keeps its difficulty down are many miles of dirt roads and a few miles of pavement.  There are also plenty of miles of fun single track, most up on the Skyline trail.  I believe the course is a bit long.  My GPS measured the course at 102.6 miles. This year they reversed the course direction from last year, clockwise, presenting a nice inviting change.  I couldn’t use my counter-clockwise split times from last year. It would be a new experience.  I believe I enjoyed the clockwise direction of this year a bit more. continue reading…

Cascade Crest 100

No comments

logo_color

Cascade Crest 100-mile Endurance Run is held in the Cascade Mountains near Snoqualmie Summit, just an hour from Seattle Washington.  This was my fifth visit and I’ve always had an enjoyable time running this beautiful forest course.  The theme for the run is “Tall Trees, Tough Trails.”  The trees are amazing, there are long climbs (22,000 climbing feet total), but the trails aren’t too technical.  The race directors do a superb job with the race, keeping it relatively small with a family feel.

For my last visit here, In 2014, I didn’t finish the race.  I became sick during the night, and while I recovered after sitting for an hour, I lost interest and decided to quit.  I was determined to not let that happen again and wanted to finish this race for the 4th time. continue reading…

sign1

The Uinta Mountain range is the highest in Utah. Much of it is protected by Wilderness area. I enjoy running up in the high Uintas because of its remoteness and rugged beauty.  Most hikers and runners who go to the Uintas, only go to the heavily traffic areas, the Mirror Lake area on the far west end, or Henry Fork in order to summit Kings Peak, the highest peak in Utah.  However, they are missing much more beautiful sections, better trails, and more interesting peaks that are usually only seen by backpackers, horseback riders, and determined fisherman.

In the Uintas, now and then, I experience one of those very special days when I have an intense connection with the trail, wilderness and nature.  This past Saturday was one of those amazing days.  The weather was perfect and beauty around me was stunning. I had the trail all to myself and the solitude was so peaceful.  I was disappointed when it ended. continue reading…