Davy Crockett’s Running Frontier

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

Back to Table of Contents

Even more fun than running 100-mile races for me is doing solo adventure runs.  My first long solo adventure run was in 2002, to Kings Peak in Utah.  Over the years I gained more and more experience and learned how run with minimal weight on my back, but enough food and emergency items to keep me out of trouble.  I’ve now run thousands of miles solo in the back country in Utah and Arizona.  I’ll routinely do runs of 50K to 50 miles and at times up to 100 miles.  continue reading…

Back to Table of Contents

In my early years of ultrarunning, at times well-meaning friends would confront me to let me know that they thought I could be ruining my life and the lives of others by participating in, and encouraging ultrarunning.  As of 2014, after nearly ten years in sport, my family and friends know now this is part of my life and it seems like concerns have decreased because my happy life goes on.  But all new runners in the sport will probably be confronted by similar concerns. I don’t claim to be a doctor or family therapist of any kind, but I can offer opinions that comes through my experience after nearly ten years of ultrarunning. continue reading…

Back to Table of Contents

Because of its impact on my running development, I must include an entire chapter on Mount Timpanogos (locally in Utah referred to as “Timp”). For more than 100 years, Mount Timpanogos (11,749 feet) has been the most popular hiking destination in Utah.  Timp towers over the valley floors below by more than 7,000 feet – an impressive sight that draws hikers of all ages to its trails.  A single round trip to the summit on the trail covers about 14 miles and climbs almost 4,700 feet.  (Compare this to about 4,460 feet elevation change hiking down into the Grand Canyon from the South Rim (Bright Angel trail) and back with about the same mileage). continue reading…

Back to the Table of Contents

During my running career thus far, I have started 66 100-milers on 21 different courses including two fixed-time race courses where I reached 100 miles.  In all, as of 2014 I’ve finished 59 100s. I thought it would be interesting to average my finish times on each course and sort them from slowest to fastest.  The resulting list is sorted roughly from toughest course to easiest for me.  Others may sort this list differently, perhaps because they have more or less difficulty with heat, cold, climbs, or altitude. This is MY ordered list. I’m not analyzing finish rate, or how fast the winners finish, I’m analyzing how tough they are to me personally as an older guy and the features of a course that make them tough for me. No, I haven’t attempted Barkley or Hardrock yet so they aren’t in the list. For each, I’ll give a brief review of the course. continue reading…

Back to Table of Contents

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…

Back to the Table of Contents

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…

Back to Table of Contents

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…

Back to Table of Contents

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…