Davy Crockett’s Running Frontier

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

Squaw-Peak

Somehow years ago I got into my head that it was cool to run repeats of high peaks.  I do recall probably in 2004, seeing a guy run up and down Mount Timpanogos twice in a day. I was very impressed.  But he only went up to the saddle and back twice, not the summit. I convinced myself that this was not quite right, that you needed to go from trailhead to summit and back, then repeat.

My crazy repeats started on Timpanogos, first two, then three, then four, and finally five summits on August 18-19, 2006.  I’m still waiting for someone to break that record, or even tie it, but it still stands nearly ten years later.  It seems like every month I meet someone and the conversation starts, “Are you the guy who…”  I think, “oh no, here it comes again.”   I get embarrassed and reply, “Yes, I’m that guy.”

I like repeats because they are on a consistent trail. You return to your car every few hours to resupply and continue on.  It also is a tough mental exercise that seems to help develop mental strength to continue on in races when I face trials. continue reading…

Salt Flats 100

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I went to run the Salt Flats 100 for the fifth time near Wendover, UT.  I enjoy the course because it has fast sections, fun climbs, and challenging mud flats.  In most years, the weather has been a factor with at least passing thunder storms.  This year the salt flats were under several inches of rain and yes, the weather became a major factor during the race. continue reading…

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The first transcontinental railroad was completed near the Great Salt Lake in Utah, at Promontory Summit, on May 10, 1869. It was the main line railroad across the country until around 1904 when a new line was cut across the Great Salt Lake and bypassed Promontory.  The original historic route continued to be used for passenger traffic for many more years.  In 1942 the tracks were abandoned as the rails were needed to support the war effort during World War II.  Today in this remote area, the railway grade is still clearly visible and runnable.  I had always wanted to run on this historic railroad bed.  I finally made the trip and ended up running about 32 miles on it. continue reading…

Pickled Feet 100

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Pickled Feet 48/24/12/6 hour run is held at Eagle Island State Park, near Boise, Idaho.  It is a wonderful event put on my Emily Berriochoa. They also provide a 100-mile option.  Last weekend I ran 100 miles at 4mph challenge and I really didn’t consider running this event just one week later, but my recovery went well, the Idaho weather forecast improved, and at the last moment, I decided to head for Idaho and run. If successful, I could accomplish two 100-mile finishes with just five days of rest in between them.  I have accomplished that one other time, back in 2013, running 107.7 miles for 5th place at North Coast 24-hour, and then the next Friday running Salt Flats 100, finishing in 8th with 23:29.  So, I knew it could be done.  Could I do it again? continue reading…

4mph Challenge

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I ran in a very unique race, the 4mph Challenge.  The race runs along the shoreline of Whiskeytown Lake in northern California.  For this race you must maintain at least a 4 m.p.h. (15-minute mile) for each six-mile segment. If you don’t finish the six miles in 90 minutes, you are out. Once you finish the segment you wait for the clock until 90 minutes and off you go again for the next segment. The winner is the person who goes the furthest without timing out or quitting.

Years ago, I read the intriguing, but gruesome 1979 novel by Stephen King entitled “The Longest Walk.”  The story is similar to Hunger Games.  Teenage boys participate in an annual walking contest and must keep their pace above 4 m.p.h. You are given only three warnings if you slow, and then bam, shot dead. The winner is the last one standing and they get nice awards.  As I read it, I realized Stephen King doesn’t run.  4 m.p.h is fast.  He should have chosen 2 m.p.h. to make it more realistic.  I was interested to see what I could do with 4 m.p.h. continue reading…

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I guess I have a strange obsession with running around mountains and mountain ranges.  Most people like to bag mountains by climbing to the top.  I like to bag mountains by running around them.  This Saturday I bagged another mountain range, the Onaqui Mountains in the west desert of Utah.  These mountains lie south of the Stansbury Mountains (Deseret Peak) and north of the Pony Express Trail.

This loopy obsession began on May 2004 when I ran around the mountain behind my home, Lake Mountain, a loop of about 32 miles.  That felt like an amazing accomplishment at that time.  Since then I’ve probably run around it nearly 15 times.   After that, for many of my solo adventure runs, I’ve chosen to run around a mountain or an entire mountain range.  My entire list is at the bottom of this article. continue reading…

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The San Rafael Swell is about 2,000 square miles of public land in Central Utah that is known for its scenic sandstone formations, deep canyons, and expansive panoramas.  The entire area has been lifted up and turned, leaving an angled reef displaying amazing rock formations, domes of sandstone, and rugged ridgelines. The area is harsh in the summer and is often overlooked to visit except for off-road vehicle enthusiasts and horseback riders.

A Wilderness Study Area has been established in the Swell and this has been somewhat successful in keeping the ATVs out of pristine canyon areas and high plateaus, leaving areas of solitude.   I was interested in exploring the Sids Mountain Wilderness Study area, a very remote area in what is known as the Little Grand Canyon of Utah.  Late winter is an ideal time to run in the area because of the spring-like temperatures, some flowing water and lingering snow patches. continue reading…

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Cathedral Valley is one of the great remote areas of Utah that receives very few visitors.  In 1945 the first superintendent of what was then Capitol Reef National Monument, christened this area of fantastically eroded cliffs, sandstone monoliths and panoramic views, as Cathedral Valley. To him, the scene seemed downright Gothic. Compared to the more popular Waterpocket Fold area to the south in Capitol Reef National Park, not many people choose to make this trip.  It usually requires a high-clearance vehicle and at times a 4WD vehicle.

During most of the year, a 64-mile loop (including a paved-highway connector) can be driven to view this spectacular area.  Last year (2015) I made a brief visit to Cathedral Valley and recorded this video.  This year, I decided that I would try to run the entire loop.  Instead of running the highway to connect the ends of the road, I would use a remote 4WD road (0146) to complete the loop.  This would make a loop of about 43 miles, most of it on fast maintained dirt road.  Surely no one had ever attempted this before and I would discover another epic long run.  With some sight-seeing detours along the way, my run would be 47.2 miles. continue reading…