Davy Crockett’s Running Frontier

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

To make some adventure runs even more interesting to me, I enjoy running around big things.  Running around is fun.  I also like to give people the runaround.  I started that crazy practice back in 2005. I can’t explain my fascination for running around stuff.  Perhaps as a child I enjoyed getting dizzy.  But there is some level of satisfaction looking at a giant landmark like a mountain or a lake and knowing that you have run all the way around it.

Here’s a list of my runarounds:

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In 2008, I ran my first fixed-time race, a 24-hour race in Buckeye, Arizona, Across the Years (ATY).    Instead of a fixed-distance like 100 miles, there is a fixed time to run, and the winner is the runner who rus the furthest. Since my first race, as of 2014, I have now run nearly 1,000 miles in this type of race. I am not really a veteran yet, but I do have some good experience now, and I was the overall winner in two of the races.

Over the years I’ve come to deeply respect the athletes who run this type of race and have learned much from them.  When I got involved, there were only a handful of runners who ran both mountain ultras and fixed-time races, but now the cross-over seems to be larger.  It truly is a different type of running that requires different skills, a different mental toughness, and a boat load of strategy in order to do well.  With each race I have gained more experience and now know what it takes to excel in them. continue reading…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…