Davy Crockett’s Running Frontier

I like to Run Insanely Long & Crazy Distances                                                                                                             Pony Express Trail 100


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The temperature drops, frost falls, leaves cover the ground and the snow begins capping the mountain peaks above.  When I started running in 2004, it seemed like all the runners I knew would stop doing serious training for the winter months, taking a break. I had increased my fitness level and feared the impacts of stopping, going back to a sedentary life, so I just kept running and training year-round.  But living in the Mountain West required me to change my approach for the winter months. continue reading…


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Ultrarunners in the Mountain West likely also become peak baggers.  Those peaks stand high above and call runners who are fit enough to run and climb their slopes to the top.  Climbing to the tops of peaks never really was an interest to me in my earlier years.  I would get up to the top of peaks by car or ski lift, but never under my own power.  As a child I used to climb up “Y mountain” in Utah to the Y on the mountain slope. One day I went up as far as I could toward the top, but was stopped by difficult cliffs.  Peak bagging for me came decades later. continue reading…


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All ultrarunners have their favorite places to do regular training.  I wonder if I would have ever become an ultrarunner if I didn’t live at the foot of a high mountain which became my running playground.  I believe to truly keep a long-lasting love for running, your primary training area must be close to home, preferably right out your door and with miles of alternatives.  I’ve seen too many runners run the same routes over and over who have lost that interest and have difficulty getting out that door each morning.  I watch runners run on a pretty busy highway near my home with frowns on their faces as they run by noisy traffic on a pavement shoulder.  They do this morning after morning oblivious to the wonderful peaceful trails nearby. continue reading…


My favorite time to run is early on Saturday mornings when I have more time to run, can get up earlier and don’t have the time pressure to get into work.  Usually I have a general plan of where and how far I want to run.  At times this evolves into a somewhat random run where I explore new trails, new sights, but generally know where I am so getting lost is not possible.  Other times my long run on Saturday morning is carefully planned with an exact route and time allowed.  For me, to keep my interest in running, I rarely do the same routes over and over again.  I used to run up Mount Timpanogos multiple Saturdays in a row, but I just can’t anymore because I know the trail so well. This summer I didn’t reach the summit at all. I know every turn, almost every rock and unfortunately I now have feelings of boredom when I run up that trail. So, my quest on my long runs is usually to find something unique, challenging, perhaps something no one has accomplished before, and even better, something that no one has even considered doing. continue reading…

Antelope Island 50K

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When Jim Skaggs moved to Utah about ten years ago, he introduced to the ultrarunning community the unique experience of running on Antelope Island.  He introduced the first ultra on the island in 2006 and now several thousand runners have had the experience running on the island.  The main running event is held in the spring, 25K, 50K, 50-mile, and 100-mile races.   But also in the fall Jim puts on a smaller 50K race with a more interesting and challenging course. continue reading…


I summited Kings Peak, the highest peak in Utah for the 15th time. But this time, I did it from a trailhead on the south slope, instead of from the north. The challenge is that this route is a 41-mile round trip with 6,580 feet of climbing instead of 26 miles and 4,300 feet of climbing. I believe I’m the first person to accomplish this in a day. Typically this longer route is a four-day backpack trip. continue reading…


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As more runners desire to be able run ultramarathon distance, they frequently ask if there is a training plan available to help them achieve that goal.  Very structured training plans are available on the Internet that seem to feed the appetite of those who seek a prescriptive plan to achieve their goal.

I have never subscribed to such an approach, using somebody’s chart telling me what I “have to run” in order to prepare for a race.  I consider such approaches silly.   It can lead to both injury and burn-out.  I’m shocked when I read this advise in a typical training program: “If you need them, take recovery days.”  Of course you need recovery days! continue reading…


Last year I set a crazy goal to attempt summiting the eight highest peaks (300+ feet prominence) in Utah County, all more than 11,000 feet, in a single adventure run.    The peaks in order are:

  • Mount Nebo 11,928
  • Mount Timpanogos 11,750
  • South Timpanogos 11,722
  • North Timpanogos 11,441
  • North Peak (“North Nebo”) 11,174
  • Box Elder Peak 11,101
  • Provo Peak 11,068
  • East Peak (“East Provo”) 11,040

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