Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hardrock 100 - July 13-15

Here are a few musings from our recent Hardrock 100 race. While it's difficult to express some of the images and experiences in words, I'll just let pictures try and tell more.

About the run; it's 102 miles, climbs 33,992 ft in the San Juan Mountains of south-western Colorado, and is very hard to gain a spot into. The atlitude ranges from 7,700 to 14,000+ ft. Kerry and I sent in our applications with our 2011 Grindstone qualifier and somehow got in. We half expected to have to apply for 3 consecutive years as many have told us this. The run allows 140 entrants and a wait list of 200, so we were quite surprised to be selected.

Here's the famous 'Hardrock' at the start/finish. You have to kiss the rock upon completion of the race.

Here we are at our shared house with other runners and crew who split the cost of the 3BR house with us in Silverton, 2 blocks from the start/finish.

the line in the background is the trail we just came up. See the runners on the left in the forefront? - Photo Matt Trape

Yep, that's me during the race with the silly poles. Must admit, they really help on this type terrain. - Photo Rodger Wrublik

This is one of 6 - 13,000' climbs on the course. A 7th is actually 14,000'  - Photo Rodger Wrublik .

After climbing Virginius Pass (arguably the most difficult in the race), you climb around the back-side of the mountain and finally up scree (loose rocks) to this pass, which is an aid station on race day. this pic is of course marking prior to the 2006 event - Photo Klaseklof

Once through the above mentioned Grant-Swamp Pass, it's a scramble down this scree filled field before the actual decent to safer terrain - Photo Klaseklof

These photos are in order of what we did during the race. This section for me was about 1AM the first night coming out of the town of Ouray. The dropoff to the right of the runner is about 3,000' to a raging stream. This guy is the leader. Clearly it's still daylight for him! - Photo Matt Trape

This was the scariest section for me. On the second night at some 92-93 miles in, we came across this section (obviously dark, had rained and was wet and cold). This was after Maggie Gulch, with only one aid station to go.  Notice the runners in a line halfway up the mountain to the left. The dropoff below is unknown, but you can see something from the trail. I tripped over a rock pile and had a nice hemotoma on my right shin from this section. - Photo Klaseklof

after the last climb, I'd been running with a friend who knew the course. We blazed down the last dirt service road right past where we were to turn off for the 2 mile return to the finish area. He didn't know it until we got to the bottom of the mountain. So, up we climbed again, wasting about 50 minutes. Here is the finish area in Silverton. Photo Eric Lee

Here's Kerry kissing the rock some 4 hourse before me . . .


my legs were twice the size as normal for a few days. Elephantitis?

Monday, June 25, 2012

San Diego 100M - June 9, 2012

Photo Jason Perez
Add caption
June 2011 I DNF'd at 52 miles into San Diego 100. I was sick and thought it was unwise to continue when I couldn't hold down nutrition. Kerry and Michele Harmon went on to finish while Joe Clapper and I crewed the rest of the 2011 race. This year I was 'pulling an Art Perraud at Masochist' - unfinished business, I wanted to finish it.
After we came back from the race last year, we talked up RD Scott Mills race so well that a contingent of trail runners decided to head out west and check it out for themselves. The result was a pretty large group Va., DC. and Md. crew.

VHTRC contingent in San Diego. Back row: Joe Clapper, Quatro Hubbard, Suzy spangler, Scott Crab, Doug and Kerry middle row: Michael Campbell, Keith Knipling, Tracy Dahl, Michele Harmon, Smitty front row: Gary Knipling, Devon Kiernann. -photo Devon Kiernan

The race starts and finishes at the Al Bahr Campground in Laguna, CA - 59 miles east of San Diego in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Wilderness. It traverses the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), Noble Canyon, and Cuyamaca Trails. The start is about 5400 ft, climbing to just under 7,000 ft.

Joe Clapper out in front - Glenn Tachiyama
 Kerry saw me off at the very reasonable 7AM start and would meet me to crew at several sections throughout the day and evening. I was able to hold back earlier on this year, having gone out too fast in the first 33 miles last year.
mile 33 aid - Glenn Tachiyama
There is a 7 mile descent taking you to the lowest point on the course at 3,700 ft around mile 33. At that 33M point you have a challenging 5 mile loop back to that aid station in the heat of the day with little relief from the sun. Right after that loop you climb back to 5,600 ft. in 4 miles. That's pretty much what did me in last year as I couldn't even hold water down and without water you're screwed.

Much of the rest of the course is on single track pine forest and  lower growth jeep roads. The air is crisp and cool with a high of low 80's and low of mid 40's in the overnight. Without much himidity, the weather is perfect for running.

Doug about 20 miles in
The RD, Scott Mills used to be the RD for Bull Run Run back here in our region before he moved out west. He really practices what he preaches - for example; he just ran Western States June 23rd 2012 for his umteenth time and came in with a new age group record at 61yrs in 21H:10M. Incredible, and a great guy. (he puts on a 50K on one difficult part of the course in Sept, check it out here).

mile 52/80 AS - Glenn Tachiyama
I got to the 52 mile aid station at 8PM to see Kerry and eat some soup. This is where I called it quits last year at 9PM, so I had not only started slower and more conservative but had managed to take an hour off last year's split at this point. I felt great leaving the aid station and Kerry told me she would go back and sleep in the cabin and meet me back there at mile 80 to see how I was doing. I won't say it was all rosy overnight because I did encounter stomach issues again, but I think I learned more about what I can run through and what I can't.

I got back to mile 80 AS just before 7AM and Kerry said I was doing great. She ran up the canyon with me for 4 miles or so to ask what she could get me and just to see how my motivation was knowing this was important for me.
unknown runner around mile 85 - Meg Yu photo
I saw her again at mile 96 where she ran me in to the finish. She told me I could break 30H if I pushed it. I ran that last section as fast as I could, passing about 10 runners. Unfortunately, I missed 30 hours by 6 minutes, crossing the finish at 30:06. I'm happy with my finish time and hope to keep getting better as I learn more about nutrition and what I can keep in my stomach. Ginger, Pepcid AC, soda, it seems nothing is scientific for everyone. It also depends on the weather and what you eat the 24hrs prior to.

Next up, Hardrock 100 - July 13-15. Kerry and I are both running it.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Year in Review 2011

After 14 years as a vegetarian, Doug gives it up in Dec 2010 to enjoy whatever food he wants. He can also be found occasionally drinking a beer after a 20 year absence. Enjoy life!

Jan 29 - In downtown Prescott enjoying the pioneer town in northern AZ
Feb 1 - Trail running in Sabino Canyon, Tucson AZ
Feb 27 - Grandma Dorothy's 93rd Birthday Party
April 9 - Bull Run Run on Team WUS
April 10 - Frisco CO. ski trip with friends
April 15 - Sedona AZ to see the Red Rocks
April 30-May 1 Kerry runs 100K of the CAT-100 while Doug and Syd follow and support her. Syd is having a hard time.
May 14-15 Doug runs MMT 100 with his best yet 100 mile finish time of 30:29.
May 27-29 Doug takes 'Wilderness Field Education' class with friend Todd Burns
June 14-16 Doug attends work meeting in San Diego, then meets up with Kerry June 17-19 to run the San Diego 100
July 21-26 Travel to Lake Placid to support friend George Olean at his first Ironman Triathlon. We run up to the highest peak in New York State while there - Mt Marcy
August 20 - after a long battle with several cancers, Syd passes away at her favorite home in Front Royal, Va.
Oct 7 - We both run Grindstone 100 as part of the Beast Series. Kerry finishes as second female!
Oct 8-16 A second trip to Sedona, we took a ride in a helicopter
Nov 9 - Kerry attends the National Womans Law Center reception with guest speaker President Obama
Nov 13 - Kerry race-directs the Potomac Heritage 50K for the 7th? year
Nov 15-17 Doug attends work meeting in NYC
Nov 19 - Doug race-directs the Stone Mill 50 miler for the second year. Many friends assist in this large logistical race
Dec 10 - Kerry and Doug complete the Hellgate 100K also finishing the 6 race series called 'The Beast' including three 50K's in the spring, then a 50 miler, a 100 miler and the 100K in the fall - both receiving this . . . trophy thingie.
Mid-December ski trip to Frisco Colorado with friends
Dec 29-Jan 2 Kerry and Doug celebrate Doug's 50th birthday in Sedona

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

2011 Ring - Attempt #2

Saturday - Sept 3 2011 I again attempted the Ring, a circuit of the 71-mile orange-blazed Massanutten Trail in the George Washington National Forest. Last year I made it 46 miles before stumbling to a halt at Edinburg Gap. This year I went a little further to 56 miles at Woodstock Tower before losing my lunch and dinner on the trail. Maybe next September will be my finish. It was a hot day and it never cooled down much at night, so I'm sure that played into my difficulties. Still, for some strange reason, I like this run more than many others. Perhaps it's the inability to finish that keeps bringing me back. Below are my Garmin waypoints from my time on the course. As you can see, going clockwise, I still have an unfinished section to complete.

Map created by GPS Visualizer

This map was created using GPS Visualizer's do-it-yourself geographic utilities.

Please wait while the map data loads...

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Wild Oak Trail in July

A July 30th loop of The Wild Oak Trail going Clockwise

I don't know how different the loop is going counter-clockwise difficulty wise

The Wild Oak Trail - July 30, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

Maryland AT Run - June 25, 2011

L to R; Jimmy Hessler, Betsy Nickle, Donnie Chapman, Gavin watson, Joe Shramka, Jeff Garstecki, Art Perraud, Dwight Mikulis and Greg Lepore

A small group met at 4:15AM on a hot June Saturday morning in Harpers Ferry WV. to carpool from the finish to the start of the 40 mile journey on the Md AT run.
The run officially started at 5:52AM at Pen Mar with a short run north to touch the PA line on the AT, where runners then headed south just 6 miles to the first aid drop at Raven Rock Rd.
After that rocky section, it was on to Wolfsville Rd at about 10 miles for additional aid before the climb up to Annapolis Rock where some took a 1/2 mile detour to check out the view.

We were fortunate to have the parking lot at Route 40 for the 18.5 mile aid where watermellon, gatorade and everything you'd expect was waiting in Doug's car.

We then ran across the I-70 pedestrain bridge and on to Washington Monument State Park, followed by a nice downhill into the South Mountain Inn/Dahlgren Campgound at mile 23.4. Dwight had aid there in his car for everyone and there are also full restrooms and water available at the campground.
The next section is just over 7 miles to Gathland State Park at mile 30.6, where there are soda machines, water and restrooms. From that section it is a 7 mile stretch to Weverton Cliffs, followed by a short 3.3 mile section to downtown Harpers Ferry by way of the pedestrian bridge crossing into West Virginia for a 3 state run.

Some of the finishers enjoy libations and parking lot bathing.

Results of First Semi-supported MD AT Run - June 25 2011
Jeff Garstecki40.9M8:40
Donnie Chapman40.9M10:18
Gavin Watson40.9M10:??
Joe Shramka40.9M10:??
Betsy Nickle40.9M11:00
Art Perraud40.9M11:00
Greg Lepore23.4M~
Dwight Mikulis23.4M~
Kerry Owens16M~
Doug Sullivan16M~
Jimmy Hessler12M~

More photos here:
MD AT RUN - Jun 25, 2011