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?