Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hardrock Acclimatization Day 8

Hardrock Acclimatization Day 8, 2012

Tomorrow is the big day. The race will start at 6:00AM sharp and we’ll all be on our way heading clockwise around the course. We had a voluntary course description last night where race management went over the points on the course that give runners trouble every year. I spent the morning today finalizing my drop bag contents and labeling the bags which we turned in before our noon meeting. The meeting at noon was the mandatory pre-run briefing.

Tomorrow you’ll be able to follow the race progress on the HardrockLive site. Race management will update the site during the run and you’ll be able to track the progress of the run while its happening. They will also have two finish line cameras which will post the action at the rock live. When the site goes live, a link will be posted on the Hardrock web site at

I’ve posted a couple of more videos to Youtube. You can see them at my Youtube channel:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Acclimatization Day 6

On our run back from Handies to Grouse Gulch, Jim and I came across  a piece of steel junk in the valley above the trail head. Being a large piece of iron 50 feet below us, it obviously became the object of target practice for rock throwing. After amusing ourselves for few minutes we continue down trail closer to the wreck and discover what it actually is. Check it out:

Hardrock Acclimatization: Day 6, July 10, 2012

Summary: AM: Manual labor volunteering with HR HQ setup, PM: 1st ever (and probably only) HR100 Prologue Time Trial.
Distance Covered: 2 miles
Vertical Gain: 0 ft

Notes about the day: After breakfast we decided to walk the last miles of the course and eventually started a walk up to Christ of the Mines Shrine on the north side of Silverton. On the way we met up Louise Mackenzie who said we looked like volunteers. A few minutes we were loading soda into the back of her truck and riding through downtown Silverton on the back of tail gate.
1 mile time trial: Somewhere along the line we got the dumb idea to do a time trial on the track (I think it came from Eric and I noticing the track across town when were up at the Shrine). So at 4:30 we all met at the Silverton track for a 1 mile time trial. The object was a handicapped start with each runner departing with a stagger based on their predication. The object was for everyone to finish at the same time. Mike Dobies and his nephew, Bill Losey, Jim and Eric Harris, Bob Combs and myself all participated. Eric finished with a 5:05, I had a 5:34 and Jim ran 6:17. Running a hard mile at 9500 feet was much more taxing than I had expected.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hardrock Acclimatization Period: Day 1 to 5

We’ve been in Colorado but off the grid for a few days. We’ve been camping at trail heads and hiking trails since we’ve gotten here. I’ve uploaded photos and videos to a flicker site:

Here’s a summary of what we’ve been up to since we got here:

Hardrock Acclimatization: Day 1, Thursday, July 5, 2012
Summary: Summit Mt Elbert – Highest peak in Colorado
Distance covered: 9 miles (out and back)
Vertical Gain/Loss: 4,326 feet +/-
Started from Elbert Creek TH (10,107’), Turned at Mt Elbert Summit (14,433’)

Notes: We got on the ground in Denver and were picked up by Kim and Eric and drove straight Leadville, hitting Walmart on the way for supplies. It was raining when we arrived in Leadville so we decided to forgo camping and spent the night at Leadville Hostel. We got up early and were at the Mt Elbert trail head by 7:30am. We summited Elbert, the highest point in Colorado, under blue skies.

Hardrock Acclimatization: Day 2, Friday, July 6, 2012
Summary: Summit Mt Massive – Second highest peak in Colorado
Distance covered: 13.5miles  (out and back)
Vertical Gain/Loss: 4,314 feet +/-
Started from Mt Massive TH (10,107’), Turned at Mt Massive Summit (14,421’)

Notes: After sleeping at Elbert Creek campground, we hiked to the summit of Mt Massive. The weather was great early but got sketchy late in the hike. After waiting for some questionable clouds to pass, Eric and I snatched a summit in great weather before heading for the tree line. After our hike we headed south and ended up in Ouray where a local directed us to camp at Jackass Flats (we believe they used this flat area above the town of Ouray). This was the most gorgeous place I’ve ever camped.

Hardrock Acclimatization: Day 3, Saturday, July 7, 2012
Summary: Reviewed Hardrock Course: Ouray to Engineer Pass
Distance covered:  miles (out and back)
Vertical Gain/Loss:  4,430 feet +/-
Started at Bear Creek TH on route 550 near Ouray (8,480’), Turned Engineer Pass (12,910’)

Notes: The day dawned with rain but that didn’t deter us from exploring the section of the HR course from the trail head at RT550 up to Engineers Pass. This was by far the most epic trail I’ve ever been on. The trail is a chiseled shelf cleft into a sheer cliff face.

Hardrock Acclimatization: Day 4, July 8, 2012
Summary: Reviewed Hardrock Course: Governor Basin to Kroger Canteen
Distance covered: 12 miles (out and back, counting a wrong turn up Imogene Basin)
Vertical Gain/Loss: 3,338 feet +/-
Started from Governor Basin AS (12,160), Turned at Kroger Canteen Summit (13,100)

Notes: After a very we evening and a dinner spent huddled around the stoves under a tarp, the morning dawned bright and clear and we drove the van up the epic Camp Bird Road from our campsite area in Thisledown Campground. After a miss fire where we hiked up the wrong trail for an hour, we finally found the correct trail head and climbed up to Governor Basin and the Virginius Mine area. After playing around on the mine remnants for a bit, we climbed to Kroger Canteen in Virginius Pass. Undoubtedly the most epic aid station location of any ultra I’ve ever seen.

Hardrock Acclimatization: Day 5, July 9, 2012 Summary: Reviewed Hardrock Course: Grouse Gulch AS to Handies Summit
Distance covered: 9 miles (out and back)
Vertical Gain/Loss: 3,338 feet +/-
Started from Grouse Gulch TH (10,710), Turned at Handies Mt Summit (14,048’)

Notes: Beautiful day on the course. Ran from the AS at Grouse Gulch to the summit of Handies Mountain and back. After the run, we ate at High-Noon-Hamburgers in Silverton.