Sunday, September 20, 2015
My last trip to Alaska one of my customers clued me into the most popular running race in Alaska. It's called Mt. Marathon and the local TV stations have live race TV coverage. They call it their Olympics. The race started out as a bet from some town residents in the 1800s to see if someone could hit the 3002 ft. peak from town and back in less than an hour. The first racers work boots, wool pants, and their Sunday best white shirts and the winner did it in 62 mins. This year, international superstar Killian Journet won it in 41 minutes without much effort as he high fived the crowd on the way back knowing he had the record in the bag. The course is straight uphill and straight downhill on 38 degree slopes. There is a former contestants body up there somewhere on the mountain as he got lost in 2013 and they never found him. I was a bit scared at first, but it was much milder than all of the race warnings. I got lucky at the local grocery store and met a local who told me it was "easy." Not exactly easy, but nothing steeper than a day in the San Juans. The uphill technique is called "Golluming" in that you literally do use all fours while going uphill.
I took the uphill "roots" course.
The strip below is the downill course. Killian was 10 or 11 minutes on the downhill. Crazy.
You circle the rock in the photo below for the race.
The actual mountain in the photo below - and above the race high point. I sat here and watched an eagle circle around looking for food.
On the descent above, and the peak from town - the apex is the point that you race to.
I love Seward, AK!
Head back to Anchorage, AK for work and I was able to pick up a run directly after a meeting at Chugach State Park. I arrived to heavy rains the night before and found the mountains covered in snow at above 2k elevation. Beautiful trails in the Anchorage area.
I started at the Prospect Height Trailhead for a longer run and went up to Middle Fork Trail over to the trail to Little O'Malley.
Alaska really invests in their trails, bike paths, outdoor recreation in general.
You can see Anchorage below in the picture above this.
Monday, September 07, 2015
This year I wanted to run the most direct route, more singletrack and climbing. I got it with almost a perfect shot totaling 31 miles as opposed to last years ~50ish. Over 10k of elevation gain and I cut out the wasted time on dirt roads like Cascade last year. This year I started up the Engineer Mountain Trail, went over to Rolling Pass, then down Rico-Silverton and picked up the Hard Rock 100 route vie the Ice Lakes area down to Swampy and up Blixt / Oscar's Pass and over to the Wasatch Trail into Telluride. My wife and daughter were in Telluride waiting for me and we had a great dinner again this year post run.
This is up on top of Engineer Trail.
The pass off in the distance will drop me down into Swampy.
With a nice lake view on the way.
This part was insane - straight downhill in scree. Surf city!
The scree shoot I came down is next to the yellowish stripe. I found the contents of a guys wallet, including a credit card here. It must have been a yard sale. I took the credit card and put it on a rock cairn.
Looking down into Swampy and then up over the next range if you can see Blixt / Oscar's Pass in the distance.
A few minutes after this I ran up on a Moose's backside. He turned his head around and I ran off course to get away. I do not mess around with a moose.
Up on Oscar's then down to the next little pass for the Wasatch Trail pick up.
Wasatch was a blast and it was nice to finally get a very fast downhill.
This route is a keeper. The Sawyer water filter and a bit more food weight meant I did this self-support unlike last year where my wife and daughter ran the SAG wagon. Definitely the best Purg to T-Ride route yet!
Sunday, August 30, 2015
We did a 31.5 mile, multi pass loop with over 10k climbing starting at Richmond Trail in Ironton going up and over Richmond Pass down into Camp Bird then up to Governor Basin and down to Marshall Basin then over to the Liberty Bell Trail on into Telluride for a quick snack at Backed in Telluride. From there is was up and over Black Bear Pass down to Red Mountain Pass. Big day and it was fun running with Charles of Everrun Racing and Luke from Montrose.
Monday, August 24, 2015
So I got to run Wolverine Peak in Alaska, Snoqualmie Pass and the PCT in Washington and then come home to the local stuff - Red Mountain Pass to Black Bear Pass, down into Telluride, back up Imogene Pass and then summit Telluride Peak. At the summit I was able to spot a route back over to Black Bear Pass on old and seldom used trails + some cross county running. A nice loop just short of 30 miles.