Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Not" Way to Cool" Western States Maze Run

Today me and a good buddy Richard Byler(a fellow foot lover) decided to go and run a section of the historic Western States 100. The race started as a 100 mile horse race in 1955 and it wasn't until 1974 that it was run on foot in 23hrs and 42 minutes. I have heard that he did it on foot because his horse died but that information wasn't verified by the event's website. The current record for the course is 15 hours and 7 minutes. We were shooting for something in the distance of 20-25 miles and decided to scab the course map of the "Way to Cool 50K" that is run each year and uses a section near the end of the WS trail.

Our plan was to do the upper loop of the 50K using this map. We planned to do it in reverse in an attempt to be down near the water later in that day, thinking it would be cooler. A good 24 mile loop. Seems straight forward enough, right?

The above grey line is what it felt like happened and is partially confirmed on my GPS. We made it to the start by the fire station and there was a charge of $10 just to part for a few hours! I decided to risk it and call the bluff of the "we will tow you at your expense" sign at the shopping center next door. He headed off. Things were fine for a while, we took the obvious directions at all of the splits in the trail. There was pretty good signage....until. About 2 miles in we started taking non-signed educated guesses as to which way we were supposed to go and that was about how the next 5 miles went. It was like a maze in there. We would randomly pop out on residential streets, follow them for awhile and then take the next trail the dived back in the woods. We joked that we were like the PacMan earning points for traveling on as many trails as we could. Had it been the case we would have gotten a pretty awesome score.

We ended up following some horses for about a mile as they trotted in front of us, getting directions from a guy that knew the trails well but failed to mention that there were TWO gates at the end of the road, not one, one of which would have taken us to the right place (not the one we chose). Eventually we made it to the right trail and down to the river. At the river there was a sign that stated that the city of Cool was only 6.3 miles away. We headed off after down about 1 miles of up river and back to try to get more miles. We were feeling fine and eventually made it to the HWY 49 to find steep switch backs with a sign that said Cool was still 3 miles away!!! Not quite sure how that worked out because I guarantee that we ran more than 3.3 miles along the river. At that point I was done, my bonk was in full effect and we stumbled down to the road and caught a ride with a nice Subaru owning lady (love them).

It was a great run none the less. I didn't get my car towed and we finished it off with Smokey BBQ in Auburn. Our total distance, according to my GPS, was about 21 miles in about 3:20. The abouts are due to me not turning off it off when we caught the ride back. I think I would liver in Auburn....

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Norther Colorado is an option...

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity of spending a week at the Northern Colorado Podiatric Residency program. I had a great experience and was able to see what type of training they had to offer. I could see myself ending up there. I actually think that it would be good for me to get back to the mountains.  

While in Colorado for the week I stayed with Brody and Kiley Hatch, some old friends from forever back. Saturday morning Body took me up one of his favorite nearby climbs. It was a 6 pitch sport climb called Brown Palace on the main buttress of Mary's Bust that goes at 5.11a. Earlier in the week it had snowed over a foot in Fort Collins but the weather Saturday morning was superb.

My mighty Chrysler 300 on Wednesday morning. Rented this baby for only $10.99/day!

This is my creative side, getting both of us in the shot. The first pitch was a bit of a traverse. 


Setting up the rappel from the top. Dropped my water bottle lid from up here!

Rapping down pitch 6. 

Colorado is a state that I haven't really done much in. I have always attributed it to Utah being so awesome that I never had to go over there. Is it time for me to move there and check it out? Only time will tell.