Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Never Summer 100K

This race had been on the radar for a couple of years and I would say it even exceeded my high expectations.  I knew I wanted to be a part of this inaugural event as it had "epic" potential.  When the opportunity came up to "race" it, I jumped at the chance.  I know how much hard work it took by all the volunteers to make this thing work and I thank you all for allowing 197 of us lucky runners to take on this challenge.
Being 2 weeks after Hardrock and 1 week before Ouray, I decided not to even think of this as a "race", but instead went very conservative, chatting with friends and taking tons of pictures.  Even with a conservative approach, I felt pretty worked by the finish line.  Pete and Nick have created a monster.  It was like a mix of Hardrock, Bighorn, Bear, and Wasatch all rolled into one incredible 65 mile course!
While I had hiked or run several parts of this course in State Forest State Park over my 20 years living in nearby Fort Collins, putting it all together in one big loop made me appreciate it even more.  Put this race on your bucket list everyone!
The starting line at Gould Community Center
Climbing up Seven Utes with the full Never Summer Range about to come into view
Kristel and Alan traversing the ridge before the drop to Lake Agnes

Lake Agnes

The American Lakes

The climb to North Diamond Peak to the beat of the kilted drummer

The traverse from North Diamond to Montgomery Pass

Near Montgomery Pass

Climbing toward Kelly Lake.  Most amazing wildflowers ever!

Kelly Lake

Some scrambling above Kelly Lake

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Hardrock 2015

No race report this year.  Hardrock is not a "race" anyway.  For the first time in 4 years I did not get a spot in Hardrock.  But as I would learn, you don't need a spot in Hardrock to be a part of Hardrock.  I was left behind at the starting line, geared up and ready to go (#2 on the waitlist).  After experiencing this event as a spectator and pacer for the first time, however, I feel I may have learned even more than if I had run it.  I can't wait for the next opportunity when it comes.  Until then, I will just keeping coming to Silverton to be a "part" of Hardrock every year.

Congrats to Adam Wilcox on a great race just 2 weeks after a strong Western States!  I had a blast sharing his adventure from Ouray to the finish line.

Congrats to all who kissed the rock in 2015!

Watching the action at Grouse Gulch

Adam picks up Kristel at Grouse

Approaching Kroger's Canteen around midnight

A quick bite for the pacer in Telluride

Sunrise on the descent from Oscar's Pass

A beautiful morning climbing out of Chapman

Final grunt up to Grant-Swamp Pass

A still frozen Island Lake below

Descending the Putnam Ridge

Adam getting congrats from an excited AJW.  Western/Hardrock complete!

Long overdue!  Kari crushing her 1st Hardrock! 5th place female!

And a finish to Hardrock we will never forget:  video here