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came from 24 states and 6 foreign countries this year. 124 men and 16
women lined up in
Silverton Colorado on July 11, 2008 for the 15th running
of the Hardrock
100, one of the most challenging endurance races in the
country. Let me tell you, I've hiked and Jeeped these mountains my
whole life - there's simply no way, not enough incentive to ever get me
to line up with these hardcore fanatics - but there's a waiting list of
people hoping they'll get selected in the lottery to run this mother.
the fun lying in wait for these lunatics. 140 of them will start out in
early in the morning and about 98 will end up back in Silverton 24 -
48 hours and 100 miles later. The winner this year, Kyle Skaggs, was
the first man to finish in under 24 hours - 23:23 to be exact, but most
finishers average between 40 and 48 hours! That's 40+ hours of
virtually non-stop movement during which time they'll ascend and
descend over 66,000 feet - that's more than 11 miles straight up. Along
the way they follow trails, Jeep roads and abandoned roadways
originally created by the miners of the region over 100 years ago
linking the high mountain towns of the rugged San Juan range.
they cross a series of passes to emerge in Telluride some
27 miles later, passing two aid stations along the way. 16 miles later
they get to Ouray.
This year there was a new aid station named after one of the original Hardrockers
who died this past winter, local Chuck Kroger. Most
runners will make it as far as Ouray
although many will already have run anywhere from 15 to 24 hours to do
it - including all night running through the mountains with only a
little headlamp for illumination. They will have climbed for 13,999
feet and dropped a knee-jarring 15,629 ft.
But the drop off rate
on gets steeper. Runners know they have two choices in Ouray
- either hit one of the steepest climbs up Engineer Pass on
to Lake City,
or drop their aching bodies into Ouray's fabled
hot springs spa. Well, what would you do?
If you make it out of Ouray, you've
still got better
than half the race to go - a race that crosses thirteen 12,000 foot
mountain passes, three summits over 13,000 and one over
14,000. Do you know how much oxygen there is at 14,000 ft? About as
much as all theÂ bubbles from 1 beer is all! Runners high?
Split a six pack with me and get the same experience.
Your body starts to consume itself, you mind starts playing tricks on
you, you hallucinate, your muscles are past the point of recovery and
it becomes mind over matter - can you brain command your body to
continue putting one foot in front of the other or will your body
revolt? They had to cancel one
year because of too much snow, another year because of fires. This year
there were some worries about the snow (if you saw my pictures of the Smuggler
Union Mine you know why) but in the end they forged ahead.
oldest racer this year was John
DeWalt, 72, out of Sarber, Penn. The youngest runner this
year was also the winner,Â Kyle Skaggs, 23,
out of Glenwood, NM. If you do the math, Kyle
averaged over 4
miles per hour in this terrain. I'd be dead if I tried to
WALK 100 miles in 24 hours at sea level going downhill all the way.
Kirk Apt from Grand Junction, CO, has entered the race
every year since it started. He has finished every year but one so he
holds the record for the most finishes of the race at 14, including a
win in 2000.
borrowed a few of these photos from my friend, the original Hardrocker
and race co-founder John
Cappis. Much to the delight of his mother, John decided
not to run this year and contented himself with setting the course and
monitoring some of the 13 aid stations throughout the course as well as
the communication and relay stations set up to transmit times and
conditions from remote areas.
If you're an absolute
certifiable running lunatic, get signed up for next years running of
100. You can do that here: http://www.hardrock100.com/Â or
here: http://www.run100s.com/HR/Â .
You can also check out
many other fabulous photos and narrations of the runners torment,
misery and euphoria.
If you're interested or if you're family, you can follow along my
vacation adventures here:
Wunderlich - Selling Southwest California Homes including
Temecula, Murrieta & The Southern California Wine Country Â Â Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â
Remember, Don't wait to buy real
estate - Buy real estate and wait.
OPINIONS IN THIS
COMMENTARY ARE STRICTLY GENE WUNDERLICH's PERSONAL OPINION. WHILE ANY
REASONABLE &/or RATIONAL PERSON SHOULD AGREE, THESE VIEWS MAY
REFLECT THOSE OF ACTIVERAIN, COLDWELL BANKER RESIDENTIAL BROKERAGE OR
ANY Â LOCAL, STATE OR NATIONAL ASSOCIATIONS.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.