Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim Saturday, May 19, 2012 North Rim, AZ ---------------------------------
North Rim Grandeur
I still remember the day I stumbled across Davy Crockett's running report from one of his grand Canyon Adventures. The idea of running across one of the worlds most incredibly natural wonders immediately appealed to me. The adventure immediately found it's place on my bucket list. A few years ago, my NH running partner made his way to the Canyon without me, alongside a friend of his, seemingly in the dark of night. I was incredibly hurt that a secret trip to the canyon had taken place and I began to wonder if I'd ever make it there myself. The wondering stopped once I moved to Colorado. The Canyon is now only a 12 hour drive fro my front door, a short trip by Western Standards. I was going to do it in October as part of my Adventure 30 Expedition, but opted for a 100 miler in Moab instead. I knew back in October that I would tackle the Grand Canyon this may come hell or high water, and this time, nothing would stand in my way.
This past weekend I embarked on one of my greatest adventures to date. The transformative powers of the Grand Canyon are out of this world. In fact, those who have been to this incredible Ninth wonder of the world can attest to it's beauty... yet so few have seen so much of it in one day and from the various angles I was able to enjoy.
This past weekend, a few friends of mine and I ran 53 miles in the Grand Canyon. We started at our campsite on the North Rim and ran down.. across and up to the South Rim before running across the lip of the South Rim and then back down and across to the North Rim. The entire adventure took us 16 hours and 46 minutes.
I wanted to share this with all of you because I thought you'd enjoy the different perspectives of the Canyon, the real adventure elements, and perhaps you'll understand a little more about the transformative powers of the Canyon. Experiential Education at it's very best.. It's not as death defying when you're trained and prepared for such an undertaking yet.. at the same time it's one of the hardest things I've ever done. It was an incredible way to celebrate one year since my graduation from UNH Outdoor Education.
April 28, 2012 Collegiate Peaks 50 Mile Run Buena Vista, CO
As I sat in the Buena Vista community center listening to the opening remarks of the pre-race meeting I knew I had come to the right place. The race director started spouting off about how the race even began. Like most, "Old School" ultra marathons, the Collegiate Peaks 50 Miler started with a small group of folks deciding to put in some miles in "Fat Ass fashion." As the years went by, more and more folks started showing up for their group run and before you know it, they knew they needed to turn it into an official event for safety's sake and to raise a little money for the local youth. Years later, the Collegiate Peaks 50 still regards itself as a runner friendly race, steeped in the traditions of a growing sport, unwavering in their offerings. I knew this was going to be one hell of a race.
There is one thing I forgot however. Which is exactly how old school ultras run. This race is no exception to the rule. The race consists of two 25 mile loops. You run the first in the clock-wise direction and the second in the counter-clockwise direction. There are plenty of aid stations out there, but the aid there is limited and lack variety. Runners are not allowed drop-bags or the use of crews, except, at the 25 mile turn around (Start/Finish Area). I personally really dig ultra's like this, but I've run the pampered races for so long that I forgot how much more challenging races like this can actually be. Either way, I was pumped the morning of the race and ready to run.
I LOVE living here in the Front Range. This truly is the mecca of trail running. When I'm not actually out running, I'm dreaming of running. So of course, I wanted to share my latest running "dream" with you all. Enjoy.