Taking a week off to go to the Tetons seems at first to be a walk in the park. However, for me it will be a run in for a cause. Due to the generosity of the Park City Education Foundation, we were able to take numerous students to the Teton Science School. Some of these students were my own students who needed an extra incentive for succeeding academically and were rewarded with full scholarships to participate this week. I was ecstatic to bring these students along, and especially enjoyed sitting down with them each night to do HW while their peers played games and socialized during their minimal ‘free time’. I would encourage you to view the students BLOG and get a taste of the journey they have experienced this week.
On May 18th, I along with several other colleagues will be running to help raise money for the Park City Education Foundation. From everyone I have heard from, Running With Ed is a not only a fantastic run through the gorgeous scenery of Park City, UT, but a well organized and enthusiastic venue for a run. For the most part, teams of friends, families, colleagues and runners get together in a similar manner as the Ragnar Events. And while it is technically a Ragnar event, much more time is spent running on this day then sitting in a car, or staring exhaustion in the face. Additionally, I have heard rumors that the post race festivities are spectacular. I am looking forward to making an attempt at winning the solo category, but am fully aware of many friends and other runners like Bryon Powell and such that like to come out and raise the stakes. I would encourage anybody, from aspiring runners to my Ultra friends, to come out and join me on May 18th. And for those feeling a tug of philanthropic generosity, I would encourage you to help me and my teammate (Megan Zarnetske!), who are each running the entire 38 miles solo, to join us in raising $3,000 dollars. These funds will go directly towards the continuing scholarships made available to enable us to take at risk or normally financially hindered students with us on our yearly pilgrimage to the Teton Science School. (Anyone who contributes more then $50 towards our goal will receive a new Feetures sock!!)
SALT LAKE CITY -- More than one hundred firefighters from as far away as Panguitch joined other volunteers and climbed the stairs of a skyscraper repeatedly to raise money for the American Lung Association.
Participants in the 8th annual Fight for Air Climb braved the long flights of stairs leading up the Wells Fargo Center, and they made the journey multiple times—some while packing 60 pounds of gear on their backs.
While I loved the expanding distances of last year, completing my first 100 miler, 50 miler and actually racing at the 50k distance. I have recaliberted my goals and expectations this year. For the 2013 running season, I will be focused on increasing my speed, strength and giving back to the community I have so fondly enjoyed and reaped the rewards of. And of coarse, peppered with some adventure runs to spice it up. As such, I will be only ‘running’, if that is what we want to call it, in shorter races locally. I am really looking forward to the Wahsatch & Jupiter Peak Steeplechases and one of my new favorites El Vaquero Loco.
These races aside, I will be running in a few charitable events to raise funds and awareness for a variety of causes. If any of these events or causes are inspiring to you, I would love to have you join in any capacity you were interested.
The remainder of the season I am hoping to tackle a few ‘Adventure’ and ‘Scenic’ runs, including but not limited to R2R2R, Teton Crest Trail, SoftRock, and some new homemade routes in SLC (Creep on the Creek, Avenues Trifecta, and an improved CircumSki route).
This will also be a year of Karma building. So please say hi if you see me volunteering or pacing at any of these great events (Wasatch Powder Keg, Antelope Island100, Bryce100, Hardrock100, Speedgoat, Wasatch100, and Bear100)
Happy Trails to you!
Turning corners and navigating terrain, trail runners often find themselves startled by dramatic vistas, intense native interactions with flora and fauna, and otherwise spectacular moments of elicit awareness. This periodic astonishment and inexplicable amazement almost becomes an expected and normed experience for trail runners, including myself. Fortunately, the Trans-Zion run is not devoid of any of these transcending moments.
Last week, a cartel of impressive runners, sharing the likeness of Hermes himself, reached out and invited me to join them in a casual 48 mile adventure transecting, Zion National Park, which is oft referred to as The Zions by the LDS locals. To my dismay, I did not take any time to sample a Mormon tea, which are prolific in the area. However, we did take in the astonishing scenery of the La Verkin Creek, Kolob Arch, Kolobs Canyons, the Hop Valley, Wildcat Canyon, Lava Point, the West Rim, views of Angels Landing, the Three Patriarchs, Weeping Rock and Jolley Gulch. So many inexplicable moments are still echoing in my collective memory, if for nothing else I will be BLOGGING this for my own sake. If you are looking for some other folks have detailed the route, including perhaps a much better description then I might attempt to articulate. ………
For me, the adventure actualized many hours before the run. To the dismay of my lovely and abundantly gracious wife, I left immediately after work for The Zions. Fortunately, I was able to negotiate the company of Matt Hart for the drive to The Zions. After exchanging a few small conversational oddities, we dove into more elaborate conversations of theology, implications of institutional religion, scarcity and living lives of introspection and inspiration. Having significantly differing perspectives, we humorously engaged in invigorating dialogue that I can h=only hope Matt enjoyed as much as I did. SO enthralled by this verbal ping-pong, I missed the exit, thus extending our discussion and subsequently missing dinner with the already arrived constituents in Sprindale. Circumlocating our selves, we eventually reached our destination, a holiday oasis at the feet of The Zions. Through the generosity of Jay Aldous, winner of the Zion100 amongst many other accomplishments, donated us of a prize hotel stay for our adventure. The amenities were exceptional, I would highly recommend any to stay at the Cable Mountain Lodge, whether running Trans Zion or simply as a destination. Much sympathy and applause is awarded to Meghan Hicks, writer/contributor/senior editor at iRunFar , for her amenable attitude while having to negotiate the overt masculinity of 5 guys in short shorts, exuding repulsive sounds and smells, while stretching and performing yoga positions amidst awkward conversations of bleeding nipples, sausages, and such. As we finally wound down in preparation for the run, we cast lots for beds, while Meghan volunteered sleeping closest to the door (perhaps out of trepidation). To my advantage, I cast a spot in the master bed, with Ben Lewis, one hunk of a man=). Setting an early departure time, we quickly nestled into our luxurious beds, dreaming of breathtaking vistas.
All of us agreed that a restless night was a perfect prelude to the adventure we were about to partake upon. Driving to the Eastern most trailhead at Lee Pass, we shared coffee, thanks to Jason, stories and jokes to warm ourselves on this brisk morning. To be expected, we required a respite before our predawn start. Even at 6am the trailhead, along with the La Verkin trail, were extremely easy to find, except one section where a stream had washed out an otherwise noticeable trail. The trail descends quickly along several sets of stairs and then along the creek bed of what is called Timber Creek. Much of this portion we ran in the early dusk, but has the sun gently rose we turned heading up stream the La Verkin Creek. I especially enjoyed this portion of the run as the sun shone upon steep walled canyons rose above us the creek babbled a beautiful tune. I for sure was barely cognicent of the slightly gentle slope to the intersection with Kolob Arch.
The side trip to Kolob arch was an excellent diversion from our route. The arch itself is not exceptionally spectacular, at least in comparison to many other arches in Utah, however it is noteable nonetheless. Kolob Arch is the second largest arch in the world, second to Landscape Arch in Arches National Park. The trail leading to the arch was enjoyable for its technical aspects and was a nice contrast to the remaining sections of the run which are largely on sand washes, paved trails and well buffed single or doubletrack.
Leaving the arch we climbed out of La Verkin Creek to Hop Valley. The gentle climb was quickly rewarded with an awesome descent into the open sand washes of the Hop Valley. The spectacular open floor stood adjacent to 500 ft. red walls. To all of our surprise, the cold evening temperatures made for easy crossings of the creek and sand washes. Even those more familiar with the terrain, made note of the ease with which it was to cross due to the frozen sand. This valley was immaculate and only surpassed, in my humble opinion, by the West Rim Trail and the main canyon trails. (Here I need to apologize, as I am getting bored of hearing my own voice, I feel obligated to just wrap this damn thing up. Feel free imagine the remaining aspects of the run. Or I would rather hope that you create your own memories of these trails with friends)
However, as I suggested earlier, inexplicable moments are by nature unexpected and elicit awareness. For me while the run was an adventure, I prefer to reflect on the adventure that is to have begun and is still reverberating into my psyche. Much of this I can give gratitude to those who shared their journeys with me, especially Ben Lewis and Matt Hart, whom have re-inspired me to investigate my cerebral inclinations through the vices of literature. Take a moment to read their recent posts on what these Runners Read!
Every year, I spend the first few months of the running season recovering from the 5 to 10 lbs of weight I have put on, the buildup of I plaque on my legs from lack of running and a tightened muscles from a sedentary life during the winter.
Rather then struggle through the months of Feb -June, I (with the help of my wife and friends) am planning on the following to alleviate the regular running curve.
1. Increased regular (Weekly) high intensity workouts
- Speed/tempo runs with a Bethany Lewis
- Periodic Insanity workouts
2. Increased strengthening and climbing
- Weekly stair training (Aiming to do 50 laps of the Wells Fargo building – Join team Aether)
- Goal of ascending 100,000 ft. in 8 days – Mimicking Matt Hart
- Backcountry touring on heavy gear in the lovely Wasatch mountains
3. Improved diet and health
- Focusing on eating a Paleo Diet – Again thanks to the inspiration of Matt Hart
* Here are some great resources if interested
We will be keeping you updated on the progress. And would greatly appreciate your thoughts, concerns and accountability.
Here’s to a New Year, and new opportunities!!!!!!!!!!
Without risks, your are not truly living.
One of my favorite local runs/hikes is Mtn. Wire in SLC. I have run this numerous times, and often on a weekly basis. And yet there is always something new when I venture out. This time, due to timing and such, I was not able to go Backcountry skiing, so I decided to run Wire. There was certainly plenty of adventure on this run. With about a foot of snow the ascent took more then 10 minutes longer then usual, even on a slow day. A noticeable difference in conditions existed between the base and the summit. Starting in a snowy and warm (relative) state I saw a cloud and winds whipping around on the peak. I packed my Pro Shell and off I went. Posting in the powder and slipping with no poles, my tights keep me plenty warm. The summit was shroud in a low hanging cloud and winds were biting at me. My shell helped regulate my temperatures and I soon started picking my way down. Having seen the Elk lower then expected, I knew that company may be had. Thanks to their tracks, I mistakenly took the wrong trail down off the ridge and ended up following a track on a southernly spin a qtr mile or so early. When I finally realized my error, and happened apron my ungulate friends, I made an abrupt decision to follow my comrades rather then picking my way back up hill to the traversing ridge. This was meet with an adventure through Scrub Oak that I was unprepared for. After much route finding and eventual descending with a ‘just get it done’ attitude. I was about a half hour later then expected when I returned to the car and changed for church. A scowl by my wife, whom did not appreciate my story, nor my bloody legs.<p><a