San Tan Scramble DRT Series Race - February 2nd, 2013
#5 in the DRT series out in San Tan Regional Park. This one is fast for most of the course using 3 loops each with a wickedly short steep climb with a rocky descent back down. Do that three times for a 50K. This year Jay Danek and I purposely hammered the downhills as fast as possible each time to see if it really did ruin you later on after "ruining" our quads. Turns out that's not entirely true, at least for us, but I was totally thrashed at that race. Probably had something to do with wearing NB 110's and not being used to them and running my first 50K under 5 hours. Yeah, that was probably it.
PF Changs Rock N' Roll Marathon - January 20th, 2013
I have a small interest in running another marathon and only in the sense of seeing what I can do several years after running my first and only marathon in 2009 in Tucson. I ran a 3:54 that day and want to qualify for Boston for the sake of...well qualifying for Boston.
As much as I'd hate to run through the streets of Phoenix I do have a curiosity to see what I could do pushing myself through 26 miles. Now sidelined with a hip flexor injury 6 weeks out I'm not sure 2013 will be the year but maybe one day. Either way, as much as I generally avoid road marathons, it does bring out a huge number of runners every fall and is responsible for a great deal of the running traffic on the canal and trails. For that alone I love this race.
Jody Chase Cave Creek Marathon - January 26th?? 2013
Jody Chase used to live here in Phoenix and was a regular member of the Wednesday Morning Running Club. She has since moved to California but for several years Jody put on the Cave Creek Trail Marathon at the end of January, more often called, "Jody's Run." I never made it the actual race day but have run the course twice, once in a torrential downpour the entire way while lighting bolts thrashed trees around us...., and it's a beautiful area, rugged as hell and as challenging a course you'll likely find in the area.
In 2012 the race didn't happen without Jody here and nobody taking over so if that happens again in 2013 I'd like to at least get out there and take on the course with those that are willing to head out with me. I went out there one other time for a trip up Skull Mesa and while I ended up wandering around in the fog and ultimately scrambling down the scree cliff to safety I've always been lured back up there for some level of redemption. Preferably not alone, and in a major storm system...
Skull Mesa is another world than the trails below and hold the location to old ruins from what was a lookout for natives so long ago (see petroglyphs below.) The course would follow Jody's course all the way around before climbing the eastern trail to the top of Skull Mesa and traversing the trail across the top through the junipers. This takes you to the drop off down the trail back to the trail Jody uses but before that we could visit the ruins. It would be 24-26 miles, and over 5,000 feet in climbing and equally beautiful and rugged.
This will be a brutal one but well worth it. I mean, 800 year old Verde Hohokam ruins are cool enough but when it's including "Ruins Porn?" I'm in.
Coldwater Rumble DRT Series Race - January 19th, 2013
#4 in the DRT Series and one of the two in the West Valley of Phoenix Metro. Way out in the Estrella Mountain Regional Park, it's one of the few DRT races I haven't been to. With January being so full of other events...it'll probably stay that way for some time. But it's a great race for those west valley residents that are always driving an hour for all the other ones. But then I guess that's their punishment for choosing to live in the West Valley in the first place. Seriously...why do people live in Avondale?
Thunderbird Park 50K Fun Run - January 12th, 2012
Runners in the Thunderbird Trail Runners group are having a Thunderbird 50k Fun Run on January 12th. Starting time is 6 AM from Parking Area A. The course will cover almost every trail (at least once). Each segment will take runners back to the parking area, which will serve as the "aid station". This is strictly "not a race". It is a self supported run. Participants should bring enough to keep them going for as long as they want to be out there.
Pretty much sums it up. Ok, not even close but a run from the Petrified Forest National Park all the way through Navajo Nation and the Painted Desert, Canyon De Chelly and the red rocks and desert of Arizona until near Utah and the incredible Monument Valley? Don't steal my idea! Doing it. Sign me up. Off trail, semi supported. Barely touched land. This is far too big a project to leave it at such a small post so I'll leave more for an expanded review later on.
Zion National Park 48 Mile Traverse-Fall 2012
A 48 mile traverse covering over 10,000 feet in elevation gain and reaching nearly 10,000 feet in elevation in some of the most beautiful canyons in the World. Looking to get this going in some month in the spring of 2011. Just need two sets of groups to go and do a key swap since it's a long point to point hike/run. Andrew Skurka put a great recap of his run with detailed logistics on his site. ***Logistically and time cost this isnt' happening in 2011...again...***andrewskurka.com
Imperial Sand Dunes 50K - Fall 2012
Imperial Sand Dunes. Photo by tycookphotography.com
There are no limits to my ambition and certainly none on my desire to show everyone that will listen just how incredible and diverse Arizona truly is. In the farthest southwestern corner of Arizona holds a desert border town of Yuma. The entire area is agriculture based with the Colorado River flowing past it's last place in the US before disappearing into Mexico and soon into the Baja. Just on the other side of the border of both Mexico and California are the Imperial Sand Dunes, an impressive set of sand dunes that stretch for miles and miles. The majority of the park's land is really all in California so it doesn't quote count for Arizona but since it's so dang close it's still worth mentioning and visiting. I'm planning on a nice weekend down there exploring the dunes, experiencing the desert it holds and thinking about the possibility of holding a race there, one that would be quite unique for what is normally found in the US. No trails, all sand, open desert but knowing the area just a little...there are some surprises for people not familiar with sand dunes. Big surprises and ones that will definitely be leaving people with more than enough to talk to on the drive home!
Secret Mountain Wilderness Area 50K - May 2012
Sedona is such an amazing place it's equally amazing so many people drive right by it and run in Flagstaff and skip by this beautiful area. Not anymore. This place is incredible. Quick 25K to test our a route before taking more people there.
This is the first of the six race series of trail races that Aravaipa Running puts on over the winter months. Last year I missed this race in the Cave Creek Regional Park but look forward to maybe fitting it in this year. Not quite decided on the 50K or the 30K. Wouldn't mind using these race series 25-30K range to use as training for the longer solo projects I hope to complete this year and next. www.aravaiparunning.com****SOLD OUT- Ran Tom Thumb 50K instead****
Cabin Loop Marathon - October 15th, 2011
Aspen Cabin, Houston Brothers Trail
This will complete every last part of running the Mogollon Monster 100 route before undertaking it all continuously this December. Starting on the Highline Trail we are climbing up the Rim on the Myrtle Trail, marking the course for the December trail run and then following up to Buck Springs, up the U-bar to Pinchot cabin, down Houston Brothers, up Barbershop and back down to the descent to the start.
Man Vs. Horse 50 Miler- October 2011
Most dramatic Cowboy photo I could find...
Missed it last year in a last minute trip back to Vermont to propose to my fiance. She said yes. Now I'm married so I can run this race right? I was thinking of running it in cowboy boots, jeans, shirt and ten gallon hat? Is that suicide? I think I could do it.
Four Peaks Wilderness 50K- March 26th, 2011
Tentative Fat Ass race to get more people out in the Wilderness Area's right in their backyards. Big elevation gains and some trips along the Arizona Trail on this race. Looking forward to finishing the mapping on this one and seeing just how big the climbs can be.
Four Peaks Wilderness Training Run - February 2011
This should be a test run for a potential addition to the Wilderness Series. Close to Phoenix, awesome terrain up to 7,600 feet. Hopeing to get in a good 20-25 mile trail of singletrack in the training run for Twin Peaks and schedule a group of runners for the last week of March?
Arizona Trail -AZT- Section One - Start-February 12th, 2011
Starting the year long journey from Mexico to Utah I plan to start at the Mexican border and through the Miller Peak Wilderness area. One passage at a time, maybe two or three, and working my way north as the year progresses. If I had a 30 day period I could take off from my career I would try to break the record of 30 days. Not having that luxury this year I'll take a completion throughout the course of the year. Let's start in Mexico and head North. Adventure it is.
Twin Peaks 50 Mile- February 12th, 2011- California
Last minute addition to the race schedule for the year. 50 miles and 17,000 feet of elevation gain in the Cleveland National Forest in Southern California. Really looking forward to the challenge as it's a very similar elevation as Cascade Crest 100 and gets up to about the same total elevation, 6,000 ft. ***UPDATE***Race was reschedule three weeks before the start due to excessive rain in the area that wiped out the FS Roads and access for aid stations. Rescheduled for October 2011...***
Coldwater Scramble 50K- January 22nd, 2011- Estrella Mountain Regional Park
A possible replacement to Mountain Mist in the Estrella Mountain Regional Park in the Southwest to Phoenix. This would be race #4 in the six race series for the Drt Series with Aravaipa Running. aravaiaparunning.com
Year 2 for me on the return to the first Ultra I ever ran. Last year I finished 55th out of 250+ with a 5:43 total time. I think I can knock at least 30 minutes off that time with some hard training to close out the year. Really, really excited to run this really fun single track and an incredible running community they have there in Huntsville.
***UPDATE***I registered and within 3 days all 350 spots were taken. This is the race that I'm training for more than any other. I want to really improve on my last race time and see what I'm capable of a full year later after starting this diversion into ultrarunning. ***Another Update*** This race may be a casualty of unforeseen circumstances. With my wedding a few months after this the expense of flying to Huntsville from Phoenix, time off, and other expenses while there may lead to a cancellation fo a race I have looked forward to racing again since the moment I crossed the finish line nearly a year ago. Borderline heartbreaking but the "responsible" decision....So I'll just run the Desert Series instead.
San Juan Solstice 50- June 17th, 2011- REGISTRATION
If I'm going to do it I might as well sign up and give myself a chance. The timing might not work out come July but I'd at least like the option.
....Apparently registration was the 15th...DAMN IT!!!!
Kahtoola Snowshoe Series- Flagstaff, Arizona- January 9th, 2011
Snowshoe season already? Hard to believe when it's 75 and sunny everyday here in the Valley.
This is a series of 4 races of which I did two last year. They have a 10K from the Nordic Center in snowshoes which nearly killed me last year. A 10k at Mormon Lake. Another race I can't remember and the final race which was a race straight up Snowbowl ski resort and an absolute blast straight back down the mountain. Last year I did really well in a team event and ran 5:00/min flats down the mountain in a full white out blizzard. Completely hap-hazard run at 100% full speed when I couldn't see a single thing in front of me. I thought i was being caught by a runner at one point an remember it being a guy on a snowmobile....I was flying and should have destroyed everything in my knees ending in "CL" as reckless as I was coming down that mountain. I plan on doing the exact same thing this year.
Kahtoola is local being based in Flagstaff, Arizona. Microspikes are absolulely awesome. They give out amazing raffle prizes at their races. The people are absolutely incredible. I live in a desert and can't wait to bomb down the hill sucking wind at 10,000 feet. I'm in.
***UPDATE***- Ended up having to work and had to miss this race...bummer.
Long Trail, Vermont- October 3rd, 2010
A replacement to the Man vs. Horse. Not sure which leg or passage I can get in with the time with the family. I can't wait to see some Vermont singletrack.
***Update***-Ended up running in West Rupert, Vermont along single track across a couple ridgelines. Beautiful, 40 degrees, and the type of running that makes you never want to quit.
Desert Solstice 24 Hour Run- December 18th & 19th, 2010- Nadir Manor
Here are my thoughts on this. On one side I have a feeling I will not want to see this track for a while after hopefully completeing the Fat Ox 50 a month before. BUT, should that go well and I recover as hoped, it will most likely leave me wondering how much more I could have run. Say I run a 10 hour 50 miler in November...I would have another 14 hours to run 50 more. I'd like to think on a flat course I can knock out the 100 miles. A lot can happen, stomach issues, injuries or just "I Don't Care" but the idea of pulling down 100+ miles in 24 hours is certainly appealing if not daunting as well. So, before I sign up I'm going to see how Fat Ox goes first. If anything I should be very well prepared for the mileage with all the base I've built in October and November going in to it. We will see. aravaiparunning.com
***UPDATE*** Not this year, not right now. Really just focusing on the Arizona Trail before jumping into something as intense as this race.
McDowell Mountain Frenzy 50K- Drt Series #3- Dec. 11th, 2010
Round 3 for the Drt Series races with a 50K out on the Pemberton trail with a trip out to Dixie Mine and back. It would be a fast course and probably a lot of fun. Another race that depends on the following race and whether or not I do it.
***UPDATE*** It was difficult but I decided to skip this race.
Moab Red Hot 50K- February 19th, 2011- Moab, Utah
Would this cross off the "Ultra" category for Utah?? Absolutely. Moab in February? Absolutely? Snow? Yes please...I'm in.
***SOLD OUT*** Couldn't get in...next year maybe.
Thanksgiving Twenty- November 25th, 2010
An annual tradition in the making. Twenty miles on Thanksgiving morning where ever you are. Josh is running 20 miles in Alaska. I'll be in West Virginia. It will also be just a few days after a 50 miler so we'll see how it goes.
***UPDATE*** No time to work this in with a late Wednesday night flight and drive into the families house in West Virginia. Made it to a marathon in northern Maryland on Saturday though.
I figure the 30th birthday is as good a time as any to start running my age. I haven't decided where or what kind of schedule I would be on but maybe a really long route around Phoenix Mountain Preserve so I can still jump in with WMRC. Looking forward to some long distance solo running. Maybe I'll make a return to Cave Creek Rec Area and attempt Skull Mesa again. Not sure, but it's coming. ***UPDATE***Ended up running with WMRC but no long run knowing I was going to do the Pass Mountain 50K three days later.
Cave Creek Thriller 50K-Drt Desert Trail Series-October 30th, 2010
The first of a 6 month series of trail races in Phoenix. Cave Creek Thriller takes place in the Cave Creek Recreation Area covering 5 10k laps around the Go John and Overton trails. This is the new trail series that Aravaipa Running just put out that has a series of distances up to 50K each month, all in a Maricopa County Park System, culminating with the Mesquite Canyon in March in the White Tanks. Can't say I'm a fan of loops but should be a fun run either way as the CCRA is some tough singletrack and by October the weather is going to be perfect. ***UPDATE***Passed on this event. Just didn't want to do the mileage, it was supposed to be over 90 degrees and just didn't want to spend the money. Winner ended up being only around 6:02 for the course that has 5,000+ in elevation gain. The laps factor (5 10k laps) was a major reason to skip it but after having such a successful run on Saturday I almost feel I may have missed out on a great chance to have actually won a race.
Tucson Marathon-December 13th, 2010
All things considered I'd love to return to Tucson and try and best my time at my first ever Marathon. To date (Aug 18th) I have yet to do another road marathon while logging four other ultras. It was a great course and I'd love to qualify for Boston just to do it. Plus I'd like to improve on my 3:53 time by a significant chunk.
***UPDATE***Probably not going to happen this year. Might replace with McDowell Mountain Frenzy the same weekend. Just nto sure another trip out of town is feasible.
Man Against Horse-Prescott, Arizona- October 2nd, 2010
A unique 50 mile race in Prescott, Arizona to the top of Mingus Mountain and back around. Racing against actual horseback riders as you run through the desert and high mountain forests. A lot of WMRC runners doing this race as well. Noah is hopefully making the 25 mile route and I hope to be ready and in shape to do all 50 miles. Looking forward to it as I've heard a lot of good things about this race and I love the area.
***Update***Cannot make this race this year. Last minute trip to Vermont this weekend to see the Grandparents and my Grandfather's 80th Birthday Party. Next Year.
Great Urban Race National Championships-Las Vegas, Nevada-November 6th, 2010
Las Vegas for the Championships! I can only imagine the crazy clues they are going to come up with!
Mount Lemmon Marathon- October 17th, 2010
Toughest Road Marathon in the USA. 26.2 miles all uphill with 6,000 feet in elevation gain. Inaugural year. The legendary Bart Yasso will be in attendence. http://www.mountlemmonmarathon.com/
UPDATE-It's probably sold out by now but I'm still interested should the time come and they have slots. Given the Man Against Horse 50 Miler the day before it's going to be tough to fit this in two weeks later.
***UPDATE*** Doubtful at this point. Maybe next year!
Havasaupai Falls, Arizona-Fall 2010-August 13th, 14th, 2010
It may not look like this anymore after the floods in 2008 but it's still an amazing place I want to see. 2008 we had permits and were all set to go and three weeks before the floods destroyed the falls and all those around it. Reports say it's been repaired for the most part so we may try again in 2010.
***UPDATE***Backcountry permits are reserved for August 13th and 14th. ***UPDATE***Trip Cancelled due to multiple last minute conflicts. This trip is cursed.
Great Urban Race-Denver, CO-August 7th, 2010
A hopeful trip out of the desert heat and a tuneup for the National Championship in Las Vegas in November!
Pioneer Peak Summit-Palmer, Alaska-July 2010
A hike up the peak that overlooks Matanuska Bay. Only 6,398 feet in elevation but it starts at the ocean (sea level) and climbs up to overlook the entire valley and mountains in every direction. Nice little description here:
Very exciting peak. Don't let the 6500 foot elevation fool you - the base is less than 100 feet above sea level. Very steep the whole way. In May through July you will be on steep snow for most of the route. In August through Early September the bottom half turns to nasty scree. Near the top you come around the south part of the mountain, it may be snow-free in June and July, but it's still very steep with a series of short (20' - 25') class 3 cliff bands. You may or may want to rope up, because it's so steep between cliffs the exposure is frightening. MANY CLIMBERS HAVE FALLEN TO THEIR DEATHS ON THIS MOUNTAIN.
Mt. Marathon, Seward, Alaska-July 4th, 2010
Another possible for 2010. Sea Level to 4,000+ feet in an all out dash to the summit and back. They don't accept only a few hundred people and getting into the race is nearly impossible. It may be an add on unofficial race with Crow Pass or Matanuska Peak races.
***Update***Won't be in Alaska until after the 16th. A trip to Seward is on the list so a trip up Mt. Marathon is happening just not in the race itself.
Alaska is always on the mind and after a deflating climb up Lazy Mountain last summer nothing would feel better than a tear up Lazy and Matanuska Peak in peak physical condition. Bad a** race for sure. Fourteen miles with 9,000 feet in elevation gain???
Let's be serious, it's probably 40 degrees and this fool has no shirt on. That's Alaska.
Applachian Trail-Vermont-Summer 2010
Should Alaska not happen in the summer the adventure would only be traversing the most famous hiking trail in the US. One way or another it's going to happen!
Green Mountain Relay-June 19 & 20th, 2010
http://www.greenmountainrelay.com/ This is similiar to the Ragnar series in that it's 36 legs to complete an entire 200 mile stretch. This stretch follows nearly the entire legnth of Vermont through some incredible country. Ideally, it'd be great to jump on an ultra team with some strangers and knock out 30+miles of this!
***UPDATE***No Vermont Trip 2010. Maybe 2011.
Vermont Death Race- June 26th, 2010
Here is a race for the ages. Seemingly stupid beyond stupidity with its 14 tasks that both crush you mentally and physically. Still...it's only a ten mile race but has a very real draw with such an extremely low finish rate. The $400 entry fee is worth avoiding out of spite and boycott more than anything else. That's just obnoxiously priced. youmaydie.com
If you have not heard of a Warrior Dash don't worry. I hadn't either and I feel like I have been missing out on the greatest creation EVER. Racing, obstacle course, running through fire, crawling through mud, and then they serve you beer! The winner gets a steel Warrior helmet as the trophy??? I'm a sucker for great marketing. I'm in. And so are you!....did I mention giant turkey legs? Just check it out! www.warriordash.com
***SOLD OUT***WTF??? Didn't see that coming....maybe the Denver one in August.
Mt. Whitney, California-Summer 2010
Permits pending but sometime in July/August for the highest peak in the Lower 48. We've tried for two summers to get this scheduled but have yet to pull it together. Hopefully schedules make it possible in 2010.
Alaskan Mountain Wilderness Classic-Summer 2010
You start and you finish. All other details are up to you as you navigate your way 150+ miles through the Alaskan wilderness in under 6 days. Brutal of all brutal. ***Update***-Upon further research on the "race" I would most likely not qualify and I'm not entirely sure I'm ready for a race of this magnitude. It would be like jumping in on a HomeRun Derby with Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, and Albert Pujols with tee-ball as your experience. These guys in this race each year are big time. I need a little more under the belt before taking something like this on. 2011??
Road Race from Phoenix, AZ to Salt Lake City, UT-Summer 2010
No I don't own a road bike and no I've never ridden more than 20 miles on one. So why would I want to spend 10 days riding 675 miles through the mountains to Salt Lake City? Why not?