3 weekends of high mountain hikes, tough to get the marathon juices flowing again.

Saturday’s trail run one of 3 last-minute selections needed to reach magic #100 in Dublin.  My third consecutive trail race – Tahoe, Steamboat & the Hawk.  Better known for its grueling 100-mile race, 26.2 miles the shortest distance one can enter.  100 miles, 50 miles or Marathon.  Seriously, that’s it.  First time, I’VE been the late start at an event.

Organized by an upbeat group of local trail runners, the Lawrence Trail Hawks.  What’s not to love?  Direct flight (Denver to KC), cheap airfare, entire trip/in-n-out < 30 hours.  ‘though Kansas in September, probably gonna be warm, really warm.

Hotel check-in, bib pick-up, dinner.  Early to bed, early to rise.

Race Morning.  Packed up the rental – not expecting to squeeze in a hotel ‘finish’ shower.  No worries this day, scoped out a $5 shower at Clinton State Park (campground showers), 10-minute drive from today’s race Start.  Like a Boy Scout, always prepared 🙂

Last minute race announcements, BAM – started on time.  Similar to Steamboat last month, well organized event.

Whole lotta up & down.  Root & rock trail, large leafy trees provided much appreciated shade.  Special for Marathoners: an extra 1.2 mile loop thru fresh-cut grass, then UP Sanders Mound.  Roughly 25 miles ‘round Clinton Lake.

Middle/back of the pack first 3 miles.  Settled into pace by the first Aid Station.  Sooooo much FOOD – FAVE difference vs road marathoning.  Sweet, salty, crunchy, energy gels, granola bars – and PICKLES.  Love me some pickles.  Good on the stomach.

Single file track.  Ran with an older guy first 12 miles.  Military, his first marathon.  Quick steady pace.  Daughter was running 2nd female, inspired Dad/Chuck to hit the trails.  Conversation passed the time (no headphones this race).  Second pass by West Park Road Aid Station & we said our goodbyes.  Think he went out a bit too fast (first marathon).

Tough race – maybe all trail runs are?  More mental for sure.  Zone out & risk going down hard (aka 2nd leg Steamboat).

Last Aid Station stop, 7 miles to go.  First humans I’d seen in quite a while.  One deer, one snake – but no peeps.  Wouldn’t see another runner ‘til the Finish.  Pushed hard last mile, just missed 6 hours.  Should have gutted a little sooner.  Ho hum.  Wasn’t ‘til Monday morning (checking results online) did I find I finished 11th overall.  WOW, I’ll take it.  Eases the sting of missing 6 hours, right?

2pm Finish, came in hot.  Laid long on the grass, folks brought over ice.  3rd finish in Kansas, ironically 2 on trail.

Campground shower, early evening flight home, church in the morning.

Marathon next (short 2 weeks away): Clarence DeMar in Keene NH.  LOVE LOVE Autumn in New England 🍁

 

 

The Hawk Hundred

September 09, 2017

Lawrence, US

 

Race Summary

START TIME  8:00:17 AM

DISTANCE  26.2 Miles

 

OVERALL

 

Timothy Hazlett  M Bib 1025 Lees Summit, MO 4:40:11

Carsten Giessmann M Bib 1021 Irvine, CA 4:49:33

Suresh Nagarajan M Bib 1048 Grover, MO 4:52:50

Nathan Goertzen M Bib 1079 Hampton, NE 4:54:03

Justin Douglas M Bib 1014 Lawrence, KS 5:01:28

Katherine Martyn F Bib 1040 Lawrence, KS 5:02:10

Jim Cozzi M Bib 1012 Geneva, IL 5:38:17

Randy R M Bib 1022 McMinnville, OR 5:46:52

Daniel Auten M Bib 1001 Colorado Springs, CO 5:48:50

Brian Forbes M Bib 1017 Spring Hill, KS 5:57:50

Keenan Haga M Bib 1023 Louisville, CO 6:00:46

 

Set my watch-alarm – no need today – woke early to other 4WD vehicles struggling up the boulder-littered trek to Bridal Veil Falls.  Cool morning temps, dusky predawn sky.  Telluride HIKE day!

Mile drive (from last night’s sleepover).  Parked; positioned third roadside.  Spots fill fast (& ranger patrolled).  You’re late, you hike – an additional 2 ½ miles UP.  Crawled thru the gate at Bridal Veil Powerhouse (built in 1907 to power Smuggler-Union Mine).  Would snap a pic of the Falls on the hike return.  Tall evergreen (pine & spruce), lush undergrowth (fern & wildflower) AND….waterfalls.

Would see more waterfalls on today’s trek than any previous Colorado hike in my life.

Relatively short 5.4 miles roundtrip.  Blue Lake wasn’t my original hike destination – one left turn when I should have veered right, log-crossed Bridal Veil Creek.  Bluest blue water, absolutely no regrets.

Open meadows of wildflower, canyon wall backdrop.  Waterfall, waterfall, waterfall.  WOW.  Top 10 Colorado hike location.  If only Telluride were closer – so many hikes, so little time.  I see a week-long backpack adventure in my summer future.

Unleashed Ro early on (slept much of the drive home).  Up trail, down trail.  Run, run, run.  Poised high on rocks above, bouncing thru field flowers trying to flush out wildlife (chipmunk & grouse).  Happy dog, happy life ❤

Altimeter topped at 12,400ft.  Mountain walls reflected off Blue Lake’s quiet clear surface.  Crazy beautiful.

Dropped off trail.  Waded thru a tall cascading waterfall, explored an abandoned mining cabin.  Bridal Veil Falls tourist shot snapped – check, done.  $3 shower at Town Park in Telluride, money well spent 🙂  SUPER FUN DAY!

Left early/drove 7 hours straight to avoid next day’s holiday traffic crunch.  Reward?  Monday cookout at Ash & Tom’s.  Burgers & pasta salad [black bean burger/non-cow eaters].  Afternoon’d w/ daughter at the family puzzle du jour.   Happy Labor Day 2017!

 

 

Blue Lake Trail-Telluride

 

 

Louisville ⇨Valley View Hot Springs

Labor Day: unofficial start to Autumn.  For us snow lovers…almost made it thru another summer 🙂

3 day holiday.  Staying ‘local’ this year, road trippin’ Colorado’s Western SlopeTrip highlight: hiking in scenic Telluride – yep, another high-elevation ski town mountain-etched by massive canyons [the San Juans].  Aspen, Crested Butte & now Telluride – been an outstanding Colorado summer.

Friday 5pm.  Work ends, holiday begins.

Packed, picked up the Pup, on the road by 6 – along with most of my Front Range neighbors.  Argh.  Camping holiday.  Needed to check into my site by 10pm.  Valley View folks were mighty nice to hang around ‘til 20-past.  Otherwise would have started my adventure with a hefty night hike, parked on the wrong side of a chained cattle-gate.  As it was, struggled to pitch-tent in the dark.  Mighty remote.

Woke Saturday morning to quiet Colorado paradise.  Dry arid landscape, mix of evergreen & cacti.  Natural hot springs tucked between the Great Sand Dunes & Gunnison National Park.  Hiked thru fields of sunflower, lapsing 30-45 minutes at each naturally heated pool.  Meadow Pond, Waterfall Pond, Top Pond, Party Pond…whole lotta warm-water bubbling.

Pupster begged, no one around.  I relented.  Happy dog-paddling pup.

Valley View Hot Springs ⇨Telluride

 

Our most remote ponds are up a short, but steep trail. Most take about twenty minutes to trek the ¼ mile trail to the Top Ponds. Guests agree these peaceful, bubbling warm waters make it the trip well worthwhile. It’s a series of three (almost four) ponds flowing one into the next. The top-most pond fills about two feet deep and offers ample space to find a corner to one’s self. Its water cascades down to join more warm source water beneath a large tree providing shade throughout the day. Water temperatures vary dramatically as these ponds mix with more snow-melt and runoff than our other sources. In recent months, temperatures ranged from 98°F to 107°F.

Showered, on the road by 1pm.  Quick detour in Villa Grove.  Small 3-building town – but one of those buildings advertised pie.  Never miss an opportunity for pie ❤

3 hours of winding byway.  Poncha Springs, Gunnison, fuel/sanity break in Montrose.  Ridgway, Placerville, Sawpit, Telluride.  Campground, no room in the Inn.  Soooo many people…Telluride Film Festival.  Who knew?

Opted to drive toward Bridal Veil Falls – tomorrow morning’s hike launch.  Mile-half of dirt & boulders (4WD trek).  Secured an overnight pull-off, clouds grayed, evening skies opened.  RAIN.  Car-camped high above Telluride.  Nite 2 elevation: 10,000ft+.

 

 

 

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