100 Marathons

After a weekend off from marathoning, back on the trail – literally.

Friday a.m. flight to Reno, scenic hour-half drive to South Lake Tahoe.  Running on 2 historic trail systems tomorrow – the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) & XP (Pony Express) trails in California’s Sierra Nevadas.

Easy laid-back drive, radio set to classic 70’s – never turned the dial, all weekend.

Hotel check-in, then a rural 45 minutes on US 50 West to Kyburz (bib pickup).  Located tomorrow’s trail Start at Echo Summit (1968 US Olympic high-altitude training center).  Quick hello/goodbye.  Back in the morning California redwood, Ponderosa pine ❤

First year event – read & re-read the course description PLUS snapped a shot of the map itself (nothing left to chance).  More concerned being lost in the high Sierras than any wildlife encounters (only bear I saw/stuffed at Strawberry Lodge).


RACE DAY, SATURDAY:  Cool & overcast.  Mix of HIGH CLOUDS & MASSIVE TREES.  Super thankful, appreciated the cover.

Most of the day, focused/eyes alert for PINK ribbons.  13.8 miles in, started the climb UP.   Two HUGE hikes, over 4000ft vertical gain.  Lovers Leap Trail: let’s just say, I know why they leaped.  Crazy difficult hike.

but…the Panorama?  (like being) Wrapped inside an Ansel Adams photograph.  Just WOW!  Every north-facing tree blanketed in vibrant green moss.  Yellow-green: closest colour match in my Crayola box.  That’s the memory I’ll take home to Colorado.

Only negative?  Course went long.  I know, I know, it’s trail.  Folks: this course went long.  My watch (& Strava app) died somewhere after 30.5 miles – my first ultra finish of 2017.  (I say first ‘cause I haven’t yet given up on running a 50-miler this year.)

#94 in the books.  2nd longest [amount of time] I’ve been on my feet (behind 2013’s Barr Trail hike UP Pike’s Peak).



Echo Summit Trail Challenge – August 5, 2017


Trail Marathon  Jude Archie  M  06:40:28    1

Trail Marathon  HAGA K R  M  07:51:36    2


HIKE DAY tomorrow ‘round tourist-friendly paradiso, Lake Tahoe.  Living well, lucky in life 🙂



road-trippin’: Reno to Tahoe 




Bib pickup yesterday at Three Sons in Milford IA.  For those of you taking U of O’s entrance exam, answer key is at the register 🙂

The University of Okoboji is a fictitious university in the state of Iowa. The university was the creation of three brothers (The Three Sons of their dad) in the early 1970s, who printed T-shirts with an “official” school crest.  The word “Okoboji” refers to several lakes, and to the town of Okoboji, in the Iowa Great Lakes region that are popular recreational destinations.


The university is home of the undefeated Fighting Phantoms.


It is common among those claiming to be alumni to display university decor, such as car decals and T-shirts without informing unsuspecting out-of-staters that the university is fictitious.  The name is now used in connection with several annual fund-raising events for charity, including bike rides, a marathon, and a winter games competition.  A local radio station, KUOO, has joined in the joke and refers to itself as the “campus radio”.


5 o’clock alarm, early 6am marathon start.  Luckily, my evenings digs were only 10 minutes away – not a whole lotta sleep after last night’s live ‘Little House’ performance.  Double lucky?  Air conditioning.  5am, already 78 degrees.  Gonna be a July hot one.

Watched a lotta ultra races on YouTube while Bighorn training…including Badwater, a 135-mile endurance run thru Death Valley in JULY.  120+ degree heat, last year 84 of 97 finished.  Key?  Hydration AND a cold wet sponge (over the head/back of the neck).  Hmm…

Start/Finish at Arnolds Park Amusement Park.  Small marathon field, no more than 100.  5K turnaround at Okoboji’s The Inn, then clockwise circled West Okoboji Lake.  Plan today: slow steady pace.  ‘Steady’ the plan; goal: even splits.

With the exception of a fast first mile (7:25/min pace), held a steady 9:25/min pace thru 14.  Multiple views of Iowan summer vacations: lotta boats, whole lotta skiers.  Lost my way 3 times – almost a full mile off-course at mile 18.

[Check out my Strava pic/out-n-back line ‘bove 160th St.  Luckily, sun-bathing residents provided return directions.  ARGH!]

Port-a-john at mile 19, negative splits next 4 miles.  12 min/pace, but moving.  Took advantage of every opportunity to water douse my hat/head/shirt/arms/neck.  iShuffle died, 7 miles to go.  It’s a crutch [I know] but helps calm madness/’the voices’ after mile 20.

Walk, jog, sponge bath.  Kept moving forward.

Seemingly out there by myself – but I did it, I finished.  HOT day: 94 degrees & high humidity.  Just under 5 hours (mere 30 seconds under).  Medic placed a bag of ice on my neck.  Said my thanks, collected a medal & retrieved my rental [car].  No drama 🙂

3 hour haul to Minneapolis, air conditioner on HIGH.  Flying home tonite.  Home sweet Colorado home.


U of Okoboji Marathon, Triathlon, Half Marathon & 10K – Marathon (Jul 15, 2017)


Haga, K R   4:59:31.95

City: Louisville, CO
Bib #: 679




“After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again.” ― C.S. Lewis


Failure/not completing what one’s started – it’s a tough pill to swallow.  Some spout excuses, I’ve never been one to jump on board. Running’s a solo sport.  Body failure, mental weakness, weather conditions – doesn’t matter.  It’s you, the trail & a pair of shoes.

Started the weekend early like most (of my) race adventures.  Booked a bus ticket, not a lotta options to northwest Wyoming 🙂  Boulder to Denver, Denver to Buffalo (Wyoming, not New York).  9 hours.  Then ride-shared with a buddy to Dayton (Wyoming, not Ohio).

Bib pick-up Friday afternoon in Sheridan.  2 drop bags packed for Saturday’s 52 mile run.

2-mile taper runs all week.  Half-month watching Bighorn videos [on YouTube].  Hot temps, their principle complaint.  Tomorrow’s forecast?  Light rain & mud, remnants from last week’s snow.  PERFECT conditions.  Summer’s come late to Wyoming.

Reviewed the map, reread the manual, talked with one of the race’s first 100 mile finishers.

Every T crossed, nothing left undone.


Should you drive into the Footbridge Aid Station, be aware that there are 2 creek fords to drive through. The second is quite deep at this time. Do not attempt to drive to Footbridge without a high clearance vehicle.


Our aid stations are well stocked with GU products, GU hydration, water, and a full supply of a variety of foods to help you in your endeavor for the distance you have registered and chosen to run. Please remember that the aid station volunteers who hike to their stations are limited in supplies, but are still well-stocked to assist you.


…you should yield to any runner that is catching you from behind, let them pass by stepping to the upside of the trail so that they may continue at their pace. The faster runner does have the right of way, and would be appreciative of your yielding this to them. This is true for horses as well, and others that may be on the trails.


We are expecting fairly average course conditions for 2017, but remember we are famous for the Bighorn shoe sucking mud. There will be snow, mud, rocks, roots, elk and their calves, moose and their calves, bear and their cubs, grouse, snakes, and other wildlife as well as challenges along the way, but we are in WYOMING and just consider this part of the adventure.


Welcome, and safe travels to our wild and scenic Bighorn Mountains!


Thank you,
Bighorn Race Officials


Saturday.  Race morning.  5am race start, 45 minute drive from my overnight cabin.

Bed at 8:30, didn’t drop off ‘til after midnight, up again at 3.  Mentally sapped.

Not the lack of sleep – FEAR.  I can’t do this.  It’s too many miles.  All trail.  I’m at elevation.

Pitch dark, in the car by 4.  One deer.  Two moose.  Then…heavy fog.  Large patches of snow [on] both sides of State Highway 14.  Only 10 minutes to Start.  Where is the turnoff?  No cell signal, map left in the cabin.

Must have missed a turn.  Back over the pass, back into the fog.

Never ever located the Start.  HUGE fail.  Have never missed a race – and this my goal race, my first 50.

Tough miss.  Just wasn’t meant to be.  Loss.

Showered at the cabin, retreated home – left a day early.  Prepaid my stay, sunk cost.  Home.  I’ll figure it out at home.


UPDATE: 3 days later, still Bighorn-wounded but back at it.  Reconnecting the dots.  Have created a path for 100.  All flights booked, all races registered.  Ready, ready to run.  Looking to Ireland: October 29th.  Marathon #100.  Focused.

Bighorn 2018?  Yep, I’ll be back.  Count on it.  I’ve never run FROM anything.




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