Who signs up for a 50K trail run only 4 days before the event?  Yep, that happened this week.

Received a promo email for The Bear Chase Trail Race last weekend, Friday before New Hampshire.  Generally I delete these (my run schedule’s set 6 months out) but was out-of-town/travelling soooo the ad stayed in my Inbox.

Home sweet Colorado Home.  Cool & overcast all week, highs never topped 60 (GREAT weather).  Didn’t have a great run in Keene (REDEMPTION).  Short miles this month in my Run the Year challenge (Sept 30th race) AND only 45 minutes from Home.

I know, I know – crazy ‘healthy‘ addiction.  Paid FULL price & promised Ro we’d hike tomorrow 🙂

Saturday morning.  Hydration vest outta the closet, packed a drop bag – pickles/watermelon/chicken noodle soup, change of clothes (shirt/socks).  I’m my own crew today.  Socks?  Yep, NINE water crossings – 6 of those, knee deep water.  LOVE LOVED it!

Missed bib pick-up night before (work obligation).  Arrived half-hour early in Lakewood’s Bear Creek Lake Park.  FREE parking ($10 fee waived for runners).  Volunteer handed me a Bib, 4 safety pins & my Bear Chase tech shirt.  BAM, done.

2nd time in a month, I’d be running the event’s low-mile race.  100K, 50 mile or 50K – that’s it.  First time since April 2016, I actually registered for a 50K (ran 3 last year).  Marathon 6 miles.  Baby steps.  I see a 50-mile race in my 2018 future.

Sun rose pink over Bear Creek Lake, hats off for the National Anthem & we were off.  Bunched up at the first water crossing, then hiked UP the first of three big climbs.  Backside of hill?  I flew.  Since REVEL Rockies training this Spring, I’m a much better downhill runner.

Easiest trail terrain to date – rolling hills, root-free course (my trail nemesis).  Ran strong first 14 miles.  Lost my mojo during the sun-exposed 6.9 miles ‘round Fox Hollow Golf Course.  No tree, no shade, no wind.  Popped in the ear-buds, tried to flood my head with sound.

Last loop (18.8 miles in), half marathon distance to go.  Dilly-dallied 10 minutes at Bag Drop.  Re-clothed (dry shirt/dry socks), bathroom break, swallowed a half-thermos of chicken noodle.  Departed with a fresh bottle of electrolytes.

Last climb UP, right quad cramped.  Unfamiliar territory.  Nearby runner asked if I needed salt tabs.  I thanked him, swallowed both & hoped for a miracle.  I’m a puker, not a cramper.  Limped/walked the climb, limped/jogged the backside.

Clouds rolled in, temp dropped 10-15 degrees, winds kicked up.  No sun, no headphones…no need.  Quad cramp ceased.  My miracle.

Slow pace – 12/min mile – but I kept moving.  Shoulders back, no walk, no slog.  Head voices stopped.  Focused on a guy in white, later a couple both dressed in red.  Approached, paced closed behind, then passed/moved ahead.  Ninth & final water crossing.

Less than a mile to go AND… I lost the trail.  Are you kidding me??  Bush-whacked thru high grass & willow thicket.  Crossed a paved road, met a 100K runner.  Had run past the Finish by more than half a mile.  Disappointed…but back on trail – I kept moving.

Actually came up BEHIND the Finish.  7 hours – that’s a looooong time but I FINISHED.  32 miles total.  WOW!  ALSO surprisingly, compared with 2016 results – cut more than an hour off my best time.  Today’s run a 50K PR.

Out like a LION (September), in with a ROAR (October) – starting tomorrow with a high-altitude hike.  Gotta, hafta – promised the pup, right?  LOVE LOVE my Colorado life ❤


The Bear Chase

Running @ Lakewood, CO, 50K 9/30/2017, by HAL Sports


Keenan Haga

Bib #732  CHIP TIME  07:04:43



meanwhile far, far away in Germany…look who’s celebrating Oktoberfest!



Clarence Harrison DeMar (June 7, 1888 – June 11, 1958) was a U.S. marathoner, winner of seven Boston Marathons, and Bronze medalist at the 1924 Paris Olympics. He was known by the nickname “Mr. DeMarathon.”


DeMar won his last Boston in 1930 at the age of 41. His record of seven wins has never been broken, and he remains the oldest winner of the event ever.


In my quest for 100 marathons, have double/tripled & even 12x run my home state & neighboring others.  Costs, time off from work – additionally not as tough to bounce back physically when travel is minimized.

This weekend my third marathon in New Hampshire – different story.

Hadn’t been to a 50 State Marathon Club reunion since receiving my award last August in Santa Rosa.  Reunions rotate among the 50 States – hence, this weekend’s race in Keene, now my third 26.2 in NH.  Enjoy the camaraderie, LOVE LOVE our tight-knit community.

Reunion attendance Con?  Most active runner in your hometown (BIG FISH) sitting in a room with folks who have finished 200 & even 300+ marathons in their lifetime (now a LITTLE FISH).  300+ marathons, insane?  Nope, addictive.

Left Saturday’s reunion MOTIVATED to complete a 2nd rotation of the US by 2019 year-end.  Heaven help me – LOL>  That said, SUPER THANKFUL to be cancer-free.  Can’t wait to see where/what towns my 50 State Déjà Vu tour will take me 🙂

Bib pickup, tried the Captain Crunch dog (skip it).  Leaf peeping (2 weeks too early), early to bed.


You are all aware of the forecast for tomorrow and the impact on your run. Tomorrow is not your PR day or your BQ day. Those plans evaporated with the high temperatures you’ll run in tomorrow. We are taking all reasonable precautions to create the safest event we can for you, but it is now all up to you. Any decision to black flag the race before everyone finishes will be less about the temperatures or our wet bulb reading than it will be on how our runners react to those conditions. If too many of you require emergency medical attention, our medical resources will be at risk of being overwhelmed and will force us to make that decision. If that happens, we urge everyone left on the course to respect that decision, and cooperate with our protocols to bring you safely to the finish line.

Marathon morning.  Received another email warning ‘bout the unseasonable heat.  Low 90’s, late September.  Ugh.

90+ marathons completed, first time I forgot my race Bib.  Noticed it missing 10 minutes before the Start.  Remember looking inside my swag bag (nite before), saw the long-sleeve race shirt (too hot to wear long sleeves) – totally forgot about the Bib.  Double ugh.

Small town race, Race Director +++  Wrote down my name, provided a spare Bib, later (while I was actually running) fixed/updated my registration online to reflect the new Bib #.  Very very much appreciated.

Started far from the back, jogged/chatted first 7 miles with my Maniac buddy Stacey.  Comfortable early temps, leafy-canopied course.  It’d get super warm on the back-half…but no regrets.  Not a PR day.  Goal was to enjoy the run – and FINISH.

First 15-16 miles, picturesque New England.  Gilsum to Surrey Dam to Greenlawn Cemetery.  Heat (& East Coast humidity) dialed waaaay up before the first Half.  Salty & light-headed, puked throughout the Cemetery (mile 22).  Hate heat.  Residents water-sprayed runners & provided ice – most EVERY street ‘til the Finish.  AWESOME acts of kindness.  New Englanders, the BEST!

Ugly finish, just under 6 hours.  3 of my 50 State friends – Dan, Seth & Cade – greeted me at the Finish (& asked what happened).  Some days you’re the windshield, some days you’re the bug.  Can’t change the weather, all part of the journey.

Drama on every United flight home – been added to my (3rd strike) Frontier/Spirit DO NOT FLY list.  Kept a smile on my face, thankful not to walk in their shoes.  Must be a crummy job to maintain that level of unhappiness on a daily basis.

Home sweet Colorado Home.  40-degree temperature drop, snow in the mountains ❤


iResultsLIVE! Alert!

Event: Clarence DeMar Marathon
Name: K R Haga
Bib #: 430
Time: 5:55:39 (Net Time)




After last month’s Herman Lake hike on the CDT (Continental Divide Trail), went back to Ash for other hike destinations I may have overlooked.  She gave me two: Jasper Lake (Indian Peaks Wilderness) & Whale Peak (off US 285, on the Divide past Gibson Lake).

Next 3 weeks: 2 Colorado hikes, one East Coast marathon.  Work hard, play hard.  B-I-G life, no regrets.

Late start – 6am Saturday wake-up.  In Colorado, that means ‘no trailhead parking’.  Circled back 15 minutes into Nederland & boarded the town’s FREE trailhead shuttle service.  Me AND my pup.  Yep, that happens in Colorado too.  Dog-friendliest state of our 50 ❤

Light rain in Boulder, light SNOW in Nederland.  Mix of precip, sun darted in & out all day.

First FALL hike of the season, Aspens were a poppin’.  Bright Aspen YELLOW.  8.8 miles roundtrip per ProTrails.  Ash quoted 10 – Strava would prove her right (shuttle drop-off to Lake & trail return: 10.4 miles).

Ro now off-leash; pup on ‘squirrel’ patrol.  Ran wild thru open meadows.

Woodland Lake.  Diamond Lake.  Stayed RIGHT at both forks.  Third & last trail juncture, went against the grain & trekked LEFT.  No getting’ lost this day.  Perrrrfect directions.  (Thanks Ash.)

Arrived Jasper Lake 11am.  Gray skies & snow spit.  Didn’t stop Ro from taking a quick dip.  Brrr.

Reality, this alpine ‘lake’ was a reservoir – being drained in anticipation of next season’s snow-melt.  Heavy winter mountain snow = plenty of downstream water all summer long.  Front Range Coloradans generally lucky that way.

Today’s hike destination not the sexiest lake…but the journey itself – FAAANNNNTASTIC!  Still early – stay or go-go?  Option A: mile to Devils Thumb Lake, mile further to Devils Thumb Pass.  Option B: bowl of warm chili in Ned.  Ya’ll know how this story ends 🙂

Followed by late afternoon take-n-bake pizza.  Followed by a double-scoop of PB&J at Sweet Cow.

Maybe should’ve hiked the extra couple miles, huh?  LOL>




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