Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hardrock 100!

Wendy up on Handies Peak
Ahhh Hardrock.  How tempting it is to get in the car and drive for 7hrs to Silverton and spectate high on the course for what may be the greatest ultra event of the year.  Certainly one of the most highly anticipated as it will be a rare year again when we see the lottery be favorable to such running luminaries as:

  • Kilian Jornet
  • Seb Chaigneau
  • Julien Chorier
  • Dakota Jones
  • Joe Grant
  • Jeff Browning
  • Jared Campbell
  • Timmy Olson
  • Tsuyoshi Kaburaki
  • Adam Campbell and several more knocking on the door of the top 10.

Ever since we spent some time on the course a few years ago, checking out the climbs and sections of the route, we fell in love with the magnetism of the San Juans.  It's a special place that brings together the familiarity of so many mountain ranges into it's own unique blend.  Some of the ruggedness of the Alps ,the peace and solitude of the Scottish Highlands, the rarefied air of the Andes.  The hues on the landscape are sharp and crystal clear, with such a vibrancy that makes you feel you can reach out into the view and touch the neighboring peaks.

The dream of participating grabs the attention of more each year and while getting in as a first time runner is likely to take years of entries, in a way that makes it all the more special.  So often in today's world are we able to get self gratification quickly and at will.  There's no way to 'buy' your way into Hardrock and I love that approach.  I understand the chorus of folks who see it as an old boys club that favors multiple time finishers (which it does) and there is a severe lack of depth on the women's side that could be easily corrected.  At it's core though, it's a race that is as unmovable as the mountains it traverses, and hopefully will hang on to this ethos as the race goes on.

My suspicion is that after the media circus subsides and leaves Silverton, we'll slip back to another year with a few class athletes, but much the same as it has been in years past.  In the meantime we should celebrate what we are about to see in what is a historical race even before the first step is taken.  A new legend will grow whether a record is set, or if Kyle Skaggs solo record holds on from the group assault of modern day ultra running stars.  No matter what your prediction, count on lots of drama in SW Colorado over the next few days!

For full coverage, iRunFar has again excelled at providing some great interviews, live coverage and a great resource for where to find the latest information.  Here's a good summary link with lots of detail -

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