Hardrock’s here, and I couldn’t be more excited.
This is my 5th time running the course, but only my 2nd time around in the clockwise direction around the loop. Just as a reminder, because I doubt anyone is really keeping track, the last time I ran the course this way was in 2010, and I finished in my fastest time yet, 30:21.
The course layout in this direction suits me well, with shorter, more direct uphills, and longer, mellower descents. Add to that the experience I’ve accumulated here through the years and the added miles I’ve logged this summer thanks to our dry spring, and I feel that if things go well, I could have a pretty fast time.
As is always the case, anything can happen out there so I’m just going to see how the day unfolds and try to put together my usual come-from-behind back half. Unfortunately, the Tom Chapman vs. Telluride (read here) land dispute that resulted in a re-route last year is still unresolved, so the course to Telluride is, once again, a couple miles longer. That doesn’t bode well for PR’s necessarily, but I’m still going to try.
Christy will be on the scene as crew boss, and veteran Neal Beidleman is pacing the 27 or so miles from Ouray to Sherman, including the stretch over Handies Peak. Chris Davenport will get his first glimpse at the event, when he joins me from the middle of the night through the next day for the 28 miles from Sherman to the finish in Silverton.
You can follow along through the Hardrock Live site, here- http://hardrock100.com/
The chart, just to give a visual as to how punishing this whole thing is-