It was a beautiful day for a race.
Another year, another bout of punishing weather at the Breck Five Peaks.
We haven’t had much luck timing the conditions at this event. Last year’s race course had to be modified due to cold and wind, which was so punishing we were just happy to reach the finish. It was kind of a bummer because we were looking forward to the cool tour up and down the five peaks of the massive Breckenridge ski area.
On May 29, 2003, the inaugural Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon took place. Nepali owned and organized, the race has been run every year on May 29th, the anniversary of Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary’s historic 1953 Mt. Everest ascent. The mostly downhill course descends the Khumbu Valley along popular trekking routes, from Everest Basecamp at 17,500 ft. to Namche Bazaar at 11,200 ft. In recent years, the race has had over 100 runners participate, but the field is primarily filled by Nepalis, with the minority of runners being from other countries. Rarely have there been more than a handful of Americans.
Ten years after that inaugural event, the organizers are adding new races. On the same day as the marathon in 2014, the Everest Ultra 60k Run will follow a longer course, but with the same start and finish lines. And planned for June 2015 is yet another event— a multi-sport adventure that includes a marathon, mountain bike, and a tandem paraglide– that starts from Annapurna Basecamp and finishes near Pokhara. read more>>>
Start with a 100 mile race in the mountains, strip out any crew support or pacers and add a bunch of winter weather– snow up high, mud down low, and temps in the low 20s all through the night– and you have last weekend’s Bear 100. Lucky for us, Christy and I were both able to say we had a great time.
I improved on last year’s finish by 45 minutes, finishing in 5th place in 21:38. If you take out some 30+ minutes spent at the 13 aid stations, that averages to around 12:30s for 100 miles on a course with over 22,000 feet of vertical gain. Yes, I’m pretty happy with that.
But since I’ve been here a few times now and have already done it unsupported, I knew what to expect. I think it was actually Christy’s race that was the most impressive. read more>>>
I thought I’d pass along a little video that recently hit the Internet about Seb Chaignieu’s winning Hardrock 100. I don’t usually re-post content created by others, but this race is a tough subject to accurately capture, and I think this video does a pretty good job.
At the finish, enjoying one of the simple pleasures I long for while out on the course– a seat.
This year’s Hardrock 100 went well by nearly every measure. At the risk of making it sound routine, it was a fairly smooth day out there. And with the help of my crew/pacer team of Christy and Jesse Rickert– from the Mount Everest/Global Extremes days– I finished in 5th place, with a time of 28:19. It was my sixth time on the course and my fastest finish yet. read more>>>
We’ll see how this goes. Gone are the days when I could quietly sneak into the top-ten under the cover of night, when the crews of the front runners would continually ask Christy and Tim,”Who’s your runner?” as they all moved along the far reaches of the course crewing together. read more>>>