Category Archives: Runs

High Lonesome 100

On the first Friday in August, I ran the High Lonesome 100.  Since the course travels over 5 passes for a total of 23,000ft of climb, my goal was to finish in 35 hours.  The average elevation of the race is 10,433ft reaching a high point of over 13,000ft.   Over the past few months, I’ve hiked almost all of the course.  My race card is below.  The sections in yellow indicate that I can have a drop bag and light blue means that my crew can meet me.

It was a perfect morning and the forecast was for light rain in the afternoon.  My only worry was that Saturday was going to be hot.

Tracy and the dogs were there to see me off.

The race started at 6am sharp.

I came into the first aid station in 1:26 against a predicted 1:45.

A quick bite to eat and a coke and I’ve off for a 4,000ft climb up to the high point of the race on the shoulder of Mt. Antero.

The climb follows Little Browns Creek up a tight gulch to above treeline.  It then drops down a highly trafficked 4wd road that I hadn’t run before, nor do I want to again.  Since it was Friday, there was a lot of traffic, but it was an incredible 5 mile downhill.

I reached St. Elmo aid station, over 90 minutes ahead of schedule.  I now had to climb Law’s pass to Cottonwood where I’d meet Tracy.

A storm started rolling in so it got a little cold in the wind.  Once I cleared treeline, it started to rain.

I made it to Cottonwood 1:50 ahead of schedule and unfortunately, I beat Tracy there by 6 minutes.  A nice couple relayed my schedule to her and took the picture below of me.

I turned around and headed over Law’s pass back to St. Elmo.

Once in St. Elmo, I had to traverse about 6 miles of exposed ground above treeline.  I rolled into the halfway point at Hancock, 2 hours ahead of schedule.  Tracy was waiting with a kiss and I got to pick up Mike to pace me through the night.  Mike and Tina are in the picture below waiting for me to come into Hancock.

Once leaving Hancock, we had to climb Hancock Pass, descend into the Middle Fork, then climb 3,000ft to Chalk Creek Pass, and finally traverse the Monarch Crest into the store parking lot at Monarch Pass.  It was a tough night of climbs, but the weather held and we made it to the parking lot 3 hours ahead of schedule.  There I picked up Mark to take me the next 20 miles which are considerably more flat and at a lower elevation.

I had a very dedicated crew.  All of them turned up at 4:30am to meet me in a freezing parking lot.  From left to right, Mark, Danielle, Mike, and Tina.  I couldn’t have done it without them.

This section turned out to be the hardest for me since there are a lot of up and downs and the temperature climbed into the 80’s.  It doesn’t sound hot for a guy from Austin, but when the sun beats down on you on the dry Colorado Trail, you bake.   I met Tracy and the rest of the crew at Raspberry Gulch still an hour ahead of schedule.

Tracy took me home for the last 8 miles.

I crossed the finish line 70 minutes ahead of my plan.  A storm started blowing in and the wind was so strong it had knocked the sign down.

I was rewarded with another kiss.

 

Out of 100 starters, I finished in 43rd place.  It was my first 100 that I finished in the first half.  My Strava read out is below.  Since my watch was the longest battery setting the pace and moving time gets messed up.  The distance and elevation gain are close to accurate.

Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain
09:49:48 07:37:40 95.56 2.83 48.76 20,885.83
hours hours mi. mph mph ft.

 

 

 

Getting ready for the High Lonesome 100

It’s been a while since I updated the page.  I’ve been busy with a new house we bought and getting ready for my 100 mile race, The High Lonesome 100.

CW completed his hike around the Collegiate Peaks and Preston and I met him in Winfield and camped for the night.  We ended up playing some poker and hanging out with the dogs.

The next day, I sent Preston with CW over Hope Pass and I drove around to Twin Lakes to meet them.  Since they were turning off the CT onto a smaller trail, the dogs and I hiked up to meet them at the intersection.  It was a steep climb so the dogs were crashed out while I read waiting for them to arrive.

The next weekend, I went with a group doing a training run on the High Lonesome course.  It was a really fast group and I bonked in the heat so it had me worried about the race.  We went 22 miles and climbed 6k feet in 5 hours.

There were some serious runners in this race.

Brown Creek loop

Today I set out on the 16 mile Brown Creek Loop.  The loop follows Brown Creek and Little Brown Creek to their sources, essentially circling Mt. White.  I went counter clockwise climbing towards the headwaters of Little Brown Creek.  The trail is steep, climbing 4,500ft in the first 6 miles.  Just before tree line, a small meadow appeared with an incredible amount of flowers.

  

The trail wound higher to above tree line, maxing out around 13,000ft.  It was a beautiful day, a little wind, but sunny.

Once I got to the top, the trail followed a forest road to the edge of a lake.  It then was a very runable single track down.   I made the journey a little longer since I took a wrong turn somewhere along the way.  After 17 miles and 4,500ft of climb, I’m happy to be heading to Whiskey Wednesday at Deerhammer Distillery.

Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain
05:27:39 04:58:30 17.13 3.44 16.11 4,481.63
hours hours mi. mph mph ft.

 

High Lonesome 2018 maps

I’ve been running and hiking different parts of the course and have found some of the trail intersections confusing.  To help out, I’ve been using some maps that I’ve created from Caleb’s GPX file.  I’ve linked to all the maps below plus I’ve added some info on a few apps that allows you to carry offline versions of the map on your phone.  If you need help, just email me at: jim@skelmo.com

Link to the profile as a PDF:  HL_profile_2018_adj

Caltopo map if you want to create your own maps.

Geospatial course maps allow you to view your location on a PDF document on your mobile device without having a cell signal.

  • If you use the AllTrails app, I’ve created a customer map that can download by clicking the picture or link below.

Click here for the All Trails map

  • You can install the free Avenza app (iOS or Android) for viewing geospatial PDF course maps. Once you have the Avenza app installed, download and add any or all of the geospatial PDF course maps.  I’ve found that keeping the maps in a DropBox account is the easiest way to transfer to your device.  One recent change in the app is that the free version limits you to 2 active maps.  To make it easy, I’ve created multiple maps giving detail of the entire course.

This link will give you a NE,NW,SE,SW map for the different part of the course.  The advantage of using these is that they have a much higher resolution.

This link will give you an entire map of the course.  Note that you can use this to follow the general direction of the course, but it is not high enough resolution in most cases.

Jemez – my longest 50k ever

On Saturday, I ran the Jemez 50 again.  The course had changed this year to be closer to town since Los Alamos is so dry that it’s already been put into stage 2 fire restrictions.  The weather was warm in the morning and I started in a T-shirt.

Joe P was there along with my friend Mike and his friend Grace.

You can see all the dust in the air and this is a paved road; it was ten times worse once we got on the trail.

The first 15 miles are climbs to the ski resort.  It was getting warm, but we made it in 3 hours and 25 minutes, only 5 minutes slower than my goal.

A fresh shirt felt great.

Over the next mile, the course goes up over the double black diamond ski run.  I started to bonk with the sun beating down on me.

I should have been bombing down the big hill on the other side, but I was really slow.  Mike made it in 15 minutes before me to the aid station.

I may look OK, but I wasn’t feeling good – my feet hurt to run and I was cooking in the sun.

Mike was way ahead of me by now and had time to pose for pictures.

By the time I saw Tracy again at mile 30, I was at a crawling pace.  The race always has a choice to switch to the 50k, but normally the choice is made at mile 20 – this year, the choice was here and it was an obvious one since the 50k finish was only 2 miles away.

I’m all smiles as I crossed the finish line.

Everyone seemed happy to see me and I was happier to see them.

Cactus Rose 2017 is in the books

I ran the 50 miler this year… Mike is off on a world adventure so I ran it alone.  The weather was great-  clear and 40 degrees at the 5am start.  I felt on top of the world until about mile 32 when my body remembered that I just ran a 100 a little over a month ago.  My quads got heavy and stomach rumbled but I wanted a PR.  I was shooting for 12 hours and ended up with a 12:22.  I ended up in 13th place out of the 69 starters.  Almost an hour faster than my fastest time at Cactus.

Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain
12:22:28 11:57:00 49.91 4.03 8.95 5,748.03
hours hours mi. mph mph ft.

Perfect Race Day

Jemez 50 has been completed…. I beat my goal of 15 hours by 2 minutes.  You couldn’t have asked for a better race day.  I’ll post a full video later in the week, but there are a few pictures and my Strava feed below.

Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain
14:58:29 11:57:58 47.73 3.99 24.38 11,112.20
hours hours mi. mph mph ft.

This was the weather the day before the race in town – can’t imagine how deep it was on the mountain    

We had to climb this to get to the aid station

In the caldera

Tracy met me 4 different times on the course

 

 

A few races to start the year

First off, I’m selling my boat – only 252 hours on it – 22′ Cobalt – $11k.  Hit me up if any of my 5 readers know anyone that wants it (page all the way down for a picture)

I’ve been doing a lot of running lately to get ready for the Jemez race in New Mexico in a couple weeks.  That race kicked my butt last year.  This year I will be much more prepared for the 11k of climbing over the first 38 miles.  A few weeks ago, I ran the 30k Maze race…. nothing crazy fast, but I never walked during it.  Last weekend, I ran the trail marathon, Pandora’s Box of Rox on Saturday and the 30k Tangle on Sunday.   Sunday’s weather was great and even after running on Saturday we still finished in 4 hours.  Saturday was a train wreck.  At the race start, the temperature was only 75 degrees, but the humidity was maxed out.  The temperature reached 90 by the afternoon, but the humidity stayed the same.   I finished in 6:40, 65 minutes longer than my previous years time.  Funny thing was that I was still 41st out of 114

Couple of pictures from the Maze:

Couple of pictures from the Tangle:

Boat for sale: