Monthly Archives: May 2016

Santa Fe 

My flight is not until this evening so I thought I’d check out Sante Fe on the way to the airport.  After an awesome breakfast at a place I found online, I decided to wander around downtown.  Lots of churches and art galleries but there was also a car show going on.  Some of my favorites from the event below.

Jemez kicked my butt

A friend said that it’s a 50, but run like a 100; and he was right. My day was spent, climbing, descending, and more climbing.  The graph below is the output from my watch – there is not a lot of flat on this course.

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The weather started out in the low 50’s and since I was gain in elevation as the sun came up, it was a fairly constant temperature.  I pulled off all layers at the top since it warmed up considerably for my 2nd big climb.

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This picture is towards the end of the course, but gives you an idea of what the terrain looks like.

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For the “stat cats” out there, I linked my Strava results below.  Later in the week, I’ll put together a quick video of the race.

Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain
15:58:11 14:25:18 53.90 3.74 9.17 10,786.75
hours hours mi. mph mph ft.

Less than a day

Early this morning, I went back to the ski resort to explore the next leg of the race.  This leg is less than 3 miles long, but I will travel it twice.  I was interested in how technical it was since I will be running it after a brutal downhill off of the mountain.  The picture below shows how far I have to drop in the previous leg.  The course starts on top and weaves it’s way down through the different runs – dropping about 1000ft.

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This leg turned out to be tame – a little single track and jeep trail with a gentle uphill.  You skirt a deep canyon that leads back to town.

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Half of the leg is through a beautiful meadow with a lot of bright blue mountain birds.  I tried to get close enough for a picture, but I guess my hoodie scared them.

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The leg ends at a very steep downhill into the caldera.  For those that have done Bandera; think of the steepest part down on Lucky Peak, but for 500ft.  Coincidentally, 3 guys were marking the trail (one of them was the race director) and told me that staying right through the trees offered the slimmest chance of ending up on my head.

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Race starts at 5am tomorrow… weather will be wonderful.

Jemez 50 is in 2 days

I’m in Los Alamos, NM this weekend for the Jemez 50.  It’s a race around the city and through the Jemez mountains.  It’s a little more than 50 miles – closer to a double trail marathon.  This should prove to be my hardest 50 miler since it involves an incredible amount of climbing and the lowest point is around 8,000ft.  I’m staying in the City and the park in the picture is just across the street.

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I walked through the downtown area last night looking for a place for dinner.  Found a nice cafe with awesome food.  I went back there for lunch today.

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I was on the trail by sunrise.  I wanted to hike what looks to be the hardest section of the trail.  It’s an 8 mile stretch that climbs to the top of the ski resort, ~3000ft.  Heat won’t be a problem in this race – it was 38 degrees when I left the car.

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When I passed 10,000ft there was a sprinkling of snow.  The picture below is a cool bench that is on the summit.

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The climb was as expected and I only got turned around twice.  Both times, I back tracked to understand where I missed the turn so I wouldn’t do it in the race.  I took about 3 hours to do the stretch today, but that was with pictures, 2 phone calls, getting lost, etc…. on race day, I need to do it in 2:35.  I pasted my race card below.  I’m expecting 15 hours which makes it my slowest 50 miler ever – but I’ve never done one with this many climbs.

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Lots of stuff going on

The last few months have been very busy.  I announced my retirement in February and luckily was able to promote someone on my team so the transition didn’t have to take long.  Before I left, my team was given the presidents award for the project it spent the last year working on.

GTM winner

The weeks flew by and before long, I was given a retirement party.  Below is a great picture on me and my team.

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Tracy has been really busy with work, but has spent a lot of time on the water.  This is her rowing in her first singles race.

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I signed up for a crazy 50 mile race at the end of May in the Jemez Mountains (http://www.highaltitudeathletics.org/JemezMt.htm) so I’ve been putting in a lot of miles.  I’ve been busy with races  – Bandera 100k, Pandora trail marathon, Maze 30k, Tangle 30k, and Paleface trail marathon.

This is me ending my 2nd loop at the Tangle.  That’s the winner passing me to complete his 3rd 10k loop.

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Found a new app that lets me import my data.  This is for Paleface this weekend:

Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain
05:30:52 05:18:01 25.21 4.76 9.39 2,585.30
hours hours mi. mph mph ft.

Don Skelding 1935-2016

Dad passed away a few weeks ago.  All the kids, and many of the grand kids came to Michigan for the service.  We concluded the service by spreading dad’s ashes off the pier in Grand Haven.  We then toasted his life by passing around a bottle of 30 year old rum we found in his cupboard.

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Dad didn’t keep much stuff, but he loved his pictures.  We all spent hours going through boxes and boxes.  I included a photo gallery of the ones I took plus I added the video we did for Dad a year ago for his 80th birthday.

 

Click on the image of Dad below for a slideshow of all the pics I found.  Some great memories.