2019 Zane Grey 50

“Regarded as the toughest, roughest and most beautiful 50 mile trail runs in the country.  It run on the Highline trail near Christopher Creek, Arizona, at the base of the Mogollon Rim.”

I can say that it’s probably the hardest, and most beautiful, 50 miler I’ve ever run.  I was not scared by the talk of rocks, difficulty, etc., but I did treat the race with a ton of respect and I’m glad I did.  I’m still trying to get back to a previous fitness level and I felt like it was time to put a 50 mile on the calendar.  The timing of this race worked well which is why I chose it.  I didn’t choose it because I thought I was going to crush the competition though.  Fifty miles is still a long way for me and it’s the longest I’ve run since last October.  Regardless, I have zero regrets for signing up – what an amazing and awesome race!

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2019 Crown King Scramble

In the grand scheme of things, running is better than not running. I remind myself of that fact when I’m tempted to complain about not being as fit as I was previously. But I’m no longer injured and I’m able to race in some capacity and I’m thankful for that. Honestly, I wouldn’t call my day at Crown King as “racing” as much as I would say it’s a step to another step which leads me back to fitness that will enable me to get through a hundred miler by the end of the year. The only goal at this point is just to check the lottery box for Western for yet another year. If I can remain uninjured for the next 18 months, I’d be thrilled.

Alright, enough of this and that, let’s get to the event…

The Crown King Scramble is a race that takes place outside of Phoenix. It starts at Lake Pleasant and it consistently heads uphill for about 50 kilometers to the town of Crown King. Roughly, the race starts around 2000’, it tops out at 6700’, with about 6500’ of total elevation gain and only about 2500’ of loss. In other words, you’re doing a LOT of climbing, especially for a 50k race. I expect that kind of punishment from a hundred miler, maybe a 50 miler but not a 50k.

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2018 Javelina Jundred

This was my fourth go at the Javelina Jundred with finish times now ranging from 21-something to last year’s 17:38 for 8th overall.  After the race last year, it was hard for me to imagine how I could top that although my mind wandered and then pondered a 16-something. 

After getting sidelined with an injury, returning to full training, and getting closer to the event, it was obvious to me that I wasn’t in the same kind of shape as last year.  That said, I’m thankful to be running and extra thankful to be able to run a hundred in order to fulfill my Western States lottery obligation.  This will be my fifth year in the lottery and with 16 tickets, I’m hopeful -- I’m hopeful every year but 16 tickets seems like more than a few.  Perhaps not, we’ll see next month.  One paragraph and I’m already off topic…

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2018 Grand Canyon

A few years ago, I ran across the Grand Canyon and back (Rim to Rim to Rim), with a group of friends.  In the highlights reel of my life, this is somewhere near the top and it’s always an adventure that I’ve wanted to do again. 

Back in January, I booked a room at the Bright Angel Lodge with the idea that I might do it again.  I didn’t know for certain but I figured I could cancel the room if things didn’t work out.  Well, things did work out and this past weekend, I set out for a solo double crossing. 

Life has been chaotic lately and a run as big as this really helps put things into perspective.  But little did I know!

On Saturday, I got up at 4am, drank some cold brew, got my gear together and sometime just shy of 5am, I was off into the Canyon.

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2018 Jackrabbit Jubilee

It’s been a while since I’ve written – mostly because I was dealing with an injury earlier in the year.  Nothing huge but I had to take some time off which caused some loss of fitness.  The injury healed and since then I’ve been focused on getting back to my former shape.  I’m not at 100% but I’m making progress and I’m happy to be running.

2018 goals were pushed aside when the injury appeared and the primary goal became getting back to the ability to run a hundred mile qualifier for the Western States 100.  Assuming I will check that box off by the end of the year, I’ll have 16 tickets in the lottery.  Every year I say that should be enough to get me into the race and every year another 1000 people enter the lottery.  So that being a factor, I’ll just say I like my odds better with 16 tickets and I don’t want to lose them. 

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2018 Redding Marathon

What a fun race!  She-Ra has talked about it for the last few years and the timing just never really worked for me.  Signing up for CIM after Javelina seemed like a bad idea so I went looking for a marathon.  She mentioned she was doing Redding again, I signed up, and we recruited others.  As things go, a few people fell off for various reasons along the way – and then there were four. 

My training since Javelina was stellar.  I’ve been in the best shape, runs seemed effortless, and nothing ruins a great streak like getting the flu.  But this wasn’t your garden variety flu, this was full-blown, high fever, double whammy flu.  I started getting sick on 12/29.  With Redding still far enough out, I thought – no big deal.  Wrong.  It took at least four days for the fever to subside and then the stuffy nose, congestion, coughing part kicked in. 

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