Category: Skyrunning

Flaming Turtle Heads!

Flaming Turtle Heads!

Turtlehead Peak in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area just outside Las Vegas NV. I attempted it last year about this same time (due to gymnastics meet scheduling) but got lost, ran out of time and just plain wasn’t fit enough. This year though…

  • There are new trail markers
  • I uploaded a GPX file to my Suunto
  • I still got lost a few times
  • I was in much better shape
  • I had a couple hours free and clear

Sadly I didn’t see any turtles. Or coyotes, or even a burro.

Burro Crossing
As close as I got to a burro on this trip.

Check out the video for some interesting scenery, especially the panorama pan at the summit. Not really obvious in there, but you can see the parking lot at Sandstone Quarry from the summit.

Then watch as I scan my results in the Stryd Power Center after the double-import. Doh! Yeah. So Suunto doesn’t get full Stryd Power stats, and won’t push correctly to the Power Center. So you create a second “fake” Stryd account, set that up in your phone (which in my case is an extra Droid, since that’s otherwise useless for Stryd) then download the .fit file and upload that to you real Stryd account.

And there’s more! I scan my stats in Strava to compare it to my end goal, the Broken Arrow VK Skyrace in Squaw Valley in June. I did it in 2019, so have stats to compare. I didn’t do it in 2020 because CA was closed. Now they’re thinking it might be open, especially with the new climate of Hope and Change sweeping the nation. I hope so, because I’ll be ready.

Running Morgan in the Dark

Running Morgan in the Dark

If you can call it running, sure.

It’s at least getting in some vertical and testing out my ability to pull it off.

I woke at 3:30 AM, while the world slept, and prepared to head out to do a not very popular Strava segment loosely called Morgan Blvd. Over the years it’s changed a bit, since there is a lot of overpriced, overlarge, overhyped housing development going on here on the far east side of north Utah County. On the one hand it’s nice because they added a little park and a paved rec path set down just a little bit further from the houses than before. On the other hand it’s cut out some of the trails and changed them somewhat. This has deprecated some of the old classic Strava segments and made them obsolete. Basically there’s no way to do them without running through someone’s garage. Alas …

I enjoyed the sounds of crickets or frogs or whatever they were, and the twinkling city lights far below as I climbed the road. I was careful, nursing my twisted ankle since it was so very dark, and the light from the headlamp so very flat. I did roll off a few stones, but was able to stabilize with minimal pain. I didn’t go all that fast, but it was satisfying to get up there in  the dark. It helped a lot that I had already been up this trail a dozen or so times in the past.

At the bottom I paused at the underpass tunnel on the rec path to share a few thoughts on training in spite of my heavy load right now.

Check out the video below:


Road to Elbrus – Car Chat – 15 August 2018

It’s all coming together too quickly. The High School Mountain Bike Races and my position as a Coach for my team. My training to ride with the fastest of my group. Training to run has been put aside for the summer in previous years. What about this year? What about the Red Fox Elbrus Race in May 2019?

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Elbrus Car Chat 15 August

Elbrus Car Chat 15 August

Sitting in my car at work thinking out loud about Elbrus Race. 

I found the original impetus for this Elbrus Race insanity – the Red Fox Elbrus Race.  The website is somewhat klunky. More than somewhat, actually. I might have to keep my eyes open on it for when they announce the opening of registration for next May. The first week of May, surrounded by Russian Holidays. That might be interesting to check into.

Red Fox Elbrus Race - May of 2019
Red Fox Elbrus Race – May of 2019

In case you missed the story, I was at the Barrels Huts coming down from an unsuccessful climb of Elbrus when we had to work around a few dozen super fit fast dudes getting off the lifts hauling crates and duffels of gear. They were all sporting logos from Red Fox and stating Elbrus Race. I dug around and found the next Elbrus Race, the next August and that began the “Rocky” phase of my training. Super vertical training mode.

This began the fitness plan that eventually became “Summit Success: Training for Hiking, Mountaineering, and Peak Bagging” and has now evolved into “Rucking Simple Treadmill Training” and the now FREE online training program “Hikercize” which for the past four years has been $50 or more per year. Great deal, if you ask me.

The rest is history.

In the video below, I discuss that briefly, mention my current state of majorly tired, riding with the Team. Pre-riding race courses for the late summer race series, some of my duties as a high school mountain biking coach and maybe another thing or two.


The Road to Elbrus Starts Here

The Road to Elbrus Starts Here

Running in Elbrus Race Yet Again?

Elbrus Race 2018? Skyrunning? For Real?

Well I just had a really dumb idea.

I received a Facebook Notice from the logistics company behind Elbrus Race. I hadn’t even considered it. Wowsers. If I train hard for only 6 weeks, can I get back to what I had achieved in 2013 [fifth place] and exceed it, even by a small margin? [Elbrus Race 2013 – my journal on Amazon]

I haven’t run in months.

Alpine Days Mountain Bike Race - 2nd Place in category
Alpine Days Mountain Bike Race – 2nd Place in category

My duties as a NICA Certified Level Three High School Mountain Bike Coach have taken quite a leap up from last year. I’ve had to train hard to keep up with my more advanced racing group, which is much much faster than last year by a large margin. I’ve been riding 60+ mile weeks, a mix of indoor trainer rides, with outdoor MTB rides. Much of that is faster and more technical than I am really up for, so I’m injured a lot. Like right now most of the scabs and bruises on my legs and elbows are pretty much healed. I twisted my ankle pretty badly in a race last Saturday, Aug 4th. Enough I couldn’t bear weight or push off with my toes for several days.

[more skyrunning tagged articles here]

I decided to do this little test. Could I go up Giddy-Up and Green Monster and descend in one go?

If the answer is no, then good enough. I would have no real chance to get in enough serious training to make it happen. I would let it go for next year. I still might have to if it turns out I can’t work, and coach, and train and stay fit and unbroken enough.

Then again, there are also several major logistics hoops to jump through:

  • Can I pull off a Russian Visa in the time given?
  • Can I make it work even though they’ve closed the Seattle Visa Center, where I usually go?
  • If I have to use the Mail-In service?
  • Can I get flights that line up with the start and finish times of the Elbrus Package associated with the race?
  • Can I skip one High School Race this year?
  • Or do I need to figure a way to fly around it?