The Course...not all of it...but you'll remember this.
Without the Zane Grey 50 Mile Endurance race, there would be no Mogollon Monster 100, and for that I'm forever grateful for this race.
My first 50M race was the Zane Grey 50M, it was my first real exposure to the Mogollon Rim and through the race every year I've become more enamored with the area and the respect the race receives from both new runners and veterans alike. It's a race that no matter who sponsors you, how much you train. it's never easy for a single runner. Ever.
So we are back again this year and after taking a year off to volunteer in 2012 I'm back running the event this year. I put out some lofty goals for the race this year in cracking the 10 hour mark (a 2:24 PR...hours, not minutes...) and while my training hasn't been spot on, I'm not backing down from that goal and will do my best to push it through all 50ish miles to the finish. I figure any goal worth making is a seemingly unattainable goal. If it was easy to attain in the first place then it wasn't a goal in the first place. It was a given. Sub ten hours at Zane Grey is never a given. It's going to hurt. It's going to test me. It might even break me down. I won't be alone though.
2013 has one of the biggest lists of fast men and women it's seen in years. Every year has a handful of faster runners like 2011 when Geoff Roes, Hal Koerner and Dakota Jones all came down to Pine, Arizona, and this year is no different. Several past winners are all on deck and many others are jumping in with big wins at other major ultra races around the country. On top of that, several 2013 entrants into this years Mogollon Monster will be out there and we certainly wish them the best as well. Knowing the course as well as I do from countless trips up there (at least through the first 25 miles where the Myrtle Trail turns north for the Monster) here's an overview of this year's entrants from my perspective based on an unreasonable amount of time on ultrasignup.com and just knowing some of the runners or courses they've run before and maybe how it corresponds to the Highline Trail.
Last year I also did an interview with RD Joe Galope for www.trailrunningclub.com on what it takes to put on the Zane Grey 50M. Joe has been a major influence and help in organizing the Monster through so many steps along the way. Extremely organize, meticulous and that shows in the preparation and execution of the Zane Grey race each year. Read that interview here.Jay Danek
, my pacer this year since he's running Miwok next weekend, also put together a poll on who might win. You can find it here
For the sake of competition (it's still a race after all) I'll put them in groups.Group One: The Male Monsters
(not in any particular order, it's Zane Grey so it's impossible to predict.)Jamil Coury
- He was our winner of the inaugural 2012 Mogollon Monster. He won the Old Pueblo 50M in Southern AZ this year and is the trail steward for the Arizona Trail section between Geronimo Aid Station and Washington Park. His Aravaipa Running
company is in charge of the Washington Park aid station. He won Zane Grey in '09. He's as familiar with this course as anyone not named Ian or Honey or Karsten and is certainly a favorite to win.Michael Carson
- Michael came out strong last year with a 2nd place win in 9:09 besting Karl Meltzer along the way. Michael is an Arizona runner who has been putting in some incredible finishes in the last year and coincidentally was Jamil's pacer for the Monster last year and is very comfortable on the technical terrain. I wouldn't be surprised at all in seeing Michael come in first on Saturday.James Bonnett
- He's no kid anymore and he's full on dominating when he's on. He ran a 3:35 50K at Gorge Waterfall 50K last month. He beat Hal, Ian Sharman, Jeff Browning, Yassine Diboun and Jason Leman. That's pretty stellar company to be flying by. James has been running Zane Grey since a kid, literally, and knows the course well. He's as good a bet as any to go for a dominating win and even the CR. He's also running the Mogollon Monster 100 this fall and will likely have his sights on Jamil's 22:21 CR. This race will be a great preview of that happening.Scott Jaime
- Scott won in 2010 in 9:40, the year Karl fell and broke his arm. I always see it as a win is a win so he gets the respect there. He's as strong as any of the guys and probably with more racing experience than most out there. Chris Price
- The guy is fast. Wicked fast. Winner of Angeles Crest 100 last year, 2nd at Miwok last year and countless other wins. But they are all in California. This isn't California and unfortunately/fortunately the Highline Trail isn't exactly as smooth as Miwok. But when you are as fast as Chris, maybe that won't matter. Mike Foote
- Big wins at big races. Mike shows the speed on some really tough races with big climbing. This might be his kind of terrain to hammer it. Not sure how Montana weather has been but 80 degrees at 6,500 feet with full exposure is BRUTAL from about 17-44 miles...something tells me that Mike's not going to care much. Matias Saari came down from Alaska last year and ran 10:05 in some rough heat. Bret Sarnquist
- Bret is underrated and underappreciated as a Zane Grey front runner every year. He keeps getting faster and broke ten hours last year after a 10:01 3rd place finish behind Geoff and Hal in '11. He is a smart runner who knows his ability and the terrain and negative splits a race. All those people that went out hard in the beginning? Bret won't be one of them. He'll be the guy passing you at 35 making sure you have enough water. He's top 5 every year or better. Dominic Grossman
is another California runner with Chris Price and his resume of running achievements certainly puts his at the top of the list come Saturday. He's won Angeles Crest 100 and some big times at really tough races. He has the speed and has raced on a big variety of terrain. He'll be up front with everyone else all day. John Anderson
- 10:04 in 2011 Zane Grey? Yeah, he'll be up there.Ian Torrence
- What's a list without Ian
?! Ten time Zane Grey finisher that swore off returning this year. Yet...here he is, on the entrants list as of April 16th? Zane Grey has this effect on people. Ian's the defacto veteran ace on this course. He's won it, he's done really well many other times, he's suffered on it. He knows as well as anyone probably that anything can happen on the Highline. He's certainly got what it takes to be up with all these guys all day. The Monster Sleepers:Anthony Culpepper
- Anthony is a talented and tough runner with a list of outdoor experience you won't find on ultrasignup.com. He's a veteran of Zane Grey but despite his previously strong times is just a great day on the course from destroying everyone. Don't count him out.Jason Leman
- 8th place at the very competitive Gorge Waterfall 50K in 3:46. He has a slew of other fast 50K, marathon and longer times on tougher courses. David Metzler
- Few people likely know who David is outside the Scottsdale/Phoenix area but David is as strong as anyone in this field. He owns nearly every Strava record for climbing and descending in the local parks in Phoenix and he still would if every runner used Strava. He runs downhills like nobody out there and is an absolute machine on the hills. He's put in some super fast times on Fat Ass 50Ks like Grandpa Jim's 7k+ climbing route in the McDowell's he ran this spring in 4:26 with no competition pushing him. I believe this is his first parlay into the 50M distance though so we'll see how that affects him. If he can hold it together with the nutrition he's going to sneak up on a lot of people. Alex Kaine
- Winner of the Tahoe Rim 50M last summer and one of our 9 finishers in our inaugural race last year, Alex is very fast but has some great days and not so great days. If Alex is on a great day, he'll be up front and surprise a few people. John Hart
- John's run a lot of tough races in his neck of the woods in Montana and run them well. If the heat isn't a problem for him, he'll do well on the Highline.The Phoenix Locals
- Kevin Higgins, Grandpa Jim Fowler, Justin Lutick, Jerome Jourdon, Cory Davidson, Van Patterson - Find one of these guys and follow them. They'll take you to the sub 12 hour range. Some even faster. Jerome was our 3rd place finisher at Mogollon last year as well. Tough dude. He also finishes every year at Zane within 5 minutes of 11:30. Which in of itself is pretty impressive. Justin is responsible for taking care of the trail more than anyone so find him and shake his hand. And Chris Thornleys hand, responsible for clearing that manzanita like a champ. Without those two guys the trail would be a full on disaster. Keep that in mind when you're running it thinking, "This trail IS a disaster, what the hell was he talking about?" Trust me, it would be way worse.
So say hello to both. You'll know both of them easily. Find the two biggest smiles in the 150 runners. It won't be hard. You'll hear Justin. (insert lame smiley face emoticon.) Charles Corfield
- Ran sub 11 hours in 2012 and back again this year. 7 days after running sub 20 hours at the Zion 100. That should count for a 2 hour handicap on his final time this weekend. Non-Phoenix Locals
-(they love being segregated from Phoenix runners...especially Adam.) - Jesse Alexander, Brian Zacher, Scott Bajer, Michael Duer, Nick Kollar, Adam Gifford. Flagstaff, Tucson, Camp Verde, Sedona, it's all rough and tough trail running in Arizona and a lot of times they are crushing the Phoenix runners anyway. Ok, most of the time...but they will hang in the upper tier. All the people I don't know or am overlooking
. It's bound to happen and in ultrarunning there are always people that show up on race day, nobody knows who they are and what their training has been and they absolutely KILL it. They beat one after another of runners with big resumes and race results. So the dark horse is that list of guys we don't know until they have their big day. Like Catlow Shipek who crushed it last year at Zane in 8:36. All the Tucson runners were saying, "Catlow is going to win. Catlow is going to win." Everyone in Phoenix is saying, "Who the heck is Catlow?" Then he won. Point taken.Monster Women Paulette Zillmer
- She won last year in 10:09 (4th fastest female time ever) in one of the hottest years recently (I feel like we say that every year but last year felt intense). She's on her 4th running of Zane Grey and each year has been progressively faster. She's a beast on climbs and staying consistent. She's won Angeles Crest, loves the heat, and is fast over rough terrain. Probably why she won last year. She's my pick again.Kerrie Bruxvoort
- I saw Kerrie at the Mesquite Canyon 50K last spring and she went out and absolutely dominated and set the course record for women. She then went on to dominate the rest of the summer everywhere she raced. She can handle the heat, has the slight elevation advantage coming down from CO and has shown she can push the pace. She'll push Paulette hard all day. Diana Finkel
- It's Diana Finkel. She's up front in the top 2 women every year. She is one of the best at tough, rugged terrain and is so super consistent she outlasts many of her competitors. Which is partly why she always is close to winning because she's so good at maintaining a consistent pace over tough terrain. Which is very difficult at Zane.Jane Larkingdale
- Jane won back in '11 in 10:52. She's had some good races recently but I'm not sure she can keep up with Paulette or Kerrie right now. But Jane's also the kind of person that would probably read that statement and then out of pure determination, win just to show me up. Like when I stated wearing New Balance 110's at the Monster is asking for foot suicide Andy Pearson did anyway in part to show me I was wrong. He got 2nd and was only 1 of 9 finishers...again, point taken. She's as tough a runner as there is and the Highline rewards those kinds of runners. So she'll push everyone and be up top all day.Katie Desplinter
- Katie has put in some good times and won some races recently with the Ozark 100 last fall. Not sure what she's been up to early 2013 but she runs with Dominic Grossman so I'm sure it's not greenbelts and canals...Missy Gosney
- I met Missy at the aid station at Washington Park last year and she was in full beast mode, driven, determined and not messing around. She beat her husband Brett by a few minutes and broke 12 hours. She's a hell of a climber, as evident by sub 8 hours at Speedgoat, and winning Cascade Crest 100 last summer. She's been out there before and she'll do well again if she's still in last summers shape. (I did miss her husband Brett for the Men. I'm not going back now but he's a Hardrocker. Automatic entry into Monster picks for Zane Grey top finishers.)Brittany Orkney
- Tucson runner who finished 2nd at Old Pueblo in 9:07 last month and 1st at the tough Mesquite Canyon 50K two weeks later. She'll do well here. Chrissy Parks, Magi Redlich, Sarah Mccloskey, Lindsay Scheiwiller -
Zane Grey is a race of unpredictable results. So just about anyone can sneak in there and all these women can just as easily be up above. Monster Injuries/DNS
With every race there are last minute cancels. We won't see last years winner Catlow due to an injury. Same for 4th place finisher last year Brian Hopton-Jones, or 6th place Evan Hone. Three of the top ten last year have pulled out, three others are not returning this year (Jason Koop, 10th, Karl 3rd, Matias Saari 7th) but 2nd (Michael Carson), 5th (Bret Sarnquist), 8th (Paulette Zillmer, 1st Female), 9th (Diana Finkel 2nd Female) are all coming back. My brother Noah Dougherty, co-RD of the Monster is starting Zane Grey for his first 50M after pacing me two previous times to the finish. He's been injured a couple times so may not be able to go on but he's going to feel it out. He's tough as hell so he'll probably surprise even himself out there.
Yet still, the depth is certainly there and while in the last 24 years the 10 hour mark has only been broken 82 times (that's an average of 3.4 a year) this could be a year we see many more do so. The elusive 9 hour mark is rarely broken by more than 2 runners, twice in the last 5 years the winner was in the 9 hour range. The trail is consistently "slow" and any idea of a "fast" time can be thrown out the window.
For the women, it's as deep a field as the Highline Trail has seen and as the sport continues to grow, I can see the woman's field getting more and more competitive. Just as we've seen the last couple years at Zane Grey.
That doesn't even get into the number of others coming out. Karsten Solheim is returning for something like his 83rd finish. Honey Albrecht is going for her 11th finish at Zane Grey, which is one more than she said she'd ever do after last years finish. Gordy Ainsleigh is coming, a legend in his own right in the world of ultrarunning. Christian Griffith of www.run100miles.com
, Gene Joseph of Tucson trail running legend, Perry Edinger who was a previous Zane Grey RD before Joe Galope took over. Brian Stark is returning again, also known as The States Runner
, crossing US States all on trail. If you run into him on the trail, he's got some great stories. Bob Bachani of "THATS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT" infamy at aid stations across Arizona will be hitting the trail and Jeff Jones again taking on Zane Grey. Jeff designed the Mogollon Monster 100 course originally and was a big part in getting the race off the ground.
We also have Dean Hansen, Margaret Dehesse, Noel Kingston, Deron Ruse, Danny Speros, Chris Thornley, Jamil Coury, Jerome Jourdon, Alex Kaine, Honey Albrecht all starting Zane Grey that started Mogollon Monster last fall. We also have Jim Fowler, Michael Duer, Gavin Hanover, Dallas & Renee Stevens running that all ran an aid station for us last fall at the Monster. It'll be great to have the friends along the trail this year instead of under the canopy.
So best of luck to everyone that stands in the cold at 5am along the Arizona Trail signage this Saturday. Take your time, enjoy the sunrise coming up over the Highline and your first glimpses of the Mogollon Rim. If you've seen it before a hundred times, or never seen it in your life, it doesn't matter. It's a stunning geological feature that conjurs up the adventurous side in all of us, prodding us for more, begging us to find out what's around that next corner, up that next hill, and down that ravine. The Highline Trail is a gem of a trail, destroyed as it is in parts, frustrating as it can in sections, and beautiful as it is every step. It'll challenge you, it may even break you, but at the end, after you're done cursing the trail, the rocks, the manzanita, and the climbs...
You'll be back. You'll be longing for April 2014. You'll join the ranks of those of us that can't quite figure out why, but always come back for more.
And for those that want even more...well...we'll see you on September 28th at the same parking lot at 6am. It won't be a "Double Zane Grey" by any means but it might just be twice as hard. More climbing, the same rocks, bigger views. Let the spring weather take hold of you when you get back home after this weekend, let the Zane Grey hangover wear off and then think about what you were thinking when you were looking up on the Rim while traversing the Highline Trail this weekend. Wondering just what is up on that Rim? I wonder how you get up there?
I can tell you. Here's a hint:
It's straight up.
I had a chance to get up on the Rim this weekend for some Zane Grey training mixed with Mogollon Monster sections. Ran from Pine Trailhead (start of the race for both Zane and MOG100) and headed east up the Highline Trail for about 7.25 miles where it meets the Geronimo Trail. Zane Grey runners continue on to Geronimo AS but Monster runners would be leaving Geronimo mile 93 and hitting this intersection. I headed up the Rim left at the Turkey Springs intersection and climbed 1500 feet to the top of the Rim on West Webber. Short section on the forest road to what would be Mile 100 of the race and the steep, rocky, bastard of a descent down Donahue to the final 1.5 miles back to Pine trailhead.
Lots of new trees across the trail on West Webber which I'll need to remove but the Highline is in great shape (which is almost like saying a 300lb man looks "slim") and Donahue was super fun with such wide, expansive views while you tried to maneuver through the boulder field of rocks after you come out of the forest. It got a little sketchy for a bit there...but was so beautiful I didn't mind. You might mind a bit more if it was say...dark..and mile 103...
Saw a massive female elk on West Webber I almost ran into. I only saw this big black shadow so my first thought was, "Great, I'm going to see the freaking Mogollon Monster and it's of course the only time I went alone. Nobody is going to believe me..." But it was just an elk and it scared the shit out of me nonetheless as my head was down and they are massive and make a TON of noise when startled.
It's all but a guarantee that you'll encounter elk on this course. I'm probably 19 for 20 in trips up there since last summer alone. Ton of smaller game and lizards. Everything very much alive and excited to have the warm temps up there.
Hadn't made it back up on the course since the winter snow. Still some patches up above 7,000ft but everything is accessible. So beautiful up there, almost to the point you just forget just how incredible an area it really is.
Zane Grey 50M is April 27th and after that we'll try and make it up for a Cabin Loop 20 miler or so if anyone is interested in seeing part of the course.
Here's a link to the route I ran this weekend if anyone is interested. http://app.strava.com/activities/47567392
Do you ever wonder if there is something out there that you CAN'T buy on the internet?
Me neither. I can almost guarantee that anything you can think of someone already makes and sells.
It's inspiring and disturbing all at the same time.
But I still REALLY want a pair of these boots!
A couple quick updates before any more time passes on:
We are again a Trail Runner Trophy Series race in 2013 and you'll find a story in March 2013's Trail Runner Magazine on the race on page 26.
We also are a 4 point qualifier for UTMB and their other races again this year. You need 7 total I believe for UTMB.
We will not be a qualifier for Western States or Hardrock 100 this year unless something changes.
We have currently a stellar entrants list for this fall with James Bonnett, Liza Howard, Steven Moore, Keira Henninger, Katherine Metzger, Jay Danek, Davy Crockett and many others already signed up. Last year we were in April before getting to 30 entrants. We had 30 entrants before February this year and they keep coming in. We have a runner coming from Australia as well as the UK for this race specifically which is very exciting as well as the return of 9 runners from last years race that have unfinished business in making it to the finish line.
I'm still working out a schedule for potential dates for training runs throughout the summer this year for runners to see the course and get to know the area. We'll have at least one run a month starting in May through September. I'm working on a Fat Ass style 50K for late August as well for one last long run before the race.
If you are not running the Zane Grey 50M
this year on April 27th, we'll have likely one to two weekends prior to the race to get on the course for marking and clearing of the Highline Trail. This would count for the required 8 hours of volunteer work for your entry and also helps us out given some of the Zane Grey is also Mogollon Monster territory. There are also always people looking for a pacer for the last 17 miles of Zane Grey you could try and jump in with to experience the course. Pacing those 17 miles are not Mogollon Monster miles but you'll get a feel for what you're getting into just the same.
We're looking forward to another great year and seeing all of you this fall. I'll try and update the race progress as much as I can throughout and the training schedule once I have it worked out with the Mrs. and my work schedule.
The Hardrock 100 lottery has now come and gone and those not fortunate to have been selected are likely searching around for a replacement race.
Well, here we are.
We're opening up registration on January 1st at 7am this year with the same size limits as before, about 150 runners. Last year we had 44 entrants, 37 starters so I doubt that will be an issue. However, many, many runners flat out avoided the race in 2012 due to it being an inaugural race and have expressed serious interest in the 2013 running. Having said that, I doubt there will be any real rush to sign up on the 1st. But with so many races filling right away (Vermont 100 took 2 months last year, filled in 48 hours this year...) and others in a lottery you just never know.
If you didn't make it out last year take a gander at some of the race reports from our runners. The most thorough being our final finisher, Deron Ruse's he wrote for Trailrunningclub.com. You can read it here
The 2013 Mogollon Monster 100 will not be a Western States 100 qualifier. We have to wait one more year to be "considered" to be a qualifier for the 2015 season. True story.
Hardrock 100 is reviewing the race for a 2014 Hardrock Qualifier. They typically do not let new races make the qualifying race but Run Rabbit Run 100 and Pine to Palm 100 both were given the distinction very early on (RRR before a runner had even left the starting line) so maybe they'll consider it. We're confident the race's level of difficulty warrants consideration but will have to wait until their decision is made, which likely will be another year before potentially becoming a qualifier.
We are still a 4 point UTMB race and expect to be so again in 2013 for the 2014 UTMB. We were a 4 point race in 2012 for the 2013 race.
Finding Bigfoot - The Mogollon Monster
We've been telling you this stuff is for real all this time...now it's on TV and everything so you can't deny it!
Here's the trailer for the episode of Finding Bigfoot on Animal Planet. It's just a small notch below 60 Minutes type quality...
Ok, it's terrible BUT think about how scared you're going to be if you hear two rocks smacking together out there in the middle of the night??!! (For those that haven't seen it yet according to the Apache's they brought on for the show the "hairy people" knock two rocks together to let each other know they are nearby.")
Still though, all jokes aside, there are quite a few fairly believable stories that came out of this and from people that don't seem totally crazy. I still remember the story and how serious it was told from the innkeeper at the B&B my wife and I stayed at last April in Payson. At some point there are just too many stories from different people for it ALL to be crazy talk...
"This race is only for the elite of the elite" - Virginia Happy Trails Running Club quote from 2012
I'm not changing a single foot of the 2012 course so it will remain the same. Jamil Coury dominated in 22:24 and in all fairness to that effort and the 9 finishers, there is no reason to change it. We'll of course make some improvement to that course, course markings and a few other areas. But the course will remain at 106 miles, what was 23K+ in climbing and all the rocks will still be there. It is going to be every bit as difficult as it was for the 37 starters this year even if it's not truly a race for "the elite of the elite" as some have put it. It's hard as hell. But you don't have to be elite to finish this. Just stubborn as hell.
We will however start on a Saturday versus a Friday. And a more traditional start time of 6am. We liked the Friday start time for many reasons but it restricted our availability to get certain volunteers up there and HAM radio operators. A Saturday start takes away those challenges so we'll switch it over.
Registration is again over at www.ultrasignup.com
Saturday, September 28th, 2013. 6am.
Hope to see you there!
A big Thank You...
It's been over 30 days since we all collectively experienced the inaugural running of the Mogollon Monster 100. I'll be the first to admit, that after the race I dropped off the "Monster" map and took a couple steps back from the entire event. My life had become so consumed with the event and trying to juggle the task of directing an out of town, 1st year hundred with zero race directing experience (what was I thinking?!! :)) while a newborn baby (my first) waited for me at home after each trip.
Exhausted doesn't even begin to describe it.
So after the race I just needed a little breather. Catch up with my family, work, organize my garage back to a manageable level of disorganization (how do you fit 50 coolers in one garage???), get drop bags back to people, and in general...digest just what happened, what went right, what went wrong and where do we go from here.
So before we go anywhere else, I have some huge thank you's to give out. (Not in a particular order)
Jeff Jones - Jeff is a local ultrarunner here in Phoenix with the WMRC (Wednesday Morning Running Club) that I met when I first started running here. Jeff has the same yearning for the off the beaten track trails and a love for the Superstition Wilderness we both share. Out on a 50M course in March 2010, 17 hours into a brutally difficult 50 mile course he devised, I brought up my latest obsession in finding a 100 mile route through Arizona to show off the diversity of the state. I had been digging through various maps for weeks and running into road block after road block with all the protected areas here. Jeff immediately said he had the route and the next day it was a flurry of emails between us. This went on for months and months with Jeff producing what would be 98% of the current course (I had to remove a descent of the Myrtle Trail at mile 88. You're welcome.)
Jeff's enthusiasm, support and guidance was essential in this race going from a pipe dream to reality. Cliche as it sounds, it would not have ever happened with out him. He's as much a part of the Monster as anyone and deserves a great deal of credit for any success the race has.
Jay Danek & John Vaupel of Trailrunningclub.com - Jay & John, also members of WMRC and local ultrarunners with access to email spent years listening to me talk about this race and provided so much feedback, constant encouragement and advice throughout the process. Jay paced me for the first 50 miles of my attempt at running the course straight through in May this year as well as numerous other runs throughout the year when I needed someone to protect me from Bigfoot attacks. John ran with us with every opportunity and more than once talked me back into the motivational state needed to tackle another big project within the planning stages. Both Jay & John took the entire weekend of the race and volunteered for multiple aid stations for excessive hours and never complained once. They are great friends and without them it would have been very difficult to get this together.
Joe Galope - Joe is the RD for the Zane Grey Highline 50M race that shares three aid station locations and sections of the Highline trail with the Monster. When Jeff and I first started the planning process I was concerned with his potential reservations on being on the Highline but Joe has been nothing but incredibly supportive and shared with me the planning process of the Zane Grey in April and allowed me to shadow him throughout his race giving me invaluable experience for our coming fall event. Throughout the summer Joe was always there to help answer questions based on his race directing experience and the use of some of his equipment saved me from having to buy 100% new gear the first year.
Noah & Jeanine Dougherty - Noah is my younger brother and his wife is Jeanine. Noah from the start latched onto this idea and has been steadfast in encouraging me throughout and keeping me on track in getting all the tasks done. The week of the race Noah spent a massive amount of time with preparations with me and race weekend he and Jeanine worked four aid stations and not sleeping for over 40 straight hours. Amazing.
Wednesday Morning Running Club - WMRC - I'd probably be doing some other sport by now if I hadn't tracked this group down online and showed up one Wednesday morning at 5:15am to run with them. Since then I've met some incredible people in ultrarunning and a group with an impressive resume in ultra running that has set the tone for my goals since I met them. Mark Cosmas, James Bonnett, Jamil & Nick Coury, Rudolph Palmer, Danny Speros, Jay & John, Gavin, Grandpa Jim and so, so, so many others I'm sure I'm missing. From training runs to volunteering to course marking. If you are ever in Phoenix for any reason on a Wednesday...we meet every single week at 5:15 at the top of Squaw Peak Drive in the Phoenix Mountains. We encourage all visitors to come out. Please join us: www.wmrcphoenix.blogspot.com
Honey Albrecht - Honey is the "Trail Mom" for just about everyone in the Phoenix ultrarunning scene. Honey ran 60+ miles with me on the course in May, as well as well over a hundred other miles throughout the summer and course marking for the race itself. Honey listened to me talk about this race from Day 1 until the day it concluded at hour 36. Without Honey I know I couldn't have done it.
The Pinchot Cabin Aid Station Queens - Kate & Lindavan - These two ladies...I don't even know what to say about these two. They took hold of this race with a passion I was challenged to keep up with throughout the year. They were SOO excited for the race and running the Pinchot Cabin AS it was a constant recharge just getting their emails. Their experience in the area, managing other aid stations for races, and general knowledge of ultrarunning helped so incredibly much in taking on a million of the tasks that come with planning. They brought a level of reassurance throughout the planning process and I know it was 10x more organized simply because of these two incredible, wonderful, selfless ladies.
My wife Jen - Jen, for those of you that may have met her at the race, is a pretty cheerful woman. She was even cheerful two weeks after she gave birth and I was in Pine running 30 miles all day. Then again for the next 9 straight weekends...
Or I was on the home computer for 9 straight hours taking a PTO day from work to get maps done for the race. Or using a full weeks vacation to prep the week of. Or the countless other hours of time spent on the race all summer while she stayed supportive the entire time. Had she not been so supportive, loving, and energetic I don't see how it would have ever happened. Jen was excited for the race as much as I was and while she's not even a runner she really latched onto the project and was a huge, incredible help. I love her even more as we experienced this together.
All of YOU - You runners are why we did this race. We did this race so people could experience what we find so special about Arizona. I was so excited to meet so many of you that we had talked on Facebook or via email on questions about the race. Seeing all of you put in big training runs and seriously train for this race is exciting to see and motivating for the race directing process in making sure the event is as prepared as possible. Even with the miscues and challenges experienced this year the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and what seems to be a huge return rate expected for 2013. I certainly hope so and I'm as excited as ever for that to happen.
2012? What Went Right? What Went Wrong?
No matter how many RD's I contacted that just finished their first year 100, no matter how many experienced ultrarunner's I consulted with, no matter how much planning I had for my major goal of not having runners get off course...we had runners go off course.
For those that were not there we had four areas of concern in course marking that was a challenge for some or most or a few of the runners.
1) Mile 16 - Turkey Springs Trail intersection with West Webber - This intersection was at the near bottom of the long descent off Milk Ranch Point and Aid Station #2. Runners were intended to go straight through to Geronimo AS. To the right and almost backwards was the West Webber Trail final climb up the Rim at mile 96. As the turn up West Webber was clearly marked and the trail headed straight down had the ribbon wrapped/stuck behind a branch it wasn't as obvious. So a bunch of runners went right which was the wrong way. Some noticed it shortly and turned back, others went a mile to the base of the climb before realizing it and two runners continued to follow the ribbons and climbed the entire Rim...
The runners that continued straight were those that listened to the pervious AS instructions, remembered the course description or actually were carrying the written course descriptions from the website. So this cost many runners an extra 1/4 up to several extra miles of running and time. For 2013 we will be 100% sure this won't happen again and will have laminated posted signs and probably a giant massive wall of some kind to keep people from going the wrong way. We're on this one.
2) The Climb/Descent up Washington Park - This was a very short 2 mile climb to the Rim Road #300 that took runners to Houston Brothers Aid Station. While most runners made this without any challenges some really struggled with markers (we believe many of our blue/wrong way markers were removed) and also along the #300 with a need for more confidence markers. For 2013 we'll have additional markers along this section leading up and down to make it more clear and will check it the day of the race to make sure hunters don't pull anything down. Along the #300 we'll have more laminated directional signage at the top of the climb and mile marker at each of the 4 miles to the aid station turnoff.
3) Washington Park to Hell's Gate - This section was "hellish" for many, taking 2:15 to 4 hours for most to cover the 5.5 miles. It was very overgrown with chest high grass, rocks buried in grass making it impossible to see what you were stepping on and reflector tape was too minimal. Simply put, it was too hard a section and needed even more improvement than we put into it. It is historically a very challenging section of Zane Grey as well but thats done during the day, with short grass, and only 17 miles on your legs. Not chest high grass, 51 miles on your legs and in the dark. So since we can't change the mileage or darkness, we'll do something about the grass and markings. The Highline Trail is a National Historic Trail and deserves better maintenance than it gets. We aim to get the forest service more involved in the spring of 2013 and have more official reflector markers on the trees, and hopefully approval for trail work that includes erosion control bars and other steps to improve the long term nature of the trail. Given that last step has to go through some government tape we'll wait to see what the forest service says. The trail is hard, rocky and challenging by nature, that is not going to change. But we can at least improve what is there and take some of the guess work out of it.
4) U-Bar Trail - Some runners noted that the U-Bar trail leaving Buck Springs Aid Station was missing markers. This was marked excessively the prior weekend by flags, reflectors, ribbons, both orange and blue. There is no reason this section received any challenges in route finding as I know for a fact it was marked like a highway. It is commonly hiked and used by hunters so its possible it was vandalized. I have no other explanation as to why it would have been a challenge so we'll readdress for next year in trying to mark this section closer to the actual race date.
Those challenges contributed to some runners inability to reach aid stations by their cutoff dates and others it was only a temporary hindrance. What we did have was an excellent group of volunteers that put in so many hours in making this all happen. The course was incredible in its beauty and was even more challenging to the overall group than I imagined. I knew that people would think it was difficult but not to the point that some of the out of state runners did. I haven't seen so many runners come into mile 26 of a 100 looking so beat up before and it progressively got worse for many of them. The rocks, undulating climbs and altitude and heat all took their toll. Runners left with an impression of Arizona I don't think they were going to get when they came in. One quote from a seasoned ultrarunner who dropped late in the race said,
"I ran HURT, Angeles Crest and Cascade Crest 100 this year. This is harder than all of them."
Another said, "This race is for the elite of the elite."
While the last one is a bit much (we had 2 first time hundred finishers out of nine total finishers, albeit both were Arizona natives familiar with the terrain found here) it does lend to the overall feel I think the course lends to. It's very difficult, very challenging and not for the faint of heart. It's beautiful, diverse, and rugged throughout the course. The Aid Stations were great and received a lot of wonderful comments from everyone and going forward into 2013 we have a great foot forward in making this race something really special in the coming years.
Plans for 2013?
So what about 2013?
We're coming back in 2013 for sure. We will likely move to a traditional Saturday start and due to that probably an earlier start like 6am. That will be determined later on but in what was an attempt to avoid the hunters major elk season starting on Sunday this year we still ran into challenges with them all weekend. We can't go earlier in the month due to the excessive heat but possibly one week later over Columbus Day weekend. However, the holiday weekend just has more hunters. With the Friday start we were unable to obtain HAM radio volunteers as they were working on Friday and also were committed at a race the following day in Phoenix and the previous weekend in Flagstaff. In 2013 we should have all three of our races spread out in consecutive weekends and planned out to have HAM radio staff with us for runner accountability and we'll continue to work with/through the hunters out in the general area during the race.
The course will likely remain the same from start to finish with the only real changes being in course clearing/marking. Some comments were made about what some deemed an unnecessary final 1 mile into the town of Pine. I disagree and think when the race really takes off with more entrants that final mile will be a great part of the race. The few finishers we did have, we had a lot of fun at the finish line watching them for that 1/2 mile right through town cheering them on. With more runners, and more finishers that environment becomes very fun and energizing. If we have under 40 starters again in 2013 we'll consider just keeping it at Pine Trailhead for the start and finish but as of now I think it's best to keep it all the same and finish in Pine.
We will not be a Western States or Hardrock 100 Qualifing race until the 2015 WS Qualification period per their RD. Hardrock is more challenging and takes at least 2 years of being an established race before being considered. So in 2013 we will still be a 4 point UTMB race but unfortunately not quite ready for WS or HR.
We will have training runs throughout the summer of 2013, anywhere from 20K to 50K's, in hopes of encouraging more runners to experience the trails up there. We're also working with Volunteer AZ and Arizona Trail Association among other organizations to improve and provide some man-hours in improving the trail for the 2013 race.
Ultra Running Magazine Submission
Here is the submission for Ultrarunning Magazine with some photos from Andrew Pielage
from the race. They will include it in one of the upcoming issues, not sure which one exactly.
Organizing a first year mountain hundred is not an easy task, nor one that I would even recommend to anyone I know. Especially one that takes place over 100 miles away from your home requiring a great deal of time both in the car as well as on the trail. The planning, the time, the energy, the financial burden. It accumulates quickly and a task that should not be taken lightly. Yet ever since running my first Zane Grey 50 Mile race a few years ago I’ve been enamored with the Mogollon Rim area of Arizona. Coming into Payson, Arizona, 90 miles north east of Phoenix, you crest the hill and you see the 2,000 foot cliff covering the entire horizon. In fact, the Rim covers over 200 miles of central and eastern Arizona from Sedona all the way into New Mexico providing the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau. While running the Zane Grey 50M you get a feel for the rugged nature of the area, tucked under the Rim that constantly looks down on you as you wear down after the seemingly never-ending up’s and down’s of the Highline Trail. After a long run with 3rd generation Arizonan Jeff Jones he’d helped create an entire 106 mile course traversing the 2,000 foot Rim and covering some of the most beautiful, scenic and incredibly challenging terrain of any race out there. Jeff’s passion for the area was contagious and we worked hard on the details over thousands of emails. After running the course section by section, piece by piece and in one fell swoop, it knew it was a course that destined to be one of the toughest races in the country.
Race day finally came on September 28th and at 10am 37 ultrarunners started off up Pine Canyon Trail for the start of what was almost two years of planning. Permits, insurance, equipment, buckles, shirts, course scouting, course marking, thousands of miles of driving, hundreds of hours in the car, hundreds of miles running the course…it was a long awaited moment almost instantaneously fulfilling every challenging moment to that point. Thoughts and worries raced through my head as the lead runners headed up the switchbacks and into the trees. “Will the volunteers get everything set up alright?” “Will the hunters take down any markers?” “How are people going to handle the trail?” “Will they think it’s too hard?”
Temperatures looked to be ideal, barely 80 degrees at 5,300 feet and never got much below 30 degrees at almost 8,000ft at coldest of the day. As runners made their way up the Rim and the 2,800 feet of climbing before the first aid station volunteers took off for their respective stations and prepared for the runners. The runners would come in groups, led by Aravaipa Running founder and local running stud Jamil Coury tearing down the mountain and across Zane Grey’s infamous Highline Trail. Word would reach us all soon enough that many runners erroneously took the hard right turn back up the Rim instead of heading straight down to mile 18 aid station. Both directions were marked and proved confusing for many, delaying some in reaching the next aid station. An unfortunate beginning for some (and one surely corrected for 2013) but those that planned ahead in reading the detailed course description or carried one, took the right path down the mountain and came in with a bit of a lead. Jamil would take off for Washington Park Aid Station and never look back on any competition. From mile 18 to 106 Jamil dominated the competition, passing cutoff racers by 40 miles at one point and finishing in an astonishingly fast 22:24, nearly six hours faster than 2nd place finisher Andy Pearson from Santa Monica, CA.
Runners coming into the mile 27 Aid Station Washington Park were beat up. Now not even 25% into the race many were taken back by the technical nature of the trail, the up and down challenges of the terrain and the sheer number of obstacles (see: ROCKS) along the way. Many seasoned runners came into that section beaten, but not broken and headed back up the Rim for their 2nd of four different climbs up the Rim. After a 2 mile rocky ascent to the 7,800 ft Rim runners headed for 4.5 miles along the Rim Road, a stretch of forest road hugging the sheer cliff that shows off views that cover almost a hundred miles. Beautiful doesn’t cover it. Stunning isn’t close. It’s simply incredible and something to see for yourself.
Entering the Houston Brothers trail at mile 33 runners are treated with some incredible single track through forested trails under the cover of the largest Ponderosa Pine forest in the world. Just a couple hours ago runners were covered red rock sandstone, cactus, lizards and snakes and now are in thick forest with pine, maple & oaks with elk in every direction. Looping through the Pinchot Cabin Aid Station, named after the great conservationist Gifford Pinchot, runners were treated to some incredible enthusiasm by Pinchot Cabin aid station volunteers, manning a set up I was envious of after seeing all their gear! Runners caught up with the Fred Haught Trail which continued the fun, fast single track all the way back down to the Rim Road and a descent down into Washington Park.
Not having any historical data on cutoff times our 106 miles and 23k of climbing was set at 36 hours. With many miles of fast running on the Rim, 22 combined miles of forest road and 1.5 of pavement 36 was determined to be a fair time, averaging out to a 20:17 minute mile over 106 miles.
Some would beg to differ later on. Coming into Washington Park Aid Station for the second time through runners had reached 50 miles and were not even halfway through. 106 miles wasn’t some maniacal mind game to be played on everyone as some test of “toughness,” but instead just a result of the layout of the land. So coming into mile 51 wasn’t quite the psychological hurdle many wanted it to be. They were beaten, the rocks had broken down many and it had slowed some to a walk. Heck, MOST were walking. The drops at Washington Park kept coming. One after another stated they were dropping. Uninjured but not wanting to go on. One particular quote from a runner coming in just under the cutoff, “Well…I had a wonderful time…but I’m done.” Pleasant, complimentary but done for the day and ready to fight another someday soon. Four runners came flying in under the 3am cutoff time for 51 miles but several came in over an hour later. The sharp descents, rockiness of sections, and climbing made it difficult for people to stay on pace. Adding to it was the moderate for some, severe for others, 5,000-8,000 feet in elevation and continuing on to what was the “harder” half of the race, was too daunting.
We were down to 22 runners out of 37 starters by the 51 mile mark. Through the next 5.5 miles to Hell’s Gate Aid Station we lost another one, a hellacious section of high grass, big rock, creepy dark high desert with random elk, open range cattle and black bear scattered throughout the area. Many struggled to break 3 hours on this section and the follow up emails kept coming weeks after the race. What was low grass on this section in April during the Zane Grey Race was waist to chest high during the September race after summer rains grew all vegetation. Monsoon rains washed out the ground cover so only softball sized rocks remained exposed, top that off with doing it at night, with 51 miles on your legs and what is a difficult section anyway? It was brutal but somehow Jamil still ran it faster than anyone else by over 60 minutes…
Runners left the comfy confines of Hell’s Gate and proceeded 1.8 miles east to the Myrtle Trail, a 1.3 mile climb nearly straight up the Rim almost 1,300 feet up. Over rocks, trees, branches. The trail is there, it’s just a challenging terrain to traverse at night, on the edge of a cliff after everything you’ve been through. But the reprieve is at the top, a nearly 4 mile road run along to the oasis of Buck Springs Aid Station. Pacers along for the ride runners popped into the camp for some hot soup, grilled cheese and went right back out into the full moon and the dark, dark forest of the U-Bar trail.
Which brings to light the “Monster” of Mogollon Monster. When designing the course, knowing the area, the terrain and seeing the mileage and climbing…it was on paper a true “Monster” of a course. It’s the Mogollon Rim. Mogollon Monster. I thought I was so clever. I brought it up to Jeff and he shot back there already IS a Mogollon Monster, in fact it’s been around since the early 1900’s and is well documented around the area as our own local Bigfoot. After hearing this tidbit I spent the next several months scouring the internet (always a reliable source of information when searching for mythical bigfoot creatures…), talked to locals in the area and looked through old Payson Roundup newspapers for stories. They are everywhere. “Finding Bigfoot” on Discovery Channel recently taped a show in the Payson area where 200 residents showed up, this is in early 2012, to talk about their stories and sightings of this bigfoot. I stayed at a B&B in Payson in April and when I brought up our upcoming race in September and the name and asked if he’d ever heard of the actual Mogollon Monster creature. There was a brief yet noticeable silence and then he started to tell me a story about his brother who was camping up near the Buck Springs Cabin (Aid Station at Mile 65) and the 7’-8’ “something” that was standing in the trees 30’ away from their campsite in the late afternoon several years prior. They couldn’t explain it, it wasn’t a bear, elk, mule deer or cattle…it was huge and didn’t make a sound. I couldn’t help but take notice of how serious he was in retelling the story and at the same time think, “What the heck??” So while I’ve never seen anything out there, out on the U-Bar Trail, the most remote section, the darkest forest, I can’t honestly tell you I wasn’t thinking about the big guy on a few of those solo scouting runs up there….
Yet many runners wouldn’t even touch the U-Bar Trail. Many more would drop at Buck Springs AS mile 65 and we were quickly down to only 16 going on to Pinchot Cabin Mile 71. After Pinchot we’d lose 2 more as runners shuffled down in the growing daylight back to Houston Brothers AS before the last drop back into Washington Park AS and mile 85. Here we would lose three more to time outs, our final female runner in Deva Lingemann running out of time at mile 79 and ultrarunning legend Dan Brenden timing out for the first time in his incredible career. After seeing Mark Hellenthal drop at 65 for his first drop in 18 successful hundreds, including the Grand Slam this year, and several other very tough and accomplished runners and Dan reach the end of the trail for a very rare drop I started to doubt the course, the time limit cutoffs, the trail’s technical nature.
That is until we started the final push for the finish. Only eleven runners out of 37 starters reached the 3rd trip through Washington Park AS and mile 85. Only nine continued on towards the finish. Finishing up the course required a 9.5 mile return trip across the Highline Trail to Geronimo AS at mile 94. Leaving mile 94 runners entered the lush forest of the West Webber trail and a wicked climb up the final trip to the top of the Rim. Runners Garmin showed a 1,007 foot climb near the top of the Rim. At Mile 99.
Pushing on to the top, the sun coming down for some, others would be caught in a remote late afternoon thunderstorm (just want 2nd Place finisher Andy Pearson wanted after climbing that beast and hitting mile 100…) but most would be caught at the top of the Mogollon Rim at close to 8,000 feet in the trees and crossing the 100 mile barrier. Most races you’d be done here but unfortunately you’re on a cliff and all the food is down in town…so….back down the mountain! The Donahue Trail is rocky, always has been rocky, probably always will be rocky and it’s a rocky finish down to the Highline Trail for one final time. Crossing the last two miles of runnable downhill into the Pine Trailhead parking lot, the start of the race 104.5 miles ago…the bar door is calling and runners cross under the tunnel, through the woods and the final mile through the small town of Pine, Arizona, right past the Sidewinder Saloon, past the small shops and old buildings to the cheers and encouragement of the volunteers and families.
We sat at that finish line waiting for runners all day, knowing we were down to the few remaining tenacious bunch. Jamil had finished before 9am that morning, even changed an old ladies tire out on the course at mile 30 (true story) and drove back down to Phoenix after winning to put on his Javalina Night Run with his brother Nick that evening. Aside from that we saw Andy Pearson come charging in for a second place finish, running solid all day in his New Balance 110’s, something I thought would have been suicide on that course but one that Andy proved me wrong with. Jerome Jourdon of Phoenix finished in 3rd place to round out the final 3. We saw 1st time hundred miler Marius Toma come through in 31 hours for 4th place, proud as he should be. Shane Peltonen, Danny Speros, Rudolph Palmer, Alex Kaine & Deron Ruse all made it in, Alex and Deron just under the wire in the final 20 minutes before the cutoff. Seeing those runners coming down that road, still running after so many others stopped their day for one reason or another, and seeing that smile as they crossed under our finish line, truly makes every minute of preparation worthwhile. Then seeing so many runners who dropped earlier in the day still come back to the finish line to cheer others on is another testament to this sport and what makes it so great.
So in the end we had 9 finishers out of 37 starters in our first year. Despite planning as much in advance as I thought I could we still had some “first year glitches,” many of which are easily rectified and will be addressed based off the feedback from every one there. Could the course have been marked more clearly in a few sections? Of course. A few more “confidence markers” on the short road sections? Sure. Was the Hell’s Gate section a little too hard? Maybe. Was the cutoff of 36 hours fair? I think so, especially for those that DID make it to the finish and when we correct the few challenges we did have. The volunteers we had were absolutely incredible, working insane hours, never complaining and jumping from one aid station to the next to help out wherever we needed it. Asking someone to go out into the woods for 2 straight days without sleep while helping others isn’t always the easiest sell but it was for this event and we had some incredible volunteers, backed up by all the great comments from runners on the aid stations and volunteers working it. I was lost without their help, dedication and hours of enthusiasm.
I’ve been asked a lot if I plan on doing this race again next year. From one runner after another, even those that were sent off course by over-markings, or less than stellar markings in specific sections, the feedback has been incredible and there is a lot of “revenge” sought to be had in 2013. (There was after-all not a single female finisher)…We may not have a huge field, “elites” or major sponsors but we do have passion for the sport. We’re two brothers, our families, and all of the local ultra-community pitching in to help wherever they can. The Wednesday Morning Running Club of Phoenix, Zane Grey RD Joe Galope, Jeff Jones, Jay Danek & John Vaupel of Trailrunningclub.com, Tucson Trail Runners, LindaVan & Kate at Pinchot Cabin AS, and SO many others that put on this low key ultra…its is a community that puts on these events with the passion and enthusiasm that started this sport when there were so fewer races. We’re not looking to have hundreds of runners, a lottery or cash purse, just those hardy few runners that are up for a race with the challenge we are providing. 106 miles. 23K of climbing. 2.3 million rocks. And maybe…just maybe…a Monster sighting.
So we’ll be there, back out on that same beautiful Mogollon Rim next year. You can count on it.
2012 Race Reports
Photos from the race are posted on the "Course Photos" page. Andy Pielage of AP Photography (www.apizm.com) took all of these. There are some real gems on here. If you use the photograph anywhere, race reports or otherwise, please be sure to give photo credit to Andy.
There are also a great deal of photos being uploaded to individual facebook pages that I will eventually link back here.
Results are in and after 37 runners towed the line we were down to 9 resilient souls to the finish line in Pine. Jamil Coury won the event in its first year with a time of 22:24, besting Andy Pearson's solid effort by more than 4.5 hours. The night rolled in and the final two runners, Alexander Kaine and Deron Ruse, trotted into the town with fifteen minutes to spare on the clock. Incredible effort on such a challenging course. http://ultrasignup.com/results_event.aspx?did=15342
Section of the Fred Haught Trail/Arizona Trail during the July 14th Training Run
This Saturday I'm heading up to finalize a few sections of trail along the U-Bar trail on the Cabin Loop section of the course and plan on running what will be about 50K starting at the Washington Park Trailhead. I'll be leaving Phoenix at 4am Saturday and starting at 6am from Washington Park. The route will be a climb up the Rim on the Arizona Trail, 4.5 miles east along the Rim Road and entering the Cabin Loop at Houston Brothers. We'll divert across the Barbershop Trail (not a part of the course but a great trail) to the start of the U-Bar Trail. We'll head north from there up and down the canyons and then reaching Pinchot Cabin we'll take Fred Haught Trail all the way back down to Washington Park. Low point of this section is 5,800 feet and gets a little over 7,900. Has right at 5,000 feet of climbing. I have a PDF of the course map below you can download for a topo of the course. Email me at email@example.com if you are interested and want to carpool or just want to make sure we wait for you at the trailhead!
We'll have more training runs later in August as well that I will put out with more notice for everyone. This trip is open to everyone and has a goal of determining where the U-Bar trail needs additional marking as we struggled to follow it in the dark back in May. We obviously want to avoid that come race day so we're going up to run it in the day and see how it looks
I completed a spreadsheet of all the aid station splits, where crew access is available, pacers can jump in and what the cutoffs are for each aid station. Starting at 10am Friday runners will have 36 hours or 10pm Saturday to complete the race. I think this is a fair cutoff and the below individual times are as fair as I can tell. You can also see the cumulative gain and loss for each section and the accumulative number as you go.
For the first 50 miles there is around 9,000 feet of climbing. The remaining 56 miles has about 10,000 feet of climbing. I've mapped this course about four times now on different programs and it's right around the 18,500 - 19,200 feet in climbing each time and right around 105.5-106.4 miles. Keep in mind your Garmin stats are always going to differ and exact mileage is difficult to determine on such rugged terrain. They generally match up very closely with what I have had come up on my Garmin running these sections so I'm comfortable releasing these numbers. I'll also have at each aid station a quick reference sheet on the way out of each station for information on the next section so you always have a nice reminder. For example:
Leaving Dickerson Flat aid station I'll have a sign that reads, "Next Aid Station- Geronimo Aid Station - 4.96 miles - 588ft of climbing, 2414ft descending down Turkey Springs Trail"
Or something to that affect. While I expect our volunteers to know the course to provide directions I also know that doesn't always happen at races and this keeps the guess work out of it and everyone on the same page. And for those times that you might need to mentally gear up for a big climb you'll at least know what you're getting into for the next section.
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