Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dirty Double Trail Marathon

I came into this race with the mindset of just using it as a prep race for Thunder Rock 100, testing out gear, and enjoying some picture perfect Spring weather. At the end of the day all of those boxes were checked and then some. Dirty Double is one of the best trail races I've ever been a part of. From the volunteers to the variety of the course, everything was top notch but still very low-key and laid back. Unlike many courses which may be held in one park/natural area, Dirty Double utilizes about six different parks located throughout South Knoxville collectively known as the Urban Wilderness. This makes for a mix of singletrack, doubletrack, dirt road, and suburban neighborhood throughout the whole course with around 2,500ft of elevation gained primarily through countless "micro" hills.

1st across the line, 3hr54min

If you'd like a little beta for the course you can check out my garmin info for the day here.

Full Results

Gear List:
Generic Tech T
Camelbak Octane LR 70
TNF Better Than Naked Short
Smartwool PhD Graduated Compression Light Cushion Socks
Salomon S-LAB XT6

Friday, September 6, 2013

Norris Dam Hard 50k 2013

Chances are, if you don't get lost or injured, you will do pretty well at this race. Between the 25k and 50k races there were around 75 participants, more than a handful took a detour, a very small number ate dirt and needed stitches in unmentionable places. I managed to stay upright and avoid getting lost, so I ended up winning in a time of 5hr1min. Not a screaming fast race by any measure, but the course is unrelenting if nothing else.

For those considering running this race I would recommend it, if you're prepared to walk and have the race take a little longer than you expect. With the exception of one section ( photo below the course map) the course is steep and rocky in places but not unsafe. It is well marked and most folks that got lost I think did so because there were course changes this year, not because of lack of flagging. For the number of participants I did seem to here an inordinate amount of carnage stories, but other than the pictured section above I don't know exactly what to attribute that to. Overall, this is a challenging low-key ultra with very enthusiastic volunteers who help make the atmosphere of the race very fun.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

New Pack Shakedown

Clingmans Dome-Bone Valley-Cades Cove
2 days 35 miles

Welch Ridge "trail" 

Tenkara fishing on Hazel Creek

Dad trying to maintain dry feet

Dry feet did not last

A steep piece of Jenkins Ridge

Spence Field

Tested out an exciting piece of gear on this trip. I picked up a Fluid 12 from Mountain Hardwear a few weeks back. Fully loaded with two days worth of food, water, and gear my pack weight came to twelve pounds even. The pack was perfect for this trip, but anything over three days would probably be outside its range. Eventually I'd like to whittle the overall trail weight to under ten pounds, making incorporating a little running into these backcountry trips a little more enjoyable. .

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Back At It

April 9th I left work on my bicycle and headed South on US 441. It was a perfectly warm day, with wildflowers lining the road, and little to know traffic due to time of day, year, and the fact that US 441 was closed past Newfound Gap. Caitlin had engagements with friends, I had engagements with my bicycle and then the brewery.

I think about this ride a lot because the 15 miles I rode up to Newfound Gap were some of the longest miles of my life. Time was at a near stand still. I reached an empty parking lot at the Gap, save one other cyclist. We shot the bull and then rode down together averaging a speed that rivaled the fastest I've ever gone on my bike.

And the pace has been relentless since then. After a lost round of trivia at the brewery, I checked my phone and realized I had a missed call or two (phones are not allowed at trivia) from Caitlin. A weekly pregnancy check up at the doctor ended with the news that she could go into labor at any minute... and that evening she did. Two days later we met Silas Miller Worth.

Day 1

Since that time I've managed to run a little, but I think my training has been more specific to maybe running  barkley due to the continual sleep deprivation of raising a newborn. My big goal this summer/fall is to finish  out all the trails in Smokies ( or at least make significant headway). A few of these trips will require nights out so I've been putting together a new overnight setup that I think will allow me to hike and run without being totally weighed down. There are still a bunch of tweaks to be made but I'm shooting for a total of 7-10lbs for pack weight. Hopefully, a few long overnight trips combined with my weekly base miles will allow me to take on a few longer running projects this fall. There are never any guarantees though, especially now, with my energy often being diverted to more people and things than I'm accustomed to. At the moment, any day I can sneak in even the shortest of runs is a good day.

Hanging out w/ Grandad at 9 weeks old