Saturday, July 28, 2007


average-sized american car .... backing in to a park!

M&Ms anyone?

main road of silverton

i've often said in the past that the only problem with visiting america is that americans live there.
may have been a tad harsh considering i had never been to mainland USA before!
it certainly is a strange place tho....

everything is huge - especially the cars.
driving out of denver on the first day i saw 50 4WDs/SUVs before i saw a single sedan.
i think the only sedans are rental cars.
people who would drive sedans in australia drive SUVs here.
and people who would drive 4WDs drive huge trucks.
even the quad bikes are huge - the size of a small car in europe.

its not law here for motorcyclists to wear helmets.
natural selection i guess!

colorado is tshirt central.
every tourist town has at least 4 tshirt shops.
saw one that said "take it out and play with it" and for some reason thought it wouold suit tim.
it had a quad bike pictured on the front.
instead i decided to send tim back some elk jerky.
if it makes it thru customs should be there next week :)

saw a mcdonalds with a single arch.

saw an add in the paper for people who read to your dog.
which isnt strange when u get here and realise that dogs are actually people.
see lots of them in the national park - are allowed there!!
and in restaurants etc...

entrees are appetizers, mains are entrees and deserts are huuuuuge!
and if milk is cream and petrol called gas then what do they call cream and gas??

saw some cooked bacon at the shop the other day.
just need to heat it up i guess.
finally found some ice-coffee milk (as opposed to ice-coffee or ice-tea) and it has as much sugar in it as coke!

a few funny things from the conference...
water apparently weighs 8 pounds per gallon.
i always thougt it was 1kg per litre.
dunno what a quart or pint is yet!

there was a paper presented on erectile dysfunction in the backcountry.
unfortunate term used but i guess the aussie term 'bush' is almost as bad.

funniest thing was when someone was giving us a talk on water disinfection in the 3rd world they showed us a marvellous invention.
although it needed power it could boil 2 litres at a time and even had an automatic 'off' when the water was boiled.
....yes it was a kettle!!
all the americans looked in amazement.
us aussies just laughed then took a photo of us with it after the talk.
too funny.

never ask an american where the dunny is - they will look at u strangely.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Goodbye San Juans

views from handies peak (14,053ft)

left the san juans today - well actaully left silverton 2 days ago but drove past the mountains on the way to grand junction (a laundry stop) today.
had the privelage of course de-marking with bob boeder on saturday.
he's the author of 'beyiond the marathon' and hardrock fever'.
is ex-army, has a phd in history is a trained EMT/ambo and works part time at 'the old mill' giving tours.
so quite an interesting person!!
felt the altitude for the first time that day - mainly on the way down.
i presume this is because i spent so much tinme >12000ft.
when i got to handies peak i put my oxygen probe on then started doing star jumps to see what my o2 numbers were with exercise.
for the recoprd they were high 70s.
wish i knew bob was an author before this - something tells me this craziness may be a part of one of his books someday.

sunday 8th: 1hr run camp bird rd then 1hr walk cascade and box canyon falls
monday: 5hr course marking virginius pass 16km 4400ft climb
tuesday: no walk/run
wednesday: 2hr run bear ck trail: 300-400ft drop offs!! 14km 2600ft climb (to 11000). went to course briefing.
thursday: 3hr walk oak ck trail 1800ft climb
friday: race start!!
saturday: 5.5hr 4300ft climb to handies peak via grizzly gulch (my first 14-er!) then american-grouse pass then back down via grouse gulch.
sunday: 4hr walking ice park trail and albany loop trail
total about 16000ft ascent/descent over the week - now just need to do twice that in 2 days!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Not. Coming. Home.

million dollar highway (silverton to ouray) from bear creek trail overpass (near ouray)

jim, tom and john on the trail up to v-pass

my first view of hardrock course markers


its lovely here.
currently staying in ouray which is the north pt of the course.
have to admit to being a little intimidated driving into town and seeing nothing but 13000ft mountains surrounding in every direction.
bit the bullet and went on course marking on monday morning which was from telluride (to the west) to virginius pass (13000ft/3900m).
didn't suffer much from altitude - some lightheadidness which passed and a headache at the top.
not as scary as i thought but then again it was great weather (tshirt and shorts!!), daytime, little/no wind and i was with people.
would be much scraier at night - tho i guess u wouldnt be able to see hoe far u could fall.
i know now what a 'basin' is.
when u stand on top of one of these mountain passes u look down and its like youre standing on the edge of a wash basin (or more accurately a toilet bowl!).
its a damn long way down.

had a rest/tourist day yesterday and went on a 2hr run to 11000ft today.
bit of a bummer having to do outNbacks as it curtails what u can do.
have looked at lots of the 'little bits' of the course eg. trails in and out of the towns but will go to the briefing tonite and hear about the 'big bits' like the 12 mountain passes that i havent done!!
getting used to life here in the US.
the country music and christian rock is even feeling soothing on the longish drives.
there isnt much choice anyway and when youre about to head up to 3900m when youre not really acclimitized hearing a little about jesus isnt a bad thing!!

trying to do some course 'stripping' :) on the weekend and see more of the course.
will try and check in later.
cant wait to get home and post some piccies up.
but of course i might just stay here!!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

A long way to go for a recon

its not official yet (ie. its not on CR yet).
but whippet is a DNS at hardrock.
initially i thought he was joking.
after all this is the guy who puts rocks in peoples camelbaks before races.
but apparently its not to be this year.
feel very sad for whippy.

so i guess i dont have even a semi-official role over there now other than 'recce'.
if i am reasonably acclimitized i should try and wangle my way in to the course marking and/or de-marking regardless.
not very keen to spend 2 days at a checkpoint popping blisters so if they ask me what kind of doctor i am i'll tell them i'm a gynaecologist :)
tim thinks i should offer to pace scott jurek ;)

not sure what this trip will bring.
i may go over there and find the HR course waaaaaaaaaaay above my abilities and come home with my tail between my legs (likely) or even in a plaster cast.
hoping to find something i can do in future (3-5) years and learn some valuable experience over there.

yesterday the boss asked me what hardrock was.
and i replied 'the hardest footrace in the world'.

leave tomorrow.
will try and blog intermittently.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Work and Running and Running and Work

didnt have much time for anything else this week.
admittedly my working week started late - on tuesday but made up for it by working 9am to 11pm which pretty much stuffed me for the rest of the week.

pulled up with a niggle monday arvo.
when i dont know what a niggle is it means it cant be itbfs, plantar fasciitis, meniscus or bony oedema/stress fracture.
so when i was still a bit sore on saturday i did what i usually do .... ran.
and of course it feels fine now!

had the pleasure of running with jenruns on saturday around mt coot-tha/gap creek reserve and did a 13.6km loop including 2 steep climbs.
cant wait to see the garmin profile :)
finally figured out the kokoda t-shirt wearing people are actually from executive excellence and are training for the png trek.
saw them again on the mountain - 40 or so of them slowing us down on the way up to the powerful owl trail.
a nice morning.
thanks jen.

woke early again sunday to do gold coast HM.
ran it with an ex work-mate who promised me he wouldnt go faster than 5min/kms.
considering i ran for 2hrs saturday then an hour massage i was hoping he wasnt lying.
sat on 5.10s for the 1st half (55) then sped up a bit (4.55s) to finish in just under 1.47.
was feeling it in the last few kms!
felt a bit bad only staying with the CR cheersquad for an hour or so.
they do a fantastic job.

had nanna-naps on both days.
its been a while since i've done that :)

moday - 14km flat 70ish
tuesday/wednesday/thursday/friday - nothing
saturday - 13.5km hilly 1.52 and massage
sunday - gold coast HM 1.46.55

leave for hardrock friday.
whippet is feeling blistered but otherwise in good spirits.