Anyone done this? Sounds nice but there's not a whole lot of info on the site.
"Able to function despite imminent catastrophe"
"To obtain the air that angels breathe you must come to Tahoe"--Mark Twain
"The most common question from potential entrants is 'I do not know if I can do this' to which I usually answer, 'that's the whole point'.--Paul Charteris, Tarawera Ultramarathon RD.
√ Javelina Jundred Jalloween 2015
Cruel Jewel 50 mile May 2016
Western States 100 June 2016
I believe WG has done it. I'd like to check this one out myself.
~Sara It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great. ~ Jimmy Dugan
Why yes, there's even a pic of Ms WG if you dig into their 2010 report.
Perfesser, maniac Gunhild Swanson has also done it... dunno if she's a fb friend or if you can email her from the maniac site. I bet Jeff Bollman (new improved recipe discount guy) has too.
I was considering it, but the race website puzzled me slightly and I moved on. I find that I lack patience in middle age.
Plus... take off glasses if dork. So I did, and now I am blind.
Demon of Bad Decisions
I really liked this race. It was on rolling gravel roads just to the west of Glacier National Park. The only concern I had going into the race was the transportation to the start. They don't provide any, and they even mention hitchhiking as a way to get there. It turns out that one of the host hotels (Golden something or other) has a bus that goes to the start. It is a very low key race. The start is a chalk line on the ground (with a "Seeded Runners Only" sign next to it...haha...ultrarunner humor). There are only a few aid stations, but they were well stocked.The great thing about this race was its beauty. I have been to a lot of amazing places, but Montana is in its own catagory. If you are going to travel there, it is worth it to spend a few days at Glacier. The only problem is that it is a off-peak time, and the park is doing a multi-year renovation of Going-to-the-Sun Road (the road through the park). To get to the east side of the park, you have to drive around the entire park, which takes several hours. Of course, it is a amazing, beautiful drive. The lodges and cabins in the park are closed that time of year, but camping is available. As far as the race goes, there are several places in Hungry Horse to choose from. Kalispell is the nearest airport, and it is a pretty quick drive to Hungry Horse.
I want to do it because I want to do it. -Amelia Earhart
Thanks everyone! That part about hitchhiking had me scratching my head too, sounds like the hotel bus might be the way to go. This sounds like the kind of beautiful, low-key race that I favor and, like you said, Montana is beautiful.
I believe WG has done it. I'd like to check this one out myself.
Dang - nice time and win for a flat-lander!
I didn't manage to win. I just took the Open (39 and under) catagory. THREE women in the Geriatric (40+) division beat me.
Looking at my 2012 races, I realized I did not have a qualifier for the 2013 WS lottery, so off to Hungry Horse Montana and Le Grizz I went.
Drove over on Friday (9hours)
Ran race Saturday (10:ish)
Left Saturday night and drove home
Famous last words.
It was a quick trip (last minute) so didn't really have time to explore.
The course (for me) was deceptively hard. While there is no drastic elevation change, it is consistently up and down. I think the only "flat" part of the course was when we ran over the top of the Hungry Horse Dam.
Definitively an "old school" vibe to the race. Race Director is what could be called a "character".
I rode the bus to start line, which got lost. While we showed up in time for regular start, a couple of the early starters got off late.
When we pulled into start line,
Race Director to bus driver: "God dammit, you're late. I said be here by 6:30"
Bus driver: "We got lost"
RD: "I don't give a shit, I got a race to start"
Uh oh... now what?
That's all you are going to tell us?!?! What did you think? Why didn't you go to Glacier?
Do you want a longer report... with pictures? It was a third-time through sort of day.
Prelude (similar to Quaalude, might put you to sleep).
What to do--having gone through six or seven months of training that never seemed quite right; watching a summer that was slightly out of kilter almost every day; priorities shifting in every direction but the one that was needed--I did what was expected. I ran myself into the ground, earned one more DNF, and indulged in the usual analysis on the way home. That is what I did.
Meanwhile, over there on the other side of the console, chief consoler and ego rebuilder was plotting with little consultation needed. Late Sunday evening; not even twenty-four hours after being declared dead, totally lacking, and bumbler extraordinaire, when all was unpacked and we couldn't even see the mainland, Kathy said in a very calm manner, "You should run Le Grizz."
"Uh.... , sure, okay, why not?"
There followed some silly-arsed reasoning about the excellent 34ish mile training run I just did (see CC100 DNF) and I knew the course (6:31 and 7:24 the previous two trips) and we liked the Glacier National Park region (we do) and I only had to run 16 miles farther in the same amount of time to be ... uh... to be what?
"Uh..., sure, okay, why not?" I sent in the entry blank, with check.
I did a couple of long pavement runs just to recall the thrill of irritating every nerve and tendon in your legs by the monotny of running with the same cadence for hours and hours and hours and ... hmmm, she said something about ten and a half hours. Can I run a 10-hour fifty? Probably should try to just finish the dang thing, mend the ego and so on, right?
And so it was that we were eastbound over the Cascades
Fall colors on Stevens Pass, US 2, Washington
and across the Palouse (like prairie, but in Washington)
on past some rocks in western Montana
by the Kootenai River
walked across (and back) the swinging bridge over the Kootenai River
until we took a picture as we crossed the Hungry Horse dam. We will run from about 47 miles out on the right side.
Larch trees in fall color, great huge brown furry things hiding in the forests along the South Fork of the Flathead River
finally getting to Friday night's sleep place.
Putting up the home away from home again--that tent has seen a lot of backcountry out-of-the-way places.
The next morning we stood around in the middle of the dirt road for a while waiting for Pat Caffrey to shoot the starting device. He did, and as in two previous years, Kathy drove off down the road while I used other means of covering ground.
The silliness of it all. I was running along quite happy with how relaxed and casual the whole deal was when some guy announced, "Dead on 10:30s," loud enough for all to hear. He had one of those large, multi-dialed, technicolor, fully illuminated, argyle colored GPS things. He went on to explain that piece of electronic crap was set to go "Ding!" every mile. I looked over, thought about the 10:30s and backed off, trying to figure out how to let him run off into the foreground so I would not give chase. I was trying to live with the 10-hour fantasy. He was in 8:45 land. I ran off the road and hid in the bushes for a few minutes, studied flora, fauna, and did something I will not describe here, but, all in all, it worked. I could not see, nor hear, him any longer.
Kathy was there every three miles. She is a nice person, but she always has the doors locked--offers food, something to drink, a dry shirt, maybe, but she will not let me get in the car. Left out in the rain, on my own, all I can do is continue towards Hungry Horse dam.
Some ego massaging takes place as I exchange names and where-are-you-froms with a couple. They read my fantasy column and it is really neat to have someone say, "I have always wanted to ask about... " They were from Ohio and just giddy from running in the northern Rockies. We talked for a couple of miles, but something unexpected happened at the halfway point. I was at 5:01:12. I knew what was in front of me for the next five or six miles and the fantasy of ten-hour (or 9:59:47.8) awoke and said hello. We parted company and I picked things up a bit.
By the 35-mile point I had a 12-minute cushion on ten hours. I also had a problem. The only thing I could keep down was fig newtons, maybe a gel every fourth or fifth mile... not near enough to run at the effort level I was doing. I adjusted, told Kathy the ten-hour was gone. I would try for something above total fade. I locked my eyes on the back of the next person up the road and pulled him, then her, then her, then him... and so on, passing the last person I would pass as we got to the dam. (Some of the white spots just above the dam are caps on runners.)
I was hoping to stay inside 10:30. The fun of what does the watch on the wrist say versus what does the official clock say crossed my mind several times. Ten and a half hours... how much have I slowed. I walk very well and I was putting in running one-hundred steps on the ups, trying to stay conscious of effort. If I could keep the effort up, the mind stays awake and effort and concentration feed off each other.
But... big but... I did not know how far out I was. Big sigh. Finally, as most hope had faded, and all I knew for sure was that I would finish, a woman in a blue car slowed and said, "You've got about two tenths of a mile to the trail, then two-hundred yards on the bush whack and you're done." I looked over at her and asked, "Really?" She pointed (we were rounding a curve), "Yep, trail is by that pick-up." I checked the lake for a moose, said hi the the gentleman by the pick-up and turned in the direction he was pointing; went to the left of the aspen, past the big rock on the right, up the hill, hanging on to the bushes, and came out by the driveway to the parking lot where the screaming throng was gathered.
Kathy was waiting, hugs are always good, jokes about the differences 25 years can make, but it was done. 10:19:16 it said on the clock. Smiles, barbecued (maybe) chicken, and toes that tingled and wanted out of the shoes. It is done.
The larches were changing colors all the way across until we got back to the last pass on the Cascades.
They don't come to our side, the wet side, the west side of the Cascades.
They look like many evergreens, but they are not conifers. Their leaves (needles) change color
they shed their leaves (needles).
We topped the highest pass in Washington State out in another middle of nowhereville.
Appropriately, a ridge of clouds and rain greets us as we cross the last pass on the North Cascades Highway and head for the island.
It is only a few weeks until there will be twenty or more feet of snow up here. A good last trip over the mountains for 2012.
Run gently out there.