fbpx
2019 Hardrock

2019 Hardrock threatened by snow, avalanche conditions

By Larry Carroll

One might think that scheduling an ultra-marathon in Colorado in early July would seem to be a pretty safe bet, weather-wise. Of course, a focal point of the Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run (founded in 1992) has always been pushing athletes with extreme altitudes and multiple climate zones that can bring subzero temperatures, thunderstorms and other weather anomalies. But this year, snowy conditions may be putting a chill on the festivities.

2019 Hardrock

“There have been record levels of snow late into the season down in Southern Colorado this year,” the Hardrock’s official Instagram feed posted recently. “We wanted to give you an update on what this means for Hardrock 2019.”

Indeed, this year’s “snowpack” (a term referring to layers of accumulated snow) is an astounding 202 percent of its season-to-date average at this time of year. According to the Denver Post, the snowpack is approximately five times larger than it was at this time last year. Although many entrants of the Hardrock have often used crampons, trekking poles and other such equipment typically associated with mountain climbing, such conditions are threatening to make the race impossible for even such adventurous souls.

2019 Hardrock

“The Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run is currently monitoring the snowpack conditions within the San Juan Mountains,” explain the organizers of the annual race, dedicated to the memory of miners who settles the area. “We encourage everyone … to regularly monitor the Hardrock social media channels and our website to stay as up to date as possible on the situation.”

Entering the third week of May, snowpack was 302 percent of its average in the San Juan Mountains. For a race held on a loop course that traverses four-wheel-drive, cross country and dirt trails on the San Juan Range, from Silverton to Telluride to the 14,048-foot summit of Handles Peak, such snowfall could be a disaster in more ways than one. At the moment, Hardrock organizers aren’t officially telling athletes to stay home — but posted under an ominous picture of a truck squeezing between walls of snow is a message that seems anything but assuring.

The decision to proceed or postpone the July 19 scheduled event “is based on the Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) measured at the Red Mountain Pass SNOTEL site.” Adding that another consideration this year is a number of avalanches that have occurred in the area, the Hardrock statement sets June 1st as a pivotal date of judgment. “Should the SWE be equal to or less than 23″ … the Run will take place … If the SWE is greater than 23″ on June 1st of this year and/or avalanche impact is still questionable, then a decision will be made by the Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run management.”

Although rare, a cancellation wouldn’t be without precedent. The 2002 Hardrock didn’t take place because of nearby forest fires — and the 1995 installment was cancelled because of too much snow.   

2019 Hardrock

Over on Hardrock’s Facebook page, athletes and observers point out that the SWE has actually gone in the wrong direction since race organizers posted their statement, and question whether the lengthy wait to get a slot will carry over to next year in case of cancellation.

“We understand that considerable planning and resources goes into being a part of the Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run,” the statement says. “With that in mind, as information on the snowpack and avalanche debris conditions and their possible impact on the running of the 2019 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run becomes available to us we will work as fast as possible to pass any pertinent information along to all members of the Hardrock community.”

Will the Hardrock be able to navigate this sizeable obstacle, much like its participants have to do every July? As intimidating as those walls of snow may look, three decades of Hardrock runs have taught the running community that these are not athletes you’d be wise to bet against.



Read more...

Javelina Jundred 2018

Javelina Jundred 2018: a signature ultra in the Arizona desert, a costumed running party…

Javelina Jundred: A costumed running party:

This weekend, for the 16th annual Javelina Jundred, a fun-loving tribe again settled in the Sonoran Desert just northeast of Scottsdale. Together, just over a thousand inhabitants to this temporary oasis ran races, danced, feasted, and laughed. Many came to compete in the weekend’s races, the longest being the 100 mile, five-loop circuit.

Yet many flock to Javelina expressly to join in the merriment, and to offer support for those undergoing the grueling battle on the trail –– Such is the spirit of Javelina Jundred. It’s a party, a party of the best kind.

The Javelina Jundred 2018

A bunny hops by on the Javelina Jundred 2018 trail.

The Javelina Jundred course features an arid, open landscape with classic southwestern desert motifs —Saguaro cacti, rocky footholds, and drastic temperature shifts. While the balmy sun might sear at a steady 90℉ during the day, nightly temperatures can reach as low as the 30s. Each loop also has an elevation gain of 1,500 feet, for a total gain of over 7900 feet throughout the race. There is a 30hr cut-off for participants to be listed as official finishers and gain their finisher’s belt buckle, while those who finish under 24hrs receive the famous Javelina sub-24 belt buckle.

Patrick Reagan has again won the Men’s 100 mile with a time of 13:42:59. Although Reagan performed faster last year, his result this year still represents the third-fasted completion ever. Canadian runner Dave Stevens finished in second with 15:39:30, while third place goes to Kenneth Hawkes with 16:22:09.

Leading the Women’s Results, the celebrated Darcy Piceu crossed the finish with a time of 18:49:06. Dana Anderson finished in second with a time of 19:31:06, and Tonya Keyes took third with a time of 19:50:53. This year’s 100 mile event had 604 participants, of which 367 qualified as finishers. This year 141 participants qualified as sub-24 finishers.

The 100-Mile Party Run event consists of three of the 100 mile event’s five loops. Results for the 100K are led by Jacob Jackson (08:55:05), and Charli Mckee (09:47:43), for the men’s and women’s categories, respectively. There were a total of 262 participants in the 100 KM event. Of those, 199 qualified as finishers by completing the course in under 29 hours.

In this weekend’s races there were people of all walks of life, and among the runners there were many smiles and such vibrance of character. There were older runners such as 65 year-old James Ehasz. Yet there was also the fifteen year old finisher, Luke Sanchez. The races are set up “washing machine style,” wherein loops reverse direction. Day and night passing runners greeted each other, waved, cheered each other on.

The weekend also includes the Jackass Night Trail. Born of the revelry of Jackass Junction, the event’s most famed and lively aid station, the Jackass Night Trail provides more casual attendees an opportunity to experience Javelina by running one or two of the trail’s loops at night, for distances of 31 KM and 62 KM, respectively. The Night Trail events were festive and colorful, with hundreds of costumes.

Javelina Jundred

A scene near the Javelina Jeadquarters.

One can’t help but think of these desert festivities –– the costumed dashes, the wonderful people, the quirky prizes, the dancing –– and already reminisce. It is Monday; today there is work, and already the fleeting tent-hamlet of Javelina is packed and loaded.

Yet the “The 100-Mile Party Run” sends us into the last days of October enlivened and ready for the holiday seasons. And indeed, into the final race of the Ultra Trail ® World Tour, Ultra Trail Capetown, on November 30th. Stay tuned.

To read more about this race click here. Or here to see this year’s results

Read more...

Salomon Women’s Running Shoes

The salomon womens running shoes , If you love trail races up to 50 km or even 50 miles, you will definitely love this universal trail running shoe!

The Women’s Salomon Sense Ride shoe is the new multi trail running shoe model for Salomon that is known to be the most popular and ideal shoe on the market these days when it comes to comfort, ride, protection, and grip. It is is ideal for running junkies that like an 8mm drop trail running shoe.

Stats:

Stack: 27mm in the heel and 19mm in the forefoot

Weight for Women’s shoes: 8.8oz

Heel-To-Toe-Drop: 8.0mm

Heel Cushioning: Moderate

Forefront Height: Low | 20.9 mm

Forefront Cushioning: Firm

Flexibility: Flexible

Stability Features: Few

Energy Return: Less

Features:

This The salomon womens running shoes features a spacious toe-box which differentiates itself from past models in the Salomon brand. It’s minimal exoskeleton helps with the support and durability but does not compromise its ventilating properties. The midsole contains Compressed EVA with softer insert to disperse shock vibrations and the outsole is lined with Salomon’s Premium Wet Traction Contragrip. It’s cushioned and responsive without the bulky aesthetic.

Inside the Women’s Salomon Sense Ride Framework:

Within the shoe, a layer comfortably cradles the heel while a flexible tongue wraps upward from the footbed and molds around your foot completely. The Orthrolite insert allows any other hotspots missed by the exoskeleton to be disbursed for little to no impact feel on the foot. As for the protection of the ankles, the Sense Ride W inner sock wraps over the collar protect the rubbing of the heel and/or ankle bones.

The two midsole components help with movements over blocks of rock, making the feet feel protected and the bidirectional lugs enable quick acceleration with responsive breaking. Therefore, traction on all surfaces is not clunky and helps with smooth transition to the trailhead.

Consistent Features:

Similar to past Salomon running shoes, the iconic Quicklace system is promised in the engaging shoe, “pull it, tuck it, and forget it.”. This reassures that throughout a full day on the trail, the laces won’t budge!

They are also tested in drying properties. These shoes are also quite instantaneous when they are submerged or soaked, making them the fastest drying shoe in the market.

Improvements:

The narrow build affects the stability and a wider platform would help with the ride better.

Extra cushioning in the forefoot would help for longer ultras. This would reduce the heel-to-drop which would make it in the 4-6mm range known as the runner sweet spot.

Read more...
anxiety

The role of running in the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders and addiction

anxiety The role of running in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders and addiction

By Alice Morrison

Moroccan-based journalist, winner of Best Africa Blog, a writer for RunUltra, author of “Dodging Elephants: 8000 Miles Across Africa by Bike” and Special Correspondent for IRUN4ULTRA.

DAVID’S STORY

Although I was never formally diagnosed (because I never sought help) four years ago I almost certainly had depression and was working very hard on giving myself a drinking problem. I would certainly tick Yes on most of the questions on those ‘Spot if you have a drink problem’ medical leaflets. I was living away for work reasons and would travel by train at the weekends. One weekend I was very close to stepping off the platform in front of a high-speed train. I would run a little bit with the military but not a lot. I knew I needed to dig myself out of the hole I was in but not how. On a holiday someone mentioned the Lakeland 50 race. Knowing nothing about ultra running and running maybe five miles once a fortnight I signed up. Then I started training. I read a few things on how to train for these types of events and then started training properly. On the New Years Eve I stopped drinking – partly to help me train but mainly because I knew what it was still doing to me. Nine months after starting to train I completed the Lakeland 50. Running, and ultra running in particular, has helped me get myself out of the hole I was in. The black dog still comes to visit sometimes but I’m now better equipped to deal with him.”

THE NUMBERS

Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety disorders and addictions to alcohol, drugs, and nicotine affect a huge number of families worldwide. According to The National Institute of Mental Health in the U.S. (NIMH) In 2014, there were an estimated 43.6 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States with mental health Issues. This number represented 18.1% of all U.S. adults.
This number does not include the statistics for addiction. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that 16.3 million adults ages 18 and older (6.8 percent of this age group) had an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) in 2014. This includes 10.6 million men (9.2 percent of men in this age group) and 5.7 million women (4.6 percent of women in this age group).
The figures from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) make equally somber reading: NIDA estimates that the use of illegal drugs costs the U.S. €11 billion per year in health care and $193 billion in loss to the economy.

ROLE OF RUNNING

In the face of this epidemic, can something as simple as running really help?  Well, yes, is the answer. There has been a great deal of clinical research carried out over the past couple of decades in the use of exercise for treating depression and anxiety and also addictions. The Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK says on its website. “Why does exercise work? We are not yet exactly sure. There are several possibilities.  

  • Most people in the world have always had to keep active to get food, water, and shelter. This involves a moderate level of activity and seems to make us feel good. We may be built – or “hard-wired” – to enjoy a certain amount of exercise. Harder exercise (perhaps needed to fight or flight from danger) seems to be linked to feelings of stress, perhaps because it is needed for escaping from danger.     
  • Exercise seems to have an effect on certain chemicals in the brain, like dopamine and serotonin. Brain cells use these chemicals to communicate with each other, so they affect your mood and thinking.
  • Exercise can stimulate other chemicals in the brain called “brain-derived neurotrophic factors”. These help new brain cells to grow and develop. Moderate exercise seems to work better than vigorous exercise.
  • Exercise seems to reduce harmful changes in the brain caused by stress. “

 

JASON’S STORY

“I’ve always been against using any form of drugs that I absolutely don’t need (alcohol being the notable exception in the past few years.) When I went through a tough divorce, a counselor was suggesting the use of anti-depression medication and I skipped it with the understanding that I ran to accomplish similar goals. Running continued to be a great form of stress management and social interaction and eventually, I did my first impromptu marathon plus a little more while checking a course I was RD’ing the next day. This was eventually followed by a more official 50km. I’ve always known that I have an addictive personality and I realize running is now my addiction but I’m mostly OK with that. Someday, I may be forced to find another form of addiction but until then, running is my drug.
It was a very conscious decision not to add anti-depressants to my world and the counselor I was seeing asked, “why not?” I said I would rather deal with the root of the issue than treat the symptoms. In the year leading up to my divorce, I was isolated in a small apartment in Pittsburgh that was noisy and my ex-wife was hardly ever around; She basically came home to shower and sleep while working on her Ph.D. The social isolation did a number on me and about halfway through that year, I started cycling again because I had gained a lot of weight. At the time of my separation, I moved back to Tucson, AZ (where my job was) and started cycling a lot. I was riding up the local mountain several times a week and it wasn’t enough to deal with my grief. My body was often exhausted but I still had more to deal with mentally. It was at this point that my boss (an ultra runner) said, “Ya, know… you should run.” He told me about a group that met every Tues/Thurs for speedwork and I started going. I found myself surrounded by people who made healthy decisions and good life choices and made a very conscious decision to let myself feel peer pressure from them in order to improve my own life. So … for me running was about rebuilding the social part of my brain which had atrophied in isolation for a year, rebuilding my body and managing stress. I lost over 100lbs, gained friends and healthy habits.”

EXPERT VIEW

We asked Tanya Woolf, Consultant Counseling Psychologist, Efficacy if this chimed with her experience of treating Depression.
“Typically with Depression, you get into a vicious cycle. You feel low on motivation, so you don’t do anything and then low levels of activity make you feel more depressed.  One of the first treatments for depression is behavioral activation – doing something that gives you a sense of achievement and pleasure.”
“Exercise helps in two ways: on the psychological level it gives you that sense of achievement and – hopefully – pleasure, and physically it releases endorphins.”

THE OUTDOORS

For almost all of us who run, one of the great joys of it is that you have time in nature. Research has shown that this can add to the benefits. In a study called “Acute effects of outdoor physical activity on effect and psychological well-being in depressed patients” the researchers found:
“A single outdoor exercise bout showed greater affective improvements compared to indoor and sedentary equivalents for self-reported excitement and activation. As patients felt more active, an outdoor setting might be useful in overcoming listlessness during depression treatment. “

ADDICTION

Krasse Gueorguiev is a keen ultra runner but also studied Psychology and worked in Victim Support. He used running as one of his tools to help clients.
“I used to work at Victim support in London for quite a few years and dealt with domestic violence rape etc…. and also had some private clients that would come to me with addictions from drugs to smoking and eating. So I would get them to concentrate on doing sports that can be by themselves for a period of time like a running for a few hours where I would ask them to think of solving mechanisms while running. Nothing in particular just think of their daily lives and see how they see it on the go.”
Tanya Woolf, adds, One of the things that is often observed in addiction is that people pursue their goal (be it drugs, drink or anything else) at the expense of all previously valued goals. So, having a new, valued goal such as a race, can help displace the old, unhealthy one. Also in addiction, people very often get the notion that they don’t have control, that their addiction controls them. Any goal-oriented exercise and ultra running is a fantastic example, gives the person a sense of control. Instead of your addiction controlling you, you are controlling your body.”

EVIDENCE

Research and expert opinion shows that running really does have a role to play in combating a range of mental health problems.  According to the study, “The Benefits of Exercise for the Clinically Depressed”:

Many studies have examined the efficacy of exercise to reduce symptoms of depression, and the overwhelming majority of these studies have described a positive benefit associated with exercise involvement.
Additionally, exercise compares quite favorably with standard care approaches to depression in the few studies that have evaluated their relative efficacy. For example, running has been compared with psychotherapy in the treatment of depression, with results indicating that running is just as effective as psychotherapy in alleviating symptoms of depression “
Compelling as the scientific research is, inspiration is at the human level so let us leave you with a final story from the ultra running community.

JANE’S STORY

“How (ultra) running helped me. Being a victim of a heinous crime… kidnap victim of an aggravated sexual assault by four men, running, in general, has played a big part in my therapy. I’m training for my first 50km in October and ultra running helps me cope. It reminds me to overcome and conquer my fears. I was destroyed and I learned to rebuild my life again. I was also an addict for over almost 12 years which I don’t share openly. I quit cold turkey and never looked back. Running and living a healthy life has been my “addiction”. Not losing my sanity after the sexual assault on Christmas Eve and Christmas day is also on my priority list. It’s been a long road but running besides God and family is most important in my life.”
Many thanks to all who shared their stories with us and congratulations on your recovery and transformation
USEFUL LINKS/FURTHER READING
https://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml
https://www.niaaa.nih.gov
https://www.drugabuse.gov/
https://www.samhsa.gov/data/population-data-nsduh
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC474733/
https://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/03/how-running-and-meditation-change-the-brains-of-the-depressed.html
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/fitness/outrunning-depression-exploring-the-link-between-body-and-mind/article21294111/
https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2458-12-50
https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165%2F00007256-200939060-00004
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3276339/

Read more...