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Crestone Marathon date

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  • Matt Mahoney
    The Crestone Marathon will start at sunrise, Mon. Aug. 12. I m not putting the date on the website at http://mmahoney.teejay.net/crestone/ in order to keep it
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 18 9:17 AM
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      The Crestone Marathon will start at sunrise, Mon. Aug. 12. I'm not putting
      the date on the website at http://mmahoney.teejay.net/crestone/ in order to
      keep it off the regular running calendars so I don't get dummy calls about
      what kind of drinks I'll be having at the aid stations and would this be a
      good race for my first marathon because I'm raising money for Leukemia?

      I know it would be better to have the race on a weekend but I am doing the
      Leadville 100 bike on Sat. Aug. 10 and the run on Sat. Aug. 17. Also, there
      is Tom Woodward's MTN RNR race at Crestone on Sun. Aug. 11, so this gives
      you a chance to do both runs without a lot of driving in between. (I will
      probably skip it, though. I won't finish the bike race until late and
      probably won't feel like a 2-3 hour drive until after the awards and 10K
      race in Leadville on Sunday). His race is 2 miles north of Crestone at the
      pay campground (which was full when I ran it last year). Mine is 2 miles
      east of Crestone in the national forest where you can camp for free (which
      is where I ended up staying last year). There is only one store in
      Crestone, and they are closed on Sunday and after 6PM weekdays. The nearest
      big stores are probably in Alamosa or Salida. There are no motels in
      Crestone but there are a bunch of retreats but I think you have to join a
      cult to stay there.

      Also, Monday should give you enough time to recover for Leadville and/or
      Nolan's 14, even if the weather is bad and there are no finishers and we
      invoke the tiebreaker rule and run it again on Tuesday. If it looks like
      bad weather, I will probably retreat down Spanish Creek rather than climb
      the Red Couloir on Crestone Peak. I am worried about precipitation
      loosening rocks above us. Roach recommends crampons, ice axe, and a helmet,
      but from the pictures I took last year about the same time, there were only
      small patches of snow so it shouldn't be bad.

      I had said on my website that "class 4" is the most difficult climbing you
      can do without ropes, which isn't entirely accurate. I changed it to say
      you don't need a rope to climb but you do need one to descend, which is
      closer but isn't entirely right either. However, I think it applies to this
      course. I watched two climbers come up the traverse to Crestone Needle
      without ropes and it didn't look too hard, but when I tried to descend I
      chickened out and went back up. Besides, it suddenly started hailing
      without any warning just as I was above the crux move. In any case, the
      crux is only about 10 feet and there is no good place to set protection
      until you reach the top of the climb anyway.

      That said, I admit I've chickened out on other class 4 routes like Elkhead
      Pass to Missouri or the Snave route on Evans. (However I have climbed
      unprotected 5.4 on the Longs Peak north face route. It is really just class
      3 slabs at 30-45 deg. except for one move where you have to lunge over a
      chest high overhang and grab into a crack). All of the people I know or
      have seen climb these routes did not use ropes.

      I haven't decided whether the Crestone Quad 100 in 2003 will be a loop
      course or out and back. An out and back course would turn around at mile 13
      at the shore of Cottonwood Lake, after climbing all 5 summits. This would
      give you 40 summits in all (each one 8 times) and 68,000 ft. of climb. To
      do the Needle, the first runner could run a rope through the slings and
      carabiners at the top of the class 4 pitch (or around the knob if they're
      missing), and then the last runner on the last lap could retrieve the rope
      by untying the ends and pulling it through. Anyway, I'll let you give me
      your opinions after this year's race.

      -- Matt Mahoney, matmahoney@...
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