- Maybe this is spam to some but I just can't resist relating this story. I think it is appropriate to the Hardrock list since it involves somebody of great notoriety at HR. I sincerely apologize if this embarrasses him, but I believe he enjoys the story as much as I do.
As I mentioned in an earlier message, I ended up running the last ten miles of the Bear 100 with Kirk Apt. He was pacing another guy who got a huge surge of energy at 3AM and left us both perplexed in the darkness. For those who aren't familiar with the Bear I need to tell you that from mile 93 to 95, Leland Barker has cut his own trail -- mostly contouring along a sheer sidehill from one drainage to another. He has done tremendous effort trying to make it truly a trail, but it truly is not. You go through thick murky brush at times, sage-covered very steep ball-bearing sidehills at others, scramble straight up and then straight down around boulders or fallen logs and just generally an extremely difficult portion of the course (much worse than the Kachese Lake section of Cascade Crest and I suspect must rival the worst at Barkley). In any case, Kirk has told me that he has some trouble negotiating tough terrain in the dark due to a lack of depth perception. He is beginning to lose his runner and I am thinking that I am fully satisfied with the time I am going to finish and there is no award for second place so I decide to just get through this section at a moderate effort. I fell back from Kirk who still felt obligated to his energized runner and was trying to stay with him. A short distance before we finally got onto a decent trail again, we were in a thickly treed and brushy draw where the course made a fairly hard left but the brush was open enough that you could go straight. Apparently Kirk went straight and must have bumbled around a little. Suddenly there is a light coming towards me on the trail. It was this big guy that looked familiar in the dark but I didn't even consider it was Kirk. I was delusionally thinking it was Mike who had led a while around mile 20. I asked who it was and why he was going that way and he replied, "Kirk, how did you get ahead of me and why are you coming back for me?" He was heading back on what passed for a trail towards the Dugway aid station!! It took me some convincing that I had not left the trail and was going the right direction (no doubt how Chris got his six minute lead!). We had to go back to the point of his confusion and see a glow stick off to the left before he was sure I was right. Had I not been behind him on the trail, Kirk might have proceeded in that jungle for several hours before Betsy Kahlmeyer would have met him next!!
Sorry Kirk, but I couldn't refrain, once the memory came back to my aging brain.
- Hi all,
Thanks to Tom for passing along the details of our run at the end of Bear.
The "Squirrel Trail" really is quite special. And as usual, Leland Barker
and crew put on a great event.
The guy I was pacing/chasing was Chris Estrem, my friend from Ketchum, ID.
He's paced me the past 2 years at HRH, and the Bear was his first 100. He
finished 2nd, only 1:24 back, after making up 20 minutes on the winner Larry
O'Neil in the last 7 miles. The guy was flying and simply made the Bear look
easy (it's not...). I've convinced him to enter HRH next year, so if he can
somehow get an entry slot, look for him to have a very impressive run.
Winter has arrived here in CO - it was 9* outside this morning. I hope
everyone has a healthy, happy winter, and I look forward to our reunion in