Warning: the following words and images will allow you to vicariously see the world with the eyes of Sultan. Read at your own risk. The name Sultan has many meanings, but derives from the peak Sultan Mountain in Silverton, CO!

Friday, February 13, 2009

MdS Food Prep

Six weeks to go before I take off to Ourzazate, Morocco for the Marathon Des Sable (MdS). The MdS is a 7 day, 150+ mile (243km) endurance race across the Sahara Desert in Morocco taking place March 29-April 4, 2009. The race organizers website is (http://www.darbaroud.com/). During the race, you can visit the website and send me an electronic message, which will then be printed out and delivered to my tent each night of the race.

There are six stages over the seven days, with the first three daily stages set around 20 miles each. The fourth stage is around 50 miles; the fifth stage is always a full marathon of 26.2 miles, and the sixth (and last) stage is from 9-12 miles.
The terrain at the MDS is not all giant sand dunes. In fact, most of the course is run over salt flats, dried up river beds, rocky desert plains, and ancient, dried up lakes. And, it is not uncommon for the course to wander through a remote desert village. The course is usually well marked and all competitors receive a "Road Book" which provides an official course description for each stage.

Temperatures can be extreme, with possible daytime highs reaching 125°F and night-time lows of 38°F. Additionally, the occasional sandstorm can add to the mix. Thus, competitors should be prepared for anything.

The race is entirly self sufficient with the exception of water and a tent over your head. This means I will be carrying all my food for the entire 7 days in my backpack, in addition to all my gear, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag.

Today I layed out some of the food I plan to take. In this photo of food there is just over 13 pounds of food with a total calorie output of 24,050 calories. The peanut butter and the macaroni and cheese both by Mountain House packed the highest calorie per gram ratio at 6 calories per gram for the peanut butter and 5 calories per gram for the mac and cheese. I plan to take the food out of its packaging and repack it in freezer zip lock bags. I dont plan to take a stove and gas with me on this adventure, and just hope to utlize the 125 degree sun to cook my food!

More on the MdS later....

Sunday, February 01, 2009


I'm in!! For those of you not aware of the Hardrock 100, its a Beast.

The Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run is an ultramarathon 100.5 miles in length, with 33,000 feet (10,000 m) of climb at an average elevation of over 11,000 feet (3,400 m). The race is held on a loop course on dirt roads, dirt trails, and cross country in Southern Colorado's San Juan Range. The race is dedicated to the memory of the miners who settled in the area and who built the mining trails on which much of the race is run.

I am one of 140 runners accepted into this adventure with 206 on the waiting list. I'm pumped!

Mt. Mitchell Winter Ascent

Its the end of January, and it was time to go back up again to Mt. Mitchell. This time as a run/hike with a group from our local Charlotte Outdoor Adventure club. Me, John L, and David P started on the Mountains to Sea Trail at the junction of Hwy 80 and the Parkway. Memories of frozen fingers came into light from the new years run in the dark, and now I could see the trail during the day. It was amazing. We had planned to meet the rest of the group at the campgrounds around 12 noon. We casually ran down, and were there a little early.

Around 12:30 the entire group began the ascent up to the summit. Some of us had never been on Mitchell. For the first hour or so, the sun was beaming and we were actually hot. As we climbed up the temperatures droped and patches of ice and snow became more prevalent. Hiking up commissary ridge was challenging with large sheets of ice covering more than half of the trial. We were moving slow to ensure the entire group made it up to the top, and reached the summit at 3:05pm. The skies were again clear, and mostly calm, yet very cold.

We headed back down the icy trials of commissary ridge and made it back down to the cars just before dark. On the way down I met two climbers with heavy packs that planned to travel to Pico de Orizaba (18,490 feet) in Mexico later this year.

We ended this hike with a meal at Little Sienna at the bottom of Hwy 80.