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!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sultan 50k - 2012 Report

4th Annual Sultan 50k33 Miles - 7:34
South Mountains State Park

Top 5 Official Finish times:
1. Adam Hill - 4:14
2. Jeremy Hargroves - 4:47
3. Tim Weed - 5:02
4. Dennis Norris - 5:17
5. Matt Kirk - 5:45

Top 5 Actual Finish Times:
1. Tim Weed - 5:12
2. Adam Hill - 5:14
3. Jeremy Hargroves - 5:22
4. Matt Kirk - 5:55:555
5. Dennis Norris - 6:17

The fourth year we run the Sultan 50k the rains would have their way. The day prior to the run weather reports came back with 70% chance of rain and thunderstorms.  The cake (Thanks Melissa!) was in the fridge, and we were all set to go.  I shuteye well past midnight and made sure I had everything ready for the early morning departure.

We rendezvoused at the Cracker Barrell early, and made the drive up to the Jacob Fork Parking area.  The gate was closed when we arrived, and we waited for a few moments before the ranger drove up and unlocked the gate at 7:50am.  We met up with the rest of the crew at the Subway off of 64 just past 8am, and caravanned over to Roper Hollow Rd. at 9:40am.  Greg, Paul, and I rode up together.

Greg helped me pass out the crowns and check runners in, and Adam volunteered to take off a few minutes early to ribbon up the trail so that the rest of us dont get lost.  Lily offered to shuttle aid from the Start/Finish to the midway aid station once again this year.  Erik, Julie, Bouchra, and Omar made it out to the aid station to help out this year, what a stellar crew!  Charles and Psyche helped out again this year to sweep the coarse.  Thank you all for the help, and braving the rain!

We had over 40 runners sign up, and 28 show up to the start.  I myself had a nasty flu a week and half before the run, and was unsure if I could make my own party on the trail. We took off just after 10am, and began running up Roper hill.  I hung out with Greg for the first part of the run, and then caught up with Paul, Kathleen, and Beth.  It rained most of the way up, and the cloud formations are the same you would see in the Smokey Mountains.  Me and Carl came into the aid station together in 3:03.

The entire crew was out there braving the weather.  Erik and Julie got a small fire started, and by the time I arrived I saw some runners hovering around the fire and were planning to bail on the run.  I myself immediately got cold as I was drenched fully.  I quickly offered up a handstand for some bonus points, and downed some red velvet cake along with some coke to try and replenish my body.  I felt a little dehydrated despite all the rain.  2 bottles never seems to be enough for me.

I hugged loved ones and went on my way. I was freezing, but I knew the steps up to the waterfall would warm me up quickly. Beth and Kathleen rolled out with me to the waterfall, and then I let them go.  My return trip was just as challenging as it was last year, slow and steady. The sun broke out the last half hour, and the view of the Black Mountain Range was in full view.  When I thought I was running the last bend of Ropper Hollow and surely I was done, another 14 bends poped up.  I finished a little faster than last year, but still felt like I could improve tremendously. Finish time was 7:34.

Later we all hit up Jalapeños for dinner for some bonus points!  Thank you to all who made it out for another great year.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

11th ALTAR

distance 30 miles
ALTAR 12.31.2011 - 10:17

What better way to end the year, than to run the Art Loeb Trail, dubbed the ALTAR adventure run!

Many of us gathered at the Vance Lodge at Camp Daniel Boone the night before, and shuttled to the start line early the next morning.  We were 13 runners at the start, and it was warmer than I could remember it ever being on a late December morning at the Davidson River campgrounds.

I had all my cloths on at the start, probably not carrying enough cloths I thought to myself.  After our group photo, we took off, and the clock read 7:04am.  I ran off alone, and set my own pace.  The morning was perfect, and I peeled off most of my layers exposing my hands and arms to the cool crisp air which gave me a refreshing feeling.  The sun rose from the horizon, letting the bright rays filter thru the trees as I propelled my body deeper into the hills.

I often gather my thoughts of the year during this run, take some time to see what I have covered in the year past, all while intermittently thinking about what I have in store for 2012.  I quickly tapped into strong emotion early on in the run, earlier than usual.  I often think I run these distances to get away from the city lights, but I also wonder if I am addicted to tapping into my subconscious mind.  The gates to the subconscious are not easy to open, but today would be a day the doors were wide open.

Many opportunities came and went in 2011, and soo much harm has occurred around the globe this year.  Ill spare all the details, but feel its important to recognize this man, Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old fruit-and-vegetable seller from Tunisa, who had doused himself in petrol, flicked a lighter and started a revolution in front of the building.  This man caused a viral revolution which kept coming to the surface of my mind.  The trail helped me, especially when I hit pilot mountain.

I climbed slower than I wanted to, it was indicative of my conditioning.  I met up with Scott and Carl here where we ran and hiked together.  Once we reached the top of Pilot we took a small break to soaked up the views.  The weather was stunning, but I knew if I lingered for too long I would get cold.  So I took off down hill.  I found a trickle to fill up my empty water bottles and kept pushing threw.  When I approached the climb after Pilot I felt like stopping.  Knowing this was impossible I kept pushing thru.

As I crossed the parkway I ran into 3 runners who started opposite of us, and then ran into Liz and Boxer, her new dog.  We hiked together thru the balds, and up into the narrows.  I finished this years ALTAR before the sun set, which is always my goal in 10:17.

Awesome run, and great post and pre run shindig by Matt and Lily Kirk!