Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Horton in Steamboat Springs

David called last night from Steamboat Springs, home to Smartwool Socks. After a shorter run and a tour around town, David & JB are just hanging out in a beautiful mountain cabin – life is tough!  Well, things will change in a few days but for now Horty is kicking back and getting himself psychologically prepared for the CT. Enjoy!

Smartwool sponsors the Beast Series

Monday, June 29, 2009

LAST Horton CT Training Day

The work is over, the horse is in the barn, and David is ready to go! The last major training run was on Saturday and now David is resting (as much as Horty can) until he begins his CT adventure on Saturday, July 4.

My apologies for this delayed post but I’m now back in Virginia and will be blogging (regularly) for the Colorado Trail Speed Attempt.

Enjoy the audio blog below:

Friday, June 26, 2009

Horton CT Training Day #7

The audio blogs make it really nice when you miss someone’s phone call!  I haven’t talked to David for a couple days but it sounds like he is doing well. Training continues to be tough but I know this is exactly what Horty is looking for in preparation for the CT. The following 2 audio blogs are from Horton after his run yesterday. He called from Silverton, CO.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Horton CT Training Day #6

I missed Horty’s call last night (sorry)! However, the message he left was very similar to the following audio blog. One thing I’ll point out: the Horse Thief trail and Bridge of Heaven that they were on yesterday are, once again, absolutely spectacular!  I wish I had some pictures to show but your imagination will have to do!!!  Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Horton CT Training Day #5

Horty called me late last night from Ouray, CO and the heart of the San Juan Mountains! He was making me incredibly jealous. I haven’t stayed at Rick T’s house or been in Ouray since 2000 when I paced Horty the last time he ran Hardrock. His description of Yankee Boy basin and the Bear Creek trail are all exactly as I remember them – absolutely spectacular - and should be on every trail runners’ ‘bucket list’.

Before his training run yesterday afternoon, he drove women’s AT record holder (57d8h38m) Jennifer Pharr-Davis & her husband Brew to Durango and the southern terminus of the Colorado Trail. While Jennifer and Brew are northbound on the CT (no, it’s not another speed attempt), Horty mentioned how he would really like to see the southern terminus again (going southbound) and all the spectacular country there is to see along the trail. To physically see your goal can provide a very tangible impetus that remains in your memory over the course of an adventure, especially through hardship.

Listen to David’s audio blog about this part of the country and how he is currently doing:



If you are going to make an attempt to see Horty on the Colorado Trail, PLEASE EMAIL ME ANY PHOTOS YOU TAKE!

I will give you credit for any photos that are posted on the eco-x blog and they may even make it into different publications!

Thanks for your help.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Horton results from San Juan Solstice 50

After resting Thursday & Friday, David ran the San Juan Solstice 50 miler as a training run. This also would prove to be more than a good test for the CT. The race has over 11,200ft gain in 50miles and David’s single largest daily gain will be 12,700ft over 60.5miles. The 50mile race course features some very steep climbs and David’s time of 13:46:37 (good for 57th place overall, 2nd in his age cat. by 5min) made him quite pleased. No doubt David is in great shape and very capable of the adventure in front of him!

Listen to both audio blogs for David’s perspective on the race and more!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Horton CT Training Day #4

David had another good & tough (yes, those go together) day of training. He, along with Kyle Klingman, Travis Wildeboer, and JB, were on the Continental Divide today for a 13.5mile run. They ran into more and more snow and topped out at 13,944ft. This run took them 6.5 hrs, which indicates how hard both the terrain and elevation make it but David said they also stopped a lot to look at some of the most breathtaking scenery he has ever experienced. Hear more in his audio blog:

That’s it for now!



More Photos from yesterday’s CT training run

Horton CT Training Day #3


David called me last night with this quick update. Sounds like JB scouted out some crew access points while David was running with Alyssa & Travis Wildeboer and Kyle Klingman. You’ll notice some fatigue in David’s voice but when I talked to him, he was in good spirits recognizing that he needs to hit it hard now, rest a bit for Saturday’s San Juan Solstice 50 Miler (as another training run at high altitude), and he still has some time for the snow to melt. Hope you enjoy the report!


DSC04175 DSC04177




Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Peter Bakwin’s Report – First 2 days of Horton CT Training

I spent 2 days with Horton & JB, climbing Pikes Peak and a route on Longs. They drove straight through overnight from VA to Manitou Springs, CO, where a friend & I met them at the Barr Trailhead for the ascent of Pikes via the ultra-classic Barr Trail (the route of the PP marathon).  Conditions were excellent up to a ways above treeline, but the last 2 miles or so of the trail was disappeared under lots & lots of snow, so we just pushed our way up, post-holing a lot.  Donuts & fries at the snack bar on the summit (14,110') before a fun slide & run back down.  I think David & JB were a little woozy up there, but maybe that was as much due to lack of sleep as the altitude.

After getting some sleep at my place in Boulder, we zipped up to the
Longs Peak trailhead.  Our plan was casual, and at Chasm View we
could see that the Loft Route looked like a terrific snow climb, and
since neither of them had been that way we gave it a go.  We climbed
ever-steepening snow to the Loft, at 13,400 feet between Longs (14,254')and Mt Meeker (13,911').  I don't know that David had been on anything quite that steep before, but conditions were excellent, & he & JB were both fine.  Very cold & windy on the Loft, with worsening weather.  We made the short descent on snow-covered rocks off the Loft on Clark's Arrow (not Zealand!) to the base of the final ascent on the back side of Longs.  But at this point we could see that climbing would be slow on a mix of snow, ice and rock, and you just can not bail out back in a hurry back there if the weather goes sour, which is what was happening, so we pulled out.  The initial descent was a bit sketchy and slow due to the snow conditions, but once we got down to a safe location we had a blast glissading down a
couple 1000 feet of snow.

We have had storms almost every day since mid-May, and there
is still a ton of snow in the Front Range.  I think other parts of
the state are a bit drier, but it has generally been a cool, wet

David is looking fit and very focused for the CT attempt, and in
JB he has the best support possible.  I hope to catch up with
them again as the start of their CT attempt approaches.
Boulder, CO

Horton Colorado Trail Speed Attempt Schedule

START-----July 4

DAY 1: Distance= 57.6 Miles, Elevation Gain: 8,720 Feet

Segment 1: Kassler to South Platte Canyon

Distance: 16.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 2160 feet.

Segment 2: South Platte Canyon to CO Trailhead FS-550

Distance: 11.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 2200 feet

Segment 3: CT FS 550 to FS- 560

Distance: 12.7 miles

Elevation Gain: 1520 feet

Segment 4: FS- 560 to Long Gulch

Distance: 16.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 2840 feet

DAY 2: Distance= 60.1 Miles, Elevation Gain: 9,660 Feet

Segment 5: Long Gulch to Kenosha Pass

Distance: 14.4 miles

Elevation Gain: 1540 feet

Segment 6: Kenosha Pass to Goldhill Trailhead

Distance: 32.9 miles

Elevation Gain: 4520 feet

Segment 7: Goldhill Trailhead to Copper Mountain

Distance: 12.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 3600 feet

DAY 3: Distance= 52.0 Miles, Elevation Gain: 7,900 Feet

Segment 8:Copper Mountain to Tennessee Pass

Distance== 25.4 miles

Elevation Gain: 4020 feet

Segment 9: Tennessee Pass to Timberline Lake

Distance: 13.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 2120 feet

Segment 10: Timberline Lake

Distance: 13.0 miles

Elevation Gain: 1760 feet

DAY 4: Distance= 62.4 Miles, Elevation Gain: 9,760 Feet

Segment 11: Halfmoon Creek to Clear Creek Road

Distance: 21.1 miles

Elevation Gain: 1520 feet

Segment 12: Clear Creek Road to North Cottonwood Creek

Distance: 18.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 4520 feet

Segment 13: North Cottonwood Creek Road to Chalk Creek Trailhead

Distance: 22.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 3720 feet

Day 5: Distance= 50.3 Miles, Elevation Gain: 9,840 Feet

Segment 14: Chalk Creek to US 50

Distance: 20.9 miles

Elevation Gain: 3320 feet

Segment 15: US 50 to Marshall Pass

Distance: 14.2 miles

Elevation Gain: 3440 feet

Segment 16: Marshall Pass to Sargents Mesa

Distance: 15.2 miles

Elevation Gain: 3080 feet

Day 6: Distance= 47.9 Miles, Elevation Gain: 5,320 Feet

Segment 17: Sargents Mesa to CO HWY. 114

Distance 20.4 miles

Elevation Gain: 2440 feet

Segment 18: CO HWY. 114 to Saguache Park Road

Distance 13.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 1220 feet

Segment 19: Saguache Park Road to Eddiesville Trailhead

Distance: 13.7 miles

Elevation Gain: 1660 feet

Day 7: Distance= 60.5 Miles, Elevation Gain: 12,700 Feet

Segment 20: Eddiesville Trailhead to San Luis Pass

Distance: 12.7 miles

Elevation Gain: 2960 feet

Segment 21: San Luis Pass to Spring Creek Pass

Distance: 14.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 2940 feet

Segment 22: Spring Creek Pass to Carson Saddle

Distance: 17.1 miles

Elevation Gain: 3680 feet

Segment 23: Carson Saddle to Stony Pass

Distance: 15.9 miles

Elevation Gain: 3120 feet

Day 8: Distance= 51.6 Miles, Elevation Gain: 7,850 Feet

Segment 24: Stony Pass to Molas Pass

Distance: 19.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 3250 feet

Segment 25: Molas Pass to Bolam Pass Road

Distance: 20.9 miles

Elevation Gain: 3120 feet

Segment 26: Bolam Pass Road to Hotel Draw Road

Distance: 10.9 miles

Elevation Gain: 1480 feet

Day 9: Distance= 42.1 Miles, Elevation Gain: 5,040 Feet

Segment 27: Hotel Draw Road to Kennebec Trailhead

Distance: 20.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 3640 feet

Segment 28: Kennebec Trailhead to Junction Creek Trailhead

Distance: 21.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 1400 feet




Day 1. 57.6 Miles Elevation Gain 8,720

Day 2. 60.1 Miles Elevation Gain 9,660

Day 3. 52.0 Miles Elevation Gain 7,900

Day 4. 62.4 Miles Elevation Gain 9,760

Day 5. 50. 3 Miles Elevation Gain 9,840

Day 6. 47.9 Miles Elevation Gain 5,320

Day 7. 60.5 Miles Elevation Gain 12,700

Day 8. 51.6 Miles Elevation Gain 7,850

Day 9. 42.1 Miles Elevation Gain 5,040

Monday, June 15, 2009

Horton CT Training Day #2

Although conditions were rough and they didn’t make the summit of Longs Peak, it sounds as though Horton & JB are having fun!  I just got off the phone with Horty and he told me of some rough weather they encountered (listen on the audio blog below). They chose to turn around at 13,400ft, less than 1000ft from the summit in poor conditions that were gettin’ poorer…

Wrap your head around this…they covered 10.5 miles in 6hours! And these guys are good!

After thanking Peter Bakwin for his 2 days of assistance, Horton & JB are now driving to Winter Park where they’ll be tonight with Travis and Alyssa Wildeboer. BTW, Travis holds the unsupported speed record on the Superior Hiking Trail (205 miles, 4d15h20m) in May 2009. Both Travis & Alyssa have finished the Mountain Masochist Trail Run (MMTR) 50 Miler; Travis has completed it ten-times.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Horton’s first audio blog – CT training

At 9:30 tonight, Horton left his first audio blog – just a quick call-in to touch base and give us an update on their drive to Colorado.  You can listen below…

Horton to start Colorado Trail Speed Attempt on July 4

As many of you know, this summer Dr. David Horton is attempting to break the supported speed record for the Colorado Trail. The current record holder is Paul Pomeroy who, in July 2008, completed the CT in 8d12h14m. David hopes to better that mark by approximately 2 hours. While Pomeroy ran west-to-east and David will be running east-to-west, there is only one overall supported speed record (direction doesn’t matter). Currently, Pomeroy holds both supported and unsupported records on the CT.

Map of The Colorado Trail

According to Peter Bakwin’s website (a great resource for Fastest Known Times on long trails), a supported record attempt “means you have a dedicated support team that meets you along the way to supply whatever you need. This generally allows for the fastest, lightest trips, and for an element of camaraderie and safety, since someone knows about where you are at all times”. Arguably, David has the best support available.  Former CT record holder, Jonathan Basham will be crewing David for the entire adventure. Basham ran 8d13h28m (east to west) in July 2006 and knows the trail extremely well. Moreover, Basham has extensive crewing experience, supporting the current AT record (among others), Andrew Thompson, on his speed attempt in 2005.

Horton & Basham left early this morning and are driving to Colorado for 3 weeks of training at higher elevations.  To start his acclimation, Horton plans to run/hike up Longs Peak and Pikes Peak; both are 14er’s in the Colorado front range.


Last night I stopped by and wished David well on his newest adventure.

David will be calling me daily (if he has cell coverage) to give me an update. I’ll be posting those updates here on the eco-x blog as well as posting audio blogs from David.

Stay tuned – It will be another great adventure!