Tuesday, July 21, 2009

2009 Grindstone training runs weekend

image On August 8 & 9 we will have two training runs on the Grindstone course. Tentative plans are that we’ll do the same as last year, that is, run the course in the return direction split over the two days.

Here’s the 411:

1. August 7: 7:00pm @ Country Cooking Restaurant (90 Lee Jackson Hwy #1209, Staunton, VA‎). The Restaurant is inside the Mall. After eating, we’ll drive to Camp Shenandoah for the night (you will need your own tent, etc).

2. August 8: 6:30am @ Briery Branch Gap (N38 28.9224' W079 13.2660') to Dowells Draft (N38 16.9335' W079 17.4084') = a total of 29.1 miles

Meeting places: Dowells Draft at 5:50am or Camp Shenandoah at 5:20am

We will carpool from Camp Shenandoah to Dowells Draft and up to Briery Branch Gap. A couple of large vehicles would help in transporting runners to the day’s start. PLEASE DO NOT PLAN ON LEAVING A VEHICLE AT BRIERY BRANCH. When we are done, we’ll get cleaned up at the camp (showers are at the camp) and drive into Staunton for Dinner.

3. August 9: 6:30am @ Dowells Draft to Camp Shenandoah (N38 08.0230' W079 13.8158') = a total of 22.9 miles

Meeting place: Camp Shenandoah at 6:00am

We will carpool from Camp Shenandoah to Dowells Draft and run from there back to Camp Shenandoah. As well, a couple of large vehicles would help transport runners to the day’s start. We will not be shuttling folks back to Dowells Draft at the end of the day.

*There will be limited (if any) course markings on the course on either day. There are many turns, especially on the first training run. You need to bring a course map or run with someone who knows the course.

**Notification: If you plan on doing one or both of these training runs, please email me at czealand@eco-xsports.com

You can still enter at www.eco-xsports.com


Clark Zealand, Ph.D.

Race Director

Monday, July 13, 2009

Horton’s final report for the Colorado Trail Speed Attempt

David sent me the following in an email earlier today:

- I was blessed to set the speed record on the Appalachian Trail (AT) in 1991 and the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in 2005. Last year, I attempted to set the speed record on the Continental Divide Trail (CDT). These are the big three trails that constitute the Triple Crown. I stopped at the end of day one on the CDT. I had serious issues with the heat and feared for my life in the 108 degree temperatures. I do not like running in the heat or dessert. I felt that I needed to do something to redeem myself because of last year. The record on the Colorado Trail is 8 days and 12 hours for the 485 miles. I stopped at the end of day 6, being on schedule and covering 330 miles. I feel that I failed on the CDT last year but I do not feel that I failed on the CT. I did the best that I could but was it just was not good enough.

I had a GREAT crew. Jonathan Basham (JB) held the CT speed record until it was broken last summer by just over 1 hour. He had also crewed Andrew Thompson on his Appalachian Trail speed record in 2005. Travis and Alyssa Wildeboer of Winter Park Colorado are experienced ultrarunners who were also GREAT crew members.    Larry Haak, formerly of Lynchburg VA, now of Boulder Colorado was also on hand the whole week to provide great help and encouragement.

I appreciate all that Clark Zealand did to keep everyone updated on my progress.   It means a lot to me for what he did and it means a lot to me that what I was doing was of interest to so many of you. I hope it was an encouragement to you in some way.

Going after the CT record might have been my most difficult multi-day attempt so far. The CT record is very TOUGH.  The trail itself was tougher than I thought it would be. I averaged 40 miles per day on the PCT and AT and 45 miles per day running across America.  Averaging over 54 miles per day on the CT was VERY tough. I started very day before daylight, usually around 4:00 AM and finished every day after dark. My average time on the trail was around 17 hours per day. This left very little time for anything. I was usually in bed 30 to 45 minutes after finishing each day. Each day, the last section ATE my lunch. It took everything that I had to finish each day. I never knew at night if I would be able to go again the next day.

I had a number of physical problems as you would expect. Starting from day one, I had a hard time eating enough for the entire 6 days. I know that I did not consume enough food any one day. I have ulcerative colitis. As a result I have to dump a lot and I mean a LOT. For the first few days, I was going to bathroom 20 to 30 times per day. That leads to dehydration and not absorbing enough nutrients either. On the second day, I started having blood in the urine. I had this to happen to me on the AT as well. It continued happening through day 5. This concerned me as well. I was also having some pain in the groin area. I was concerned with all of these problems but thought that maybe they were not too serious.

Day 6 should have been an easy day but it was not. We got lost before daylight and ran 4 miles off course. Later in the day it was very hot and the dry heat started sucking the life out of me. In the middle of the days my hands started swelling, sausage fingers you say.  I have had them before but NEVER as big as they got this time.  In the last section of the day, I became very concerned about them and how big can they get before damage occurs. On the back of my hands, the skin stuck grossly very high. My forearms started swelling all the way up to my elbows. It was getting tighter and tighter.    How big can they get?? What damage can occur?? I was also thinking about the next day as it was going to be the toughest day yet, over 60 miles with one road crossing. I knew the possibility that if I got in trouble in this section that I would put myself and my crew in a serious problem. I knew then that I must stop. Could I have run the next day? Yes. Could I have caused myself or others some serious problems? Yes.

Stopping something like this is very difficult. I often think that we quit or stop just because it is hard and we are not tough enough.    That thought was definitely going through my mind. But, I thought about my family and kids and grandkids and my job teaching at Liberty and directing races and helping other runners become better, and I knew that I needed to live for these things to occur. I made the right decision.

I just thank the Lord for what he allows me to do and I thank Him for using me in some small way. Thank you all who prayed for me during this attempt. Will there be others??  I don’t know. I am in Arkansas spending time with my father (86) and mother (81). My wife and daughter and grandkids will be here later this week. This is a special time with them.

My tongue with the canker sores on them are getting better, my feet are still very puffy, I do not have any blood in my urine now, life is good. I am still not sleeping well yet, but that will come. I already miss the cool weather of the Rockies. For a month the lowest elevation that I was at was 5500 feet.

I hope that God blesses all of you as he has blessed me. Seek your dreams and goals.

in Christ,

David Horton

Friday, July 10, 2009

Horton is off the trail at end of Day 6 – CT speed attempt is over

I just got off the phone with David and JB. I haven’t talked to either in almost 2 days because cell coverage for them was nonexistent.

David decided to stop his CT speed attempt after completing Day 6 and 330miles of the Colorado Trail. David reported that for the last four days he has been urinated blood. Severe sores on his tongue was preventing him from eating much food and, in particular, swelling that had been increasing each day, escalated yesterday. David told me that his face, hands and arms were swollen to the point that he almost couldn’t even keep a watch on his wrist. On day 6 (47.9 miles with 5320ft gain) it took David over 17 hrs to finish and through the final 13.7 miles David said he feared for his life – again – too reminiscent of his experience last year on the CDT.

Although David extended his limits as much as he could, he felt continuing into Day 7, a 60.5mile day with 12,700ft gain and only one road crossing, was just too dangerous for himself and his crew to risk.

As you can hear in his voice, David feels he has, once again, let people down. We all know this is not true but please leave David a positive comment and let him know he made the right decision!

Thanks for following another great adventure. I will post some more pictures as I receive them from different sources.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Day 4 Horton CT Update – Right on Schedule

There was a possibility last night that Horty could end his 62.4 mile (with 11,000ft gain) day early. The last 6 miles included a long dirt road descent into Chalk Creek Canyon and, depending on how he was after a long day, David might have decided to leave the 6miles to the next morning – NOT!!!

David pushed on through and finished the full 62.4 miles at 11:47 last night. During a quick bedtime meal, JB extracted fluid (via syringe) from a small but deep blister and injected zinc oxide. This is David’s only ‘foot issue’ to date, so he’s doing awesome in that dept! Shortly thereafter, Horty was in bed while his crew stayed up until 2am prepping for the morning.

Everyone was up at 3:30am this morning and Horty was back on the CT around 4:19am. JB is pacing Horty for the first segment of the day which includes the gorgeous chalk cliffs (you should google it for an idea of what it looks like). I talked to both on the phone this morning and they were describing the spectacular landscapes as the sun was coming over the horizon and 52F temps – I AM SO JEALOUS!!!

Today, Horty has 50.3 miles to cover with almost 10,000ft of gain. Horty is right on schedule and doing great!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Even more photos from Horton on CT!

IMGA0222 IMGA0223 IMGA0230 IMGA0238 DSC04307

More photos from Horton on Colorado Trail

Photos from Horton on Colorado Trail

Day 3 Horton CT Update – Tough section

David called me while hiking on the Colorado Trail this morning. He is well into day 4 and, during our conversation, was passing twin lakes, in the Hope Pass area of Colorado. You can hear his laboured breathing in the audio blog below.

Day 3 was a hard day for David. Several sections were not as he expected; from what he had read in the guide books, they were much tougher. David started Day 3 at 4:23am and finished at 9pm last night.

He was back on the CT again this morning at 3:58am, to be exact!

David reports that although he is trying to eat as much as he can (and is doing better with the amount of intake), he continues to experience severe stomach discomfort with both food & drink. To make matters worse, he is ‘crappin’ multiple times a day – this of course is not good for nutrient & fluid absorption. Nevertheless, he is making good time on the trail and does not have any other issues to report.

We all know that Horty is “tuffer than nails”!!!!

Please pray that he’ll be able to absorb his food & fluids today.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Day 2 Horton CT Speed Attempt – Moving Great!

JB says that Horty is moving great – he’s very impressed!

Last night David and Travis arrived at the Copper Mtn trailhead at 10pm. It was a long day but David covered the 60.1 miles in 18 hours.

They then drove 20miles down the road to Frisco and stayed the night in a small motel.

This morning David was back on the trail shortly after 4am and JB reported that David started into Segment 9 at 12-noon MST today. Covering the first 25.4 miles today by noon means that Horty is maintaining his pace over some very tough terrain at high elevations.

In addition, David is eating better and overall doing very well.

JB & crew have been talking several pictures as well as some video and they hope to get that me very soon. So stay tuned for some visual aids!


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Horton update from the trail

Horty just called me from approx. 10,000 feet on the Colorado Trail. He has 11miles to go for the day and left the following audio blog:

ROOM NEEDED FOR THE NIGHT: Horton just called me again - they have no where to stay tonight. They are in the Copper Mtn resort area of Colorado and need a room for tonight. If you can help, please contact me ASAP!!!

Day 1 Horton Colorado Trail Speed Attempt – Good so far!

I just got off the phone with JB and everything is going according to plan. BTW, not only is JB an elite trail runner, Inov-8 teammate of mine, & former Colorado Trail record holder but he is an incredible crew leader. JB has this stuff down to a fine science :). Horty couldn’t be in better hands…

Travis Wildeboer (Superior Trail record holder) covered the final 16.6 mile segment of Day 1 with David and finished at Long Gulch last night at 8:46pm. They all camped at Long Gulch last night although JB mentioned it was quite chilly (David was apparently wrapped up in sweaters, a down jacket, his sleeping bag and was still freezing!). David’s appetite was not very good last night and JB is a little concerned about it but he did eat a small bowl of pasta and got to sleep by 10:00pm.

This morning David was up at 3:30am and back on the trail by 4:00. Today is the first time Horty will be up on the Continental Divide, so there is a good possibility for him to encounter some (or lots of) snow. Currently, David is on his way through Georgia Pass.

Overall, JB reports that Horty is doing quite well both phys & psych.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Horton CT Twitter Updates

If you’re following me on Twitter & Facebook, you’ll notice that I’ll post periodic and brief updates on Horty’s progress. In contrast to a single daily blog, which I’ll post at the end of each day, I will tweet the brief updates as soon as JB sends one to me.  Of course, all of these updates; Twitter, Facebook, & Blog are all contingent upon JB’s cell coverage – so please be patient…and enjoy!

If you need to contact JB – email him at jsbasham77@gmail.com

Once again these are the places to get dialed in for the most frequent updates:

eco-x facebook page

Also, you may want to revisit my earlier blog with Horty’s CT schedule so you know how long each day is along with the segment distances and locations!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Horton’s last call before starting the CT

David called me this afternoon full of nervous energy – you could just sense it in his voice.  If you know Horty, you know he’s like a kid in a candy shop just about any day of the week. Well, he’s about to enter a candy superstore!!!  He is so excited; you’ll notice in his message as he mistakenly says the CDT vs. the CT.  Of course, we’re all praying that David’s experience is not the same as his time last year on the CDT but that he’ll have an amazing experience and set a new Colorado Trail record!

In the coming days, I’ll post as many updates as possible. Please be patient since the updates from JB & Horty will depend on their cell coverage and availability. Cheers, CZ

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pass along your best wishes to Horty!!!

Please post a comment to this blog to send Horty all of our best wishes as he begins his adventure on the Colorado Trail.