The Hardrock had a spell of hard luck this year and broke into multiple pieces during transport from one end of town to the other. The epoxy fix job was hardly noticable, though
Flying the flags at the start/finish line at the Kendall Mountain Lodge. Historically the start/finish area has been the Silverton High School gym but the gym is under construction this year.
Race director Dale Garland (in yellow jacket near center) gets ready to send off all 140 entrants at 6:00am sharp in the counter-clockwise direction
And they're off (and out of focus!)
At the first aid station, Cunningham Gulch (mile 8.5), Brian Crone and David Coblentz keep they're eyes on runners descending from the steep Dives-Little Giant Pass
That's the Dives-Little Giant Pass and the waterfalls leading down into Cunningham Gulch
Runners descending from the Dives-Little Giant Pass down into Cunningham Gulch
Bill Geist about to run through Cunningham Creek to enter the first aid station, Cunningham.
Splashing through Cunningham Creek
Tom Stockton fording Cunningham Creek
I don't know this runner but his splash was super dramatic
We then drove up to the super scenic Stony Pass to watch runners pass through that area. Blake Wood was running in fifth place at this time.
The footing is pretty awesome
Matt and Mom in the scenic area that is Stony Pass
Chris Gerber from Boulder, CO, descending from Green Mountain at roughly mile 11
James Varner of Winthrop, WA descends Green Mountain
Bill Geist ascending Green Mountain
This is my absolute favorite location on the Hardrock 100 course. It's hard to pick one spot that's the most scenic but the views of the Grenadiers and surrounding territory from Green Mountain are hard to beat
Tom pulling a group of six runners up Green Mountain
Wildflowers for wild Tom!
Doug Newton of Ft. Collins, CO coming up Green Mountain
At just at 13,000', this was a personal altitude record for both Mom and Matt. I was very, very pleased they both make the hike up Green Mountain so I could share my favorite course view with them.
Mom, Dylan and Matt on Green Mountain
More runners ascend up from Cunningham Gulch towards Green Mountain. Vestal Peak and Arrow Peak loom in the background.
Steve Pero of Jemez Springs, NM cranking up from Cunningham Gulch towards Green Mountain
I really could have sat there all morning taking photo after photo of this view
Kris Kern of Los Alamos coming down Green Mountain
I met this guy, Aaron Spurlock, briefly at the Pocatello 50 miler in May of this year. Aaron would go on to finish this Hardrock in 36:26 for 21st overall
Billy G. coming into the Sherman aid station at mile 28
Bill changes socks at Sherman
Leaving the Sherman aid station
The Sherman Townsite is on the Lake City side of Cinnamon Pass. From Sherman the runners head up the dirt road and then up and over the Hardrock course highpoint, Handies Peak at 14,053'
At the Grouse Gulch aid station at mile 41.5, Bill had quite the crew awaiting his entrance to the aid station. The Pajarito Mountain ski patrol team typically plays a large role in volunteering at this aid station. Additionally, Erik and Heidi stopped in to say hello while in the area to hike some high 13ers
From Grouse Gulch I began pacing Bill. I would pace him from Grouse (mile 41.5) to the finish. This is dirt road that ascends out of Grouse Gulch and head up to near Engineer Pass
Dramatic light en route to Engineer Pass
A dark and ominous storm raged to our west over Telluride. Thankfully it was moving north and we'd only receive some drizzle from it
Looking back down Grouse Gulch as we ascend the dirt road switchbacks up towards Engineer Pass
Once down from the Engineer aid station we had to make two crossings of Bear Creek (and numerous side streams). Bear Creek was ripping so the crossings were a bit unneverving
Bill crossing a side stream as we descend the Bear Creek drainage down to the town of Ouray
After passing through the Ouray aid station we ascended a trail through a tunnel that led to a bridge over Box Canyon and the Camp Bird Mine road
Ascending the Camp Bird Mine Road is a mind-numbing slog of four miles up to this aid station, the Governor Basin aid station at mile 64. We sat by the fire for a few minutes drinking warm soup and getting psyched up for the climb over Virginius Pass (13,100') and the 4,350' descent into Telluride, CO
The Virginius aid station is a pack-in aid station in a very exposed notch on the ridge. These are hearty souls that man this aid station throughought the wee hours of the night
Unfortunately, after Bill made awesome progress throughout the whole race to Virginius Pass at mile 67, on the descent from Virginius to Telluride his left knee became extremely painful on the descent. We made a slow but steady descent into Telluride arriving in town around 7:00am
Due to his uncooperative left knee, Bill had to call it quits and drop out of the race in Telluride after 72 miles of extremely difficult mountainous terrain running
The bottom of my feet showed just how soaking wet the course was this year. I didn't change shoes or socks for over 12 hours of running through wet grass, fording streams and post-holing in snow fields