Runner's getting ready...Deb on the left, Erik Skaggs on the right.
More nervous milling about...
Early miles after the deep and fast stream crossings. Everyone here had frozen feet.
More early climbing up to the Alpine aid station.
Stream of runners in front of me.
The blow up doll who greeted us as we left the Alpine aid station. Yes, ultrarunners have a sense of humor.
Up on ridge after Alpine AS and before Williams AS. This is the first 13,000+ foot summit.
Runner's up ahead on the way up to the summit.
Looking back at runners climbing up.
Line of runners up ahead on the ridge trail.
Some of the beauty we witnessed all day long.
More of the ridge we ran along.
Another look back at runners coming up another climb.
Runner speeding down the trail ahead of me.
Still going! What a great run this was...and this is only the first summit ridge!
Another snowfield crossing.
Rock climbing....Bud Phillips (age 60) leading us up.
Runners coming up the rocks behind me.
Starting down to the Williams aid station...notice the runners on the upper right and trail just left of center..
Bud again coming up behind. We ran together just about all day long.
More trail down to Wiliams AS...on center of the photo and then to the lower right. This section was fast....if you could breathe up here!
Yet more runners flying down. One of those specks is Blake Wood ('99 Hardrock 100 winner) who had come out to take photos and another is Scott Jurek out for a Hardrock training run..
There's Bud again coming up behind. Notice the trail in behind him.
Back into the trees before the plunge down into Williams.
Ok, this is after Williams AS (it was so hectic there I forgot to take a photo).
This road was one of the most difficult sections of the race...relentless, steep climbing for 4 miles to the Carson aid station.
Ghost town spotted along the way....
Susan Gebhart coming up the road behind me, she was the first woman finisher over 50.
More of the climb in the hot sun.
Road cut through the snowfield.
Looking back at the Carson aid station...it's the white speck left of center.
After leaving the Carson AS, we climbed up and up on the Colorado Trail.
Trail heading up...look closely and you will see runners up on the ridge.
Susan and another runner coming up behind me.
Susan again...she was strong up here and I could not keep up with her in this thin air. I was beginning to struggle with the altitude.
San Juan mountain beauty with the Colorado Trail cutting through.
Looking down at some runners coming up. I am now on the ridge.
Gorgeous country. My favorite place in the world.
Susan leading the charge and pulling away.
That pile of rocks is the high point, about 13,400 feet above sea level.
Course marker showing us the way.
Another great shot of the San Juans.
High ridge running.
Looking back at the high point.
Course marker in the forground with runners ahead.
More of the ridge we were running. We were up around 13,000 feet for about 10 miles. Very difficult to keep your self moving quickly.
I caught back up to Susan and another runner after a good downhill trail.
Looking back at a husband & wife who were running together.
Snowfield with Susan pulling away again on the flat trail.
A couple of runners coming up behind me on a snowfield.
Looking ahead again....many snowfields up there that I postholed up to my knees in spots.
Someone else postholed here.
This guy coming up behind me has run all of the runs but one.
Lots of snow and the stormclouds were forming.
Looking ahead at the trail gradually heading back down.
First view of Lake San Cristobal in Lake City.
Course marker, trail and the lake all in one shot.
This was a huge suprise to me. This is an almost sheer vertical slope of snow with a rope for you to slow down your descent. The rope must have been 100 feet long and ended halfway down the slope. Easily a 60 degree slope. Black specs are two runners about halfway down.
Some runners coming down behind me. This was the husband/wife team...he was thrilled, she was panicking.
The rope ends for him, so he glissades down the rest of the way. She is still up top trying to get down. Other runners up top sitting down waiting for their chance to glissade.
As I run from the slope, I take one last look back but get going off of the ridge as lightening is beginning to strike! Notice the storm clouds....
A huge snowfield to traverse and the clouds are looking mean. Lightening is striking in the distance.
It is beginning to hail on us, thunder roaring overhead..
Looking down into the valley where the sun is shining.
Heavy rain heading my way....time to put my jacket on!
Sun on the distant peaks as it rains on me.
This is the Slumgullion aid station, mile 40...10 to go!
Danielle Worthen, owner of Hall Realty, sponsor of the run. She was goofing off for the camera, so I had to take her picture too!
MUD!!! Slumgullion mud!!! It was sticking to the bottoms of our shoes! My shoes weigh 10 pounds each!!
The start of the climb up to Vicker's aid station. This is another tough climb at mile 41. It is maybe 3 miles up and took over an hour.
It was pretty, though.
Nice green forest floor below a grove of Aspen trees. It was wet and cool.
Meadow Soprano up ahead of me...at least that's who she reminded me of.
To the right of the trail and the storm is moving away.
Finally I reach the top (or what I thought was the top). The next few pictures are a panoramic of the view we saw up there...I took them left to right.
Picture #3 with a bonking runner coming up behind us.
Runner up ahead of me. This was a nice, easy approach to the Vicker's AS.
Vicker's AS crew...this family is nice enough to let the race go through their private land.
One of the parting shots of the trail and mountains.
Another....this was such a nice, gentle trail before the steep plummet into Lake City and the finish.
Aspens grove welcoming us home.
First viewing of Lake City. The finish is down there somewhere. Now for the plummet!
Ahhhh...the finish line!!! I got a great big hug from Dave Whitelock, a friend of ours. I have been looking forward to that hug all day long! Thanks Dave for welcoming me back to town! I finished in 13:36, 3rd in my division....
Don Platt, Hardrocker, coming in just under 15 hours.
My wife, Deb coming is so fast the pictures blurred. Deb's time was 15:24, 3rd in her age group. This was a great prep for the Hardrock 100 coming up in 4 weeks.
Deb having her number removed for recording. The man in the striped shirt is Dave...aka Dr. Hug!
Start of the awards the next morning.
Petra and Piki McDowell. Petra won the women's race and is from Los Alamos, NM. Hailey (Piki) is her cute daughter. Notice the award...it's a section of tree with her name carved into it.
Petra's husband, Nate. Nate was first overall last year and took third this year to the incredible Skaggs brothers who ran for a tie. Jerry Gray, resident of Lake City, SJS50 race director and 2nd in the over 60 age group.