Photo courtesy of Andrew King - D4 Productions

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Colorado Trail Adventure

And so it begins.... again.
Now that the haze has lifted from Hardrock, I can concentrate on the Colorado Trail.  Many paralyzing thoughts enter my mind: will I be recovered from Hardrock....  are all the logistics in place...  and a bunch of "what if" scenarios...  I'm already nervous 3 weeks out, kinda like the first time I ran Hardrock.  I know what the Colorado Trail has in store for me and it has pain written all over it.  My sensible side says "then why do it again?"  Good question.  Why do we do anything that's adventurous?  My answer is to see what I'm capable of doing.  Lewis and Clark pushed their expedition to the limits, some paid with their lives while others succeeded in opening up the new frontier.

The book that inspired
My family supports me 100%
Brian Fisher at the start
It's as simple as that - pushing one's limits.  I want to see if I can complete the Colorado Trail faster than anyone has ever done it.  The trail has been done hundreds, maybe even a thousand times before, but I'd like to put something out there for others to test their limits against.  Last time I completed the Colorado Trail in 11 days, 12 hours, and 46 minutes in 2009.  I wasn't going for any speed records, just to finish on my 40th birthday.  That was an average of 43 myles per day.  This time I'm asking my body and mind to average just over 60 myles per day, both aggressive and daunting.

Rick Hessek on day 2
Ultra Fan Bill Dooper in Leadville
My Parents on day 5

Last time I had severe shin splints starting on day 7 and agonized through them for the better part of 5 days.  Wrapping my shins and icing everyday and even walking backwards downhill just to keep moving forward.  To make matters worse, I also slurped down some Giardia lamblia on day 9.  Thank goodness it takes 7 days to incubate otherwise I would have never finished.  Once I was home though, I could not eat or drink anything for a week because it came out just as fast.  I lost another 9 lbs after I got home to the already 10 I lost on the trail.  I was emaciated.

Now you see why it's easy for me to be nervous.  It's the hardest thing I've ever done in my life and I'm going to do it again.  I have many people supporting me, many of the same people as last time, and I cannot thank them enough. My trustworthy crew to meet me at critical trail junctions and know exactly what I need at a moments notice is the difference between success and failure.  The CT is a known factor to us but things happen out there and my crew knows what to do.  This time, however, I am going from Durango to Denver so it throws a little curve ball into the mix but not much.  We are ready.

Harsha on day 6
The Darnold's at Molas Pass
Paul Dewitt at the end of day 10
Here is my schedule:

Day Segment Mileage Time (hrs) TOD Pacer Matt Trappe
Friday, August 16 Day 1 Junction Creek - 28 0 5:00 AM Bike
Crew Kennebec TH - 27 21.5 5 10:00 AM Bike
Crew Hotel Draw Rd - 26 42.1 11 4:00 PM Brendan
Finish Molas Pass - 25 73.9 19 12:00 AM Brendan
Saturday, August 17 Day 2 Molas Pass - 24 5:00 AM Brandon S.
Crew Carson Saddle - 23 35.7 9 2:00 PM Rick H. Run
Finish Spring Creek pass - 22 52.8 14 7:00 PM Run
Total 126.7
Sunday, August 18 Day 3 Spring Creek Pass - 21 5:00 AM Brandon S.
Crew Eddieville TH - 20 27.5 7 Noon Rick H.
Finish Colorado Hwy 114 - 18 55 14 7:00 PM
Total 181.7
Monday, August 19 Day 4 Colorado Hwy 114 -  17 5:00 AM Rick H. Bike
Crew Marshall Pass - 16 35.6 9 2:00 PM Rick H. Bike
Finish US 50 - 15 49.8 13 6:00 PM Bike
Total 231.5
Tuesday, August 20 Day 5 US 50 - 14 5:00 AM Bryon Bike
Crew Chalk Creek - 13 20.9 5.5 10:30 AM Meghan
Crew N. Cottonwood crk -12  43.7 12 5:00 PM
Finish Clear Creek rd. - 12 62.2 16 9:00 PM
Total 293.7
Wednesday, August 21 Day 6 Clear Creek rd. - 11 5:00 AM Harsha
Crew Half Moon creek - 10 21.5 6 11:00 AM Harsha
Crew Timberline Lake - 9 34.5 9 2:00 PM Harsha
Finish Tennessee Pass - 9 48.1 13 6:00 PM Harsha
Total 341.8
Thursday, August 22 Day 7 Tennessee Pass - 8 5:00 AM Run
Crew Copper Mtn - 7 25.4 7 Noon Run
Crew Gold Hill - 6 38.2 11 4:00 PM Bike
Crew Middle Fork Swan River - 6 54 15 8:00 PM Nick P. Bike
Finish Kenosha Pass - 6 71.1 20 1:00 AM
Total 412.9
Friday, August 23 Day 8 Kenosha Pass - 5

5:00 AM
Crew Wellington Lake rd. - 4 31 9 2:00 PM Rick H.
Crew FS - 550 Buffalo Crk - 3 43.7 12 5:00 PM Rick H. Bike
Finish Waterton Canyon 72 21 2:00 AM Bike
Total 484.9 7d 21h

As you can see this is very aggressive and no way will it pan out exactly like I planned.  The current FKT (Fastest Known Time) is 8 days, 12 hours, 14 minutes, 5 seconds set by Paul Pomeroy.  It's a very tight record but hopefully I've built enough wiggle room in there to get under the FKT

My family on day 11
Jaxon at Blackhawk pass on day 11
My crew chief  Rick Robinson at the end
My ever loving wife Nicole Jaime at the end
Matt Trappe is doing a documentary on my journey.  We've been filming for the past couple of months and it's kept my mind focused on the task at hand.  This documentary really isn't about breaking the record but more about a normal family man with a full time job and a sense of adventure.  When you see the film the question will be answered of what drives me to seek out adventures and how it makes me a better husband, father, son, and co-worker.  In the end, I hope to inspire people to push their own limits and seek out new found adventures to lead a happy and healthy life.

The end September 13th, 2009

My wife will take control of my Twitter account (@Mexifast) and also update my Facebook page. Follow along and if you're in the area, I'd love to see you out there at some point.  
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