The Hardrock, Nervana at Altitude
It's hard to sit down and write about The Hardrock. There is so much to say about it. If I wrote all day, I could never do the experience justice. I guess this year more than any other, it was about the people, my tribe. This was my 4th run at The Hardrock.
Memories come in all forms and these are a few.....Kyle the wunderkid breaking 24 hours. Playing horshes in the town park every night with James, Steve, Kyle and Peter. My good friend James waiting at the finish for me and nursing me home. I love you man. Great food at Kyles house. Tom, proprieter of The Avon being such a great host those last few days. Nate, Petra and their beautiful daughter, Piki walking down the road to the trailhead to escort me to the last aid station where Kyle, James, Peter, Hiroki were all there to support me. Nate had paced Kyle the last 42 miles but took the time to drive out and support me and Kyle had just run the race of the century and came out too. It almost made me cry when I saw them. Doing about 30 miles of the race with Marcus Mueller, who, last year was the reason I kept going. I have gained a great new friend. The mountain goat at Grant Swamp pass posing for me and Craig Wilson. Running with Craig for the first 20, Craig, you will get it next year my man. John Dewalt, guaranteed tough. John is 72 and finished his 13th Hardrock. Sitting by Kirk Apt at the pre-race meeting, a man who I admire for his talent but more for the way he lives his life so humbly. Kirk has 14 finishes, more than any other man or woman. The hike to the Hundred dollar ming boarding house with Steve and James. Talking to Mike Burke after a hike about life and relationships, real stuff. The Kyle lottery. Olga and Mike. Soaking legs in the creeks. Peter picking me up at Cunningham for the last 9 and breaking out a beer on top of the last climb. What a nut. The incredible halucinations, the wolf, the frogs, the lights. Dale and Lois. Crewing Krissy and James on Sunday. Lots ans lots of snow and lots and lots of wildflowers. Kissing the Hardrock.
The Hardrock 100 is the most real thing with the most real people. It is a gathering of like souls who have come to test their metal against the powerful mountains of the southern rockies known as the San Juans. 33,000 feet of climb and 33,000 feet of descent run mostly in the backcountry at an average elevation of over 11,000 feet. You climb 7 passes over 13,000 and one over 14,000. You climb only to drop and do it all again, over, and over, and over, and over. It is wild and it is tough. She is beautiful.
I made it around in 41 hours and 7 minutes. It was by far my slowest time, but considering my phisical conditioning, it was by far the most satisfying. I'm so happy I made the decision to line up. It's like Ive always said, never pass up an opportunity to see exactly what you are made of.
Peace out there......Billy