Thursday, April 30, 2009

Preserve's Gateway is ready to show off its Scottsdale style

MORE trails! Woohooo!!! (Bell and Thompson Peak in Scottsdale - just NE of 101)

From the AZ Republic:
The Gateway to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve is more than just a typical trailhead.

Sure, it has bathrooms, parking spaces and some trail maps.

But in true Scottsdale style, the Gateway has been designed as a destination: It offers breathtaking vistas of pristine desert, viewsheds of every peak in the McDowell Mountains and an outdoor amphitheater for educational events.

After almost a year of construction and at a cost of $95 million, the Gateway is ready for the public....more -->

Sunday, April 26, 2009

128th & Via Linda climb to Sunrise Peak (1st Peak)

Managed to get my butt out for a good climb this morning. Not a long one, but a good one. Climb is nearly 1,000 feet over just 2.4 miles. I'll be tired tonight.:

Monday, April 13, 2009

Some Cool "Grafitti" - Steve Prefontaine

As a former Univ of Oregon Duck, I came across this "grafitti" sketch on Facebook of the legendary Steve Prefontaine (drawn by Jordan Jeffords). Cool, huh?:

Saturday, April 11, 2009

So, if I blog about trail running, I gotta actually run, right?

Easter Sunday, it's on, rain or shine (& yes, it's raining as I type!).

Starting at the 128th St & Cactus Trailhead (Ringtail is the official name, & Lost Dog Wash is at 124th), just a "quick" run up to Sunrise Peak and back. ~6.0 miles total from my house (5.6 from the trailhead) and ~1,300' of climbing. At the top you can see Camelback Mountain, Four Peaks, Fountain Hills (see pic), and Southeast about as far as the eye can see.

From the trailhead on 128th go toward the mtns for about 1/2 mi - at the 1st junction it's clear which way you go- UP, and to the right. At the first saddle it levels off briefly, then winds up & around the top of the canyon (above the Scottsdale Mountain Subdivision - that highest home you see in the canyon sold last year for $4.0 million! No, I was not the listing agent on that one...).

The trail then leads you to a higher ridge and flattens a bit until the final 1/4 mile powerhike to the very top. Enjoy the views, take in some fluids, and head back the way you came. (You can also go DOWN the other side and it takes you to the Sunrise Peak Trailhead at 145th Way (Via Linda turns in to 145th just as you reach the parking area on the left).

Not a horrendous run by any means, but definitely want to pace yourself on the trip up. (I've done this one about 25-30 times so I know what to expect even when I go harder on the way up). The downhill is really fun to run - just make sure you watch your footing or you could end up on your face. I have friends you can ask about that. Doh!

Thursday, April 9, 2009 - One of my favorite Rim to Rim to Rim Write-ups:

"Also commonly know to as the R2R2R. This run is not frequently done, but usually you can find a few people attempting it any April or October weekend. You can go earlier in the year (than April), but you may have problems with limited daylight hours and possible snow on the North Rim. Go much later in the year and you may have to deal with extreme temps in the canyon......." Enjoy:
Just a hint of what faces you before you even cover one step of the 48 miles in the Grand Canyon. Not that bad, eh?

Why Trail Running?

So, along with the ~40 gazillion other people on the planet who blog, I figured what the heck, I'll join in.

What better subject for me to yap about than a new(er) passion of mine (over the past 4 or 5 years) than the good ol trail running scene. I'm not as fast as I used to be, so I decided to try trail running after a few buddies told me about a trip they did - running across the Grand Canyon and back. You don't have to have cheetah speed, just some good endurance and a sincere passion for a little pain and suffering (in a good way).

Since then I've "run" three 48-milers across the Grand Canyon and back - "Rim to Rim to Rim" or "R3", and did a 1-way, 24-miler from the South Rim to the North in the middle of Summer (don't do it mid-day - too hot!).

A little about me: I grew up in Oregon, ran track and cross-country for the University of Oregon Ducks. I was considered a "scrub" (before the show "Scrubs") - good enough to make the team, though not good enough to make the news - but I was totally stoked to be a part of a legendary running school and attempt to follow in a few famous footsteps. After college ran a few marathons - only one went well: a 2:49 in Japan (even after cramping slowed me the last 10k...). Since then I've attempted to get and stay in some sort of running shape - sometimes successful, sometimes not. Right now? It's time to get back in decent shape again!

More to come....