You may have seen this guy around… maybe at his 10 Hardrock finishes including a win in 2010, finishing all 5 laps at Barkley, finishing Nolans 14, setting canyoneering speed records in Zion … or maybe you haven’t seen him because Jared doesn’t use Facebook, doesn’t talk about himself, doesn’t seek any limelight … and doesn’t run on roads.
The thirteenth running of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc occurred last weekend, bringing roughly 2,500 eager ultrarunners to the quaint mountain town of Chamonix, France. Located at the base of Mont Blanc, Chamonix serves as the starting and finishing point for this grueling endurance race which spans terrain in France, Italy and Switzerland. A highly respected and immensely challenging course, UTMB has become one of the most desirable races in the ultra running scene, attracting mountain runners from 89 countries. Over the 104-mile course, runners navigate trails in the day and the night, in a multitude of weather conditions, summiting nearly a dozen peaks, and covering over 66,000 combined feet of elevation gain and loss.
This year was the race debut for Ultimate Direction athlete, Sage Canaday, and heading into the event, he was picked as a top favorite. Having spent the four previous weeks training around Mont Blanc, Canaday explains in his irunfar interview that he had scoped out roughly 40 miles of the course, learning the nuances of this steep and technical terrain.
Boulder’s own Scott Jurek has, after traveling for more than two months, finally returned home. We are thankful to see that he made it through with minimal injuries and that he is making a solid recovery. We are still in awe of his accomplishments and are honored to have been a part of his “masterpiece”. We thank all the supporters, whether you were following remotely, or were one of the many people who directly supported him on the trail. As Scott remarks, it was immeasurably helpful to both him and Jenny to have the support. Scott and Jenny, we look forward to seeing you sometime soon!
As FKTs gain more and more recognition in the sport of trail/mountain/ultra running, bigger, tougher, and faster routes are being established. The sky is the limit for the FKTs we have witnessed recently. The UD Team is proud to have some athletes that are creating and completing incredible routes.
Scott completed his “masterpiece,” a nearly 2,200 mile quest on the Appalachian trail, spanning from Georgia to Maine in 46 days, eight hours and eight minutes on Sunday, July 12, surpassing the previous record by just over 3 hours. Check out Scott’s Signature Series of UD products, complete with our best-selling Ultra Vest.
UD is excited to support these California trail races!
The Squaw Mountain run takes place on August 1st and is a point-to-point 3.6 mile run with 2000′ feet of elevation gain. Runners start at Squaw Valley and wind up at High Camp, where they are greeted with extensive views of the beautiful California landscape, prizes, raffles, refreshments, and drinks.
The Sierra Crest 30k and 50k runs take place on August 8th. Both are point-to-point runs and traverse through mountains, dirt, rock, and forests. The races have between 3500-4600 feet of gain, enough to make them challenging yet achievable. Finishers receive food and drinks after crossing the line!
Check out www.auburnskiclub.com for all the info!
Ultimate Direction had another great year at the Hardrock 100. We were glad to share a gathering with the athletes at our house in Silverton a couple of nights before the race. It was well attended by both first time Hardrockers and veteran Hardrockers. The chips, salsa, and drinks were complete with stories of past races, and the Hardrock family catching up about the past year of racing and events. We released our new limited edition Hardrocker Vest and were so excited to see people wearing it out on the course!
After the race started on Friday, UD drove over to Grouse Gulch aid station to begin a hike up to Handie’s Peak to do race coverage and photos. The five mile hike was accompanied by about 2,500 feet of gain. To keep things interesting, the weather took quite a turn at the base of Handies. The temperature took a fast drop, and snow and wind rolled in for about half an hour. Luckily, the Fastpack 20 held extra jackets and tights in case we ran in to this scenario.
Legendary ultrarunner Scott Jurek has completed his “masterpiece”. After 46 days, 8 hours, 7 minutes Scott emerged from the One Hundred Mile Wilderness, and took his final step on the Appalachian Trail, arriving at the northern terminus at Mt. Katahdin in Maine. Ultimate Direction joins the rest of the followers of Scott’s remarkable journey in sending him a huge congratulations! Scott’s efforts and resilience were matched by his wife and crew Jenny who worked tirelessly to ensure his success.
Hardrock. The name speaks volumes about this race. Tough, rugged, and remote, this race is a defining moment in the career of any ultra runner. Held annually in early July in the mountain town of Silverton, CO, world class athletes from around the globe and their crew can easily double the small town population of roughly 600 residents. The town starts shaping into an ultra runner Mecca sometime in mid June as competitors arrive to scout the course and get acclimated for 14er Handies Peak, as well as the massive, exposed high country that averages 11,000′ for the entirety of the course.
Hardrock began in 1992 and had 18 finishers. David Horton and Nancy Hamilton were the first finishers of the race with times of 32:34 and 45:47, respectively. Twenty two years later, Hardrock boasts iconic performances, as well as stories of perseverance, grit, and resilience. Kilian Jornet and Diana Finkel now hold the course records of 22:41:43 and 27:18:24.
UD athlete Scott Jurek continues his mission of breaking the FKT on the Appalachian Trail. Averaging over 50 miles per day, Scott is advancing ahead of record pace to the northern terminus of the AT at Mt. Katahdin in Maine.
Last week, Scott passed through Connecticut and Massachusetts. He passed over the highest point in Massachusetts on June 28th, Mt. Greylock, at 3491’. He is now about to reach Vermont. The Vermont sections of the AT are known to be very muddy this time of year.
Scott gives an abundance of credit to his wife, Jenny, as well as his crew who are taking care of him, in reality, for 24 hours a day. Between food, logistics, aid, media, and administrative work, Jenny and the crew are doing an equivalent volume of work compared to Scott. There are running clothes to be washed and Body Bottles to be filled. They are awake before he is, and asleep after him. They work in rain and shine, night and day, ensuring that the journey moves as flawlessly as possible.
The weather during his approach to Vermont has been typical; lots of rain and storms. Scott had to navigate downed trees due to a severe thunderstorm earlier this week. These obstacles were accompanied by the occasional porcupine sighting.
Nonetheless, Scott’s persistence is carrying him forward to Katahdin, and we can’t wait to see the result of his relentless hard work. Be sure to keep up with the latest updates and news on Scott’s Facebook page.
-The UD Team
Ultimate Direction has been catching up with our athletes over the past week, and after chasing after them for some incredible updates we are a bit out of breath. From the elevation, to the sheer endurance, to the speed, our athletes have been posting some big accomplishments that we are excited to share.
-Scott Jurek has been on the 2,168 mile Appalachian Trail for the past 4+ weeks. His goal of 42 days, or 51.6 miles per day, will give him title of the FKT on the trail if he can complete it as planned. Jurek put the state of Connecticut behind him on June 25th. His relentless forward progress has him well within reach of the FKT, which is held by Jennifer Pharr in a time of 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes.
To follow along, check out his Facebook page for live tracking courtesy of Delorme GPS.
-Timothy Olson is competing in the Lavaredo Ultra Trail, a 119k race in Italy this coming weekend. Additionally, he will be hosting a Run Mindful Retreat in in August. This event is sure to be full of panoramic views on the trails, and knowledge on how to live your life to its fullest while immersed in nature. Check out his page http://www.timothyallenolson.com for more information.
–Michele Yates, Pam Smith, Gina Lucrezi, and Larisa Dannis will be taking on Western States 100 this weekend. Ethan Veneklasen will also be making a trip to WS to crew for Mike Wardian.
–Sage Canaday had a great performance at the iconic Comrades marathon earlier this month in Durban, South Africa. He placed 15th overall in a huge field of talent.
-Justin Simoni recently completed the Tour 14er, an unsupported bike ride to all the 14ers… accompanied by a run up each of them. The effort took him 34 days and 12 hours. This FKT story is seriously awesome- feel free to check out the story the UD blog, as well as http://longranger.justinsimoni.com/tour14er for Justin’s personal recollection. He also includes some great photos and data.
–Travis Macy recently released his book The Ultra Mindset, a book about living life, business, and success through the experiences of an endurance athlete. We highly recommend taking a look at it, as it is an insightful collection of lessons. Find more info at http://travismacy.wix.com/travismacy.
–Sarah Lavender Smith completed the San Francisco 24 Hour race, knocking out 115 miles for the win.
–Chantal Warriner took home a belt buckle from Bighorn 100 this past weekend after pushing across epic terrain and huge climbs.
-Jeremy Wolf has been training for the Eiger Trail 100k. The race has 22k ft. of vertical, so he has been training by putting in some intense climbs on the Bitterroot mountains of Missoula.
–Brandon Yonke raced Yankee Springs in Michigan and took 1st place in the 52 mile as well as 10k. He has since moved out to Boulder for the summer for a marketing internship at UD HQ.
–Josh Arthur placed 3rd at the US Skyrunner Quest for the Crest 50k a few weeks ago. He will be competing in the Power of Four 50k, another Skyrunner race in July. He’s also been chasing upness on Mt. Elbert and the Flatirons.
UD is gearing up for Hardrock 100- we will be heading out to Silverton next week. If you are in the area, be sure to stop by and say hi, and to cheer on all the athletes!
Do you have an adventure to share with UD? Leave a comment below!
Best of success on your endeavors!
– The UD Team