Scott Returns Home

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!

 

Photo: Luis Escobar

Photo: Luis Escobar Scott crosses a river by headlamp, wearing a prototype UD vest. His 2,200 miles worth of input will help make this vest one of our best ones yet in 2016.

Photo: Luis Escobar

Scott powers through the forest, reaching for a UD Body Bottle Plus to rehydrate. Photo: Luis Escobar

Photo Luis Escobar

Photo: Luis Escobar

UD Athletes Establishing New FKTs

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 Jurek

Scott stands within view of Mt. Katahdin, the last climb of the Appalachian Trail.

Scott stands within view of Mt. Katahdin, the last climb of the Appalachian Trail.

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.

Justin Simoni

Justin Simoni lets out a victory cry after conquering all of Colorado's 14ers on the Tour 14er. He is pictured wearing the Fastpack 30.

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Auburn Ski Club Trail Races

UD_Eblast

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!

Hardrock 100: A Photo Recap

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!

The UD HQ for the week.

The UD HQ for the week.

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.

Handies Peak from across the valley, @13,000

Handie’s Peak from across the valley, @13,000

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Scott Jurek Breaks Appalachian Trail FKT

Jurekshopnow

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.

 

Scott tops out Mt. Katahdin, just miles from the end of his journey.

Scott tops out Mt. Katahdin, just miles from the end of his journey. Photo: Luis Escobar

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Hardrock 100: Who to Watch

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.

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Scott Jurek AT: Another Day, Another State

Jurekshopnow

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.

Scott reaches the state of Connecticut.

Scott reaches the state of Connecticut.

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 and Jenny run across a bridge in Massachusetts.

Scott and Jenny run across a bridge in Massachusetts.

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.

A sunset from Bear Mountain Road in Massachusetts.

A sunset from Bear Mountain Road in Massachusetts.

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.

Scott battles through the storms on his way to Vermont.

Scott battles through the storms on his way to Vermont.

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.

Best,

-The UD Team

Adventures Near and Far: A UD Team Update

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.

Scott hits the halfway point on the AT, with exactly 1,090.5 miles separating him from the start at Mt. Springer, Georgia, to the finish at Mt. Katahdin in Maine. Photo: Luis Escobar

Scott hits the halfway point on the AT, with exactly 1,090.5 miles separating him from the start at Mt. Springer, Georgia, to the finish at Mt. Katahdin in Maine.
Photo: Luis Escobar

Scott pushes forward on the Appalachian Trail.  Photo: Luis Escobar

Scott pushes forward on the Appalachian Trail.
Photo: Luis Escobar

-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.

Sage Canaday at Comrades

Sage Canaday leads the way at the 2015 Comrades Marathon.

-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.

Justin Simoni lets out a victory cry after conquering all of Colorado's 14ers on the Tour 14er. He is pictured wearing the Fastpack 30.

Justin Simoni lets out a victory cry after conquering all of Colorado’s 14ers on the Tour 14er. He is pictured wearing the Fastpack 30.

-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.

Sarah Lavender Smith at the Summer Solstice 24 hr.

Sarah Lavender Smith crosses the finish after 115 miles at the Summer Solstice 24 hour race

-Chantal Warriner took home a belt buckle from Bighorn 100 this past weekend after pushing across epic terrain and huge climbs.

Chantal Warriner at Bighorn 100

Chantal Warriner at the Bighorn 100, rocking the UD Jenny Vesta.

-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.

Jeremy Wolf on the Bitteroot Mountains

Jeremy Wolf looks out over the Bitteroot Mountains in 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.

Brandon Yonke at Yankee Springs.

Brandon Yonke takes on Yankee Springs 52 Mile in Michigan. He is pictured in the SJ Vest and UD hat.

-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.

Josh Arthur at the 2nd flatiron

Josh Arthur at the top of the second flatiron in Boulder, CO.

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

The Tour 14er: An Epic Bikepacking Adventure

Justin Simoni, endurance athlete extraordinaire, conquering one of the many mountain passes on his Tour 14er trip.

Justin Simoni, endurance athlete extraordinaire, conquering one of the many mountain passes on his Tour 14er.

UD Ambassador Justin Simoni, knows how to dream big.  Like, really big.  At a recent talk at Bent Gate Mountaineering in Golden, CO, Simoni (also known as The Long Ranger) shared with a wide-eyed crowd his story of conquering the Tour 14er last summer.  The personally inspired mission consisted of biking to and summiting all of the Colorado 14ers (53 of them officially, and a few others tacked on for “fun”) with no crew, no use of a motorized vehicle, and no outside aid.

Simoni would be attempting an FKT on the route too, aiming to dethrone Roy Benton from his 1995 record of 37 days, 12 hours.  Even to hit the Benton’s time, Simoni, a skilled mountain biker turned mountain runner, would need to summit 1.5 peaks each day.  Not so tough for an endurance athlete, right?  Well, on a route where trail heads could be separated by 175 miles of rocky, steep, and unpaved roads, and the athlete is to travel from one to the other in a self-propelled fashion (i.e. on a bike), the task grows more daunting.  Also, due to the unsupported nature of this challenge, Simoni would need to carry all of his gear with him for the duration of the trip.  From sleeping essentials to summit gear, a hydration pack to a headlamp, Simoni would divvy up the load between a custom-fit bikepacking bag and the Ultimate Direction PB Adventure Vest he’d wear on his back.

Simoni recounting his Tour experience to a full house at Bent Gate Mountaineering.

Simoni recounting his Tour to a full house at Bent Gate Mountaineering.

When asked about how his inspiration for this trip, Simoni stated “The idea came from a love of riding my bike and seeing where this beautiful machine can take me… For this particular trip I thought, “Let’s bike to all the Colorado 14ers!” I could do them in separate, smaller trips, but it would take literally years to do so. So, going light and fast and linking up everything made sense. I discovered there was already a record, so there was my baseline. Could I come close to that time? Who knew? Let’s find out! And away I went.”

The adventure would be a rigorous one.  Looking at the stats, this trip consisted of:

Total Hike Mileage: 387.9 miles (624.265 km)

Total Hike Elevation: 154,727 feet (47,160.8 km)

Total Bike Mileage: 1,609.1 miles (2,589.6 km)

Total Bike Elevation: 151,335 feet (46,126.9 meters)

A virtual flyover of the course helps illustrate its magnitude.

The Long Ranger's Route

The Long Ranger’s Route

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Run Like A Mother…

If you haven’t checked out the Another Mother Runner books they are worth a read. Dimity and Sarah are hilarious and their banter about running, being mothers and life in general will put a smile on your face. They are funny, down to earth, busy moms that fit in workouts where and when they can.

Dimity - Another Mother Runner

Both ladies find time to write and tour the country going to running stores and races to encourage other mothers to get out for a run – making them Ultra Moms in our eyes! Ultimate Direction is proud to support the group and loves hearing their witty updates via their podcasts and social media posts. Take a gander at what they are up to. They also help put together training programs

Sarah - Another Mother Runner, Co author of Run Like a Mother

Recently they interviewed an Ultra Mom who completed the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim->