Forum Index > Trip Reports > Suiattle Crest 50 Mile Adventure Run - 8/4/2009
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Tall Hiker Man
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PostTue Aug 11, 2009 3:54 am 
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Amazing trip! I'd love to be able to cover that much ground, but I'm fairly certain that I'd have broken both my ankles numerous times running those trails! Running shoes + no poles = hospital for me (unfortunately)!

I have to put in my $.02 on the question of whether moving through the beautiful country so quickly is advisable from a standpoint of really enjoying it and taking it all in. A couple years back I dayhiked the Little Giant, High Pass, Buck Pass loop - about 28 miles. Clearly we weren't moving as quickly as you, but still, there wasn't too much time to stop and really take it in. However, I felt like we MORE than made up for that with the sheer quantity of the views. Covering that much territory in a day was incredible in its own way - one of my favorite days in the mountains.

Add to that the sense of accomplishment (magnified x 100 for you) and I think you have an incredibly worthy trip!

Thanks for the report!
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mthyer
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PostTue Aug 11, 2009 8:37 am 
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Thanks Leor,

Going to try and find a 1:100K map of the wilderness and this should help me line all the trails up.  Iíve not done very much in Glacier Wilderness yet so Iím not familiar with the trail system there, but beautiful 50 mile loops are hard to come by.

I know both of you are probably a lot faster than I, but if youíre planning on running anything down in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness let me know (itís very nearby).  Iíve been following your accomplishments on your blog and they make me wish I was about 15 years younger.  That said, Iím doing pretty well considering and am keen to try something a lot longer before the season ends.  It would be nice to meet you in person and run with you when youíre not out setting FKTs.

Best regards,

Matt
http://bigear.wordpress.com/
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mthyer
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PostTue Aug 11, 2009 9:06 am 
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Tall Hiker Man wrote:
I have to put in my $.02 on the question of whether moving through the beautiful country so quickly is advisable from a standpoint of really enjoying it and taking it all in.

There are two speeds which are valuable to consider in this case in my opinion.  ďGoingĒ and ďstoppedĒ pretty much describe them.  Leor had to have maintained an average of about 3.8 mph to complete the loop in 13 hours.  Most people can do this kind of speed on flat, even ground without running.  Itís just not that fast.  I average between 2.5 and 3.0 mph when trail running (I probably walk a bit more than Leor does which drops my average over time).  These speeds on a trail require an aerobic and cardio capacity beyond the average, and the distances covered require an uncommon dedication to the practice.

The act of running on a trail does a couple of things for me that walking cannot.  First, I get a very *meaningful* runners high which I can sustain over long periods of time.  Look at pictures of me on the trail and youíll notice a big, stupid grin.  I canít not grin like that the trail when Iím moving.

In turn that runnerís high makes me want to suck as much of it in as my senses will allow.  I tend to lose my sense of self over longer runs and the motion becomes a meditation wherein I get to just be a part of the place that Iím running through.  In other words, I donít think the speed of trail running results in experiencing a place less, rather I feel that I experience it more.  Contra-intuitive, but thatís my experience.

Conversely, one could go into the wilderness with similar intent and attempt to achieve the same meditative state through other practiced means.  This requires a different kind of dedication and tends to be far slower although in practice no-less or more effective than the exercise described above.

As I write this Iím realizing how difficult it is to describe the nature of this experience, even to myself.  I donít think I have the words to give appropriate meaning to the way I understand the world when Iím running through it.
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Sabahsboy
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PostTue Aug 11, 2009 5:25 pm 
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mthyer, your wise comments about running reflect my own.  However, age and accidents intervened and I have not run since mid-90s.  Can't walk fast at times, even...cannot even jog the dogs in the ring at shows.  However, I have a wonderful , rich (personal) history of moving fast on the trail (day hikes, only).  Backpack trips were sure easy in those days, too!  Enjoy yourself!  It is the ultimate that life offers! BTW, I never tackled anything like your accomplishments.  Kudos!
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analogkid
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PostThu Aug 13, 2009 6:41 am 
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What a great way to spend a day!  I'm jealous.  As a trail runner, I value these types of trips far more than most races.  In 2002 I spent the day doing the Milk Ck-Vista Ck-Suiattle River Loop, only 30+ miles though.  Pretty easy navigation, at least at that time.  A lot of self-supported trail runs have served to get me (and my son sometimes) back to do hikes/backpacks at a much more deliberate pace.  Thanks for posting this report with the photos and video.  This is great stuff.

Tim
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silence
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PostThu Aug 13, 2009 7:25 am 
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i get what you guys mean totally .. when i 1st started running we lived in the country and so it was trails and old logging roads .. i loved it and the natural high and all .. but in the city .. it was just out the door .. it was a hard adjustment ... esp being on pavement .. and the busy streets with little peace .. it took its toll as my knees gave up and so did i until last year .. anyhow .. we have since gotten back into the mountains and now i look jealously at trail runners as my husband is a backpacker and has no interest in running ever .. i know you can "experience" it .. even with speed .. esp if you have a mind to it .. it's all relative .. depends on your motives .. if it's just to get er done .. then maybe some never "see" it .. i have friends who only went out to bag the peak for years and when they got older and slower they began to really see the places they'd been to b4 -- they were in awe

i think i really want to trail run ... but how do you keep from stumbling and injuring yourself? i'm serious as my old bones can't take many more breaks ..

--------------
PHOTOS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/33792231@N00/sets
FILMMAKING: http://www.crestpictures.com/

Keep a good head and always carry a light bulb. Ė Bob Dylan
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mthyer
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PostThu Aug 13, 2009 9:56 am 
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silence wrote:

i think i really want to trail run ... but how do you keep from stumbling and injuring yourself? i'm serious as my old bones can't take many more breaks ..

Silence,

I'm returning to running after an 11 year break.  I was injured, went through several surgeries, hardware resident in my leg, and years of physical therepy to get to this point.  Believe me when I say I can't take any more breaks.

I've been crosstraining with barefoot techniques and running minimalist since early spring with no problems and no injuries.  I'm slower than I used to be, but the high still comes pretty quickly.  While I look at guys like Leor who can still pound out 4 and 5 mph days with longing admiration I'm pretty happy with my 3.5 mph.  I still get there and I have a great time doing it.

Good luck to you, there's no finer way to cross ground in my opinion.

Matt
http://bigear.wordpress.com/
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run4cache
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PostThu Aug 13, 2009 2:23 pm 
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Great job guys!  My kinda run...actually a bit too far for me.
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peltoms
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PostFri Aug 14, 2009 3:29 am 
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Awesome, great shots of the Napequa valley glaciers up.gif
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