Friday July 20th, 2018
Distance: 100 Miles · Ultra
100-mile run with 33,050 feet of climb and 33,050 feet of descent for a total elevation change of 66,100 feet with an average elevation of 11,186 feet - low point 7,680 feet (Ouray) and high point 14,048 feet (Handies Peak).
The run starts and ends in Silverton, Colorado and travels through the towns of Telluride, Ouray, and the ghost town of Sherman, crossing thirteen major passes in the 12,000' to 13,000' range. Entrants must travel above 12,000 feet (3,700 m) of elevation a total of 13 times, with the highest point on the course being the 14,048' summit of Handies Peak. The race has been held in early July of each year beginning in 1992, except for 1995 (too much snow) and 2002 (nearby forest fires). Each year's race is run in the opposite direction of the previous year's event (2015 was run in the counter-clockwise direction, 2016 will be clockwise). In order to complete the event, instead of crossing a finish line, runners are required to "kiss the Hardrock", a picture of a ram's head painted on a large block of stone mining debris.
This course offers a graduate level challenge for endurance runs. The course is designed to provide extreme challenges in altitude, steepness, and remoteness. Mountaineering, wilderness survival and wilderness navigation skills are as important in this event as your endurance.
|2nd Male||24:55:28||Mike Foote|
|3rd Male||25:38:00||Joe Grant|
|4th Male||26:55:55||Gabe Joyes|
|2nd Female||29:22:37||Darcy Piceu|
|3rd Female||30:34:25||Nathalie Mauclair|
|4th Female||30:45:02||Anna Frost|
The runners began rolling inearly Saturday, shortly before 5 a.m., when Durango’s Jason Schlarb and two-time champion and world-class runner Kilian Jornet finished hand in handafter simultaneously racingand supporting one another for some 60 miles of the course.
“What it signified was exactly why this weekend was so special,” Garland said.“It was camaraderie, it was cooperation, it was, ‘I respect you as a runner, you respect me as a runner, let’s just finish this off together.’ I think that really embodies how we try to conduct this whole event. If somebody’s hurting, you help them. If they’re lost, you find them.”
Nearly 24 hours after that moment is what run organizers call “The Golden Hour,” the final 60 minutes before the cutoff. This year, the finishersincluded the only husband and wife team. Scott and Barbara Olmer, both of Denver, ran the entire course together and were quickly embraced by their children, Benedict, 17 months, and 3-year-old Amelia, after finishing.
“With these two, we have very little time together. We figured we’d just enjoy the day — like a 48-hour date,” said Barbara Olmer, an insurance benefits consultantwho was starting and finishing her second Hardrock.
Scott Olmerwas starting his 12th Hardrock and finished his 11th. Like many runners, he acknowledged that heat and high winds made this year particularly difficult.
“She (Barbara) came down to pace me when we first started dating and kind of fell in love with it,” said Scott, a mechanical engineer. “She’s my partner out there. Sometimes we don’t talk at all, just keep chugging. Needle each other to make sure we’re keeping the pace and taking care of ourselves.”
Friday morning, 152 left Silverton to head through the San Juan Mountains, moving through trails between Telluride, Ouray, Lake City and back into town.Roughly 73 percentof them finished. In the lead-up, 1,600 people applied for those coveted spots — an acceptance rate of just under 10 percent. Sixteen of the entrants were women and the rest men. Before this year, the 100.5mile course had been completed 1,589 times.
“The mountains are the great equalizer, and just because you’re up here on one day doesn’t mean you’re going to stay there,” Garland said. “You need friendship and community to support you on those days.”