Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Blog Roll: Adventure Running

I'm never been much into running races, other than obscure varieties like orienteering and ultrarunning. For me, running has always been about maximizing fitness for the things I want to do in the mountains. (That and exercising my dog.) When I trained for the Leadville 100 in 2005, the best result was the fitness to do backpacking trips like the 26-mile Four Passes Loop above Aspen in a single day. The same spirit motivates one of my favorite new blogs: Adventure Running.

Launched this spring by Buzz Burrell in Boulder, Colorado (more about him in a moment), Adventure Running is a multi-author celebration, not just of running but also of the cool things that serious endurance allows you to do. Recent reports include a speedy 18-hour Ptarmigan Traverse in the Cascades, a morning ascent of the technical East Temple in Zion, a one-day 50-mile traverse of Zion, and several canyoneering–trail running loops in Canyonlands. The blog could be improved with better identification of the individual authors and more stories, but it's a great start. Hopefully we'll soon see more reports from ascents of remote mountains as the summer winds down.

Buzz is an inspirational figure, still super-motivated at an age (mid-50s) that many athletes are slowing down, and he's one runner that has made the most of his fitness in the mountains. He's done one-day ascents of Gannett Peak in Wyoming (18 miles from the road) and Mt. Olympus in Washington (about 19 miles from the car). He did Rainier, Adams, and Hood in a 28-hour push. He's run the Colorado Trail and John Muir Trail. Some people have no interest in speed, and I can certainly understand that, but as I wrote in the publisher's note in the inaugural issue of Trail Runner magazine nine years ago, "For me, trail running is not a competitive sport but a means to explore wild places—and to do more exploring in less time." The Adventure Running blog is carrying that torch.

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