Silverton Concentrated

Silverton, CO with Kendall Mountain as the backdrop

Last year I had the amazing opportunity to spend a significant amount of time in Silverton, Colorado. I was racing the Hardrock 100 Mile Endurance Run, which begins and ends in Silverton at 9,300 above sea level. My buddy Dakota and I spent a month before the race in town to acclimate, train and become familiar with the race course. We rented pink house.

Although I finished, for me the race didn’t go very well, but the Silverton experience was amazing and one I’ll always look back on fondly.

I’m eager to redeem myself at the HardWalk 100, but it will have to wait. I didn’t get into the race this year. I didn’t even get on the wait list! “How is that even possible Brett Gosney?!” Dakota did however, and he’s the likely pick for the win, having finished 2nd last year and showing amazing form in the early part of 2012. I spent a week visiting with him, running, bbq’ing, reading at the library, acclimating, running the Hardrock course, and simply enjoying the San Juan Mountains. They are in top form (as is Dakota by the way).

Hardrock 100 Course: the trail up to Grant Swamp Pass from KT going clockwise
The view from Grant Swamp Pass – Clockwise mile 15, Counter-Clockwise mile 75 on Hardrock 100 Course

The Hardrock course is amazingly dry right now due to the low snow year. At this point last season we were spending most of our runs post-holing. This year, both sides of Grant Swamp Pass are free of snow and playfully loose (as you can see in the video below). If you are racing this year you might wanna practice your scree-surfing.

At some point last year I had heard Roger (who owns the Wyman Hotel) would often run to Molas Pass from Silverton along the Colorado Trail. I have a thing for the Colorado Trail so I managed to sneak this gem into my week as well. Getting a ride to Molas Pass from Justin “Vegan Guns” Lutick, I ran back to his camp in Cunningham Gultch. This run includes some flat miles on the Continental Divide Trail at around 12,700 feet. It was fun to try and turn over some fast miles at such a high altitude.


Colorado Trail looking back towards Molas Pass
Looking back down what I ran up: Elk Creek from the Continental Divide & Colorado Trail at 12,700 feet.

Another day I got out early with Pearl Izumi ultrarunner Scott Jaime to hit the high point of the Hardrock course, Handies Peak (14,048 ft). I was worried about keeping up with him so I left both cameras at home.

I then took a couple days off to plan the SoftRock, which is running the entire Hardrock 100 course in multiple days. We did it in three and it was amazing… blog with some shiny video on that coming up next – stay tuned! In all it was a concentrated experience with lots of good people, good trail miles, good vert, and good laughs, but a week and a half is just not enough time.