The Colonel’s 100 Miler Boot Camp

i am fresh back from my last big effort before the grand teton 100 miler on sept 1-2. now i have 2.5 weeks to taper – perfect. the colonel (sean meissner) is a true ambassador of ultrarunning. he offered to host fellow montrail ultrarunner ashley nordell and i for “the colonel’s 100 miler boot camp” in the sisters, or area. ashley is getting ready to defend her title as the angeles crest 100 miler champion. this sounded perfect to me, 2-3 big days of running new terrain. sean and ashley started their camp on sunday by both taking 2nd place at the haulin aspen trail marathon. congrats to both of them! i ran monday – wednesday for 3 days total.

the beauty of doing a few big days in a sweet new location is that you have nothing to do but run, eat, get ready for the next run and hang out. i easily forgot about my car and work worries and just had a blast.

day 1 monday: 45 miles w/10,226 feet of gain
this was the our biggest day. we ran around the three sisters, with a summit of the south sister which is the highest at 10,358ft. the sisters are the third, fourth and fifth highest peaks in oregon. this run was awesome, diverse and challenging… perfect right?! a few hours into the run we started up the south sister (pictured above). this was a 4,000ft climb. we stopped for lunch just shy of the summit to avoid the wind at the top. from there around 9,000ft i started to feel light headed and strange from the elevation. it went away after about 15 min of hiking. i’ll try to put that out of my mind during the grand teton 100, which hits a high point of 9,840ft.

anyway from there it really got tricky. sean had planned our descent on a “climber’s trail” that he had never seen before, but was lightly marked on the map. this was no trail, it was loose rock, sand and scree. it took us 3hrs to travel about two miles! yeah it was that bad. check out the video for more on that – i almost died! i guess not really, but let me tell you free falling head first in a boulder field of sharp lava rock will make your life flashes before your eyes. very scary.

after that we had another good 25 miles to run to finish our loop, which was super fun.. well except for the fact that i had giardia and had to make frequent stops – that sucked!. unfortunetaly when we arrived back at the car ashley’s window was smashed and my bag was gone. lost my wallet, my favorite arcteryx pants and jacket, my montrail sweatshirt and some recovery stuff. i only wish we could have caught the creaps who did it.




day 2 monday: 15 miles w/2,136 feet of gain
the longer plan for this day got screwed up with ashley and myself having to deal with the car being broken in the day before. but we salvaged it and ran rod bien’s loop in the tumalo falls area.

day 3 monday: 21 miles w/581 feet of gain
this day we did some recon for sean on the mckenzie river trail. he’s running the mckenzie river trail run 50k sept 8th. we ran the trail from mile 11 to the finish line. great smooth trail along the river with a net loss.

amazing weekend, great company, good times. video of it all coming soon! i’m off to orcas island.