Sunday, September 27, 2009

TTR Mt. Hopkins Ascent

This is a great run. It is almost 12 miles up to the top of Mt. Hopkins on mostly dirt road (almost the last 4 miles to the top and about a mile near the beginning is pavement). It gets pretty steep at the top, but otherwise, it is fairly runnable.

Total Distance: 23.7 miles

Time: 4:54

Cumulative elevation gain/(loss): 5,416/(5,394) feet

Elevation at start: 4,164 feet

Elevation at summit: 8,531 feet

Here I am at the top with Mt. Wrightson in the background:

The group had some concerns as fellow TTR member Kandi had done the run the previous day and had reported multiple sightings of bears with cubs. Everyone was keeping their eye out after our 8 mile aid station, as the last 4 miles to the top is where Kandi reported seeing them.

I leapfrogged with Gene and Wayne almost the whole way. A mile or so from the top, they passed me and good thing they did because...

The last bend before the top, Gene is faced with a bear and 2 cubs. He warns Wayne, who is right behind him. I hear him say, 'bear!' but by the time I was rounding the bend, I saw the bear leap off the side of the mountain through the trees! Whew! I had my camera out just in case, but it was too quick for me. At any rate, it was exciting, but about as close as I ever really want to come. Needless to say, Gene's heart rate was up a bit!
Before we saw the bear, the faster runners in the group returning downhill as we were headed up all reported, 'saw bears!' 'bears in trees!' 'bears in the road!' It was an exciting day for the group in terms of wildlife, that's for sure.

Looking back at my progress on the maze of road:
I would have made better time down, but we had a heat wave this week, and it was hot as hell. I could have really run faster on the downhill, but I kept overheating, so I would stop and walk.
I'm glad I have TTR to do these types of runs with. This group is making me stronger!
I've also decided
to do a few sessions of personal training to get some instruction on some new exercises I could be doing at home to help strengthen certain muscles. I'm starting to have a few minor aches and pains here and there...

1 comment:

RunningTroysLife said...

When was the last time you had a week with your longer run being shorter then 5 miles?
Geez you are kicking major butt and seem to be really maintaining high mileage well.
Thats seriously impressive.
nice work