October 25, 2015 – Ninth Annual Trans-Wasatch run
This is the second in a series of occasional training blogs recording my major training runs showing progress toward my goal of completing the Zion 100 on April 8-9, 2016, in support of the College of Law’s 100-100 initiative. The first blog recorded a Mt. Timpanogos Run on October 4. Other tentative interim goals are:
- The Antelope Island 50K race on November 14;
- A 60th birthday climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro with my family in December;
- The Bigfoot Snowshoe Race on January 30 (marathon or 50K, to be determined);
- The Red Hot 55K in Moab on February 13; and
- The Buffalo Run 50-mile race on March 19.
Trans-Wasatch (TW) is an informal run that some combination of me and several of my trail running friends have done every fall for the past nine years (including this year). We start somewhere on the Salt Lake Valley side of the Wasatch Range and end somewhere on the Park City side, usually at a brew pub for well-deserved post-run refreshment. Spouses and partners join us there, often after their own hike somewhere on the way. (And that, of course, means we don’t have to run all the way back as well!) I have participated in most, but not all, of the TW runs. I believe that John Bartley (who is a Professor of Geology at the U) is the only one of us who has completed all nine. Last year, Ute football got in the way of my participation. I’ll just have to work more closely with the Pac-12 scheduling team!
One of our TW traditions/challenges is to take a different route every year, and thus far we have succeeded in doing so. This year six of us, including Dan Barnett (SJQ Class of ’99, who will join me on the Zion 100 run), John Bartley, Brian Kamm, Dee McLaughlin, Charlie Vincent, and me, started at the Rattlesnake Gulch Trailhead in Millcreek Canyon. We climbed to the Pipeline Trail and headed east to Burch Hollow, where we crossed the road to the Terraces picnic area and headed up the Bowman Fork Trail – a long climb to Baker’s Pass between Mt. Raymond and Gobbler’s Knob. The views were spectacular, especially with a number of aspen stands still in full color. (We could only speculate as to why some connected stands were bare while others still had full leaf and color.)
From the pass, we headed east on the Desolation Trail to Dog Lake, where we met up with three more runners (Eve Davies, Marti Kovener, and Charlie and Eve’s energetic dog, a vizsla named Mesa who can rings around all of us despite advanced dog age). We refilled our water bladders from a “secret cache,” went down to the Great Western Trail (GWT), and then climbed up to the ridge above Desolation Lake. [Insert photo – the one with all of us in the distance climbing through trees?] From the ridge, we ran back north on the GWT to the head of Millcreek Canyon and descended to the Olympic Park ski jump and luge area (resisting the temptation to jump into the luge track to make the remaining descent more quickly) and ran down to Redstone Shopping Center and the Red Rock Brew Pub to well-earned refreshments.
My GPS recorded 28.65 miles and 6,819 feet of elevation gain from the Rattlesnake Trailhead to the front door of Red Rock. Others recorded closer to 28 miles, so speculation was that I must have logged some extra distance running back and forth between runners with Mesa! (Anyone who has run or hiked trails with a dog knows what I mean.)
All in all, another gorgeous fall day with a great group of friends, a significant fall tradition in the beautiful Wasatch Mountains, and another great training run on my path to the Zion 100.
Progress toward Zion 100 goal: The Zion 100 mile run is now a bit more than five months away. The Trans-Wasatch run was a little less than a third of the distance at Zion, but like the Mt. Timpanogos run, more than half of the elevation-gain of the race (6,819 feet of elevation gain versus about 10,600 feet at Zion).