Saturday, June 18, 2011


I have never run a bad course. Well, the inaugural Dogwood Canyon 50K was a less than desirable course, and there is way too much up and down on steep trail in the Wasatch Front 100 Miler to suit my rail-trail taste, but of course I want to go back to both races!!! I digress.
Heidi and I had a great trip out west checking out the Run Across America course. Montana - WOW, WOW, WOW, a triple wow. We were treated to great scenery, and just as importantly many miles of road had a nice shoulder to run on! On one scenic 25 mile section of Montana (route 294 which passes through Martinsdale) only four cars passed us as we headed east in the car. On this particular section of the course I especially enjoyed the views of the old rail line which I believe is the same abandoned rail line used by the John Wayne Trail in Washington and continued with the paved Trail of the Couer d'Alenes in Idaho, but I am not sure. Maybe some day this portion of old rail line will become a public trail also.
Good news - found a better route through central Montana that shortens the course by 14 miles!!!
On the not so good news front however we can not run through the Cedar River Watershed in Washington. Going around the Watershed adds 23 miles to the course I most prefer to take. I opened up the post writing about courses because I am still looking for the best route through the western 2/3 of Washington. It is good to have options, but a firm course would be better. I will head back to Washington in September to resolve the issue and commence generating the exact stage start/end points. I note that the shortest possible route involves running/hiking 10 miles of hilly single-track trail. If anyone has any positive or negative thoughts on that please let me know.
I praised the scenery in Montana but that doesn't mean that the scenery in Washington, Idaho, and South Dakota is any less spectacular. In case my writing does not reflect, I am definitely excited about the route through the west. The river and lake crossings and views in Idaho should simply not be missed!
Switching subjects - sharing crews.
 - If you have crew and you would like to crew another runner also please let me know. I note that I don't believe my crew is in a position to crew other runners - although runners running with/near me have access to the Samuelson crew vehicle (which I still expect to be the smallest motor home out there that one can rent or buy).
 - If you don't have crew and you would like me to put your name out there requesting shared crew let me know.
 - I have put out feelers - but have received no positive replies to this point - about folks volunteering to be a paid crew person for one or more runners. If it interests you to have a paid crew person, let me know.
If I have not said so before, it will be challenging for a crew person to crew for two or more runners crossing the country who will run at different paces.
Reminder that LANY11 starts Sunday - will hopefully have great reports for all to read!
Email any comments/questions. Happy Trails, Mike