Thursday, September 25, 2014

9/25/14: Grindstone 100 - Stupid is as Stupid Does

The Grindstone 100 is billed as the toughest 100 miler on the east coast, though I think there is a legit debate between Grindstone and MMT.  It has 23,000 feet of climbing with several big 3K+ climbs.  The 6pm start time on Friday also adds an interesting challenge.

I signed up for Grindstone 1.5 weeks before the start date on 10/3.  You might say this was a bad idea.  You would be right.  “Wait Will, didn’t you just fail to finish a 50 mile race and drop down to 36 miles?”  That is correct. 

I am hoping that 5 weeks away from work, running lots of vertical in the Alps / Massanuttens / Asheville, and lots of rest will be a good recipe for running 100 miles.  It is also possible that I am stupendously bad at relaxing on vacation and needed a big goal to focus on.  Regardless I will be toeing the line a week from tomorrow at 6pm.  Whatever happens I am sure I will have an interesting tale to tell!

Friday, September 5, 2014

9/5/14: Running in Grindelwald

Zermatt was by far our favorite destination in Switzerland, but Grindelwald is also an exceptional mountain town.  The town is situated at about 1,000m right at the foot of some massive and iconic 4,000+m peaks, most notably the Eiger north face and Jungfrau.

On the north end of town, you can run / hike / cable car up into the "hills" (which still have more than 6,000 vertical feet up from Grindelwald) to get an even better view of the glaciers and huge mountains.

The weather did not cooperate quite as well in Grindelwald, but on our last day I went out in the morning for a run up the mountain.  It was bluebird skies with some of the best views I have seen anywhere.  My legs were still tired from the Sardona Ultra, but I was motivated to get as high as I could and above the treeline for some good views before I had to get back to our hotel to check out.  I managed about 3,000 feet of climbing and descending in the 1:20 I had out there.

Sadly my camera lens on the iPhone was still super dirty from Sardona, but I figured the pictures were still worth sharing.  There is a 51k and a 101k race in Grindelwald.  Maybe someday I'll have to get back for that ...
 View from our hotel room in town

Climbing up through fields 

The Eiger north face on the top right (famous peak that is extremely difficult to climb) 

Looking out through the trees 

Quite a bit higher up now 

The hills I was running through