Alaska Predictions

Well, today is May 1 and I haven’t been on the Internet in over a week now. I am deep in the Alaskan mountains, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still talk about myself. That’s why even though I am many miles from even a semblance of cell-phone coverage, I am still going to give you an update on what I’m doing. Please take a seat, as this could take a while.

To get started, let’s use some visuals. Since I am writing this in advance of the trip, I don’t know exactly where I will be on May 1. Therefore I have created some graphs of probabilities that attempt to describe where I am and what I’m doing.

Dakota Jones - Alaska - likelihoods graph

As the chart clearly shows, by May 1 I will almost certainly be only 25% aware of where I am or what I am doing and will have little to no chocolate left. Furthermore, my chances of enjoying good weather are inversely proportional to how good I smell, likely due to the fact that I have been fermenting in a tent for quite some time. From what I can tell at the time of writing (i.e., before experiencing anything like this), long days in a tent can do some wild things to a person’s headspace. Let’s take a look at my predictions for my thoughts over the same time periods. (For the sake of conjecture, assume all my time is spent in a tent.)

Dakota Jones - Alaska - tent time

Of course, three weeks in a tent are going to require a lot more thoughts than that. Since I’ll be almost completely unable to go for a run the entire time I’m in Alaska, my thoughts will surely be on the running world. Obviously, I won’t have direct knowledge of what is going on with ultrarunners, but my experience in the sport has given me some basic knowledge of runners and races on which I can base my guesses. This is a graph I came up with a while ago that provides probabilities for certain events, and which I will use to make guesses about what is going on in ultrarunning.

Dakota Jones - Alaska - 2013 Mountain Running predictions

Thus we can conclude that Sage and Max are fast, Kilian does cool stuff, B-Pow is good at covering it all, and I probably need a new career. Nevertheless, the ultrarunning world is changing so quickly that no matter how many graphs and charts I can come up with, I still won’t be able to predict everything. Here are some things I predict can’t be predicted.

Predictions of What Cannot Be Predicted (Exhaustive):

  • How awesome the Telluride Mountain Run will be.
  • How many Clif Bars are too many Clif Bars.
  • How many limbs will ultimately be lost to the tragedy of reckless and uncontrolled compression garment production.
  • How much longer I am willing to spend imparting essential knowledge to the running world via graphs and charts.
  • How long until I make myself obsolete in the running world by wasting everybody’s time with charts and graphs.
  • How quickly Bryon Powell will terminate our agreement for me to write for his website.
  • How loud AJW can get.
  • How long it’s going to take me and Mike Wolfe to persistence hunt an antelope in Kenya this fall.

As for that last one, that’s an upcoming story. But the jist is that, yeah, we’re going to persistence hunt animals. If you’re skeptical, take a look at Mike Wolfe from The North Face Endurance Challenge in 2011. That’s the face of a man unwilling to let something minor like a tiger attack (or tree branch…) get in the way of victory.

Mike Wolfe - 2011 TNF EC - bloody

Only Mike Wolfe can hurt Mike Wolfe.

The last thing I’d like to say is that no matter how cool climbing in Alaska is, nothing will ever take away from ultrarunning. I don’t know if it is the mountains or the people or the challenge of the unknown or what, but ultrarunning just has something wonderful to it that can’t be quantified. Or can it? I tried. Here is why ultrarunning is awesome.

Dakota Jones - Alaska - Why Ultrarunning is Awesome

There are 40 comments

  1. Charlie M.

    How many Clif bars is too much? That should be the next epic contest. Forget the beer mile, bring on the Clif mile.

  2. Anonymous

    Have your agent start negotiating the book contract…don't even sit down at the table with them till they're up to six figures!

    JV in SD

  3. Anonymous

    Seeing as you are away from internet access, let me bring you up to speed with what has been happening in the world:

    – Sage started the Transvulcania race early, but is already lost

    – Reese has eliminated all mentions of your name on the T-Rad website, and has changed the route so it's 100% on pavement

    – A class action lawsuit has been filed against "Choko Grande", makers of compression neck sleeves

    – K-Dog has started to refer to you as "DJ Jazzy Jeff" on his blog

    C'est tous.


  4. Ian Sharman

    Big contrast with this time last year – jet-lagged cliff jumping then the Transvulcania super-human CR in that heat compared to pure climbing in the cold. Have fun out there!

      1. Rob M.

        We may have the beginnings of Mike Wolfe-isms on our hands. "Mike Wolfe once DNF'd an ultra…when he came in to the finish before it started."

  5. OOJ

    Critique: the only reason that "K-Dogg" will not cut that album is because he's never, *ever* "tripped!"

    Top 5 best pieces ever-read on the interwebs. B-)

  6. Jared Friesen

    Dude! Welcome to our great state! When are you in Anchorage? Hit me up when you are and we can go grab a beer and pizza. And I say all this like you know me! Ha ha! But seriously, if you are interested let me know.

  7. Tom

    Young Money,the way you throw yourself into life, you will be one of the wisest people on Earth by age 30. The cool thing is, you will still have the same self-humbling approach when communicating that wisdom.

  8. Vern L

    Enjoyed that.

    Beer and pizza in Thailand if you make it down my way (Krabi). And we have one really technical 3.7km 500m elevation trail you'll not like too much, but with awesome views. You could do that twelve or thirteen times while I'm getting the first pizza down.

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