Eyes Wide Open: A Runner’s View of the 2018 Hardrock 100 Course

A look at the 2018 Hardrock 100 through the lens of runner Bryon Powell.

By on August 8, 2018 | Comments

While I’ve got a couple article ideas swirling around my mind at the moment, if I close my eyes and relax, I still see Hardrock. Given my failure to publish some of the 700-plus photos I took from the 2016 Hardrock, I decided I’d share some of the images I have on my hard drive as well as in my head. Below are a few of the 762 photos I shot while running this year’s Hardrock 100. Enjoy!

Now, there’s a bonus photo album on Facebook.

[This is no race report, nor do I intend to publish one, but you can watch Meghan’s post-race interview with me and I’m happy to answer questions about my race, gear, etc. in the comments below.]

2018 Hardrock 100 - Putnam Powell Train

While offering plenty of alone time, the Hardrock 100 also offers plenty of time to chat with friends, old and new. Here, a train of at least 10 runners heads up toward Putnam Mountain. All photos: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

2018 Hardrock 100 - Island Lake

More often photographed from above at Grant-Swamp Pass, Island Lake is beautiful from many angles.

2018 Hardrock 100 - Grant Swamp Pass

The stark beauty that can be seen atop Grant-Swamp Pass.

2018 Hardrock 100 - Chapman Gulch - Ben Wyrick

Ben Wyrick descends Swamp Canyon with Oscar’s Pass in the distance.

2018 Hardrock 100 - Oscar's Pass

Runners climb Oscar’s Pass under grumpy skies. Those same clouds help keep runners happy by keeping temperatures from soaring during the heat of the day.

2018 Hardrock 100 - Wasatch Basin

Although the wildflowers bloomed early this year and the race was a week later than normal, north-facing aspects such as Wasatch Basin retained show-stopping displays.

2018 Hardrock 100 - Marshall Basin

Dappled light poured into Marshall Basin above Telluride, providing a stunning display while runners traversed between Mendota Saddle and Virginius Pass.

2018 Hardrock 100 - One Great Step - Adam Wilcox

Adam Wilcox takes the first hands-needed steps before the rope-assisted descent off Virginius Pass, the home of Kroger’s Canteen. It’s one of my “Oh, hell no!” moments from this year’s race.

2018 Hardrock 100 - The Great Uncomfortmity

I stop whenever I pass the textbook Great Unconformity in Box Canyon, where a whooping 1.3 billion years of geology is missing between the 1.4-billion-year-old Precambrian rock below and the roughly 27-million-year-old volcanic San Juan Tuff above.

2018 Hardrock 100 - My Million Dollar Highway

One of the numerous (and numbered) Red Mountains pokes out above the Million Dollar Highway during the climb up the Bear Creek Trail.

2018 Hardrock 100 - Upper Cataract Lake

Trout hit the surface of what I’ll call Upper Cataract Lake as Day 2 of Hardrock 2018 dawns.

2018 Hardrock 100 - Grenadiers

The simple, yet stunning scene of the Grenadier Range showing off from Green Mountain. For me, this is the view that is Hardrock.

2018 Hardrock 100 - Meet the Kishes

Having my nieces–Maya (9) and Norah (7)–crew me at Hardrock will surely be a highlight of my year. Here, they join me for the final stretch toward the Hardrock.

2018 Hardrock 100 - Miss You Bill

I deeply wish Bill Dooper had been there to sit next to me outside the gym after this year’s Hardrock. But he wasn’t. However, my race was dedicated to him and he “paced” me the whole way. Miss you, Bill!

Bryon Powell

Bryon Powell is the Founding Editor of iRunFar. He’s been writing about trail running, ultrarunning, and running gear for more than 15 years. Aside from iRunFar, he’s authored the books Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons and Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running, been a contributing editor at Trail Runner magazine, written for publications including Outside, Sierra, and Running Times, and coached ultrarunners of all abilities. Based in Silverton, Colorado, Bryon is an avid trail runner and ultrarunner who competes in events from the Hardrock 100 Mile just out his front door to races long and short around the world, that is, when he’s not fly fishing or tending to his garden.