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

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!

There are 25 comments

  1. Barth Zurbuchen

    The HAT! Bill is smiling.
    Was in the Dayton, WY Merchandile (owned by Craig and Elaine, great story here runners) at last year’s Big Horn and there was a Green Bay Packer birdhouse for sale. Turns out it was made by the Jerry Kramer who lives just across the Idaho border and who was just inducted into the Canton football Hall Of Fame. At this year’s Bighorn, the birdhouse was gone. Why didn’t I buy the birdhouse?
    Really glad Bill left the HAT with you. Precious.

  2. John Vanderpot

    You’re right — gonna have to make it a point to get up there one of these days…

    Somehow there should maybe be a special award for someone who can finish that fast and take those pics!


  3. Bruce Young

    Absolutely breathtaking photos. Thanks for posting!

    Any chance you could share the type of camera you hauled along on your run to take them with?

  4. Matt

    Always amazed by runners who have the energy to frame photos. Excellent shots worthy of a coffee table book too. Fantastic work.

    1. Bryon Powell

      With a little joking and a little truth, I prefer whichever direction I’ve run less recently… more time to forget the pain and difficulties as well as a growing desire to see the other direction’s particular views, lighting, etc.

      From a performance standpoint, I’m coming to think I prefer many of the descents in the counterclockwise direction as well as preferring getting the loooong-time up high section from Cunningham to Sherman out of the way early. Hopefully, I get in in 2019… or 2021 and can confirm. :-)

  5. Norb Lyle

    Great shots Bryon!

    How do you keep your camera or phone from not losing battery power taking 700+ shots over the course of 2-3 days anyway? Really nice shots man. Congrats on a great run. You looked great out there – fantastic smile too! Keep it up!

    1. Bryon Powell

      Hi Norb,
      Airplane mode is the biggest help here. While probably not a big help, I also quit most apps I’m not using at the time. All I really used were the camera and podcast apps. I did briefly turn off airplane mode while coming in and out of Telluride and Ouray.

      I carried a lipstick size battery for one segment from 55-70 miles. I mostly used it to charge my watch, but put the rest of the battery to my phone.

  6. John Hunter

    Brilliant. Its the moments well away from the start and finish and the aid stations that only you experience that are the essence of the personal experience.

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