On the Bright Side

Bryon takes a look on the bright side following the cancellation of the 2019 Hardrock 100, which he was to run.

By on June 12, 2019 | Comments

On Monday morning, I awoke to the announcement that this year’s Hardrock 100 was canceled due to the ridiculous snowpack that remains in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. As a resident of said mountains, this decision came as no surprise, but it meant that I’d not get to run my favorite event this summer. *sigh* Dang. But, you know what, I’m determined to have one heck of a year regardless. I’m going to opt for the bright side.

To start, I’ve decided to turn my training toward the one other event that was already on my calendar, the Middle Creek Flyathlon, a 12-mile trail running/fly fishing combo in mid-August that was an absolute blast last year. (Support freshwater fishery protection with iFishFar gear. ;-) ) More important, it’ll be an impetus to reintroduce some intensity into my running. Although… or perhaps because I came out of a high-school and collegiate track and cross-country background, I’ve not included speedwork into my running with any intention or plan for the past decade. While I might not focus on it for long, I and my fitness can only benefit from adding in a day or two of intensity every week betwixt my daily casual outings.

In Hardrock’s absence, I’ve already added one race to my schedule, the Silverton Alpine Marathon right here in Silverton, Colorado. I’ve known about this race forever, but have never taken part in it. Not only will it be a good chance to test… and build on my next month of more intense running, but I’ll actually get to run some local dirt roads I’ve never run. As a mostly run-from-home kind of guy, I’ve run the both ends of the loop out-and-back from Silverton, but I’ve never run or, in fact, visited what I’ve been told is a stunning stretch at the eastern end of the loop between Animas Forks and Corkscrew Gulch.

Getting back to Hardrock, I hope to shine a little light for the communities–both the Hardrock family and the Silverton/San Juan communities–by working with the race and independently to help organize fun activities in Hardrock’s stead. I’m even considering putting on my first fat-ass event. We’ll see.

Silverton, Colorado from Macomber

Finally, I’ll move my long focus race to the fall. In reality, this will be a better fit for my year in many ways. Life’s filled my past half year with amazing opportunities, many of which have diverted my attention away from training. Certainly, I’d have been ready to get around the Hardrock course in a little over a month, but, now, I have four or five or six months to build on an already decent base before giving it a longer go. This means that as the stunning San Juan high country finally starts to melt out, I’ll be building toward spending more time in the mountains rather than tapering for or recovering from Hardrock. Plus, I’ll be picking a race, one I’ve not run before, as the new focus of my attention. I’ve got some ideas that have me really excited.

Sure, I’d take running Hardrock over not every single time, but I’m determined to have a dang good time since I can’t!

Call for Comments

Whether due to cancellation or life events, when and how have you made the best out of not getting to run a race?

Silverton Rainbow

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.