Quite possibly one of the most challenging, physically-demanding and epic ultra races in the country, the historic Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run, will take place this Friday through Sunday, starting and finishing in Silverton, Colorado.
At a glance, the Hardrock Hundred is a 100-mile race on a course run in a big loop through the San Juan Mountains of beautiful southwest Colorado. The course takes travels through the towns of Lake City, Telluride, Ouray, and the mining ghost town of Sherman. The course crosses thirteen major passes in the 12,000 to 13,000 feet range. Runners will take on 33,992 feet of climbing and 33,992 feet of descent, equivalent to 67,984 feet of total elevation change. The average elevation is 11,186 feet, with the lowest point in Ouray at 7,680 feet, and the highest point at Handies Peak at 14,048 feet. In order to complete the event, instead of crossing a finish line, runners are required to “kiss the Hardrock”, a picture of a ram’s head painted on a large block of stone mining debris.
With the average time required to finish the Hardrock sitting at 41 hours, 10 minutes and fifteen seconds, it’s absolutely nuts to think about the current course records. Kyle Skaggs set the men’s record in 2008, finishing in 23:23. Diana Finkel set the women’s record in 2009, finishing in 27:18.
Last year’s race saw Frenchman Julien Chorier take the win in 25:17. 21-year old ultrarunning phenom Dakota Jones finished second in 27:10, and Fort Collins’ Nick Clark came in third in 27:43.
Four-time defending champ Diana Finkel won last year’s race in 29:27. That time was also good enough for fifth overall. Second place finisher Darcy Africa was close behind though, coming in at 29:46 and seventh overall. Rounding out the top three was Californian Betsy Nye in 39:17.
The 2012 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run is shaping up to be one of the most impressive runs in the 20-year history of our run. Over 730 entries from all over the United States, Germany, Greece, Israel Spain, Switzerland, Norway, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Uruguay, France and Japan applied for the coveted slots in this year’s Hardrock.
Competitively, this year’s field is very deep. The 2012 Hardrock will be headlined by 2011 Hardrock men’s runner up Dakota Jones (Durango, CO) and 4-time women’s champion Diana Finkel (South Fork, CO). Joining Jones and Finkel this year will be former Hardrock champions Karl Meltzer (Sandy, UT), Jared Campbell (Salt Lake City, UT), Kirk Apt (Fruita, CO), Blake Wood (Los Alamos, NM), Krissy Moehl (Boulder, CO) and Betsy Kalmeyer (Leadville, CO).
Also in the field are:
-Darcy Africa (Boulder, CO)- 2010 Wasatch 100 female winner, 2nd female finisher- 2010 and 2011 Hardrock
-Hal Koerner (Ashland, OR)-winner, 2009 Western States 100 mile run
-Dominic Grossman (Costa Mesa, CA)-winner, 2011 Angeles Crest 100 mil run
-Nick Pedatella (Boulder, CO)-winner, 2011 Bear 100 mile run
According to the Hardrock 100 website, “The run is a salute to the toughness and perseverance of the hardrock miners who lived and worked in the area.”