Tim Bergsten created this Ning Network.

While most locals are currently worrying about the upcoming Summer Roundup, I've had longer things on my mind.  On July 12th I'll have the pleasure of shooting for my 5th finish at Hardrock.  The pressure is on, as Brandon Stapanowich just crushed it at Western States and I need something to bring up when he starts droning on and on about his stupid cougar belt buckle.

It's a long journey but I won't be making it alone.  A good friend from Boulder, Shad, will be pacing me.  Shad paced me to a PR on the course last year, so he knows what he signed up for.  His most important job is to keep me moving forward during the night hours when I'd rather be sleeping.  I'm fairly notorious for falling asleep on the trail, so Shad has his work cut out for him.  Shad is also responsible for providing the victory cigar and PBR at the finish line.

I'll also have my wife, Katie, and my dog out on the course crewing for me.  I'm pretty low maintenance when it comes to this part.  I'll see the crew three times during the race, two of those at the towns of Ouray and Telluride.  So Katie's job will be to tire out the dog with long hikes during the day and then get to Ouray to heat up my traditional supper of a bacon cheeseburger from King's Chef Diner.  

Cigars, beer, and bacon cheeseburgers.  Such a healthy sport.

So when you're at work next Friday, think of me.  I'll start running at 6AM and hope to be finishing around 4PM on Saturday.  

Here are my predicted splits for those who want to follow along.  The Hardrock website provides live updates of all runners during the race.  You can also root for locals Julian Smith and Neal Taylor.

Aid Station      Split    Time of Day

Cunningham    2:30    8:30AM Friday

Maggie           2:00    10:30AM

Pole Creek     :50      11:20AM

Sherman         2:00    1:20PM

Grouse           4:00    5:20PM

Engineer         2:00    7:20PM

Ouray             2:00    9:20PM

Governor         3:00    12:20AM Saturday

Virginius         2:00     2:20AM

Telluride          2:00     4:20AM

Chapman        4:00     8:20AM

KT                  3:00    11:20AM

Putnam           3:00    2:20PM

Silverton          1:39    3:59PM

Miner's Tavern   :20     4:20PM

A bit aggressive but I need to get a sub 34 before I get too old.  A 34 hour finish puts me roughly at the front of the middle-of-the-pack folks.  And it's a great time to finish since you don't have to run through yet another night.  My heroes of this race are the slower folks who keep moving forward through two entire nights in a race to beat the 48 hour cutoff.

Good luck to all those running the Summer Roundup (unless you're in my age group) and at the Barr Trail Mountain Race.  And a special shout out to my sister, Jes, who can't read this because she's currently out thru-hiking the 211 mile long John Muir Trail in California's Sierra Nevada mountain range.

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Comment by David Mulligan on July 13, 2013 at 3:51pm

Awesome JT, 20th overall!  Congrats on achieving your goal of sub-34! Your last split was amazing! Enjoy Miner's Tavern.  Well-deserved!

Comment by Megan Kunkel on July 10, 2013 at 11:36pm

Great job at the Roundup and good luck this weekend!

Comment by Ryan Johnson on July 5, 2013 at 4:43pm

Good luck, JT!  I'm looking forward to keeping up with you online (about the only place I think I could keep up!), and rooting from afar!  

Comment by David Mulligan on July 5, 2013 at 12:40pm

Good luck JT on sub 34! Better get it this year since you said pretty sure start dying at 38. That course profile is nuts! I bet some beautiful trails though.

Comment by Vanessa Shawver on July 5, 2013 at 10:40am

If you have a hard time on Friday, just know that no matter how much it hurts, it's still not nearly as bad as having to sit at my desk all day. I'm jealous. Good luck!

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