Friday, April 22, 2011

First Spin of Vorberg Gulch and the New Lumix FH27

It's a rite of spring for me - the photo-chronicle of the first passable trip around the Vorberg Gulch loop here in Hailey.  Being one of the first trails with a backcountry feel to shed the winter snow, it's always a bit of a hosannah moment for trail runners in the Valley, so I always feel compelled to take a handful of photos. 

This year, it also gave me the chance to test out my new Panasonic Lumix FH27, the replacement for my aging Coolpix, which drowned during the deluge that was Coyote Two Moon last month.  There are a few kinks to work out with the new machine, but I'm excited to be reunited with a Leica lens, and so far it gets a thumbs up. 

Beginning the ridge section, heading south toward Carbonate
Looking toward the corral at the mouth of Vorberg Gulch
Tree, sun, and snow on the ridge
The Run Junkie requisite shot
Tagged foundation near the bottom of the Carbonate switchbacks

Monday, April 4, 2011

200,000-Step Program: Ultra-Running on Discovery's "My Strange Addiction"

One of my brilliant wife's guilty pleasures is B-grade reality TV, the entertaining yet brainless vortex of which I sometimes get caught up in as well.  One of these shows she occasionally watches is a Discovery Channel offering called My Strange Addiction, which chronicles people's addiction to things like glass eating, chalk eating, detergent drinking, and, of course, ultra-running.  Yes, ultra-running.

That ultra-running may be viewed by some as a fringe pursuit is not a revelation to any of us, but to equate it with chalk eating and glass eating (glass eating!) seemed a bit unfair.  Yet, it was pretty fun to watch the show couch the sport we have such passion for in an abnormal light.

The episode that highlighted the runner lost to the ultra addiction (which actually ran last year sometime), focussed on his wild mileage - which was actually pretty modest for anyone serious about ultra - and used the fact that he'd run through the night and through fatigue, blisters, and nausea as a sure sign of disordered behavior.

It all culminates with his trip to the Javelina Jundred, where he makes it to the finish line, haggard but ready for more.  His girlfriend, however, isn't so sure she wants anymore of him.

Unfortunately, there isn't a clip highlighting just the ultra section of that episode.  I've been putting off posting this hoping (fruitlessly, it seems) for it to happen.  The "Expert" clip bellow, though, gives enough of a flavor of things.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Nordic Dayz in Sun Valley: SuperTour Finals - Sprints

OK, the SuperTour Nordic race series may not be directly related to running, but it's one inspiring spectacle, I have to say.  I spent the morning yesterday out at the Lake Creek Nordic area in Sun Valley watching the classic sprint finals (prelims, heats, and finals), and it was quite a show of grit, athleticism, and technical prowess.  I stationed myself and my camera atop the final climb (Coaches' Climb) of the 1.8 k course and snapped away.  

Check out the  HD Vimeo slideshow (below) to see some great athletes in action and get a taste of how we snow-bound runners spend a good part of our winter.  It's best viewed full screen.  There's also a lower res version.

SuperTour Finals - Sprints 2011 (High Res) from Run Junkie on Vimeo.