First, our most heartfelt thoughts and well wishes to the entire Southwest corner of Colorado; especially to those in the Durango/Silverton area who are dealing with the 416 and Burro Fires. It is our every hope that you all find a safe place to be while the fires are fought by those who are giving all of their might. We are thinking of you, and hopeful that this terrible nightmare will come to a swift end.
One of a race director’s worst nightmares is the prospect of your race being shut down by natural disaster and/or weather related events. While our race director friends haven’t officially called a race off in the Southwest corner of the state, I want the RDs in the area to know that HPRS is here for you. Just let us know how we can help. I also find it an appropriate time to relay to the runners that we’re here for you as well.
Colorado experienced an exceptionally dry winter with below average snowpack across most of the state. The hardest hit area is the San Juan’s and the rest of the southwest corridor. Some of our sport’s most beloved races take place within the affected area. We too are praying that the monsoon rains arrive, and quickly, so that we can get back to enjoying the places and races so many of us love the most.
TRAIL WORK OPPORTUNITIES
Many of you were planning to perform trail work with the Hardrock 100 in the weeks and days leading up to that event. Today it was announced that the San Juan National Forest is being closed to all human activity until an appropriate amount of rains allow such activity to commence. The Hardrock 100 has already announced the cancellation of all non-essential race related activities, which includes trail work.
I know many of you were looking forward to performing your trail work with the Hardrock crew, and you may now be looking for replacement opportunities. To that end, I wanted to extend a hand to you by letting you know of HPRS’ upcoming trail work opportunities. We have 3 scheduled trail work days remaining in Fairplay; June 23rd, July 5th, and August 5th. If any of those dates work for you, we’d love to have you in order to help you satisfy your trail work requirements. You can find more info about those opportunities on our website at: http://humanpotentialrunning.com/trail-work/
ALTERNATIVE RACE OPPORTUNITIES
I am well aware that no races have yet to be cancelled in the area; but I also am well aware that race directors and local officials are having ongoing discussions to that extent. As runners I know all too well how hard we work in preparing for a race, and the heartache that comes with a race being cancelled. I also know that travel arrangements need to be made in a timely manner, and this puts some of you in limbo on what to do. I want to offer those of you who may become discouraged by race cancellations an opportunity to still run in Colorado’s High Country on challenging courses as suitable replacements should you need/desire.
Should a 100-miler you intend to run in the affected area indeed be cancelled, or you choose to no longer run it due to personal health and safety concerns, I would like to offer you the opportunity to run in the 2018 Silverheels 100-Mile Endurance Run for an entry fee of just $150. Silverheels has the second highest average elevation of any 100-mile endurance run in North America (behind only Hardrock). It is being held on the weekend of July 7-8 in beautiful Fairplay, CO; just an hour and half from Denver. I know it’s not the same, but we promise a world-class event with another amazing community of runners and volunteers.
Should a 50-mile race you intend to run in the affected area indeed be cancelled, or you choose to no longer run it due to personal health and safety concerns, I would like to offer you the opportunity to run in the 2018 Last-Call 50-Mile Endurance Run for an entry fee of just $80. Last Call is the only 50-mile endurance run in Colorado with a midnight start. You’ll enjoy the same course as the Silverheels 100, with a unique opportunity to run with those 100-milers in their final 50k while also getting in one amazing night run.
I know some may see this as unfair to those who are paying full price for both of these events. These offers are only for those who appear on a race entry list on the day their race is cancelled, or at a time they deem appropriate to pull the plug on running due to personal health concerns. I am affording them an opportunity to register for these events at our early bird pricing, the same opportunity you had. Also understand that many will already be losing funds related to travel and lodging for these other events. This is simply the right thing to do in support of our friends.
I know some may see this as another race director seizing an opportunity to capitalize on the misfortune of others. I would say to you, that as someone who has been in this sport for 13 years.. one thing I know above all else is that ULTRARUNNERS HELP EACH OTHER. My opportunity here is to help my ultra brothers and sisters so that they may continue to self-discover while Mother Nature throws a few haymakers. HPRS is here for you, runners and race directors alike, and it is an honor to continue to serve the greater community of runners.
Most importantly, is that those who live in harms way seek safety, and those who continue to fight these fires may also return home to loved ones. The health, safety, and love of others is far more important than any single race regardless of how long you’ve hoped to run it.
If you have any questions about trail work, or want to utilize the opportunity to sign up for one of the above two races at the discounted rates, please email me directly at SherpaJohn@gmail.com