(Photos in Strava)
This one has been in my crosshairs for awhile now.
@mountainhighadventures, Chris Gorney, smoked my 3:19:xx via Solar Slab with a blistering 2:38:56 via Rainbow Direct.
I had doubts that it was even possible for me to move that fast on Rainbow Direct. It is an adventure route for sure. Easy to get lost, so many gullies look the same. I have rehearsed this route many times in preparations, it always exacts a price in blood (see later photos). Desert plants are so angry, they seem to want to hurt you.
And to be honest Chris Gorney is a Las Vegas Red Rocks LEGEND! So much so that as I was running off the mountain today someone asked, "is Chris with you?"
...I should have answered, "Yes!" Because, in my imagination, a ghost of Chris Gorney was bearing down on me...driving my burning quads down the mountain... igniting reserves only accessible in the most urgent of times.
I needed this. I have been going through some lows recently, including doubt that my preparations for WA Bulgers 100 FKT were actually preparing me to perform on that brutal terrain.
This was the perfect litmus test.
I quieted my doubts.
Listened to my heart.
Trusted my preparations.
And let my body find its rhythm.
When I hit the summit in 1:09:43, I was blow away.
"I can smoke this thing! This can go!"
Heart rate at 190 from the last surge, I still only paused long enough at summit to snap pictures...
Then began fleeing the summit, as if being chased!
I only let up and moved methodically above the fixed lines and exposed rock scramble sections. Otherwise it was full send!
For me, in my current fitness, I knew the descent could go sub 1hr for me...I didn't think of it going in less than 45 minutes.
I love this route. Deep respect to Chris for making this go so deep for me. Putting an effort down on this that required rehearsals, memorization, and visualization to have a chance...
This one will be a fond memory for as long as I have a mind.
The new FKT = 1:51:19.9
So blood, sweat, doubt, angry plants, complicated scramble route, over 3k' up then back down in under 5 miles...
I hear Vegas Local and obstacle racer, Raymond Fong is already inspired by my effort and did a rehearsal lap faster than the old 2:38 mark. Here he comes to reclaim it for RRRunners! Which puts a smile on my face. I want to see this route get fast! I want to see locals build a speed culture on these routes, like we see in Boulder on the flatirons! I have the clarity of vision to see this space is bigger than my own effort!
And I do think this time is good enough on a difficult and confusing enough route to demand rehearsal. So it will need to be a local or someone who takes multiple rehearsals to memorize the route to take this faster. It would take an insane athlete or the route to get more well trodden to onsight this faster that 1:51. Which to me is a good mark to leave behind.
I will call it now and say that this route will go faster than 1 hour on the ascent at some point.
And the descent will go around the 30 min mark.
Maybe it will be Raymond, maybe it will be you?
This means the ideal running, with adequate practice, by the right athlete will see a mark near the 90min mark, car to car.
For those following my story, this is number 97 on my journey to 100 FKTs
I am stoked to be partnering with the following brands as I finish the Journey to 100FKTs and on throughout the amazing adventures of 2021:
Athletic Brewing Company: Great Non-Alcoholic Craft Beer, Supportive of initiatives to get BIPOC and Women outdoors, Two For the Trails Program. I cannot gush over this product or the heart of this company enough!!! I am going the month of February (and through Lent?!?) without alcohol go to www.athleticbrewing.com and use code: JASONH20 for 20% off your first order to join me!
Dynafit NA - Awesome to be a part of bringing this brightly colored European brand into North America. A great team of athletes (and quality humans) to be associated with like Ilana Jesse, Grant Barnette, and Joey Campanelli
Coros Global - I am excited to be partnered with the GPS "wearable" brand that disrupted the market not long ago with their insane battery. I am about to upgrade to their Vertix model for the multi-day FKTs I have coming up where 60hrs of battery life in full gps mode will be invaluable.
I am excited to offer you a code: COROS-Hardrath
The code is good for a free accessory of your choice with any COROS watch purchase. You can view accessory options here. ...just be sure you add both the watch and accessory of your choice to the shopping cart, before applying the code.
Kogalla Lighting Systems - Going to a dual lighting system with this amazing waist light system has been a game changer for my efforts that push through darkness. The flood style lighting coming from the waist height gives more depth to the shadows around obstacles on the trail, or in my case often off-trail. And for me the extra lumens and wide field of light seems to stave off drowsiness for longer (kinda like how watching TV too late makes it hard to get sleepy). I am stoked to offer you a discount code of jasonhardrath to get 10% off.
Tailwind Nutrition - It’s designed to overcome the nutrition problems faced by endurance athletes in events like 50's, 100's, 24-hour, and multi-day epics. Tailwind combines complete fuel, hydration, and electrolytes in a tasty drink that won’t turn your stomach into a brick.
Sawyer Filtration - Excited to be partnered with a brand that I biked across the USA in 2011 with to provide filtration devices to family's with no access to clean water. Sawyer is a company with heart.
NW Alpine Gear - NW Alpine was founded in 2010 in response to the demand for high quality alpine climbing apparel made in the U.S. Since then, they have remained dedicated to the alpine climbing community and our special needs.
Ask me anything about any one of these products and why/how I use them in my adventures!!!