Vblog: Marathon Run at Capitol Reef National Park

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Vblog: Marathon Run at Capitol Reef National Park

This is a video compilation of my time at Capitol Reef National Park in Utah. Capitol Reef is the second least visited of the five Utah National Parks after Canyonlands but is no less spectacular than any of the others. The key geologic feature in Capitol Reef NP is the Waterpocket Fold. 

"The Waterpocket Fold is a classic monocline: an elongated fold with one steep side in an area of otherwise nearly horizontal layers. The layers on the west side of the Fold have been lifted more than 7,000 feet (2134 m) higher than corresponding layers on the east. The Waterpocket Fold is the longest exposed monocline in North America and is nearly 90 miles in length. It is the main reason Capitol Reef National Monument was established in 1937." - Capitol Reef National Park Geology PDF from nps.gov/care

I did a 13.1 mile out and back on the Burr Trail road starting from Cedar Mesa Campground. I ran parallel to the Waterpocket Fold following the road to the top of the Burr Trail Switchbacks. There I turned around. It was somewhat hot, sunny and there was very little shade. The terrain demands your attention as you stand and admire a 90 mile long wrinkle in the earth. 

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Project Statistics

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Project Statistics

For all the stat hounds out there (like me) here will be the running log of interesting statistics about the project. Let me know if there are any you would like me to add. 

Category: Car

  • Make and Model: 2008 Subaru Impreza
  • Miles driven between June 18, 2016 and July 6, 2017 - 43,545
  • Miles per gallon: 24.6

Category: Running

  • National Parks visited: 48
  • Number of pairs of running shoes: 7

Food/Nutrition

  • Number of Hammer Gels consumed during marathons: Average 6 per marathon x 48 marathons = 288 
  • Number of bananas eaten: Average 2 per day x 382 days = 764

 

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Vblog: Marathon Run at Cuyahoga Valley National Park

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Vblog: Marathon Run at Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Marathon #3 at Cuyahoga Valley National Park still stands as the most participation I got at any park. While only my friend Ron Ostry stayed with me the entire way I had five others join for around 10 miles in the middle of the marathon. The people who live around Cuyahoga Valley use the park regularly. There are multiple running groups, meetups and other events which highlight this wonderful place. Combine the natural beauty with local engagement and you have a special place. 

I ran the marathon in the morning and then joined the Tuesday night group for another five miles. I included some of that footage to really highlight how big and engaged the local running community is. If you are in town make sure to reach out to Jim Christ at the Crooked River Trail Runners or the Cuyahoga Valley Trail Runners.

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Vblog: Marathon Run at Voyageurs National Park

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Vblog: Marathon Run at Voyageurs National Park

I've got time and wifi to go back through all my video and relive the adventure to date. First up, my run through Voyageurs National Park. It was wet from the start, muddy and there were lots of downed trees. I saw my first bear and made bear noises. This was marathon number five back on July 14, 2016. It will be a lot of fun to see how I progressed through the parks. 

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Vblog: Being a Tourist at the Grand Canyon

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Vblog: Being a Tourist at the Grand Canyon

Vblog of my day at the south rim of the Grand Canyon. I started at the Bright Angel Lodge area and then drove to Desert View stopping at all the viewpoints along the way. I did a little hike at Moran Point which I enjoyed very much. Totally worth it. 

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Vblog: Mesa Verde National Park

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Vblog: Mesa Verde National Park

At Mesa Verde I ran about 23.5 miles on road and the remainder on the Petroglyphs Trail. Running on the road did give me an excellent view of the canyons and many of the ruins. Given an early enough start running on the road is safe and enjoyable. 

This video has much more of my face than normal. Hope you enjoy. Ha!

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Footsteps in a Dune: Great Sand Dunes National Park

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Footsteps in a Dune: Great Sand Dunes National Park

I went for a hike at Great Sand Dunes National Park. My route was to the top of 700 foot tall dunes starting at over 7,000 feet elevation. Great Sand Dunes is a popular park and this was Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. By 10:30 a.m. there were already a lot of people plodding their way up.

Even though I’m in good running shape when I hit the steeper climbs in the high altitude I started to strain. Every step resulted in a little backward slide that made progress slow. I actively thought, “What could make this easier?” I began to experiment.

Stepping on the mounds of sand at the heel of an old footprint didn’t help. That wake was soft and slid downwards easily. Stepping in a spot devoid of a footprint was a little better. There was a little resistance before creating my own mark.

The best approach I found was to step directly into an existing footprint. The sand was already compressed and I didn’t sink as much. I seemed to make better time working with the footprints than stepping around them.

I contemplated this as I worked. The footprints were not straight: they zig-zagged from side to side, sometimes requiring a short step, sometimes a long one. They were not all made by the same person. However, collectively, they were helping me toward my goal.

Despite those that had come before me I was still on my own path. I was still going in my own direction. I may get to the same place as others but it would not be the same journey they travelled. I took my own steps.

This train of thought stayed with me for a long while. I was taking the best of what others had laid out before me. I was allowing myself to be guided. In the past, I’ve often struggled with needing to figure things out on my own rather than following another’s blueprint or asking for help. If I didn’t do it myself then was the accomplishment really mine?

I began to think that not even trailblazers start unguided. They learn skills and acquire knowledge from others. Once they’ve learned from following, they are ready to cut that new path.

My traveling over the past year has allowed me time to contemplate what I’ve learned and what I still have to learn. I’ve thought about how open I am (or not) to feedback, direction and help. I take this type of internal discussion as growth but also recognition that I need to embrace this even more.

I’m certainly not a trailblazer yet but I’m certainly on a new course of exploration and that is a big first step.

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