Arizona Trail 300 Results
Arizona Trail 300 Results
Start: April 14, 2006, 9am
Race website: http://www.topofusion.com/azt/race.php
1. Scott Morris (AZ), 2 days, 16 hours, 57 minutes (64 hours, 57 minutes)
2. Kevin Gillest (CO), 3 days, 9 hours, 49 minutes (81 hours, 49 minutes)
Did not finish:
Eric Lashinsky (CO), (Freeman Road, mile 250)
Lee Blackwell (AZ), (Oracle Ridge, mile 185)
Rudi Nadler (AZ), (Redington Pass, mile 150)
Cliff Walker (CA), (Tucson, mile 130)
As this is the first year of the race, the winning time is also the course record.
Both Rudi Nadler and Cliff Walker rode single speed bikes. Rudi's was a fixed gear.
Weather conditions were very good. Clouds and high winds protected racers from searing heat on the first day. The rest of the weekend featured surprisingly cool temperatures, making water consumption less of an issue.
Trail conditions were another story. Some portions were lightning fast and clear of overgrowth (a huge problem on the Arizona Trail), but other trails were in worse shape than ever (e.g. Oracle Ridge, Alamo Canyon). Downed trees, fire caused erosion, boulders and hike-a-bike were a constant challenge.
Big thanks to everyone that came out to test the waters on this very experimental race! If you have pictures or a story to tell, please share here. I am working on my writeup.
The AZT 300 will return Spring 2007! I hope more people will be able to experience the brutality and adventure that is the Arizona Trail.
Time to go farther
Way to go Kevin, can't wait to hear the story when you get back to work...
Congratulations to all competitors for giving this a go and to Scott and Kevin who ran it to the end. I'll enjoy hearing some stories of how it went for everyone.
Here is my story,
First day Rudy and I rode a lot together but later in the day when we stopped in Patagonia and I had little appetite I knew I was in some difficulty. That first section is a lot of up and down and rough and it slowly takes the energy away. We ran in to a rancher checking his water wells, he was on his ATV. Very friendly and declared us to be very tough for what were were doing. I ran on that compliment for a good hour. Truth be told, tough guy me had apparently gotten dehydrated. My original visions of grandeur faded to visions of breaking the road ahead into smaller pieces and thinking that I would stick it out until sunset when I would allow myself to rest my throbbing headache. I did immediately lay down at sunset and that was the last I saw of Rudy who was feeling much better than I. I had gone into this race knowing my condition was not what it should be for such a ride but I thought I'd just pace myself to the current condition I'm in. Easier said than done in a race.
Early in the night I heard riders, it was two riders who did not stop, later another who turned out to be Cliff. He was thinking of going more but he was tired and so he camped too. We rode together in the morning and I enjoyed his company but eventually I rode away near Hopkins Road.
Really felt good that Saturday morning.Enjoyed the new trail from Sahuarita Road on. Was a little short of food and did buy Ice cream at the Colossal Cave snack bar by leaving money in the window. It was closed when I arrived. I did not have the energy to continue riding into the night. I knew Scott was doing it, The day before I was joking with Rudy as I saw Scott's tracks like in a Western "I figger he's 4 hours out by now, the trail is gittin' cold"
My nights were all good. I slept well and long. Daytime a little tougher. My mind would wander around and my mood would go to bad sometimes but then inexplicably suddenly get more positive. Seemed to have little to do with the trail condition. Reddington Road on Sunday midday was my least favorite. All the gun totin, gas burnin' yahoos were tearing up the road. One guy dusted me and then a few minutes later as I rode by him he got real busy settin' up his shooting targets and somehow just couldn't look my way. I thought about saying something but clever words were not forthcoming. Besides, I forgot my iron. On Reddington Road the Forest Ranger flagged me down and asked if I was aware of the more positive riding opportunities nearby.
Elephant Head trail was when I felt the best on the ride so I guess that makes it my favorite.
Next night was at Molino Basin. Had another good night and next day thought well tonight maybe I can make it past Oracle. Had a good ride up the Catalina Highway. To the Cafe I went. Some racer HUH? I did enjoy my breakfast. Rode over to the Oracle Ridge and began hauling my bike over those downed trees. I did not mention the blister on my heel from the previous days of hauling that bike over obstacles and over passes so the heel was yelling and I was thinking about the long road down that ridge and I thought, WHY? So I headed the Moots right back out that trail, happily cleared the downed trees, gleefully headed uphill AGAIN on the Catalina highway but this time I was riding up to ride down so in a while my aching legs, ooozing heel and twisted mind were in Tucson sipping a vanilla shake made by my kind brother in law, Lyle VanDenbos!
There's next year as I see Scott has stated. Look out guys, maybe I'll skip the Cafe next time!
Unrepentant Cowboy SOB
More please!! You guys are gods..i'm waiting breathless to hear about the adventures!!!!
On a sadder note I am still trying to figure out how to load the gps data to my maps of AZ, and I spose all the info to my gps. I just bought a new one since I seem to have lost my old one last weekend. I'm much better with a compass and map but I;m trying to assimilate myself with today.
More ride reports..please, pretty please - I want to hear tales of suffering and overcoming said stuff, even if it's cashing the chips in at the nearest whiskeying hole.
"...it feels like.....times have changed."
"Times maybe. Not me."
South Mountain Bulimic
ok akitadog, here's a little more.
I tried to send some pictures but something is preventing that from working so I'll have to work on that.
I'd like to thank Val and Betty who so kindly arose before sunup to drive me to the start, and Lyle VanDenbos who was available to drive to Superior for the ride home I never needed but who did pick me up at the foot of the Catalina Highway after the gleeful descent.
Am I disappointed that I did not finish? A little, of course but not uttterly disappointed. In a couple of days after my muscles recover I will be in much better shape, a good way to be heading into summer and the rides I hope to be doing in the Leadville, Colorado area. .Perhaps knowing the trails was a disadvantage after all. I knew what was coming.
Thanks to Scott and the accurate GPS data. I would have had a terrible time without the GPS. Even with it I made a wrong turn or two because I'd forget to look at it. The other larger wrong turn was when I had it off to save the battery in an area I thought was very clear of wrong turn possibilities. Wrong!, Rudy and I ended up on a migrant trail and had to hike a bike back up to the trail, this was the spot I was warned about in the cue sheets before Canelo Pass. That cost us about 20 minutes of hard effort and I did feel like and idiot. These are the things you think you will never do but that is the difference between sitting at home contemplating a ride like that versus actually doing it.
The carrying of stuff for comfort continues to be a dilemma in my mind. I had good comfortable nights, maybe too good and I did not get cold like my camping buddy Cliff who was toughing it out with just a bivy and no sleeping bag. So toughing it out is one thing and getting sick or if the weather turns getting in trouble due to lack of gear versus keeping light and fast moving, it is an ongoing process and changes with the type of ride.
When I see the migrant trails I wonder what stories those people must have to tell. Thousands of people trekking in the nights, no one to call, trying to stay out of sight, no trips to the outdoor outfitter for a down sleeping bag and the latest pack before they head out. We were traveling the same mountains just different purposes.
I'm thankful that I have the physical ability to have done even the partial race. My body carried me well so at least I'm using this body I have to it's potential. It is always a good question as to what the outer limit could be. The mind to body connection is such a big deal.The solo time which was part of this race caused me to think about that more than usual.
Quite a race
I think i'll have to try this race next year...
Sounds very cool, Dave
Congratulations to all the AZT300 participants: Adventurers all.
Scott congratulations for conceiving, organizing, and bringing this exciting event to fruition.
Jeff, thanks for alerting us to the postings.
Lee, thanks for taking the time to report your experiences. I'm looking forward to the writings of the others.
Very Very cool. I am moving back to Phoenix so maybe I need to train for something like this. Hope to see it next year.
Where are the pics?
Getting a dropper post is like getting a bidet. I didn't know I needed one until I get one and boy, does my ass thank me.
Unrepentant Cowboy SOB
Fantastic..thanks! Even if you didn't finish it is a success as far as amazing adventures go.
I want the pics now!!!! Assuming they are sized right; just try uploading 3 at a time.
If that doesn't work you can try this - thanks to Paul B for these instructions.
The trick to putting a picture into the text rather than as an
attachment is that you have to store those pictures somewhere online,
and wherever you're storing those images has to allow "hot linking"
-- that is, letting other websites pull up those images from the
outside. I believe there are some free online image storage services
out there somewhere. Ah, here we go:
So then once the images are hosted somewhere online, you can link to
them in the body of the posting. You'll have to experiment to make
that happen -- use the ReCycle Bin board for that.
"...it feels like.....times have changed."
"Times maybe. Not me."
South Mountain Bulimic
Nice job on the GPS info. Was the race 287??? or according to last count I was at 307 (perhaps. the 15 wrong turns had something to do with that ) I finished with 307 miles.When I left Eric it was 10:34 am he was at...according to my GPS mile 257(with tubless tire issues) we had spent the last four hours in repair. That time of yours is AWESOME! The traverse of DEATH!!! It was all of the above! I thought that the water we got was from you...I should say thanks for the water. I was hoping the end of the race was going to be easier than the start.....it wasn't.....Hope to see you at the Grand Loop in Colorado in June! Been in the Sedona for the last couple of days rock climbing seems a bit more casual!! Thanks Again. Make it a bit more rideable and I will be back next year! Kokopelli 2 weeks away! Are you going to give me a rematch! I think that you have my email let me know whats up! K Gillest
Here's a picture of the group at the start. I needed to resize the image to make it work
a sweepers view
nice work by everyone. that is one heck of a route/race and nothing to sneeze at. it was good running into you lee. we'll have to ride again one of these days. i thought i saw tracks of 3 racers entering the boulders and ripsey segments but i guess only two made it out. i can't fathom doing that in just over two days. amazing.
This is just need to know information: Am i supposed to enjoy the irony or pity the sincerity?
Patience, my son. This should keep you busy for a while:
Originally Posted by akitadogg
AZT 300 Report (long, pics)
Hey Kevin. Helmet's off to you for finishing. And of course to Eric for hanging in there close to the end. You guys really rocked it, especially considering that it was all new territory for you. I can only imagine what was going through your mind on some of those sections.
Originally Posted by kgillest
The GPS comes up short, which is expected. I ended up with just shy of 300 miles on my GPS. Minus some wrong turns, the off-route ride to Oracle, add GPS shortening and I'd say it's very close to 300.
Re: traverse of death (Oracle Ridge). Glad you agree with my description. It's staying in the race.
The water is a public cache for thru-hikers. Consider it trail magic. I knew about the cache, but had heard before the race that it has been dismantled. I topped off a bottle, as you no doubt saw, but I carried enough from Oracle to finish. I knew I couldn't depend on the cache being there.
Likely I'll be at Koko and GLR. Perhaps in recon mode (definitely for GLR), perhaps there to rematch. It'll be fun, regardless.
Enjoy Sedona and the rest.
Comments from AZT 300 racers:
"You should change the warning on the web page to WARNING: you may actually ride your bike during this race."
"The Arizona Trail 300: Bike Optional."
"It's a good thing you live in Tucson, because if I ever see you again I'm going to f---ing kill you."
The last one is from Eric, and we (I) can only hope he's joking.
Thanks! I will give you a call soon! Kokopelli coming up QUICK!
Update on Cliff
An update on Cliff Walker--
He restarted this morning, in Tucson, with a lower gear and other bike/equipment mods. He intends to finish the race route over the next few days.
Pretty cool, if you ask me.
Words from Rudi
Rudi had trouble posting, so he asked me to put up his story.
Well after a week of moving from the bed to the toilet, to the sofa to
the toilet, to the toilet to the bed, I'm all toileted out. My guts
still ache. I'm not sure how it happened but I'll guess it has
something to to with the crazy AZT 300 ride.
I knew it was going to be rough, and with out a gps, I knew I'd get lost
without the help of the other riders. I used Lee as my guide through
the Canello hills to Patagonian. I was really happy to just ride with
Lee. I wasn't even worried when we got off track and lost. Better to
be lost with someone then lost by myself. Plus Lee had the gps and with
that, well, we weren't really lost just off course. I think Lee was
harder on himself about that. The fact that we had to bushwack our way
back to a trail that was not much beyond a bushwack just didn't faze
me. All in a long day's ride. I do mean a long day's ride.
As it was we spent five and a half hours just to cover the first thirty
miles. Neat, eh? When we stopped in Patagonia I found that Lee had
been suffering. He hid it well while we hiked and rode for those first
After a refuel in Patagonia we moved on to the Santa Rita Mts. Lee
seemed commited to stopping early in the evening. I just wanted to
roll. As usual taking my own foolish advice I did just that. Without
Lee I made a miss turn and ended up west and a few miles off course and
had to road ride my way to the Smithsonian were I stopped for dinner. I
thought about the SDMB group that would be there in the morning for a
ride up Mt Hopkins and almost left them a note but I'd forgotten my
drawing chalk. I desided to continue up to the Elephant trail head and
stop there for the night, on the way seeing the boy's from Colorado.
They were rather surprized to see me coming up the road and wonder how I
got to where I was. "Got lost" I said. I think they must have gone
down for water as they didn't follow me up the road. Once I got to the
start of Elephant Head/ the Devils cash box I just kept going. No spot
looked good for a camping place until after I reached the dirt road up
toward Elephant Head so I kept on riding until I had just about reached
the second part of the trail at Elephant Head. This was at 11 pm. I
was starting to get cold and I didn't prepare for the coolness of the
evenings, so it was easy to stop.
Next morning at 7thirty I got rolling again. I started late so I could
wait for the air to warm up a bit. From this point I could see the
tracks of the boys from Colorado and Scott. I could also feel the
pounding I took riding a rigid fixed gear on all the rough trail the day
before. I like Elephant Head. It's a good trail and was happy to be
riding it rather well. When I reached Madera Canyon it was still early
in the morning and inspite of my slow speed I thought I'd made good
time. I refilled my water and nourish my flesh and headed down toward
Box Canyon Rd. Here was my surprize for the day. My buddy Tom Wilson,
a new SDMB member, and his friends Steve and Colin happened to have
done a road ride out to Madera and were on their way back when they came
across me. To quote Tom "Well, we couldn't have planned this."
After leaving the roadie to there pleasure I crawled up box canyon only
getting faster as the grade steepened. Go figure. From there to the
pavement on 83 was a breeze. 83 was a bit trying on the fixie with
tired wrists, and was happy to reach the new AZ trail again. And tire
tracks to follow. I really loved this part of the ride. The new az
trail is sweet. OK, I got a bit fed up going over fences but the work
out there is beautiful. The last five miles to Colossal Cave were rough
in that they were so slow (five mph) but awesome trail. I had a burro
at Colossal Cave and then it was on toward Tucson.
By the time I hit the pavement I was moving slow again. I refueled and
added a few more water bottle to my gear in town and head up Redington.
This was near eight thirty in the evening. After passing three
feathers, I continued up to near Bellota were on a pile of spent shell
casing I decieded to call it a day and have dinner and get in my bivy.
Thing were fine until about three in the morning when I was awoke to the
the sounds of deathmetal, and loud voices. Now, there was nobody there
when I laid down that evening, and I just couldn't really fathom what
was going on, or even how to respond to the situation. Besides it was
cold and dark and I was alone. After a few minutes of realizing this
was not going to end. I sat up turned on my headlamp pointed it at the
Jeep and started to drink. That worked. Frist they got quiet, then
came the question and answer period. "who's here?" "How long have you
been here?" "We didn't even see you." "Sorry, we'll go now." Way to
easy. No confrontation. And, well no more sleep.
As morning wore on I started to look at my que sheets, and the feel the
pain in my body. I could convince myself that I was going to ride to
Molino, drag my bike up Molino, cross the road, drag my bike up Prison
camp, ride up Mt Lemon, and then drag my bike down Oracle ridge. Nope.
I took two steps forward toward Molino, turned around and headed home.
Which was probably good since my Sunday night I was feeling really bad,
and by Monday was having a close relationship the toilet. Oh yeah, and
I was thinking if I ever do this again I'll be using a freewheel.
Love to All.
Just go ride!
Great job and thanks for the good reads. You guys are inspiring!