A few notes from my latest Catskills hike, in this case, the ascent of Eagle and Balsam with my friend Steve Aaron, for whom these were the final two peaks in his quest to join the Catskills 3500 Club. To spare ourselves the staircase-steep climb out of McKenley Hollow, we met up Saturday morning at Rider Hollow, where we were joined by Chris Rokos, an avid hiker and volunteer maintainer on the Long Path. I’d hiked these two peaks from this trailhead on November 3, 2017, and in addition to accompanying Steve and Chris I was looking forward to repeating the same route at the same time of year and seeing what would be the same and what different — but this visit was going to be a completely new experience….
The sixth edition of the SRT Run is now in the books. The event celebrates the values of self-reliance and endurance, and we congratulate every finisher… Continue reading “2019 SRT Run Race Director’s Report”
Some quick notes from my latest Catskill trip, the thought being that if it’s worth the effort to hike or run, then it’s also worth the effort to set down some impressions. John Burroughs commented:
The pleasure and value of every walk or journey we take may be doubled to us by carefully noting down the impression it makes upon us….It was not till after I got home that I really went to Maine, or to the Adirondacks, or to Canada. Out of the chaotic and nebulous impressions which these expeditions gave me, I evolved the real experience. There is hardly anything that does not become much more in the telling than in the thinking or in the feeling.
This hike consisted of bagging Doubletop and Big Indian, which incidentally brings me to 49 out of 420 for my second Catskills Grid. While another grid is not an immediate goal, it feels like slow progress in that direction would be a way to learn more about these beautiful mountains and thus worth a little bit of time and effort… Continue reading “Notes from the Catskills”
Note: Ben Leese won the 70-mile division of the 2019 SRT Run with a new course record of 16:28:16, eclipsing the prior record by almost two hours. More info on the race at www.srtrun.com
Ben’s 2018 SRT race report here
Shawangunk Ridge 70 miler
Last year was my first attempt at the SRT and my first attempt at running anything longer than a marathon. After missing my goals at a succession of road races over the preceding couple of years I was thrilled to achieve my main objective of grinding out a finish. But the experience was brutal. The distance was of course a big part of that, but I’d made a number of rookie errors as well and as soon as the chafing had healed and the toenails had regrown I began to think about ways to improve in 2019.
Some random notes from a recent trip to the Adirondacks, the purpose of which was to make progress on climbing the 46 high peaks. This trip bagged me 8 more, bringing the total to 37 out of 46, and hopefully I’ll be able to make a couple more trips this summer and complete the goal…. Continue reading “Notes from the Adirondacks”
Here is the link to an article I published last fall in Backpacking Light on the subject of “Natural Navigation.” It’s based on my experiences in the Catskills, where several of the peaks have no trails, requiring you to “bushwhack” through the forest
On May 27, 2019 I completed a slow-paced trail run in the Catskills, which incidentally marked my 4,000th mile of barefoot training. I reported previously on the 3,000th, 2,000th, and 1,000th miles, and this post is my latest update on what has turned out to be a fascinating journey.
The story of the last thousand miles is a return to running, after a series of injuries in 2016-2017 that limited me mostly to hiking, and then a gradual recovery in 2018. But the main theme is getting better, and slightly faster, especially on rocky trails. And what fun it is to get better!
A beautiful late spring morning for a 20-miler along the Hudson River, and here are some of the sights and sounds….
I’m still a relative newcomer to barefoot running, having started the practice four years ago, a short period of time when compared to forty years running in shoes.
Over the last twelve months I’ve started racing barefoot at distances ranging from 5k to 1/2 marathon, almost ten events, and each one a memorable experience not only on account of the variety of surfaces, but also because of the reactions of my fellow participants.
On March 17th, I woke up at 5:38 AM, a few minutes before the alarm was set to ring…