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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Day 3 on the trail

A quick entry before trying to get some really good z's in a comfy bed. Today Andy and I met up with our first Trail Angels, Jim, Amy, Hannah and Abby. A wonderful family in Breckenridge that have gone out of their way to make us extra comfy and well fed.

To date we have covered about 104 miles and are moving along pretty well. The funniest thing is that we are constantly mistaken for day-hikers. Our packs are so small compared to the other few thru-hikers we've met. Andy has been great at teaching me the basics. The pace is constant yet relaxed, we've been putting in about 12 hour days. We somehow forgot our first 3 days of fuel for the stove so we had to make a fire the first night... that is a story in itself. So last night we ate bars. We've been eating LOTS of bars... yesterday I think I ate 12. The terrain has been beautiful and ever changing. Today we got our first taste of what I envisioned this hike to be, high alpine meadows and peaks screaming up all around. Tomorrow morning we head up the 10 mile range for what appears to be an impressive traverse. Headed to bed now, will write more from Salida if possible. Sleeping on the pine needles is alright, but some good sleep will be helpful.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Starting in a couple of hours!

Again up late doing last minute packing and details before taking off for two weeks. I managed to fit everything including the first 3 days worth of food comfortably in my Nathan Race Pack. The details of this amaze me and as Andy said tonight, "well we are planning everything from the calories we eat to the number of toilet paper squares we are carrying for the next 2 weeks of our lives."

So the gear list includes:
Thermarest Z-lite - this also doubles as the structure for my pack
Go-Lite shelter - I'm not sure which one yet
small sleeping bag rated at about 45 degrees (Thanks Matt!)
Patagonia Puffball Jacket (not available now - this links to the vest)
Patagonia Rain Shadow Jacket
Patagonia Rain Shadow Pants
Patagonia Airius T
Patagonia Pull on sport top
Patagonia Long Haul Shorts
Patagonia Houdini
2 pair Smartwool Running Medium crew socks
1 pair Montrail Continental Divides
1 liter and 2+ liter Platypus Platy Bottles
2 Princeton Tec Pulsar lights - we won't be hiking at night much
Julbo Sunglasses
toilet paper
baby wipes
doctor bronners soap
broken handled toothbrush
broken handled Lexan spoon
MSR Titanium cooking pot - just the small one of the set
Cannon Elf camera in smallest Seal Dry bag
cat can stove - more on this once I've used it

Food: (one day will look like this)
1 Clif Builder Bar
2 Clif Bars
1 Clif Luna Bar
1 Clif Mojo Bar
1 bag Clif shot blocks
2 Granola bars
2-3 candy bars
1 dinner (couscous, angel hair pasta or mashed potato burritos)
1 dark chocolate bar (dessert!)

Starting tomorrow we have enough food/supplies for 3 days which will get us to our first mail drop in Breckenridge where we pick up 5 days supplies/food. In Salida we will pick up another 5 days worth. Final stop in Silverton where 3 days supplies/food will be waiting for us. At each of these stops I've arranged to meet with friends for help in town, perhaps showers and a place to sleep if there is room and timing allows. I will share pictures from these visits.

I need to be up at 4:30am to meet Skurka at 5am and be on the trail by 6am. The first six miles are on a paved road, so we'd like to get those out of the way before the heat of the day.
Excited to be done planning and get out there to do it!

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Emailing - if you email me from the link on this website PLEASE include your email address in the body of the email's text, otherwise I can not write back to you. Thanks.

I'm lying here wide awake on the same couch I slept so soundly on last night. My mind is buzzing with all of the little details I need to take care of before we start off on the Colorado Trail Tuesday morning. Andrew joined Jen (my sis), Matt (my brother in law) and I for dinner and in going over all of the calories and necessities for this trip I am honestly feeling a bit unprepared. We hit the grocery store and those of you that know me will not believe the number of candy bars I purchased this evening and now plan on eating over the next 15 days. Fortunately I will also be eating the Clif bars and Shot bloks I brought, but I didn't bring enough so am having to supplement my daily calories with the refined stuff. I'm seriously wondering how my body will respond to this influx of processed food and lack of fresh fruits and veggies. I know there are better ways to plan for this, but the ease of those concentrated calories wrapped in the small packaging is Skurka's style. I'm learning all I can and through this will figure out the things that work for me and don't, but in this learning process I am willing to try and to trust proven methods. (heck, when else will I EVER buy/eat 50 candy bars?)

I hope everyone else is sleeping soundly.

On the Road, Day 4

I realize I’m only on day 4 of this summer road trip, but so far it has been exactly what I’d envisioned. I arrived at Nikki & Don’s on Friday afternoon, nodding off as I drove through town. Since Nikki wasn’t home yet I crawled in the back of my car for a little afternoon nap in the sun. This new car is working out GREAT! Nikki woke me up about 1:15pm and we went inside to meet all of the animals, Dharby, Custer, Sushi and Winkins (3 dogs and a cat). After talking a bit we headed out for a beautiful run near Hylite Mountain; a 2 hour out and back throwing in all of the side trails that lead to some impressive waterfalls. The altitude (between 6-8k feet) got to me a bit, but since neither of us was in any hurry we just enjoyed the time to catch up. When we arrived home, Don joined us with chicken, corn, watermelon, blueberries and fresh bread. We sat around on pillows and stools enjoying the chatter and the food.
That night I’d intended to drive a few hours before dark, but instead we took showers and walked into Bozeman to see the town and find some treats. We sat down in a comfy coffee shop with smoothies and a cookies and continued conversation about running, the area, summer plans, etc. We walked by the city fair on our way home and headed straight to bed as we all needed to get up early.
Saturday morning I left just before 6 and was still sleepy as I rolled into Billings so stopped to find some coffee and came upon the Yellowstone Valley Farmers Market. I bought some “peaches n cream” sweet corn to take to my sister and big latte to get me down the road. A couple hours later I found myself in Buffalo, WY and just off the highway found the Clear Creek trail that ran right through the town’s city park and then up towards the beautiful Bighorn Mountains. En route the city park was filled with people; asking a lady checking out what looked like an event’s schedule, I discovered that Buffalo was involved in a Basque Festival. The dirt path meandered up to the hills, I did an out and back and found the festival in full swing as I returned. Back on the road with an icy bottle of Ultragen, my last stop for the day was a quick one in Casper, WY to fill up with gas, ice and grab some snacks. I arrived in Denver at my sister’s condo at 7pm. We went for a short run and came back to grill shrimp. Matt (my brother-in-law) arrived home around 11pm and we all headed for bed.
This morning my eyes didn’t open till 10am! I haven’t slept that late in ages; was probably needed. This evening I’ll meet up with Andrew Skurka to go over gear and plan for the next couple of weeks on the Colorado trail. We are hoping to pick up any remaining items we might need tonight and tomorrow, mail ahead some drop boxes and start the trail Monday evening to get the first 9 or so road miles out of the way.
All is great! (Still need a name for my car)

Friday, July 21, 2006

The road trip begins

Typical Krissy, I had a hard time saying goodbye and getting out the door yesterday, but thanks to Matt's help packing and encouragement to get going I finally left Seattle at 1:30pm. An uneventful 8 hours of driving to Missoula where I decided to pull off for some sleep. I had a tough time finding a place to park and sleep (probably drove around for an hour). Finally I stopped at a log cabin restaurant to ask for a suggestion and the owner said I could just pull around back. After about 7 hours of decent sleep I came into town this morning and found a bagel place that has wireless and good hot chocolate.

My plan is to be in Bozeman this afternoon to run and hang out with Nikki Kimball. After dinner with her I'll probably move on to get a couple of hours of driving out of the way before tomorrow's drive to Denver to see my sister and brother-in-law.

Enjoy the day!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

NEW (to me) CAR

The advice I received from a good friend was to borrow Matt's car to start the next leg of my road trip, unless something fell into my lap. Well, the next thing I knew my friend Justin Angle called to say that he was looking to sell his 1998 Subaru Outback. After a test drive and approval from Pa (thanks for looking it over Pa!) Justin and I made a deal today and I am back on the road. My plan is to pack it up and head out tomorrow. En route I'm looking forward to a visit with Nikki Kimball in Bozeman, MT and then on to my sister's in Denver. In Denver I will meet up with Andrew Skurka and we plan to start the Colorado Trail early next week.
I have a tradition of naming my vehicle, but can't seem to find something appropriate... any ideas? (I will include a photo soon)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Roch at Hardrock:

I am hooked! I have attended the Hardrock 100 for 4 of the last 5 years and am finally convinced that I am ready to give this event a go. The application process starts in January, but my training and planning starts now. Pacing Roch Horton for 42 miles (15.5 hours) was inspiring, motivational and a lot of fun. The typical story-telling animated Roch transformed into a quiet, focused and driven individual when racing. He had basically a flawless race; great crewing (thanks to Catherine & Jim) with quick, efficient stops in the aid stations, he managed his eating, drinking and electrolytes perfectly avoiding any stomach issues and he paced well so that in the end he had some quads for the down hills and legs to run the last three rolling miles to the finish.

The starting lline.

On Sunday morning Dale Garland, the heart of Hardrock, shared breakfast with all of the runners, volunteers and crews and presented the finishers awards to the 81 “Hardrockers” of 2006. A couple of facts from this year’s race: first 70 year old finisher, John DeWalt, largest field ever, largest number of finishers, five people finished their 5th Hardrock and one joined the small group of 10 time finishers. For full results see This event is a gem in the Ultrarunning community as far as I am concerned, a highlight of the year and an amazing event to feel a part of.

race director Dale Garland

I am now on my way home in pursuit of finding a car, packing it up and heading back to Denver to meet up with Andrew Skurka so that we can start the Colorado Trail as planned. I need to be in Denver by the 22nd, it is going to be a busy couple of days!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Here at Hardrock

There is nothing like arriving in Silverton, Colorado the week of Hardrock and feeling like you've come home. The energy and excitement in this town is infectious. It is such a wonderful feeling to share hugs and catch up with the people that tie themselves to this race year after year. This experience is a perfect representation of how I envision the ultrarunning community: hugs, smiles, tanned bodies, chisled legs, mass consumption of food, frequent bathroom visits due to lots of hydration... I am very happy to be here.

Hardrock crowd.

The trip to get here: A delayed flight into Salt Lake City on Tuesday night, a couple hours sleep, a short run and 5 hour drive to Grand Junction on Wednesday. Thursday, a stop in Montrose to pick up Montrail runners Ty Draney and Leland Barker and on to Silverton to get Roch and Ty checked in before the 11am cutoff.
The race starts tomorrow morning (Friday) at 6:00am and finishes at 6am on Sunday morning, these runners have 48 hours to cover the 101 miles climbing 34k and descending 34k feet of elevation through the beautiful San Juan Mountains. The will go over 14k once and over 13k around 7 times (maybe more). You can follow the race at

Catherine packing the band of gypsies.

Monday, July 10, 2006

next step: Hardrock

Tuesday evening I fly to Salt Lake City to join Roch Horton's carpool to the Hardrock 100 mile endurance run in Silverton, Colorado. This event is part of the Rocky Mountain Slam for Roch and will be his 6th time finishing the race. I'm excited and looking forward to pacing him for the last 42 miles which should take us about 15 hours according to his race plan. If we stick to the plan we will get him in under 33 hours... a new Personal Best for him! You can follow the race at Have a great weekend!

New product: Cappuccino flavored Ultragen

First Endurance has quite simply made recovery a cinch. Planning to have a bottle with 2 scoops of recovery powder in it at the finish of a training run or race is easy and when taken in the first 30 minutes of finishing better prepares you for the next run. Not only is it easy, it tastes REALLY good! I’ve loved the Fruit Punch flavor since it was released, but they recently unveiled two new flavors, Cappuccino and Orange Creamsicle. Both are amazing to the point that in the last miles of a long, hard run (heck any run over an hour) I use that bottle of recovery drink as motivation to get to the finish. It’s that good! Sounds like a major plug, I know, but seriously this stuff is tasty.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Wrapping it up in Moab:

Being in the mountain bike mecca of the world I was able to join the wheeled individuals on my feet to run some of the best trails the town has to offer. Each morning was not a typical early morning start like my training buddies in the northwest, although with the heat that may have been the thing to do. On Monday we started the Slickrock loop at around 10am. Amazing terrain, and as I ran I constantly questioned how anyone could bike the quick steep ups, sand pits and sharp turns on the sticky slab. I was glad to be on my feet. Tuesday at 9am five of us started the 14.4 mile Porcupine Rim Trail, 3 guys (Matt, Cyril & Ryan) on bikes and Sylvie and me on foot. The point to point was littered with amazing views, including Castle Rock, Priest and Nuns and the Colorado River.

The group out on Slickrock Loop

That afternoon we hung out in the Mondo coffee shop waiting for Ryan VanGorder. Ryan was released from the hospital and on his way back to Seattle with his wife Jen and parents. It was great to see him moving around so well, chatting and eating. Quite a scary experience for the team and with all of he doctors reports and feedback everyone realized how close a call that incident had been. We attended the Primal Quest awards ceremony and dinner that night and the staff recognized Ryan’s recovery amongst the awards to all of the teams that finished the short and long courses. I enjoyed soaking up the stories of a couple of teams’ adventures and trials; Dave Mackey of Team Spyder shared his end of race hallucinations, a couple of funny stories came out about no-doze and Matt and a variety of difficulties with the horses in the beginning of the race in addition to the many blisters, lost toe nails and ulcers of the mouth.

After these mellow days in Moab hanging out with Team DART-nuun Matt and I left Moab on Wednesday morning and bee-lined it to get home. We snuck in a 2 hour run up Mill Creek Canyon in Salt Lake City on part of the Wasatch Front 100 mile course and had a great Thai dinner with friends Roch and Catherine. Then back in the car for some cooler evening driving. Thursday we pushed through and made it home in the evening to unpack and sort ourselves.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Lesson one: Rolling with it

I spent the weekend of June 24-25 at the Western States 100 mile Endurance run. I had the opportunity to crew and pace Darcy Africa for the last 20 miles of the race. Through the intense heat she ran really smart and was able to finish 3rd girl, 13th overall in a time of 20:53. The race was brutal this year with roughly a 50% finish rate and only 52 people finished under 24 hrs.

Krissy and Darcy at the Western States 100

Krissy's car...

After a delayed flight into Seattle I got a few hours sleep before waking up to go to work the next morning. Unfortunately when I went out to my car I found it pushed up on the sidewalk, the front bumper a couple meters away and the front driver's tire/wheel broken away from the car. The front of the car was lying on the sidewalk and the rear passenger tire was up in the air. It was quite shocking as my road trip was supposed to start on the following Saturday and the one thing I needed to be able to be "on the road" was sitting in a heap before my eyes.

The following days were filled with rushing around and waiting for phone calls. This was also my last week of work at Montrail, so between calls to the insurance company and autobody shop and wrapping up things at the office the week flew by. Also, to keep moving forward as close to the original plan as I could I bought a one-way plane ticket to Salt Lake City to meet up with Sylvie (Team DART-nuun Cyril's girlfriend) to drive to Moab and meet up with the team as they finished the race, hoping that I'd be able to fit in Matt's van for the drive home.

Thursday, my last day at work, ended up being a lot of fun. We had a Baja Fresh catered lunch and a swag giveaway for the entire staff. The new Montrail Promotions/PR person was up and he and I snuck out for a run to wrap up the day. Returning from the run I checked my email account one last time and was surprised to find a message from Matt. Unfortunatley one of his team members, Ryan VanGorder had suffered severe heat stroke and had to be airlifted to the hospital. Their team withdrew.

Now I sit in Moab relaxing with the team. The mood is good as Ryan is improving everyday and the doctors do not think there will be any permanent damage. We were able to watch our friends from Team SOLE finish in 7th place yesterday afternoon and hike up to Castlerock and the Priest & Nuns. They are sorting gear and each of us are slowly making plans for when to head home. There is a closing ceremony on July 4, and most of the team will stick around for that celebration.

Team SOLE...

Primal Quest...

This has been a challenging year already with a couple of major life changes. I feel as though I am being challenged to learn some of life's difficult lessons all with in a couple of months. Moving on, I thought I had a perfect plan, that once I got done with work I could separate from the difficulty that I faced earlier this year and move on, but once again craziness strikes. I hope to keep a positive attitude, keep moving forward and enjoying all of the good and learn from each experience. Gotta roll with it.