It has been a while since I last posted anything on this blog. That’s partly because I have been doing what this blog is about….running trails. I have also been doing some traveling. So in an effort to catch up on blog posting I thought I would do a write up on what I’ve been up to during the last six months or so. In short list form I traveled to Vanuatu, ran a 50 miler (kind of), summited the Grand Teton…the highest peak in the Tetons, and ran two half marathons.
I lived in Vanuatu for two years as a Mormon missionary from 1996 to 1998. For the first time since I left Vanuatu, I was able to go back this last May. It was an awesome experience!! I was able to see so many people that I love and was able to reconnect with them. By far this was the number one highlight for me.
Vanuatu has some beautiful beaches, but I’m not much of a beach goer…so I didn’t spend much time laying on the beach. I did do some snorkeling in the ocean, swam in a blue hole, and visited a very active volcano. I documented my whole trip by taking photos and video. Below is a YouTube video I made of my trip to Vanuatu.
50 Miler (Squaw Peak 50)
One week after getting home from Vanuatu I toed the starting line of the Squaw Peak 50 Mile Endurance Run. I have to admit that I’ve been struggling with the ultramarathon distance as of late….like for the last four years or so. I had seven consecutive Squaw Peak 50 finishes but the last four years I’ve struggled to finish an ultra. This June was no different. I made it to mile 33 and DNFed (Did Not Finish). I was out of gas physically and mentally and could only go that far. Since then I’ve been training better and feel that I am in better shape than I have been in for a while. I plan on running Squaw Peak next June and with my training that I’ve been doing I should finish.
At the end of August I headed up to the Tetons to climb to the highest peak which is named the Grand Teton. I hardly have any climbing experience so my friend I hired a guide to help us summit. It took us two days to do it. The first day was a hike up to what is called the Saddle where there was a hut for us to sleep in. The second day started at 3:30am as we began our summit attempt. Being a unexperienced climber I found climbing in the Tetons challenging and exciting. The challenging part came in two forms… the climbing which requires upper body strength and mental toughness. I don’t do much exercise
or activities that require upper body strength. This Teton trip helped me to realize that this is something I need to work on so I can round out my fitness. The mental part came because of my fear of some of the exposed cliffs I was on. It took a lot to focus on not being afraid and to just climb. The exciting part of climbing in the Tetons was overcoming my fears and just being up on a beautiful mountain. It was a great experience!!
I’ve run two half marathons this year. One in October and one last weekend (November). The half marathon I ran in October was on Antelope Island…an island in the Great Salt Lake. It was a trail race called the Mountain View Half Marahon. It was a lot of fun! My goal was to run it in under two hours, but I took a 8 minute bathroom break and I ended up finishing in 2:05. The second half marathon I ran was called the Snow Canyon Half Marathon which is run in St. George, Utah. This race was a road race. This race was on the road and pretty much all down hill. I ran it in 1:46. I was happy with this time and felt strong at the finish.
It has been a good year so far. Beside everything that I’ve mention in this post. I’ve spent as much time as I could in the mountains running. Whenever I could on a Saturday I was up on Mount Timpanogos running. It was a lot of fun being on this particular mountain and especially to be able to explore parts of Timpanogos that I have never been to.
I plan on finishing off the year by doing as many Grandeur Peak summits as I can and I want to put in some long miles on the Provo Canyon Trail. Life is good…especially when I can be out running!!!
I ran Grandeur Peak this last weekend to help bring awareness to the bad air quality that we have along the Wasatch Front. The run was organized by Jared Campbell and called Running Up For Air. Jared reported that 58 people participated totaling 126 summits on the day. Jared Campbell was able do 12 summits in one day. Jared Campbell’s blog posted a post detailing the days summit totals.
It was great day to be out on the trails. My brother Caleb came with me and it was good to be with him. It was warm, but despite the warm weather the trail was still mostly covered with snow. With the warm temperatures in the forecast though that will soon change. The snow was soft because of the warm weather which lead to less sure footing even with microspikes on.
My summit of Grandeur Peak on Saturday was my 6th summit of the year. By Spring time I hope to have 10 summits on the year.
Since the beginning of the year I have decided to get as many summits as I can on Grandeur Peak. I have been able to get 5 summits so far this year. I hope to get more…maybe 10 by the time Spring to hits.
Grandeur Peak is a peak that’s part of the Wasatch Mountains that over looks the Salt Lake Valley. It is between Parleys Canyon and Millcreek Canyon. It is not the highest peak in the area, but it tops out at 8,299 ft. The trail up to the summit from Church Fork in MillCreek Canyon is used heavily in the winter time which means the snow is packed down. This means snowshoes are not needed unless there has been a recent snow storm that has put down some new snow on the trail. Round trip from Church Fork (trailhead to summit and back) is 6 miles.
This coming Saturday (March 2nd) I plan on summiting Grandeur Peak 2 times in one day. I’m doing this to help raise money to improve the air quality along the Wasatch Front. The air quality in this part of Utah can be very poor especially in the Salt Lake Valley during the winter months. There will be other runners running up Grandeur Peak to help raise money. Some runners, like me, will be going for 2 summits, other runners will be going for as many as 12 summits on Grandeur Peak in one day. Jared Campbell is one of those runners who is gunning for 12 summits. If you are interested in donating to the cause to improve air quality along the Wasatch Front you can donate at breatheutah.org.
To see what runners are participating, you can go to Jared Campbell’s Blog to see the runners and their summit goals.
I like to highlight amazing accomplishments. Not too long ago, I wrote a short blog post about a 7 year old girl named Greta Jensen who made it 200 feet shy of the summit on Grand Teton. Well, she gave it another shot with her Dad and made it to the summit. Here is a link to the post her Dad wrote about their adventure. Click the link to read about Greta’s Grand Adventure
- 7 Year Old Girl 200 Feet Shy From Summiting In The Grand Tetons (dallanmanscill.com)
My intent with this blog is to mainly share some of my knowledge about ultramarathon running that I have gained from running trails and ultras. I also want to highlight anything that has to do with adventure whether it has to do with ultra/trail running or not. I found this video of two ultra runners who recently summited the Tetons. It’s a fun video to watch. It’s about ultra/trail running, but it is also about adventure. Enjoy!
Greta Jensen is a 7 year old girl who just stopped 200 feet short of the summit on Grand Teton. Her and her father had to turn back because of the elements, but would have summited otherwise. Read about her story here at 7-year-old climber above the clouds on Grand Teton.
Most of the posts on this blog have to do with ultramarathon running. But this blog is also about adventurous endeavors especially endeavors connected to a good cause. On May 20, 2012 Doug Masiuk began his cross country run at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and hopes to reach New York by September or October. What makes this endeavor so exceptional is not only the distance that Masiuk will cover, but that Masiuk is a type-1 diabetic. He is running across the country to raise awareness for diabetes.
Doug Masiuk’s website is called 1Run OutRun Dieabetes.
Meet Doug Masiuk