Being a runner in Wyoming this time of year is very much like running a 100 mile race. After a loooong winter of ice, snow, and freezing temps we are beginning to see life reemerge, the snow is melting, and more runnable dirt is being exposed each day. If you've had a chance to be on the trail during a race and have experienced a second morning-spring here time feels much the same way. The load suddenly lightens,
we smell the barn realize we're going to make it to the finish line after all. I have a big summer planned so I have been logging miles and trying to get myself prepared. I am more fit than I have been (for this time of year)in many years. I am stoked to race again. I am going to kick off the season tomorrow running the Mennan Butte 25k as a rust buster for next month's race across the pond at Transvulcania. I am so excited to see another amazing part of the world on foot and participate in the hugely popular World SkyRunning Event. Chasing the world's best around a crater on an exotic volcanic island in May. Yes please!
As the above photo may indicate, Navidad vino temprano this year. No doubt, Hardrock 2014 is the main focus for my season this year. I have run it twice before, both times I was overwhelmed by the vastness of the San Juan's and the altitude. Even living at 6k and training at altitudes didn't prepare me for what the course had to dish out. So now I get a mulligan. A do-over. A third chance to perform well on the loop of loops starting and ending in Silverton. The field is stellar, the course burly, and I'll be moving to the 40+ age group. What does that mean? Not much, I'll just be older than I was last time I ran the course- which is better than the alternatives. I'm looking into getting an altitude tent and torturing my quads every chance I get to be ready for this monster. No guarantees that the lottery gods will ever smile on me again. To prepare me for this there will hopefully be a lot of adventuring involved. Our trip to Andorra last year gave me a traveling itch and hopefully I have the opportunity to scratch it. Early/late race plans are pending some of these possible ventures. My "other" little project next fall is a double Bear 100. I hatched this plan after my third finish and first 100 win in 2008 thinking that I could run it every year and do a "double" on my 40th for an even 10. Well, real life has been in the way and I only made it back to the race once-but the ideas has stuck. Yes it scares, me. Yes there will be some carnage but there is a part of me that is intrigued with the "strategery" that this will take to pull it off. The first event of the season will be on March 1st. I will be joining Jared Campbell and friends to raise money for Breath Utah via his RUFA. Come join us, make a donation-every little bit counts! Thanks in advance to those who help make these adventures possible. My family, Patagonia, Black Diamond, First Endurance, and Ultraspire. Time to saddle up and make some memories!
The 10th annual running of the Vaquero Loco 50k/25k races will be August 9, 2014. Registration will go live on ultrasignup.com 12/20 @ midnight. What a better gift for your significant other than a fall tour of the Salt River Range. After some deliberation we will stick to the original out-and-back course but we are looking into doing a "lake tour" loop that will make the course a bit longer, scenic, and tougher....if you can believe it! We only have 200 spots so don't wait too long.
To all those sponsors and runners who participated in the 2013 Vaquero races we thank you. Your generosity allowed 36 athletes to attend NXN regionals in Boise for the price of their entry fee. Your contributions paid for lodging, transportation, and 7 dozen donuts to end the year. Be watching for the 2014 entry information coming in the next month. Thanks again.
Thank you for attending this year's races. Special thanks to the many volunteers, sponsors, and my family for making this another fun and exciting event. Results are now posted on ultrasignup.com and can be found HERE. If you have photos and/or video of this year's event and would like to share please pass it along. We are already scheming up ideas to make our 10th anniversary races next year even better!
Race day is almost here. T minus one week! We are scrambling to make this your best Vaquero experience ever. We have a bunch of goods from Patagonia, Ultraspire, Patagonia Footwear, Black Diamond, and First Endurance for you. We will randomly draw #'s to see who wins gear beforehand and get that to you at the pre-race meeting.
Pre-Race Meeting: We will meet form 7-8 p.m. at the Star View Park on Friday the 9th(1 block East of the Wells Fargo in Afton). We will hand out bibs, hoodies, and draw prizes then and answer any questions you may have about the course. This year we will be doing chip timing. You will receive your chip when you check in again on race morning.
Course markings: Course will be marked with blue and pink flagging. Red flagging means "STOP"
Aid-Stations: Check out the map/elevation profiles so you know what to expect. We require that all runners carry a bottle or hydration pack. THERE WILL BE NO CUPS ON THE COURSE OR AT THE FINISH LINE! For you cup aficionados we will provide you with a soft Ultraspire cup to use. Aid station fare will be typical with some sweet and salty calories to power you to the finish along with Water and grape EFS from First Endurance. All aid stations need to be packed in on horses or humans so make sure to thank our volunteers. You will all be given a flask of EFS liquid shot. There will not be any refills so if you need more you'll have to put it in your drop bag or pack it.
Drop Bags: There will only be drop bags for the 50k at the turn around. Please make sure these are labeled clearly with your name and #. We will deliver goods to the finish line for the 25k runners
Transportation: Due to limited parking at the 25k start/50k turn around we are asking that you ride the bus. The buses will load at Star Valley High School (445 W. Swift Creek Lane) in the West Parking lot. They will depart for the start line at 7:30 a.m. We will also have a bus at the finish line that will take you to the HS around 1:30.
Parking: Parking is also limited at the start/finish area. If you have family members that want to watch you finish they are more than welcome. We CANNOT have people parking in the day use area at the finish or along the road next to the lake. If they cannot find parking in the day use parking lot they need to park on the East side of the lake or there is a spot on the left-hand side of the road about 1/4 mile East of the finish area where we encourage you to park and walk.
Food at the Finish: We will be serving burgers and watermelon at the finish line. We budget and plan for runners only but we will serve as many as possible.
Finish Awards: Awards will go to first, second, and third place male and female runners in both races. Finisher awards will also be handed out. If you drop at the turn around at the 50k distance you will be given a 25k finisher award but will not be included in the official times.
Dropping out: Unless you drop at the mid point of the 50k, dropping out is not really an option without a long walk. We have emergency procedures in place if needed but "loss of will" is not a medical emergency.
Roll-Over Policy: If you have an emergency and cannot make it to the starting line please let us know. If you notify me before race day I will gladly roll over your entry to next year. If you roll your entry over you will need to provide me with your ultrasignup email when I post the roll over list in the winter. If you do not notify me we gladly accept your donation>
Our goal is to put on a first class event with old-school feel. All funds go to provide food/rooms/transportation for the Star Valley XC team to attend the Nike Regional/National Meets this fall. The Salt River Range will beat you up and leave you craving more. Please email me at email@example.com if you have additional questions or concerns. And also remember that this is fun!
El Vaquero Loco 2011 - Thanks for making this year's race such a success. We will be looking on ways to make it possible for even more people to be involved next year-both runners and volunteers. We will be ready for registration a little earlier this year. Hopefully by January 1. Check back later for more information.
9th annual. Saturday, August 10th, 2013. Out and back course on nearly 100% singletrack. Beautiful vistas. Very tough and technical. It has been our experience that you run the 25k if you are not used to running technical trails at altitude.