Sunday, July 16, 2017

Millwood 100

George Odell and me Elbow Fork

George on the off trail section between Birch and Mt Aire Saddle

Jay Aldous and me Big Water

Above Wolverine Cirque  Picture Erik Storheim

Climbing up to Mt Baldy Picture Erik Storheim

Resting on Carbonate Pass Picture Erik Storheim

Last climb up to Regulator Pass Picture Ben Lewis

Almost to Ridge Picture Ben Lewis

Descending to Lake Blanche Picture Ben Lewis

Totally cooked coming into S-Curves

Ben happy to hand me off to Christian for last section

Excuse to stop and point to where I was 3 hours ago Picture Christian Johnson

Slogging the last 6 miles, Desolation trail Picture Christian Johnson

Almost, almost final stretch Picture Christian Johnson
 Millwood 100 2017

So why run Millwood, as Jared stated on the newly created Millwood Official page, you receive no award, no belt buckle or t-shirt, no listing on Ultra Signup and accept for a handful of local runners no real recognition from anybody. I had a few reasons to attempt this route.

First is the route itself, it covers all the geographic area that I have been running for the last 10+ years. I do occasionally run in other parts of the Wasatch but 95 percent of the time in the spring, summer and fall I am running on one of the trails in the three canyons this route covers and I love them all, and this route covers most of the better ones. Think of the multiple spectacular locations this route covers, plus I can't think of a 100 mile race that has a better finish then the last 10 miles of Millwood. I mean seriously you can't deny that the trail from the top of Porter Fork over to Thayne's Canyon isn't some of the best single track in the Wasatch Range.

Second reason is how hard the route is. I gave up running 100 milers back in 2013 when I had my first drop in a race at the Wasatch 100. I dropped because I felt awful in the very hot conditions that year but I had felt that way before in races, the missing component in this race was I wasn't having any fun, wasn't looking forward to the experience of running 100 miles and didn't really care if I finished. It was as if a light switch had been turned off, I was done with 100 mile races. But.... and there is always a but, I had never run the hardest 100 mile mountain race in the country, the Hard Rock 100. Now I have never really been drawn to H.R. 100 like some people, even as impressive as those mountains are and the amazing community that surrounds Hardrock I never really had a burning desire to run the race. I have paced about 130 miles of Hardrock so I know how spectacular, hard and special that race is but I was not willing to run a qualifier to get in and deep down knew I really didn't want to. But I felt like my 100 mile resume if that is what you want to call it was incomplete and I hadn't proved to myself that I could complete such a hard mountain course. Now I really don't know which is harder HR100 or Millwood but I figure Millwood is close enough, if I could complete this route then I could mentally check off 100 mile races and move onto what ever new adventure presents itself.

The third reason and hopefully I can explain this in a way that makes sense, Millwood is a celebration a tribute if you may. A very very long time ago when people still had blogs I wrote some post about how Wasatch 100 race was just a race and the I important part was the journey to get ready for running Wasatch. My friend Peter commented something to the effect that sure the journey is important but the Wasatch 100 was the celebration of the journey and chance to get everybody together to do so. For some reason this has always stuck with me and I believe it is completely correct. Millwood to me is a celebration and a tribute to these amazing mountains, and the people that run in them. Jared wanted to make a very hard challenging 100 mile route but he also wanted to showcase the best of the Central Wasatch Mountains  and its trails and he nailed it perfectly. By completing the Millwood I have hopefully shown how much I love these mountains and how lucky I am to share them with truly amazing people. Now sure ego is always in play in these events/routes but I don't think you run something as hard as Millwood without a strong connection to the place and the people, otherwise what's the point.

Thanks to everybody that made this possible and thanks to Jared for creating such a amazing challenging route.

In this last week Ryan Tockstein became the 6th person to complete Millwood. Congratulations to him, Ryan ran a very fast time and did it in style, it was a pleasure to spend a little time with him at the finish. 

July 8,9 2017
My time 41:01, 5th person to complete the route
Pacers: Peter Lindgren, Astrid Lindgren, George Odell, Jay Aldous, Erik Storheim, Ben Lewis and Christian Johnson, guest appearance Dan Barnett ( Cardiff to Kessler to B.C.C road)

Crew: Betsy Johnson and Christian Johnson

6 comments:

Nick Sourlos said...

Greg,
Looks like you got the band back together and did something amazing. You and the MRC dudes are Wasatch legends, I was so happy to hear you completed Millwood considering it was such a exceptionally hot weekend is fantastic!

Respect,
Nick

deraj said...

Great write-up Greg and super inspiring effort. Thanks for sharing. Jared

Christian said...

What a fantastic accomplishment, thanks for letting me be part of it.

Jared Thorley said...

Great pics and report. Awesome to hear about this local route. Well done on the jaunt.
Jared T.

LEWIS said...

Super psyched for your accomplishment Greg! It was great fun to celebrate with you out there.

MVH said...

Very happy to welcome you to the Millwood membership. My favorite segment is Kessler.