Matt Mahoney's 2001 Colorado Vacation

2001 Hardrock 100 Mile Run

The Hardrock 100 Mile Trail Run was held July 13, 2001. There were 117 starters and 64 finishers within the 48 hour cutoff. Karl Meltzer, 34, of Sandy, Utah set a new course record of 26:39:35. Betsy Kalmeyer, 40, of Colorado set a new women's record of 29:58:00, finishing 3rd overall. Hardrock is considered one of the most difficult 100 mile races, with an average altitude over 11,000 ft. and 33,000 ft. of climb. Hardrock Website

This was my fifth start at Hardrock and my third finish (not counting my unofficial 51:38 in my second attempt in 1998). My time was 45:00:03. This was about 3 hours slower than my previous two finishes, I think because I had breathing problems going up Virginius, Engineer, and Handies Peak that added about an hour to each climb. I had about 2 weeks of altitude acclimation, which is just barely enough to avoid this kind of problem; where I have to take deep breaths and can't get enough air to climb at a normal pace.

I flew to Colorado from Florida (sea level) on June 26 to begin altitude acclimation. In the next 3 days, I climbed Mt. Evans, Yale, and Princeton, all over 14,000 ft. Then I took a day off to drive 500 miles to Hillsboro, NM for the Sawyer Mt. 27 mile trail race on July 1. I returned to Colorado on July 4 to climb Mt. La Plata, Huron, and Elbert, and run the Leadville Marathon on 4 consecutive days. Then I took a day off, climbed Mt. Sneffels on July 9, Dives-Little Giant (last 9 miles of the course) on July 10, Kendall Mt. on July 11, and then started my taper for the 100 miler on Friday the 13'th.


The Hardrock 100 starts in Silverton, Colorado (right). Two days before the race on July 11, Aki Inoue and I climbed 13,000 ft. Kendall Mountain to get a better view...

We're off. The "Nute Chute" parallels a paved road below, but that would be too easy.

Margarat and Mark Heaphy cross South Mineral Creek at mile 2.

Crossing under the waterfall at Ice Lake Creek, 13 miles in 4 hours, and on our way toward our second major climb.

Climbing up the "easy" south side of 13,000 ft. Grant-Swamp Pass at mile 15.


Descending the "hard" north side.

After descending the 45 degree scree slope, the going is easier on the snow. Ahead looms Oscar's Pass.

Runners jockey for position at a blistering 1 MPH pace while climbing Oscar's Pass, 3000 ft. in about 2 miles, the third of 11 major climbs in the race.


Runners rappel down a fixed rope at Virginius Pass, climb #4, 12 hours and 33 miles into the race at 13,000 ft. The snow was unusually light this year, meaning it was mixed with mud and rocks.


Climbs #5 (Ouray to Engineer, 7700-13,000 ft) and #6 (Grouse-American Divide, 11,000-12,600 ft) were done at night. Bright and early (26 hours on no sleep) we climbed #7, the highest point on the race, Handies Peak at 14,048 ft., seen from above. The divide and American Basin are in the background.

The last climb: Dives-Little Giant at 13,000 ft. (photo taken during a training run on July 10. It was dark again, 91 miles and 40 hours into the race).

Matt Mahoney,