BHS 100K

Here is some video and pictures from the 2013 Bishop Ultramarathon. I completed the 100K in 14 hours 22 minutes.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Road to the Bishop High Sierra Ultramarathon

The Road to the Bishop High Sierra Ultramarathon goes though Griffith Peak.

Griffith Peak, Mt. Chaleston Wilderness, NV

                The next target for me is a 100K trail race in the Sierra Mountains outside of Bishop, California.  A few months ago, while running the 50 mile Running form an Angel ultra at Lake Mead, NV (my first ultra) I was told Bishop was a race I just had to run.  So now, after I survived that first one, and did rather well with a big smile and a time of 8 hours 41 minute, I am signed up for and preparing for the Bishop 100k.  One hundred kilometers is sixty-two miles, so one might think that is only 12 more miles so really not that big a deal – just keep on going steady for a couple more hours and you got it, right? However, the Bishop race adds a few more degrees of difficulty. 
Race comparison chart

Running from an Angel
100 K Bishop High Sierra Ultramarthon

50 miles
62 miles

Starting Elevation
1200 feet
4400 ft

Peak Elevation
1,876 feet
9,400 feet

Paved roads, rolling hills
Gravel roads, stream crossings, steep mountain trails

Total elevation gain/loss
+4277/-4277 feet
+9,800/-9,800 feet

In Bishop, we will be running up and down the east slope (the steep side) of the Sierra Mountains all day on forest service gravel road and mountain trails.  This plus the high altitude will make the overall challenge about double that of Running from an Angel.
 Fortunately I have plenty of mountains in the Las Vegas area to provide similar training opportunities; Mt. Charleston is only 30 minutes away.  Harris Springs road is a forest service road that leads to Griffith Peak an 11,000 foot mountain from which you can view Las Vegas Valley, 9000 feet and 30 miles away.  The first time I ran there I went 8 miles up the road to where the Griffith Peak trail head begins at 8000 feet and turned back.  I used hiking poles to assist me as I ran and hiked up the 8% incline – 16 miles in 3 ½ hours.  The second time I left in the afternoon after school and made it an additional 3 miles up the trailhead to 9,000 ft. It got dark on me this time and I was running back down the mountain with a head lamp.  These were good experiences and I feel I am starting to get in touch with this mountain and its solitude.  You don’t meet many people up this way.  So far I have only seen one hiker and less than a handful of ATV’s and other vehicles on the road.    
The third time I made it to the peak which turns out to be 13 miles each away and would make an awesome marathon I would love to stage some day; it took me 6 ½ hours.  Here is the profile; click on the image for more details.
 Here are some pictures from my run to Griffith Peak.

All geared up and carrying a little over 2 gallons of water - about 15 lbs.  Ready, set, go!

Looking back down the road
Griffith peak Trailhead
Looks close but it is still another 3 miles and we are over 9,000 ft. already
Mt. Charelston Village in the distance
Looking back from about 9,500 ft.  Starting to get real tired requiring a couple of short rest stops.
Approaching snow
Hard going over this thawed and frozen over snow.  Need to punch through and make steps to avoid sliding down the slope
The peak.  I'm looking down on it from the snow cap.
Peak view of Las Vegas valley
The Strip
North Las Vegas
The trail back down
Wierd little old tree growing out of the rocks

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