Updated 11/22/07

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2007 Rails to Trails Run, Prescott Az. November 17, 2007 The second annual 11 mile Rails to Trails Run is hosted by the Prescott YMCA and Boys and Girls club, which benefits from the proceeds of this run. This is the same sponsors as the famous Whiskey Row Marathon held each year in May, which is nationally recognized. The event started at York Motors at 8am, and with about 200 runners we proceeded past the police escort down a very steep paved road down to a side road, which let to the entrance of the Iron King rail way bed. There we ran past a stunningly beautiful Watson lake, amongst giant boulders of granite, and islands in the lake (see photo). After many miles along the railway bed, which had been converted to a smoothed dirt trail walkway, we emerged behind a housing development, onto some back paved streets and back along a side road to the Tims Toyota Center where we crossed the finish line! We got an official "Rails to Trails" T shirt, and some very neat stuff in the goody bag. (Schwagg)


Here is the wrist GPS data from the run. You can see the steep down hill at the beginning, and the up and down undulations for the rest of the run.
Stretching before the Run
Gathering at the Start Line
Getting final directions from the officials
And were off!
Start of race
Start 2
Look for me left of center with Blue Bisbee 1000 hat
  Racepix shot 1
  Racepix shot 2
  Racepix shot 3
  Racepix shot 4
Blowing past other runners to a fast finish!
My official time
Here is a shot we took later of the lake I ran around
Bisbee 1000 Stair Climb October 20, 2007 The Stair Climb was perhaps one of the most exciting and challenging "runs" to date, and wasn't even any type of Marthon. The event has been held for over 17 years straight now, and this year we saw over 1200 runners, the largest turnout ever! Here is what it is: Each year in south eastern Arizona the town of Bisbee holds a huge athletic event, called the "Bisbee 1000 Stair Climb". Runners have to go as fast as they can - run a path that takes them through the entire town, up 7 flights of the steepest longest mining stairways in the western US., some of them over 100 steps. In between, you run like mad, up steep hills, down winding roads and right down the main streets in Bisbee. The money raised benefits Bisbee so they can rebuild and maintain the concrete stairs that used to be used a century ago by the miners to climb to the tops of the mine enterances. Today, Bisbee is moslty a huge tourist town, but the stairs are thier trade mark as well as the numerous abandoned mines which produced copper, lead and metals in the past. I did the run in 52 minutes, which was my first time at this event. This placed me at 277th place, out of 1200 runners. Here is the photo journey of our experience of this awsome event! Photos by Dawn Schur

The centerpiece of the town is a giant copper clad statue of a miner. Today, the statue has his official Bisbee 100 T shirt on!
  Early morning registration tables and last minute packet pickups.
  The Arizona Rangers and the police gather in the morning to plan how to keep the event under control.
  Runner starting to gather at the starting line. There will be over 1200 soon!
  Waiting near the front of the crowd for the start of the race. I am in blue, white cap in center.
  Wating for the start of the Race
  Police getting ready for the start, minutes away
  And their off! The race starts with a huge air horn.
  A sea of runners quickly fills the streets!
  And more runners...
  And near the back, the slower runners.
  From a vantage point at the halfway mark, Dawn shot me working my way up to the next stairs!
  After all the sets of stairs a fast and difficult run to the finish, my time was 52 minutes for the course.
  After the race, runners check thier rankings., I did quite well here, 277th place, which was in front of the mid packers.
  Another event that also takes place is the Ice Block Run, to see who can run with a block of ice in tongs up the steepest stairway in town the fastest.
  The crowd afterwards, from the balcony of the town hall, listens to the race results.
  Banner in town to commemorate the huge event!
  One of the stairs we dont climb is a place where plaques are posted on major contributors to the restoration of the stairs.
  The Plaque stairwell.
  Some old mining train cars on display in town.
  The Inn Bed and Breakfast in Town
  The famous Copper Queen Motel, where we ate afterwards.

Previous Runs - 2007 Rim Challenge Half Marathon October 13th, 2007 Payson Arizona The home town event was a fitting place for my fastest half marathon yet, 2h 07m. I keep telling Dawn that I'm getting too close now to breaking that magical 2 hour barrier to give up any time soon! Several hundered runners came together for both a 5k and half marathon event. The weather was perfect, and the course steep and challenging as last year. This time we started out at Rumsfield Park on the west side of town, and made a huge loop through the town and back streets to complete the 13.1 mile distance. Here are some photo highlights of the event!
When we arrived, race officials were still setting up the event.
Registration booth and race day packet pickup.
This is me warming up before the event!
At the start line, I am in the Sedona shirt.
The reading of the race rules by officials
After the race started, the 5K runners line up at the staring line.
The 5K finish line
The awards table, waiting for the post race ceremonies
At mid race, Dawn took this shot as I raced by!
Running for the finish line!
Announcing the runners as they come in
  A fast finish and the race is over for me!
Rim to Rim to Rim Grand Canyon Run October 4 - 6, 2007 This year was certainly my fastest time ever to run both ways, no doubt as a result of the past years more focused training for half marathons and trail running events. Thursday the 4th I went South to North in 7h 45m chopping a good 30 minutes off my all time PR set several years ago. The return trip on Saturday was even faster, 7h 15m, again lopping a good 30m off my PR. Weather this year was bad going S to N, I was hit with heavy pounding rain and hail, high winds, and rivers of mud 2 inches deep on the trail. The return trip was mostly clear, and dry. I must warn you, these pictures may stun you with the Canyons surprising beauty, color, and spectacular rock formations! The fall colors on the North Rim this year were amongst the most spectacular we had ever seen, and a feast for the eyes and cameras. I hope this photo pictorial shown here will give you some sense of the overwhelming beauty and the magnetic spell this place puts on us twice a year! South Rim Here are a few shots I took with the 10D from the south rim with the new 8mm fish eye lens. This gives an unusual perspective to the scenes and puts you right into the canyon like you were really standing there!
Standing at the south rim at Mather Point, my feet at the bottom.


A small Tarantula was spotted here too, resting on a slab of Kaibab limestone


Another dramatic view from the edge of the canyon.
Sitting on the edge of a large crevasse
Typical rim side viewing area next to the road
Fish eye view inside the visitors center on the south rim, shows the WHOLE THING.
I was actually standing under one edge of this roof on the way to the visitor center
South to North inside Canyon Thursday morning, starting at 4am in total darkness, I started my run on the south rim and set my sights on the very distant North rim lodge some 24 miles away. After a few hours it was light enough to take photos and you can see by the second image below, I was now very far from the south rim that I had started from still running at a good 10 minute pace towards the North rim. Here is the pictorial story. (Sony pocket digicam)
  Nearing the top of the inner gorge, Blocks of Hakati shale from a landslide next to the trail.
  Looking back behind me, the sun first rises on the south rim, which I left about 3 hours before, and 15 miles distant.
Waterfalls in Bright Angel Creek were good this year
Here is a big slab of Bright Angel Shale, loaded with U tube worm trace fossils half a Billion years old!
  Just before the pump house on the north side, the bridge that crosses the creek.
  A gigantic slab of shale, with huge half inch wide Cambrian worm burrows, and a trilobite trackway in the middle.
  Finally at the pump house, where a family used to live years ago inside the canyon.
Now I can see the north Rim in the distance getting its first rays of sunlight.
  Once you hit Roaring Springs Canyon, its a very slow steep totally uphill climb to the top.
  Hiking in the Bright Angel shale just out of the inner gorge. The sky is getting much cloudier now...
  Shafts of the rising sun light up the Redwall up ahead in a stunning beauty
  The killer climb through the Redwall, looking down over the edge. see the hikers below?
The first hint of the amazing fall colors up ahead are in the maples in the Supai
More maples, halfway out of the upper gorge, thousands of feet to go UP yet.
  Maples and pines in the Supai. Look at the giant storm on the Horizon
  A fi nal glimpse of the maples just as it started to rain
  The giant storm is very near now, and coming fast!
  My last shot in the canyon before the huge torrential downpour forced me to put the camera away.
At the top of the trail on the North side. What a beautiful sight after 24 grueling miles!
North Rim Friday was spent photographing the amazing fall colors with my lovely wife Dawn, and doing some (gasp!) more hiking on the north rim trails. The day was partly cloudy, but the air crisp and full of wildlife and insects. Here are some of the shots taken on the hike on Uncle Jims Trail, or around the north side national park.
Early morning start on the trail, about a 2 hour hike.
  Gorgeous yellow aspens in full fall colors
  Fossil sponge in chert along the trail, which is very fossiliferous
  Along the trail
  The trail ends at a viewing point, which has amazing views of the canyon
Looking into the canyon at the maples I hiked past on the way out. You can see the trail I run zig zagging.
Maples, aspens and spruce what more can you ask for?
Aspens and Pines 
  Aspens and Pines 3
We next drove down toward the parks entrance and followed the road lined in golden Aspens
  Aspens and Pines 2
Our new Escape parked on the side of the road
North to South inside Canyon Leaving once again at 4am from the north rim on Saturday, the long 24 mile trek begins again. (The reason for leaving this early is avoid the heat normally found at the bottom) Again, about 6 am it was bright enough to take a few shots of the moon over the inner gorge. Weather was much better this time, it cleared steadily all day long.
  Before sunup, I captured the crescent moon over the Precambrian rock cliffs.
  Just past Cotton wood camp, the very distant south rim is now visible.
  One of my favorite bridge crossings over bright angel creek.
  Another bridge crossing this one made of steel.
  Passing the Phantom Ranch lodge at the bottom, about 3h 30m later.
  One of the rangers lodges at Phantom.
  After you pass Phantom, its about 10 minutes to the river up ahead, now in the sun
  Heading toward the river along the north trail
  Just before the river, you can cross this bridge to take the Bright angel trail up which is less steep, but 2 miles longer
  I go straight, up toward the south Kaibab trail. The shortest and fastest way up.
  Notes on the bulletin board at the river.
  Up ahead, the Colorado River Crossing bridge! Almost there.
  A sign about the bridge.
  Heading up the final ramp to the bridge. You can see the river now.
  Entering the bridge, on the north side.
  The long way across the Colorado to the tunnel on the other side.
  From the middle of the bridge looking at the river below.
  Getting closer to the tunnel...
  Now its been nearly 4 hours, and Im climbing the very steep grades up out of the inner gorge. Its power hiking for a while.
  Hiking out of the inner gorge, I encounter a mule trail, this may slow me a bit
  Made it past the mule trail, and now at the Tip off, looking at the river way below now.
  Looking at the trail up from the Tip off, at hikers in the Hakati shale. Can you see them on the trail?
  4 1/2 hours into the run, I give the inner gorge a last wave before heading off to the Tonto Platform.
  You can run for a while again until you hit the huge steep cliffs of the Redwall Limestone. Very steep!
  Heading up through the Redwall looking at the canyon thousands of feet below me. I wont run this part...
  The long haul through the Supai red beds. Some running but mainly very steep power hiking.
  Finally at Cedar ridge! This is the top of the Supai, in the Hermit Shale. Im about 85% to the top.
  Looking back while hiking up the very steep Coconino sandstone at Cedar Ridge.
  And finally that long extremely steep stair step hike to the top!
The Flagstaff Half Marathon, Flagstaff - Nordic Center September 22nd, 2007 A particularly difficult and very long trail run, the Flagstaff Marathon and Half Marathon are touted to be the most difficult in the entire Southwestern U.S. The extreme altitude, and rugged mountain trails provided a tremendous challenge for all runners, including the shorter 10K which was along the same route. We arrived at about 7am and picked up my packet with the race number and other amusing items. About 80 runners assembled for both the half and full marathons which started at 8am. The starting altitude was 8002 feet according to my wrist GPS. It was cold, cloudy and about 48 degrees out. Would it rain on us? We were soon to find out. Just as we left the starting gate for the first loop I knew this one was going to be difficult, and it went up hill continuously for nearly 9 miles straight. The usual giant rocks, pine cones, stumps, huge branches and fallen trees were all over the trail, and combined with a steep uphill run was slow going. I figured it was going to t take me 3 or 4 hours to make it to the finish line with such a difficult challenge! We ran though dense conifer forest, thousands of stunning white aspens, large fields and of course - steep boulder strewn hillsides with deep ruts on the trail. About halfway into the run, it started to pour rain on us. Harder and harder. Soon, the trail was now a mud bog, with slippery volcanic rocks at every step. Totally drenched and starting to bog down at about 10 miles, the slope then dropped very fast downhill and I felt renewed energy, in a final burst to the finish line. So how did I do? My second fastest half marathon yet, 2h 21m. The last person over the half marathon line was nearly at 4 hours. You don't want to know what the longest marathon time was! (nearly 8 hours) After most of the runners had come in by 3 hours, the awards were given to the fastest man and women runners. Trail running is a big social event, and afterwards we ate giant home baked cookies, drank hot coffee, and swapped trail running stories, especially from that days extreme challenge!
At the entrance of the Nordic Center, marathon banner
Here is the trail map that was nailed on a ponderosa tree behind the center.
Actual wrist GPS data revealing the altitude change during the run!
Half hour before the run the runners started to gather, about 90 runners
Gathering at the start line to listen to the rules of the run.
And were off! They started the race with a big air horn.
All three races started at the same time. 1/2, full, and 10K.
At the 10K point, setting up the relief station
coming into the first loop at the 10K point in an hour.
At the 10k point, the rains had not started yet.
RacePics.com shot during the middle of the first loop
Totally drenched, and heading for the finish line!
The Finish - The most difficult run I have ever done yet! (2:21)
White Mountains Half Marathon, Eager September 15th, 2007 Another moderate difficulty high altitude run. From the Eager Recreational park, we were bussed 13.5 miles north to the small community of Nutrioso. There, we walked about a quarter of a mile down the road to the officially measured starting line, along side the highway. While the 95 of us waited for the start at about 8am, Highway Patrol cars with lights flashing cleared the road ahead, and then escorted us during the run and along the road up ahead. Up until about the 9 mile mark, it is a gradual down hill, then THE HILL. For nearly 2 miles a very steep mountain grade that had over half the runners walking to the top. My hard hill training in Payson seemed to pay off, and I was able to run non stop all the way to the top of this steep incline. From the peak to about half a mile to the finish, was a very steep down hill, and I ran faster than I have in a long time! We all screamed down that hill, with the Police escort still running up and down the road. It was a bit of an uphill climb to the finish, and despite the challenge of the super steep hill, this was my fastest half marathon yet, at 2:17 officially. I felt pretty good after this run, after we settled in positions after a mile or so, I maintained my position to the very end in the middle of the pack of I'm certain were many more experienced runners. A fast final blast to the finish line with a crowd of excited onlookers cheering us toward the end. The wind did not allow the finish line balloon arch to stay upright, so local firemen held a string of balloons over their heads for us to run under at the finish line! What fun. Here is a photo pictorial of this rather enjoyable event.
Data from my wrist GPS showing the run profile, and the huge HILL we had to run up at the 9 mile mark
The night before, all my running stuff spread out on the bed in the hotel...
In the morning, the busses line up to carry the runners to Nutrioso starting point.
Crew setting up the ill fated balloon arch, which was nearly blown away by the wind.
While we were running, the crew getting the breakfast feast ready for us!
Two Eager firefighters holding up the balloons when I came through the finish line!
Satisfied runner after a fast finish.
  Next we took a road trip along the race route to get some photos. Here is the small town of Nutrioso
  More of the small town
  For most of our run in the White Mountains, we ran along the roadway with a police escort
  Spectacular volcanic cliffs covered in green moss, and wildflowers in bloom!
  Nelson reservoir, which we passed early on, had spectacular scenery
  Blue Heron in the reservoir with the 400mm
  Another shot of the reservoir - look at all the high desert flowers
  Views of the cliffs along the run
  More basaltic cliffs with columnar joints
  Shot from a distance of THE HILL This is about the middle 1/3 of this steep incline
  This was one of the first major trips with our new Ford Escape Hybrid!
Big Brothers and Big Sisters Half Marathon in Flagstaff August 11th, 2007 This was another high altitude grueling trail run. Starting at a sizable park in Flagstaff, we ran about a mile out of town onto the surrounding forest trails. We next ascended to over 8000 feet before it leveled off. At that point it was purlely an off road forest trail run, crossing meadows, tall stands of poderosa pines and runnng right past the Lowell observatory dome. The temperature was in the mid to uppper 60s, and was nearly perfect. Then you descend down a narrow dirt road from Lowell very quickly to the pavement and make a wild dash to the finish line!
The posted map of the trail run
At the park, the entrance sign they put up
Registration at 6:30am to pick up your bags of running stuff and numbers
Easy rock and roll music played from the local radio station!
Starting to gather near the start line, Im in the center with white hat
Getting very close to race start, hundreds of runners gathered.
Getting the pre race lecture on the rules from the officials
The gun fires and the race is off !
Start of the run - you see me just upper right of the head of the guy taking photos in the center.
Small Running shot by Racepix.com along the trail, road part.
Another by Racepix
Mid run, now were blasting along full speed! (Racepix)
Shot Dawn took of me making the final burst of speed to the finish line. 2:29 I beat my goal by about 15 seconds.

Gaspin in the Aspens Trail Run 15K June 16, 2007

This run was up at the Flagstaff Nordic Center, where some of the best triatheletes in the world train for high altitude. The grueling run started at 8000 feet elevation and went up gradually for the most part to 8500 feet, then a fast downhill run to the finish. The trail was very treacherous, large volcanic rocks, large tree branches, and plenty of potholes and ruts. A dozen runners required medical attention at the finish for cuts and bruises from going too fast on the trail. I did fine, and took it slow enough to take in the amazing forest scenery, and yet finish with the middle of the pack. I really like trail running! As you can see from the trail shots, most of the trail was pretty smooth going, and I mostly enjoyed the runs through the dense thickets of thousands of aspen and pine trees.
The convoluted race route started at 8000 feet elevation and went uphill...
Gathering of runners before the trail run.
At the start line the runners line up
Waiting for the starting gun! (Chris center)
The starting gate we all must pass through
Were off in a huge cloud of dust! I am just below the sign.
About mid run shot by a photographer showing aspens...
Running through the woods full speed ahead!
The Finish line awaits me..
  1:40 later the finish of a very difficult trail run!
Rim to Rim to Rim Grand Canyon May 18, 2007 Another great 50 mile adventure trail run! No records broken on times, but the weather was fantastic. South Rim:
Looking out toward Cedar Ridge
Indian Paintbrush
Inside the Canyon:
Top of the Redwall, Skeleton Point
Devils Corkscrew
Looking from the bridge over the Colorado
Hiking across the Colorado
Finally - the other side of the river
Many beautiful falls on the way up
North Rim:
Starting our Hike on Uncle Jims Trail
View from the trail along the North Rim
So many Permian fossil sponges along the trail!
Along the trail
Fallen Pine cones along the trail
Looking over the North Rim at the trail I just came up
The trail through the Supai formation
North Rim flowers in May
Aspens starting to leaf out in May

Wild Turkey on the North Rim
Miami Copper Crawl April 22, 2007 An early morning start down town in the small Miami copper mining town was thwarted by rains, and when the clouds cleared at 1pm, they decieded we would go for it. We ran up a very steep hill at first, along back streets up into the trails in the hills. Most of this run is a steep up hill trail run, and after the first very steep incline which nearly no one could actually run up it, the ambulance was parked at the top of the hill! Only a few people fell and were hauled off, but when we reached the summit of the run, the snow line was right there - it had also snowed on the top of the hill we were running up. A very fast run down as you might expect, and I think I ran the fastest downhill I ever ran in my life. Completion time for me was 1h xxxx minutes.
Sedona Half Marathon February 10, 2007 This run which was my second half marathon ever, was one of the most scenic runs ever, with the bright red rocks of the Sedona area as a backdrop. After starting in the middle of town, we headed up Dry Creek Canyon road, up past Coffee Pot Rock, and turned left at the T. After a few miles, we turned around and headed back the way we came onward to the finish line. This was still a discovery type run for me, still learning how to pace myself for hills and long distances. Finish time was 2:35, not stellar, but I learned a tremendous amount!