By Mark Esper
Some 140 runners are planning to trot a cumulative 14,000 miles (100 miles each) over some of the most extreme terrain in the United States.
And they’ll start and finish in Silverton. The 16th Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run begins at Silverton School at 6 a.m. Friday.
Race director Dale Garland says the race will feature “good competition” this year. Last year’s first-place finisher, Kyle Skaggs, won’t be here (he is reportedly doing some organic farming in Santa Fe area) but last year’s second- and third-place men’s finishers are returning.
“We encourage everyone to come out and cheer and stop in (at race headquarters in the school gym) to see how the race is progressing,” Garland said. “We appreciate everything Silverton does.”
Garland said the race through the high country involves a lot of logistics, with some 250 volunteers involved.
And Garland said the race has become something of a worldwide event among the “community of crazies” comprised of extreme-distance runners.
“The vertical climb, the high elevation make it entirely an event unto itself,” Garland said.
He estimated the run brings in some $300,000 to the area’s economy.
“We’re proud we can give back to the community,” he said, noting scholarships the Hardrock Hundred sponsors.
Jamil Coury, 24, of Tempe, Ariz., is here for his first Hardrock Hundred. He says he’s done one other 100-mile run in California, but this course looks different.
“It’s beautiful and just extremely tough,” he said Tuesday. “It’s what I like to do — challenge myself in the mountains.”
Coury said he grew up wanting to “go real far and as fast as I can, and it evolved into this sport.”