The group assembling pre-run.
This past weekend a large group gathered at The Plaza in Ashland for a run. Different groups went different distances. The pièce de résistance was an ascent up Hitt Road/Trail to the summit of Ostrich Mountain (3,000 feet in five miles), a traverse of the No Candies Trail (four miles through three feet of newly fallen snow) and then the knee jarring decent from Horn Gap on the 2060 Road back to downtown Ashland: Sixteen miles of heart racing climbs, screaming descents, snow, wind, cold fingers and toes and great conversation.
It was a special run in that several folks came in from out of town to partake. Seattle's Scott Jurek (seven-time winner of the Western States 100 Mile Trail Race, two time winner of Badwater, two time winner of Greece's Spartathalon and this year's winner and course record holder of the Hardrock 100 Mile Endurance Run) and Las Vegas' Josh Brimhall (winner of the Zane Grey 50 Mile Trail Race, Lake Hodges 50 Kilometer Trail Race, Pemberton 50 Kilometer Trail Race, and the Crown King 50 Kilometer) joined the usual suspects for this weekend's frolic in the woods.
Post-run group photo. From Left to right: Abbey the dog, Eric Poole, Josh Brimhall, Hal Koerner, Kyle Skaggs, Scott Jurek, John Leuthold, Chris Rennaker, Ian Torrence