Monday, September 28, 2009

Running the Entire Pacific Crest Trail...Again

Bob Holtel runs along the Pacific Crest Trail 25 years ago.

What were you doing in 1985? Let's see if we can refresh some memories:

Ronald Reagan is sworn in for a second term.
The charity single "We are the World" is recorded.
Mike Tyson makes his professional boxing debut.
Coca-Cola releases, then quickly kills, New Coke.
The Discovery Channel is launched.
Tetris is released.
Live Aid concerts go world-wide and raise millions for famine relief.
The MacGyver pilot debuts.
The comic strip Calvin and Hobbes debuts.
Wham!, Lionel Richie and Phil Collins top the music charts.
Route 66 is decommissioned.

Often overlooked, however, is the beginnings of the first transcontinental trail run in US history.

During the summers of 1985 to 1987 Bob Holtel became the first person to run the entire length of the Pacific Crest Trail. During those 110 days on the trail he averaged a marathon a day. His adventures are chronicled in his book "Soul, Sweat and Survival on the Pacific Crest Trail."

The One and Only Bob Holtel

Now, exactly 25 years later Bob will attempt to be the oldest person to run from Mexico to Canada on that same trail. He hopes to reach the Mexican Border on his 80th birthday. Bob plans on running 17-18 miles a day during his 168 days on the trail. In June of 2010 Bob will start his journey at the PCT's mid-point in California and travel north to Canada. During the summer of 2011, he'll start again from that mid-point but travel south to Mexico. All that you need and want to know about Bob and his PCT trail run can be found on his web site here.

Besides his PCT endeavors, Bob touts quite the runner's resume:
  • 195,000 miles of lifetime running miles
  • Four Western States 100 Mile finishes
  • More than 90 ultra finishes
  • 154 marathon finishes, with a PR of 2:48:08
  • completed the John Muir Trail 3 times
  • Runner-up Age Group winner at Pikes Peak
  • Bronze finisher at the World Veteran Marathon Championships
  • Coached two national champions and won two state cross-country titles at West Torrance (CA) High School
  • 17 years as a Wilderness ranger
  • 25 years of trail maintenance, mostly on the trail he loves so well, the PCT
  • Biggest Rogue Valley Runner fan and motivator
Bob tells it like it is. "Trail running is in my blood. I want to share this PCT trail experience with others. I don't and won't run every step of the way. There's no record on the line. I just want to enjoy the trail: eat, sleep, and nap when I want to. I intend to make this fun."

Bob in Washington's Cascades.

Bob is currently training for his adventure by running 14-mile sections of the trail, preferably on the hardest segments of PCT available. Bob is currently looking for folks that would like to join him on or off the trail for a day or two or three as he runs along the trail next summer. Folks who are interested in learning more, helping out or simply wishing luck can reach him at bob@bobholtel.com. Stay tuned for more on Bob as his adventure nears...

Bob crosses one of the many torrents with his friends in tow.

2 comments:

Runnerudite said...

Super cool. Can't wait to follow that adventure. Not to diminish any greatness of the feat or of the Rogue blog, but uh... PCT is not transcontinental.

crunningman said...

Incredible history! And more memories to come from this running GIANT. Thanks for sharing with us. -A Flatlander from Indiana