The Hardrock 100 Endurance Run is right around the corner and we are amped up to see three of our athletes Courtney Dauwalter, Jeff Browning and Angela Shartel crush this course in Silverton, Colorado on July 15th! This grueling ultramarathon has a total elevation change of 66,394 feet at an average of 11,000 feet on a loop course in the San Juan Mountain range. To say this race is difficult, is an understatement. What makes it even more difficult, is getting in.
Similar to other popular ultras, the Hardrock 100 is a lottery system after one qualifies, which includes completing certain 100 mile races, and 8 hours of volunteer service at an ultra event or trail service. Once in the lottery system, only 145 people are chosen from over 2,000 applicants, making this one of the hardest races to get into.
This will be Courtney’s second attempt at finishing this race, where in 2021 she ended up dropping at mile 62. This year she is “so excited to get the chance to make this loop in the San Juan Mountains again and am hoping to enjoy the journey, soak in the views, give it my best, and close the 100 mile loop!”
Jeff Browning is no newbie when it comes to this course, as he is a 5-time finisher and the 2018 champion. As for Angela Shartel, this is her first time running this race. She had 8 tickets thrown into the lottery, but has been trying to get in for 10 years! She has had the opportunity to be a pacer several times in the past, including for fellow Team Injinji athlete, Scotty Mills, and is looking forward to going the entire distance this time.
All three athletes have been working their own training plans to prepare for Hardrock 100, as it is one of the toughest 100-mile races. Courtney is lucky enough to live in the Colorado mountains, where she is able to play on the trails at altitude quite a bit. This is key to training, as the majority of this course is between 7,700 to 14,000+ feet and takes runners through several climate zones.
Angela is focused more on climbing rather than distance and plans to head out to the race location early to acclimate to the altitude. If you have been following Jeff on Instagram, you’ll notice that he has been traveling to a variety of mountain ranges to train, such as the Eastern Sierras, Lake Tahoe, and Pocatello, Idaho.
Along with the altitude and elevation, weather conditions factor into performance as well. Runners carry gear to be prepared for thunderstorms, snow, sunshine, and everything in between. Poles are highly recommended to disperse the workload while climbing. Hydration and nutrition in different temperatures can be tricky, and participants must be ready to pivot and problem solve when something isn’t working.
What excites Angela the most about finally being able to run this race, is to "kiss the rock" in Silverton and toast with a shot of bourbon after crossing the finish line. “When I first started Ultra Running back in 2008, I made a list of all the 100 milers I hoped to run someday. Hardrock is the last one on that list. I don't see myself running any more hundred milers after this. Of course, I'll still run and race shorter distances and continue my passion of volunteering in the sport, as well as race directing.”
The best advice from these elite runners is to apply now if you want a shot at the Hardrock 100 and may the lottery gods be in your favor.