Entries in Gu Energy (7)


Girdwood to Penguin Traverse

The arrival of snow in the high mountains of South Central Alaska is eminent but Karol, Jen and I managed to tag one of the area’s classic ridge traverses recently, sneaking a good one in before snow closes the door on running up high. Girdwood to Indian via the high ridgeline that looms above the Seward Highway spanning between California Creek to the South and Penguin Peak to the North is one of the best outings found here. Roman Dial, no stranger to Alaskan adventure, calls it THE best ridge traverse he’s done. Hyperbole? Perhaps. But it’s been on our lists for a while and we were psyched to have a look.

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Fueling - Keeping it simple

There's little argument that fueling athletic efforts, whether it be outings in the mountains or competitive endurance events, has become increasingly simple over the last two decades. When I first started bike racing in the mid '80's, figuring out what to eat to get through a 4 hour race was tricky. In training, I was eating Pop Tarts and Sweet Tarts, the latter being mostly maltodextrin, a good source of complex carbohydrate which, at the time, was gaining some noteriety in endurance nutrition. But using this stuff while racing was not straight forward. Hell, I didn't even know how many calories I needed each hour to keep from bonking. 

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2013 Alyeska Climbathon

Plan, prepare, execute. That was my approach to last week’s Alyeska Climbathon. It went ridiculously to plan and almost went even better than I could’ve hoped…almost.

I apologize for taking so long getting this out. I was pretty crushed after the event, utterly drained and I even caught a nasty cold for my effort. Sucked heavily. With empty legs and a stuffy head I wasn't in mood to write anything. Onward.

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Climbathon Recon

5 rounds of fun.The big beat down of the year looms less than a week away. The Alyeska Climbathon takes place next Saturday, September 8. Starting at the base of the Alyeska tram, competitors will ascend the 2,000 vertical feet of the North Face hiking trail as many times as possible between 9am and 7pm. The descent will be via the tram which will be running a 10 minute schedule. Last years winner finished 12 laps for a total of over 24,000 vertical feet and about 26 miles of hiking, all uphill. 

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Matanuska Peak Challenge Race Report

Matanuska Peak (L) from Lazy Mountain in the fall"The best race pace is a suicide pace and today is a good day to die."

- Steve Prefontaine

I've been waiting for the Matanuska Peak Challenge mountain running race all season. It's unique in our series of mountain races up here in that it's long and hard. Most of our races, aside from the more typical trail races, are uphill affairs and generally under an hour. So, Mat Peak is special since the winners come in around 3 hours and the vertical gain is nearly 9,000 feet. Additionally, it doesn't end at the top. Nine thousand feet of descending greet competitors before the finish. The event requires attention to both smart pacing and nutrition/hydration, concerns absent in shorter events. I love these aspects of the game.

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