Ear to the ground:

“He spent it all on kibbles and bitches.”

– Local remarking on his dog’s foray into the world of paid professional sniffing

25 and running

Ultrarunners will once again be taking their marks on July 15 in Silverton for the start of the Hardrock 100.

This year marks the 25th anniversary for the endurance race, which will feature some of the top ultra-distance athletes in the world as they vie to be the first to kiss the hardrock.

The men’s and women’s fields are a veritable who’s who of the extreme running world this year, according to race organizers, with the return of both def- ending champs.

For the men, the field is once again led by uber ultrarunner and Hardrock course record holder (both ways), Spain’s Kilian Jornet.

Jornet will be joined by no slouches themselves: Xavier Thevenard (France); Timmy Olson; Jeff Browning (Bend, Ore.); Nick Clark (Fort Collins); and Durango’s Jason Schlarb.

The 2016 womens field will once again be headed by last year’s champion, Anna Frost, of Dunedin, New Zealand. Also competing this year are: Bethany Lewis (Salt Lake City); Emma Roca (Spain); Darla Askew (Bend, Ore.); Rachel Bucklin (Spokane, Wash.); and local runner extraordinaire, Missy Gosney.

This year will also be a year for other milestones as well, with several runners competing for their own personal accomplishments. Blake Wood, of Los Alamos, N.M., will be going for an impressive 20th Hardrock finish while former women’s champion Betsy Nye (Truckee, Calif.) will be attempting her 15th Hardrock finish; and Todd Salzer (Golden) and Robert Andrulis (Chandler, Ariz.) will be going for their 10th.

Of course, just one finish is worthy of accolades. With 66,000 feet in total elevation change (33,000 up and 33,000 down), the 100-mile high alpine course is equivalent to running from sea level to Everest – and back. Along the way, there is one fourteener (Handie’s Peak) thrown in for good measure, as well as the whole gamut of weather that Mother Nature can dredge up. 

To find out more about this year’s Hardrock, go to: www.hardrock100.com.

Chipping in

By now, you’ve likely heard about the tragic bicycle accident of longtime local “chip peddler” Neil Hannum, who was airlifted to St. Anthony’s in Denver on Sunday.

Although doctors expect Neil – who suffered traumatic head injuries – to make a full recovery, the road back will be long and uphill, both ways. A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help Neil and his family offset costs at www.gofundme.com/2bjrzq4