Bob Holtel

Bob Holtel, multi time PCT through hiker

Bob Holtel, multi time PCT through hiker

Maggie and I took a run from Inspiration Point to to top of Mt. Baden Powell and back, part of the AC100 course, a little altitude and hill training for me, taking the opportunity to run and familiarize myself with the entire AC100 course, just in case…’Cause I intend to run this thing next year unless something completely unlikely happens and I end up running Western States instead…

There are other reasons to run this course. The main one is not about training or the pursuit of some great athletic/endurance endeavor, but for the fun of it. It’s beautiful. I love these mountains.

Mount Baden Powell is the high point of the AC100 course. It’s named after Lord Baden Powell, who is the guy who started the boyscouts. Due to his hatred of communism, Lord Baden Powell was also a Nazi sympathizer. A quote from his diary: “Lay up all day. Read Mein Kampf. A wonderful book, with good ideas on education, health, propaganda, organisation etc.”

I remember my scouting days. I did not particularly enjoy the closeness on particular halitosis afflicted Scout Master wanted ton have with me. I am suspicious of anyone who enjoys spending time with pre-pubescent young boys in little Aryan Youth military outfits.

Not too far into our run we crossed paths with Bob Holtel, who is nearing his 80th birthday and is hiking the PCT Trail from Canada to Mexico. 25 years ago, when he was a spritely 50-something, Bob was the first person to ever run the entire length of the Pacific Crest Trail, 2,650 miles of mountain trails along the Cascades, Sierras, San Gabriels, and whatever other mountains there are that take you from the Canadian border to the Mexican border.

Bob is doing this hike in two stages. The first half was done last summer. He’s on the second half now. The plan is for him to celebrate his 80th birthday with a finale in Campo, California

As we neared the top of Baden Powell, my head started to really ache. I’ve run at these altitudes before (although not often) but had a night at 5,500 feet to ease the adjustment. This time we drove straight there from near sea level, and I reached my limits. Maggie had just finished running Transrockies with her husband Bob. That 6 day stage run all takes place between 9,000 – 13,000 ft, so she was used it. During AC100, she found herself swooning a bit when she reached the top of Baden Powell. Altitude will do it. (It’s worth pointing out that Leadville, a 100 mile race at elevation in the Colorado Rockies has only twice been won by non-Colorado runners).

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