Ultra Running

New Ultra Series in Colorado: Human Potential

Pikes Peak Colorado

This is a great story when an outspoken ultra runner, with a lot miles under his belt, puts his money where his mouth is by directing a series of ultra races. Sherpa John LaCroix expains his thought process and describes his cool new series in this post from his blog Sherp John: Human Potential

Over the last few years I’ve sounded off, loudly, on this blog and over other mediums about my opinions in regards to the changes in Ultra Running. My opinions have spanned topics on Corporations digging into our sport, race directors earning crazy amounts of money on one race, prize money for front runners, and at times all of this combined. I started running Ultras in 2005, but it was 2010 when I first started to struggle with aspects of the sport I had largely ignored over the years. Or maybe it was that in running the Grand Slam in 2010, I thrust myself into the weird dichotomy between races like The Barkley, The Vermont 100 vs races like Western States and Leadville.

Over the last 4 years I have truly struggled internally with what I like about Ultra and what I, perhaps, don’t like. I’ve struggled with thoughts of leaving the sport to seek adventure on my own with epic journey runs. In the end, I just care way too much. Ultra has become such a huge part of my life that it’s not something I can simply walk away from. I know too much about it.. I’m too invested both emotionally and physically. My family is invested. Without being able to walk away, I had to determine how best I can continue to move forward.

Deciding to become a race director was not an easy decision. After all, it took 12 of my closets friends to convince me to do so. One of my concerns during our meeting was the fact that I had been so outspoken about race directors cashing in on the sport by directing one race (see JFK 50). My friends convinced me that it’s OK to make a little money for my time. So.. I agreed to meet them halfway. I’ll make what I feel is a fair salary for a years worth of work putting on a series of races.. and not take a huge pay day on ONE event.. but for the work done on many and truly giving back to the ultra-community. In the end, I’ll be paid an average of $3.00 an hour for all the time I put on for 2014-2015.

My race series promises to be a celebration of ALL runners. You won’t see me calling elites to invite them with a comp entry. In fact, I plan to give comp entries only to those in need.. not to those with speed. Like it was when I first started Ultra.. the same awards for first through last place. All runners, in it together from beginning to end. Because, I truly believe that even though the front runners sacrifice much to compete at the level the compete at… the mid and back of the packers are typically on their feet longer in training and so to in the race. They sacrifice as much if not more to even be there. So The Human Potential Running Series will celebrate all runners as equals in the same community.

I’ll welcome the support of sponsorship from corporations.. but you’ll be hard pressed to find any who get to make decisions. You won’t see Lifetime buying this show out. I don’t have time for that. I’ve been vocal about protecting our sport from corporations like Lifetime.. and my mission to

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do that is to provide events that are the opposite of everything they do.

I have HUGE plans.. and I’m burning the midnight oil to make it all happen. It all starts in September with the Tommyknocker Ultras. Your first taste of what we plan to offer. We’d love to have you. There, you’ll experience the complete communal event. Runners will be able to bring their entire family to a rustic resort settled in Colorado’s Mountains. While you run 100K.. your family can enjoy all of the amenities of a recreation resort. You can stay the weekend in a tent, RV, Chalet, Bunkhouse or hotel room.. all on site. We’ll have a pre-race meal and a post race BBQ. We’ll have unique finishers awards and a challenging course that will test you with relentless roller coaster ups-and-downs.

In November, we’ll follow it up with our second event. The Indian Creek Fifties will take place just south of Denver in Douglas County. 50 Miles with 10K of climbing and 10K of descent. You’ll be amazed to experience such a wilderness experience

so close to the city. You may event find your feet on the Colorado Trail for a time. If it does’t snow, the leaves will challenge you equally.

Our plans for 2015 include an Ultra in the South Front Range of Colorado in the Spring; A complete race series with a Marathon in June, 50 Miler in July and a 100 Miler in August all in Colorado’s High Country; The Rocky Mountain Ultra Camp will debut in August the same week as our 100 miler which will provide campers with a fully experiential and immersive experience in ultra. We’ll wrap it up with Tommyknocker and Indian Peaks again. That means we’ll go from 2 ultras in 2014 to 6 in 2015 with a week long Ultra Camp.

What we’re building.. is a community. My goal it to promote the ultra running I knew back in 2005 and solidify it’s presence in Colorado. I want people to experience the same Ultra I fell in live with pre-2010. I want them to celebrate it, be a part of it, and carry the torch into the future. I figure, If I can’t join the likes of Lifetime or Prize Races.. I can create the vision I want and welcome everyone else along for the ride. I think the results will speak for itself.

Join me.

Source: Sherpa John: Human Potential

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