Summer Solstice

Summer is rolling along and the longest day of the year is already behind us. I don’t know why, but both the summer and winter solstice dates have a profound effect on me. Just knowing that the days are getting shorter, however imperceptible, adds a bit of melancholy to my spirit.

But there is still plenty of summer ahead to celebrate. Here in the Pikes Peak region we have plenty of outdoor activities to look forward to, including the annual Pikes Peak Hill Climb car race usually run on the Fourth of July. Woodland Park has the summer vintage car show and the Farmers Markets ahead and a special treat coming this August.  The USA Pro Cycling Challenge is returning to the town this year for the start of Stage 5 of the tour.

The Stage 5 article is the next in my series of articles on the Examiner reporting on the summer’s schedule of activities, including bike races, trail runs, marathons and ultra marathons.

Now I hope to turn my attention to photographing and reporting on the events I have highlighted. I have been mountain biking up and down the pass in hopes of maintaining enough leg strength to get up the trails, highways and byways to get the best shots. Time will tell if I am successful.

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Ultra Running 2014

Despite a bout of food poisoning I managed to complete my article on this summer’s ultra running schedule in Colorado. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the grueling endurance sport is catching on in my state. It has been a while since I have run an ultra and I was happy to find that there are still runners who aspire to finish the Grand Slam and a new challenge called the Rocky Mountain Slam, the completion of four major ultra marathons in the Rocky Mountain region.

I was also pleased to find that a number of quality new events have been born in Colorado to fill out the summer schedule and give runners all around the state a chance to run close to home. Given my circumstances I will not have the opportunity to participate, but I do hope that I can get myself and my camera to one of these fine events to get some pictures and meet some of the new runners.

Please stay tuned to my blog and subscribe to my free Examiner page to stay updated on the latest developments on the trail running scene.

Snowy Trio

Today is starting out to be an exciting day at S. W. Krull Imaging. I awoke to discover that my image Snowy Trio sold it’s second extended license early this morning from my stock portfolio on iStock / Getty. That means someone purchased extended printing rights for the image, usually for a calendar or postcard, maybe a book cover.

Deer-TrioI remember the day I captured this image like it was yesterday. We were having a major Colorado snowstorm and as usual I was not able to resist grabbing my camera and snowshoes and going out into the storm. There is almost never anyone else out in the storms and the solitude of the wilderness with the snow falling is amazing.

So anyway, I was shooshing along on my snowshoes through the deep snow and when I burst through an unusually thick growth of scrub oak I came face to face with these three does. They just stood there and looked at me like, “What are you doing out in this weather?”. I aimed the camera and took several shots to make sure. I never get tired of looking at this one.

Check my Examiner article called Tips for Winter Photography for information about how to take photographs during winter storms.

 

 

Trail Running

It doesn’t seem much like it with 50 degrees and heavy cloud cover, but this time of year always reminds me of the excitement I used to feel when the snow is gone from the mountain passes and the trails become accessible for some serious training. Something must still be stirring in my soul though because I find myself looking at the trail running calendars and trying to run a few steps everyday despite the pain in my lower back. Almost imperceptible, but enough to inspire hope is the slight improvement each day that I am experiencing. Today the run was out of necessity but I was glad for the work that I have recently logged. I was pushing the wheelchair back up the hill from the coffee shop when the wind kicked up and the temperature fell drastically. I knew I’d better hustle to get my chair bound patient to safety before the hail began to fall. Happily we made it and now the rain has begun to fall. I fear the huge drops that are falling herald the dreaded hail that I have been hearing about in the forecast.

She is sleeping and I am thinking about my next Examiner story. Completed are my articles on how and where to train for an ultra for those north of the Denver area as well as those who are training in the Colorado Springs area. Now I think I will turn my attention to the long runs and research the ultra marathon schedule for Colorado’s summer running season. The Leadville 100 is nearest and dearest to my heart as I recall many summers on the trails in the high country of the Collegiate Peaks training with my friends for that great race. The sport has been steadily catching on in my state in the last few years and I have been hearing about new races that are gaining in popularity. With the addition of the new races I wonder if runners still speak of the the Grand Slam of ultra running, completing the Big Four, the Western States 100, Vermont 100, and the Wasatch Front 100 and Leadville Trail 100 mile runs all in one year. Stay tuned as I answer those questions and more. Subscribe to my Examiner account and you will be sure not to miss any updates.

Summer

Working on my new ideas for my outdoor sports and recreation reporting job for the Examiner. Reporting on summer running opportunities in the Colorado Front Range was one of the ideas that came to me the other day, so I have been busy researching the racing calendars and contacting race directors the last couple of days.

Fresh off the press are new articles on summer trail runs and the summer races on the Pikes Peak Road Runners Calendar. I was surprised to discover how popular trail running has become since I last was involved. I highlighted a few in my report on Summer Trail Running. The busy PPRR schedule this summer includes the Summer Series, the Triple Crown of Running, and even a running festival to benefit the Wildlife Rescue Center in Keenesburg.

I hope I can get to some of these events and get some pictures and write some first hand reports so everyone can see what we are up to in the beautiful mountains of Colorful Colorado!