20 October 2010

The Staple- Statistics & Signal Peak: 100 Summits!!!

Pics from #100

The Staple- Statistics & Signal Peak: 100 Summits atop the Source @ 9042 feet

Signal Peak was my introduction to running when Meg and I moved to Gunnison in the middle of January this year. As I explored the trails above Western State College I noticed a pyramidal point looming to the Northeast. I followed the ridge by eyesight and knew I had to run it. After a few more runs in and around the area I asked DC about this point.

He grinned and said, “Oh yes, that is Signal Peak!” The point had a name and was a semi-regular run for DC in previous years. Soon after we began to run it with more and more frequency. It was the beginning of February and the route had been hardpacked by some sort of ATV that substantially assisted with obtaining some of the winter summits.

Our runs would start at 6 AM and we would ascend with the rising sun in subzero temperatures. On one of these dry and cold mornings we had been updating each other with the latest news from the ultrarunning blogosphere. We had both recently read about Tony K and his quest to run Green Mtn in Boulder 100 times in the first 100 days of 2010. This sparked some thinking of our own to piggyback off of the idea and create or own type of ascent goal in the Gunnison Country.

Being a Libra I have a natural tendency to gravitate towards balance and moderation in my life; I was also coming off a bout of achilles tendonitis- I knew I wouldn’t be running Signal Peak day after day. Besides, I had just moved to Gunni and had tons of new trails and terrain to explore. Parr also gave me a list of 60 or so named runs in the Gunnison valley that I had to begin to tick off with him and other Gunni runners.

After more discussion DC and I set the goal of running Signal Peak at least 100 times in 2010. Two weeks ago DC notched his 100th summit to become the first person in the history of Gunnison County to run 100 Signals in a calendar year. The following is a compilation of the NUMBERS that have accumulated during my 100 summits which I completed on October 19th, 2010 to coincide with DC’s 28th B-Day. Happy Birthday Duncan; here’s to 200 in 2011...

Summits: 100 in 38 weeks = 2.6 summits a week

Miles: 1,195.7 = 11.957 miles per summit run

Vertical: 150,000 feet

Most summits in 1 week: 6 (twice) 9/6 thru 9/12, #’s 77-82, 9/27 thru 10/3, #’s 86-91

Most consecutive summits: 8 4/2 thru 4/9, #’s 20-27

Most Signal miles in 1 week: 82.7 9/6 thru 9/12, #’s 77-82

Shortest summit: 9.6 miles (multiple times)

Longest summit: 20 miles, 5/8, #39

Earliest Summit: 5:40 AM (multiple times due to 4:45 AM start time :)

Latest Summit: 8:50 PM, 5/29, #47

Yearly Progress:

#1- 2/5
#25- 4/7
#50- 6/3
#75- 9/2
#92- 10/5 MY B-DAY
#100- 10/19 DC B-DAY

Monthly Summits:

Jan- 0
Feb- 11 #’s 1-11
Mar- 8 #’s 12-19
Apr- 15 #’s 20-34
May- 13 #’s 35-47
Jun- 14 #’s 48-61
Jul- 8 #’s 62-69
Aug- 5 #’s 70-74
Sep- 15 #’s 75-89
Oct- 11 #’s 90-100 (thru 10/19)

5 or more summits in 1 week:

2/15 thru 2/21, #’s 6-10 = 5
3/29 thru 4/4, #’s 18-22 = 5
4/5 thru 4/11, #’s 23-27 = 5
5/3 thru 5/9, #’s 35-39 = 5
9/6 thru 9/12, #’s 77-82 = 6
9/27 thru 10/3, #’s 86-91 = 6
10/4 thru 10/10, #’s 92-96 = 5

0 summit weeks :(

3/8 thru 3/14, Excuse: too much snow didn’t want to deal!
7/26 thru 8/1, Excuse: GM 100 Recovery
8/2 thru 8/8, Excuse: Left knee issues
8/16 thru 8/22, Excuse: Left knee issues
9/20 thru 9/26, Excuse: Easy week after Steamboat 50

Runners I’ve peaked with: (from most summit trips to least)

Duncan Callahan
Scott Drum
Tim Parr
Ben Dunn

Current counts: (As a group of 4 our goal is to hit 365 summits for 2010)

DC- 105
Burch- 100
Parr- 44
Drum- 24
Total: 273

In summation: Signal Peak represents consistency, strength, perseverance, and a yearly commitment to experience the Peak in all conditions throughout the 4 seasons the Gunnison Country will bring. Annual training goals assist in motivation through the tough training during the winter months.

With each day and each summit Signal is quietly gaining cult status here in Gunnison amongst other runners and athletes. If you come to town it is a must run...it should be your first! Rural legend has it that a WATCHMAN now observes all atop Signal Peak. Introduce yourself; the trip could blow your mind..........................................................


  1. Nice job!

    The other day I had thought to ask you what would make a good 1 to 2-hour run nearby (the kind of thing a trail runner might do as a daily run). I stay there now and then, and I've enjoyed the Rocks, but it's good to have other options. Thx.

  2. Congratulations on the year - great stats and impressive that you've found balance in your running to get those miles in and stay healthy. I hope I get a chance to run it someday.

  3. Ryan- I'm fighting a bit of Achilles tendonitis right now, too. What did you do that seemed to work for yours, while still allowing you to run up some hills?

  4. mtnrunner2- signal is hands down the best daily run one can run in gunnison-from my doorstep its .5 mile to dirt. you can run beyond signal (east) pretty much as far as you want to go.

    jon- it is really difficult but try to limit the hills that you run. my stubborness probably perpetuated my AT when I'd get the ascent bug. the best thing that worked for me was submerging my foot up to my mid calf in a cooler of ice water for 20 min. i would then let my foot rewarm and then repeat with the ice bath for another 20. i would do up to 3 sessions- the daily consistency works best- if possible do it right after your run. i also would wrap my lower leg with an ace bandage for compression throughout the night.
    hydration, rest, ice, compression, and elevation are tried and true principles- i found that ice and compression worked the best for me- rest as much as you can- though it can be ridiculously aggravating...best of luck on the recovery!

  5. Thanks for the advice. Just curious, did you ever try a Strassburg sock? I sleep with one, but am undecided if it does anything.

    I'll definitely ice more. And it's easy for me to avoid long hills these days, since I moved to South Carolina. Lots of small rollers, nothing big here.

  6. Just circled back here today. Thanks Ryan. I'll check it out some time.


    Tendons: what a pain, they just take a long time to recover. I'd almost rather break bone!

    I run a high percentage of hills, AND I have a midfoot landing, both of which stress the calves. I've managed to avoid PF, AT and other tendon issues just by stretching and leg massage with a foam roller. I'm guessing it would help with recovery also. Anything that keeps the muscles soft will reduce tension on the AT and probably help.