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Millweek: "Slogging is so in right now."

"I think I want to do Millwood this year."

"Oh? I was thinking this year I'd like to run it all in sections, maybe over the course of a couple weeks. Hardrock training."

"Oooohhhh I am coming. Why don't we do that in a week, and we could name it Millweek?!"

I was Barkley training, hiking up West Grandeur...again. Matty and I were chatting, and I was grasping at straws to figure out what I'd be psyched on to do after Barkley. We discussed the idea intermittently- pieces that would be fun to do, what it'd be like if Millweek became "a thing." (sidenote - Millwood 100M is a local line with 44000+ vertical gain! more about that here)

Millweek was tripurpose in theory: Hardrock training for Matty (as well as visiting beautiful and favorite places,) scouting and training for my Millwood 100M attempt, and the opportunity to showcase some of the most aesthetic and least traveled trails in the Wasatch. Matty posted on the Wasatch Mountain Wrangler page a vague draft of Millweek, and I created the event page. So it started.

What it ended becoming was so much more than the scouting/training concept. New friendships were forged between prior strangers, funny jokes, lots of donuts, a new sense of understanding in the Wasatch. Fun. I learned new places, faces, and trails...and that there are a lot of suckers willing to wake up at 4am to wander around the Wasatch! All who came talked about wanting to do this again, on different courses (WahWeek anyone, parts of Wasatch 100M 3 weeks before the race as a peak training week?!) or just to explore less traveled places together. I will be less shy about posting group runs in the future now too!

Without further ado, Millweek 2016:

Millweek Day 1: Willow Lake->Solitude->Brighton->Honeycomb

3300 ft vert, 11 miles https://www.strava.com/activities/608043298

Matty, Greg, Chelsea, Jason, Jon, Jennilyn, Nick, Jeremy, Sofia, Lin, Jeremy


This was the first morning! Without headlamps and with a few bites of donuts...we headed up the trail to willow lake. The group swelled and thinned on the climbs, regroup at the tops and at scenic points. We were able to glissade down the trail, whooping and hollering and laughing.

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Millweek Day 2: Mill D S-> ancient Kessler->Argenta

3000 ft vert, 7.3 miles https://www.strava.com/activities/609016794

Matty, Chelsea, Jennilyn, Kenzie, Tommy, Brian, Brandon, Dirk, Jon, Chris, Chris, Matt, Sam, Zac, Payton, Mike, Austin (I think there were 2 more...)

[caption id="attachment_878" align="alignnone" width="4032"] PC Austin B[/caption]


"ANCIENT TRAILS?! I think that just means we're lost....Can I use that?!" The jokes about the secret and ancient trails were incessant as we bushwacked and wandered behind Kessler proper. We joked about having a group that big (20 people?!) cut in a trail for the Millwood runners, and I left myself flagging tape to pull when I go for it later. We shwacked through water at the end, and we laughed about our "secret" trails.



**********
Millweek Day 3: Porter Fork->Deso->Thayne's

3700 ft vert, 11 miles https://www.strava.com/activities/610068762

Matty, Chelsea, Jen, Jennilyn, Bryce, Jason, Jeremy, Jeremiah, Robert

[caption id="attachment_882" align="alignnone" width="3264"] PC Chelsea Hathaway[/caption]


The secret ancient alien holes of the Wasatch (yeah, it's thing, people believe that...) somehow became associated with DONUTS. Donuts are now alien holes, or a-holes for short. We also discovered the fine art of "Kill-ian it" when someone is killing it, or actually just whenever they cut a switchback. The recognition that I wasn't going to run Millwood 100M, I was just gonna go for a little "Millwalk." A morning full of laughter.


**********

Millweek Day 4: Alexander Basin->Gobblers->Bowman

4800 ft vert, 12 miles https://www.strava.com/activities/611124336

Chris, Jason, Jennilyn, Kenzie, Jeremiah, Robert, Dirk, Amber, Jeremy

[caption id="attachment_888" align="alignnone" width="374"] PC Dirk B[/caption]



[caption id="attachment_889" align="alignnone" width="1340"] PC Kenzie B[/caption]


This day was harder than the days prior - more vert! And there were a few more dilemmas: a lost phone (hey so find my iPhone really works, even in the back country! it just may take a half hour), altitude sickness, and a couple little falls. The only day of ridge running during millweek and the only thing lost was Kenzie's phone. Which was found. We also had fun impersonating ourselves, each other, and other wranglers.

The most impressive thing about this morning was the help exchanged. The group really looked after each other - through snow crossings, ridges, food for an upset stomach, finding cell phones, pulling each other up when one fell down... it reminded me just how great our community is. The trail community really is full of framily and damn fine people.


**********

Millweek Day 5: Neff's->Desolation

9 miles 3600 ft vert https://www.strava.com/activities/611974593

Fletcher, Collin, Sofia, Jennilyn, Dirk, Robert, Justin, John



[caption id="attachment_894" align="alignnone" width="852"] PC John M[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_895" align="alignnone" width="851"] PC Justin D[/caption]


What a fun morning full of laughter, donuts, bacon, and chocolate milk! This group had wit and humor to spare. We bestoweth trail names upon each other, took staged photos, laughed a lot, and still got back to the car by 7:48! Dirk took his name "Neon Thunder" to the extreme and began "thundering" things... And now to crash into something is to "thunder it." A fun fun morning.
**********

HUGE SHOUTOUT to all who came! And to Matty for touring and making sure I had directions dialed for the days he was gone. I met new friends I hope to keep running with, learned new lingo, trails, places, faces... I love the Wasatch - I've never been shy about that. But even more than the Wasatch mountains themselves, I love the people that frequent them. Thanks for accepting me in, trail kids. :-)

 

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  1. […] 100 is no different. With the introduction of “Millweek,” a weeklong tour of parts of Millwood, I felt that the altruistic notion of Millwood 100 had been achieved. It united new people, […]

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