Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ostrich Peak

I ran up Ostrich Peak this morning, for the second time this week. Ostrich is a perfect example of the fantastic trail/mountain running opportunities that Ashland provides. I live literally 1 1/2 blocks from Ashland's downtown Plaza (yes, Ashland has a plaza; after spending time in the Southwest, I love it when a town has a pedestrian-ish area at its center a la Santa Fe), and the uphill begins less than 100 yards from my front doorstep. After 5 minutes of running, the route takes a right turn onto Strawberry Lane and this is where life gets strenuous. Strawberry climbs at a 20+% grade for a good quarter mile or so, and there's really not another stretch of truly flat trail until the summit of Ostrich at 4700', five miles and nearly 3000 vertical feet later.

The run up this morning was classic Ashland. In the pre-dawn darkness, town was enveloped in a cloud of thick fog, but within 300 vertical feet I was out of the fog and the temperature rose significantly, to 50+ degrees F. The route up Ostrich involves Hitt Road (really a single track trail) and then a turn onto the even steeper Mystical Trail. Here's shot of some typical tread up there (Photo Credit: drjeff).

The top of Ostrich--as with any climb--is the real treat. Now, in the middle of January, there were just a couple small patches of snow, and the view to the east is phenomenal. One can see past Grizzly Peak (6000', on the other side of Bear Creek) to the stunning conical profile of the snow-covered 9500' Mt. McLoughlin (it's much more imposing in real life than it appears in this photo). Additionally, some of the snow-covered pointy Cascades near the Crater Lake area are visible. (Photo Credit: drjeff)

Having a run like this right out my front doorstep (one of many possibilities, but the most imposing peak as seen from Main Street) makes me think of Scott Elliott and his "every day, lots of vertical" approach. I'm not going to be going for 100 summits in 100 days any time soon, but I do plan on getting up there 3-5 days every week.


Jeff Valliere said...

Sounds like an awesome run Anton. My wife has been interested in moving to Ashland for some time, but I have been reluctant to leave Colorado. Any idea how pricey homes are compared to Boulder and what the economy might be like there?

At the very least, I need to come check it out sometime, I hear more and more good things about Ashland.

Oh, I can't get your pictures to work?

Jeff Valliere said...

One of the pictures now appears, that looks like some nice cushy running!

Paul DeWitt said...

Tony - good to see a few posts from you since I have detected (both with myself and many other runner/bloggers) a direct correlation between training miles and blog posting rates! We missed you this morning in Cheyenne Canon - beautiful sunrise over the Springs, but it looks like you aren't lacking in hills or scenery.
- pauld

Local Mind Media said...

Sweet run. I too was looking at Oregon when deciding on Boulder or...where ever?

I just met Scott and have run with him on some of his runs up Bear the last couple weeks (on 16th tomorrow). he's a good guy and a mix of humble and incredible runner (a very common thing here in Boulder).

You know you want to get back to some Colorado mountains....supposed to be near 60 this weekend.

Stick with your focus for WS.

[disclaimer: this comment is in no way to be taken as a negative expression toward road running or road runners. They are great people and exceptional athletes who deserve all the credit.]

Unknown said...

I can only imagine how beautiful that neck of the woods is in being able to just step out the door and go this time of year. Smart choice for moving there and being able to train. Thanks for sharing the pic with us. -CR

AJW said...


My best years of running were when I could get 2000 ft of vertical out my doorstep year round. That was in the Bay Area. Now, in Sun Valley, I can still get that kind of vertical, but five months a year it's in the snow. Not quite the same.



Derek Griffiths said...


Jessica and I lived in Medford for a while just after college. Things there have changed a lot in 10 years!!

I have a photo in my office of Mt McLoughlin. I camped there once and took a great photo of the mountain reflected in the lake. (Although I do have to admit I copied the idea from the rather famous photo you will see all over Ashland and Medford).

Also, don't sell yourself short in a trial marathon. If it has elevation changes, you could probably hang with Max...


Rob said...

Hey Anton,
Glad to see you are back to writing a bit. Sounds like a plan for success this year.
I hope to see you at Zane Grey this year. I am going to take a week off work to stay down there and hang out befor running the race. Stop by the camper if you see me and I'll bye you a beer!

tommyt said...

Hello Anton, Just wondering if you were planning on running Rocky Raccoon again sometime?

gorida said...

oh my Gaia, it is all about riding the wind and running. :D great blog.

Ben said...

You have a new picture.

I like it.

That is all.

Jillian said...

Thanks so much for the advice and Champion Health suggestion! I will for sure do that! I was going to go see Tony D. for some ART (john offered me one of his sessions), but he changed offices and i don't think john has the sessions any more:(. But yes, i'll give him a call...i'm up for any and all help at this point! How is your bod holding up? Alex told me the other day that you are dealing with some pain again:(. What's going on with that? Talk to you soon!

Consistency in life is KEY said...

Your amazing! I stumbled upon you through a sticker i was given "Live your" @ a pre race packet pickup in Vegas. So i decided to check out the website, and i was researching Ultra Running.. i was speechless what i had found... how do you do it?.. Truly incrediable..

CoyoteGirl said...

My absolute dream is to have a trailhead near enough to run on from home. Gorgeous.

Unknown said...

I was surprised to run into you today in San Jose on the New Almaden trail. Hope you had a good run.


Sildenafil Citrate said...

Once I had the opportunity to be in Ostrich Peak and I went to hike every day when I was able to, the mountains are so beautiful and the nature there is so amazing

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