Angeles Crest 100 Cancelled Due to Fire

The Angeles Crest 100 miler that is held in Southern California each September, has been cancelled for 2009 due to the fires in the mountains.

In my opinion, AC is one of the best 100 mile trail runs. Not for silly reasons like the management or "swag."  It's the course that matters. It's beautiful, hard, and runnable. 

Just as the bluebells come out each spring in Virginia, the fires come out in Southern California.  It is quite amazing that they have been able to have Angeles Crest as often as they have. It has only been cancelled one or two times before.

My grandparents and my father used to ride horses from Chatsworth to Wrightwood. Then I was able to retrace about half that route on foot at AC. If I were ever to try another 100 miler, it would be AC.  Angeles Crest Web Site


Friends (especially Anstr),

 I thought of you when I read this tonight:

Andy is helping me prepare for Grindstone this year, and the AC100 was Andy's first 100 miler. Those of us who have run 100 milers will always remember our first one, and Andy's post gave me an idea of what it would feel like if fire threatened to permanently wipe out a race course that I deeply loved and felt attached to. To those who deeply love the MMT-- Mike Mason, Alan Gowen, Gary Knipling and many, many others-- imagine what it would feel like if for some horrible twist of fate vast sections of MMT were burned away and altered forever. Yes, there has been fire on the MMT before but not to the extent that Andy describes what is happening right now on the AC100 course.

It's a wonderful thing how attached we can become to a dirt path in the woods. My heart goes out to those who have run, hurt on, wept on and loved the trails of the AC100.

Frankly, I thought that the blog Sophie linked to was a bit hyperbolic. I still think it might be, but the pessimism is shared by the LA Times. See the article L.A.'s nature haven, reduced to wasteland

The Times says: "The [Angeles National] forest and the Angeles Crest Highway will be closed indefinitely. Roads throughout the area are littered with fallen rocks and debris, unmoored by the loss of vegetation." Looks like the cancellation of AC was a wise move. (Thanks to Paul Blackman for pointing out this article.)

The Times points out: "Chaparral is evolved to grow back after periodic fires. The seeds of some species of manzanita and ceanothus cannot germinate until they are primed by smoke or heat. But it may take generations to replace the canopy of trees that gave some of the most popular areas their ambience." My only comment is that much of Southern California is already relatively treeless. Catalina Island is. Much of the old Coyote Four Play is.  Life will go on. But not until the rainy season produces a lot of mud.

To see that the world is still there, check out the Mt. Wilson Web cam.