A photo journey from the Anza Borrego Desert to Cuyamaca Peak

The Lost Boys 50 Mile has been on my bucket list for sometime. Two weeks before the event’s start date I learned that this could very well be its last year. After approval from Emily, I signed up.

Lost Boys got its start in 1991 — there were 4 finishers that year. Through the years, the event has attracted quite an impressive but quiet crew. Guys and gals like Ben Hian, Luanne Park, Tom Nielsen, Sherry Kay Mahieu, Jennifer Henderson, Brandon Sybrowsky, Anne Langstaff, Suzanne Brana, Suzie Lister, Earl Towner, Joanne Urioste, Jonathan Worswick, Patrik Gunnarsson, Jeff Haines, Randy Calvert, Tracy Moore and Mark Marcelli have crossed the Lost Boys’ finish line. Finally, 27 years after its inception, I’d get my chance to participate.

From the race’s website:
“The Lost Boys Ultra is a rare point-to-point course that starts in the beautiful Anza Borrego Desert in San Diego County, California, at 1,100-foot elevation, tops off on Cuyamaca Peak at 6,512-foot elevation and ends at Cuyamaca Lake in the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. With over 9,000′ of climb and 6,100′ of descent for the 50 mile race the course really packs a punch.”

Special thanks to the many volunteers that spent their Saturday watching us pass through, race director Brian Gonzales for sustaining this old school and epic event and Emily Torrence for pandering me. I’ve never carried a phone during any of my previous 202 ultras. However, last weekend, I thought it’d be inventive to carry my camera, share the adventure and photo-log this unique course. So, without further ado here’s the Lost Boys’ course in pictures…

Desert smoke trees line the start in the daylight. However, the race starts at 5am — roughly 30-45 minutes are run in the dark.

Desert smoke trees line the start in the daylight. However, the race starts at 5am — roughly 30-45 minutes are run in the dark.

 

The course's first 5 miles are spent in Pinyon Wash.

The course’s first 5 miles are spent in Pinyon Wash.

 

The Boulders, just after the first aid station.

The Boulders, just after the first aid station.

 

The Dry Waterfall

The Dry Waterfall

 

The Wall.

The Wall.

 

Blair Valley (mile 15)

Blair Valley (mile 15)

 

Running on the California Riding and Hiking Trail. Watch out for the cholla cactus!

Running on the California Riding and Hiking Trail. Watch out for the cholla cactus!

 

The California Riding and Hiking Trail at Foot and Walker Pass.

The California Riding and Hiking Trail at Foot and Walker Pass.

 

Blair Valley Aid Station (mile 18)

Blair Valley Aid Station (mile 18)

 

The bottom of Oriflamme Canyon.

The bottom of Oriflamme Canyon.

 

Starting up the Oriflamme Canyon climb.

Starting up the Oriflamme Canyon climb.

 

Looking down Oriflamme Canyon (roughy half-way into the race).

Looking down Oriflamme Canyon (roughy half-way into the race).

 

Mason Valley

Mason Valley

 

Fields of wildflowers before Pedro Fages Aid Station.

Fields of wildflowers before Pedro Fages Aid Station.

 

Emily (far right) supporting my endeavors at Pedro Fages Aid Station (mile 30).

Emily (far right) supporting my endeavors at Pedro Fages Aid Station (mile 30).

 

Stonewall Peak.

Stonewall Peak.

 

West Mesa Loop Trail (mile 36).

West Mesa Loop Trail (mile 36).

 

Views west from Airplane Ridge.

Views west from Airplane Ridge.

 

Ascending Cuyamaca Peak. A very long but gentle climb.

Ascending Cuyamaca Peak. A very long but gentle climb.

 

Big trees and lush greenery near the summit of Cuyamaca Peak.

Big trees and lush greenery near the summit of Cuyamaca Peak.

 

Cuyamaca Peak Aid Station (mile 43).

Cuyamaca Peak Aid Station (mile 43).

 

The steep, paved ascent to Cuyamaca Peak.

The steep, paved ascent to Cuyamaca Peak.

 

Looking east from the summit of Cuyamaca Peak and where we had come from.

Looking east from the summit of Cuyamaca Peak and where we had come from.

 

The rocky and exposed descent from Cuyamaca Peak.

The rocky and exposed descent from Cuyamaca Peak.

 

Looking down on the finish line and Cuyamaca Lake from Middle Peak. Three miles to go!

Looking down on the finish line and Cuyamaca Lake from Middle Peak. Three miles to go!

 

The final 200 meters along the shores of Cuyamaca Lake.

The final 200 meters along the shores of Cuyamaca Lake.

 

Still running!

Still running!

 

At the finish with Lost Boys race director Brian Gonzales.

At the finish with Lost Boys race director Brian Gonzales.

 

Your Moment of Zen:

Sugar deprived selfies can help pass the time...

Sugar deprived selfies can help pass the time…

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