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Angeles Crest 100-Mile Endurance Run

Original Airdate August 6, 2014

Dominic Grossman: These trails are definitely some of the toughest in the country.

Highest peak is Mt. Baden-Powell, it’s 9,300 feet. You just go switch back after switch back, climbing up into the sky. You just get more and more wind in because the air is thinner. And we get on top of that and we see all the canyons, exposure….and you’re only at mile 17.

Most of the 9 million people in L.A. basin will never even know…they’ll be running mountains overlooking… they have no clue what’s going on above them. This race, every section, affects the next section after. It doesn’t stop until you cross the finish line. It’s a really long way.

There are huge, 3,000-foot climbs that they don’t play into the whole idea of what normal consider running.

If the weight loss is excessive at this checkpoint, they will be warned that they will need to consume more water because they are dehydrated. And that’s a real issue in these races. Most of the runners who have to drop out, have to drop out because of heat injuries, and usually it’s because of dehydration.

No matter how many races you’ll do, your hips will get sore, your arms will get sore, everything will just feel like maybe I’m not good enough. I’m weak.

As night falls, you’re going to have to develop a very heightened sense of awareness.

The race course borders L.A. for about 25 miles and you can see the diners with delicious hamburgers waiting for you. You’re thinking of hotels with soft beds. You’re thinking…that’s so close I can reach out and touch it, so it just teases you.

When you get to the last 2 miles of the race it turns to pavement and that’s when you know you’re home free. You’ve survived all the overgrown trails and all the twisted trails and you realize you just have to job through Altadena.

When I saw my dad at the end of the race, it was just really special because his daily life is…one of the..his parents died when he was in high school. He put himself through college and paid for everything on his own and I really look up to him in that sense that he has a really good attitude.

This race is like a tiny little secret. I grew up in L.A., never heard of running the San Gabriels. Never heard of a 100-mile race. You go through moments of sickness, of ecstasy, of complete despair and depression, and you realize it was only a day ago that you did that, and it just hits you of how much you did in the last 24-30 hours.

Every year, marathon runners spend months preparing in anticipation for the Angeles Crest 100-mile endurance run in the mountains above Los Angeles.

But only a few are able to make it to the finish line after a grueling 24-36 hours away from society as they run through the San Gabriel Mountains.

In 2013, 122 runners enrolled in the race, but only 74 finished.

"You go through moments of sickness, of complete despair and depression and you realize it was only a day ago that you did that. And it hits you how much you did in the last 24-30 hours," said runner Dominic Grossman.

Watch as dozens of experienced runners tackle Mt. Baden Powell at over 9,000 feet high and challenging trails in the Angeles National Forest.

Featuring Interviews With:

  • Dominic Grossman, runner

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