Retirement and a cross-country move may have altered Jeff List’s routine in 2017, but one thing stayed consistent for the 58-year-old: Kissing the rock at the Hardrock 100.
List, a longtime resident of East Falmouth, Mass., finished Hardrock for the seventh time in seven tries when he “kissed the rock” that represents the finish line of the 100.5-mile footrace in the late hours of Saturday, July 15, in Silverton, Colo.
Spaniard Kilian Jornet, 29, won Hardrock for the fourth straight time, finishing in 24:32:20. Second place went to Mike Foote, 33, of Montana. Frenchwoman Caroline Chaverot, 40, was the women’s champion and seventh overall finisher in 28:31:50.
For List, who first ran Hardrock in 2009 at age 50, the grueling mountain race in the San Juan Mountains and its 33,000 feet of vertical gain has become a “brutal benchmark” for maintaining physical fitness, as he detailed to MassUltra shortly after the lottery for the 2017 race took place.
List and his wife are moving to Washington State this summer, and Hardrock served as a scenic stop along the cross-country journey to their new house. They’ve taken their time getting to the Pacific Northwest. In fact, quite a bit of time has been spent in the mountains.
List’s pre-race preparation in the month leading up to the race included pacing for Jefferson, Mass., resident Christopher Agbay at the Bighorn 100 in Wyoming, and then spending a few weeks at altitude in the mountains of Colorado, logging big climbs while also helping mark the Hardrock course.
The 2017 course was run counter-clockwise, and runners were challenged with a 3,700-foot climb and 2,600-foot descent during the first 9.3 miles. List handled it well and reached the first checkpoint in less than three hours. That set the tone for a weekend where List hiked and ran consistently and made steady progress. He moved quickly and efficiently through aid stations, saving his longest stops for the late-night hours and the latter stages of the race.
A few hours after dark and moving by the glow of his headlamp, List made his way back into Silverton and kissed the rock 15 minutes before midnight, officially finishing in 41:45:18. For the seventh time in 10 years and the fifth straight summer, List took on the “brutal benchmark” and passed the test. His time was the fifth-fastest in his seven cracks at the course, but it was an improvement of more than two hours from 2016 and was 50 minutes faster than in 2015.
While List was the lone Massachusetts resident in the race this year, a recent Bay State resident also took part. David Huss, 33, previously lived in Winchester, Mass., before moving to Seattle, Wash., in 2016. Huss finished ninth at the Grindstone 100 in 2015, and in doing so secured himself a spot in the Hardrock lottery for 2016 and 2017. His name was drawn for this year’s race, and he made his first trip to Hardrock a memorable one by finishing in the top third of the field in 35:48:08, good for 42nd overall.
Of the 145 runners who started the race, 126 finished within the 48-hour time limit.
A handful of other New England residents also took part in Hardrock this year.
Maine resident Jeff Rome, 28, finished eighth overall in 28:53:34; Jack Pilla, 59, of Charlotte, Vt., was 49thin 36:33:53; and Debbie Livingston, 42, of Bolton, Conn., was 79th overall – and the 11th-place female finisher – in 41:01:58.
Additionally, Garry Harrington, 57, Swanzey, N.H., took on the course but he dropped from the race at mile 56.6 with 23:41:28 expired. Harrington previously raced Hardrock in 2012 and dropped at mile 85.