BIR GUNDE HALF DOME (San Francisco'dan gunu birlik!) / HALF DOME IN A DAY (From San Francisco and back!)

Half Dome'un tepesi / The top of Half Dome

Half Dome'un tepesi / The top of Half Dome

Yosemite Milli Parki Amerika'daki en guzel milli parklardan biri. Genel olarak bu ulkedeki milli parklar, burasi ile ilgili en sevdigim ve begendigim sey diyebilirim. Yosemite San Francisco'ya yaklasik 3-4 saat uzaklikta ve epeyce turist cekiyor. Bir dolu gorulesi guzel noktaya, hem yuruyus hem de tirmanis rotalarina sahip. Half Dome'da hem tirmanis hem de yuruyus icin harika bir hedef.  Eger duz! duvarini tirmanmak istemiyorsaniz, arka tarafindan tepeye ulasmak mumkun. Half Dome'un arka tarafina kadar yoldan itibaren yaklasik 8 mil yurumek/kosmak gerekiyor. Son kismi da kayaya cakilmis metal bir kabolya tutunarak yapiliyor, cunku cok dik. Tahmin edilecegi uzere bu cok populer bir rota oldugu icin Milli Park tarafindan bir gun icinde normal duvar ya da patika rotasinda kac kisi olacagi sinirlandirilmis. Bahar sonu ve yaz aylari icin cok onceden izinlerin alinmasi gerekiyor cunku bu vakitler en kalabalik zamanlar. Ben onceden bircok kereler basvurmaya calismistim ama kalabaliklar yuzunden hevesim kacmisti izin almak da hic nasip olmamisti. Ekim basinda Veronica ile hafta ici bir gun sansimizi denemeye karar verdik. Ama Ekim 15'te de celik kablolar kaldirildigi icin (hava sartlari yuzunden Ekim 15 sonrasi o kisim kapatiliyor) cok fazla gunumuz yoktu. Onceden izin alamayanlar icin gitmeyi planladiginiz gunden iki gun once Park yonetimini arayip basvurunuzu yapiyorsunuz kalabalik olmayan mevsimlerde, iptal vs durumlarina gore Park size 24 saat icinde evet ya da hayir ile geri donuyor. Ben 3 Ekim pazartesi iki kisi icin randevu talebimizi yaptim, ertesi sabah evet emaili gelisti bile! 5 Ekim Carsamba sabahi erkenden yola ciktik. (Normalde bir suru insan Half Dome icin 2 gun ayiriyor - bir gece kamp yaparak 16 mil/25.7kmlik ve 4800ft/1463m irtifa kazanimli rotayi iki gunde tamamliyorlar). Ogleden once de patikaya girmistik bile! Ikimiz de antremanli oldugumuz icin fotograf cekmek disinda cok vakit kaybetmeden hizli bir sekilde yol katettik kablolara kadar.  Tepede kisa bir ogle yemegi ve fotograf molasindan sonra inise gectik, toplamda 6,5 saat sonra arabaya geri gelmistik bile ama onumuzde 3-4 saatlik geri donus yolu vardi. Gece 12de evimdeydim harika bir gunun sonunda! Haftaici bir gunu boyle bir maceraya ayridigimiz icin ikimiz de tum bir haftasonu calismak zorunda kaldiysakta pisman degildik! :)

Vernal selalesi / Vernal fall

Vernal selalesi / Vernal fall

Half Dome'un tepesine cikan celik kablolar / Steel cables leading to the top

Half Dome'un tepesine cikan celik kablolar / Steel cables leading to the top

Yosemite National Park is one of the best national parks in the US. I can easily say that national parks in this country are the one thing I love the most about here. It is about 3-4 hrs drive to San Francisco and attracts the crowds all the time as it has a lot of great vistas, hikes, and climbs. Half Dome is one of those attractions in the park whether you climb one of the routes on the wall leading to the top or whether you take the trail to reach the top hiking from behind (about 8 miles roundtrip with 4800ft elevation gain).  The last part of the trail is "a steep hike" to the top and the Park service puts steel cables during the summer season. Because of the crowds though, the park service also put a cap on the number of people who can be on the wall or on the trail on any given day so one has to apply for permits in advance. Since the popular seasons are at the end of Spring and Summer, it is almost impossible to get a permit unless you act way in advance assuming you know exactly which day you will be going up there. I haven't had a chance to go to Half Dome because of this permit hassle until this year. I knew that off-season, one could apply for a day permit contacting the Park service 48hrs in advance and that's what I did on October 3 Monday. I also knew that the park service was going to remove the steel cables by October 15 (due to season change). I got the confirmation from the parking service the next day for my permit for October 5 so me and my friend Veronica left early in the am driving towards the park! It took us about 3.5 hrs and we were on the trail before noon and we moved as fast as we could and stopped only to take photos until the cables. After lunch and some more photos on top, we made our way down back to the trail and run back to our car. It took us about 6.5 hrs with all the stops from car to car.  The 3-4 hr drive back to SF was a dread but ok. I was at home by midnight and very grateful for such a great escape. Taking a day off midweek cost both of us to work all weekend but it was totally worthed so no regrets! :) 

GOLD RUSH 30 MACERA YARISI / GOLD RUSH 30HR ADVENTURE RACE

Turkiye’deki uzun yazin 3 hafta ardindan 30 saatlik Gold Rush macera yarisi icin tabi ki yeterince antreman yapamadim.  Daha dogrusu tum yaz boyunca dogru durust antreman yapmadim hergun biraz yuzmek disinda. Vucudumun daha hafif bir spora ihtiyaci varmis resmen, canim kosmak bile istemedi bir sure. Ama tatil sonrasi San Francisco’ya donunce gecen seneden beridir konustugumuz yaris gelip catmisti bile. 3 haftaya birkac kosu ve bisiklet sigdirarak kendimi en azindan zihnen hazirlamaya calistim. Ekip arkadaslarimdan Henrike de cok antremansizdi ama Tim yaristan onceki her haftasonu acaip isler yapmisti: 100 mil dag bisikleti ve24 saat dag bisikleti yarisi gibi. Ama beni ve Henrike’yi iyi tanidigindan bu yarisi kotarabilecegimizi biliyordu. Yaris yeri San Francisco’ya 4 saat uzakliktaki Sonora bolgesinde yapilacakti ve  Long Barn denen ve yaris merkezi olarak kullanilacak bir mekanda baslayacakti. Cuma ogleden sonra Tim ve ben yola ciktik, aksamuzeri yaris merkezine vardik ve check-in’imizi yaptirip haritalarimizi aldik. Daha onceden yaris organizatorleri tarafindan belirlenen kontrol noktalarini haritamiza gecirdik ve malzeme kontrollerimizi yaptirdik. Henrike vardiginda o da kontrolleri tamamladi ve gece 12:30a kadar hazirliklarimiza devam ettik. Sabah 7de yaris baslangic yerine bisikletlerimizle gittik, ve tekrar bisikletlerle devam etmeden once ilk kontrol noktasini bulmak icin daldik diger ekiplerle birlikte ormana. Ilk kontrol noktasini ilk bulan 3. ekip olarak bisiklere geri donup yarisa devam ettik. Yaris kategorileri su sekildeydi: bisiklet, kano, bisiklet, trek, ip, trek, bisiklet. Ipten onceki tum control noktalari mecburi (yani DQ olmamak icin) son iki kategoridekiler ekstra idi. Biz mecburilerin hepsini tamamlayip extralardan da birkac tane alarak 20 puan’la dorduncu olduk. Butun yaris boyunda kisisel olarak ve ekip olarak tasimak zorunda oldugumuz malzemelerimiz vardi. Bunun yaninda tabi ki yiyecek ve icecek. Suyumuz bittiginde derelerden ve su birikintilerinden doldurduk. Yiyecegimizi de planlayarak tasidik. 30 saatlik yaris boyunca her ekip gibi sadece 2 kere gorecegimiz bir malzeme kutusu da hazirlamistik. Bu tarz planlama bu tarz yarislarda cok cok onemli. 30 saat boyunca hic durmadan surekli kosusturarak, gece dolunay isiginda kanyonlarda calilara tutunarak acaip egimlerden nehir yataklarina kosarak inip cikarak, kayalardan atlayarak, bisikletlerle patikalari son hiz inip cikarak, kanolarimizda ayaklarimizi dinlendirirken kureklere asilarak, kan ter icinde, bisikletin son etabinda artik acidan ayaklarimizi hissetmez halde, ama acaip mutlu bir sekilde bitis cizgisinden gectik. 4. olacagimizi hic dusunmemistik antremansiz oldugumuz icin, o yuzden cok mutlu olduk. Hatta birkac tane navigasyon hatasini yapmasaymisiz cok rahat 3. oluyormusuz. Kismet bir dahakine! Harika bir yarisi harika bir ekip ile bitirebilmis olmanin verdigi inanilmaz huzur ve mutlulukla SFe ayni gun geri donduk.  Daha fazla bilgi icin: http://www.goldrushar.com/events/goldrush24houradventurechallenge2016.html

 

During the long summer in Turkey, I really never got to train for the upcoming Gold Rush 30hr race. As a matter of fact, I didn’t feel like it except I swam almost every day. I guess my body needed some low impact exercise and I was ok with it. However after I got back to San Francisco, it was almost time for the race that we have been talking about since last year. I squeezed a few runs and bike rides into 3 weeks at least just to get my mind in the game a little bit. One of my teammates, Henrike also couldn’t train too much but our third teammate Tim was a different story. One weekend he’d ridden like 100 miles on a mountain bike, another weekend he won a 24hr mountain bike race! But he knew me and Henrike well enough that we could survive this race. The race was going to be held in Sonora county and would start at the race headquarters in Long Barn, about 4 hours drive from San Francisco. Tim and I left Friday afternoon and got the race central on time to check-in and to get our gear checked. We also got the maps and marked all the pre-set check points. Henrike arrived later and after her gear check, we worked on our gear and bikes till 12:30am. The race started at 7am with a short bike ride to the start where we had to get one check point on foot. We run into a forest and came out as the 3rd team after this 1st check point. Then we continued on the bikes.  The race included (in order): mountain bike, kayak, bike, trek, rope, trek, and bike sections. All the checkpoints before the ropes section were mandatory with optional ones in trek and bike sections. We got all the mandatory ones with a few optionals adding up to 20 points and became 4th (out of 17).  Throughout the race, there was mandatory individual and team gear that we had to carry at all times along with our food and water. When we ran out, we had to fill up water from water puddles and creeks along the way. We also had a gear box that we saw only 2 times during the race like the other teams. So planning how much food and water to carry, along with other gear was of utmost importance as it is in every adventure race.  For 30 hours straight, we biked up and down trails and fire roads,  kayaked on a lake, trekked in a canyon going down on slopes holding on to manzanitas, jumping on granite slabs under the full moon, and our feet being completely numb from the pain during the last biking section, sweating big under the heat, we crossed the finish line with smiles on our face. 4th place was a surprise given our lack of training but after looking at what we have done, we saw that we could have been easily at 3rd place if we didn’t make a few minor navigation errors. Oh well, we were ecstatic at the end after a great race with a great team. More info on the race: http://www.goldrushar.com/events/goldrush24houradventurechallenge2016.html

ON-RUNNING

Swiss markasi On-Running, yuzlerce sporcu arasindan beni Amerika'daki sporcu elcilerinden biri olarak secti! Bu benim icin cok buyuk bir onur ve cok heyecanli bir tecrube. Markanin genel felsefesini cok begeniyorum: ne size kendinizi iyi hissettiriyorsa, sizin icin dogru olan o'dur diyor adamlar. Etraftaki onlarca kosu markasina baktigimiz zaman genel olarak gorunen sey, hep bir en dogru ayakkabi seklinin, en dogru kosu seklinin ogretilmeye calisilmasi. Bilgilenmek guzel ama genel soylem bireyin kendisini kesfetmesini desteklemiyor, cesaretlendirmiyor, onun yerine dikte ediyor genel olarak. On-Running bu konulari cok guzel ifade ediyor ve ben bu markanin samimiyetine inaniyorum. Bu yuzden de marka elcilerinden biri oldugum icin cok mutluyum!

So excited and honoured to be chosen as the Swiss brand On-Running Ambassador among hundreds of runners in the US! I love their philosophy: what feels right for you is probably the best for you. I have always been uncomfortable with brands lecturing on what the right shoe is, what the right running form is, etc. as if there is no room for personal difference and for personal discovery. So I strongly believe rather than pushed for immediate correction, one should have a space to discover and adjust in a process. I do find On-Running's general attitude on running very sincere and that's why I am truly happy to represent this brand.