With 2009 all but wrapped up and plans for 2010 beginning to finalize, we thought it would be an appropriate time to announce a few events that Montrail will be supporting next year. Some partnerships and are still under wraps, so stay tuned for more info on those, but here’s a few to check out and get excited about looking ahead:
San Diego Trail Run Series – Montrail is excited to again be working with Sun Strides in supporting their series of 4 trail running events, January – April. Sun Strides is a non-profit committed to safe, clean, renewable energy for people in the developing world.
1st Annual Foothills Drifter 6k – 1/30/10 – Lake Conestee Nature Park in Greenville, SC – Halfmoon Outfitters is hosting a few new trail races in early 2010 and Montrail and Mountain Hardwear will be there as presenting sponsors. Come get muddy with us!
HalfMoon Winter Trail Race 12k – 2/20/10 – Harbison State Forest, Columbia, SC – race number 2 of the Halfmoon Outfitters winter trail series. Hagg Lake Trail Runs – 2/20/10 – Hagg Lake, Oregon – Montrail and Mountain Hardwear will again be supporting the Hagg Lake 25k and 50k trail runs. This event embodies the spirit of trail running and ultrarunning in the Pacific Northwest.
Post Oak Lodge Runs – 2/27/10 – Tulsa, OK – this inaugural event, hosted by the Tulsa Running Club, includes a 10k, 25k, marathon and 50k distance, all on the trails.
Peterson Ridge Rumble - 4/11/10 – Montrail athlete Sean Meissner RDs this trail race, which includes rare distances of 60k and 30k and is a dog-friendly event. Go run the ridge!
Babcock Gristmill Grinder – 4/17/10 – this marathon trail race (which also includes a 3 mile fun walk) is a truly spectacular trail course through the rugged terrain of Babcock State Park in West Virginia. X-Dog Events – this is one of those partnerships that just makes us smile. Kevin and crew host a series of wild and adventurous trail events in the mountains in and around Portland, Oregon. These events are truly unique and one-of-a-kind. Many include wild costume themes, complete with a pre-event campout and party. The famous Mt. Hood Scramble is one of the events in the series. Montrail and Mountain Hardwear are thrilled to be the footwear and apparel sponsors of X-Dog Events again in 2010.
Pagosa Peaks Trail Series – 2009 was the inaugural year for this trail series, based in Pagosa Springs, CO, and was established as a fundraising vehicle for GECKO. Morgan and his team were a pleasure to work with in 2009 and the series was a huge success, which in turn benefited the GECKO organization as a whole. Year 2 should be even better, and we’re glad to be on board once again. Steamboat Springs Running Series – this solid list of 12 trail and road running events in the Steamboat Springs, Colorado area benefits from an avid local running community, a constant influx of tourists and vacationers seeking to log miles and the beautiful mountains and rugged terrain of Steamboat. Cara and her crew do a great job with the events, and Montrail and Mountain Hardwear and thrilled to once again be supporting this series, which has been named the Best Race Series by Colorado Runner magazine.
Stay tuned for announcements on more events to look forward to in 2010. Of course, don’t forget that the Montrail Ultra Cup is in full swing, with 7 events remaining in the 2009/2010 season. Check the schedule here.
Hey! If you haven’t yet seen it, the 2010 Western States 100 entrant list has been posted. This is quite a list! No doubt the competition will be even tougher than last year, in both the men’s and women’s field. With 16 more WS100 spots currently available through the Montrail Ultra Cup (8 for men, 8 for women) you can bet that some of the top dogs will be gunning for them.
See the entrant list here.
Team Montrail sent a small, but kick-butt, group to TNF 50 mile race in the beautiful Marin Headlands near San Francisco this weekend.
Geoff has had an incredilbe year this year, setting course records all over the country. He ran shoulder-to-shoulder with Uli for 40 miles, at which point Geoff had a bit of a low point, Uli noticed this, and made the winning move. Geoff re-grouped and finished a strong second in 6:40, besting the old course record. On the girl’s side, Joelle kicked some booty, too. She duked it out with Caitlin for the first half, and then Caitlin gradually pulled away the second 25. But Joelle also finished a strong 2nd (18th overall) in 7:53, and like Geoff, also under the old course record. Joelle and Geoff both received a nice payday in the form of $4k!
Young buck Dakota had a great debut on the national ultrarunning scene. After starting strong, he took a little scenic detour. When he caught back up to me, he didn’t seem at all fazed by it. He just trotted along, making up for lost time. Dakota finished 14th overall in 7:43, easily winning his age group. And, it was his 19th birthday. Happy Birthday, Dakota!
Long time Montrailian Luanne couldn’t let the kids get all of the attention. So she didn’t. Showing that she’s as tough as always, Luanne also won her age group, finishing as 5th woman overall, in 9:09.
Thanks to Jesse for coming out to play cheerleader. We really appreciate your support!
Congratulations, team! I had a great time hanging out with you all.
The newest addition to Team Montrail for 2010 is also our youngest (ever?) athlete, and one we’re really excited about. Dakota Jones is 19 and lives in Durango, Colorado. He’s been running track and cross country his entire life, loves running trail, and only in the past few years became interested in ultrarunning. To boot, Dakota’s been a Montrail wearer for a long time.
Dakota had a big year in 2009, including some races and finishes that are pretty impressive. In February, Dakota took 5th place (p.r. with 4:32:49) in Moab’s Red Hot 50k, finishing ahead of some pretty established and talented runners. In May, Dakota took 2nd place at the Jemez Mountain Trail Run 50 mile with a time of 9:53. He ran a 1:16:54 half marathon at the Canyonlands Half Marathon in March, paced a friend at Hardrock, and recently set a new course record for the Ultimate XC Moab 20 mile race.
Clearly, Dakota is an extremely talented runner and seems to excel on mountain courses. He’ll be running The North Face Endurance Championship this weekend to test his abilities against some of the world’s best. We’re very excited to have Dakota running for Montrail and look forward to following his growth and progress.
Now that JFK is over, I am looking forward to taking time off. My year was a bit disappointing, but it is what it is, and not much can be done about it now. All I can do is to look forward to some rest and come up with a good plan for next year. Unlike many runners, I look forward to my time off, and I try to enjoy it without a side of guilt. I don’t keep up with the racing scene during this time, and focus on doing things I seldom have time for, like doing nothing at all. I just watched the Cross Country National Championship today, and that was a breach of protocol, since it was highly related to running. All joking aside, this is the only way for my body and my mind to deal with a new year of hard training and racing. Thinking about another training cycle makes me a bit sick to my stomach right now but, come January, I will be ready. I will have enjoyed my extra time with Gill, slept in late, eaten too much, watched too much TV and played with my dog, who is very happy to have my undivided attention now. For Gill and I, it will be nice, for once, to go for a walk in the woods at normal speed, instead of warp speed. My advice to all of you is to find a time to do this throughout your year. It does not have to be winter, choose a time that works best with your running and racing schedule. During this time, beware of your friends and the famous “fun runs”… be focused on taking time off just as much as training.
Montrail was again honored to be a part of the prestigious JFK 50 Mile race this past Saturday, as the tradition and spirit of this ultramarathon is unmatched by any other 50 mile race we’ve seen. We had the opportunity to meet hundreds of runners and their friends and families, pass out lots of good Montrail and Ultra Cup swag, and show the 2010 line of trail running shoes. The excitement level is high around the new Rockridge and Sabino Trail shoes for spring. We’re excited too!
Come race day, this 50 miler comes and goes pretty quickly, as the 26 miles of canal path lead to fast finish times for the top runners. Congratulations to all the finishers of the 47th JFK 50 Miler. A special congratulations goes out to Montrail runners Annette Bednosky (finishing at right, 3rd place female), Francesca Conte (10th place female), Jill Perry (image at left, for finishing despite a fall and badly bruised and swollen knee), to Devon Crosby-Helms (below, far right, with top 6 women) for representing the West Coast and setting a new female course record (and her 2nd Ultra Cup race win!!), and Greg Crowther for winning the men’s race (also a West Coaster).
Tomorrow, Montrail is jet setting across the country to attend the 47th annual JFK 50 in Hagerstown, Maryland on November 21st. The oldest and largest 50 mile ultramarathon in the country, the JFK 50 covers road and trail, with roughly 15 miles of Appalachian Trail descending upon a flat canal tow path for a final 26 miles to the finish.
JFK 50 is once again a part of the Montrail Ultra Cup and as thus, points will be awarded to finishers who register for the Ultra Cup, and the top 2 men and women overall finishers will earn entry into Western States 100. This is a big draw, considering that roughly 1800 people entered the WS100 lottery. Several of the major contenders running JFK 50 have signed up for Montrail Ultra Cup so we expect to be seeing more of them along the way.
Good luck to Montrail athletes Annette Bednosky, Francesca Conte, Jill Perry and Russell Gill, and all the rest of the JFK 50 runners. Looks like the weather will be warmer than last year, thankfully!
iRunFar has posted a nice overview of the event here
Well, he’s done it again. Absolutely incredible performance put in today by Montrail athlete Geoff Roes at the Mountain Masochist 50 mile trail race in Lynchburg, VA. Geoff won the race and set a new course record, breaking Dave Mackey’s record by over 20 minutes. He’d never run the course before and considers 50 milers a bit short for his liking. That makes 5 wins and 5 course records in 2009 alone. Congratulations Geoff!
Also, Team Montrail-Canada runner Gary Robbins placed 3rd overall and Team Montrail female Annette Bednosky finished 4th place female, after battling an injury and spending the past several months in recovery.
And finally, congratulations to all the finishers of Mountain Masochist 50! Another great year in the Virginia mountains.
Mountain Masochist is race #3 of the Montrail Ultra Cup. Updated Ultra Cup standings will be released in two weeks, just in time for JFK 50. Stay tuned!
First off, congratulations to Sean Meissner for putting in a strong weekend of running and coming away with two first place finishes. Saturday Sean took 1st place at the Pilot Butte 5k and Sunday he won the inaugural Columbia Gorge Marathon. Sean has won 3 of the 4 marathons he’s run this year and took 3rd place in the other one. Truly a dynamic runner who excels at many distances. Great work Sean!
And, coming up in only a few days, the Mountain Masochist Trail Run in Lynchburg, VA is sure to be a barn-burner this year, with some serious talent toeing the line. As part of the Montrail Ultra Cup series, runners will be racing for series points, bragging rights, personal records, and Western States auto-entry spots for the top 2 male and female overall runners. This year, the pack will be led by Brazilian speedster Valmir Nunes, along with two fast and experienced Montrail runners, Geoff Roes and Gary Robbins. Gary took 2nd here last year and knows the course and has the legs to win. Geoff has never run Masochist before, and claims that 50 miles is “a bit short for my liking”, but he’s got serious speed and should run with the front of the pack. Annette Bednosky will be representing for the Montrail females and she’s always capable of putting in a solid effort.
Thanks to Clark and Co. for making it happen again this year. We’ll see you in Lynchburg!
A quick congratulations goes out to Bev Anderson-Abbs for finishing 1st place female at Javelina Jundred this past weekend.
Bev has had another incredible year of ultrarunning and should be seeing some awards come her way toward the end of the year.
Congratulations and welcome to Jill Perry, the newest member of the Montrail Ultrarunning Team. Jill lives in Manlius, NY and spends her time either running, taking care of her 5 kids, or managing her business, Whole Running, in which she trains women, mostly busy moms, who have never run a day in their lives. “If you have someone who believes in you, it makes a huge difference.”
Jill’s recent running accomplishments are nothing short of spectacular. In early October, Jill participated in the 24-Hour Run National Championship in Cleveland and finished as the top female runner, logging 136.3 miles and setting a new American record for running 200km in 20:57:40. She qualified for 24-Hour Worlds and will run with the US National Team.
Also in 2009, Jill took 2nd place at the Caumsett 50k in Long Island, broke a course record at the Umstead 100 mile race, crewed at Badwater, took 2nd place at the Vermont 100 miler, and is currently on her way to Gibraltar to compete in the 50k World Championship. Jill will round out her year with the JFK 50 in November and possibly The North Face Endurance Championship in December.
Not to mention all of these feats were achieved in a pair of Montrail Streaks. Look for Jill on the trails from east to west coast and make sure to stop her and say hello.
Gotta love this time of year for hitting the trails and picking up some quality miles. Cooler temps, beautiful Fall foliage, less folks on the trails, not to mention the need to drop a few lbs heading into the holiday season!
Here at Montrail HQ in the San Francisco Bay Area, we’re fortunate to be able to run trails all year long. Thus, we don’t rest for any season, and we’re still out there supporting trail running events around the country, even in the winter. After all, it doesn’t get cold, wet and snowy everywhere!
Look for us at the following events:
11/1/09 – Mountain Masochist Trail Run – Lynchburg, VA – Montrail Ultra Cup race #3 – 50 miles of fury
11/8/09 – Bear Creek Challenge 10k – Bear Creek Resort, PA – fantastic singletrack with rock, roots, bridges, hills and great views.
11/14/09 – Catalina Island EcoMarathon – San Diego, CA – marathon, half marathon and 10k trail run on the island
11/21/09 - JFK 50 – Washington County, MD – Montrail Ultra Cup race #4 – the oldest and largest 50 miler in the USA
11/21/09 – Raven Rock Rumble – Raven Rock State Park, NC – 10 and 5 mile trail runs in the mountains of North Carolina
11/28/09 – Red Rock 40 Mile Trail Run – Santa Barbara hills, CA – join Luis Escobar and Co. as they cruise the mountains of Santa Barbara
11/28/09 – Bartram Forest Trail Run – Milledgeville, GA – 50k and marathon distance on easy trails along a nice pine forest
12/12/09 – Hellgate 100k – Virginia – Dr. Horton and them folks in the Blue Ridge country like to run, and like to run far!
Fun things happening in 2010. Stay tuned…
This short slide show shares the privilege I have of living in a beautiful place that surrounds my home and where I and work. A few days ago I went for a short 6ish mile run up and down Mt. Jefferson. What made this run special was the swirling wind and attention getting temps of 39 degrees! I am on the cusp of coming off an injury, so the appreciation was magnified! Annette
Thanks to all of you for the information about the LeGrizz 50 Miler. I got there last Wed. and went for a 5 mile run with Mark Tarr who is the record-holder and 13 time winner of LeGrizz. This was the 28th running of LeGrizz.
On Wed. night I camped out and slept out in my rental car at the base of Great Northern Mt. It was snowing when I got in Kallispell on Wed. When I woke up on Thursday morning, there was about 3 inches of snow on the ground. The climb at the start of Great Northern was about 2,000 feet in the first 1.5 miles. Getting on the ridge I got some good views of Hungry Horse Lake where the 50 mile race would be two days later. As I continued up the ridge, the snow got deeper, some places over knee deep. It was soft and slick powder snow that had fallen in the last two days. As I got just above 8,000 feet, the going was so slow and slick and my tracks were being covered immediately by the blowing snow. Thinking about Carl Laniak and his climb and fall and injury there last year, I thought it might be best that I turn around and go back.
On the way back down, my toe caught on something and I fell forward breaking my fall with the right side of my head, no breaking the fall with my hands. I felt of my head and there was some blood but I could not tell how bad it was. By the time I got back to the bottom of the mountain, there was blood all over the right side of my face and down my neck. I drove back into Hungry Horse and bought some hydrogen peroxide and some cotton balls. As I was driving to the entrance to Glacier Nat. Park and West Glacier, I saw someone coming out of the park who looked like he had been camping. I stopped him and asked him to clean up my face and look at my cut. He said it looked bad and he thought I needed stitches.
I did not want to go to a clinic becasue I knew I would spend hours there. So, I drove on the West Glacier to go into the park. There is one road, Going to the Sun Highway that is supposed to be one of the most spectacular roads in America that goes straight through the park. I knew that some of it was closed due to construction. The high point in the road is at Logan Pass, which is where I really wanted to get to.
As I entered the park on the west side, I asked if I could get to Logan Pass, the ranger said I could not from the west side. She said that I could get there from the East side past East Glacier. I said that I was going there the next day, on Friday. She said that it would probably be closed the next day because a snow storm was predicted for that night. I turned around and drove the two hours to the other side and was able to driver to Logan Pass at over 6,000 feet high. I took pictures when I got there and then started down. When I got to St. Mary, all of a sudden this storm hit me.
I had asked where the nearest hospital was and was informed that it was in Browning about 35 miles away. As I drove back up and over the mountain the storm howled. Several times I stopped in the middle of the road because I could not see 10 feet in front of my car. I have never seen snow come down that hard and blow that hard.
I finally made it back to Browning and the hospital. I waited for some time and was treated by a doctor in the hospital there. He had run LeGrizz a few years earlier. He said that he had climbed the Great Northern 3 weeks earlier and there was NO snow at that time. He gave me 6 stitches in front of the ear and 2 in the ear. As I was getting ready to leave they said that I could not leave town. The storm was so bad, that the police blockaded the town to prevent anyone leaving??
THE RACE: It was a 1 hour and 40 minute bus ride to the start at the end of Hungry Horse Resevoir. We then ran 36 miles on gravel road, and then 14 miles on paved road to get back to a lake near Hungry Horse. The temperature at the start of the race was ZERO. The coldest it has ever been at the race. It might have reached 15 degrees during the heat of the day. The first aid station was not until 17 miles. Overall, the aid stations were pretty good. Most runners seemed to have crews that passed you and passed you and passed you. For half the race you could see the very big and snow covered and intimidating Great Northern Mountain. There was 2600 feet of elevation gain. There was a nice finisher award and the 10 and 20 time finishers received GREAT awards. There was some HOT chicken at the VERY cold finish. I finished in 8:26 for 9th place of 91 starters. It was first road ultra that I had run in a LONG time. I like trails better.
I am glad that I went and I may go back again. The mountains of Glacier are like nothing i have ever seen in Colorado or Switzerland. It was 14 degrees when I left Kalispell on Sunday morning.
I do have pictures of the area and my good blood on Facebook
We thought it’d be important to remind you all of some key registration dates coming up soon:
Western States 100 – application period is October 1 – October 15. Applications are taken on line at ultrasignup.com and the WS lottery is held on December 5th in Auburn, CA
Way Too Cool 50k – NEW, a lottery system has been implemented. Registration period opens at 8AM PST on December 13, 2009 and closes on December 19th. The drawing will be held on December 21. Enter the lottery at ultrasignup.com
American River 50 – registration is open. Get in while you still can!
Miwok 100k – lottery entry period is November 14 – 28. Entrant list and waiting list will be posted on December 1. Ultrasignup.com
Bandera Trail Runs – registration is open for this new Montrail Ultra Cup event, which features a 100k and 50k distance
Mt. Cheaha 50k – registration is open. Go get it!
A few major events went down over the weekend, and Montrail was there to help make it happen. On Friday, the Bear 100 took place in Logan, Utah. Montrail athlete and 100-mile rockstar Geoff Roes was at it again, only two weeks after the run of his life at Wasatch 100. Geoff finished the Bear 100 in 1st place overall, set another course record, and is now 6 for 6 in 100 milers, with 6 course records. Unbelievable accomplishments for the Alaska resident who spent his summer running up and down mountains in his home state. The training has clearly paid off, congratulations Geoff!
Also, big ups to Sean Meissner for winning the Tahoe Marathon on Sunday in a time of 2:58. Smokin’ fast!
Across the country, in the wet and rainy Northeast, the second race of the Montrail Ultra Cup series went down, the Vermont 50. Reports of wet trails and good times are beginning to come in, and after the mud settled, here’s your top 3 men and women:
1. Brian Rusiecki – Leeds, MA – 7:12:29 2. Glen Redpath – NY, NY – 7:19:06 3. William Hibler – Chapel Hill, NC – 7:51:13
1. Devon Crosby-Helms – Seattle, WA – 8:06:16 2. Sarah Dolven – Leverett, MA – 8:41:39 3. Serena Wilcox – Cambridge, VT – 9:00:49
1. Leigh Schmitt – Conway, MA – 4:01:05 2. Kevin Sullivan – Andover, MA – 4:12:48 3. David Cahill – Norwich, VT – 4:21:38
1. Molly Housman – Cornish Flat, NH – 4:43:53 2. Nicole Yokum – Norwich, VT – 5:00:35 3. Marline Cote – Quebec, CAN – 5:06:53
A new addition to the Montrail Ultra Cup series, the Vermont 50 takes place this weekend, on Sunday September 27th at Ascutney Mountain Resort in Brownsville, Vermont. The race includes a 50 mile and 50k distance, a 50 mile team relay, and a 50 mile mountain bike race.
The weather looks to be nice and the foliage should be in full effect. Sure to be a fun day and a beautiful course.
See The Run Scout for a course flyover
Have fun out there!
One of the original Montrailians, Dave Terry, passed away over the weekend. Dave proudly sported his Montrail colors for over a decade. He was so tough, strong, super buff, an excellent downhiller, and super friendly and genuine.
When I first met Dave in May of 2004 at a big group training run at Smith Rock State Park in central Oregon, he really took a genuine interest in me, my running, and just my life in general. Although I knew who he was (eventually a 10 time Western States, Wasatch, and McDonald Forest finisher, usually in the top 10), he never once mentioned that to me. Whenever I’ve seen him since, he treated me like an old friend.
Dave was also quite the lady’s man. He was a strong, good-looking guy, who always seemed to have a cute girl with him.
One funny memory I have of Dave is from Zane Grey in 2005. I was running along with Tim Halder around mile 25 when Dave comes running towards us (Zane Grey is a point-to-point race). Dave gave us a confused look, and we told him that he was going the wrong way. So he turned around with us and explained that he had just wiped out pretty hard, whacked his head on a rock, got up in a dazed stupor, not really knowing where he was, but knew he was supposed to be running. So he just ran until we found him. He said he still wasn’t sure what was the right way, but since Tim and I were both going the same way, we were probably right.
The last time I saw Dave was at Western States this year. After running WS for 10 years in a row, he said he felt weird being there as just a spectator and he didn’t quite know what to do with himself. I’m sure he had a blast hanging out and cheering with Steve and Scott. Dave always was a great cheerleader.
I’ll miss you, Dave.
Montrail wants to know if you’ll be trail running this weekend. If so, where you gonna go? Which trail? What state? How far?
One of us here at Montrail will be in Eastern Idaho, trail running in the shadows of the Tetons (when not floating the rivers), while others will stick around the Bay Area and run our backyard trails, those of Marin County and the Oakland/Berkeley hills.
Where will you be trail running this weekend?
Congratulations Geoff! Montrail, and the entire ultrarunning community, is stunned by the performance of Geoff Roes at last weekend’s Wasatch 100 in the Salt Lake City area. Geoff smashed the previous course record by over 60 minutes, and held off one of the best 100-mile runners in the world, Karl Meltzer (who also broke the previous course record) to finish in a time of 18:30:55. Geoff also ran the final 25 miles, from Brighton to the finish, in just under 5 hours, an incredible pace. Salute! Check out Geoff’s race report.
Betsy Nye pulled out the victory on the women’s side, in a very competitive race.
Join us at these events in September:
Colorado Relay – 9/11 – 9/12/09 – Georgetown, CO to Carbondale, CO
Wasatch Front 100 – 9/12/09 – Salt Lake City, UT
Ole’s Assault 8 miler – 9/13/09 – Astoria, OR
Run Like a Girl 8k – 9/19/09 – Charlotte, NC
Mountain Chili Cha Cha – 15 miles and 7 miles – 9/26/09 – Pagosa Springs, CO
Wolf Lake Trail Run – 4 miles – 9/27/09 – Kansasville, WI
Vermont 50 – Montrail Ultra Cup race #2 – 9/27/09 – Ascutney Mountain Resort, VT
Running Tip of the Month: Practice Good Form!
Do you want to run faster; more like all those men and women you see at the Olympics?
Then, relax, lean slightly forward and shorten your stride. Your foot will naturally land on your midfoot at a point under your hips. Keep a high cadence and your stride length short. This will make you a more efficient, relaxed and injury free runner.
Trust me, the best runners in the World know how to relax!
It’s been a quiet summer for me on the racing front, but that’s all about to change. I’ve been holed up in Alaska enjoying the nicest summer weather we’ve seen in a long time. One of my training partners says that Juneau has had the nicest summer he’s ever seen… no small claim since he’s lived there for 50 years!
The nice weather has allowed me to spend nearly all my free time on ridges and mountain tops. My training mileage has been lower this summer than normal (because of all the time spent climbing and descending stuff that’s too steep to move quickly), but I’m in better shape for running in the mountains than I have ever been. In the next few weeks I’m setting out to put this to the test. This Friday I’ll be trying to defend my title at The Wasatch 100. It aint gonna be easy this time around (not that it was easy last year either). The competition is fierce as I’ll be lining up against two of the top 100 milers to ever toe the line: Hal Koerner and Karl Meltzer. There are also about a half dozen or so other strong runners who will be hoping to be in the mix as well.
If things go well at Wasatch (or more specifically after Wasatch) I’m hoping to run The Bear 100 two weeks later. I’ve never doubled up this close together and I am certainly a little intimidated about it, but it should be a good learning experience for future application. I have no idea what kind of strength my body will be able to have two weeks after Wasatch but if I end up lined up for the Bear I know that I’ll be scratching and clawing to find a way to hopefully run near the front of the pack.
One thing that will be a certainty for both of these races is that my feet will be happy in my Mountain Masochists. I try to tell people how in love I am with these shoes and they think I’m just giving some sales pitch for my sponsor. The fact is though that they are without a doubt the best shoe (for me) that I have ever worn. It’s been months now since I’ve even thought about my feet while running. It sure is a good place to be after 4 years of trying almost every shoe on the market, unable to find one that made me feel entirely confident.
Good luck to everyone else in their upcoming racing/training.
Check out The Run Scout for some updated course flyovers. Jim Vernon has put together some awesome imagery that will help you get an idea of what you’re up against in some fierce trail ultramarathons across the country.
Jim has also helped out by providing flyovers for Montrail Ultra Cup events. So far, you can see the Where’s Waldo 100k, Vermont 50 and Mountain Masochist Trail Run courses.
Check it out!
Montrail and Charlottesville Running Company and are teaming up to find out What Moves You!
Trail Running or Road Running – Tell us which you enjoy the most and why?
The best comments will receive either a free “iRun” wicking shirt or a pair of Montrail Running Shoes!
Post should be 50 words or less and will be accepted until September 26th, 2009. Winners will be notified via email…
Last Saturday I ran the Where’s Waldo 100k in Crescent Lake, OR. The course description says it has 3 climbs of more than 2000 ft each and 2 smaller climbs of more than 1000 ft each. It was the USATF 100K National Championship race this year and lots of top runners showed up to compete. This would be my 2nd 100k and the weather was promising to be better than the downpour rain I ran in during the Miwok 100k in May. I traveled to Oregon with my husband, my son and one of my dogs and we stayed in a great little Chalet about 7 miles from the Willamette Ski resort where the race started.
Unable to sleep much the night before the race, I was ready to get up at 4:15 a.m. and get ready to run. I filled my 2 water bottles on my Nathan waist pack with water and a 1/2 tablet of Nuun a piece and loaded the middle zip pack with Clif Bloks and Luna Moons. We drove to the race start, the temps were a cool 36 degrees! Everyone had headlamps ready to go as we started the race, heading from the lodge area straight uphill, a good way to get your heart rate up first thing in the morning. I am a self-proclaimed terrible hiker so I did my small stride run up the dirt road, passing most of the hikers and ended up towards the front with ten or so guys, a few of the guys already gapping the rest of the group. Yassine Diboun and I started up a conversation and ran together until the 1st aid station. We both realized we should have replaced our headlamp batteries so on the singletrack downhill to the aid station we ran easy and a group of 3 (including Bev Anderson Abbs) flew by us. We were glad to get rid of our headlamps at the 1st Aid Station and then we started heading up Fuji Mountain.
I didn’t stop at the 1st Aid station and got in front of Yassine a bit, he soon caught up and passed by, that was the last I would see of him for quite some time! The climb up Fuji was great, I was feeling good. I got to the 2nd aid station and saw my friend Gary Stott who is also from Boise working the aid station and it was great to hear his cheers! After passing the aid station there was a steeper out and back climb to the summit. On the way up this I saw Bev in front of me. She was hiking on and off so I passed by, sure she would catch me in no time. Craig Thornley was at the summit, a rocky peak with 360 degree views and the 1st view of Waldo Lake. At the summit we turned around and headed straight back down. This gave me the opportunity to see everyone heading up. Not far behind I saw Bev and Meghan Arbogast (the 2007 Waldo winner.) I was surprised not to get passed on the downhill and began a long run by myself. At the 3rd aid station I started to stop to refill my bottles and went with water in one and GU2O in the other which was perfect. I tried to eat a Clif Blok once every 45 minutes to 1 hour. The next big climb was up the Twins.
In the loop around the Twins I caught up to Mark Lantz (who I also saw at Miwok) and Matt Lonergan caught me after having stopped over 10 times in the 1st 20 miles (bad stomach!) Somewhere near mile 40 I was running out of water. I asked Mark how far to the next aid station and he said “it is not for a while” – not what I wanted to hear. I suffered a bit in this section and was very happy to reach aid station 7 to refill my bottles and grab a piece of potato and some grapes. The next climb was the toughest of them all, the climb up Maiden peak which rises 2200 ft over 2 miles to the summit at 7818′. It got to the point where I had to start hiking. It was a long, steep hike for sure. Eventually I could see another runner up ahead of me, it was Yassine who I hadn’t seen since mile 8! The hike up Maiden seemed never ending and my calves were even feeling it. Eventually I got to what I thought was the top and saw my friend Gary Stott again. He cheered and then said, “Just another 5 or 6 minutes up to the peak and then you get to head down!” So up I went, still hiking, the trail was loose and rocky but the peak was amazing, another 360 degree view. I was happy to turn around and go downhill, but for a while it was so steep and technical it was hard to run with tired legs. Eventually the trail mellowed out and I ran down to the 9th aid station. I had my bottles topped off and shoved a couple of Pringles in my mouth.
While I was there, one of the awesome volunteers grabbed some wet wipes and wiped down my face. I’m sure I was pretty dirty because I fell 4 or 5 times during the run! The run from the last aid station was an awesome rolling trail, mostly downhill. I finally reached a turn and saw Sean Meissner sitting with his dog and asked how far to the finish. He became my favorite person when he said it was about 1/3 of the mile. As I approached the finish line I saw my husband, son and dog. I grabbed my son, Chase, and we ran across the finish line together. I had won the women’s 100k National Championship and was 9th overall. I soon learned that my time of 10hrs 23 minutes broke the course record of 10hrs 48 minutes that had been set my Meghan Arbogast 2 years prior. Beverly Anderson Abbs came in 2nd (1st Master Woman) in a time of 11:01 and Meghan Arbogast came in 3rd (2nd Master Woman) in a time of 11:07. The men’s race was won by Erik Skaggs who ran a crazy fast 9:11, the top 3 men all broke the course record!
Thanks so much to Craig and Curt for an awesome race, I loved the course and the many volunteers and support was amazing. Thanks to Alan Abbs for inviting me to the race back in March! Thanks to Jesse Malman from Montrail who was at the race and out at several aid stations cheering us on. My Montrail Mountain Masochists were perfect for the terrain and felt light and fast. My feet felt great throughout and my triple knots stayed tied the whole day! I think Waldo is a must-do race, I know I’ll be back!
Team Montrail-NSA, running in the Open Mixed division at the 6-stage, 113 mile TransRockies Run in Colorado, is currently leading their division and is only one stage away from claiming 1st place.
Team Montrail-NSA is made up of Canadians Gary Robbins and Tamsin Astey. They have a 36-minute lead heading into tomorrow’s final stage, a 21 mile jaunt from Vail to Beaver Creek.
Fierce competition is seen in both the Open Men and Open Women division. Tomorrow will be exciting.
On Saturday August 22nd, 130 ultra runners from around the country toed the line at Willamette Pass Ski Area for the 8th Annual Where’s Waldo 100k. For the second straight year, Waldo hosted the USATF 100km Trail National Championship, and this year the field was as strong as it’s ever been.
When all was said and done, two course records fell and champions were crowned across the board. Erik Skaggs is the 2009 Men’s 100k Trail Champion in the open division, and set a new men’s course record by completing the race in 9:11:05. He was followed by Zach Miller and Jason Bryant.
Congratulations to Montrail athlete and 2009 Female 100k Trail Champion Joelle Vaught! For some reason, Joelle seemed to be a bit of a darkhorse at this one (we overheard a lot of people during the race refer to her as an unknown…). However, after the dust settled, Joelle had set a new Female course record with a time of 10:23:32, which was good enough for 9th overall. 2nd place Female, and 1st place Masters, belongs to Montrail athlete Bev Anderson-Abbs, who fought through some leg and foot pains to win another USATF championship. 3rd place female was Meghan Arbogast.
Race #1 of the Montrail Ultra Cup is in the books, and what a great race it was. Thanks to Craig and Curt and the rest of the Waldo crew for hosting such a great event. Race #2 of the Ultra Cup is September 27th, the Vermont 50. See you there!
I recently toed the line for the gnarliest, most technical and rugged race I’ve ever run – the Canadian Death Race. It is one sweet race, and although nobody died, it really is hard. Seriously.
Click here to read my report of it. And let me know if you have any questions about it or if you’re thinking of running it.
The Top 10 Reasons to Participate in the 2009/2010 Montrail Ultra Cup:
10. This season the series includes 11 geographically diverse races, some of which have multiple qualifying distances, ranging from 50k to 100 miles
9. Large cash prizes, great product packages, and participant prizes will be offered again this year.
8. Series points totals will be the sum of no less than 2 and no more than 4 finishes per runner, leveling the playing field a bit and allowing for a degree of strategy that we haven’t seen before in the Montrail Ultra Cup.
7. New competition from new locations such as Brownsville, Vermont (Vermont 50), Cheaha State Park, Alabama (Mount Cheaha 50k), Bandera, Texas, (Bandera 100k/50k) and LaGrange, Wisconsin (Ice Age Trail 50).
6. The opportunity to run along side the best runners that the sport has to offer.
5. A chance to win great Montrail prizes and product packages at each race, either through finisher awards, raffles or auctions.
4. Automatic entry into Western States 100 will be offered to the Top 2 men and women from each race over 50k.
3. $2500 for first place, $1000 for second place, $500 for third place, along with product packages from Nathan, Nuun and Montrail.
2. The satisfaction of knowing that you’ve competed in some of the more prestigious and competitive trail ultra marathons in the country.
1. To have fun, to challenge yourself and to interact with new and old friends in the ultrarunning communities across the country.
Jason Miller reviews the all new Montrail Rockridge on Feedthehabit.com
Hot on the heels of the award-winning Gryptonite rubber with center deflecting lugs with perimeter traction lugs. The entire liner of the shoe is also seamless for superior comfort. MSRP is $90 with an early 2010 release date.
Written by Amanda Reyes of Spectrum Sports Management
So last week I visited Catalina Island in hopes of becoming an expert on the ever-so-challenging Catalina Eco Marathon…and oh did I ever!
Wow #1 – The Island: Catalina is a beautiful island off the coast of Southern California. It’s 22 miles long and eight miles across. This island only has a population of 3,696 persons, with about 85% living in it’s only town of Avalon. Which means that this island is vastly covered with terrain and wildlife, so there are tons of beautiful trails and plenty of history.
Wow #2 – The Course: Catalina offers about 21 different routes that transversely hug the ridgelines of the island’s mountains. Majority of the island is terrain with beautiful rolling trails that take you along the ocean ridgeline where you can spot sea life, through the valleys where herds of wild buffalo roam, and to the highest point of the island where you can spot a bald eagle overhead or just soak in the amazing 360 degree view. The rugged beauty gives you a sense of freedom which will either make you say “wow” or simply take your breath away!
Wow #3 – The Medal: So I recently opened the July issue of Competitor magazine and found that the Eco Marathon medal has evidently “wowed” it’s recipients. A picture of the medal is on page 30 or you can find it on the official Eco Marathon website. The article stated that this medal is a top desired medal among marathon runners! I don’t own an Eco Medal but I held one the other day and it is definitely something that is worth the hard work.
Check out some photos of the course and from my trip to Catalina Island on Spectrum Sport’s Management’s facebook page.
I will be there for this year’s Eco Marathon on Nov. 14th. I hope to see you there as well. Thanks to Montrail for their support!
Spectrum Sports Management wants to give all of you Montrail fans a chance to experience the “wow” of the Catalina Eco Marathon, so here is a promo code that will give you $10 off of the marathon registration fee.
-Expires September 30th at 11:59pm -Code: MONTRAIL
For more information contact Amanda@spectrumsports.net
Event at the Portland Mountain Hardwear Store.
Thursday, July 30 6pm-7:30 pm
722 SW Taylor Portland 97205 Phone: 503/226-6868
View Terri’s Montrail Athlete Bio here. *Door prizes and raffles for attendees
Rock climbing, yoga, orienteering, biking, skiing, trail running, and beer, all in the same place? And all for women? Register today for The Women’s Adventure: an interactive outdoor event at the Boulder Reservoir in Colorado on Saturday, September 26, 2009. Gear testing, mini skills clinics, food and wine samples, and high-end prizes – think kayaks, trips, road bikes and more – combine for an interactive extension of Women’s Adventure magazine’s mission: To inspire, inform and compel women to live life to its fullest through outdoor adventure and travel.
Centered on the “Woolrich Playground” and with clinics run by the likes of Cannondale, the Women’s Wilderness Institute, Moving Comfort and more, this is sure to be one of Boulder’s best women’s events of the year. Register online today.
Event at the Seattle Mountain Hardwear Store.
Tuesday, July 28 6pm-7:30 pm
250 Pine Street Seattle, WA 98101 Phone: 206/441-2639
View Terri’s Montrail Athlete Bio here. *Door prizes and raffles for attendees
We all have our issues during races, mine this time around was tendonitis! The photo is of the race Dr Rob examining me at Camp 10 Bear with Joy my amazing pacer looking on( mile 48ish.) I did go on for a finish in 21: 08ish. Yes, I was slow and hurting and sooo very proud to finish!
The Vermont 100 , which was July 18 &19 this year, is a fabulously presented race and it is one where runners and horses share the same course!
The local NPR station WBUR did a 9 minute story on this years race-including discussing the above photo and outcome! After going to this link, be sure to scroll down to Vermont 100! http://www.onlyagame.org/2009/07/saturday-july-25-2009/
Records set in Crow Pass marathon. Dropped jaws and wide eyes were the order of the day Saturday at the finish line of the Crow Pass Crossing.
One of the biggest barriers in Alaska sports came crashing down as not one but two racers broke the three-hour mark in the grueling marathon-length wilderness run, something that once seemed improbable if not impossible.
Geoff Roes of Juneau and Eric Strabel of Anchorage set the bar sky-high for future racers. Roes, 33, won in 2 hours, 57 minutes, 11.7 seconds and Strabel, 27, placed second in 2:58:30.2. Click here to read Beth Bragg’s full story on Anchorage Daily News.
Saturday, July 18th
Montrail athlete Erik Skaden returned to the USA Track & Field 100-Mile Trail Championships and was successful at winning outright the men’s title that he shared last year. By winning the 2009 Tahoe Rim Trail 100-Mile Endurance Run, Erik Skaden also won the title of USATF National Champion as well as the 2009 Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) 100-Mile National Ultra Champion. The event started and finished at Spooner Lake State Park, Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
The 100-mile course sees a cumulative elevation change of nearly 20,000 feet. Erik Skaden finished with a time of 20 hours and 27 minutes on a very hot day. Just three weeks prior, Erik finished eighth place at the 2009 Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run.
I spent this last weekend in Sun Valley, ID to run the Elephant’s Perch Backcountry run on Saturday. It is one of my favorite “local” races and we were lucky enough to be running in the mountains while it was 106 degrees at home in Boise! The run has a 10 mile and a 16.5 mile option with an awesome course of nearly all single track with great climbs and steep, rocky decents. The event drew about 260 runners, including the Olympic development nordic team. I wasn’t in the front at the start and ended up behind lots of runners when we hit the first single track. I had to wait until we jumped out on a wider road to try to gain some ground. The first long climb was great as I continued to pass runners and make my way up the mountain. On the downhill I let a few of the 10 mile runners pass as they were going all out to get to the finish. After the turn for the 16.5 mile runners the next climb is always tougher after the long downhill but some friends at the summit were cheering and gave me a boost. The next downhill went through a section that was burned 1 1/2 years ago and now was covered in shoulder-high wild flowers, it was breathtaking. I was running alone for the 2nd half of the race until a local, Hank Dart, caught me near the end as I was just catching another runner. I won the women’s 16.5 mile race while the male winner blazed the course, nearing the course record. It was a great day in Sun Valley!
July 18th, 2009
Pagosa Springs, CO
All proceeds benefit GECKO, focused on getting kids “unplugged off the couch and outside”
The Devil Mountain 50k Ultra. One hell of a run! ups the ante with bigger climbs, higher elevations and a hell of a lot of single track through some of the region’s old growth forests. Beautiful, remote and the perfect mid-summer primer for Leadville or Wasatch. (More than 5,500′ of climbing on epic mountain trail).
This 31 mile trail course visits several mountain areas to the west of Turkey Springs; Chris Mountain, Middle Mountain, Horse Mountain and Devil Mountain. The terrain is awesome mountain forests. Perfect location to beat the summer heat. Plenty of shade and plenty of elevation!
This course is remote and visits pristine old growth forest. The climbs are great, topping out at just over 9,800′ with more than 5,000′ of vertical gain.
Aide stations are fully stocked and located every six miles or so. We strongly recommend that you run with a water bottle or camelback! It is dry here and can be warm. (Additional aid at mile 19 not show on map) Aid station @ mile 24 has a 8 hour cut-off time.
The 1/2 marathon course is “out and back” running to the first aid station and returning. Less climbing, same great trails. We strongly recommend that you run with a camelback or water bottle! 50k Starts at 7 a.m., Kids run at 7:30 a.m. 1/2 marathon begins at 8:00 a.m.
After party and awards 5:00 p.m. Pagosa Brewing Co! Great food, great beer (and homemade root-beer), great awards…
- Killer shirts
- Famous “Gecko” awards
- Rarely visited forests.
- Amazing views.
- Elevation gain of more than 5,000’.
- 80% single track trail
- visiting three area Huts.
Last night we hosted one of the best speakers to date at Charlottesville Running Company: Jay Dicharry from the UVA SPEED Runners Clinic. Jay analyzes gait for a living: he works with many athletes from all over the US and with several shoe companies.
He shared lots of information on what it means to have an efficient gait, but the most important take home message for me was how little all of us do to improve our gait. As ultrarunners, seconds are not as important. In a 100 meters race, a small change in gait can mean the difference between winning or loosing. In ultrarunning, we often underestimate its importance: a poor gait can lead to soreness much sooner in a race, can lead to increased stress to certain parts of the body and, ultimately, to injury.
Because of our lifestyle (we sit a lot), we tent to forget how to use our abdominal muscles, a crucial part of an efficient running gait. We also don’t spend enough time standing on one leg, according to Jay. The running gait is basically a fluid succession of single legged stands, so all of us should feel VERY comfortable standing on one leg, with eyes open or closed. It turns out, I can manage the open eyes stand, but as soon as I close my eyes, I am in foreign territory.
So, here is some homework for all of us: 1) Strenghten your abdominals. Find an exercise routine compatible with the running motion (to strenghten your obliques and lower abdominals) 2) Stand on one leg as much as you can, with your eyes open and closed 3) Find an efficient forward lean while running (lean at the hips, not the shoulders): standing up too straight causes loss of most of your forward momentum
I was blessed to set the speed record on the Appalachian Trail (AT) in 1991 and the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in 2005. Last year, I attempted to set the speed record on the Continental Divide Trail (CDT). These are the big three trails that constitute the Triple Crown. I stopped at the end of day one on the CDT. I had serious issues with the heat and feared for my life in the 108 degree temperatures. I do not like running in the heat or dessert. I felt that I needed to do something to redeem myself because of last year. The record on the Colorado Trail is 8 days and 12 hours for the 485 miles. I stopped at the end of day 6, being on schedule and covering 330 miles. I feel that I failed on the CDT last year but I do not feel that I failed on the CT. I did the best that I could but was it just was not good enough.
I had a GREAT crew. Jonathan Basham (JB) held the CT speed record until it was broken last summer by just over 1 hour. He had also crewed Andrew Thompson on his Appalachian Trail speed record in 2005. Travis and Alyssa Wildeboer of Winter Park Colorado are experienced ultrarunners who were also GREAT crew members. Larry Haak, formerly of Lynchburg VA, now of Boulder Colorado was also on hand the whole week to provide great help and encouragement.
I appreciate all that Clark Zealand did to keep everyone updated on my progress. It means a lot to me for what he did and it means a lot to me that what I was doing was of interest to so many of you. I hope it was an encouragement to you in some way.
Going after the CT record might have been my most difficult multi-day attempt so far. The CT record is very TOUGH. The trail itself was tougher than I thought it would be. I averaged 40 miles per day on the PCT and AT and 45 miles per day running across America. Averaging over 54 miles per day on the CT was VERY tough. I started very day before daylight, usually around 4:00 AM and finished every day after dark. My average time on the trail was around 17 hours per day. This left very little time for anything. I was usually in bed 30 to 45 minutes after finishing each day. Each day, the last section ATE my lunch. It took everything that I had to finish each day. I never knew at night if I would be able to go again the next day.
I had a number of physical problems as you would expect. Starting from day one, I had a hard time eating enough for the entire 6 days. I know that I did not consume enough food any one day. I have ulcerative colitis. As a result I have to dump a lot and I mean a LOT. For the first few days, I was going to bathroom 20 to 30 times per day. That leads to dehydration and not absorbing enough nutrients either. On the second day, I started having blood in the urine. I had this to happen to me on the AT as well. It continued happening through day 5. This concerned me as well. I was also having some pain in the groin area. I was concerned with all of these problems but thought that maybe they were not too serious.
Day 6 should have been an easy day but it was not. We got lost before daylight and ran 4 miles off course. Later in the day it was very hot and the dry heat started sucking the life out of me. In the middle of the days my hands started swelling, sausage fingers you say. I have had them before but NEVER as big as they got this time. In the last section of the day, I became very concerned about them and how big can they get before damage occurs. On the back of my hands, the skin stuck grossly very high. My forearms started swelling all the way up to my elbows. It was getting tighter and tighter. How big can they get?? What damage can occur?? I was also thinking about the next day as it was going to be the toughest day yet, over 60 miles with one road crossing. I knew the possibility that if I got in trouble in this section that I would put myself and my crew in a serious problem. I knew then that I must stop. Could I have run the next day? Yes. Could I have caused myself or others some serious problems? Yes.
Stopping something like this is very difficult. I often think that we quit or stop just because it is hard and we are not tough enough. That thought was definitely going through my mind. But, I thought about my family and kids and grandkids and my job teaching at Liberty and directing races and helping other runners become better, and I knew that I needed to live for these things to occur. I made the right decision.
I just thank the Lord for what he allows me to do and I thank Him for using me in some small way. Thank you all who prayed for me during this attempt. Will there be others?? I don’t know. I am in Arkansas spending time with my father (86) and mother (81). My wife and daughter and grandkids will be here later this week. This is a special time with them.
My tongue with the canker sores on them are getting better, my feet are still very puffy, I do not have any blood in my urine now, life is good. I am still not sleeping well yet, but that will come. I already miss the cool weather of the Rockies. For a month the lowest elevation that I was at was 5500 feet.
I hope that God blesses all of you as he has blessed me. Seek your dreams and goals.
The Montrail Mountain Masochist is making many a trail runner very happy
Read The Running Man’s love confession on the Outside Mag blog
And they’re off, the running of the 2009 Hardrock 100 has begun. Watch the start here:
And follow the runners progress here
Today is day 7 for Horton as he attempts to break the supported speed record for the Colorado Trail. He’s feeling good and moving along well and on track.
Yesterday he covered segment 17, 18 and 19 over 47.9 miles and a total elevation gain of 5,320 feet as he approached the La Garita Wilderness in the San Juan mountains. Beautiful and rugged terrain.
Today is a big day for Horton, the biggest in terms of total elevation gain, as he’ll cover 60.5 miles and a total elevation gain of 12,700 feet. Epic! He’ll cover segments 20-23 (there are 28 segments to the Colorado Trail) and will cross three mountain passes. If all goes as planned, Horton will finish on Sunday afternoon with a new Colorado Trail speed record. Good luck Horton, hang in there, we’re pulling for you.
Summary:Day 1 – 57.6 miles, 8720′ elevation gain Day 2 – 60.1 miles, 9660′ elevation gain Day 3 – 52 miles, 7900′ elevation gain Day 4 – 62.4 miles, 9760′ elevation gain Day 5 – 50.3 miles, 9840′ elevation gain Day 6 – 47.9 miles, 5320′ elevation gain Day 7 – 60.5 miles, 12700′ elevation gain Day 8 – 51.6 miles, 7850′ elevation gain Day 9 – 42.1 miles, 5040′ elevation gain
Total Distance = 484.5 miles Total Elevation Gain = 76,790 feet
Photos courtesy Clark Zealand and Co.
Bev Anderson-Abbs, Montrail athlete and elite female ultra runner, was the 3rd female to cross the finish line at Western States 100 a few weeks ago. Here’s her take on the race:
The Perfect 50 Miles….
“You don’t learn anything from a perfect race” Scott Wolfe, 2009, post WS100
When the fires of 2008 canceled Western States, I can’t say that I was disappointed.I had been seriously injured and was running with trekking poles in order for my IT band and knees to withstand descents at all.I spent the entire year dealing with these injuries and returned to Squaw Valley ready to run in 2009.I had a friend, Joe Palubeski ready to push me as a pacer for the final 38 miles, and Jennifer Borchard and her husband Richard geared up to crew me and make sure my stops were kept to a minimum.
Saturday morning, after a few minor pre-race day glitches, I was ready to go and actually found myself looking forward to this year’s event.I knew there were some very fast women, Nikki Kimball, Krissy Moehl, Jenn Shelton, and Anita Ortiz, as well as several others, but my plan was to stick with my splits and race smart, never let my race get out of my control no matter what the others were doing.We had not had the heat in Red Bluff that we normally would have had so I was a little worried when temperatures started to climb, but I’ve dealt with high temperatures for years and thought I would be able to work through whatever we were in for.
The start of Western States is always a little crazy, runners sprint up the mountain, camera flashes cause momentary blindness, and the crowd pushes in from all sides.I tried to stay steady and soon found myself toward the front of the pack.I took the climb up to Emigrant Pass much easier than I have in past years, walking more than I ever have, and reached the top with Mark Lantz and just behind Anita.I ignored what Anita was doing and fell in behind Mark so we could talk.We both were planning about the same splits and finish time, sub-19 hours so we started running together.It seemed a little easy and I wanted to increase my pace, but I held steady and kept my run easy and relaxed, arriving at Lyon’s Ridge almost 10 minutes before my planned split.
I refueled and left with Mark, Anita was trying to run up every climb and seemed to be working way too hard this early in the race.Mark and I hiked the hills and easily caught her within a few steps on the flats where we would pull away.Again, I set a comfortable pace and arrived at Red Star Ridge another few minutes up on my splits.
So far the race had the kind of slow, ethereal quality that only a perfect run can have.I was running better than ever, I felt relaxed, my taped knees felt great, and I was performing periodic “system checks” and always found no issues, all systems go.
My world was with Anita and Mark and we continued on this way out of Red Star where I left my gloves, refueled, and headed into Duncan Canyon and then the big climb up to Robinson Flat.I arrived at Robinson Flat 17 minutes ahead of plan, with my crew barely ready for me, and as calmly as possible told them to make a few changes to what I had requested for the next time I saw them at Michigan Bluff.I forgot to get a Boost, but I grabbed a turkey, cheese, avocado sandwich and fresh bottles and left the aid station just behind Erik Skaden.
I took time on the climb to eat my sandwich and just as I hit the descent my favorite descending song, American Idiot by Green Day, started playing.The beat was slightly faster than I was running and it seemed effortless to pick up to match it, quickly catching Erik to run with him through Millers Defeat and Dusty Corners, still enjoying the run like I never have before.
I arrived at Last Chance with Eric, Mark, and Anita and we all weighed in and took the time to cool off at the “car wash” before heading into the first of the canyons on the way to Devil’s Thumb.Still feeling great, I took off and arrived at the bottom of the canyon thinking even if I walk this whole climb it would only be 32 minutes or so.
Not so.. This is where my perfect day started to unravel with little warning.
On the climb up to Devil’s Thumb, I could barely breathe and had to stop three times to let my racing heart slow down.I kept pushing and after what seemed an eternity, made it to the aid station at the top.The volunteers were great as usual, feeding me Popsicles, soaking me down, and moving me on my way again.Feeling better, I jogged off but remained worried about how I felt on that climb and how fast it came on, my system checks were not coming back 100%.
My next test was El Dorado Canyon and the climb up to Michigan Bluff, where I would see my crew again.I felt that if I were going to suffer again it would be on the climb.I was alone and let myself go to enjoy the long descent.I had just passed the spring about halfway down the trail when I blacked out and found myself lying in a manzanita bush on the side of the trail, looking up at the bottle dangling from my left fingers suspended above my face and thinking “We have manzanita bushes in Red Bluff”.
I regrouped, recognizing signs of potential heat exhaustion, got out of the bush and started down the trail again.A short while later, I passed through my next landmark, a small meadow with a wooden fence on the right, and suddenly felt dizzy.I kicked a rock and went down hard on my left shoulder, knocking the wind out of my lungs briefly.I picked myself back up and decided I had better take it very slow the rest of the way down.The final switchback before the bridge and El Dorado Creek, only about 20 feet to go, and…you have to be kidding me…I’m dizzy and tripping again.
I spent some time at the aid station trying to cool myself down and assess my situation before beginning what should be a 42-45 minute climb.I had both bottles filled, one water, one gu2O, took some electrolytes, and loaded my sport bra with ice to try to cool my core, and then set off.The climb took me a horrifying 55 minutes, during which time I was actually taking ice out of the front of my shirt to suck on. By the time I reached the top I knew there was something terribly wrong.A deep breath resulted in knifing pain through my left shoulder and back, and the middle toe of my right foot was throbbing.
At the aid station I asked for a chiropractor, or whatever assistance they could give.I was hoisted onto a massage table where they started to work the spasms out of my back and laid ice-cold towels over me to reduce the heat my body was radiating.My core temperature was around 103F.As I lay there it seemed like a steady stream of runners was passing through the aid station.It would have been easy to quit here.My crew looked very worried and Joe kept saying we’d reassess in a little while.But I did not come to run 55 miles and I did not see myself stopping if I was still ambulatory, besides what would that get me?Sure I’d run and I may even do Western States again, if I could get in, but what would I learn about myself.
Joe said last he heard Krissy was 30 minutes back and Nikki about 90 minutes.I knew that 30 minutes could be wiped out very easily at this stage, and probably had been with my canyon experience. I didn’t want to know where Anita was. Dan Olmstead and Scott Wolfe, friends from Oregon, passed through, and slowly the fire came back into my eyes, I was off the table, although I recognized and respected that I was not out of danger, the next 45 miles would have to be played very carefully.
Jennifer, Rick, and Joe walked me through town, feeding me baked beans from a can and another Boost, handing me fresh bottles, pouring water over my head and saying “we’ll see how you’re feeling in Foresthill”.
I tried to run, but the pounding still sent shots of pain through my shoulder so I held a fast walk and used the time to fuel up.By the time I turned off the dirt road onto the trail into Volcano Canyon, I was able to jog, then run.At Volcano Creek, I lay in a pool for five minutes to try to cool my still too hot body, and then started up to Bath Road.I caught several people who had passed me at Michigan Bluff, finally passing Scott Wolfe just before the aid station.I had asked Joe to try to be at Bath Road to accompany me up the hill and there he was.It was a godsend to have him there.He got my bottles filled and had an extra bottle of cold water that he poured over me on the climb.Half way up we passed Chikara Omine weaving slightly and asked if we could do anything.He sent us off, but we made sure to tell folks at Foresthill that he needed some help.
Foresthill…I was actually able to run the road into the aid station and felt good doing it.I was now close to an hour behind my splits, somewhat disappointing considering I had been over 30 minutes ahead of them not so long ago.I had to rethink my plan from this point on.I was still overheated, my shoulder hurt, and my toe was getting more painful, although admittedly, it did become numb after 15 minutes or so of running.It was the stops that brought the pain out.I weighed in and went to my crew, where they had multiplied.I now had two more smiling women, friends of Jennifer, absolutely waiting on me.I told them I needed to change socks so they sat me down, gently removed my Montrail Streaks and socks, told me my toe looked really bad, wiped my feet off and, just as gently, put on dry socks and my shoes again all in less than a minute.This was the pit crew dreams are made of!
I fueled up while they took care of my feet and grabbed an extra bottle of Boost for the trail.Joe and I set off at a good clip down Cal Street and back onto the trails.We were again passing runners through this section and I was feeling better, although still too hot.Each creek we passed I lay down in for a few seconds and had Joe splash water over my chest.Much of this section I ran with Joe D’alessio and his pacer Caitlin Smith.We passed Victor Ballesteros soon after leaving Foresthill and kept catching glimpses of runners that we thought were Dan and his pacer.
Crossing the river was sweet reprieve for my system.I would have sworn you could see steam rising when I hit the cool water to make my way across.As short as I am, this crossing was a comical event as I tried to straddle over boulders only to fall into holes on their far side.The cold water did wonders for me at this point but I was still not ready to tackle the climb at more than a forced march.Joe and I headed up the hill and shortly before reaching the top I was passed by Krissy, running.I actually managed a run for the last few hundred yards to Green Gate, and then sat down for a complete pit stop and preparation for night running.
I had thought the additional crew angels would only be at Foresthill, but here they were again and suddenly my Montrail Streaks and socks were being removed, feet wiped down and now socks and fresh Streaks were being put in place and tied.A Starbuck’s mocha went down exceptionally well, as did two cups of chicken noodle soup.The one thing I wanted at this aid station, potato soup, was not to be had this year.Again, I took a Boost for the trail and pulled a pair of tie-dyed Moeben sleeves around my wrists in case it cooled off enough to need my arms covered.
Dan Olmstead with his pacer, and Caitlin and Joe left Green Gate just ahead of me but by now I was feeling much better and told Joe P. it was his job to help me hit my splits the rest of the way.We set a good pace and very quickly caught and passed these two sets of runners.They both held on to the pace I was setting and stuck very close behind Joe.Shortly before reaching ALT, headlights were turned on but we all kept going.This is about where Victor passed me again moving incredibly fast.
At ALT, I finally got my longed for potato soup.Joe P. and I made short work of the stop and headed off again.I set pace, followed by Joe P., then Joe D, and Caitlin.I’ve run with Joe enough that he knows how hazardous it can be to follow too close behind another runner, especially at night, and he was keeping a reasonable distance back, Joe D, however was right on his heel, as I again set a fast pace headed to Brown’s Bar.Joe and Caitlin were hanging on and I was feeling a little cocky at this point so I pushed the pace up.When I very suddenly stopped to throw up off the side of the trail, a collision was inevitable. Joe D. piled into Joe P. and Caitlin into both of them.
After losing whatever I had eaten in the last few hours, I was ready to go again so I set off with the same train of people following.I was not pushing as hard and at one point stopped to walk a minor hill.Joe did nothing to get me moving and said “I’m just trusting your judgment now”.“Joe, you’re not here to trust my judgment, make me do something,” I snapped back, hopefully the first and only time I snapped at him.He made me and by the time we reached Brown’s Bar, Joe and I were alone.I had more soup, got a handful of ginger candies to settle my stomach and rolled out just as the next runners arrived.
Highway 49 came and went and we were climbing the hill to Cool just before the descent to No-Hands Bridge.I filled a bottle with Coke at No-Hands and set off.Joe no longer trusted my judgment and made me run the climb until the very steep sections.We hiked up the road and as soon as things leveled out again, ran the rest of the way to finish in 19:53, a little over an hour off what I had planned.
So what happened?Although I live in Red Bluff and normally savor the high temperatures experienced, we had not had any heat prior to race day; in fact we had storms every afternoon up to five days prior so I had no heat acclimation.It didn’t seem as hot as 2006, so I may not have been quite as diligent with cooling off early, although someone told me it had been over 100F at Rucky-Chucky at 6:00pm.The middle toe was broken in my second fall, so I ran about 50 miles with it causing an annoyance the rest of the day, especially on climbs.I will come back, and hopefully have that perfect race feeling for the entire 100.2 miles.
Here are some highlights from Montrail athlete Erik Skaden. Erik finished in 7th place and has shown once again that his experience on the Western States trail pays off.
-there was no natural disaster the week prior to the event that would have otherwise forced the race to be canceled -the best head-to-head competition the sport of ultra running has to offer congregating at the starting line Saturday morning at 5am, with essentially all of the top tier talent present for the event -sitting with Suzie Lister at the orientation Friday awaiting the results of the raffle drawing and listening to her scream with excitement as her name was identified as a lucky winner for a spot on the 2010 start list -having the opportunity to meet Andy Gonzales at the awards ceremony Sunday and listen to him share stories of his 1978 Western States victory at the age of 22 -enjoying the camaraderie and good spirits of all participants including race management and volunteers throughout the weekend -the afternoon high temperatures experienced between the hours of 4pm and 6pm. With temperatures of 50 degrees at the start reaching 96 degrees at Foresthill in the shade. Yes, hot, but nothing like 2006 -Congratulations to all those that challenged themselves to a day of adventure, self discovery and congratulations especially to those that had the fortitude to get across the finish line and experience the satisfaction associated with each of their own personal victories
David Horton, Montrail athlete and endurance running icon, is currently out on the Colorado Trail going for a fully supported speed record. Horton is being crewed by Jonathan Basham, one-time record holder for the Colorado Trail. The current record is held by Paul Pomeroy, who completed the CT in 2008 in 8 days, 12 hours and 14 minutes. Horton will look to break the record by a few hours. You can follow David’s journey on the Eco-X Sports blog, run by Clark Zealand. At this point, David is into day 3 and seems to be doing well. The high elevations and potential snow fields will certainly give him a challenge. But anyone who knows Dr. Horton is fully aware that a few challenges, no matter how grand, won’t stop him.
Good luck Horton!
Click here to see the itinerary
Follow Horton’s progress here
This email came to me today from Montrail athlete Bev Anderson-Abbs, who recently finished 3rd place female at the Western States Endurance Run and later found out that she ran the last 50 miles on a broken toe. After she found out it was broken, I asked, “Did you know you hurt it?”
“I knew I had hurt it, it happened on one of my 3 falls in El Dorado Canyon. I thought it was just a jam but it kept getting worse through the last 50 miles and I started to think that it might be something more than a jam. Climbing to Devil’s Thumb I knew something was wrong when I had to stop 3 times. Then going down to El Dorado Creek, I kind of blacked out once and woke to find myself in a bush. Then I got dizzy and tripped two more times, and that’s when the toe went. I’m happy with my finish but I’m not happy with the way I finished, if that makes sense.”
If this doesn’t give you an idea of how tough Bev and the other 100 mile runners are, I’m not sure what will.
Upon returning from crewing at Western States 100 this past weekend I revisited – again – the “why’s” of 100 milers. So I dug up some old thoughts on this topic that happen to still ring true… and most likely will for you… Terri Schneider
(from July ’05)
For an experienced ultra-runner, pacing another runner in a 100 mile trail race is like being a fly on the wall of one’s own chosen abyss of suffering. I had yet another opportunity to experience that genre of voyeurism in the Vermont 100 two weeks ago. My friend and training partner, Kevin, signed up for this race as his first 100 and asked me to escort him the last 32 miles to the finish.
The concept of “pacing” a runner in a 100 mile race was conceived as a means to keep a compromised and late-in-the-game delusional, athlete safe during the literal and emotional darkest sections of an event. Since those who run 100 milers frequently enter challenging altered states and severe bouts of physical and psychological discomfort, pacing was designed as a way to guide a runner to his destination while lowering the incidence of face plants, passing out on the trail and choking on one’s own vomit, wandering off trail into a void, and therefore not making it safely to the finishline. I summarized pacing to my rookie Western States pacer this year as, “I am the drunk person at the party who is trying to have a good time, and you are the designated driver. Your job is to keep me safe so I can party on.”
The pacer makes sure the runner is eating and drinking properly, she encourages the runner in his labored efforts to run and helps keep the body and mind moving forward positively. The pacer constantly negotiates silence and what she should say to the runner in a “walking-on-egg-shell-type” relationship in which verbal expression is carefully planned and executed.
Pacing is sort of like a mini adventure race except that one of the teammates is really messed up and the other is fresh, and the two only go as fast as the messed up one can manage. If the pacer is fit, she sees the experience very clearly, can multi-task easily, and keep pace without effort.
A pacer will escort the runner for 30, 40, or 50 miles+. This distance depends on the difficulty of the course and, therefore, when a runner is expected to hit sunset. Strange things happen for runners when the lights go out. Pace slows, perceptions change, motivation can wane and most definitely decision making is altered. In an otherwise crazy moment in a runners race, the pacer can become the voice of reason and calm during that last stretch of darkness and/or sunrise to the finish line.
For an experienced ultra-runner, pacing is like looking in the mirror of ones own usual race condition and the reflection most often isn’t pretty. As with most all 100 mile racers, Kevin struggled a bit and then a lot the last 20 miles of his race. He grew sullen, he had fits of temper, laughter and frustration, he ran courageously and solidly, he walked with difficulty and through it all he pressed on. I watched in fascination the expected demise of an otherwise strong and capable athlete. 100 miler’s reduce humans to a throbbing mono-focus and the pacer gets to take it all in with enthrallment.
The pacer observes this odd spectacle and asks, yet again, why she herself chooses to partake in this nature of difficulty. And somehow through the ache she sees something bright and worthwhile. She sees the rawness of the person, the undercoat, the warrior, the peeled away layers of self. And she realizes that this type of exposure could very well be the authenticity that eludes most people in life—the epiphany of who we truly are. A 100 mile race is a personal measurement of success that is very honest and pure. Perhaps the rawness of the human, striped down to nerves and blood and emotion is the genuine essence of self. And through the dirt and the sweat it all seems simply worthwhile and unavoidable for those who chose to live in a world of ambiguity and challenge.
Post race, I asked Kevin what was different in this race from other Ironmans or 50 milers in which he had participated. He said it was this raw pain. During and post race, he had experienced a unique and novel means of suffering. A unique and novel means of tapping into depth—a primitiveness. For him it was an affirmation of who he was as an athlete. And just a couple weeks post race—he’s already planning the next challenge. Amen.
The 2008/2009 Montrail Ultra Cup has come to an end, and did so in dramatic fashion in Auburn, CA at the finish of Western States 100. Results listed below, with pictures to come in the next few days:
Women 1. Jenny Capel 2. Lori Heinselman-Craig 3. none
Men: 1. Victor Ballesteros 2. Eric Grossman 3. Mark Lantz
Congratulations to everyone who participated, and especially to the top winners. First place winners will receive $2,500 and a great product package. Second place receives $1,000 and more great product, and third place wins $500 in addition to a product package.
Thanks to our prize sponsors Nathan and Nuun, and to the series co-sponsor, Goretex!
In three weeks we’ll announce the schedule for the 2009/2010 Ultra Cup, as well as some new guidelines. Stay tuned!
original post on my blog – CoachingEndurance.com – there is a ton more videos and photos of the race there too.
for the last year montrail canada’s gary robbins has been storming the ultrarunning scene. he’s a new comer to most, but not me. in my previous life as an adventure racer gary was a canadian staple at any major event. and just like myself, found a true passion and in gary’s case a true talent for ultrarunning. he’s always the most upbeat and stoked guy on the course, even when suffering like a dawg (as you’ll see in the video). here is the video i took of gary on the 2009 western states 100course. gary went out hard and was in the top 10 the first half of the race and told me the lack of heat training caught up to him. he finished in 23:07:20 for 46th place. congrats on getting that sub-24hr belt buckle gary! he also told me the next day that he plans on coming back next year.
Richmond, Calif. (June 23, 2009) – Montrail, an innovative leader in trail-inspired footwear, is honored to be the presenting sponsor of the 2009 Western States Endurance Run, the final race in the Montrail Ultra Cup series. The 100-mile trail event will start on June 27th in Squaw Valley, CA and end in Auburn, CA on Sunday June 28th. This year, the race will host 450 of the best ultra runners from 38 states and 14 different countries.
The field at the 2009 event will prove to be the biggest and the most competitive to date. Due to last year’s wildfires, the 2008 Western States 100 was cancelled, and as a result, the entire 2008 Runner List was granted automatic entry to the 2009 event. With no lottery for 2009, the only way to gain entry into one of the oldest ultra trail events in the world was to earn it with a top three finish in a 08-09 Ultra Cup qualifying race. The competition for these few remaining qualifying spots has been fierce and only the best of the best were able to run their way into this year’s Western States 100. The Ultra Cup Championship trophy will go to the top ranking male and female upon the completion of the Western States 100. The top 3 male and female Ultra Cup finishers will split the $8,000 cash purse with the overall winners taking home a cool $2,500. Based upon current ranking in the Ultra Cup point standings, there are eleven men and three women in the hunt for the overall Championship.
Montrail Runners to Watch at Western States: •Eric Grossman, current leader in the men’s Ultra Cup standings and looking for the Ultra Cup win •Erik Skaden, winner of the 2007 and 2008 Ultra Cup whose training is 100% focused on a win at Western States •Bev Anderson-Abbs is peaking now with recent wins at the Diablo 50, the Quiksilver 50 and the Silver State 50k.
Other Montrail athletes competing at Western States are: Russell Gill, Francesca Conte, Luis Escobar, Sean Meissner, Gary Robbins and Hiroki Ishikawa.
For more information about the Montrail Ultra Cup series, please visit the Ultra Cup website
Trail races and ultramarathons abound this weekend, and probably every weekend for the next few months. This time around, you’ll find Montrail at the San Juan Solstice 50 in Colorado, the Highlands Sky 40-mile in West Virginia and the famous, fun and eventful Mt. Hood Scramble in Oregon. All three of these events are very different. SJS50 will feature big mountains, river crossings and lots of snow. It’s been a wet spring in southwest Colorado. Highlands Sky will feature classic east coast trails, with lots of climbing, descending and heavily forested trails. The Mt. Hood Scramble is an X-Dog Events classic, known as the grandfather of Filth, and is a shorter race full of dirt, mud, snow, river crossings, and good times. Watch some of the videos on their website. Hilarious!
Good luck to Montrail athletes Luanne Park, running the SJS50, and Annette Bednosky, at Highlands Sky. Also, Montrail southeast sales rep Tres Binkley will be running his first ultra at Highlands Sky. Good luck.
Have fun out there!
Montrail’s Mountain Masochist An aggressive-gripped shoe with a slipper-like feel.
VERDICT “Don’t underestimate this shoe. It may look and feel soft, but its impact-absorbing, rock-hugging sole unit and long-distance mountain-crunching capabilities are equal to its name.”
This weeked you can find Montrail sponsoring the Wahsatch Steeplechase in Utah. Race Director Butch Adams is a legend in his own right and puts on a damn fine race. The Steeplechase is 17.5 mile race with a total vertical gain/loss of 9000 feet! Not for the weak, that’s for sure. The course takes you to the summit of Black Mountain, only after scrambling along a section of rock with a 5.4 climbing rating. Have fun out there!
And if you’re headed out to run trails this weekend, which you should be, keep an eye out for your local Montrail athlete. Annette will be running her local mountains of North Carolina, including a 10-15 mile run on the Mountains to Sea Trail and 34 training miles on the VA Creeper Trail. Francesca and Gill will be doing their last long run before tapering into Western States, and will do a 40 mile run in the mountains of Virginia. Matt is recovering from a successful neuroma surgery, we’re all excited that they found the neuroma, removed it, and that Matt is only a few short months away from running again. Terri is also dealing with some injuries, keeping her off the trails, but she’s finding time to paddle, swim in the ocean, and gear up for her Mt. Shasta climb next week. Meissner will be getting dirty this weekend (you dirty dog you) at the Dirty 1/2 Marathon in Bend, OR, a short, fun tune-up for Western States. Joelle is on-call this weekend but will surely find some time to hit the trail, either for a short run or a mountain bike ride. Luis is working on restoring his 1918 Craftsman Home and taking care of some final preparations for Western States. You’ll find Luanne in Mt. Lassen Park, getting a bit of high elevation training before heading to Colorado to run the San Juan Solstice 50. Libecki is preparing for his departure to China where he’ll embark on a solo mission to climb some of the largest unclimbed walls and spires in the world.
Have a good weekend, go get your Montrails dirty!
Montrail will be well represented in Colorado this weekend, as we’re sponsoring two great NEW trail races.
In Pagosa Springs on Saturday, the first ever GECKO Pagosa Peak Trail Series kicks off with race #1, the Turkey Track Trail. This event includes a marathon and half marathon distance, run on single track trails in beautiful meadows and forests of aspens and ponderosa pines. Don’t relax too much though, as rocks, streams, roots and perhaps some mud will also greet you along the way.
A few hours north of Pagosa Springs, in Golden Gate Canyon near Boulder, the first annual Golden Gate Dirty Thirty offers a 50k, a 12-mile and 7-mile distance, to accommodate the seasoned ultra runner, the experienced trail runner and the newbies alike. This is a benefit trail run for the Gilpin County Girls. This event takes place within Golden Gate State Park and offers spectacular dense forests, rocky peaks and aspen-rimmed meadows with miles upon miles of single track trails.
Have a great weekend!
Today is the anniversary of Cheryl’s death. Cheryl was my twin: we shared looks, a room, teachers, school bus, family and last name. We did not share interests.
Cheryl ran. I did theatre. We did not mix. Like the masking tape line across our bedroom, we had an unspoken rule to hold to in order to find our seperateness. I thought she was a freak for running in rain and snow and sometimes 2-3x per day.
We moved away from one another in 1984 to go to college. She kept running and setting records. She ran NYC marathon in just over 3 hours. I got fat and started running.
Cheryl died in 1998. There is sooo very much more to say about Cheryl and her running, life,influence and even death, yet now is not the time…for now I will share a new discovery:
Last night I found this contest by Montrail/Mountain Hardwear called Go To Girl. Please check it out. Though I am not eligible for consideration to win because I am sponsored by both, I entered anyway. I had to share about Cher. You only get 1 photo and 300 characters including spaces. This is what I submitted. (And the photo above).
“My twin sister Cheryl started running at 13: in sun, rain, snow, sometimes 2x or more a day. She ran cross country, 10ks and marathons for years. I thought she was nuts. I only ran from the house to the car in the rain. She died 1998. Now I run ultras and understand. Thank you for being you, Cher!”
The prizes for this contest are outraeously cool-yet more than anything a chance to use a meager few words to try and describe the value of the influence of an important inspirational female is awesome.
Thank you Cher! I miss you.
Team Montrail-Canada runners Gary Robbins and Ryne Melcher recently ran the Juan De Fuca Marine Trail in B.C. 47km of wet, sloppy beauty. Gary took some video footage and put this sweet 6 minute clip together. Very fun. Anyone noticing a trend lately? Runners are hitting the trails with their video cameras in tow and coming up with some pretty sweet stuff. Nice work Gary.
Check out this sweet video that Matt Hart put together. Him and Sean Meissner will be giving a presentation on trail running and endurance at the Mountain Hardwear – Seattle store tomorrow, Wednesday May 13th.
Well, it is nearly a week after the race and I am finally getting the chance to sit down and write about my experience at my 1st 100K race. I knew I was well trained for the 1st 5 hours of the race, but after that, it was all new to me!
On Thursday, my son and I flew to Sacramento where my Dad lives and late on Friday evening we drove to Mill Valley in the pouring rain. As usual, I couldn’t sleep the night before the race (even after 2 Advil P.M.s.) and managed about 3 hours. My pre-arranged ride picked another runner and I up from the hotel at 4:15a.m. and after one more pick-up, we were headed to the start. It was dark, windy, and foggy at the start as we were all herded down to the beach for the start. Not knowing the course, I ended up in the masses and at the end of the beach had to hike up the first hill in what looked like a trail of ants. Once the trail widened, I was able to start running. I chatted briefly with several other runners as we all headed up the road. As I looked at my watch, it was fading in and out which was odd. The temperature was nearly perfect but it was very foggy, so much for all of the spectacular views I had heard so much about. After about an hour and a half, my watch completely died, so for the remainder of the race I had no idea how long I had been running. I carried a Nathan waistpack with two 10 oz water bottles and 2 packs of Clif Bloks. I’m not a big drinker or eater while running, so bonking was one of my fears. I ran through the 1st 2 aid stations without stopping, but after that I stopped at each aid station briefly and picked out a piece of potato, a cookie or, my very favorite, some peanut butter pretzels! The rain began after about 2 hours of running and never stopped. The puddles got bigger and bigger and there were new creeks on the return trip! After reaching the turn around and climbing out, my goal became not to walk at all in the race. I managed to never walk, but it was tough on the last few little climbs! Between miles 40 and 50 I got really cold, shivering from head to toe. At the aid station I put on one more shirt and as I descended a bit and got out of the wind, I warmed up. I really enjoyed myself for most of the run, even though I ran alone primarily. I wish I would have had a pacer to bring me in, I think that would have helped me pick up the pace at the end, maybe next time! I finished in 9 hours 51 minutes and was the 4th woman and 15th overall. Congrats to Eric and Kami for their great wins! The next day as we walked around San Francisco me knees were sore but the rest of me felt great. I hope to do the race again next year so I can see some of the views I missed. All in all, I had a wonderful experience and think the volunteers were amazing. To stand out there in the rain for that long and still be so friendly and helpful cannot be easy!
For at least 42 miles the Miwok 100K, held last Saturday, felt like a Montrail team run! Teammate Geoff Roes took the lead and set a solid pace throughout the entire first half of this West Coast favorite. We flowed into every aid station together, where we were greeted by team coordinator Jesse Malman. Francesca Conte was on the course supporting her husband, another Montrail ‘mate, Russell Gill. This experience proved powerful for me, as I’m sure it did for all involved. I have blogged at length about it at http://explorefatigue.blogspot.com.
Here is an abbreviated post from that blog that summarizes the day:
Horizontal rain I’ve experienced. The rain blasted from the Pacific across Bolinas ridge in Marin County today struck me from below. We were socked in by fog for the whole 100K. As we like to say in the ultra community, ‘it was epoch.’As with so many long ultras, this was another battle of attrition. Despite my foresworn testimony to run “from behind” (as practice for WS!) I found myself among the three leaders from early on. Geoff Roes took the front followed by Todd Braje and myself. Todd fell off first as a symptom, I believe, of an uncharacteristically bad day. Geoff charged powerfully up the “hills” (strongly resembling mountains) but took it relatively easy on the descents so that I caught up with him by the bottom. He didn’t slow until the long climb up to Bolinas ridge on the way out. He was just in front of me when he stopped abruptly and emptied his stomach of substantial contents. Although he seemed to bounce back, at 42 miles in he found he couldn’t hold anything down and called it a day. That left me to lead for the remaining return trip to Rodeo Beach. I was fading though, and fortunate to hold off late-charging Victor Ballesteros and Scott Jaime. My finishing time was 8:35. The women’s race looked to be very competitive, and was won by Kami Semick.
|Author: Rob Colenso|
I have a crush on the new Montrail Hardrock.
A runner’s relationship with his shoes is personal, unique and deeply felt. And I’ve been out of love with the Brooks Cascadia 3 since our first trail date last fall.
So after three 50K races, a 50-miler, and too many blisters later, I decided to break it off.
Other trail runners love the Cascadia and it’s got the awards to prove it. It’s not a bad shoe. Really. It’s me. I get it.
And now I heart Montrail’s Hardrock ’09. We haven’t gone for our first run yet — my Hardrocks only just got into town this evening. But after ripping open the box, tugging my SmartWool socks on and lacing up, I think I’m in love.
Some relationships just feel right, right from the start.
I’m not perfect, and the Hardrock seems like it will forgive my flaws. I have thin ankles, wide forefeet and I overpronate a bit. The Hardrock’s roomy toebox and stability features may well put all that in check. And the rugged toe bumper seems tougher than the Hardrock’s svelte 11.8 ounces would suggest. If Salomon’s XA Pro 3D is an Abrams tank, the Hardrock is an armored Humvee. I can use that kind of protection — if there’s a root or a rock hidden on a trail, my toes will find it, guaranteed.
Our first trail run will be a blind date. Montrails are tough to find in the D.C. area, so I bought these on reputation alone. But with solid references from fellow ultrarunners and magazines like Backpacker, which named it the Best Run/Hike Crossover of 2009, who can blame me?
Yes, I kept my return receipt. I’m a firm believer in a shoe pre-nup.
Of course, I can already find a few potential flaws. The lack of a second lace eyelet at the top of the shoe could make locking in my heel difficult if I notice any slippage. And Backpacker’s reviewers report quick rubber wear and durability issues with the lace hooks. Most of all, the tread doesn’t seem quite as burly as I’d like for a muddy Virginia trail on a springtime run.
We’re going for a run on the Bull Run-Occoquan Trail this weekend, my Hardrocks and I. That first date could be the kiss of death, or the sign of a match made in heaven. Here’s hoping this relationship works out.
Meet Matt Hart and Sean Meissner, two accomplished Ultra Runners. With years of running and outstanding race finishes between them, they have good advice to share. What should you eat pre-race, how to train for an ultra run, how to recover from a big race…ask Matt and Sean anything!
Giving Every Child Knowledge of the Outdoors (GECKO) is the brainchild of endurance runner Morgan Murri and his wife Nancy. Based in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, GECKO was founded after Morgan witnessed a transformation in his daughter after her participation in a NOLS program. At this point Morgan realized that an opportunity existed to give back to today’s youth, and he became motivated to help get kids outdoors after reading Richard Louv’s “The Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder”.
Through events and partnerships on the local, regional and national scale, GECKO seeks sponsors to support their campaigns and give every child knowledge of the outdoors.
Most recently, GECKO awarded their first sponsorships, in the form of $6000 to two high school students. This money will send the students to the High Mountain Institute (HMI) in Leadville, Colorado, and help give the kids an education in outdoor leadership, a foundation to build on for a lifetime. Watch the video here.
And read more about the Pagosa Peaks Trail Series. Sign up for the June 6th trail marathon or 1/2 marathon before May 15th and you will be entered to win a $400 lodging and hot springs package for the race weekend. Talk about luxury!
All the attention on the new Mountain Masochist and Hardrock shoes is well deserved. I’ve switched loyalties again — I’ll be wearing the Masochists at Miwok this weekend. I was sold on the Wildwoods, but the Masochists fit in a more traditional, snug, way and make my feet feel well cradled. The traction is outstanding. The Hardrocks remain simply the best shoe for performance on technical terrain. Only now they are lighter. I’ll likely wear them for some sections of Western States in June. Great job on the shoes this year, Montrail!
There’s a lot of blogging activity about Miwok this weekend. Thanks to Karl Meltzer for his odds-making and keeping the “old man of the east” in his sites. I’ll try not to disappoint. I have myself just started a blog to tell the story of my preparation for Western States. It will be more detail, and, well, philosophy, than is fitting for our team blog at Montrail, but I’ll hope you’ll check it out at http://explorefatigue.blogspot.com. I’ve got three posts already in the run up to Miwok and I plan to post quite a bit over the next 8 weeks.
This is beginning to feel redundant, yet Bev’s accomplishments deserve recognition each and every time. Once again, an outstanding performance from Bev. Last weekend, at the Diablo 50 Mile race in California, Bev took 1st place overall. Not just 1st place female, but 1st overall, winning by over 20 minutes. Last year, Bev set the female course record at 9:24:34
Montrail is thrilled to partner again with X-Dog Events as the exclusive footwear sponsor for another season of wild and crazy mountain races. If you live in Oregon, or the Pacific Northwest, odds are you’re familiar with at least of one of their events. If you’re not, check their website to get an idea. For instance, the Mt. Hood Scramble is labeled as the “Grandfather of Filth”, and the description starts with “This event isn’t designed for the pansy-ass front avenue runner — DO NOT expect some cutesy lil’ downtown 5k, or some wussy boy trail-run. This mother is packed with adventure: hills, creeks, rock, dirt, heavy brush and more.”
Congratulations to Gary Robbins and Ellie Greenwood, both members of Team Montrail – Canada, for being awarded male and female Canadian Ultrarunners of the Year for 2008. This special recognition comes from the Association of Canadian Ultramarathoners (ACU).
See Gary’s blog to read what he has to say about winning the award. I had the pleasure of meeting Gary at the Mountain Masochist 50 Miler last November and was immediately taken by his enthusiasm, commitment, and determination. See you at Western States Gary!
Click through to learn more about Team Montrail – Canada and to follow their progress.
Nice work, eh?!?
Don’t beat yourself up over inferior trail shoes. Find your stride with Montrail’s latest creation. Inspired by “a quarter century of masochism” from the renowned Mountain Masochist Run in Montebello, VA. We didn’t design this shoe for some cutesy little downtown 5K. instead, it performs best on dirt, rock, and jumping over stumps… Think you’re up to it?
Montrail would like to congratulate Annette Bednosky on her outstanding run on Saturday at the American River 50 in Sacramento. On a sunny day that saw comfortable temps and low winds, Annette cruised to the finish and was 3rd place female, with a time of 7:11:21. As usual, she crossed the finish line with a huge smile and lots of hugs. 1st place female was Kami Semick, 2nd place went to Jen Pfeifer. See full results here.
It’s truly a pleasure to support Annette and watch her run these tough endurance races. She epitomizes the essence of endurance running and in our opinion, the sport or trail running could use a few more Annette Bednoskys in the world. Well done!
Read her race report here.
Nicely done Bremen, great video, and good luck with the contest.
Click through for more details on Backpacker’s Gear Tester Contest
Montrail will be busy in April, supporting trail races and ultramarathons across the country. This is a great time to connect with the runners, talk running, shoes, Ultra Cup news and more. Look for the Montrail booth or rep at your local race and come say hi. Below is a list of a few of the races and events we’ll be supporting in April:
American River 50 – Sacramento, CA – 4/4/09
OC Chili Winter Trail Series #3 – Orange County, CA – 4/4/09
Peterson Ridge Rumble 60k – Sisters, OR – 4/5/09
GrizzlyMan Adventure Race – Missoula, MT – 4/18/09
San Diego Trail Run Series Race #1 – San Diego, CA – 4/18/09
Promise Land 50k - Lynchburg, VA – 4/25/09
Zane Grey Highline Trail 50 Mile - Pine, AZ – 4/25/09
Highland Park Challenge – Greenfield, MA – 4/26/09
Mountain Hardwear Store – March 28 at 10 am 722 SW Taylor St. Portland, Oregon Montrail.com Tel: 503.226.6868
- David, an accomplished UltraRunner finished over 120 Ultra Races
- Showing of the film – “The Runner”
- Question & Answer Session
- Join David, after the presentation, on a 15-20 mile run at Cascade Locks (about 1 hour away from the Portland Mountain Hardwear store
- Door prizes and raffles for attendees
“I started running these trails for my own pleasure, and in the process, learned that the trails were little-known to other runners in the San Francisco Bay Area. So I took it as my mission to introduce these lands to a wider audience,” he says.
Montrail is dedicated to supporting the trails and the people who use them. Being blessed with so many trails and trail systems in the Bay Area gives us the opportunity to make a natural connection with our local trail enthusiasts.
Read more here.
It’s been a while since I ran a 100 mile race. I was signed up for Western States last year, when it was canceled. I then proceeded to drop out at Leadville, which meant I was out of luck for 2008 as far as 100 mile races went. I find 100 mile races more daunting and intimidating than any other race, for obvious reasons. Nevertheless, standing on the starting line at the Coyote 2 Moon 100 miler in Ojai, California, it was not intimidation I was feeling, but only excitement. This will develop into one of those magical races where almost everything feels easy, and even the harder moments are not as bad. Knowing how hard the race was (25,000+ feet of elevation), I decided to take it really easy from the very beginning; combined with the fairly cool weather and perfect conditions, this might have contributed to how smoothly my day went. On my feet I had a brand new pair of Mountain Masochist, and I was sporting the new Mountain Hardwear running shorts and short sleeve wicking shirt. The shoes were perfect the whole way, dry and wet, and the cushioning was extremely comfortable. The laces never came undone (something I had noticed about the Streak). The Mountain Hardwear shorts were incredibly comfortable and light. I never had any chafing, and the shorts had plenty of room for my aid station list and all my trash. The course was one-of-a-kind, and simply breathtaking. As soon as the sun came up (we started at 3AM, so it took a while), we climbed to the top of a mountain (the tallest on the course at about 5600 ft), from where I could see all the way to the ocean and Ventura, where the marine layer blanketed the whole valley below. I took a few minutes on top, wishing I could share it with Gill. Like I said, I felt strong the whole way, watching my downhill to save my quads for the last 20 miles, and jogging the uphills whenever I could. The aid stations were a blast, and the loooong ups and downs were keeping my brain always occupied. On the out and backs, I saw the runners ahead and behind me, plus some of the runners who had started earlier. At the aid stations, I saw familiar faces, such as Luis Escobar. When night came again, I found myself a bit ill prepared for the weather. On the last ridge line, the wind was so cold I could not feel my fingers. Having opted for not carrying gloves or a hat, I can’t really complain. The though of being found after the next ice age did cross my mind, especially because, by then, I was not moving fast enough or eating enough to keep warm. The first clue that things were going very well came from the last aid station, where one of the nice volunteers told me I was on pace to break the course record. Being blissfully uninformed, I did not know what the course record was, but I knew I was going to finish around 26:30. Despite the last trail being so steep and technical it made me cry (my quads are still crying today), I finished in 26:23, first woman and third overall. Now, I said everything I could for how wonderful the race is. The course is hard but breathtaking, the aid stations are perfect, and everyone was just incredible. I would recommend Coyote 2 Moon to anyone, and will definitely go back. With that said, I, for one, do not understand the fun in changing the final results. The race director is famous for adding and subtracting time from runners depending on their participation in various extra-curricular activities, such as bowling. Time is also added for other infractions. The race director has all rights to do with his race as he pleases, and it is my understanding the majority of runners love this time adding/deleting policy. Like I said, I don’t get it. The official results had me second woman and 6th (instead of first woman and third), with no mention of the course record. Now, these are the OFFICIAL results, and the only ones posted on the race website. Why time the race, then? Am I a bad person because I care? Do I not understand the true spirit of the sport? That is up to you to decide. I was elated with my win, and I am spreading the news to the four corners as such. Sorry if that makes me uncool…
today i volunteered at the chuckanut 50km as i have many times now. krissy and her crew, including her mom peggy put on a great race with an awesome vibe. this year was once again stacked with top notch talent, but the canadian montrail team crushed it! canadaaaaa!! (i’m waving my fist in the air right now). montrail canada team member aaron heidt won the mens race by a large margin with greg crowthler in 2nd and hal koerner 3rd. montrail canada team member elli greenwood who also won the orcas island 50km took the woman’s race handily.
After a great run at Hagg Lake 3 weeks ago, last weekend I headed to California to run one of my favorite races, Way Too Cool 50K. The night before the race I read Karl Metzler’s race odds and saw that the competition was going to be the best ever. Having run Cool at least a half dozen times, I’ve run in all types of conditions, but I have to say, this year was the best ever. Chilly at the start and warming up just to the mid 50′s during the race. There was very little mud on the trail and the creek crossings were a lot lower than in previous years. 1.6 miles was added on to the course, I guess the previous course was a bit short, so we had and little added pavement before jumping on to the trail. I ran in 4th place for the 1st half of the race, not knowing where the 3 women in front of me were until I came to some switchbacks and could see them above. I passed Devon Crosby Helms on a steep decent and then caught up to Bev and Caitlin Smith going up Ball Bearing. After passing through the aid station, I couldn’t keep their pace and stayed in 3rd. After crossing Highway 49, I began the last 1.5 miles, and got very dizzy at the beginning of the climb. I hiked a bit and ate the rest of my Clif Bloks and then felt OK. I was happy to finish in 3rd with a time of 4:19, short of my 4:10 PR there but that was on the old course. It was great to see Jesse out there on the course and at the finish. I wore my Streaks, and as always, loved them! Now I’m looking forward to Miwok, I hear it is a great race!
I joined several Montrail folks in Cool, California last Saturday for the “Way too Cool 50K.” Over 400 runners competed in what has become the kickoff for the spring ultra season. It was great to see Erik Skaden sporting our great new team apparel from Mountain Hardwear. Along with Bev and Joelle, we all had to bust out the the Synchro jackets. Although the sun came out, the breeze was strong and, well, cool.
Erik said he would run with me for a while, until I told him I planned to go out fast. Wisely, he said he’d just wait and see me after. He’s a patient man, and has his sites squarely on Western States. I did as promised and blazed the beginning section, the easiest of the course by far, and entered the first aid station out front. I was prepared to pay the price for that later, hoping it would hurt those in pursuit more than it would hurt me. It didn’t work out quite that way. Three runners passed me about midway through the race and simply outran me from there. Dan Olmstead was the only one of those I had heard of before. Paul DeWitt passed me going up the big climb, I think they call “Ball Bearing,” somewhere around mile 20. He was clearly making a bid for top 3 and a slot at WS. “More power to him” I thought, and let him drift away from me. I was actually disappointed for him when I caught him near the final aid station. He was walking having become a “ball of cramps.”
Victor Ballesteros caught me going up the last climb, with only a mile to go. My legs had just turned into jelly as I was quite unsure I would be able to respond. Fortunately as soon as the track leveled a bit I was able to get my groove back on. That kept me in fourth for the finish. Full results are at http://www.run100s.com/results/wtc09.htm.
Jesse Malman was out supporting Montrail, and capturing some video(?) Maybe he can post something for us!
Also, Scott Dunlap wrote a great race report on his blog, with some fun photos.
Congratulations to Annette Bednosky for being named to the USA National Ultrarunning Team. Annette and the other members of the team will represent the US in Bergamo, Italy on May 2nd and 3rd, in the World Championship of the 24-Hour Run.
Above: spectators at Caumsett Park 50k This past weekend, I combined a visit with my Mom to my childhood home in Peconic, NY (on the North Fork of Long Island) and ran the Caumsett Park 50k put on by the Greater Long Island Running Club. CP is also the 2009 USATF National Road 50k Championships.
There were approximately 115 starters on Sunday with familiar trail running legs, including those of Kami Semik, Connie Gardner, Michael Wardian, Mark Godale,Roy Pirrung, and several others I recognized but was not able to match a name.
I had my sights on running a sub 3:50 as my current PR was 3:52:?? at this distance in 2005. The course is 13 laps plus a little more. The weather was in the 20s with a little snow and wind depending on what part of the course you were on. Michael Wardian lapped me 2x. I got to run with Kami for a tiny bit as she lapped me on her last lap. Kami set a new CR-yay Kami! Michael won too. Complete results here. I wound up 3:47:49 and was ecstatic! The last 2 laps were tough for me-so listening to music in my head and self talk was a life saver!
I used to be a snob and only run on trails. Yet on and off injuries during the last several years have opened new doors of appreciation for me and I am happy to run on all sorts of surfaces and formats-liner routes, loops, lapping loops, track-yet I am most eager for dirt and mud and mountain adventure!
I have been taking it easy this week, understanding that pavement running requires, at least for me, more recovery time and look forward to getting back to training this coming weekend. Next up is AR 50!
More of my CP “story” is on my blog.
Joelle being stalked by Luvin’ near the end of lap 1.
Congratulations goes out to Joelle Vaught for finishing 1st overall female at the Hagg Lake 50k, with a time of 4:10:54. Joelle now owns the new women’s course record for the Hagg Lake 50k. Outstanding job Joelle and a great way to tune up for Way Too Cool in March.
Sean Meissner, a long time Montrail runner, also ran the 50k, and finished in 4th place overall with a time of 4:01:19.
Montrail’s athletes are off to a great start this year and we are more excited than ever to follow their progress and support them along the way. Keep it up all!
The third installment of ultrarunning tips from the Doctor, David Horton:
23. Grab something at the aid station and keep walking and eating, relentless forward motion. 24. In the second loop, think about drinking coke and especially Mountain Dew at the last two or three aid stations. 25. Don’t expect it to be easy, the second loop could be the hardest thing you have ever done in your life. 27. You can always take another step. 28. No matter how bad it feels, This too shall pass. 29. The pain and discomfort will end. 30. Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. 31. Don’t stop to take a dump until you really need to and make it QUICK. 32. Regardless of how you feel at any one point, it never always gets worse. 33. You should drink about one half to three fourths of a bottle of fluid between each aid station. 34. If you are stopping to pee every 15 or 20 minutes you are drinking too much. 35. If your urine is clear you are drinking enough. If it is real yellow or brown or rust colored, you need to start drinking a LOT more. 36. Don’t assume the person you are running with knows where to go or assume the runners in front of you know where to go.
This is the first time that I have entered a post on the Montrail Team Blog. My name is Luis Escobar. I live, work and run on the California Central Coast in Northern Santa Barbara County. I am a distance runner, professional photographer and high school cross country coach. I have been on the Montrail Ultra Running Team for about five years. My most recent running event was the HURT 100 Mile Endurance Run on Oahu Hawaii in January. This was my eighth finish at the HURT 100. My next races will include the Leona Divide 50 Mile in April followed by the MiWok 100K in May and then the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run in June. Recently some of my running photographs have been featured in a German running magazine. My photography has been published in many magazines around the world – but not quite like this. I am very proud of this article and thought that I would share it with you. Of course, the article is in German. Here is a link to the magazine article:
Below you will find the questions and answers written in English. Please check it out and let me know what you think.
Luis where do you live and hows your life? My wife Beverly and I live in Santa Maria, which is on the California Central Coast – about half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Our lives are simple. We work together in our photography studio. We enjoy running, hiking and most things outdoors. We have three children, two boys and a girl. Luis Jr. is 25 years old, he is an outdoors man. In the summers he works as a white water river raft guide. In the winters he works at a resort in Telluride Colorado. Our son Bradley is 21 and a college student. Jennifer is 16 and a sophomore in high school and member of the water polo team. Our lives are good.
Whats the difference between being a trailrunner who is also photographer and a trailrunning-photographer? My running photography is real. Always, candid, never posed. I almost always photograph ultra runners while they are training or racing. Being a professional photographer and an avid distance runner gives me an advantage and gives my work a unique perspective. Because I run and race, I know many of the athletes on a personal level. I also know exactly what they are thinking and how they are feeling. I am comfortable with them and they are comfortable with me. As a result, I am able to capture some very raw and intimate moments. Look at the facial expressions in my work. You can’t fake that. It is real, it is emotion, it is dirty, it is ultra running.
Is there an athlete you really love to shoot more than others and why? There is not any one athlete who excites me. However, I am always looking for passion and intensity. My favorite thing to photograph is passionate people doing what they love. Ultra running is full of intense and passionate people. I guess that is what draws me to race and photograph.
Whats your biggest success in your running carreer? My greatest running success is longevity. I am nearly 46 years old and mostly injury free. I have been running and racing for over twenty years. My running has taken me all across the country the Colorado Rockies, Western Sierra, Northern Washington, Hawaiian jungles, across Death Valley and deep into Mexico. I am most proud of my top ten finishes at that HURT 100 in Honolulu, top ten finishes at the Badwater 135 Mile Ultramarathon and my sub 24 hour finishes at the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run and my finish at the Plain 100 in Washington.
Does running helps you in your other life or job? Yes – aside of the obvious physical benefit running has taught me that anything is possible. It has taught me that I am capable of over coming any obstacle. It has introduced me to many interesting places and dynamic people. It has enriched every aspect of my life.
The Obama age is now for real…what do you expect as an american? At the start of every new administration, all Americans are filled with optimistic hope and excitement. At this point in history, we have so many opportunities for improvement it will interesting to see what these new young leaders can do.
What distance do you like most? The 100 mile distance is my favorite. It is a challenge just to prepare. Preparing for and then running that distance is a real test of ones commitment. I have completed around 25 one hundred mile events, each one has it’s own qualities and challenges. Even though I have had some moderate success, I still feel that I have much to learn. Training and preparing is the most fun. I enjoy trying to figure out a race course but I never really do. I like to say that training for a 100 mile run is like training to get hit by a truck – there is only so much that you can do.
How did it came you are in the Montrail team? The Montrail Ultra Running Team has been very good to me and my running career. Montrail and it’s sister company, Mountain Hardwear have really reached out to the ultra running community and some fortunate individuals. Montrail sees the value in supporting running events and athletes. I suppose that I caught their attention after I won the HURT 100 in 2000. After that event, I was asked to join the team and I have been with them ever since. I am very proud of my association with Montrail. They are a company who has quality products, they listen to their customers and they support the sport.
Do you feel the ultratrails have a kind of a boom in the US? Yeah – the sport of ultra running has grown tremendously in the past few years. In fact, many people feel it is growing too fast. It is becoming increasingly difficult to get into some of the older more popular events. With the advent of online registration, some of these races fill up within minutes, making it nearly impossible to get in. Also some of the newer trail runners are cross overs from the street marathon world. They are fine folks and great athletes, but sometimes their expectations are contrary to the funky goodness of trail running. Overall, I think that the new interest and the growth is good. The sport is healthy.
What is your biggest dream? Run forever.
could you tell us about the really unique event COOPER CANYON ULTRA and the Tarahumara runners? It seems amazing!Running in Copper Canyon with the Tarahumara was one of the finest running and photographic experiences of my life. I was invited on the trip as a photographer and runner. I documented the entire trip while running. I carried my equipment on my back and shot as we ran through the mountains. My images were part of a magazine article and a book that is soon to be released. My travel companions were amazing. Author, Christopher McDougall, Scott Jurek, Jenn Shelton and Barefoot Ted McDonald. We spent eleven days deep in the canyons, living, running and racing with the Tarahumara. The Tarahumara are extremely shy and unsure about visitors. After a few days, we were able to earn their trust and respect. They allowed us to run with them and they allowed me to photograph them. It was unrea l.
Do you spent lots of money in your photo equipment or do you have older stuff you swear on? Quality photography equipment is always improving. The digital age has changed everything. It is still evolving. I work with Nikon cameras and lens. Most of my editing is done on a Mac. I am constantly upgrading all of my equipment.
What has been you worst experience while running an ultra? Like everyone, I have fallen, been injured, run out of food and water, been lost, etc. But even bad running situations seem to turn out good. Every run is a learning opportunity, especially the really hard ones. I know that when things are really bad and I am as low as I can be – there is only one to go from there – up!
More tips from Dr. David Horton:
11. Lubricate areas that may cause friction. 12. Double tie your shoes, don’t tie them too tight. 13. If your feet starting getting numb, your shoes are too tight, loosen them. 14. There will be Vaseline and TP at every aid station or there should be. 15. Make sure you do a good job with the paperwork at bathroom breaks. 16. Walk the uphills, run easy on the downhills. 17. Keep making forward progress, you only have to average a little under 15 minutes per mile to finish under 8 hours. 18. Don’t make a pact to run with anyone, they may be too fast or too slow. 19. Don’t run too close to someone, especially going downhill. 20. Eat just a little at each aid station. 21. If it is raining, men should make good use of duct tape. 22. Grab something at the aid station and keep walking and eating, relentless forward motion
Montrail athlete and race director David Horton sent us a list of 50 tips for first time ultrarunners. I figured I’d share 10 at a time over the next few days, in no particular order. I don’t want to overwhelm anyone with too many tips at once. Normally you’d have to sign up for his running class to get these tips, but Horton has been generous enough to share with everyone. Thanks!
Unclimbed North Face of Pak Sur 2 – WOW
Doug Chabot and Bruce Miller won the award toward their trip to Kuk Sar II, in Pakistan. The pair will attempt the sheer north face of the unclimbed 6,925-meter Karakoram peak, one that’s never even been visited by climbers. The face has locally been rumored to be “impossible”, as well as up to 3,000 meters tall. Doug and Bruce will spend 5 weeks at Basecamp starting in August before attempting the ascent.
Doug Chabot is the Director of the Gallatin National Avalanche Center in Bozeman, Montana. He spends his winters digging pits, analyzing snowpacks, studying avalanches and getting plenty of deep turns. Doug is an active participant in the Central Asia Institute’s work in Pakistan building schools for girls. This story was recently made famous in Greg Mortensen’s book “Three Cups of Tea”. Doug and Greg are great friends and share a similar mission in life.
For the past 6 weeks I have been rollicking in my Montrail samples: Hardrock ’09 and Mountain Masochist. Each pair has at least 150 miles on them with a “long run” of at least 32 miles. Both pair have run on pavement, in/on snow, ice, dirt, lots of mud and a bit on the treadmill. I also tried out the Wildwood Trail that emerged in fall ’08. (My first instinct was they were too wide and I thought to send them back…yet changed my mind due to “opportunity”). My Wildwood TR are quite inexperienced compared to HR and MM. HardRock ‘09
As stated in a previous post, I can not compare the “new’ HRs to the “old” as I have never used the “old” finding my needs met with the Leona Divide and then Continental Divides.
With the CD not to be continued (why-I don’t know?) These are sure to be my trail shoe of choice…from 5k to 100M+. They have a great platform without feeling like I was lifted off the ground. Excellent traction in the wet and on rocks. Generous volume in the toe box without being huge. Less rigid than the CD and more so than the MM. I need stability so I use green Superfeet in them. Shoes are really good in wet leaves and on rocks. Shoes stay tied when double knotted. I even did a fairly intense 2 hour pavement workout in them back in December (cause my road shoes were across town) and felt fine. (At least related to my shoes!) Mountain Masochists
I was wary to try the MM as they are constructed on the same last as the Streak…and the Streaks haven’t worked out for me. Fit isn’t right and my body didn’t feel good in the ones I wore in ’08. Yet I have discovered MMs are different. To me, they feel lower to the ground. I like the way I feel the trail under my feet! My first instinct is that I’d get blisters due to the less generous toe box-yet the flexibility of the outside construction has proved me wrong. There is some posting in the MM and they are quite flexible in the forefoot… to add some rigidity, I use Superfeet, yet the lower volume blue, due to the decreased volume of the MM as compared to other shoes. I like these shoes for mud (moderate mud). They were challenged on some new south facing ridge trails during warm afternoons after much “freeze thaw” action-yet I think short of some kinda crampon, serious mud slippage is unavoidable! I will wear these often, yet likely not for runs/races over 5-6 hours. My feet are accustomed to a bit more support.
Most rigid shoe of the bunch-at least in my opinion! When I first received them in early December from Montrail and tried them on, I immediately made arrangements to send them back, thinking they were just too big. (I wear M’s 9 in HR, MM, CD and 8.5 in Streak…and Men’s 9 in every road shoe I’ve tried during the last 4 years). So I order a 9 in these. Upon later inspection, I felt the heel and arch fit pretty well. Then I read a December 22nd post Eric Grossman put on the Montrail blog and he referenced the shoe being quite voluminous. So I figured I would give them a go-‘cause I liked the idea of having a shoe built both for roads and trails. So today, finally, I put them on and went for a romp around the cold wet neighborhood. They did feel a big-tons of room on top of my foot and in the toe box. Yet I am still curious how they’d do with a little thicker sock? They may not turn out to be my personal racing shoe of choice-yet I want to wear it on more terrains and find out what they are really like. It could be I need to go down a size? Ah-the challenges of mail order! My opinion on these is in “discovery mode”.
As I understand, Mountain Masochists and Hardrock ’09 will be ready for retail either late this month or in March.
And to think I did my first “long” (16.8 mile) trail race: The Shut In Trail Ridge Run, Asheville, NC in 1994 in Reebock Aerobic shoes off the JC Penny super clearance rack. (I think I paid 8.99 for them). Yet I was 14 years younger and completely broke. Sometimes I wonder if I have “learned” to need really awesome trail shoes-or if I have been sweeping myself into what has become “popular culture” of our sport? See this link to Matt Kirk’s blog that made me think!
Luis in the jungle
Luis receives his buckle upon finishing. The sign reads “We wouldn’t want it to be easy”
Congratulations goes out to two Team Montrail athletes for their recent accomplishments at the Redding Marathon in Northern California. Sean Meissner and Bev Anderson-Abbs are fast, real fast, and have both been Montrail athletes for quite a while now.
Sean won the Redding Marathon last weekend, posting a time of 2:45:42. Read Sean’s report and follow his adventures on his blog. Bev was 1st Female, and 5th overall, with a time of 2:59:49. Both Bev and Sean run several marathons each year, in addition to a few trail ultras and other road and trail running events.
Hip hip hooray
I went into this race not really certain of what to expect. I did not approach this as a “focus” race so I didn’t even take the time before hand to check out any of the course, instead I spent most of the 3 days that I was in Hawaii before the run hanging out at the beach and doing runs that were pretty mellow, but a bit running more than I usually do the few days before such a tough race. Basically I was looking for that fine line between being as prepared as possible, but without forcing my body into too much a valley and then a peak such that it would throw too much of a kink into my Iditarod Invitational training.
Because this was my approach I was able to sleep much more the night before the race than I usually am. I had very little performance anxiety about this one so instead of laying in bed thinking about every last detail for hours on end I actually slept for about 5 of the 8 hours that I was trying to sleep (about twice as much as my average the night before a race). It felt weird the next morning to drive to the race feeling pretty well rested. Usually I feel like a train wreck as I’m making my way to a race.
I stuck with my usual approach though of showing up as late to the start as comfortably possible. Nothing worse than standing around in the dark, freezing your ass off, wishing you had slept an extra 30 minutes so you didn’t have to stand there for so long.
And then we were off. I started somewhere near the back of the pack because I didn’t want to get caught up in the mindset of racing right off the start. I figured the more removed I was from the leaders early on the more likely I would be able to actually hold back as much as I hoped to for at least the first couple laps. I stuck pretty well to this plan until heading into the first aid station (mile 7). The way the course is laid out (out and back stretches leading into 2 of the 3 aid stations on each 20 mile lap) you pretty much see the entire field every couple hours. At this point I was pretty surprised by how far ahead of me a few guys were. I knew that we were all running much faster than any of us could possibly sustain but it seemed very odd nonetheless.
For the rest of that first lap I tried as best I could to hold back but I ended up getting to the start/finish aid station in 3:45 (about 30 minutes faster than I assumed I would). Surprisingly this still put me about 15 minutes behind Paul Hopwood who was running in the lead.
On the second lap I didn’t speed up at all, but I also didn’t slow down as I wanted to. I was trying to slow down but I ended up running about the exact same time on the second lap as the first. I was a lot more relaxed on this lap because I did take over the lead at about mile 28. This was certainly earlier in the race than I wanted to be pulling away from the entire field if this really was to be a “training” run, but I just went with it because I began to feel much more warmed up and comfortable with the idea of likely being able to maintain a similar pace for most of the race.
I did have a really tough stretch on the second lap climbing up out of Jackass Ginger aid station. For about 3 miles (around race mile 34-37) I felt really depleted and weak. I was pretty concerned about this at the time but I really focused on getting down as much liquid and calories as possible and within about 30 minutes I was feeling much better.
Lap 3 was when I really started to pay attention to my potential for a great finishing time if I could sustain anything close to the pace I was cruising along at. I decided early on in lap 3 that I would run that lap with the same effort as the first 2 laps and assess my chances at going for the course record based on what my lap time for lap 3 was. I could feel that my 3rd lap wasn’t going to be quite as fast as my first two, but I also knew that if it was anywhere below 4:15 I probably had a shot at breaking the course record.
Heading down into Jackass Ginger on the 3rd lap I ran into my buddy Dave Johnston who was climbing up out of there on his second lap. Dave’s one of those guys who is always in a good mood with a huge smile on his face. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anyone who so obviously loves ultra racing as much as Dave. Problem is Dave looked really beaten and it was clear that he was struggling. I later heard that he dropped out at the end of his second lap. Bummer. I suspect he’ll be back to tackle that beast another time.
I finished lap 3 in 4:00 and although I had slowed down a little bit I was actually beginning to feel even more comfortable with the much faster than planned effort that I was putting in. The course was very technical, but also very similar to the trails I run here in Juneau in the summer time. When I get in a groove I can move through roots and mud like they’re not hardly there. By about mile 50 (middle of 3rd lap) I was really getting into that groove. I was also getting my aid station routine perfectly dialed in. Throughout most of the race Jill was biking back and forth between the start/finish aid station and the Paradise aid station so twice per lap she was there with my drop bag items spread out on the ground for me to get anything I wanted almost instantly. While an aid station volunteer was filling my water bladder and/or bottles I’d grab a flask of gel, a bottle of perpetuem, and anything else I might need. Typically I was in and out of each aid station in 90 seconds or less.
By the middle of lap 3 I was also finally running my race and not focusing too much on the racers chasing me from behind. Now that I was thinking about going for the race record I didn’t even really pay attention to how far the “chase” group was behind me. Looking at the splits now I see that they were less than an hour behind me at mile 60 so there was still a potentially close race going on if I slipped up much at all.
It got dark on lap 4 which was just fine with me. I really like running in the dark. Even though I know it slows me down it always feels like I’m running faster. Everything outside the beam of my headlamp just fades away and I feel like I’m running into a narrow tube with the sides just whizzing by me faster and faster as it gets darker and darker.
Dropping down into Paradise aid station (race mile 67) I met another friend, Evan Hone who was climbing up on his third lap. He was just about halfway through his race and he was sounding really good. To see Evan so upbeat at mile 50 was really exciting to me. Evan is a really strong runner who has had a tendency in the past to get pretty frustrated with himself (usually half jokingly and half seriously) during the tough stretches that everyone faces when racing an ultra. I was really rooting for him to have a breakthrough race and I was really stoked to see that he appeared to be well on his way to doing so.
The rest of that lap I just kept moving forward and feeling very relaxed. Time was dropping away quickly and I was doing a great job of sticking to my 300 or so calories per hour and drinking tons of water (I probably drank about 6 or 7 gallons throughout the entire race). I finished my 4th lap in 4:20 (the darkness probably accounted for most of my slowdown from lap 3).
I started my last lap with about 4:50 to break the course record. I knew I had a great shot at it, but it was close enough that it wasn’t going to come without a solid last 20 miles. This would be my first lap run completely in the dark so I knew this would probably slow me down another 5 or 10 minutes from my previous lap so I really only had about 20 minutes to spare. If I faded by much more than that then I wasn’t going to make it. The first half of that last lap I still felt very strong but at about mile 90 I began to have some really weak and dizzy feelings (very similar to how I had felt earlier in the race ar ound mile 35). I was tired and I wasn’t taking in enough calories. Even though it seems completely ridiculous now, I remember at about mile 85 I started to think that I would just finish on the calories I had in me and not bother to consume anymore of the fuel that I was kind of getting sick of. It’s amazing how dumb one can be under the drunken spell of 85 hard miles. Luckily I snapped out of it around mile 90 and took in about 500 calories of gel all at once and that brought me back around. I popped in and out of Jackass Ginger aid station and now I only had 7 miles to go. I didn’t let up, but I was slowing down as more fatigue crept in. Finally with just a few miles to go I knew I had the record in the bag and just relaxed and shuffled into the finish. The funny thing is that as soon as I slowed down I was having a terrible time staying on my feet. I never took a single fall the entire race until the last 2 miles when I fell 3 times and almost fell a few others.
I made my way down to the finish line with a 4:35 last lap, 20:28 total time, 15 minutes ahead of Matt Estes’ 2007 record time. Jill, Anne, and Pam (all from Alaska) were all there when I came into the finish (even though it was the middle of the night). It felt good to be done, but as usual I didn’t want to leave any time soon. I wanted to sit there and take it all in and root for other racers as they came through.
About 2 hours after I finished Evan came through with the end of his 4th lap. I was very relieved to see that he was still very positive and was heading back out entirely confident that he was going to finish. He ended up finishing in 10th place, just under 29 hours. Pretty kick ass for his first 100 mile finish. Check out his race report here.
I finally got up and made my way back to my hotel for a bath and a few hours sleep. I wanted to get back to see Evan finish but he ran his last lap too damn fast so we missed him come in by about 30 minutes. I suspect this won’t be the last 100 miler I’ll be seeing him at.
Obviously I ended up running this race harder than a “training” run but I’m very happy with how my body has felt afterwards. I did not push myself 100% into the ground the way I would in a “focus” race and now, 6 days later, I feel pretty near fully recovered and ready to move forward with my Iditarod Invitational final preparations (just over 5 weeks until that one starts).
Before last weekend’s “Swannanoa Splashdown” 15K, I winterized my Highlanders. The race climbed High Windy in Black Mountain North Carolina. Based on the weather here I thought we’d be running on snow and ice. Turned out the course was clean, if still steep (2000′ in about 4 miles!).
I did get to use the shoes on Sunday back here in Virginia. I produded this short video to show the conversion: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5455366886140893823
This photo was taken 9/08 looking north on the NRT 50k course to Fries Junction.
I have been working on the ’09 version of The New River Trail 50k on and off for the past couple of months. My goal is to open online registration by February 1, 2009.The race will be 10/10/09.
Registration can’t open yet as I am still waiting on details from event sponsors and I need to sort out some choices. My 1st priority as an RD is to deliver a quality and safe race that is environmentally responsible. The 2nd is to give a generous amount of proceeds to The National Committee for the New River.
For it’s inaugural year in 2008, I was pleased at how things went. My biggest disappointment is that as hard as we tried we didn’t get the distance quite right, From differing gps units and other measuring devices out there I think the ’08 version was somewhere between 1/10th and 4/10th a mile too long. I want to have the course USATF certified as a 50k. I think it is an excellent course to record PRs and perhaps even American records-age group records at the very least…and one day would like the venue to be a Regional or National Championship Event.
Yet, already due to increased expenses with our post-race lunch, and cost of finishers shirts and pottery mugs the price will climb by $7.00 a person-from $50.00 in ’08 to 57.00 in ’09-not unreasonable considering last year we didn’t quite know how much everything would cost or come together.
Today I received the cost to certify the course. 1750.00 which could include chip timing…
The certification would be good for 10 years.
This is what I am in a dilemma about. Our race cap this year is 225. I think we can well handle and attract that number, especially with a certified course-yet I am going to be very conservative and base my expenses on 150 entrants. That would mean base fee of 57.00 + more to cover the cost of certification. The difference is 11.66 per person. That means almost 70.00 per person-or over 2.00 per mile! And I am not willing to go there-some 50ks in the region cost 65.00 or 85.00 …and they fill up… I just don’t want to ask runners to pay that much!
It’s a bunch of $$$ to lay out-yet the returns could be substantial. And these are tough economic times for all of us-I want to be in the position of providing opportunities for experiences-not making it harder to participate…
I expect I will still roll with a “swag opt out option” that would keep the registration to a bare minimum for folks who do not want stuff to take home…Oh, what to do?
Of course seeking a sponsor to donate $1000 or more to NCNR to help pay for the certification could be an option…
…Yet how much can runners pay? How much is fair to ask runners to pay? Especially for this where runners from ’09 will be asked to cover a cost benefiting the next 10 years?
Are USATF certified courses of the 50k length appealing to runners? Will folks come to VA to play on the flat New River Trail again in ’09 with a substantially increased fee?
Please check out the website (which is yet to be updated with information on the 2009 race) for information about last year…and please share your thoughts!
part of my morning ritual includes listening to the NPR news. back in november i was contacted by the NPR’s seattle affiliate to do an interview. this tuesday i headed down to their university district radio station to sit down with jeremy richards and chat about my ultra distance racing.
yesterday they aired the interview. other than having to bleep me twice, i think it went pretty well.
original post on my blog at CoachingEndurance.com
(This post has a few graphic images. You’ll probably all want to look anyways being trail runners, but just be warned!)
Last weekend I sporadically and rather impulsively joined about 20 members of the VHTRC for the Boyer’s Furnace 40 miler on the MMT trail down in Virginia. The plan was to run 50k of the course as a nice long run, as I finalize my prep for Rocky Raccoon.
Got up at 4:15 on Sunday morning to leave for the race, wearing my trusty Hardrocks (can’t wait to get my new Hardrock ’08 version in a couple of days!) and plenty of warm layers. Our small group assembled, and we set out. I took off up the first climb…. and by “took off” I mean barely jogged and by “climb” I mean freaking huge mountain. The first few miles were slow as I slogged the 2,300 feet of elevation half asleep with what felt like imminent nausea. But the VHTRC’ers are chipper people, and after some nice conversations along the trail I started feeling better and picked it up
Next, well, let’s just say I called it out when I said I was gonna get schooled up on the MMT – epic fail! Around mile 6.5 along the Eastern Ridgeline, I zoned out and swiftly tripped on a rock. Or maybe a stump. Or a small land mine. I was down in a ball screaming for help with what looked through my spandex like a dislocated knee (I guess it was just a swollen ball of flesh).
Within a few minutes a group of good people had run up the trail behind me and completely stopped their run to help me out. This compassionate and collected group of people stuck with me during the 2 hour climb down the mountain, going totally out of their way to keep me warm, safe, and as comfortable as possible. There were even two nurses among the runners! (And a vet, I was in good hands haha). We made it to the bottom where the EMTs met us and took me for a nice little ride to the ER. I’m pretty sure they thought I was crazy because I kept asking if I could run my 100 miler in a month, haha.
Check out the cut, the knee, and the scar!
I got my first glimpse of the damage in the ER….one look down and I could see bone, fat, and lots of other ugly stuff. Luckily, no bones broke and no muscles were torn! Just a flesh wound. The surgeon sent me home the next day with plenty of stitches, narcotics, and antibiotics. These bad boys come out next Monday and hopefully I’ll be back in the swing of things with just three weeks to go before Rocky! Talk about literally cutting it close….haha.
Once again the camaraderie and good spirit of ultra-running prove true on the trail……I hope I never have to return the favor to the runners who helped me but I’m so very very thankful to everyone who did! Ultra-runners might be the craziest athletes out there, but they’re definitely the nicest!
Follow my blog at http://50100beyond.blogspot.com to keep up with more of my (hopefully less gory) antics!
Happy (safe) running!
i just returned to the flooded city of seattle from a trip to tucson, az. i was there to coach a running camp for the marathon des sables 6 day staged race through the sahara desert. tucson provides some amazing terrain and we had 65-73 degrees every day. the ten campers were led by mds veteran jay batchen and myself. our daily routine included yoga, 1-2 runs, cross training, a classroom session focused on mds and lots of eating! we held the camp at the cycling house, so jay and i could focus on coaching and not cooking. it also provided a great environment for campers to hang out together.
check out the camp videos and recap on my blog.
A short while ago I pitched the idea of a video series and archive to the fine folks at Montrail. The winter training week with Bradley Mongold (see previous post) gave me a good opportunity to produce a sample. Check it out and let me know what you think. It is so important to stress the healthful benefits of trail running! I tried to post the video to this blog, but it was a bit too large, so I posted it to google. If the embed doesn’t work you can go to: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8887021987043180975
A partial group photo 1 hour after finishing 24 hours…
This event was held yesterday and today on a USATF approximately 1 mile certified loop in a city park in the town of Morganton, NC. This was an asphalt course in the middle of a little city-not quite the “norm” of a race written about on this blog…yet very much an ultra experience. This post is a small part of the post I put up on my blog earlier today.
Originally I’d signed up for the 6 hour…yet after much silent deliberation and a couple sleepless nights –switched to the 24 hour 14 hours before it’s start. Was I trained to the 24? No. Logistically prepared? No. Have a stragedy? No. Ever run on pavement for more than 3.5 hours? No. Have a passion for doing something extravagent to honor the transition of the years? YES! Was I willing to step back and pull out if I was over my head? (With reluctance-but yes).
My thinking-logical and otherwise is this: Running 6 hours would already cause me to be up all night…if I ran during the day, I could watch and learn. I felt like a wimp for starting to run in the darkness and cold at 8pm. I didn’t want to be “left out” and I wanted a sensible risk to welcome the 365 days ahead. I also figured I would run much slower for 24 than 6 hours, lessening the possibility of tweaking my calf.
So I ran in loops for 24 hours. On pavement. In the past I vowed never to do this. It would be boring or ugly. Why waste time on pavement when I could rollick on trails? Yet coming off of this past years injury, I am finding smooth pavement and flatter surfaces kinder at times than I want to admit! At this point with my running I am happy to be able to run just about anywhere so long as I can!
The 24 hours went by very fast. It was both a social and solitary experience. Never boring. Cold and challenging too. And not ugly.
The 6 and 12-hour runners joined in at 8pm. It was refreshing to have fresh legs on the course and witness people really running hard! Montrail teammate Russell Gill seemed to be tearing it up in the 6 hour…he was moving so fast and me comparatively so slow, we didn’t exchange much more than waves!
I really felt good for most the day and night. Yet around 4:30ish am I started second guessing myself and fearing I’d bit off more than I deserved. I whined. Outloud a little. Inwardly, a lot! I ate grilled cheese. And things got better eventually! (I finally remembered that I tend to hit a low about 2-3 hours before dawn!)
Anyway, as not to drag on this post-I know I am sleep deprived and babbling…I ran (unofficially) 121.97 for 2nd place overall and Matt Chaffin from near Syracuse, NY was 1st over all with almost 126 miles. Results will be verified and posted ASAP on the event website. I met the minimum qualifying standard of 120 miles for the National 24 hour team. Of course qualifying doesn’t mean selection-yet it is something I will pursue and see what is possible (January 1, 2009 was the close of the qualifying window for the May 2009 event!)
In summary, somewhere around 5:30am this morning another runner asked me if I still felt half human. We both said we did and wished each other well as we continued to slog along. I thought about the question as I plodded on in the predawn cold. I didn’t feel half human. I felt never MORE wholly human! Existing and living in the moment, experiencing the elements, companionship, celebrating with others, sharing stories, disappointments, self-doubts. It was a beautiful star filled night with the foothills visible in some directions.
This run was far from the self-reliant solitude of the Massanutten or High Sierra Mountains. It was a much different style adventure! I am privileged to have had this experience. My thanks to RD’s David and Rhonda Lee, all the volunteers and all the 6, 12, and 24-hour runners for a fabulous New Years Eve celebration! A more detailed entry and soon link to photos is on my blog.