2011 Archives

 

Japan’s Takuya Yamada Placed 2nd at Takeda no Mori Trailrun 30K

 

Takuya Yamada 2nd place at Takeda no Mori Trailrun 30K

Takuya Yamada earned 2nd place at Takeda no Mori Trailrun 30K with a time of 2:18:55. Even though this race was short distance, skilled runners were gathered and the race was moved very fast pace.

From left to right Reo Kuroiwa (10th place), Takuya Yamada and Hiroki Ishikawa.

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Amy Sproston Wins Hellgate 100k

 

Amy Sproston Wins Hellgate 100k
Amy finishing with RD David Horton | Photo Courtesy of Neal Gorman

Team Montrail Athlete, Amy Sproston, crushed it this past Saturday in Virginia at the Hellgate 100k. 1st place for women’s and 4th overall… and broke Krissy Moehl’s 2006 course record by 37 minutes.

Amy’s Pre-Race Report, Crazy Enough for Hellgate: Hellgate calls itself a 100K, although everyone except Horton, seem willing to admit that it’s actually 66 miles. Starting at midnight (or rather 12:01 a.m. on Saturday) in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia the second Friday of December, it almost guarantees to be a suffer-fest and a race where no 100K PR will ever be set. To celebrate my 5 year anniversary as an ultrarunner, I’m finally just crazy enough to see for myself what it is about Hellgate that causes everyone to complain so, yet return to the source of the agony, again and again. Whether I’m tough enough to endure Hellgate is a question yet to be answered. Oregon has made me a bit soft, I’m afraid. – She’s certainly proved her strength!

Words from other runners:

Davis Ploskonka It has been said that the Hellgate 100K is a “special” race, for a number of reasons. It was certainly a “special” race for me this year. And here’s why . . As you may know, I’ve dedicated this past fall to “redemption” in races that I’ve failed in falls past. First The Ring, where I still didn’t finish, but made it further than my previous attempt.

Nicole Knutson It was challenging, beautiful, nicely marked, and nicely groomed (well, for what was able to be groomed). Where I went wrong (in case you were wondering) – sleep.  I have never tried to run more than a couple miles on a treadmill after staying up all day (the few lack-luster naps at Camp Bethel didn’t do much for me).

Carrie Lombardo No matter how you think about it, it’s always a gamble…any race…any time…something can take you out of the game. For me, I know my weaknesses, all night, sleep deprivation, and always my mind.  From the beginning of the Beast, right at Holiday Lake, I started picking everyone’s brains about being up 2 nights at GS100 and used all I could of those techniques at Hellgate. I carried a big can of Red Bull in my pack, I had a mantra for the dark hours, and one for the daylight hours. Luckily, as I had started 2 Hellgates, the last 2 years, I knew what to expect in starting the race, so I was relaxed. I knew what to pack, I was however coached in how much time to think about changing before actually changing, haha. It is a bit of a wait from the end of the prerace briefing until it’s time to drive to the start.

Jennifer Nichols I’m sitting here on sunday afternoon with fat, blistered feet, sore achilles in both legs, wondering what would be the best way to describe this amazing journey I was fortunate enough to go on. It’s really almost a surreal experience to be able to sit here and say “I’m a hellgate finisher.”. Hellgate 100k in my mind was always the ZENITH of any of the ultras on the east coast. It’s where VERY TOUGH ultrarunners test their metal against the elements, rocky leaf covered trails and 14,000ft of vertical climbing over 66.6 miles.

 

 

Montrail Athletes Take 3 of 6 Podium Spots at TNF50

 

On Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011, the Marin Headlands played host to more than just a beautiful Northern California landscape known for great hiking and beautiful views. The North Face Endurance Challenge Championship 50-mile course brought in several of the top names in ultrarunning including Montrail athletes Dakota Jones, Geoff Roes, Ellie Greenwood and Joelle Vaught. Jones ran an incredible race that culminated in a second place finish (6:21:51) and, on the women’s side, Greenwood and Vaught ran impressive races that earned them second (7:07:24) and third place (7.40:46) respectively.

A 5 a.m. start turned into a beautiful day for racing with clear blue sky, sunshine, a cool breeze, ocean views, elite competition and great success for Team Montrail. Despite a few pains going into the race and a nagging hamstring in the second half, Greenwood finished second for the women with a time of 7 hours 7 minutes and 24 seconds. “It was disappointing not to have my usual finishing kick but I am more than happy with my time and placing. It was a great race to cap off a great year on the trails,” said Greenwood, who was making her North Face Endurance Challenge debut.

Teammate Vaught, who placed fourth last year, finished third with a time of 7 hours 40 minutes and 46 seconds.  She recounted, “This race is one of my favorites with the tough climbs and amazing views. I am excited about my third place finish in such a strong field. It was certainly a great day with perfect weather, awesome trails and the best competition!

Ellie Greenwood (L) and Joelle Vaught (R) at mile 23

On the men’s side, Jones ended up second overall with a time of 6 hours 21 minutes 51 seconds. Jones and Mike Wolfe, who placed first, broke away from the group around mile 39. “It was an incredible race, the level of competition was so high,” said Jones. “Mike and I were so well matched, it was so intense for so long – it was a lot of fun.” Read more about his thoughts and reactions to the race on his blog. Jones stopped by the office on Monday to celebrate his second place finish and his 21st birthday with a slice of cake.

Happy 21st Dakota!

 

Roes, who placed second in the race the past two years, was hit with low energy at mile 25 so he slowed a bit to take in more calories and water but wasn’t able to get back in contention for the win. He ended up in fifth place with a time of 6 hours 46 minutes 18 seconds. “In the end it was a fun day of running and I made the best of not having as much pep in the second half of the race as I had hoped, but it was certainly disappointing to not have the opportunity to battle with the leaders to the very end,“ said Roes. Read more about his thoughts and experience during the race on his blog. Overall a great day of racing for Team Montrail and good way to finish up the 2011 season. Women’s Results: 1. Anna Frost – 6:56:07 2. Ellie Greenwood – 7:07:24 3. Joelle Vaught – 7:40:46 4. Krissy Moehl – 7:47:01 5. Tyler Stewart – 8:00:52 Men’s Results: 1. Mike Wolfe – 6:19:04 2. Dakota Jones – 6:21:51 3. Adam Campbell – 6:34:35 4. Tim Olsen – 6:38:54 5. Geoff Roes – 6:46:18

 

 

Dakota and Ellie’s Post TNF50 Race Interviews

 

Dakota Jones was runner up to Mike Wolfe at the 2011 The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile Championships. In this interview iRunFar chats about how his race unfolded, what he did to prepare for the race, why he’ll race less frequently next year, and why Hardrock and UTMB will likely be on his 2012 schedule. Bonus guest appearance by the Dakota Jones Fan Club. Check it out here.

Ellie Greenwood ran to a strong second place at The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile Championships. Listen along as she talks about her race on Saturday, banging up her toe, taking a break from training, the highlights of her 2012 schedule, and whether she’s got a chance of breaking Ann Trason’s Western States course record.

Here’s some amazing footage from the race with Mike Wolfe, Dakota Jones battling it out to the end:

 

 

Megan Lund-Lizotte, USA Women’s Trail Marathon Champion

 

Megan Lund-Lizotte, USA Women’s Trail Marathon Champion

With Lithia Loop serving as the U.S. trail marathon championship for the third straight year, competitive runners again lined up to race the dirt roads and trails around the Ashland watershed, even if they were sometimes snow-covered. On an snowy/icy course Megan Lund-Lizotte was the first woman to cross the finish line with a time of 3:03:46. . Lund-Lizotte’s time is the race’s second-fastest ever, trailing only Susannah Beck’s 3:00:29 course record in the race’s inaugural year. Kremer, who has announced that she also will seek a berth on the 2012 U.S. Mountain Running Team, was second in 3:05:34. Bend’s Stephanie Howe was a competitive third in 3:09:27. More info here. A quick interview with the Trail Marathon Champ: What are your thoughts surrounding the race? This is the first time running this race. I felt really strong for the most part and pleased I was able to execute my race strategy just as I had planned. I went out hard on the climb (first 10 miles) and was able to create a big enough gap that no one would be within striking distance the rest of the race… and that is exactly how it unfolded. Stevie Kremer (2nd women) ran 2 strides behind me for the first 5 miles and then I broke away and focused on increasing my lead for the rest of the race. Uphill running is my strength of all aspects of running so I knew if I could take a commanding lead on the ascent I would be able to win. This is my first national title so I’m pretty stoked!

Goals for this race? My goal going into this race was to win and break the course record. I managed to win (and snag my first USA national title), however I was misinformed on the course record. The website states that it was 3:08:42 when in fact it’s actually 3:00::29. So, I thought I had broken it by almost 5 minutes, when in fact I was actually still 3 minutes away. I do think I could have been really close to breaking the real record had we not had blizzard conditions and an icy course.

How many people usually enter this particular race? Around 150, this year was a record turnout of 192.

What were the weather conditions like? Snowy/icy course for the majority of the ascent and pelting snow. However, the last 6 miles where dry and clear–great variety of tough conditions!

What food supplies did you use for fuel during the race? I took about half of an Espresso Clif Shot at mile 16 and washed it down with some snow I scraped off the course (all my water spilled out of the cup I grabbed at the aid station so I had to get resourceful!).

Pre-race meal? The night before I had smoked mozzarella & basil pasta for dinner…I don’t have a typical/superstitious meal…I just eat what sounds good! For breakfast before the race, I always have oatmeal mixed with some Justin’s Maple Almond Butter (need some fat for those longer races) and a strong cup of coffee. I actually ended up making my instant oatmeal with coffee because the hotel I was staying at forgot to set out hot water for tea (there were cups and tea bags everywhere but no water!), so I used coffee instead! Needless to say, I was super jittery after I ate, but maybe that was the extra jolt I needed to pull out the win!

Highlights from the race? Firstly, the course was beautiful! Even though it snowed half of the race, the scenery was awesome! At about mile 18 I started feeling bad…not only was I physically tired, I was mentally stressed because I wasn’t sure how big my lead was and if the girl in 2nd was gaining on me. I just kept telling myself that I was only in control of my own race and that if I just kept running as fast as I could, that’s all I could ask of myself. I just kept telling myself how bad I wanted to win and that got me through the next two miles. Once I hit mile 22 I knew I was gonna win and promised myself no one was going to catch me. It’s always rewarding to experience something the way you had hoped it would come to fruition.

Shoe choice? I am also (like Max) running in the Rogue Racer and wore that shoe in the race. It was the perfect option for this race because the conditions were snowy and icy the majority of the race. The shoes responded really well and I didn’t experience much slipping while running fast–good quality to have in a shoe when you’re racing on snow-covered frozen ground!

Learn more about Megan in the following interview, All in the Family (Megan Lund-Lizotte comes from a family of distance runners)

 

 

Team Montrail Japan Continues to Kill It!

 

Montrail Japan Ultrarunner Hiroki Ishikawa

Hiroki Ishikawa took 2nd place in Spain’s 80km Ultimafrontera 160. Recently, Spain is becoming known for its strong trail runners. Hiroki also commented that this race was merely research and will adjust his conditioning for the next race, the Red Rock 50 mile in Santa Barbara in late November. He wore Montrail Bajadas during the race.

A little about the Ultimafrontera 160: The popularity of the international multi-day stage race Al Andalus Ultimate Trail, which draws some of the world’s best Ultra stage-racers to the southern Poniente de Granada, helped inspire the development of a race in the northern part of the region. The Poniente de Granada is known as the Last Frontier of Moorish Iberia, historically referred to as Al Andalus. The Christian conquest of these lands in the 1480’s saw the fall of the Nazarine Kingdom of Granada, and consequent fall of Muslim domination in the Iberian Peninsular. The Ultima Frontera 160 route takes you through a number of the fortified towns which made up this final line of defense.

Montefrio

Montefrio, in the Parapanda Mountains, was a natural frontier of the Nazarine Kingdom.  In June 1486, it became the final conquest in the whole territory, leading to the definitive victory of the Catholic Kings over Islam.  Some of the castle and its battlements remain, as well as the cistern and some stretches of wall. This is the furthest north the race goes.  CP3 (48km/128km), at Hotel La Enrea, will have hot food and drink available.  Drop-bags will be available at CP3 (48km/128km).

Ultimafrontera 160 Course Map

This time, rather than a staged race in hot, desert-like conditions, it was a weekend of ultra events, for those who enjoy single stage ultras. Races included a 50km, for those looking to make the step from marathon to ultra, an 80km, and 160km (80km loop two times), which equals 100 miles, a distance very popular in the USA. Upon completion, the 80km distance earns 2 points, and the 160km earns 4 points, towards Europe’s famous Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, which requires that competitors have previous experience with extreme running.

Congratulations Hiroki for the amazing second place finish!

 

 

Luanne Park 1st and 4th Overall at Whiskeytown 30k

 

First race out of the gate since WS100, Luanne Park was the first female to cross the line in the 30k and 4th overall at Whiskeytown.

Luanne Park

A few words from Luanne: Mostly, it was GREAT to be racing again, no matter the place and time and all that other stuff.  Like I have been saying, “I may have been dead, but I’m not buried yet.”  I still have a few good miles left in me. Scared for Quad on November 26th.  Yesterday’s race had over 4,000 ft of gain in 19 miles, Quad Dipsea has 9,000 in 28 miles.  Lots of training to do. Thanks for the support Montrail! – Luanne Park 

 

One Last Hurrah in the Mountains

Posted on October 25, 2011 by Max

 

I thought that I’d been shut out of a final run up the South Sister this year, but as luck (or the weather in Central Oregon) would have it, the storms cleared up long enough to melt off the 8-12” of fresh snow that the mountains received the past couple of weeks.  A friend and I had been talking the last couple weeks about various windows that might be available to do it then all of a sudden a storm comes in and knocks out any hope of getting up there. He had been working on the unofficial record up to the 10,358ft peak and had gotten his time down to 1:38 up, and 2:30 something total.

The trail leading up to the summitThe trail leading up to the summit

So Ryan Bak and I drove up in the window of good weather to attempt the 5,598ft climb to the summit in possibly record time. I say possibly because we were going to stick together and I was feeling pretty worked and I can’t say I was all geared up to put out a huge effort to do it today. Never the less, we would try. We started out with a short 20min warm up on a flatter trail to get warm (it was 8:30am and still colder than a witches %#$ in a brass bra by my standards). Then, starting my watch from the white line of the road we were off. Pushing comfortably up the first significant climb felt like forever but we made it to the shelf in about 19min. Not a bad start. We ran as much as we could and hiked hard when we couldn’t. The scree on the upper sections really slow forward progress and make it hard to keep any kind of momentum when you’re going two steps up and one back.  We made the summit in 1:26:18, good enough for the fastest time I know of. We hung around for a minute but after almost being blown off and feeling like I was going to be missing some fingers we headed for home. The run down was a bit more cautious so we didn’t hit the overall mark of 2:30 something but just taking our time with a couple stops we still hit 2:41.

Ryan trudging to the summitRyan trudging to the summit

That was most likely the last dry ground run up window of the year so another record attempt will have to wait until next summer along with the rest of my mountain high goals like running the Timberline Trail around Mt. Hood, traversing the Three Sisters, and a few others I have in mind.  Dakota Jones and I set up tentative plans for knocking a few of these goals out when get makes his way out next summer. Until then, I’ll be hunkering down, training my brains out and preparing for the Olympic Marathon Trials in Jan.

 

Here’s my gear list from today’s adventure. Had on my Effusion Power Tights today to keep the warmth in, Rogue Racers to get me some traction to the summit, my Geist Vest over a Wicked Lite L/S and S/S, and my Butter Beanie keeping my head warm. I was also lucky to have the brand new spring 2012 2oz Ghost Whisperer Jacket in my pack for keeping the wind at bay on the summit. Just enough protection. Brought along the new Spring 2012 Race Vest for carrying some food, water and jacket. Have I mentioned how sweet that thing is. Probably could have used a balaclava too but didn’t have that. My face was freezing.

The summitThe summit

 

 

 

Shunsuke Okunomiya Places 2nd at Hasetsune Endurance Race

 

Shunsuke Okunomiya

 

Hasetsune Endurance Race

 

Shunsuke Okunomiya took 2nd place with a time of 7:50:32 at Japan’s Hasetsune Endurance Race. This race is the biggest, baddest, longest, toughest and yet most popular endurance race in Japan. Runners must tackle a technical 71.5K trail within 24 hours, and it’s here that new trail stars are born. Total number of participants were 2,157 (Men 1,920 , Women 237) and 1,724 (Men 1,532, Women 192) crossed the line this year.

 

Posted on October 18, 2011 by Montrail

Andy Henshaw placed 1st and claimed the course record for the Defiance Ultra 50k. Point Defiance might be the finest park on Puget Sound — and one of the finest urban parks in all of America — and not just because there are so many fun things to do across its almost 700 green acres. The trees are so fantastic, you can feel like you’re all alone. You can be alone and commune with nature within city limits.

The park, originally a U.S. Army reserve that was never used and was given to Tacoma in 1888, sits on a two-mile, proboscis-shape peninsula that pokes out into Puget Sound and separates The Narrows from Dalco Passage. The singular thing about it is it remains mostly forested despite being in the heart of the biggest urban corridor in the Pacific Northwest, the almost continuous stretch of development between Everett and Olympia. The course is approximately three 16.6 kilometer loops through old growth forest. Each loop will come by the start – finish. Course is mostly single track and typically dry mid october. Train for some HILLS but the course is 95% runable. On the course you will see sweeping views of the Puget Sound, run on soft trails beneath 500 year old giant cedars and firs in one of the top 20 urban parks in the United States. Course design is primarily by Mike Lynes with technical consulting by tony phillippi, both have logged many miles through the forest. Winner of the Defiance Ultra 50k, Andy Henshaw:

When was your weakest/strongest moment? To be honest, my weakest moment was before the race even began. I was a little worried about how my legs were going to feel since this was my first race coming off of the World 100k. However, once I started moving I felt strong and controlled. Due to repeating this Pt. Defiance park race numerous times, I knew where to push it.  I definitely felt a sense of strength in knowing exactly where I was the entire time.

What was last year’s finishing time? Last year I took 1st with a 3:40:12 time. My goal this year was simply to beat that time while keeping my splits even.

How far behind was the 2nd placer? This year, 2nd place finished in 4:07:57.  He was approximately 30 minutes back! Oh what a great feeling.

When is your next race? JFK 50 is my next race, and I’m hoping to break the course record.  There will be a lot of competition to drive the times way down!

Do you usually take a few days rest after a big race or do you tend to go for slow jogs to loosen up tired muscles? After Worlds I took off a full week with no running.  After the Point Defiance race I felt pretty fatigue and pain free, so I managed to get in a nice run. I go by feel on when to run next and how far/fast.

What Montrail shoe did you wear? I ran the race in the Rogue Racers.  Now that I look back, I have won every race in which I’ve worn them :)  But really they are great shoes.. super light.

What endurance food supplies did you use? GU etc? I used CLIF gels for this race. Mostly Citrus and Raspberry, but I did take one chocolate cherry at the end to kick on the afterburners.

Read more race stories on Andy’s Blog.

Ellie Greenwood Wins Again!

 

Ellie Greenwood making Montrail proud! 3rd overall men and women in the Chile 50miler.

Yesterdays ‘Ultramaraton de los Andes’ 50 miler in Santiago, Chile has to be one of my most fun races of the year, which is really saying quite a lot given how much fun I have had this year. But with this being my prize from winning the Canadian Death Race in 2010, it being a real destination race and one to wrap up the racing year with, there was a lot less pressure than at most other races. It was great to be in Santiago with quite a few of the North American North Face athletes (TNF are the race organizers/ sponsors) but really with most of the field being Chilean or some other South American nationality there was not the usual expectation of who might win, who might beat who etc.

North Face did a great job of adopting me as the lone Montrail/ Mountain Hardwear athlete for the weekend so there were fun times even before the race with team meals, a group run with the local TNF store runners and they even picked me up from the swish W hotel at 3am to take me to the race start, just a 20-min drive from central Santiago.

Having spent most of the summer training for World 100km and then having followed that up with Run for the Toad (trails, but flat trails) I knew that I was unprepared for the over 4100m of climbing (plus same of descent) that this race would encompass, but hey ho – I’d done a few Sulphur hikes, a scramble up Rundle and a slow slog up Edith/ Cory pass in Banff in the few weeks prior to at least warn my quads that they were in for a beating.

With the race starting at 4am we had a good 2.5hrs in darkness. Just like at Western States I used both a headlamp and a handheld flashlight and was glad to have both. It’s always amazing how dark it is out on the trails even with fellow runners all with flashlights around. We had about 5km of flattish trail to start and then the first of the major climbs started with avengance. It was hands on the quads, try to look up, and keep on going. I was in a small group of men and knew I was lead female but was just focusing on the climb. It as actually over pretty soon, we crested the top and began a steep ‘a la Canadian Death Race’ descent. Sometimes it was definitely a case of just going for it and hoping you stayed upright on the shrubby grass and loose soil. Continue reading on Ellie’s blog, Trail Running Tales.

“Chile was an awesome race and I was glad to get Montrail in for the win at a TNF race :)  Still in Chile, enjoying a little vacation time.  Swore that Chile would be my last race of the year (need some rest) but we´ll see… “ —Ellie Greenwood

 

 

Japan Athlete, Takuya Yamada Wins Madarao Forest Trail 50k

 

Japan Athlete, Takuya Yamada

Montrail’s Japan Athlete, Takuya Yamada established the course record which was 4hrs 14min 55sec to win the Madarao Forest Trails 50k on October 10th.

Takuya was born in 1978. Inside Out Ski Club affiliation, national leader of the ski archery. The support of Kuraray Specialites Europe since 2003 in southern Germany Wallgau across Europe. Belongs to a local ski club Skigau Weldenfels activities taking part in cross-country ski archery as a player in Europe. In 2007 he has competed vigorously in recent years trail running, earning good results at each event.

This is the 5th year the race has been directed by Hiroki Ishikawa, an Overseas Adventure Racer who turned to the world of trail running and directing races.

 

 

Double Double

Posted on September 29, 2011 by Max

 

I’m still dreaming of that In n Out Burger we passed on the way to the SLC airport this morning. For those of you In n Out fans you’ll get the “double” entendre of the title. Anyway, onto more pressing topics. What is going on, I feel like I’m on a roll. I don’t mean that to sound cocky or brash by any means although some of you may still take it that way.  I just mean I’m thankful I’m having a good month. I’m psyched. I had a great two days of racing this weekend in two different (but fairly close) states. It started off with the Friday Night Flagline Art Festival to kick off the Flagline Trail Fest in Bend, OR. Yes, I’m putting in a shameless plug for SuperDave (RD of Flagline). I loved that this year it was bigger than last and we’re trying to make it a fun weekend of events with a trail running centric art show and get together on Friday night with four races (three new) on Saturday. Stay tuned next year for possible new events. Anyway, I had my artistic debut by putting together a disk of my homemade movies and my modern art piece that I call “Max’s Wall O’ Shoes”.

The Wall O’ Shoes

My wife called it “out of place”, I called it “art”. No appreciation, she was just happy to get it out of the house for a couple days I think. Anyway, Flagline went phenomenally better than last year. That’s what happens when you’re not running a fever and Erik Skaggs doesn’t decide to kick you while you’re down. Speaking of Erik, I’m calling you out boy, a wedding, pshaw, you weren’t at no wedding, you’re just scared. (Note to everyone else: I love Erik, I’m just messing with him) This year started out at a good clip but feeling great it was much easier to maintain the pace. Jacob Puzey was out to the early lead but unfortunately took a wrong turn before mile 8. Leaving me and Ryan Bak, my partner in crime for the day, wondering “where is Jake”. That confused the crap out of us until it was finally cleared up at the aid station at mile 24.5. Yes, we were chasing a ghost for about 20 miles. We would ask at aid stations and since there were early starters we would always get some answer that didn’t quite make sense but wasn’t clear whether Jake was up there or not. So we just kept on running.

Flagline 50k, Jake Puzey taking an early lead.

 

So Bak and I ran together until the big climb at mile 21 where I started to open up a bit of a gap on him and continued that way to the finish. I was really impressed that he ran as well as he did in his first 50k. I can tell you that mine didn’t go that well. Post race it was all about recovery for Xterra the next day. Mark DeJohn had just gotten in his Recovery Pump leg boots so I asked if I could have a trial of them after the race. They’re a new recovery tool that gives gradual peristaltic compression through pressurized air sleeves all the way up the legs. I have to say, slipping them on and sitting in them for 30min felt great and afterward my legs felt super. I know that helped. I made sure I got some Hammer Recoverite in right after the race along with some food and a huge burrito from Long Board Louie’s. I slipped into my Reco-Fit Leg Compressors for the drive to the airport, the flight to Utah, and that night. I don’t claim to be an expert on recovery but I’ll admit, I’m getting pretty darn good at it for my legs to feel that fresh going into the Xterra National Champs on Sunday in Ogden.

Snowbasin Resort

Warming up I really didn’t feel any residual fatigue or soreness from the 50k. A feeling that I couldn’t even believe if I hadn’t felt it for myself. Xterra started off with a bang, literally, a large canon always starts us off and we run through a huge plume of smoke that really makes for some amazing start pictures. Then there were the guys that sprint off the start and you always kind of wonder if they’re guys you should worry about but then you catch up to them 400m later and they’re already in oxygen debt.  Up the first climb right out of the gate Mario and I had put a small gap on the field already but then here comes BJ Christenson, a 6-6 (at least) giant of a dude up on the back of us. He passes us going into a single track section and proceeds to run downhill through switchbacks like no one I had ever seen over 5’10”. I was in utter amazement and as I sat on Mario he continued to put more distance in to us. He was probably only 15-20sec in front but I eventually started to get a bit nervous cus this dude was for real. I asked nicely if I could get by Mario and I caught up with BJ a bit later. We started the most significant climb of the course at about 5miles and I was able to run away from BJ on the climb. Then I was just hoping Mario would be able to get him as well. The Xterra course in Ogden is BURLEY. That’s the only word for it. It’s tight, technical, rocky and rooty, and there is some serious elevation change. It’s a great course. As much as I love the fast, flat Xterra Bend course from years past, this is a true Xterra course and lives up to its off-road heritage namesake.

 

I pulled out another win and put a lot of time into both BJ and Mario on the long winding downhill back toward the finish. Just as a final kick in the balls that I didn’t expect the last mile of the course is all uphill too. I don’t know where that came from. The legs were glad to be done with a long weekend but I have to admit, they did feel good. Tired but good.  Wait, did I say done, almost done. I had the privilege of leading the future Xterra runners through their ~800m course to the finish. Of course that was a 50m sprint as they took off the line and caught up to me as I’m supposed to be showing them the way down the course, then a jog to the finish.

The Podium

 

The after party on the patio of Snowbasin Resort surrounded in the bowl of the mountains all around was awesome and we just soaked up the sun of late September. I had the best tasting burger from the bbq that I’ve had in a long time. It was a rewarding weekend and one that gives me a good healthy sense of accomplishment. That feeling of accomplishment usually being a direct correlation to how fatigued and tired I am at the end of it. I love weekends like that.

P.S. You’re really going to hate me but the 2hr run up in the mountains on Monday morning was awesome and my legs felt like a million bucks. Not sure what’s in my water but I still felt great. It was awesome. Xterra is even putting a hit out on me now. $1000 bucks to bring me down. Check this out.

My very own WANTED poster. Sweet.

 

 

2011 Race Highlights | Run Rabbit Run 50

 

Written by Fred Abramowitz, Run Rabbit Run 50 Race Director

Every day is a beautiful day indeed, as Elwood P. Dodd said, but some days are more beautiful than others, and we might have known this was not to be one of our more beautiful ones when Harvey, our best friend and resident pooka, mysteriously failed to appear at the pre-race briefing. Harvey knew something was up, and had gone into early hibernation, on race day, September 17, 2011, winter suddenly arrived.

Torrential rain and bitter cold. Hail, sleet, snow, graupel, and driving winds.  Trails that had turned into rivers of freezing muck and mud. After four years of glorious race day weather nature exacted her revenge and greeted the 162 brave starters of the 5th Annual Run, Rabbit, Run 50 Miler with all she had. Only 115 souls survived the challenge to complete the course, thanks in large part to our terrific volunteers, many of who parted with the clothes off their backs to help the runners through, and to the generosity of fellow runners, who exchanged rain gear, jackets, gloves and hats to keep each other safe through the remote course and brutal conditions.  It’s what our sport is all about, and thanks largely to that spirit of generosity, everyone made it home unscathed.

View Run Rabbit Run 50 Photos

But despite the rain, hail, sleet and bunny snot there were some spectacular performances out there, led by Zeke Tiernan of Carbondale, Colorado, our inaugural 2007 Run, Rabbit, Run winner and old course record holder, who returned to win in a remarkable 7:24, barely holding off ultra super star Nicholas Clark of Fort Collins, Colorado, who stopped to tie his shoelaces with five miles to go. The two had run neck and neck through the day and it may have cost him the win. Nick ran 7:26.  “Every time I see a moose in a race, I win,” Tiernan said after crossing the finish.  We thought it might have been Harvey. Two-time winner and last year’s third place finisher Ryan Burch was third in 8:08.  Jenny Pierce of Livingstone, Montana, space blankets flapping, won a contentious distaff race in 9:34 with Tina Lewis of Boulder, in a men’s jacket three sizes too large lent her by a fellow runner, second in 9:55.   Stephanie Lynn was a few minutes back in third in 9:57:30. Top two men and women finishers earn an automatic berth into the Western States 100, thanks to our wonderful sponsor Montrail. Thank you Montrail, for again including us as part of the Montrail Ultra Cup! The ageless Charles Corfield was top Men’s Master in 8:58, and Colleen Ihnken was once again top Women’s Master in 10:49.  All earned beautiful hand-crafted platters made by our volunteers.

A special word of thanks to Bill Fanselow, last year’s 2nd place finisher and a terrific fellow, who attempted the conditions, with near disastrous results, in shorts and tiny singlet. While the Dumb Bunny award we gave him was made partially in jest, flirting with hypothermia – as many out there were doing – is no laughing matter.   Bill used the opportunity to speak to the runners at the awards ceremony of the dangers of running through the mountains unprepared. While our race date corresponds historically with some of the mildest, driest weather in Colorado, this is the Rockies of northern Colorado – the weather is unpredictable.  Many experienced runners said the conditions on race day were the most brutal they had ever encountered, and many runners were unprepared.  Fortunately, no one suffered any serious injury, and everyone said the beer and pizza (and hot chili) at the post race party made it all worthwhile. And Harvey promises he will be there next year.

View the 2011 Results here.

 

 

Off To the Races, East Coast to West

 

Ultra Cup Fever

Hot on the heels of last weekend’s grueling race at Run Rabbit Run 50, the Montrail Ultra Cup has picked up and moved across the country.  It’s on to Vermont where this weekend, 550 runners will put themselves to the test at the Vermont 50 mile and 50km races.  For the first time ever, race organization has capped the event, based on large numbers and bearing in mind flooded trail conditions in the state at this time.  In fact, the course has been modified in several places to accommodate for blown out trails and unsafe conditions.  Volunteers have spent many hours getting the trails into shape and things are ready to roll. Should be a blast, definitely a challenge!  Rain is in the forecast, but those who know this race expect it, and embrace it.  A classic, marquee event in the northeast, the 18th annual Vermont 50 runs Sunday September 25th. Four Western States 100 entries are on the line for the top finishers, and runners need to register for the Ultra Cup soon after the finish in order to receive points.

Vermont 50 from The Endurables on Vimeo.

Athlete News

Another big weekend of racing is ahead, with several Team Montrail athletes packing their bags and hitting the road.  Here’s what’s on tap:

Max King – few people race as much as Max. He’s hard to keep track of.  This weekend is no exception.  Saturday he’ll stay in his hometown of Bend, OR to test his endurance at the Flagline Trail Fest 50km, this year’s national trail championship for the 50km distance.  Last year, Max finished “2nd” here, in one of the more interesting finishes ever we’ve seen. Only a few hours after the race, it’s off to the airport.  On Sunday, Max will be in Ogden, Utah to race 21km at the Xterra Trail Run National championship (did I mention he races a lot?).  Max is the three-time defending champion, with all three of those past races in Bend.  Don’t be fooled though into thinking he’s nuts. This weekend is strategically placed in Max’s 2011 racing schedule as preparation and training leading up to the Olympic Marathon Trials in January. That’s the big one. Eye on the prize.

Listen to this Ultrarunner Podcast for a fun new interview with Max.

Geoff Roes – after a tough day at UTMB in August, Geoff declared that rest was in order.  Apparently a few weeks was sufficient. Geoff will race 100km with some of the countries top ultrarunners at the first ever Ultra Race of Champions in Virginia on Saturday.

Ryne Melcher – Melcher will have a go at it this weekend, racing for Team Canada in the Commonwealth Trail Championships in Wales.

Jill Perry – ultrarunner and mother of five, Jill Perry never rests. That characteristic will be advantageous this weekend at Virgil Crest 100 in upstate New York, where Jill will hope to achieve her goal of…running 100 miles as fast as she can.

 

 

Unpredictable Colorado Weather Wins at Run Rabbit Run 50

 

That headline is slightly misleading, as in fact Zeke Tiernan (7:24) and Jenny Pierce (9:34:20) are your 2011 Run Rabbit Run champions.  However, the weather stole the show and the storyline, as rain, wind and cold temperatures greeted runners along the Continental Divide and forced 40% of the entrants to DNF.

Ryan Burch at mile 22, before the rain arrived.

Tiernan had the lead at the halfway point and never relinquished it.  However had the race been a few miles longer, 2nd place finisher Nick Clark may have caught him.  Clark finished only two minutes back of Tiernan.  Montrail athlete Ryan Burch, running on tired legs after placing 6th at Leadville 100 only 3 weeks ago, finished in a solid 3rd place (8:08), with Corey Hanson in 4th and Eric Eisinger in 5th.  Full preliminary results found here.

Ominous skies at the Dumont Lake aid station

Congratulations to Zeke Tiernan, Ryan Burch, Jenny Pierce and Tina Lewis, all of whom earned an entry into the 2012 Western States 100 by finishing at the top in this Montrail Ultra Cup race.  Hope to see you all in Squaw next June.

Last year’s champ Geoff Roes makes a cameo before running the 2nd half of the course.

With race #2 of the Montrail Ultra Cup series now in the books, we turn our sights to race #3 in Vermont, where the Vermont 50 will run on Sunday.  The race has filled to capacity (both the 50 mile and 50km distances) for the very first time yet the organizing committe has had their hands full with course changes and maintenance after the recent storms.  Good luck to everyone racing in Vermont this coming weekend, should be a wild one!

 

 

Hot and Humid Conditions at the World Championships

 

This past weekend Montrail athletes Max King and Megan Lund-Lizotte raced as part of Team USA in the World Mountain Running Championships in Tirana, Albania. With temperatures reaching 95 degrees, all competitors were faced with an added challenge.

USA’s Kasie Enman and Max King pulled through the sweltering heat to take the gold. Congrats to Team USA men and women who both took 4th place overall. “In my nine years as team leader, I’ve never been more proud of our athletes than I am today,” said Richard Bolt, “Kasie and Max’s performances blew me away. They made winning a World Championship look easy.” Kasie Enman is the first senior woman from the U.S. to earn an individual gold medal. She led the senior women to a fourth place finish. Her time was 40:39 over the 8.59 kilometer course. She was followed by Montrail’s Megan Lund-Lizotte in 12th place with a time of 43:56 improving upon her 21st place finish in 2010. Continue reading here.

World Champ, Max King | Photo usmrt.com

Max King’s thoughts upon the race: “The weather was really hot, like 95 degrees, so I knew that would be an issue for many. The Ugandan team was there, and they are usually the team to beat. We all assumed that the heat wouldn’t affect them. I went into the race not thinking about a win, but figured top 10 would be realistic and top 5 would be great. I was really comfortable on the first lap, not pushing too hard, yet keeping pace with the Ugandans. I think I bounced around between 6th and 3rd through laps two and three.  On the last lap, I was able to pick off all the Ugandans with the exception of one.  I was in 2nd at the top of the last lap, but was a good 30 seconds behind the leader, from Uganda. I was flying down the final downhill when I noticed that there was a guy in front of me who stopped running and started to walk, and he wasn’t in good shape. I figured I was lapping him, had no idea he was the leader until I turned the final corner and saw the finish line tape was up. I made that final pass with 800m to go, and that runner never actually finished the race. The heat clearly got to him. I was surprised and extremely excited to cross the finish line in first place.”

Megan Lund-Lizotte and Max King

 

2011 IAU 100k World Championships Results

In Winschoten, Netherlands Meghan Arbogast from Oregon lead the American women with a fifth place showing in 7:51:10. Annette Bednosky of North Carolina was the next US woman with a sixth place finish in 7:54:59. While Amy Sproston of Oregon had a rough start dealing with stomach issues but ended up sticking it out and placed eleventh in 8:10:11. Unfortunately, Ellie Greenwood had nausea and DNFed the race in warm, humid conditions. For the men Montrail’s Andy Henshaw took 3rd place overall with 6:44:35 time. More info can be found here.

Amy Sproston | Photo Raymond Pretat

Words from Amy Sproston: “I had a rough day.  I started out strong the first two laps, but then had stomach issues that forced me to make 6+ pit stops in laps 3 and 4.  I took several imodium and my stomach calmed down by lap 5.  Laps 5 and 6 weren’t fast for me–I think I was just deflated after falling way back in laps 3 and 4 and wasting so much time in porta-potties, but I moved back into 4th for the team by lap 6, as Pam and Carolyn were struggling with their own issues (stomach and knee).  So, when I saw that Devon dropped at the start of lap 8, I was now our 3rd runner, and knowing that motivated me to move up being that 3 runners score for the team.  I picked up my pace in laps 8 and 9, and ran one of my stronger laps on lap 10 moving from 17th to 11th place, and actually had the fastest split for women on lap 10. The US aid station crews kept yelling at me that a podium spot depended on me, which lit a bit of a fire.”

Andy Henshaw‘s comments on the race: “The race started out really fast! I think the first person came through the 10k in about 35 minutes.  So everybody just tried to keep their cool for the first few laps.  After a while I began clicking off 38 minute lap really easily.  At the 50k I was well within grasp of the American Record.  Unfortunately, the sun came out and with it the heat.  It reached 78 degrees with full sun exposure!!! During the final 50k I was dousing myself with sponges every 100 meters.  On the last three laps my legs began cramping so badly I had to stop and stretch them every few minutes.  I knew it wasn’t going to be a record day, but I still held on and placed 2nd for the team, 3rd overall. I’m ecstatic to be a part of the first American team to win a 100K World Championships as a team!”

Results: Meghan Arboghast 2010 IAU 100 km WC – 5th –7:46:01 Andy Henshaw (2011 USA 100k Champion) – 3rd place overall – 6:44:35 Annette Bednosky – 6th female  – 7:54:59 Amy Sproston – 11th female – 8:10:11 Ellie Greenwood – DNF Team USA Men – GOLD Team USA Women – SILVER

Posted in Interviews, News and Announcements, Races, Ultra Running, Uncategorized|Tagged , |2 Comments| Edit

                                                                                                                                                                                              

Posted on September 13, 2011 by Max

Albania is a great place to hold a championships. It’s one of those countries that I’m not likely to travel to unless I have a good reason. The World Mountain Running Champs gave me a good reason. Most of you reading this are wondering, where’s Albania? Albania is a small country that sits on the Adriatic Sea and is bordered by Greece, Macedonia, and Kosovo. It’s little known because, well, they’re not really known for much that I can tell. They do have some incredible mountain ranges that being a mountain running championships, it would have been nice to see the mountains but instead we were staying at the beach. The best we can figure, the championships bid was put together by the tourism office and highlighting the tourist areas was quite important. Understandable. Albanian’s also have a love for the beach more so, it seems, than the mountains. We stayed in the beach town of Durres outside of the capitol city of Tirana. The course was situated basically in downtown Tirana on some of the foothills to the larger mountains behind. In the 3 lap, up/down format of these championships, there was plenty of climbing on the course even without a true mountain to run up. The mountain running championships are unique to other running disciplines in that each course can be laid out to favor a very specific type of runner. So, every other year the course is laid out as uphill only (in even years) and up and down (odd years), assuring that the courses don’t favor one type of runner every year. This is what I’ve been waiting for for two years now. UP and DOWN. As some of you know, I was 16th at Worlds last year in an uphill year. A respectable showing for my first mountain running champs for sure but I’ve known for years that I can run with on a downhill that I can’t stay with going up. Going into this year, I knew I could improve on my showing from last year, I just didn’t know by how much. Last year I had been working on my uphill strength for about 4 months before Worlds and in the two months between nationals and  Worlds I improved considerably. Now that I’ve had another year to work on my uphill strength I feel much more comfortable and am able to hold my own on uphills with some of the Americans like Joe Grey and Tommy Manning and the Euros. So a little about the race. We knew it was going to be hot, since it had been hot all week and temperatures gradually were going up while we were there and Sunday was forecasted to be the hottest day at 94 degrees.  Coming from Bend, I knew I wasn’t going to be ready for that type of heat even in the middle of summer. That’s where acclimation comes in. The past couple years I’ve had a number of hot races like NACAC cross country in Tobago in February and WXC in Spain this last March so I’ve had some practice acclimating to heat and whatever I do seems to work pretty well. Now, you know, I can’t give away all my secrets but I suppose if you’re really wondering you can get ahold of me and I’ll spill the beans.  I’d been working on acclimating since Monday before the race. Enough time, but not quite optimal. In the days leading up to the race I was so hot on some training runs that my heart was fluttering and my heart rate wouldn’t go down until I cooled off.  Then on race day, it’s all about keeping yourself as cool as possible to delay the onset of heat fatigue. I don’t think Albania is known for their organization skills. The start line for our race was a mess. They had a start banner but no line or boxes so everyone lined up about 10m in front of the line and organizers trying to keep us back were useless against everyone jockeying for position on the line that was about 10m wide. Finally they just started counting down once we were in roughly a straight line and on 2 Uganda went. Two must mean start in their country, either that or they were so excited to run up a hill that they just couldn’t wait. Everybody else fell in behind them and made their way up the rolling first mile of the course. I tucked in ahead of the Euros and right behind the 4 Ugandans. During a few openings in the course in the first mile I made a few little surges to get in and break them up but they were bound and determined to control at least the first climb. It was hilarious and at one point I burst out laughing as I came up on two of them and they full on sprinted to keep me behind them. I was having so much fun playing with them. It was fine to let them control the climb as they certainly weren’t the best climbers in the field. We had gotten out pretty quick since it was pretty gradual the first mile and the rest of the true climbers took until the very top steepest pitch to catch and pass us. There was 1 Italian, 1 Turkish dude, and someone else that were just in front of me at the top of the first climb but that’s the beauty of downhill. I was back on them and past them within a few hundred feet of heading down and on my way to catching back up with Uganda. They got quite the jump on the downhill road section since they’re pretty quick but were loosing time on the more technical sections that they just didn’t have the leg strength to run fast on.  At about 2 miles in the course cuts straight off the downhill road onto a very steep hillside. I caught up with the four Ugandans right as they hit this turn. They started to slow up to ease down the hill and I sped up with a quick surge and flew off the top lip, past the four of them and down the hill opening up a 20m lead in about 50m of trail. I wish I could have seen their faces. Hitting another road section it didn’t take too long for them to catch back up but they were missing one, apparently one of them had face planted down the hill and was covered literally from head to tow in dust.  So, I was in 4th at the bottom of the first lap.  The rolling start of the second lap saw another one of the Ugandans start to drop off as he fatigued from the downhill. Now in 3rd. I followed the two of them up the 2nd climb still being careful to run within myself not knowing exactly when the heat would hit me and wanting to save enough for the 3rd lap.  Toward the top of the climb the Turkish dude, Ahmet, caught and passed me but knowing how much time I could put on him on the downhill I knew I just had to keep him near me on the 2nd lap and the 3rd climb. Other than that I didn’t see anyone else. As we started down I quickly passed Ahmet back for 3rd, then another of the Ugandans dropped back, now in 2nd. I pushed down the hill the second time putting time on Ahmet and trying to catch the Ugandan. He did pretty well down the hill this lap and I still had a 20-30sec gap to make up at the bottom.  The third and final climb I pushed as much as I could on, running the whole top pitch which I had power hiked the last two laps to keep my HR down. At the top there was good news and bad news: Good news, no Turkish dude, bad news, Ugandan was still 30 sec up meaning I hadn’t put any time on him on the climb. I figured he’d be fast enough on the down that I couldn’t catch him so I focused on keeping Ahmet behind me and running as well and safe as I could down. I was still having fun on the technical steep downhills so I just enjoyed going fast and feeling good as I headed toward the finish line. Then about 800m to go I come around a corner and see a Ugandan literally shuffling along, almost walking. I’m like, great, they threw out a decoy to make me think I’m winning. I figured he was one that I was lapping that had completely blown up. I hadn’t been looking at the leader’s number to know whether it was him or not. So I continued to roll down the course to the finish. As I started to make the turn to head into the finish course officials were yelling at me to take another lap, confused but not really, I stopped for a second and turned around and said no, I’ve done my three laps. Of course all the Americans were standing there yelling at me to just keep going and finish. Then I see the tape across the finish still. Then I knew that I was in the lead. Whoa. No way. That Ugandan was the leader and he was in a bad way. With just 800m to go when I saw him, he didn’t even end up finishing. Ouch. The heat got to them just as much as anyone out there I guess. It was a huge win for me (obviously) and with a double gold from Kasie Enman on the senior women’s team and on 9/11 it was almost too good to be true. I believe it was the first men’s gold since 1987 and the first women’s gold ever. Pretty cool. Both men’s and women’s senior teams ended up with 4th place finishes. Strong, no doubt, but I know most of us were disappointed to not be in medal contention. My awesome Montrail team mate Megan Lund-Lizotte had a great race to place 12th in the senior women’s race. A finish I think she’s very happy with. Congrats Megan. The heat and the course definitely took its toll on our runners but they all ran with heart. I won’t bore you the details from the rest of the day of drug testing, awards ceremony, and Albanian network TV interviews because I’m running on Albanian time now (I was supposed to be at work 30min ago).

Albanian TV Show

 

 

World Championships Abound

 

Tis the season for World Championships.  Both the mountain running and endurance running disciplines will see major championships go down in Europe this weekend, and Montrail athletes will take part in a major way.

9/10/11 – 100km World Championship – Winschoten, Netherlands

Athletes racing: Ellie Greenwood (Team UK), Andy Henshaw (Team USA), Annette Bednosky (Team USA), Amy Sproston (Team USA)

Ellie won this race last year, making her the 2010 Women’s 100km World Champion.  Andy Henshaw won the 100km USA Championships in May and is a contender for a top finish at Worlds.  Annette and Amy are both strong 100km runners and have been training diligently for this race.

The race features 230 athletes representing 35 countries, both record numbers for the 100km world championship.  The course is a 10k loop on pavement, perfectly flat with a whopping one meter of elevation gain/loss per loop.

9/11/11 – World Mountain Running Championships – Tirana, Albania

Team USA 2010, in Slovenia

Athletes racing for Team USA: Max King, Megan Lund-Lizotte

Max and Megan both participated in this World Championship last year, where Max placed 18th overall (2nd USA), and Megan was 21st female.

This year, the course is a lap course; men will run the 4.5km lap with 285m of elevation gain three times, ladies will run it twice. 35 countries announced participation this year, with over 300 runners.  This is not an event that the Americans have done real well in historically, yet each year USA shows improvement.  TV coverage will be live for 5 hours on national Albania TV.

 

 

 

Transrockies 2011

Posted on September 4, 2011 by Max

 

As an athlete you go through highs and lows as your body ebbs and flows with it’s  bio-rhythms. For endurance athletes this is even more evident as your performance depends almost entirely on what state your body is in.  I wish I could say that I feel good all the time and that training is always great, but it isn’t. The past two weeks have been quite a lull in my racing and my training as well. I had a great period in June and July where I was feeling great in training and having great races and felt pretty invincible. The past few weeks I haven’t felt the same and as you start to lose races, confidence starts to wane. I think this period was kicked off by a couple of events. First, the 3 weeks at 140 miles, which was new and I’d never done before, then travel to Switzerland and ending up with a cold. Losing that race badly didn’t help the confidence, then travel back home and to Colorado ended up with two more colds. I was slated to do Pikes Peak Ascent on Saturday but waking up that morning with my cold back ended the idea of doubling PP and Transrockies. I needed to be well for Transrockies starting on Sunday so I bowed out of PP. That was pretty demoralizing only because it meant I was giving up and at this point in time, not invincible. I know I can do it, just not last weekend. Sunday I felt better but starting Transrockies coming off the last week didn’t give me a lot of confidence. The only thing that did was the experience I’ve gained from the last two Transrockies wins. I wasn’t willing to lose this one, and neither was my partner Ryan Bak. I asked Ryan to be my partner after Andy Martin, my partner from last year, ended up with an injury. Ryan was a perfect replacement. I knew he wasn’t in the greatest shape, he’d been taking a few years off then went from running 20 miles a week to 95-100 miles in about 8 weeks, but I knew he was tough and knew how to hurt and run fast from my time training with him at the Oregon Track Club in 2008. Stage 1 on Sunday did not end up as planned. We were out fast, at high altitude, in the heat. Ryan looked fine after a couple miles but as we started to climb my HR began to climb and suddenly I was gasping for breath and my HR elevated like I was doing 200m repeats, only I was on a long run through the Colorado Rockies. Uhgg.

We ended up losing a bit of time on Stage one but gained most of it back after Stage 2 up and over Hope Pass. We were still bettered by the UK Solomon team as they can scream downhill. Ryan and I almost caught them after they opened up at least a 2 min lead after the descent down Hope. Unfortunately this run would be the beginning of the end for Ryan. I had started to feel better so running down the trail I roped Ryan up to put some good time into Flagstaff, but then down went Ryan  by kicking a rock and at the same time cramping his hamstring. That was the issue.

Day 3 was quite incredible with Ryan surging off the front after the first climb. He pushed the pace the rest of the day with me hanging on for dear life. It was awesome. We put 5min on Flagstaff and felt great doing it. What was truly amazing this year was the times we were running were significantly faster than other years. Stage 2 we were 11 min faster than last year, Stage 1 was 2min faster, and Stage 3 was 20 min faster.  After such a great day I was in pretty good spirits. Memphis Joe’s Margaritas on the back of a Budget Truck was a truly great way to finish off a great Stage 3.

But then we started Stage 4. Ryan’s hamstring had cramped near the end of Stage 3 but we made it the last couple miles and he had it worked after the race but starting Stage 4 it was still pretty sore and was threatening to seize up again.  We did the best we could at getting up the long 2500ft climb but it took a lot out of both of us. It wasn’t until the downhill that we were really slowed.  With Ryan’s hamstring giving him issues he couldn’t lift his leg, causing him to clip rocks on the way down. After two Superman falls that were quite impressive cus I saw both he was pretty banged up. We did our best to get to the finish line but not before Flagstaff took away our lead and put a minute 30 into us. He didn’t feel it but after finishing Ryan noticed a large blood stain on his Leaders jersey. Turns out one of his falls put a nice gash in his hip and was going to need stitches. But it also turned out that one of the falls broke one of his big toes and the stitches were the least of our worries.  The fish tacos at Mango’s were a small consolation to what ended up a disastrous stage 4.

Stage 5 and 6 were painful, mostly for Ryan. I felt pretty bad that I couldn’t do anything to ease his pain but even carrying him over my shoulder (which I couldn’t have done anyway) still would have been painful for him. I tried to put myself through as much pain as I could by towing him up hills when possible, but there was nothing I could have done to match the pain he was in with a broken toe and 45 miles to go. There was no getting around what ended up Ryan’s most painful runs ever. He was a trooper though and it was one of the toughest, most inspiring runs I’ve ever seen. I was impressed after stage 5 that he wanted to continue and finish the race. I was impressed after he pushed through stage 6 to a second place stage finish and we stayed in second overall. With all that happened this year I felt like our run and place was great and we did all we could to get to where we finished.

It was another awesome adventure in the Rockies, spending 6 days with runners from all over the country and getting to know new friends. It was great to see a huge Bend, OR contingent that showed we are one of the strongest trail running towns in the country with podium finishes in 3 categories and a 4th place in the TR3 race. Go Bend.

Now it’s on to the World Mountain Running Championships in Albania next week. I was slated to do the USATF 20k Nat Championships but Transrockies took more out of me than expected so I decided to get a good week of training in and look forward to Mtn. Running.  I just hate admitting when I can’t handle as much as I think I should be able to. It’s the athlete’s mentality and it gets me in trouble sometimes.

Transrockies Course Map

 

 

 

The Long Trail – 273 Miles of Vermont Backcountry

 

Update: Matt Hart has decided against running the Long Trail, as it’s currently unpassable in the wake of hurricane Irene.  Thus, he’ll set his sights on the New Hampshire section of the Appalachian Trail, 161 miles of rugged and mountainous trail.  Matt said, “The  Long Trail is unpassable in sections and would actually be dangerous to even attempt.  There are towns in Vermont still cut off from the world because of roads being washed away.  It was hard to admit, but it’s just not the time to run it.  Maybe next year.  Anyway the AT section through Maine is 161 miles and super cool and rugged.  There will be a ton of debre and damage on that as well, but nowhere near the amount of the Long Trail.”  Good luck Matt.  Follow his SPOT link below.

The Long Trail in Vermont runs 273 miles from the Massachusetts border to Canada, along the Green Mountains.  It was built over a 20 year span, from 1910-1930, and is extremely rugged, rocky and remote.  It has a long history of supported speed record attempts, but very few unsupported attempts. 

Montrail athlete Matt Hart will be out on the trail alone over the next week, and is expecting to face many new obstacles created by the recent hurricane that swept through the area.  With downed trees and bridges and sections of washed out trail, this is sure to be an epic adventure.

He’ll carry roughly 25 pounds on his back at the start, most of which is food supplies.  He’ll be taking the best Mountain Hardwear kit available, mostly Spring 2012 product, including a Way Too Cool Singlet, Ghost Whisperer Jacket, Hooded Compressor Jacket (instead of a sleeping bag) and Quasar Pullover.  He’ll use a Fluid 32 Pack and wear the Montrail Rockridge.

Follow Matt’s SPOT transceiver here to see his progress as he attempts to complete the Long Trail next week.

 

 

 

Bruised and Bloodied, King and Bak Finish Second at Transrockies

 

Max King checked in after stage 5 of the Transrockies Stage Race with an update.  King and partner Ryan Bak went on to place second in stage 6 and take 2nd place overall for the year.  An incredible display of toughness and perseverance considering the circumstances. Well done guys!

“Here’s a brief update on Transrockies after 5 stages. No internet connection prevented me from getting anything out the last two days. Today was the second of two rough days for Team Montrail duo Max King and Ryan Bak. After the first three days we were in the lead by about 5 min going into stage 4 but a tight hamstring on Ryan prevented strong climbing needed for Stage 4, a short but super steep up and down stage.  We had a great Stage 3 and put 5 min on the Run Flagstaff team of Mike Smith and Jason Wolfe. Stage 3 was a very runnable 24 miles and Ryan pushed the pace all day and really made me work to keep up. Unfortunately, a tweaked hamstring from Stage 2 tightened up about 8k from the finish but we were able to cruise it in. On stage 4 we lost the lead we’d gained on Stage 3. The Flagstaff guys ran a strong stage and Ryan’s hamstring resulted in two headers on a very rocky road. Needless to say, the kid is messed up. Gashed elbow, stitches in the hip, broken two and bum hamstring. He’s hurtin. Stage 5 today went much like stage 4 but a bit better. It was a long 23 mile stage with a gradual 11mile 3000ft climb and then decent into Vail. Going downhill was very hard for Ryan but we still managed to capture 3rd place for the stage and stay solidly in 2nd overall in the GC. Flagstaff had a huge day and put 18min on us so 1st looks out of reach. The Salomon team got us by 30 sec or so but we’ve still got at least 10min over them. So that’s the goal for tomorrow. Get through the run staying close enough to Salomon to not lose 2nd place overall. We’ll see how that goes but I’ve seen Ryan take an incredible amount of pain today and I have no doubt he’ll do it again tomorrow. If I could take some for him I would.”

First four photos courtesy transrockies.com:

Max King looking focused, Stage 2

Max and Ryan in yellow leader jerseys

Tired and relieved at the finish line. 2nd place overall

Top three teams at the final podium

Ryan’s modified Rogue Racer, worn with a broken toe

 

 

 

Racing Report: Roads and Trails and Ultras, Oh My!

 

This past weekend saw a flurry of activity as several Montrail athletes toed the line across the country (and Canada).  A look at the races below demonstrates the wide range of racing our athletes enjoy throughout the year, and it just goes to show that a runner is a runner, regardless of whether they race on trail or asphalt, long or short distance.  In the end, it’s all about running and the enjoyment it brings.

Ellie Greenwood found plenty of enjoyment in her 2 hour and 47 minute jaunt through the Canadian Derby Edmonton Marathon course.  Ellie bested her time from last year, setting a personal best and a new women’s course record.  She race posted a great race report on her blog, check it out.  Ellie is now ready to travel to the Netherlands and defend her title at the 100km World Championship.

Flyin’ Ryan Burch, Colorado resident and mountain running machine, raced the Leadville 100 and was looking for redemption after a rough day at Western States 100 several weeks ago.  It’s safe to say that Ryan found his groove, placing 6th overall in 18:35, a very solid time for this course.  In his own words, “I finally put together a strong second 50, which felt long overdue.  It’s not too often you can take 2 hours off a PR…unless it’s an ultra.”  Next up for Ryan is Run Rabbit Run 50 in September.

photo: transrockies.com

Upon returning from Europe, Max King traveled to Colorado Springs in hopes of racing the Pikes Peak Ascent.  But a head cold combined with the looming Transrockies Stage Race made him think twice about over-racing, and he opted to sit this one out.  So on to Transrockies…where as of Tuesday morning, runners have now completed two stages.  Max and partner Ryan Bak are currently sitting in 2nd place, only 2.5 minutes behind the lead team.  They are yet to win a stage but have the leg speed and fitness to win any (or every) remaining stage.  The competition is deep this year and we’ll look forward to seeing how it all plays out.

 

 

 

 

 

Mackey Continues His Strong Year with a CR at Waldo 100k

 

Dave Mackey continues to own the Montrail Ultra Cup in 2011.  With wins already this year at Bandera 100k, American River 50 and Miwok 100k (all part of the 2010/11 Ultra Cup season), Dave traveled to Oregon this past weekend to run the Waldo 100k, race #1 in the 2011/12 Ultra Cup series.  True to form for this year, Mackey raced to a course record victory in a time of 9:06:51, roughly 4 minutes faster than the previous record.   Second place was claimed by Ian Sharman (9:42:51), with Nicholas Triolo taking 3rd (10:08:58).

On the women’s side, Aliza Lapierre traveled a long way from Vermont to race Waldo, and she didn’t plan to go home without a win.  Aliza took 1st place for the women in a speedy time of 10:33:24, good enough for 6th overall!!  Second place was Denise Bourassa (10:59:43) and taking third was Darla Askew (11:11:07).

Full results found here.

And with that the 2011/2012 Montrail Ultra Cup season is off and running (pardon the pun.)  Dave Mackey and Aliza Lapierre will sit atop the standings for now, but will they be able to maintain that position throughout the year?  Time will tell.

Next up is Run Rabbit Run 50 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  Race day is September 17th.  See you out there!

 

 

 

 

 

Big Week Ahead for Team Montrail

 

Well it’s that time of the year, when seemingly every weekend there’s another major national and international race taking place.  Its during this time when you’ll find several Montrail athletes confronting races and goals that they’ve been training for and thinking about all year, perhaps even longer.  Here’s what lies ahead:

Ryan Burch will look to avenge his tough day at WS100 with a strong showing at the Leadville 100 this weekend.  Ryan has shown he can run with the best yet will seek to put together a strong 2nd half of this grueling 100 miler.  This mountainous race plays right into Ryan’s strengths and we’re excited to see how it goes. Judging from some of his recent training runs, he’s primed and ready for this one.

Ellie Greenwood is preparing to defend her title at the World 100km Championship in the Netherlands next month, but for now she’ll get some training in at the Edmonton Marathon this weekend.  Ellie was the female winner at this marathon last year, when she ran a PR of 2:49:54.

Max King, Sean Meissner, and Jill Perry will all be running the epic TransRockies Stage Race in Colorado beginning on Sunday.  For those who are not familiar with this race, it’s a 6-day team stage race across the Rockies, with most of the race taking place above 8000 feet.  Max will run with partner Ryan Bak and look to defend his title from last year in the Men’s Open division.  Sean and Jill will run together in the Co-ed division.  Both teams have their work cut out for them, as this race brings out very fast runners from around the country.  Good luck!

Finally, we reported recently that Amy Sproston would be racing Waldo 100km this weekend in Oregon.  However, Amy was just notified that she’s made Team USA and will be traveling to the Netherlands next month to race the World 100km Championship.  Thus, she’s not going to race Waldo.  Congratulations Amy!  Amy will join Annette Bednosky, Andy Henshaw and Ellie Greenwood as the other Montrail athletes competing on this grand stage.

Next weekend it’s UTMB, the grand daddy of trail races in Europe and one of the most acclaimed and renowned ultra trail races in the World.  Geoff Roes, Dakota Jones, Topher Gaylord (Montrail President) and Jason Hill (Montrail US Sales Manager, racing the CCC) will be in Chamonix representing Montrail and Mountain Hardwear and looking to put their best feet forward, again and again and again.  More to come on this one…

Good luck this weekend, run fast!

 

 

Posted on August 17, 2011 by Max

 

Sierre Zinal is 19miles with over 7200ft ascent and about 2500ft descent. Click to enlarge

Rough day at the office today.  It only took the first climb of the 19mi Sierre-Zinal race to figure out it wasn’t going to go the way I planned.  The first climb was the whole first half of the race but…

The short of it: I ended up dying the worst death I’ve ever experienced and finished up in 20th at 2:55. I didn’t even think I was capable of dying that badly.

The long of it: I was actually figuring out the title of this blog post as I was running. That’s how well it was going. There were a lot of things that didn’t fall into place and a lot of things that went wrong. I’ll spare you all the excuses but I’m sure some of you are wondering what could possibly go that wrong.  Lets first start off with the pressure I put on myself. It seems that whenever I take a race very seriously something like this happens. I had pretty high expectations coming all the way to Switzerland, like winning. Probably shooting a bit high in retrospect, but that’s ok. So we set off up the climb from Sierre at a good clip and I felt pretty good. That is until we really started to go up. The pitch started off at a reasonable 10-12%, something I’m used to, but quickly shot upward to about 35, maybe 40%. I quickly lowered my expectations as the lead group of three ran away up the climb. I was hoping to reel them in later but then the second group started to catch me… and then pass me. I was able to stay with them until the top of the climb but as it flattened out and I should have been switching gears, that group switched gears and I swear I threw it in reverse.  I lowered my expectations again. I didn’t have anything left after the climb. It was the steepest, longest climb I’ve ever done. Probably part of the reason the race didn’t go well. Usually running at an elite level requires training and I did not train correctly for this race. Problem #1.

My expectations were to stay just off the lead pack up the climb, take it easy because I knew that wasn’t my strong point, then fly down the flatter sections later in the race. Problem is, you’ve got to still have something left after the climb to run the rest of the race. I would have done great if I’d started at the 9 mile mark.

 

Problem #2. After reaching the top of the climb I’d been working pretty hard for about an hour at this point and knew that by the end of the race I would need some electrolytes. So I reached for my electrolytes in my back pocket but found it empty. They had bounced out and I was out of luck. Remind me to speak with the designers. Love the new Mtn Hardwear shorts but we’re going to need to work on the pocket security.  This had some pretty dramatic consequences later in the race as each of my leg muscles took turns twinging and twanging in cramps on my way back down the mountain into Zinal. At one point I stubbed a toe on a rock and trying to keep my balance I took a few steps that required some extra strength to stay on my feet and every muscle I used talked back to me. An adductor cramped, then my hamstring, then finally my calves.  Just the fact that I was cramping gives you some idea of how far gone I was because generally I don’t cramp when I’m low on electrolytes, I just get tired and slow down first, then finally cramp…apparently. Makes me think that about the last half of the race I was feeling the effects of low electrolytes.  This just reinforces what I’ve learned the past year: Take your electrolytes kids…and don’t do drugs, stay in school.  Reminded once again how important correct nutrition is, especially in long technical mountain races.  The only thing sore the next day was that adductor too.

 

As I wound down the trail my body followed by winding down, literally. The last couple miles were a struggle to maintain body control. Over the technical trail I kind of felt like I was throwing by body where it should go and hoping to have enough leg strength to keep me upright.  Had I felt a bit better and made a conscious decision to give up and jog it in, it might have been enjoyable. I could have chatted with the locals, checked out the enormous views, and walked through the aid stations enjoying what they had to offer (I don’t get to do that very often but in this case I actually did do that though it was hardly enjoyable).

Racers were pretty spread out and only once in a while would another come trotting by me. While they weren’t in quite the shape I was in, they weren’t really running much faster though either. I think this course gets to just about everyone.  The one thing that I did find annoying (ok, not the only thing at this point) was that at Sierre-Zinal they start the “tourists” (their word, not mine) at 4am. This puts them squarely on the mid to late section of the race as we go through. At this point it’s single track and on one side you have a steep hillside going up and the other is …yes, a steep hillside going down.  That doesn’t leave a lot of passing room and since they’re going the same direction as you are, they don’t move without some verbal commands, which are hard to come by at 8000ft and 15miles in.  Not the best set up but it does make for a few spectators where there wouldn’t normally be any.

I have to say though, it was a good learning experience, it’s a beautiful area, and I’ve found a tough trail race that I couldn’t get right the first time. Sierre Zinal is the toughest course I’ve ever run. It broke me down to a whimpering school boy.  All that means is that I’ll be back until I figure it out.  It’s a good challenge that could take me a couple of years to complete.

As I’m writing this I’m riding the train back to Geneva to catch my flight home in the morning and my legs are still cramping.  Since I had to leave for the airport after the race, Brandy, Matt (her husband), Glen and I all took the train together into Geneva, spent an hour in the airport figuring out a hotel. Eventually Glen came through big time and got us a free room at the Holiday Inn.  It had a twin bed, which Glen took since he got the room, but he didn’t get a sheet. Brandy and Matt took the sheet and slept on the floor, and I got the throw to put down on the nasty carpet. We finished off a ¾ liter of Malibu Rum (Glen did most of the damage), which I haven’t had in years but was really delicious under the circumstances. And we all crashed out until departing for our flights in the morning.

Just to pour salt in the wound, my headphone jack in my seat on the plane wouldn’t work on the trip home. 10 hrs I could watch movies but not hear what they were saying. Needless to say it was a pretty boring flight and a bit frustrating.

Dakota Jones took 17th overall while Megan Lund-Lizotte took 4th place in the female division.

Putting in a good word for Megan and Dakota, Megan had another great race this year. Not quite a win and she probably won’t be happy with her race, but I was impressed. And Dakota came by me in the last 4km of the race looking pretty fresh, at the finish line he looked a bit different with blood and dirt all over himself. Apparently he went down right after passing me. So I said, “That’s right. That’s what you get for passing me. Boo ya.” Well, maybe not quite what I said. But he had a great race despite that little spill.

Good luck to all of Team Montrail at UTMB. Go get em. Just glad I don’t have to climb any more of those hills this week. Until Transrockies next week anyway.

I’m teaming up Ryan Bak, an old Oregon Track Club teammate of mine, to take on worthy rivals from the UK, Flagstaff, and across the US next week at  the Transrockies 6-Day Stage Race.  Follow us at Transrockies.com.

2011/12 Montrail Ultra Cup Season Kicks Off In Oregon

 

Montrail is fired up to remind you all that another year of Montrail Ultra Cup racing commences on Saturday August 20th outside of Eugene, Oregon.  The 10th running of  Waldo 100k starts at 5am at Willamette Pass Ski Area and will wrap up several hours and 11,000 feet of climbing later.  Runners will summit 3 major peaks and pass by six mountain lakes in their attempt to finish the race and gather up some early season Ultra Cup points.  As for all Ultra Cup races longer than 50km, the top two male and female finishers will win coveted Western States 100 entries.

View of Waldo Lake from top of Mt. Fuji

Don’t be confused by the new, sleeker name of the race this year, this is still the same beast of a race we’ve all come to know. Race directors Craig Thornley and Curt Ringstad, along with assistant race director and 2-time defending Ultra Cup champion Meghan Arbogast, are all set to host another great weekend of ultrarunning and are expecting some fast times.  The course is in good shape overall yet true to form for this summer, runners should expect to see snow throughout the higher sections of the course.

A quick glance at the start list has several known ultrarunning speedsters, which should make for a fast race up front.  Notably, Dave Mackey and Ian Sharman will duke it out near the front, a rematch of their American River 50 head-to-head duel.  This year, the race’s youngest starter is 24-year old Zeb Breuckman of Bremerton, Washington.  A very special shout out to the two 70+ male runners having a go of it this year, Peter Fish and Kent Holder.  Super inspiring, good luck!

And a final “good luck” goes out to Montrail athlete Amy Sproston, who will look to build upon her successful year with a strong finish at Waldo.  Last year Amy finished second female in 11:02, so you can bet that she’ll be looking to break 11 hours this year.

Stop in and say hi to our friends at Eugene Running Company for any pre- or post-race needs, and try on a few pairs of Montrails while you’re there.  Good luck to all the runners this weekend!

 

 

2011 Tour Divide | The Longest Mountain Bike Race

 

By David Horton

I always thought I would be a runner until I died.  WRONG. One week after turning 60 years of age, I had my first injury in over 33 years of running… a torn medial meniscus in March of 2010. Surgery and rehab followed with the hope of returning to running, but it didn’t happen. Pain persisted and I later had a second knee surgery with rehab following in December of 2010.  Before the second surgery, I had to get some exercise and since I already had a mountain bike, I gave that a shot. Miraculously, it didn’t hurt my knee to do the biking. Although my hopes were high for the success of the surgery, it didn’t allow me to return to running either… but I still could bike without pain. So I got hooked on biking and in November of 2010, with only a few months of experience, I made the commitment to participate in the 2011 Tour Divide.

 

The Tour Divide is a mountain-bike race that starts in Banff, Canada, and goes 2,700 miles through Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico, ending at the border of Mexico at Antelope Wells, NM. The Tour Divide has no entry fee, no awards, no aid, and no crew… you are self-sufficient.   You can’t depend on anyone but yourself. The course consisted mostly of forest service roads, little-used gravel roads, some pavement, and single-track trails. I have never in my life seen more remote country than what we went through.

David Horton participating in the 2011 Tour Divide

 

Eighty-two runners started at 8:00 AM on June 10. It was a “go as you please” format. You could begin and stop whenever, and you could bike as much or as little as you wanted each day. I averaged between 15 and 16 hours per day with no days off. I had two days with around 50 miles, one of those because I had my bike in the shop for work. The other 50-mile day was after a day where I had three flats and finished in a pouring rain. I had to bike about 10 miles off course to get food and get my gear washed.  Most days were usually around 100 to 110 miles with a high of 144 miles.

The most difficult aspect for me was the food issue. On an average day, I would pass through only  one place to purchase food. I usually bought an extra sandwich to take with me (I should have bought 2 or 3 extra sandwiches in many cases). Several times my evening meal and breakfast consisted of 2 or 3 candy bars. One day I biked 50 miles before I saw a single vehicle or person. The next day, it was 26 miles before I saw anyone. Many times I thought there had to be a store or something in the next 4 to 8 hours, but nothing!

Unfortunately, I got lost several times. Most of the times, it was my fault… I guess it was my fault ALL of the time. The second day, I went off course for 12 miles until the road ended in a coal camp—missed a turn somewhere! I got off course a few other times as well but never that long again. I had a GPS, but it was not very good. The cue sheets were very good, once I learned how to use them. I would say that I biked between 60 and 70 total miles off course, with all of that being in the first half of the race.

I didn’t carry a tent, only a bivy sack, ground pad, and a sleeping bag. I stayed in hotels about half the time, and my other accommodations included two outhouses, under a grader, under a trailer, and in the ditch or on the side of the road many times. I preferred sleeping in a hotel because I could wake up and get started quicker, usually in 20 to 25 minutes versus 30 to 40 minutes when I camped out. I wore a Montrail t-shirt and cap, Pearl Izumi biking shorts, vest, gloves, and shoes. I used a Patagonia Torrentshell jacket for the cold mornings and rain. I used one pair of DryMax socks for each half of the trip. I didn’t carry a change of clothes because I didn’t have space to carry the extra gear. Several times I would go 3 or 4 days without ever taking my clothes off.

I got an average of 6 hours of sleep each night. You would have thought that I would be so exhausted that I would have slept well, not the case! I was always dreaming about biking or getting lost. I traveled a lot of extra miles in those dreams. Also, because I drank so much during the day, I usually had to get up at least twice each night to use the bathroom. I didn’t go far as the mosquitos would engulf me before I could get back into the bag… they were extremely bad.

I biked about half the time by myself. I found it difficult to find someone who liked my schedule. I began very early, usually 4:30 to 5:00 AM. I biked six days from the middle of Wyoming to Silverthorne, Colorado, and did not catch anyone and no one caught me… that was very lonely for me. However, I biked the last three days by myself and really enjoyed that time.

Before I left, I asked my wife if she thought I would finish. Physically yes… and if my bike held up, she thought I would make it. That was my major concern as well. My mechanical skills were very limited and my biking history was less than a year old. I purchased a Cannondale Flash Carbon 2 29er from Blackwater Bike Shop. It held up extremely well. I bent two hangers and only had three flats (all the same day) and no other problems. Scotty Curlee and Jason Willis had taught me as much as possible to deal with a variety of mechanical problems, luckily none of which ever happened. I still have lingering numbness in the palm and two smaller fingers on the left hand and all the fingertips on my right hand are still a little numb. I think my right hand numbness is because of mild frostbite and the numbness on the left hand is because of nerve damage. Hopefully, all of this will go away with time.

As a Christian, you hope and pray the things you do are pleasing and glorifying to God. I KNOW that God was in my Tour Divide race. How do I know? He answered my prayers many, many times. When I was out of food or water or I needed a place to sleep or I needed to know which way to go, I would pray and God answered me IMMEDIATELY. Once a guy on a motorcycle stopped and out of the blue asked me if I needed something to eat… angel in disguise? On one particularly bad day, I needed food desperately and there was nothing in sight. I saw some cars pulling into a campground, so I went after them. I asked if they had anything I could buy from them. They were having a church potluck, so they graciously offered me a plate, and boy was it good!  It seemed I always had trouble when I DIDN’T pray for guidance or direction. And I knew for a fact that my family and MANY friends prayed for me every day.

One question that everyone asks me is how does this compare to the other long multi-day foot races that I have done (Appalachian Trail, Trans-AM, and Pacific Crest Trail). Physically, this was easier with one exception, my rear end.  My legs got in shape, I adjusted well to the altitude, I adjusted to less sleep and getting up early.  But my rear end NEVER adjusted to 15+plus hours of sitting on that small seat… in whatever position I could find.

 

The other question I get is, “What’s next”? When I first finished the Tour Divide, I said that it was a one-time adventure. Yet here it is a month later, and I’m already having thoughts of possibly doing it again next year. But I’m not getting much encouragement from my wife or my kids… NONE in fact! But I have to do something, don’t I??

 

 

Will Megan defend her title at Sierre-Zinal?

 

This weekend, August 14th Max King, Megan Lund-Lizotte and Dakota Jones will race in the Sierre-Zinal.

The men’s battle this year seems to be focusing on the rivalry brewing between Spain’s Kilian Jornet and Italy’s Marco De Gasperi, who in 2008 actually flirted with Wyatt’s record at 2:30:50. Max King and Dakota Jones will hopefully join the battle as runners reach Weisshorn, 1 of the 5 peaks nicknamed, ‘Race of the Five 4000m,’ which represents ‘go time,’ where final classification often occurs. Continue reading Sierre-Zinal…The perfect mountain running race?

On the women’s side, “Megan Lund-Lizotte (winner last year), Brandy Erholtz (third last year) and Megan Kimmel (who appears to be in very good form this year).”  This list of women entrants will certainly help us sort things out in the aftermath.  I don’t see record holder Anna Pichrtova on the list, so perhaps Lund can indeed pull-off a defense of her title. Continue reading Sierre-Zinal…The perfect mountain running race?

Megan Lund crosses the finish line | Photo d’Adriana Claude

Jornet Burgada Kilian and Megan Lund | Photo d’Adriana Claude

Last year’s race, Megan became the first American woman to capture a victory in the event’s 37-year history. No U.S. competitor had finished first since 1982. Lund followed Mudge’s lead at the start, heeding advice from Erholtz, who admittedly went out too fast in 2009, when she hung on for a fifth-place finish. The strategy changed, however, after only about three minutes, Lund said. Continue reading Basalt runner Megan Lund triumphs in Swiss Alps.

Sierre-Zinal Race Background:

Also known as the Race of Five 4000m Peaks, the Sierre-Zinal is an unusual 31 km with 2200m ascent and 800m descent in the French-speaking region of Switzerland.  Runners climb the 5 peaks (Dent Blanche, Bishorn, Weisshorn, Zinalrothorn and Ober Gabelhorn) but do not underestimate the effort and the distance: the winner usually spends more than 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete the course.

The race starts from Sierre (585 m) and then  the route along forest and stony paths will take you on trails to some of the best mountains in Switzerland. The finish line is in Zinal (1680 m), after some struggling to reach Ponchette, Tignosa and Nava (2425 m).

 

 

Course Records Fall in Short, Long Distance Races

 

Last week we told you that a few Montrail athletes would be hitting the trails for big races, and today we’ll report on how they went:

Amy Sproston continued her very strong year by setting the women’s course record at the Mt. Hood PCT 50 in Oregeon in a time of 7:30, good enough for 8th place overall.  Amy is truly in fine form at this point in the year and with a couple big races ahead, she’s primed for some strong results.

Jason Hill and Amy Sproston, all smiles after Mt. Hood 50

Megan Lund-Lizotte returned to the Mt. Sopris Run-Off, a race she won last year, and was able to defend her title while setting a new women’s course record.  Megan will soon head to Europe to defend her title at the Sierre-Zinal mountain race in Switzerland.  Good luck Megan!

Finally, Andy Henshaw put in a fine performance at White River 50, his final training race before World 100km Championships.  Andy finished in fourth place and reported back that he’s feeling fine and in great shape to make a strong showing in Netherlands next month.

Great job to Team Montrail for another weekend filled with course records and strong trail running.  More to come, as several of our athletes are off to Europe this month.  Stay tuned!

 

 

Results from the Weekend – Hardrock 100 and more

Posted on July 11, 2011 by Montrail

 

Dakota Jones approaching Maggie Gulch. photo: irunfar.com

In his first attempt at running the Hardrock 100, the race that inspired his ultrarunning career and features almost 34,000 feet of elevation gain, 20-year old Montrail athlete Dakota Jones finished 2nd on Saturday in a time of 27:10.  With this accomplishment, Dakota becomes the youngest top-10 Hardrock 100 finisher in the event’s history.   Dakota’s roommate, training partner and Team Montrail cohort Matt Hart finished 14th in a time of 34:59. A brief write-up of the race can be found at Irunfar.com and on Dakota’s blog.

Matt Hart kisses the rock upon finishing Hardrock 100.  photo: irunfar.com

In Oregon, Max King continues to have an incredible year of racing.  Fresh off a win at the USA Mountain Running Championships, Max raced the Siskiyou Outback 50k near Ashland, Oregon and finished in first place, setting a new course record of 3:35:28.  We did the math, that’s a sub-7 minute pace for 31.1 miles.  Max’s finish lowered the previous course record by almost four full minutes.  We can’t think of any other runner who trains as hard and finds as much success in races ranging from 10k to 50k.  Incredible versatility,  way to go!

 

 

Montrail Athletes to Tackle Hardrock 100, Badwater

Posted on July 8, 2011 by Montrail

 

The famed and daunting Hardrock 100 starts today, Friday July 8th in Silverton, Colorado.  The race features mega climbing amongst the San Juan Mountains, to the tune of 44,000 feet of elevation gain at an average altitude of 11,186 feet.  That’s no joke!

To make sure they’re trained, acclimated and ready to go, Montrail athletes Dakota Jones and Matt Hart have been living together in

Silverton, running up and down the mountains every day, often through deep snow and loose scree.  The fellas seem ready to go, watch their interview with Bryon Powell at IRunfar.com.

They’ll have their hands full in reaching the podium however, with competition from Karl Meltzer, Nick Price (only two weeks after WS100), Duncan Callahan and others.  Check in to irunfar.com for race day coverage.  Good luck to Dakota and Matt, we’ll be cheering for you!

Speaking of incredibly challenging races, the Badwater Ultramarathon starts Monday July 11th and Montrail will be represented at this one as well, when Luis Escobar hits the tarmac for the third time at this race.  In 2003 he was 7th overall and in 2006 he was 12th overall.  How has Luis been preparing for this one?

March 9th: “I am taking this opportunity very seriously. Finally healthy and running well.  Working out in a gym three days a week with a professional personal trainer. Slowly increasing my weekly milage and making the transition from trail to road. My race crew is forming, it will be a group of experienced ultra runners including sports nutrition expert Sunny Blende http://www.eat4fitness.com/. Luis will be racing in his Rogue Racers and looking for a top ten finish.  Good luck!

Vancouver resident Ryne Melcher is in Ireland getting ready to race the IAU World Trail Challenge, a 50 mile race.  He’s got the speed and endurance to do well here.  Good luck Ryne!

Also racing an ultra this weekend is speedster Max King, fresh off a victory at the USA Mountain Running Championships in New Hampshire.  Max will race the Siskiyou Outback 50k in Oregon, a race he won in 2008.  He’ll try to dethrone past winner Erik Skaggs, and potentially lower Skaggs’ course record.  Check back next week for results.

Have a great weekend, and be sure to find some time for a run!

 

 

Photoshoots, Mountain Running, and Trucker Hats

Posted on July 7, 2011 by Max

 

Another long and awesome week of running in paradise (anywhere to run in the woods automatically becomes paradise by the way). Legs are tired, back is sore, eyelids are heavy. Sitting in SLC on my last leg of the journey home. Sorry, this is another long one. I’ve got to stop having such great weeks. They’re too much fun to keep to myself.

Last Tuesday I took off down to Reno/Tahoe for a few days of photoshoots with the esteemed Kevin Winzeler and Tim, the Mountain Hardwear Creative Director. I went down with the impression that with an upcoming race we’d head out for a few hours, take a few breaks and have some free time. Man was that vision shattered on the first day of shooting. It’s kinda fun to tell some friends, “yeah, I’m heading down to Tahoe for a photoshoot.” Just to impress them a bit. I gotta tell you though, it’s no picnic. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun, but it’s also hard. Wed we were on the side of a hillside in direct sun running back and forth for the camera. I must have done it 100 times.  All in all, an hour hike up to the shoot location, 12hrs of shooting, and an hour hike down and we were embraced by darkness and fatigue. It was a great day but I was wasted. I had a small appetite after subsisting on trail mix all day so I downed a full plate of salad with the works, a full rack of ribs, two sides, and a huckleberry mudslide. Mmmm.

Up at 5:30 on Thursday we started out with some nice foggy shots in a great marshy area. Shooting with Amy and Ellie gave me a bit of a reprieve so I was able to stay out of the sun and try to recover a bit today. Still managed to get a workout in too. It was a bit more relaxing as there was no hike to get to shoot sites and with multiple locations we moved around and sat around a bit more. At day’s end Kevin and I took a quick dip in the lake. Ah, so refreshing. It felt great after being dirty and sweaty all day.

I know we got some great shots and video for some promo stuff. I think you’ll be seeing some at OR if you happen to make it. You might be wondering where it was we were shooting but I purposely left out a few details so you can use your imagination until you see the real thing.  We were shooting the new gear and run apparel for Spring 12 and you’ll see some of it in the video attached to the blog. It’s some great stuff. New light tech shirts, shorts, running packs and a vest. And sweet trucker’s hats.

Thursday evening ended with a great party at the Mtn. Hardwear compound with all the big names in the ultra world coming out. Kinda made me want to run it but for now just being around the energy of WS is enough for me. Someday though, someday.

Friday morning I took off headed for New Hampshire. I was certainly going to miss Jesse’s cooking and Tim’s full service carry-on espresso in the morning. I don’t really even drink coffee but with an espresso machine he traveled with I couldn’t refuse.

On the ground in NH, I met up with Mario and our host family. Saturday we went over the course and got a short run in. The travel day off did me well and I felt pretty good. After the long photo shoot I wasn’t sure how I was going to be recovered but all seemed well.  Part of what makes the Mtn Running Championships special is the emphasis put on homestays. I know it’s more work for the race organizers but I really appreciate being hooked up with someone locally. It’s more fun to be engrained in the local culture and the White Mountain Milers running community is awesome and supportive. The past two years I’ve had the good fortune of staying with Christie and Richie Girrourd and I’m fortunate because they’re great cooks (and great people too).

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Montrail Athletes Run Strong at USA Mountain Running Championships

Posted on June 28, 2011 by Montrail

Last weekend in New Hampshire the 2011 USA Mountain Running Team was announced and Montrail is thrilled to announce that both Max King and Megan Lund made the team!

King Takes the Win at the Cranmore Hill Climb

On Sunday the Cranmore Hill Climb played host to the USA Mountain Running Championships, where the top 4 women and top 5 men would determine Team USA.  Max King won the men’s three lap race in a time of 42:21 and earned the title of 2011 US Mountain Running Champion.  Megan Lund put in a solid effort in the women’s two lap race and finished 4th in a time of 35:13.  Both will join Team USA in Albania on September 11th for the World Mountain Running Championship.

Read the following article for more details:

http://www.examiner.com/running-in-national/cranmore-hill-climb-2011-results-u-s-mountain-running-team-chosen

Photos can be found here

 

Ellie Greenwood Wins Western States 100

Posted on June 27, 2011 by Montrail

 

In her first ever 100-mile race, Montrail athlete Ellie Greenwood posted a historic and unbelievable comeback to win the 2011 Western States Endurance Run in a time of 17:55:33.  After a rough start in which her hamstrings seized up early in the race, Greenwood was able to turn it around with the help of her crew and race volunteers.

Ellie Greenwood earlier this year at American River 50

At the Rucky Chucky aid station and river crossing, Greenwood was roughly 20 minutes behind the leader (last year’s winner Tracey Garneau) with only 22 miles remaining in the race.  This is where Greenwood’s race began to change.  She surged on, eventually dropping her pacer, to pass the lead runner Kami Semick at mile 95.  Greenwood went on to win by a commanding 22 minutes and posted the second fastest female finish in race history.

 

 

Max & Megan Race for a Spot on the US Team

Posted on June 24, 2011 by Montrail

 

Megan Lund and Max King

Good luck to Max King and Megan Lund who are running the USA Mountain Running Championships in New Hampshire on Sunday. If they place top 5 and make Team USA they’ll travel to Albania for Worlds in September.

The 2011 Cranmore race will consist of 3 laps up and down the mountain for men, and 2 laps for women, mimicking the distance at the Albanian World Championships course.  Each 3.87 kilometer lap will ascend and descend 206 meters, testing not only the runners climbing and descending abilities, but also their ability to transition between the two.

 

 

38th Annual Western States Endurance Run

Posted on June 22, 2011 by Montrail

 

For the fourth consecutive year, Montrail is proud to be the presenting sponsor of the famed Western States Endurance Run, featuring 100 grueling miles of racing from Squaw Valley to Auburn, California.  Once again, this is the ultra to watch featuring the most competitive field of any 100-mile race in the USA. Last year’s champions Geoff Roes and Tracey Garneau will both return to defend their titles; however, some the world’s top talent plans to challenge them along the way.

Geoff Roes at Mile 96, Leaving No Hands Bridge in 1st Place | Michael Cook’s Blog

Montrail will have 10 sponsored athletes racing Western States 100 this year; eight from the North American team and two from the Asian team.  Last year’s WS100 champion and two-time Ultrarunner of the Year, Geoff Roes, is certainly one to keep an eye on, as well as Canadian superstar and 2010 100km World Champion Ellie Greenwood. Also racing for Montrail are Ryan Burch (1st WS100 appearance), Joelle Vaught (7th place female, 2010), Erik Skaden (5-time top ten finisher), Amy Sproston (1st WS100 appearance), Luanne Park (8-time top ten finishing female), Jill Perry (2nd time at WS100), Shunsuke Okunomiya (Japan, 1st WS100 appearance), and Sim Jaeduk (Korea, 2nd time at WS100).

The Western States Endurance Run acts as the final race of the Montrail Ultra Cup series, with series champions to be crowned at the award ceremony following the race.  A $16,000 cash purse is on the line, with the male and female Ultra Cup champions taking home $5,000 each.  This year the standings are closer than ever.  On the men’s side, Dan Olmstead, Scott Jaime and Dave Mackey are on top separated by only a few points.  After them, five others have a good shot at finishing in the Ultra Cup top 5 with a strong showing this weekend.  For the women, last year’s Ultra Cup champion Meghan Arbogast looks to have a solid lock on 1st place, with Pam Smith and Amy Sproston hoping for a big day at Western States in order to catch her.  Final Ultra Cup overall results will be announced immediately following the race.

Follow the Western States 100 Race here: Webcast | Mobile Webcast | Entrant List | Twitter

 

 

Geoff Roes | Slogging to the Top

Posted on June 22, 2011 by Montrail

 

If you haven’t seen it, here is a trail running video with Geoff Roes from Running Times. A lot of insight into why he runs and trains the way he does.

 

 

Annette Wins Chattanooga Mtns Stage Race

Posted on June 20, 2011 by Montrail

 

Annette Bednosky Wins the Chattanooga Mtns Stage Race

On a beautiful weekend in Tennessee, Montrail athlete Annette Bednosky, along with 140 other runners, challenged herself by entering her first mountain stage race, and the results couldn’t have been better.  The Chattanooga Mountains Stage Race, part of the Rock Creek Trail Series, features three days of trail running on three mountains surrounding Chattanooga: Raccoon Mountain, Lookout Mountain and Signal Mountain.  Day 1 is composed of 18 miles on the Raccoon Mountain trail network.  Day 2 includes 22 miles of trails on Lookout Mountain.  And things wrap up on day 3 with a grueling 20 miles amongst the Signal Mountain trails.

Annette Bednosky

Bednosky, member of the USA 100km Team and long time ultrarunning star, has been testing her limits on shorter mountain courses than what she’s normally used to, and in doing so is proving to herself and the competition that she’s a force to be reckoned with at any race she lines up for.  In Chattanooga, Annette was first place female on Day 1 (2:30:31) and Day 2 (2:56:44) and second place female on Day 3 (3:34:52).  She was the overall female winner (9:02:07) after 3 days and 60 miles of fun on the trails.  Congratulations Annette!

Annette reported back that she wore the Rogue Racers on Day 1 and Day 2, then switched to the beefier Mountain Masochist for the wet and rugged trails on Day 3. It sounds like she found the perfect combination with these two shoes, as results indicate.  Click through to read Annette’s much more detailed race report from her blog, and help us in congratulating Annette on a job well done!

 

 

 

2 Weekends, 5 Races, and 4 Burritos

Posted on June 17, 2011 by Max

 

It was tough but rewarding last two weekends of racing. Bear with me, this is going to be a long post. I wouldn’t normally recommend five races in such a short time span but it all came together sort of unexpectedly and there was no backing out. And really, it’s circumstances like this that can have a big impact on what you thought was possible and increases your confidence in your fitness assuming it’s a positive experience.

So last weekend I arrived in Denver on Friday night for the Teva Mountain Games, picked out a rental car that I could sleep in, an HHR, and made my way to Vail, via a stop at Chipotle on the way. I got in about 9pm and drove around a bit to see if there was somewhere to park the car and sleep. If you’ve been to Vail, you’ll know they frown on parking on the street anywhere in town so there were not a lot of options. I settled on the parking garage. That was a poor choice.  It may have been free parking but it definitely came at a price. Like no sleep. I could hear someone sneeze at the far end of the garage, it was hot, light, and smelly. I figured it would be somewhere I could park and not be harassed.  Man, I didn’t get harassed by any authorities, but I was constantly woken up by cars starting, people coming back from parties, etc. I can’t recommend a parking garage as a place to sleep. Lesson learned.

At 8am the next morning the gun went off for the Vail Pass Half Marathon. A 13.1, no make that 13.7, (apparently the half marathon is a bit longer in Colorado) gradual climb up to Vail Pass at 10,600ft. But, lucky for me, snow was still blocking the road up so at 10 miles they turned us around and we headed back downhill to the finish. Lucky for me because that downhill course change is all that put me into second. I wasn’t catching Matt Levassiur on the climb. It was brutal being at 9000ft and trying to go uphill. I might as well have been going up a wall. All the way up, I’m thinking to myself “why am I doing Pikes Peak later this summer?” Anyway, so it turned out well after 3.5 mi of downhill. I spent the rest of the day hanging out in Vail at restaurants, milling about at the Games, and catching up with the mountain runners in town.

Sunday morning I learned the secret to success is gorging yourself on over half a large pizza, a shot of good whiskey, and a quiet comfortable floor to sleep on. It’s good to know guys like Rickey Gates who can hook you up with a floor and a shot of whiskey the night before a race. The 10k Spring Runoff was awesome. One of the best (read: most treacherous) courses I’ve been on. Off-trail racing through mud, snow, grass, roots. The climb up included power hiking a ski slope, snow, and a long winding dirt road that was still brutal at that altitude. Once at the top though it was all down hill. Mario Macias just caught me at the top but two steps on the 300m snow field and he was on his face and Jeremy Freed was about 200m in front of me.  I was able to catch him within half a mile as I was in free fall mode down the ski slopes. They were wet, muddy, and slick.  I gained about 100-200m on him and hung on for the win. I found out that downhills are really nice and apparently a pretty strong suit of mine. Also, don’t sleep in parking garages.

The Teva Games were great. I’d highly recommend it as a place just to hang out for the weekend as there is a lot going on, great ice cream to be had, and a great crowd of multisporters to hang with. Did I mention that over the course of two and a half days I had 4 Chipotle burritos. Good burritos and cheapest food in Vail. I had a scoop of ice cream that cost me 7 bucks.

Monday after I was definitely tired. I took it easy for two days, did a track workout on Wed to get ready for the upcoming weekend of more back to back races then rested Thurs/Fri.

June 11th and 12th was another great weekend of racing. My coach had been bugging me to get in a 10km on the track as preparation for the Marathon trials coming up in January but I couldn’t find one this time of year anywhere. Well, finally I found one that didn’t have a ton of competition but it would work. And it was in Portland, only a 3hr drive. Well, then Sat morning I get a text that says most of the guys had transferred out of the 10km to the more stacked 5km but there was still one 29:00 guy in it so I decided to take my chance of having at least one guy to run with. 1 hour before the 10km I check in and find out that guy had transferred out as well. That was the last straw. I didn’t want to run 10km on the track anyway, let alone all by myself. So 20min before the 5km now, I decide I might as well get in a good solid effort 5km rather than time trial a 10km. By the way, 20min isn’t enough time to warm up…at all. I toed the line with a 10min jog, 2 x 30m strides, and a ton of adrenaline. Actually had a decent race. Definitely went out too fast and slowed a bit but still felt pretty strong on the last mile and almost reeled in the front pack for a PR…but not quite. Still happy with 2 sec off my PR at 13:56 with no significant track work.

At that point I couldn’t go back to Bend with having only run 5km when I already told everyone I was running 10. So, obviously, I jumped in the 10km. My plan was to pace whoever was leading through 5k but I got to 5k and me and Chris Boyle were all alone and he needed some help to the finish and I felt pretty good so I got in a good marathon prep workout with a fast 5km followed by a threshold pace 10km. Felt bad that I couldn’t get Chris a PR.

Pretty decent weekend so far. Unfortunately it wasn’t over yet. My buddy Matt and I still had to drive home to Bend, try to get some sleep and get ready for the USATF Half Marathon trail champs at 8am Sunday. Not sure what I was thinking when I told coach I’d found a 10km to do but also knew in the back of my mind I’d have to run 13 mi pretty hard the next day.

Warming up was a feat in itself Sunday morning. The plan became, “go out with whoever was leading, hang on, and make a break if I saw and opening.” Well, it worked out that my buddy Mario was going to push the pace early on and break me if he could. Ha, he knows better than that. (don’t worry, we like to trash talk each other) About 9 miles I was able to make a break on a downhill and had to push hard to the finish to hold him off by 17 sec. It was a good race and I’m certainly paying for it this week. I’m wiped and the legs are feeling beat but in a good way.

Definitely a great way to spend two weekends though. Now it’s back to getting in the miles, working on the aerobic capacity, hills, and get ready for tough summer workouts and races.  And it seems as though I’m following my teammate Megan Lund-Lizotte around as she finished a strong 3rd against a tough field at the Half Marathon Champs this weekend, but really, she’s just following me. Really. See you at the Mtn Running Champs in two weeks Megan. Now I’m beat, so I’m going to take a nap.

Up until this weekend, I’d avoided running a 10km on the track and so far, I’ve still avoided running a fast one on the track. Guess that means I still have some unfinished business…and a disgruntled coach.

Looking forward to the Mountain Running Champs in two weeks and watching my Montrail teammates rip it up at Western States. Good luck to everybody racing the next couple weeks.

 

 

 

Running the Zion National Park Classics

Posted on June 14, 2011 by Matt

 

I love to put together running camps. Last month I was able to get six friends to join me in zion national park for five days of big miles. Day 1 of my “zion vitamin d ultrarunning camp” we ran just outside of salt lake city. After a 5hr drive to zion and a good nights sleep I figured I had to show the fellas the classic zion hikes. We ran angel’s landing, then up and out to cable mountain and back via observation point. Awesome day! Here’s the video I made of our run:

 

Day 2: We hit Angel’s Landing, Cable Mtn and Observation point.

 

 

Posted on June 13, 2011 by Montrail

The speed demons were alive and well on Sunday in Bend, Oregon as the USATF held their annual trail half marathon championship at the 10th annual Footzone Dirty Half.  And it’s safe to say that local Max King owns this race, despite the new course this year.  For the second consecutive year, Montrail athlete Max King was the fastest across the finish line in a time of 1:14:44, earning the title of national trail half marathon champion.  In a very close race, Max held off local competitor Mario Mendoza by only 17 seconds.

Megan Lund

The women’s race was just as close, with the top five females all finishing within 2 minutes of each other.  Montrail athlete Megan Lund, visiting Bend from Basalt, Colorado, raced the Dirty Half for the first time and put in a strong showing to finish 3rd place female and 15th place overall in a time of 1:25:51.  This year’s female champion is Morgan Arritola from Ketchum, Idaho, who ran away with the win in a time of 1:24:34.

See full results here.

This marks the second consecutive weekend that Max and Megan have stood on the podium together.  Last weekend at the Vail Pass Half Marathon, both took 2nd in a very competitive race, and the following day in the Spring Run-Off 10k, both runners were again on the podium.  Outstanding consistency from these two, and we expect to see them on more podiums throughout the summer.  Stay tuned!

 

 

Montrail Athletes Find Success at Teva Mountain Games

Posted on June 6, 2011 by Montrail

 

Despite a last minute course change that turned an all-uphill half marathon into 9 miles of uphill and 4 miles of downhill, 120 runners toed the line under perfect weather to compete at the Vail Pass Half Marathon on Saturday.  Last year’s returning champion, Mario Macias, once again owned the course, leading for the entire race and finishing 1st in 1:15:25.  Montrail athlete and 2010 USATF Half Marathon Trail champion Max King was thrilled about the course change, as the altitude in Vail is something he’s not accustomed to.  Max is a great downhill runner and credits this course change as the main reason he was able to hold on to a 2nd place finish in 1:17:54.  On the women’s side, two-time defending champion and Montrail athlete Megan Lund was second in 1:33:10, behind Amy Dobson who won the race in 1:31:18.  Unlike King who was in favor of the course change, Lund was looking forward to 13.1 miles of uphill running, as this caters well to her strengths. In any case, both Lund and King ran strong races and are thrilled with their 2nd place finishes.

In a true demonstration of strength and endurance, both King and Lund turned around on Sunday to compete in the 10km Spring Runoff at the Teva Mountain Games. Wearing their Rogue Racers and poised for a strong run, Max King and Megan Lund didn’t disappoint.  Max was able to handle the elevation and shake off any tired legs from the day before to win the 10k Spring Runoff (and $1000) in 41:30:20, only 10 seconds ahead of the 2nd place finisher.  Megan Lund also had a strong showing on Sunday with a 3rd place finish in a time of 50:39:70.

Get used to seeing Max and Megan race together, beginning next weekend at the USATF Half Marathon Trail Championships in Bend, Oregon and then again in a few weeks at the USA Mountain Running Championships in New Hampshire.

 

 

 

 

Dakota’s Pocatello 50 Race Report

Posted on June 3, 2011 by Montrail

 

Written by Dakota Jones

This past weekend was very interesting for me. From a mental standpoint I feel that I came through the Pocatello 50 at a new level of ability in running, which is a strong confidence boost for the upcoming Hardrock 100. I ran hard all day long at the limit of my ability and finished in first not through better training than the other runners, but through the power of my mind in forcing my body to run hard. After mile 40 I felt physically devastated, but I kept my legs moving.

Hardrock 100 – Pacer’s View by Kelly Korevec

My go-to race shoe lately has been the Rogue Racer, in which I ran the Miwok 100k, but with a race touting 12,000 vertical feet, cross-country travel, several miles of snow and a section straight up a flowing creek, I defaulted to my tried and true Rockridges. They served me well, as they have in the past at literally every major race I did in 2010. What really struck me was their ability to dry quickly after getting wet. Pocatello featured a lot of wet feet, but mine were always dry within minutes of each creek crossing and I had no blisters at the end. Go Montrail!

Prevailing wisdom about ultras in the past has been that older runners excel in the sport because they have the mental strength to keep themselves moving after everything seems to be falling apart. I agree with this, except that you don’t need to be old to have that mental strength, just experienced. I am in no way at the level of many of ultrarunning’s legends in terms of experience, but I have gained enough to know that A.) Yes, the race will end someday, just keep moving, B.) Low points can only be followed by high points. Or death. But don’t think about the latter, and C.) We can continue running hard even after we feel that we can’t barely move. Make a conscious effort to move those damn legs, and they’ll keep going. One thing that has struck me in the past was that if  I stopped running at 40 miles, I would limp around in the same way as if I stopped at 50 miles. But instead I keep running for ten more miles. Or sixty. So where is that point where you literally can’t run anymore? I crossed it at Miwok, but I still don’t know. The point is that you can run a lot harder and longer than you think, which is the best thing I learned at Pocatello. Our minds are as important as our bodies in running well.

Conventional wisdom seems only to have been tweaked. As far as I can tell, experience is not synonymous with age but in the later stages of a race, the mind is what drives the legs. At least that is the fruit of one experience. Tell me what you think, because we here at Montrail are only learning this stuff through practice.

 

 

 

Team Montrail Crashes the Teva Mountain Games

Posted on June 3, 2011 by Montrail

 

This weekend in Vail, Colorado, the annual Teva Mountain Games returns with a plethora of art, music, mountains and of course, sports.  Notable to Montrail are the Vail Pass Half Marathon and the 10k Spring Runoff, two running events that bring out both elite mountain runners and your everyday enthusiast runners, just out there for a good time and a challenging workout.

; Running uphill is fun, right?  The Vail Pass Half Marathon starts in Vail Village and climbs 2900 feet to the top of Vail Pass, at an altitude of over 10,000 feet.  Clearly this is not your average half marathon.  Team Montrail speedsters Megan Lund and Max King will both race on Saturday and have their sights set on a win.  Megan is the returning champion, finishing 1st in 2010 in a time of 1:39:37.  Living at high altitude in Basalt, CO certainly gives her an advantage in this race.  Max King has never run this race, but we all know what he’s capable of.  If his lungs can handle the thin air, expect to see Max to finish near the front, chasing down the $1000 prize purse for first place.

After running an uphill half marathon, most of us desire to run a 10k trail race the next day.  Okay, maybe not most of us, but Max and Megan certainly do.  While in Vail they’ll race the 10k Spring Runoff, a 10km trail run at 9000’.  With constant elevation changes and mountainous terrain, expect this one to be challenging yet fast.

Good luck to Max, Megan, and everyone participating at the Teva Mountain Games this weekend.  The weather looks to be perfect, so go out there and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geoff Roes at Western States 100

Posted on June 2, 2011 by Montrail

 

Geoff Roes gives us a taste of his incredible come-from-behind victory at the 2010 Western States 100 trail race created by Clif Bar. There is also an upcoming documentary entitled Unbreakable: The Western States 100. For more info visit ws100film.com.

 

 

 

An Ultra-Cycling Challenge

Posted on June 1, 2011 by Montrail

 

By David Horton

Most of you think that I am an ultrarunner.   From my first ultra in 1979 to my last one in late 2009, I WAS.   Notice the last word WAS.  I have been sponsored by Montrail RUNNING team since its inception.  From the time that I started running in 1977 until the spring of 2010, I had NEVER had a running injury; an injury is a problem that prevents you from running.  I had lots of aches and pains though.

One day while running in March of 2010, felt a pain in the medial side of my right knee. I thought it was a torn meniscus. Later after getting an MRI, it was confirmed that was the case. Two surgeries and rehabs later, I still have pain in my knee and can’t walk or run without significant pain.

My doctor suggested that I try swimming or biking. I swim like a pregnant elephant so that was out.  I had a mountain bike that I had used a decade ago in an adventure race and I liked the idea that I could still get out on the trails and in the woods that way.   I started biking in August of 2010. Many wrecks and adventures later, I became hooked on mountain biking. And the biking does NOT hurt my knee.

David Horton prepping for the Tour Divide

In the fall of 2010, I purchased a DVD,  Ride the Divide. It was a documentary about the Tour Divide, the longest mountain bike race in the world.  I was hooked the first time I saw it and the 2011 Tour Divide  was my next major adventure. While speaking to the JFK pre-race banquet, I made public my commitment to RACE the 2011 Tour Divide.

Making a commitment, in a way, is the easy part.   Initially, I received much guidance from Scottie Curlee,  a former national class cyclist.   Later, I received much help from Davie Hazelgrove and Jason Willis of Blackwater Bike Shop in Lynchburg, VA.   All three of these guys have suffered through my ineptitude and encouraged me even with my rookie mistakes and lack of knowledge about biking.

I also contacted Matthew Lee, the director and multiple winner of the Tour Divide for guidance.   He came to Lynchburg for a day and a half and passed along a TON of helpful information.   With my new Cannondale Carbon 29er 2 from Blackwater Bike, Matthew showed me how to put on my packs and informed me of all the equipment that I needed.

I scoured all the sources that I could in terms of training but never really found a lot of concrete information that I trusted.   Therefore, I used some of the same principles that I used for years in ultrarunning.   I biked as much as I could 6 to 7 days a week and tried to get in one or two LONG rides per week.   Most of the spring, I biked about 15 to 20 hours a week.   Later this spring, I have had weeks of biking of 30 and 40 hours per week.    Is that enough?   Too much?   I don’t know, I will find out shortly.

My biggest concern is the mechanical issue.   Scottie Curlee and Jason Willis have worked with me but I still don’t know if I can handle any complex problems with the bike.   I will have to trust that the Lord will keep my bike working and give me the skills to solve basic mechanical issues.

My skills on single track are also not great.    However, that does not concern me that much.   Eighty percent of the Tour Divide is gravel and forest service roads, ten percent paved roads, and ten percent single track trails.   This should decrease the chances of mechanical issues and wrecks that could damage my bike.

The Tour Divide has no entry fee, no awards, no aid stations, no crews , or  support of any kind.   All supplies and aid has to be picked up along the way at stores or gas stations.   The race starts and you can bike each day as long or as little as you want.   This all sounds very appealing to me, an ADVENTURE.

The race starts in Banff, travels a little less than 300 miles to the USA border, then across Montana, near Glacier National Park, into Idaho for a short distance, into Wyoming near Yellowstone National Park, to Colorado, into Steamboat Springs ( this is about the halfway point ), Breckinridge, Salida, into NM, Cuba, Silver City and then to the border at and finish at Antelope Wells.    The courses cross the Continental Divide 29 times.

I will be carrying a small sleeping bag, bivy sack, and therm-a-rest for sleeping.   I plan on sleeping under the stars most nights.   My bike weighs 22 pounds with all my gear, I think it will weigh in around 34 or 35 pounds.

I look forward to getting through a week or so.   After that, I think I will be able to sleep anywhere, my appetite will be sky high, hopefully my rear end will be adjusted to hours of riding, and I will be in shape.    By this time, I should have an idea of what I can do.

Do I have a goal?   Yes.   FINISH.    The winner should finish in about 17 to 18 days and the limit is about 28 to 30 days.   My hope is to finish between 21 to 25 days which is 110 to 130 miles per day??   Can I do that?   I have no idea, maybe, Lord willing.

If you want to keep up with me and the other 76 competitors, you can check on the website, Tourdivide.com.    Each rider will be carrying a SPOT which will beam the signal from each rider to a satellite and then it will be posted on the website.   Riders will also periodically call in to the website and these transmissions will be posted there as well.

I would appreciate your prayers this summer as I seek to complete the Tour Divide.   I know that God has given me this ability for endurance and I pray that He will use me and this event to glorify Him.    I want to be an example for my family and students and everyone else to seek adventures.   I will be calling on the Lord a LOT this summer.   I will be claiming His promises in Philippians 4: 13 and 19.

Will I run again?   Will I do ultras again?  I hope to.  Right now, mountain biking is my thing.

 

 

 

Weekend Racing Report

Posted on May 31, 2011 by Montrail

 

Team Montrail found success all over the globe this past Memorial Day Weekend with some outstanding runs at very competitive races.

To get things started, let’s give a nod and big congratulations to Ellie Greenwood for her performance at the Comrades Marathon in South Africa. Ellie finished 4th female in 6:32:46 and once again has proved to the world, and to herself, that she’s a world class talent in the sport of ultrarunning, regardless of whether she’s running on pavement or on trails. Another Montrail speedster raced Comrades on Sunday; Amy Sproston was 21st in 7:34:10. Both Amy and Ellie are having great seasons so far and will test themselves on the trails in late June at Western States 100.

Back here in the US, Team Montrail was busy at the Pocatello 50 in Idaho, taking care of business. Congratulations goes out to Dakota Jones and Joelle Vaught, who both took 1st place for their respective genders and made it another Montrail sweep at this extremely difficult and competitive race. Dakota won the race in an outstanding time of 8:17:00, showing that he’s in fine form and possibly raced at this one as redemption from Miwok 100k, where he ran out of gas at about the 50 mile point.  Next up for Dakota is the daunting Hardrock 100 in July.  Joelle Vaught won the female race in 9:31:43 (90 minutes ahead of 2nd place!!) and for her, this is her 3rd major victory of the year (Way Too Cool 50k, Silver State 50k). Joelle is proving that she’s a force and will demand respect heading into Western States 100.

Also at Pocatello 50 and placing top 10, Ryan Burch (4th place, 9:01:32) and Matt Hart (7th, 9:17:04). Clearly an outstanding day in Idaho for Team Montrail. Up in Alaska, Geoff Roes raced the Prince of Wales Marathon in Craig, AK and while we can’t find results online, we’ll post them on Facebook when we find them.

Congratulations to Team Montrail for another outstanding weekend of racing. Keep it up!

 

 

 

Montrail Athletes at Comrades Marathon

Posted on May 26, 2011 by Montrail

 

Early morning start of the Comrades Marathon | Photo by GerryFM

Two of North America’s top ultrarunners Ellie Greenwood and Amy Sproston will head to South Africa this week for the Comrades Marathon.  Billed as the “one of the world’s top ultra-distance races”, this 89km race (56 miles) features 18,000 runners traveling the “up route” by road from Durban to Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. The Comrades Marathon is a cherished national treasure and attracts thousands of runners, spectators and television viewers every year. This will be both Ellie and Amy’s first time racing Comrades, and both of them will run Western States 100 in California just one month later.

 

Same Outcome, Different Perspectives

Posted on May 17, 2011 by Montrail

 

Written by Max King

Two very different races, two weeks apart, with two different perspectives. April 28th my wife and I traveled back to Syracuse, NY for the Mtn. Goat 10 mile road race on May 1st. This is a race that my coach Jerry Smith puts a lot of pride in as one of his former athletes, Jerry Lawson, still has the course record at 48:52. The Mtn Goat is a brutally hilly road race that requires staying on your toes and not becoming complacent for even a second. Fast times can be run but not without diligence and a strong mind. This was my second year at the Mtn Goat. Last year I got a taste of it but coming in injured I didn’t expect much. This year, coach was hoping I could get the record or at least be under 49min. Otherwise as he put it, “I was going to be walking home”.

Max King ahead in the Mountain Goat 10 miler

Well, I didn’t get either but I still had a great race. All alone from mile 1 I still managed to run 49:02, 10 sec off the record of someone who ran 2:09 for the marathon in the ‘90s. So not half bad. Not as fast as I wanted but it showed I was pretty well along in training. I look at it as a positive but with some work left to do.

Max King running the McDonald Forest 50k race

Fast forward two weeks, I’m running through MacDonald Forest in Corvallis, OR on my way to a 50k win and course record. But, through the last 6 miles I’m losing speed and struggling through another 50k that I was hoping would show me that I was in great long distance shape. Didn’t happen. Sure, I did still get the win and a course record and I was happy about that, but disappointed in how the race unfolded and the fact that I couldn’t hold my speed until the end. So, it’s back to the drawing board on ultras and figuring out how to get myself to the finish line in one piece.  Ultras for me have been pretty frustrating in that respect. Whether it’s nutrition, pace, training, I’m not sure yet but to be able to run with the top ultra runners I better get it dialed in. And soon.

It just goes to show you that an athlete’s perspective changes based on how they perceive their performance to be during a race or competition and not as much based on the outcome.

In between the races I had a great vacation with the in-laws in Upstate NY and got to do two presentations for Montrail/Mountain Hardwear at the Finger Lakes Running and Triathlon Co. and Fleet Feet Syracuse. I did a slide show on my Mont Blanc trip last year, went over some new stuff coming out from Montrail in 2012, and then got out for a trail run with some local runners.

 

 

Weekend Recap | Races and Results

Posted on May 16, 2011 by Montrail

 

Monday morning always brings with it tired eyes, a longing for more weekend, and a desire to learn about the weekend’s race results.  Here’s a few races we had our eyes on over the weekend.

Ice Age 50 – Montrail Ultra Cup race number 11 went down without a hitch in LaGrange, Wisconsin on Saturday, as 500 runners hit the trail cover one of three distances: 50 mile, 50km or half marathon.  The weather was perfect, with overcast skies and cool temps.  This year’s Ice Age 50 winners in the 50-mile distance are Shaun Pope (6:27:18) in a close battle in the men’s race, and Sandi Nypaver (7:30:14) winning by 45 minutes for the women.  Lon Freeman and Zach Gingerich were 2nd and 3rd respectively, and Angie Radosevich and Cassie Scallon in 2nd and 3rd for the women.  Big ups to Montrail/Mountain Hardwear sales rep Pete Witucki for his 6th place finish in the 50-mile race. The 50km race was won by Scott Gall (3:18:02) and Annie Weiss (4:40:20).  Another great race in the books and the stage is now set for the Ultra Cup championship at Western States 100.

Megan Lund | Photo Kevin Winzeler

The River Bank Run – The 34th annual Fifth Third River Bank Run took place on Saturday in Grand Rapids, Michigan with 22,000 runners, featuring the largest 25km road race in the country.  This year the River Bank Run was the USA 25km National Championship and Montrail athlete Megan Lund was there to lay it all on the line.  Lund, a two-time Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier, considers the 25km distance a strength in her repertoire and proved it on Saturday with a 14th place finish for the women, 7th in her age division in a time of 1:35:55.  Megan looks to be in fine form at this point in the year and will take her speed to the trails throughout the summer, racing in both the US and Europe.  Next up for Megan though is back-to-back race weekend in early June, with the Teva Mountain Games Vail Pass Half Marathon on June 4th followed by the Teva Mountain Games 10km Spring Run-Off on June 5th.

McDonald Forest 50km – In a true display of speed and versatility, Max King ran the McDonald Forest 50km on Saturday in Corvallis, Oregon and smoked the field in a time of 3:54:06, setting a new course record by 52 seconds and beating the second place runner by 34 minutes.  Yes, this is the same Max King who recently ran the Pear Blossom 10 miler in 49:11 and the Mountain Goat 10 miler in 49:02.  An incredible display of speed and overall versatility in the longer 50km distance this weekend by Max, who will be racing several trail and road races this year around the country and in Europe, each race strategically chosen based on his training for the Olympic Marathon Trials in January.

 

 

 

Weekend Racing Update

Posted on May 9, 2011 by Montrail

 

This past weekend several Montrail athletes we’re off and racing, with the most notable race being the Miwok 100km, race number 10 in the Montrail Ultra Cup series. As expected, Dakota Jones, wearing the Rogue Racers, ran with the lead pack for most of the race, before hitting a lull around mile 48 that put him in 4th place where he’d run for the remainder of the race. A 4th place finish at Miwok 100km (8:18:01), behind Dave Mackey, Mike Wolfe and Hal Koerner is an outstanding finish for anyone, let alone a 20-year old college student. Great job Dakota, way to give it your all. Can’t wait to see you run Hardrock in July.

Hal Koerner
2011 Miwok 2011 course and views

For the women, Amy Sproston showed up at Miwok 100km despite being injured since early April. With basically no training leading up to the race, she found endurance enough to run to a 4th place finish (10:02:41). Super inspiring Amy, way to dig deep and persevere. Hopefully the calf injuries are behind you and Comrades and Western States 100 go smoothly.

Up in Washington, at the base of Chuckanut Mountain, Andy Henshaw and his Rogue Racers were running the Lost Lake 50km, his first true test since winning the USA 100km National Championships in April. Andy seems to have shaken out the soreness and fatigue, as he ran to a 1st place overall finish in a time of 5:03:33.  Way to go Andy, you’re on a roll!

And finally, in Colorado, Ryan Burch returned to action at the Collegiate Peaks 50 miler, where last year he ran the 25 mile distance to preview the course. The 50 mile distance is two laps on the 25 mile course. This year the sun was shining on Ryan, both literally and metaphorically, as he cruised to a 1st place course record in 6:37 while wearing his Rogue Racers. Way to go Ryan, can’t wait to see what you can do at Western States 100.

Collegiate Peaks 50 miler

Another Montrail athlete made us proud, Annette Bednosky placed 1st in the North Face Endurance Challenge at Bear Mountain, NY. “The course is one of the most technical, yet mostly “runnable” (running/plodding/scampering) I’ve yet to experience!” – Annette

On the right, placing 1st Annette Bednosky

Shoe choice: “I brought both Mt. Masochist and Rogue Racers with me, yet after a short run on the rocky/scree course on Friday in the RR, I opted for the greater protection of the Mountain Masochist…a good choice!”

Overall an outstanding weekend of ultrarunning for Team Montrail (and the Rogue Racer trail racing flats) in what’s turning out to be one of the best years ever for this talented and humble group of athletes. Keep it up!

 

 

 

Montrail Ultra Cup Race Preview | 2011 Miwok 100km

Posted on May 3, 2011 by Montrail

 

Written by Dakota Jones

The Miwok 100k will be held this Saturday in the Marin Headlands north of San Francisco for the sixteenth year in a row, and Montrail will be there.

But in addition to my own stellar presence, this year the race will once again be a major stop on the Montrail Ultra Cup. With this year’s series winding up in just three races, competitors are actively vying for the top spot and $5000 cash, as well as a pile of other killer prizes. The most likely candidate to jump to the top this weekend is Dave Mackey, currently in fourth place but more at home and experienced on the Marin trails than most people. However, current leader Dan Olmstead will be looking to defend his spot, as will second-place Scott Jaime. On the women’s side, Meghan Arbogast will be running to maintain the top spot and simultaneously hold off fourth-place Clare Abram and fifth-place Gretchen Brugman. Meghan’s lead of 164.69 points is going to be a major barrier for Abram and Brugman (116.63 and 114.16 points, respectively), but a good performance by either of them could put Arbogast’s lead in jeopardy, especially if they plan to run Western States in June. This time of year is when those runners with their eyes on the Ultra Cup prizes really start to realize that, “holy s—, I could actually win $5000” and then do something about it.

But the competition is not confined just to Ultra Cup competitors. In addition to those people mentioned above, Nathan Yanko (interview), Ian Sharman, Hal Koerner, Mike Wolfe, myself, Yassine Diboun and Scott Jaime will be racing. The women are no less competitive, with Krissy Moehl, Pam Smith, Suzanna Bon, Helen Cospolich and Tracy Dimino all showing up to kick some…dirt. Also running will be a lot of fast people I have completely omitted, for which I apologize. The idea to take away from this is that Miwok is going to be really competitive, so don’t miss the fun.

My last run through Marin in December was one of the best races I’ve had, and I’m hoping to have the same kind of day on Saturday. Though this race is far less competitive than the TNF 50, the competition that will be there is intense. But more importantly, I’m hoping to put in a strong effort that will boost my confidence with two months to go before Hardrock. This will be a good race to judge my fitness after several months of hard training behind me, and the best months of the year ahead. The number one goal of the day is to feel confident in my running fitness at the end of the day.

Though the course is somewhat changed from previous years, the race will nonetheless be the same stunning display of the natural beauty of the area in combination with a terrific challenge for all the runners as before. The race-day forecast is calling for a high of 71 and a low of 53, which is another way of saying that the dirt gods are certainly going to be smiling on us all day. I intend to worship them all day by running as hard as possible for 62.6 miles through the mountains. That’s why we run.

 

 

 

Max and Geoff Continue to Dominate

Posted on May 3, 2011 by Montrail

 

Max King and Geoff Roes top the podium once again at races this past weekend. While Ryne Melcher earns spot on Canadian National Team.

Max took the title (again) in New York at Syracuse’s Mountain Goat, a 10-miler. And for Geoff, just add a zero to his mileage. He placed first in a 100-mile event at the inaugural Santa Barbara Endurance Run.

Kylemore Abbey, Connemara

Montrail would like to congratulate Montrail runner Ryne Melcher who was officially named to the Canadian National Team on Sunday. He will represent Canada at the World 50 Mile Trail Championships taking place on July 9th in Connemara National Park near Galway, Ireland. Ryne earned this honor by running 5:54:15 (a Canadian National Record for 50 miles on trail) at the Mount Si 50-miler in 2010. For more info about the upcoming race in July, click here.

 

 

 

Santa Barbara Endurance Race

 

If you’re not already familiar with this event you likely will be soon. More distances continue to be added and now, in its third year, a 100 mile solo option is available for the boldest of endurance athletes. Taking place this Friday-Sunday, the Santa Barbara Endurance Race is actually a three-day event with several race distances, group meals offered, camping on site and an award ceremony on Sunday.  The SBER includes distances which appeal to the ultra runners (50km, 50 mile, 100km, 100 mile) and shorter distances for the enthusiast trail runners (15km, 25km and 35km).

The 100 mile distance is new for this year and looks to be amongst one of the most grueling 100-milers in the country, as the total elevation gain is said to be 30,868 feet. That’s like running from sea level to the top of Mt. Everest, and then going even higher.

Montrail would like to extend a “Good Luck” to star athlete Geoff Roes as he heads out into the unknown for a 100-mile adventure. Enjoy the weekend of running in Santa Barbara, or wherever you’ll be trail running this weekend.

 

 

 

Montrail Supports Trail Running in the Southeast

 

Montrail Partners with Rock/Creek to Support Trail Running in the Southeast

Rock/Creek, a premier outdoor retailer in the Southeast, has been hosting a trail running series for 10 years now that has seen 7,421 participants who have run 128,752 miles.  That’s a lot of miles.  Races in the series range from 1k to 50 miles, including multi-day stage races and kids events.  Truly something for everyone at the Rock/Creek Trail Series.

For the 2nd year in a row, Montrail will be a major supporter of the series, sponsoring four races in particular: Rock/Creek River Gorge, Chattanooga  Mountains Stage Race, Stumpjump 50km and Upchuck 50km. Coming up this weekend, March 26th, is the Rock/Creek River Gorge near Chattanooga.

Rock/Creek River Gorge Trail Race

“With a shorter 6.5-mile option in addition to the 10.2-mile option, this race is meant to be fun for all and expose those who don’t normally run on trails to the beautiful wilderness areas surrounding Chattanooga. The River Gorge Race covers the Mullins Cove Loop in the Prentice-Cooper Wilderness Management Area on Signal Mountain, bordering Chattanooga, TN. The trail boasts incredible bluff views from the Cumberland Plateau and an incredibly varied landscape, making this a great race for both the leisurely and competitive trail runner.”

All proceeds from the Rock/Creek Trail Series benefit Wild Trails, an organization dedicated to the use, expansion and promotion of trails in greater Chattanooga.

 

 

 

Max King’s Spain XC Race Report

 

Written by Max King | Runnerspace.com

This past week in Spain I was trying to conjure up a good reason that I wanted to be excited for this weekend’s XC meet. I don’t know if it was the cold the week before, the food poisoning, the familiarity of the week leading to world cross, or just general malaise but I couldn’t pull together the usual spark that gets me excited for a cross country race. Now, if you know me, that just doesn’t happen. I’m usually so fired up for an XC meet that I get chills just showing up to an XC meet, even as a spectator. Always have, still do, and, I hope, always will. So I had a hard time this week coming to terms with the feeling of not having that spark in the pit of my stomach that wanted to get out there and just crush everyone. The closest thing I can compare the feeling to is that of a battlefield. Instead of two sides charging to destroy each other, a united line stands ready to do battle with itself, individuals and teams break at the sound of the bugle’s call to battle, harriers race, weapons ready, bodies primed, adrenaline coursing, to battle against each other and with each other toward one goal. And as a warrior fights to the death, each harrier gives everything they have until the battle has been won, the course has been completed, the goal attained.  It’s this impending melee that sets the adrenaline flowing.  To set my focus and initiate that feeling the morning of a race upon arrival to the course, I imagine the course meticulously laid out before me will be the field on which the day’s battle will take place. The smooth green grass, mud, and hills will soon be a mass of bodies charging to test themselves against that day’s challenger; clock, course, fellow competitor or one’s own psyche.

But I digress, that’s more than you were asking for and way too far into my mind. Let’s just say I didn’t have it this week going into world cross. Or at least I was seriously doubting whether I was going to have a good race.  I figured, well, this is the year I give up my streak of contributing to the world team. I’m pretty proud of that, because as you know, I make a habit of just squeaking through at nationals. And by contributing I mean as a scoring member of the team. I figured this year might be it. And 3k into the race I was about ready to quit and just try to hold position and stroll in. I did not feel good, my legs had no power to them, I was last for our team and I was way back at about 65-70th I believe. It was warm too, I didn’t get out good, I had lots of excuses.

Max catching up with Andrew Carlson.

 

But I knew in doing that it would completely ruin this trip that I’d worked so hard for and raise questions in my head every time I thought about it. There was no way I was going to let that happen. I would be so pissed with myself. At 4k I grabbed some water, which always rejuvenates me and started racing. I moved up on Andrew Carlson first, kept catching others and feeling better and better as the lap went by. Brian came into view and then guys that I didn’t expect, Andrew, then Brent, David McNiell from Australia. The fourth and fifth laps went by and I continued to catch people, and not just one or two, but groups. By the end of the fifth lap I heard enthusiastic shouts from our coaches of “Keep rolling. You’re in 43rd.” 43rd, I though, no possible way. I  had to keep it together for one more lap. I could see Ben up ahead now and a group of about five guys that might be possible to catch. They had about 20m on me.

A few runners ahead, Ben True is in Max’s view.

 

A last bottle of water to start the last lap and there was 2k to go. Trying to catch a few more, fend of others charging behind me, and keep it together I focused on getting over the last 9 log barriers, the last two hills. I was able to kick down one last Portuguese dude before the line came up on me. I finished 40th (two guys were disqualified). I didn’t get the group but I had what I considered a consistent and smart race. I almost made it seem like I knew what I was doing out there to those watching the race.

Max focuses on getting over the last 9 log barriers

 

I realize the last paragraph makes it sound pretty simple. “I just got some water and then started racing.” Like I could have just decided that and made it so. Soooo, not true. I’m just not that strong. But World XC, and XC in general has a profound effect on me that I see as pure and true to the soul. I would have a hard time forgiving myself if I’d given up on my value of XC. You can’t fake a race on a true XC course and you can’t make excuses to the course. It doesn’t care. Race on.

Just FYI, the women were an unbelievable 3rd. They ran great as a team. Shalane Flanagan was 3rd overall as well. USATF did another great job in organizing the trip and it’s always a pleasure to work with Jim and Aron from USATF. We seriously would be lost without them. And thanks to our great coaches for each team as well, Kelly, Robert, Gwyn, and Fred.

PS: If you see a picture of my hair, I assure you this was an unintended consequence of the weather conditions. It was entirely too hot to have any hair so I had to cut it off somehow. Since this was unforeseen, I did not have the necessary clippers packed to make it a clean cut so I would say it was pretty darn good looking for just having a cheap pair of scissors from the front desk of the hotel. Yes, it’s a chop job, but a dang fine one at that.

 

Roes, Greenwood Set Records at Chuckanut 50km

 

Throw out the old records and etch Geoff Roes, 34, and Ellie Greenwood, 32, into the annals of the Chuckanut 50K trail running.

Greenwood ran the course in a time of 4 hours, 12.19 minutes, beating the women’s course record by 7 minutes, 14 seconds. She also crossed the line beating second place female finisher, 27-year-old Jenn Shelton, by a time of 20 minutes, 40 seconds! Read Ellie Greenwood’s Chuckanut 50km Race Report on her blog, Trail Running Tales.

Geoff Roes takes a quick turn | Photo Jordan Stead for the Bellingham Herald

 

Roes, who turned in a race time of 3 hours, 41.51 minutes, beat the previous men’s course record by 7 minutes, 48 seconds. Read Geoff Roes’ Chuckanut Race Recap on his blog, Fumbling Towards Endurance.

Congratulations should also go out to Amy Sproston who placed 6th in the female division and President of Mountain Hardwear and Montrail Topher Gaylord who placed 18th overall. Read more on the Bellingham Herald. View photos of the event here.

 


The Chuckanut 50k is dedicated to Dave Terry (1961-2009). This note written in January 2010 from race founder Doug McKeever captures our dedication to DT.

“Chuckanut was a special race for Dave and I think he liked the present course that Richard and I designed more than we did! The technical trails, the mud, the long climbs and descents on gravel roads, and the 10 km flat out and back on the crushed rock path ALL matched Dave’s versatile running skills. I remember him writing me a thank-you note, which he concluded (after we had muttered about some course changes): “It’s a classic….don’t ever change it!”

 

 

* Fairhavens and Badrocks were a favorite in this race.

 

 

World Cross Pre-race

 

Written by Max King

World Cross is on Sunday of which I am feeling very ill prepared for right now.  Did my last workout today and did not feel like myself. I was supposed to do it yesterday but was laid up in my hotel room with something, food poisoning most likely. Luckily I never threw up but nauseous all day with a sensation that if I did stand for any length of time, stuff was going to come up. I was debating the fact that it could be food borne as no one else had it but then Brent brought up a good point that all my bacteria in my gut was gone from the antibiotics the last couple days and it could have been something everyone else was able to handle. It’s plausible anyway. The worst of it though has been the hiccups I’ve had all day for some reason. They’re driving me nuts.  It’s felt like a rough couple weeks with colds, travel and food poisoning, now I’m just hoping to feel normal by Sunday.

 

The course is going to be deceptively difficult I think. At first look it seems pretty easy with flat well manicured grass it might as well be a track race. A bit fast for my liking, but it does have two small climbs per lap and three sets of three log jumps.

 

Which if you multiply that by six laps we’re talking 12 hills and 54 jumps. That’s pretty significant and is going to start wearing on people the last two laps. It’s a beautiful course through the Umbrella Pine forest. It’s supposed to be pretty warm and sunny on Sunday so the shade the trees provide will be quite welcome.

 

Well, hoping for a good night sleep tonight, another day of rest and normalize by Sunday so I can run a good race. Our men’s team is solid but with Kenya 1, Kenya 2 (Qatar), Kenya 3 (Bahrain), Ethiopia, Uganda, and Eritrea it’s tough to break the top six but we’ll see what happens. Watch out for our women’s team that is super strong and could repeat on their performance of last year’s bronze medal or possibly even better.

 

 

 

Big Questions in Spain?

 

Written By: Max King

On my way to Spain. There are a lot of questions on this trip. Usually I’ve been training hard for six or seven weeks since USATF XC Nationals and I know roughly what kind of shape I’m in going into the World XC Championships. This year is pretty unknown. It’s not that I haven’t been training hard and trying to get in good workouts. It’s just that I’m now learning that with children life takes unexpected turns that you really can’t control.

About two weeks ago I came down with a cold. It was a bad one for me that lasted about four days. Yeah, I know, that’s not that long but colds for me are two days and done. Then I’m back at it like nothing ever happened.  This one has been different. After four days it cleared up and I felt pretty much back to normal aside from a hacking cough and lots of snot rockets, so I tried to do a workout. 6 X mile at 4:40-4:45 in the park. I made it through 4 of them at 5:00 pace and totally frustrated. It was weird, everything felt normal but I just couldn’t run as fast as I should be able to. So, I took a few more days and did a couple easy runs, a long run, everything felt normal in those so I tried another workout. I did 400s knowing that breaking a workout up into short segments makes it mentally easier and I just wanted to feel good after this one. It went ok but I was still pretty tired by the last 4 and I was working harder than I really should have been. Whatever, it wasn’t the worst workout in the world.

I had to wait until Friday for that. Two easy days and lots of sinus irrigation later I think I had my worst workout ever. Maybe. I was supposed to do 4 X 2km at race pace and instead it ended up at 3 X 2km at a pace I probably could have run in high school.  Man I was working hard though, lungs felt ok, legs felt ok, everything was ok except I was running about 30sec a mile too slow. So strange. Sunday I did a little tempo run to confirm what I was afraid of. My pace at my lactate threshold heart rate was 30-45sec a mile slower than it was two weeks ago.

Now obviously you don’t get that out of shape in a matter of two weeks, especially when you’re still training pretty hard. So something is obviously wrong. We ruled out walking pneumonia with a chest x-ray, I’m guessing sinus infection. Now I’m on antibiotics hoping this will do it and I’ll be back to normal in a few days. I’m not worried yet but I will be if workouts continue at their current trend. That’s why I’m not sure what’s going to happen next weekend. Will I be in the mix with the other Americans like my fitness has been indicating, or will I be left behind at the back of the pack. That remains to be seen.

It’ll be a bummer if I can’t clear this thing. I’ve always taken a lot of pride in wearing the Red, White, and Blue and focus on doing all that I can to be ready come race day. Even if I’m not going to win the thing, not even close, I still want to make the best showing that I can. It’ll be tough if I can’t do that.

Up until the cold, probably the flu, I’d been having some of the best workouts I’d ever done so I know the fitness is still there. The question is will it come back in time for me to have a good race. I sure hope so.

This is part of the joy of having children, you never know what you’re going to get.

I’ll add some pics of the course and talk a little bit about it tomorrow or Friday. Stay tuned.


“The course for the competition, set in a wooded area, has a 2 km loop format with an additional 600 m section for the start and finish of each race. A number of top runners were invited to preview the course in early 2011 and all confirmed that they were pleased with its quality. Defending champion Joseph Ebuya said he liked the course but suggested that organizers add additional barriers along the route, claiming its flat features would make it difficult for runners to devise a race strategy.” – Wiki

 

 

 

 

Tales from the Trails | Weekend Racing Recap

 

On Saturday in Cool, California, 650 ultrarunners lined up for the 15th annual Way Too Cool 50km, the country’s largest 50km race. This is the 8th race in the 2010/11 Montrail Ultra Cup and the competition, like always, was pretty stiff.  This year the race featured a new faster course, featuring more breathtaking views and single track trails. The course was muddy but with sunny skies and cool temperatures the runners couldn’t have asked for better weather.

Congratulations to Montrail athlete Joelle Vaught, who defended her title to win for the 2nd year in a row, in a time of 4:02:25.  Joelle caught Caitlin Smith, who lead for most of the race, on the last climb, with only a few miles remaining, and held on to win by 90 seconds. She also won the race wearing her new Badrocks! Men’s winner Mike Wolfe, from Montana, blazed the course in 3:28:01.  Congratulations also to Erik Skaden (12th place, 3:56:36), Luanne Park (10th place female, 1st place masters, 4:37:13) and all the finishers of this year’s Way Too Cool 50km.

Also racing this weekend from Montrail were Sean Meissner and Jill Perry, both challenging themselves at the 3 Days of Syllamo race in Arkansas. This unique 3-day trail running event covers 50km on Day 1, 50 miles on Day 2, and 20km on Day 3. Sean Meissner finished in 2nd place overall in a total time of 14:52 and Jill Perry was 3rd place female in a time of 18:12.

And in Salida, Colorado, Ryan Burch and Geoff Roes showed up for the Run Through Time trail marathon along with several other fast runners. The race was won by Timmy Parr in 3:05:50. Ryan finished in 4th place (3:14:28) and Geoff took 7th place (3:33:11).

Hope everyone is recovering well from the racing this weekend.  The next big event on the radar is Chuckanut 50km, where Ellie Greenwood, Geoff Roes, Amy Sproston and Ryne Melcher will race for Montrail. Across the Atlantic, Montrail’s Max King will be racing the XC World Championship in Spain.

 

 

 

Spring is Here and Montrail is Off to the Races

 

On Sunday March 13th at 2am the clocks will jump ahead and we’ll all lose an hour of sleep. Boooo However, we’ll now see longer days, which for many of us means more daylight for running after work. Yah!

Just like every year, Spring means running season for those of us who find other ways of passing the winter months.  After many months of winter for most, it’s time to hit the trails again and start training for the spring and summer season.  And we’ll now have enough time, and longer days in general, for long runs after work or on the weekend.  At the same time, here at Montrail, Spring always signifies the ramp up of the Montrail Ultra Cup season, as the final 5 races will all take place in the next 3.5 months.  The standings will certainly shift quite a bit over the next few months and we can’t wait to see how things play out.

Good luck to all the runners at the upcoming Way Too Cool 50km on Saturday March 12th.  Montrail athletes Luanne Park, Erik Skaden, and defending female champion Joelle Vaught will all toe the line in Cool.  This race annually brings out one of the toughest fields of any 50km trail race and this year is no different.  It’s been wet lately so expect some mud! Don’t miss the live video coverage on race day. View the virtual course on YouTube.

On the other side of the country, the 3 Days of Syllamo race is taking place in Arkansas.  Athletes Sean Meissner and Jill Perry will give it a go, running 50k on day one, 50 miles on day two and 20k on day three. Sounds epic, good luck out there!

Next weekend we’ll have our eye on the Chuckanut 50km, another premier race in Washington featuring some really fast runners as well as many first time ultra runners.  More on that one later.

See you on the trails!

 

 

 

Winter Running

 

Last Thursday night at about 5:00 Ryan Burch and I drove out to the Horsetooth Mountain Park area near Fort Collins, CO, where we live. We were going out to do the Towers Road run, which is a time trial held every other week up the Towers Road, which climbs close to 2,000 vertical feet over three and a half miles. Our warmup in the last of the day’s light was pleasant enough, and despite a light breeze we warmed up pretty quickly. We didn’t pay much attention to the dark clouds that had moved in.

The second we got to the starting area snow began to fall. And worse – wind began to blow. Hard. The 20+ people all lined up for the staggered start began to shiver and the starts were accelerated. Ryan and I were last, and resorted to standing in the bathroom in order to avoid the elements while waiting for the start. Nevertheless, we started earlier than usual just to get going. We took off straight into the wind, and found ourselves unable to see. Our headlamps were betraying us! The snow was falling so hard that light was reflecting off the snowflakes in the air and rendering visibility of the trail nearly impossible. I considered just turning around and going home, until I remembered that everyone ahead of us were predominantly middle-aged recreational runners. We’re the hardcore ones, right? Apparently not, because I had to fight just to keep running. Ultrarunners are tough in whatever form they come in.

About thirty minutes later (yeah – it’s THAT steep) we came over the top of the mountain and tagged the building among a crowd of people all bouncing on their toes and breathing heavily. The snow was falling heavily at this point, and I quickly realized that any time spent on top would drop my internal temperature dangerously. The regular protocol at this run is to wait for everyone at the top and then go down together. But it was cold! So Ryan and I said hello and goodbye and just sort of moseyed on out of there in the dark. Turns out the “middle-aged recreational runners” won the hardcore contest. I’m okay with that.

For some unfortunate reason, Ryan and I were wearing shorts. On the run down the snow froze to the hair on my legs and formed what looked like inch-thick white kneepads. My hands were soaked and my eyes kept trying to freeze shut with all the snow and ice frozen around them. Ryan was actually worse, since his hands go wooden in like 40-degree weather anyway. His face and hair were completely white and his nose bright red. He was like a skinny Santa Claus. By the time we got down to the valley and back into the truck we were numb all over. After I fumbled with the keys for a few minutes with frozen fingers we got into the cab and turned the heat on. Then, as the snow melted down into our clothes like a cold shower, we enjoyed a slice of Chocolate-Chip-Pumpkin bread and said, “yes, that was worth it.”

Colorado weather is wild. I went for a run in the same place two days earlier and didn’t

 

 

 

Notable Race Registrations are Nearing

 

With many ultrarunners currently focusing on training and early season racing, it’s easy to forget about races later in the year and miss out on registration dates.  Montrail wants to remind you that a few major races will open the books next week, so don’t miss out on your opportunity to run these fantastic races.

Fresh off a slight name change, the Waldo 100k (formerly Where’s Waldo 100k) takes place this year on August 20, 2011 at Willamette Pass, Oregon. While Forest Service permits keep runner numbers relatively low, Waldo has become a premiere race in its distance and is one not to be missed. Registration opens March 1st.

Where’s Waldo 100K from The Endurables on Vimeo.

In the world of ultrarunning, Run Rabbit Run 50 is an infant.  But this baby packs a punch, and in only it’s 5th year of existence, RRR will undoubtedly bring a strong and determined group of ultrarunners to the great state of Colorado on September 17, 2011.  Two new course records were set in 2010 and the race saw it’s largest field ever.  Come join the fun.  Registration opens March 1st.

 

 

 

Montrail Athletes Off To a Fast Start in 2011; Dakota Jones Wins Moab’s Red Hot 55k

 

Congratulations to Montrail athlete Dakota Jones, who won Moab’s Red Hot 55k on Saturday in a time of 4:02:50.  Dakota, only 20 years old, toed the line with several fast and experienced runners at this early season endurance test in southern Utah and has clearly shown that he’s going to be a force this year, starting 2011 with the same speed and determination that he finished with in 2010.  This was Dakota’s 3rd straight finish at this race and he bettered his time from last year by over 20 minutes.

Also running a very strong race was Montrail athlete Ryan Burch, who finished 3rd in a time of 4:12:09.  Well done Ryan!  Dakota and Ryan train together in Fort Collins and are off to a great start in 2011.  Next up for Dakota is Lake Sonoma 50, while Ryan will run American River 50, both in April.

Meanwhile, further north in Oregon, Sean Meissner took 3rd place at the Hagg Lake 25k, a race he’s familiar with, although moreso with the 50km distance.  Sean will be all over the Oregon trails this spring and summer, so catch him…if you can.

 

USATF XC Championships

Posted on February 7, 2011 by admin

 

I hope you don’t mind me writing about an event slightly out of realm of trail and ultra running. I’d like to think it’s pretty close requiring some of the same skills and technical moves, and after all it’s still running. What’s not to love.  This past weekend was the USATF XC Championships in San Diego. No trail, but a wide swath of soft undulating grass with tight turns and off camber stretches along the beach. And a lot of very fast runners. I won’t bore you will too many details except a few. There were six races contested from Juniors to Masters with Open in between. The top six from Juniors and Open were selected to the World team competing in Punta Umbria, Spain in March.

2011 USATF XC Logo

Lucky for me, anyone that opts out of not going allows the next finishers in the race to go to Worlds. That’s where I’m at. Yeah, I was 7th. Not exactly as high as I would have liked but that’s how I roll, life on the edge. I’ve got to stop cutting these things so close.

I wasn’t feeling it for the first two laps of the six lap race. Just running along, feeling comfortable but getting the sensation that the legs were just a bit heavy. The grass was thick and clearly sucking quite a bit of energy out of each stride. We ran in a tight pack of about 15 guys all moving back and forth. I was being cautious, staying in the pack by not letting the lead get too far out front but also not running right up front. There was a pretty decent headwind along the starting straight of about 600m and I didn’t need to be blocking wind for anyone else in that field early in the race. The third lap things turned around and I found myself leading out front and feeling pretty good too. I was tired of having to slow down through the multiple corners on the second half of the 2km loops so I made a move to get in front and move at my own pace. It was a good move but by the fourth lap I started to feel like it was a bit premature to lead the field in a six lap race with 6km to go so I ducked back in. The fourth and fifth lap were tough.  I was losing a bit of ground on the relatively straight fast first 1km of each loop, then gaining ground on people when we got into the more technical running of the second half of the loop.  I now realize with the hindsight every runner has AFTER a race, that I  probably should have pushed up front for as long as possible. I think I potentially could have placed a bit higher. But that’s a lapse in concentration that I fight against during every race. The final lap was “holding on for dear life”. I knew at least one of the top six would opt out of the World team so my goal was to stay as close to 5th and 6th and hope that I could catch one and not let 8th, my dear friend Andrew Carlson, get anywhere near me. I was able to close well but not well enough to gain much ground on 6th place. I finished in 7th. It’s a respectable place against a field as talented and deep as this year’s race was. Brent Vaughn ran away from the field on the 4th lap and hung on for the win in the Open Men’s, while Shalane Flanagan absolutely crushed the Women’s field with a 45 second win. Congrats to everyone and thanks to the San Diego LOC and USATF for another great championships.

For more coverage with tons of videos and interviews check out: http://www.runnerspace.com/USACrossCountryChampionship

And also Scott Dunlap’s great recap of the days events with pictures at: http://runtrails.blogspot.com/

USATF_Logo

 

 

Montrail Announces 2011 Trail Running Team

Posted on February 1, 2011 by admin

 

Official press release:

Richmond, CA (February 1, 2011) – Montrail, the leader in trail-inspired running and recovery footwear, is thrilled to announce its 2011 trail running team. Comprised of top trail and ultra runners from around North America, the 2011 edition of Team Montrail will have the difficult task of improving upon its successes in 2010.

“At Montrail, we look to align the brand with athletes who are pushing the limits, achieving success and helping to shape the future of trail and ultrarunning,” said Montrail Athlete Manager Jesse Malman.  “For 2011, we’ve compiled a group of individuals who are at the top of their sport, and committed to helping the sport to grow in popularity and in participation.”

In 2010, Montrail athletes had several notable wins and achievements, including: Ultrarunning Magazine’s 2010 Ultrarunner of the Year (Geoff Roes), 2010 Female Ultrarunning Performance of the Year (Ellie Greenwood) and 2010 Male Ultrarunning Performance of the Year (Geoff Roes). Max King had a stellar year winning the Xterra Trail Running World Championship, USATF Trail Half Marathon and Trail Marathon Championship, while Annette Bednosky topped the podium at the USATF 100 Mile Trail Championship. With several other first place finishes, course records and major speed records in 2010, Team Montrail has set a high bar for 2011.

This year, top runners Geoff Roes, Max King, Dakota Jones, Ellie Greenwood and Joelle Vaught will be back along with the majority of the 2010 team, as well as four new additions:

Megan Lund: This Aspen, Colorado native is a 2-time Olympic marathon trials qualifier and 2-time USA Mountain Running team member.  She’s the winner of the 2010 Sierre Zinal Mountain Race in Switzerland.  Megan looks to run many high-profile mountain races in Europe this summer, along with the Pikes Peak Ascent and USATF Trail Half Marathon Championship.

Amy Sproston: Amy lives in Portland, Oregon and is a 2-time Massanutten 100 winner, winner of the 2010 JFK 50 and the 2010 Pine to Palm 100.  Her focus for the first half of 2011 will be Western States 100.

Ryan Burch: Ryan is a native of Colorado and is a force in the mountains.  2010 highlights include wins at the Antelope Island 50, Leadville Marathon and Grand Mesa 100.  This year, look for Ryan to compete near the front at Western States 100 and Leadville 100.

Andy Henshaw: Andy lives in Steilacoom, Washington and at the young age of 25 is just beginning to find his groove.  In 2011, he’ll focus on the 50 mile and 100k distances and will look to qualify for the USA 100k Team.

“This talented team of runners is also a group of active and influential members of the running community,” continued Jesse. “They are a strong group of race directors, coaches, trainers, and running addicts…we couldn’t be more excited about the year ahead for Team Montrail.”

With great excitement and anticipation, here’s your 2011 Montrail Trail Running Team:

Annette Bednosky – Jefferson, NC

Ryan Burch – Ft. Collins, CO

Luis Escobar – Santa Maria, CA

Ellie Greenwood – Banff, AB

Matt Hart – Salt Lake City, UT

Andy Henshaw – Steilacoom, WA

David Horton – Lynchburg, VA

Dakota Jones – Ft. Collins, CO

Max King – Bend, OR

Megan Lund – Basalt, CO

Ryne Melcher – Vancouver, BC

Sean Meissner – Sisters, OR

Luanne Park – Redding, CA

Jill Perry – Manlius, NY

Geoff Roes – Nederland, CO

Gary Robbins – North Vancouver, BC

Erik Skaden – Sacramento, CA

Amy Sproston – Portland, OR

Joelle Vaught – Boise, ID

About Montrail:

Montrail is a premium outdoor brand known for its high performance trail-specific and recovery footwear.  Serving as the trail running authority since 1993, Montrail is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Columbia Sportswear Company based in Richmond, Calif. Montrail distributes its products through specialty outdoor, running and sporting goods retailers throughout the United States and over 30 countries worldwide.  Montrail is committed to delivering innovative performance footwear with outstanding runability for the New Breed of Runner.  To learn more about Montrail, please visit: www.montrail.com.

 

 

 

Montrail 2011 Trail Running Team

Posted on February 1, 2011 by admin

 

Montrail, the leader in trail-inspired running and recovery footwear, is thrilled to announce its 2011 trail running team. Comprised of top trail and ultra runners from around North America, the 2011 edition of Team Montrail will have the difficult task of improving upon its successes in 2010.

“At Montrail, we look to align the brand with athletes who are pushing the limits, achieving success and helping to shape the future of trail and ultrarunning,” said Montrail Athlete Manager Jesse Malman. “For 2011, we’ve compiled a group of individuals who are at the top of their sport, and committed to helping the sport to grow in popularity and in participation.”

In 2010, Montrail athletes had several notable wins and achievements, including: Ultrarunning Magazine’s 2010 Ultrarunner of the Year (Geoff Roes), 2010 Female Ultrarunning Performance of the Year (Ellie Greenwood) and 2010 Male Ultrarunning Performance of the Year (Geoff Roes). Max King had a stellar year winning the Xterra Trail Running World Championship, USATF Trail Half Marathon and Trail Marathon Championship, while Annette Bednosky topped the podium at the USATF 100 Mile Trail Championship. With several other first place finishes, course records and major speed records in 2010, Team Montrail has set a high bar for 2011.

This year, top runners Geoff Roes, Max King, Dakota Jones, Ellie Greenwood and Joelle Vaught will be back along with the majority of the 2010 team, as well as four new additions:

Megan Lund: This Aspen, Colorado native is a 2-time Olympic marathon trials qualifier and 2-time USA Mountain Running team member. She’s the winner of the 2010 Sierre Zinal Mountain Race in Switzerland.  Megan looks to run many high-profile mountain races in Europe this summer, along with the Pikes Peak Ascent and USATF Trail Half Marathon Championship.

Amy Sproston: Amy lives in Portland, Oregon and is a 2-time Massanutten 100 winner, winner of the 2010 JFK 50 and the 2010 Pine to Palm 100.  Her focus for the first half of 2011 will be Western States 100.

Ryan Burch: Ryan is a native of Colorado and is a force in the mountains.  2010 highlights include wins at the Antelope Island 50, Leadville Marathon and Grand Mesa 100.  This year, look for Ryan to compete near the front at Western States 100 and Leadville 100.

Andy Henshaw: Andy lives in Steilacoom, Washington and at the young age of 25 is just beginning to find his groove.  In 2011, he’ll focus on the 50 mile and 100k distances and will look to qualify for the USA 100k Team.

“This talented team of runners is also a group of active and influential members of the running community,” continued Jesse. “They are a strong group of race directors, coaches, trainers, and running addicts…we couldn’t be more excited about the year ahead for Team Montrail.”

With great excitement and anticipation, here’s your 2011 Montrail Trail Running Team:

Annette Bednosky – Jefferson, NC Ryan Burch – Ft. Collins, CO Luis Escobar – Santa Maria, CA Ellie Greenwood – Banff, AB Matt Hart – Salt Lake City, UT Andy Henshaw – Steilacoom, WA David Horton – Lynchburg, VA Dakota Jones – Ft. Collins, CO Max King – Bend, OR Megan Lund – Basalt, CO Ryne Melcher – Vancouver, BC Sean Meissner – Sisters, OR Luanne Park – Redding, CA Jill Perry – Manlius, NY Geoff Roes – Nederland, CO Gary Robbins – North Vancouver, BC Erik Skaden – Sacramento, CA Amy Sproston – Portland, OR Joelle Vaught – Boise, ID

 

 

 

Montrail Sponsored Events in 2011

Posted on January 31, 2011 by admin

 

MontrailLogo-Blk_lowresOne of the beautiful things about trail races is that they are certainly plentiful.  Here in Northern California we’re fortunate to have weather conditions that allow for trail running all year long, and every weekend there seems to be at least one trail race taking place in the Bay Area.  At Montrail, we try to share the event sponsorship love with trail running events of all distances, from West Coast to East Coast.  Here’s a look at our sponsored events list through May.  We hope to see you out there challenging yourself on the trails and running faster than you were in 201o.

2/12/11 – Holiday Lake 50k – Lynchburg, VA – Made famous by Dr. David Horton, the Holiday Lake 50k is a challenging trail ultramarathon through the beautiful and rugged hills of Virginia.  This race makes a great first ultra, or a good way to start off the season.

2/19 and 2/20/11 – Hagg Lake Ultras – Forest Grove, OR – The 11th annual Hagg Lake Ultras will feature the 50km distance on Saturday and the 25km distance on Sunday.  Expect wet and sloppy singletrack trail conditions around Hagg Lake in this fun and challenging race.

2/20/11 – Tahquamenon Snowshoe Race – Paradise, MI – A new race, and part of the Great Lakes Endurance Series, the event includes a 5k, 10k and 20k distance and each race starts at the Upper Tahquamenon Falls, awarding great view of the falls and traveling through old growth white pines.

2/20/11 – Bandit Trail Run – Simi Valley, CA –  The 3rd annual Bandit Trail Run now features a 50km distance along with the 15km and 30km races.  Runners can expect challenging single track trails and fire roads with several hills.  You’ll be rewarded with gorgeous views and life-long memories.

2/26/11 – Buck Mountain Mud Slinger – Silverton, OR – Part of the Run Wild Adventures trail running series, the Buck Mountain Mudslinger is a 6.5 mile trail race in Silver Falls State Park and is limited to 350 runners.  Expect very scenic single and double track trails with significant elevation gain and loss.

2/26/11 – Mount Cheaha 50k – Cheaha State Park, AL – The 7th race in the Montrail Ultra Cup series, this is a challenging and very difficult 50km trail race in Cheaha State Park, Alabama.  The race finishes at the highest point of Alabama, atop Cheaha Mountain at 2,407 feet.

Continue reading →

 

 

 

New Race Announced: Born To Run Ultras – Los Olivos, CA

Posted on January 28, 2011 by admin

 

Every year new ultramarathons pop up all over the country.  Many times it takes several years for a race to find it’s legs (no pun intended).  Not often do new races carry the allure and excitement that this one does though.  Created by Luis Escobar and friends, and supported by Montrail and Mountain Hardwear, the Born To Run Ultras will consist of a 100 mile, 100km and 10 mile distance.

Born To Run Ultras, May 14, 2011 – Los Olivos, CA

Born To Run Ultras

“Created by runners for runners. Join us for a weekend of camping and  trail running on the beautiful Chamberlin Ranch in Los Olivos  California. The first annual Born To Run Ultra Marathons will include  100 mile, 100KM and 10 mile trails runs. In addition to traditional  running shoes we will offer a barefoot division. Special awards for  first place, barefoot, male and female finishers in each distance. Mild  springtime coastal climate, gentle rolling hills, single and double  track trail, wildflowers, red-tailed hawks, dark blue skies, pristine  clean air, friendly and knowledgeable people all makes for the ideal  running environment.”

The course consists of fast 20 mile loops, mostly single and double track trails.  Runners can expect roughly 1000 feet of gain per loop, with minimum but adequate aid every 5 miles or so.

Camping is including and encouraged.  Sign up soon and start training, the Born To Run Ultras are only 4 months away.

 

 

 

Montrail Athletes Selected for UTMB

Posted on January 24, 2011 by admin

 

Dakota Jones, Geoff Roes, Gary Robbins and company President Topher GaylordDakota Jones, Geoff Roes, Gary Robbins and company President Topher Gaylord

From top left to right, Montrail athletes Geoff Roes, Gary Robbins, Dakota Jones and company President Topher Gaylord were all selected in the Ultra- Trail du Mont-blanc lottery and will race in August!!

 

 

 

Congratulations Montrail Athlete Geoff Roes, 2010 Ultrarunner of the Year

 

Geoff Roes running Way Too Cool in MarchGeoff Roes running Way Too Cool in March

For the second year in a row, Montrail athlete Geoff Roes has been named the Male Ultrarunner of theYear by Ultrarunning Magazine.  Congratulations Geoff!

Another year full of wins and course records made Geoff the unanimous choice by the voters, and his signature race of 2010 was clearly his course record breaking effort at Western States 100, which was named the 2010 Performance of the Year.  This is also the 2nd consecutive year that Roes has won Performance of the Year.

Here’s a quick glimpse at Geoff’s year:

-Way Too Cool 50km, March – 3rd place

-American River 50, April – 1st place

-Bear Mountain 50, May – 1st place, CR

-Western States 100, June – 1st place, CR

-Crow Pass Crossing, July – 1st place, CR

-UTMB, August – canceled

-Run Rabbit Run 50, September – 1st place, CR

-TNF 50 Atlanta, October – 1st place, CR

-TNF 50 Endurance Championship, December – 2nd place

Geoff is one of the most humble champions you’ll ever meet, and will likely tell you that the highlight of his year was watching someone else have a great race, or training with other elite runners.  But don’t be fooled.  Geoff is fiercely competitive and extremely motivated, two characteristics generally exhibited by a champion.

Tune into Geoff’s blog for a note from the Ultrarunner of the Year.

Ellie Greenwood in Banff, Alberta

Geoff isn’t the only Montrail athlete honored this year by Ultrarunning Magazine.  Ellie Greenwood was 3rd in the voting for Female Ultrarunner of the Year, and her win at the 100km World Championship in Gibraltar secured her the Performance of the Year for 2010.  Congratulations Ellie!

Other honors include Dakota  Jones in 8th for UROY.  Also receiving votes for Ultrarunner of the Year were: Gary Robbins, Max King, Joelle Vaught, Annette Bednosky, and Jill Perry

This is a major testament to the talent on Team Montrail and the dedication and commitment these athletes show all year long.  Way to go!

 

 

 

Records Fall at Bandera Trail Runs

 

Last weekend the 6th installment of the Montrail Ultra Cup series took us to Bandera, Texas for the Bandera Trail Runs, featuring a 100k, 50k and 25k distance.  This year, the 100km acted as the USATF 100km Trail Championships, which means there was money and bragging rights on the line.

Wow, the racers brought their speed boosters this year.  The top 4 men all came in under the previous course record and the race was won by Dave Mackey in 8:16:48.  He was followed by Dave James, Jason Bryant and Dan Olmstead.

Dave Mackey CO 8:16:48

Dave James OH 8:33:36

Jason Bryant NC 8:57:19

Dan Olmstead OR 8:57:42

Steven Moore TX 9:32:32

Liza Howard took the win for the women at the 100km distance and also broke the course record set last year by Jill Perry and Aliza Lapierre.  Howard finished in 9:35:23 and was followed by Pam Smith and Meghan Arbogast.

Liza Howard TX 9:35:23

Pam Smith OR 9:46:42

Meghan Arbogast OR 10:19:53

Amber Monforte NV 10:59:18

Bridget DeLaRosa Lopez TX 11:12:36

In the 50km distance, Matt Turnbull of Leadville won in a speedy 4:02:41 and the female champion was Melanie Fryar, finishing in a course record time of 4:51:17.

Next up for the Montrail Ultra Cup series is the Mt. Cheaha 50km in Alabama, February 26th.  See you there!

 

Running Again!

 

Eric Grossman and I on the Beech Grove TrailEric Grossman and I on the Beech Grove Trail 1/1/11
Showing off good taste in shoes pre run...Showing off good taste in shoes pre run…1/1/11

New Years Day I celebrated the start of 2011 by getting together with some friends for a short trail run! What fun! It’s been 2.5 months since I have been able to run freely and the joy and  playfulness of that morning was very appreciated.

My GPS says we did 8.5 miles on the muddy and  steep figure 8 loop of the Iron Mountain and Appalachian Trail. Several months ago, 8 miles would be a warm-up, yet today I clocked my longest run since 10/19/2010! I am running ever other day now and spinning/elliptical/swimming on the alternate days. I am determined to get this recovery/glute retraining right and not get too greedy and do too much too soon.

As I have been working through my recovery from non-firing glute muscles that lead to related over use injuries, I am learning this type of biomechanical is not as uncommon as I first thought. Check out these 2 easy to read links from the Post Gazette and New York Times.

Greg Blais helping me with posture exercisesGreg Blais with Mountain Physical Therapy in Asheville, NC helping me with posture exercises

It will still be a couple of months until I am back in good form at “ultra distances”, yet feel quite certain that I’ll return to racing with a stronger body that when I had to stop training this past fall.

In addition to aerobic and physical therapy exercises, I have discovered an interesting ½ hour class in nearby Boone at the Wellness Center called Quick Fit. (I call it “the class that kicks my butt”). This class complements core strengthening and some of the agility work I need to continue doing to continue to heal and avoid a relapse into what I worked myself into this past fall.

The class is a combination of hurdle jumps, ball squats, suicides, ab roller, medicine ball throws, etc, etc done in a 2 lap circuit. When I am in the thick of the class I feel uncoordinated and weak, yet still like working really hard!

I wonder, what do you do, besides running to get/stay strong and agile?

 

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