Monday, July 30, 2007

Mount Hood PCT 50 Mile Race Report

6:30am clackamus lake ranger station, oregon - mount hood pct 50 miler

the race started with a couple miles of an out and back on a paved road. i took off at the start pretty fast. the excitement of the race must have propelled me out of the gate. i was a bit surprised that no one was giving chase at first. then i figured i was probably running 6 min miles to start, reason enough. then as i rounded the corner i could see the rest of the race. there was one guy making an effort to bridge the gap between me and the field. as i passed the rest of the field on my way back to the pacific crest trail i knew some of them must have been thinking "he'll blow up". from the road the course headed north on the beautiful pacific crest trail towards mount hood (11,249 ft). as i entered the woods i looked at my heart rate monitor... 168, time to take it down a notch.

the pct is an amazing trail. i was so happy to be running trail (after what seemed like a decade long taper) it was truly hard to bring my speed down to a reasonable sustainable level. i was in heaven as i got my first view of timothy lake. wow, i knew this was going to be a great day out. i wasn't sure i could "race" the entire 50 miles, but i was going to try and see what happened.

i'll be completely honest.. i had splits on my mind. i was chasing john ticer's course record. i had memorized his splits from the year he ran the course record of 6:45. It was clear very early, after a few aid stations, that he is a bad ass, and i, a lesser man, was not going to run anywhere near his course record.

so i focused on running myself into the ground.. or ah, running my best race. the first half of the course is uphill to timberline lodge. i was feeling strong and fast through the first few aid stations. most of them didn't know what to do with me, help or just stare. between frog lake aid station #3 and #4 i saw a black bear! it was climbing a tree down slope from me. it looked small enough to be a cub so i picked up the pace and started to sing. the last thing i wanted was to run into the bears mother.

i had my watch set to beep at me every 20 minutes. this was my reminder to take a clif shot (100 cals). at big horn this year my buddy karl meltzer told me ate 65 gels during his 100 mile win (3 gels an hour). yes you read that right karl ate 65 gels! i was on track with my fuel, running pretty well and feeling great - loving being out there actually - i guess this could be called a "runners high"... wait for it, the "runners low" comes later. actually around mile 20 my right hip started to really bothering me. i have an old groin/ab/hip flexor injury from last october that has lingered, and it was creeping out of the closet with every step.

for some reason i was looking forward to the sandy section that leads up to timberline lodge. i personally think that any section, or adverse condition on a course, be it weather, sand, massive climbs, bushwhacking, etc.. play to my strengths. maybe that is adventure racing arrogance, or stupidity.. not sure. but i love it when things get redonculous. so i put my head down and ran to timberline. in hindsight i bet a fast hike would have been just as effective, but mentally i wasn't willing to walk one step of this race. being out of the tree cover meant the sandy running effort was compounded by the sun beating off my bald head. when i arrived i pounded a bottle of nuun, took some ibu (for my hip) grabbed a new bottle, a clif blok and bolted.

back on the trail i was surprised to see the next guy so close to me. he was about 12-14 minutes back. he looked so fresh that i started to think, "was that an early starter? hmm, i don't remember passing him." i should have paid more attention to the guy that was bridging the gap on the road at the beginning of the race... because that was him, running really strong and holding pace with me. i let this fuel me as i ran the 25 miles back to the finish.

i love downhill trail running! so much fun. the combination of risk and skill really appeal to me for some reason. i guess it's the same reason i love skiing and downhill mtn biking. down down down i ran. as i approached clear lake i almost stepped on a frog, the size of my two fists, being consumed by a snake! crazy. i've never seen something like that.

it was aid station #8 (same as #2) i started to get my runners low. i think i had too many caffeine gels. i had also ran out of water on the way back from #3 to #2. ugh.. this slowed my pace. the last 6 miles were my worst. i kept thinking i had to be closer than i was and i ran out of water after a couple miles. usually when i'm in this "runners low", dehydrated, or low blood sugar state i just suck it up and run. but i needed to know how much further! so i asked a hiker, "how far to the road?". the "4 miles or so" response was not what i wanted to hear. needless to say i was happy to hit the road. as i approached the finish line i could hear olga yelling my name with her awesome russian accent. in the end i ran a 7:13 for the 50 miles with 5,410 feet of elevation gain (suunto stats) and 1st place.

it was a great day out on a beautiful trail.. and a well run race. thanks to olga and monica! also congrats to fellow montrail-nathan team runner floren ansley for winning the womans race in 8:05! you can read olga's race director perspective on her blog here.

my gear:

**most photos stolen from

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Mount Hood PCT 50 Mile Quick Race Report

montrail-nathan ultrarunning team takes the mt hood pct 50 miler!
50 mile winners: me (my cheeks are full of cheeseburger) and Floren Ansley

my time - 7:13 for 50 miles (8:39 / mile) with 1649m / 5,410ft of gain
shoes: montrail continental divide (oh how i love thee)

full report to follow....

Friday, July 27, 2007

Sean Meissner's 2007 Tahoe Rim Trail 100 Race Report

Tahoe Rim Trail 100 Mile Endurance Run
2007 USATF National 100 Mile Trail Championship
Sean Meissner's Race Report

Here's the short report:
DNF, mile 76
severe hypothermia, which also resulted in a completely empty tank

Longer report:
I started the day feeling great and cruising very easily. I ran with Jasper (winner in 18:16) through most of the first 17 miles to Tunnel aid station. I weighed in at 140 (starting weight was 137), then I stopped a bit longer to get my things together at the aid station, and Jasper took off. I continued feeling great and cruising to Mt. Rose, mile 26, where I arrived in 4th place in 4:32, just minutes behind the leaders. I purposely drank a bit less running to Mt. Rose to get my weight back down, and it worked, as I was 137. My friend Thomas' wife, Valerie, and father-in-law were there to give me a can of Chicken & Stars, some fruit, water, and I was off (there was even a cool picture of me in the Incline Village newspaper drinking the Chicken & Stars).

I enjoyed seeing all of the other 100 milers, and most of the 50 milers as I ran the 9 miles back to Tunnel. All of my friends seemed to be rocking! I weighed in again at Tunnel, 137, so the weight was still good. I dropped my bottles here and picked up my Nathan hydration pack, just for something different. I continued cruising the next 15 miles back to the Start/Finish area at mile 50. In that stretch, I climbed Snow Valley Peak, 1,300' vertical in 2.8 miles. I felt super going up that - it was a perfect, runnable climb for me. At the top, mile 43, I still weighed 137. I grabbed some hunks of cantelope and was headed downhill for 7 miles to the 1/2 way point.

I arrived at Spooner Lake, mile 50, in 9:07 (I planned to be there between 9:00-9:15), and I felt like a rock star. I weighed 137, so no problems there. I sat for the first time in the race in the shade for about 5 minutes, eating and drinking, while Valerie refilled my pack and Laura helped me cool off. Thomas finished the 50 mile while I was there, winning in 8:10! After hollering at him and giving a thumbs-up, I was gone for lap 2.

I felt great heading out, knowing exactly what was coming up, and when I was going to push it. About mile 53, I started to feel low on energy. So I downed a gu. Shortly after, my stomach started cramping. So I took a salt tablet. My stomach was painful, and I couldn't run anymore. So I walked the rest of the way to the aid station at mile 56. I sat in the shade again, drank 2 cups of broth and some Sprite, ate more cantelope, then decided I needed to hit the trail (the next day, a fellow-runner told me I was white as a ghost at that aid station). I felt a little better so ran and walked to the Tunnel aid station at mile 61. I weighed in at 137, but my tummy was really cramping. Going downhill in the Red House loop, my stomach hurt so much that I had to walk and bend over so the pain wasn't so severe. Through all of this, I kept my calorie intake at around 250 per hour, and kept taking a salt tablet every 45 minutes.

I eventually made it out of the Red House loop at 7 p.m. and I was freezing. The sun was still up and it was plenty warm, but I wasn't. I weighed in again, 136, so the aid station people said I was fine. I sat here for 15 minutes, eating soup, pb&j, and other food, while also putting on my long sleeve shirt, jacket, hat, and gloves. I knew it was going to be a long 9 miles back to Mt. Rose at mile 76. I left at 7:15, with a cup of hot soup in each handed, and shivering from being so cold.

A mile later, as I was warming up, I heard a noise in the bushes to my right. I looked up and saw a fat coyote with weird ears. Hey, that's not a coyote - that's a brown bear! Cool! I continued power walking towards Mt. Rose, wondering when I would see the leaders coming back. Soon enough, Jasper was flying towards me. Finally, around 9 p.m., it was dark enough to turn on my emergency lights (I had my big lights at Mt. Rose). As it got darker, the wind died down, but the weather got colder, and I continued getting slower. Seeing others out on the course, both on their way back from Mt. Rose and passing me, didn't seem to help at all. I sent word with a few runners to let my crew know that it was going to be a while until I got to Mt. Rose.

Finally, at 10 p.m., I got to a creek crossing about 1/2 mile from Mt. Rose. It was a steady climb to the aid station that took me 5 minutes the first time out. This time, it took me 30 minutes. I was completely drained of all energy and shivering uncontrollably. Although I had kept eating and drinking in these 9 miles, the calories were going to try to keep me warm instead of to my legs for strength. Just before the aid station, I puked a couple of times.

I finally stumbled into the aid station at 10:30, where Thomas immediately grabbed me and walked me to the scale. I just wanted to lay down and get warm, but I had to weigh first. Still 137. Then I layed down, and Laura and Valerie put 4 or 5 blankets on me to try to get me warm. After 10 minutes, I was still shivering uncontrollably. An aid station worker said since my weight was right on, I just needed some soup then would be good to go. I don't think so. I felt really nauseous, so I did drink two cups of soup to feel better. They made me temporarily feel better, until I puked them up after a few more minutes. Oddly, that made my nausea go away, but I was still a shivering fool.

It was then that I knew for sure my run was over at mile 76. I had been laying under 5 blankets for over 45 minutes, was still freezing, and couldn't keep any calories down to even help warm me. Thomas and Valerie generously took me to their condo in Incline Village, where I took a long, hot shower, ate the best mac and cheese ever, and finally passed out on their couch. Laura got word to my friends who were waiting for me at the finish of my situation. During all of this, Laura, Valerie, and Thomas were my little saviours. They were definitely there for me to save my sorry, freezing butt.

My stomach was still sore and cramping for a couple days after my 76 miler. I really need to figure out why that happened, then not have it happen again (any suggestions?). But this race definitely confirmed something that I have always believed: just because you're weight is right on, doesn't mean you are. I think there is far too much emphasis put on a runner's weight in 100s. That is just a small part of the whole picture.

I'm happy with my effort to really go for it at Tahoe and know that sometime, somewhere, there is a 100 out there that I'll actually run well. Thanks to everyone for your support, encouragement, and concern.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

DART-nuun REI Navigation Class

tonight adventure racing team dart-nuun's ryan vangorder, aaron rinn and matt hart are teaching "intro to compass navigation" at the rei flagship store in seattle. the class covers map and compass, how to set/take a bearing, declination and route finding strategies.

it will be a blast.. so come out and learn how to navigate!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mt Hood PCT 50 Miler Prep

my next race is a 50 mile ultramarathon - olga varlamova's mt hood pct 50 miler. she's told me a couple of times now "you've got a course record to beat :) ". talk about pressure -the course record is 6:45! that is an 8:05/min mile for 50! below are the last 5 years winning times.

2006 Andre' Michaud 7:55
2005 Michael Wedemeyer 6:58
2004 John Ticer 6:45** course record, 8:05/min mile pace for 50 miles w/5,300ft of gain
2003 Craig Thornley 7:36
2002 Steve Smucker 7:16

the race starts at the clackamas lake ranger station, located next to timothy lake, and south of mt hood in oregon. the course is an out and back on the pacific crest trail. the course climbs 5,300 feet as you run up to timberline lodge on mt hood at 6,054 ft.

elevation profile to the half way point at timberline lodge

apparently john ticer ran a 3:30 to the 1/2 way point at timberline lodge, and a 3:15 on the way back. i am just going to run my best race and hopefully that will result in finishing in the top 3. we'll see how my training pays off. i would have liked to have gotten one more big day of 40+ miles in before hand, but climbing mt daniel sounded too fun to pass up.

i watched both the pre movies recently. i think this quote works for me on many levels. i am not the fastest, that is made apparent to me every time i train with some of my elite level friends. so it's always a guts race for me and i'm going to let this quote run through my head in oregon...

"A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts" - Steve Prefontaine

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Montrail Spring 2008 Catalog

kinda cool.. i made the 2008 montrail catalog.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Smith-Batchen takes on the Badwater Double.. again!

keep an eye on montrail and nuun sponsored athlete lisa smith-batchen's blog as she tackles another badwater double! for those not familiar with badwater it's a 135 mile ultramarathon through death valley in july! lisa is running the race (135 miles), summiting mt whitney.. then running back! 295 miles at once, through death valley. she will be drinking tons of nuun to get her through this grueling event.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Climbing Mt Daniel

last sunday i wanted to get in one last big day of running before my taper starts for mt hood pct 50 miler. i had planned on a 40 mile day on the trails near snoqualmie. then i received an email from aaron rinn about possibly climbing mt daniel. i couldn't pass it up... and i'm glad i didn't.

so the day after we raced in the trioba 12 hour adventure race rvg, aaron rinn, aaron matzke (the dude in the primal quest video) and i climbed mt daniels (7,899 feet). the typical route is an out and back, and with the snow level right now doesn't require any real glacier travel, so no roping up. we actually wanted to climb the glacier so rinn took us up another route through a few hours of very steep bushwhack to the lynch glacier. hot, sweaty and buggy.. but awesome. here are the photos rvg took.

rinn climbing the 3,000ft bushwhack

from the top, rinn, me, matzke and rvg snapping the pic

the crew on the summit

rvg's whole album

Mt Daniels

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

BEF Sponsors Its First Ultra-Marathon Athlete

Bonneville Environmental Foundation is proud to sponsor Justin Angle, their very first carbon neutral athlete. Justin has been competing in endurance sports for the last 15 years. After moving to Seattle in 2003, Justin decided to focus exclusively on long distance running. Since then, he has completed over 30 ultra-marathons, with 5 wins and consistent top-10 finishes. Justin is proud to serve as an ambassador for organizations committed to quality, community, and the environment. Many athletes struggle with their consumption of jet fuel and gasoline as they travel to each event. Justin is happy to spread the Race Green message across the country to help encourage more athletes to offset their travel with Green Tags.

Angle says, "Bonneville's mission is to support watershed restoration and clean power generation (wind and solar). They are a non-profit and pioneered the concept of green tags. Basically, you use their calculator to quantify the carbon emission associated with a consumption activity (driving, flying, heating your home, etc) and then purchase the corresponding units of green tags to off-set that consumption. The money then goes to fund active alternative power generation and put the same amount of green power back on the grid. Together we figured out the carbon emissions associated with all of my race travel and training travel and they sponsored me with the required number of green tags needed to offset all of that and make me a "carbon-neutral" runner."

Monday, July 16, 2007

sharing time

this is the video they showed us the day before primal quest 2006 started. it got me pumped! now it brings back painful memories. interestingly enough i climbed mt daniels with the male adveture racer shown throughout this video aaron matzke last weekend.

primal quest 2006 opening video

  • outside magazine article about the first primal quest expedition adventure race in 2003. i've had a very similar experience to the one described in this article where they were almost killed by a falling boulder (raid the north 2005)... adv racing has provided some truly amazing moments in my life, as well as some of the scariest.
  • Trade Secrets of the Kenyans
    *start slow finish fast - negative splits in training
    *vary very much - i bring this one up often with coaching clients. let the hard days be hard, and the easy days be easy. don't blur the line.
    *tread softly - run more trail! yes yes yes!
    *hit the hills - yes again!
  • Leipheimer remains optimistic - levi is getting on my nerves. i wish team discovery would focus on getting hincapie the gc win.
  • rvg's blog on this weekend's race and climb

Weekend Update

our team manager erik nachtrieb rocks and was at the trioba 12 hour adventure race this weekend providing live updates from the field. if you haven't checked out the dartnews blog yet have a look.. you can even relive the race! here are a couple of the videos.. more to come (both my teammates carried their cameras!)

the finish

talking with dart-nuun about my crash (i'm ok)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Big Weekend of Racing!

i'm very excited for some great big racing this weekend. i'm racing in the trioba 12 hour adventure race with my team dart-nuun consisting of ryan vangorder (rvg) and aaron rinn (ar), and myself (this years series does not have a coed requirement for the overall win). both of these guys just raced really well in raid the north extreme, canada's premier expedition adventure race. congrats on 2nd place cyril, rvg, ar and our new teammate mari chandler! hopefully rvg and ar are recovered enough to hammer for 12 hrs just two weeks after racing for 102 hours non stop (read the race report here). as a team we've won this trioba adventure race series for the last 5 years. it's been an amazing training ground for our team.. however the yeager brothers have decided this will be the last one. =( but for those of you local racers all is not lost. 4th dimension is here to our rescue. rvg wrote a nice blog on it too.

keep an eye on these sites this weekend for updates:
  • trioba 12 hour adventure race - live updates reported by our team manager erik nachtreib.
  • hardrock 100 mile ultramarathon - scott jurek and karl meltzer batted it out and jurek won in the end. youtube video of start and of the winners finishing - congrats to scott and krissy!
  • tour de france - so far it's been very exciting. i love robbie mcewen. go watch the footage from stage 2 and you will too. but i want the american levi leipheimer to win it the overall.

ok i've got to get packing for the race...

Saturday, July 7, 2007


  • interesting read: lance thinks landis is innocent.

  • i can't believe that espn covers the worlds series of poker, but not ultras, no primal quest or western states.. they barely cover the tour de france. rediculous.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Who Will Win Hardrock? - Cast a Vote

also here is a good read: Sports Illustrated "Are They All Dirty?". i'm sorry to say it, and i wish it weren't true. lance armstrong probably cheated.

just uploaded this video of ty draney winning the big horn 50 miler too!