Monday, March 31, 2008

Ashley Nordell's 3 Days of Syllamo Race Report

the first thing i ever heard about nuun ultrarunner ashley nordell is that she was "the girl who won angeles crest 100 miler". we were in sisters, oregon for the colonel's 100 mile boot camp. just two weeks ago she won the 3 days of syllamo for the second year in a row... and she was nice enough to provide a race report!

Ashely Nordell's
3 Days of Syllamo Race Report

Three Days of Syllamo

If any runner keeps a list of “must do” races, Syllamo should be at the top. Steve Kirk and his family put on a tremendous, well organized, three day event. Last year I went out to Arkansas by myself to give this race a try. I was intrigued by the idea of a stage race and the pictures from the website looked incredible. I was not disappointed. I had such a blast, I decided I had to return. This year my husband, Josh, was not going to let me have all the fun, so he came too. We arrived at Blanchard Campground around 8:00 at night on Thursday to a thunder and lightning storm. We both sat in the car thinking maybe it would stop. As the rains came down harder, we even contemplated going to a hotel, but it was getting late and we were pretty far from town. We finally just dashed out into the storm and set up the tent. I had to put our beach towels on the tent floor before our sleeping pads because it was so wet!

The first stage of the race is a 50k. Day one and two of this year’s race would be different from the previous year, so I had no idea what to expect. I looked forward to the first day because its more like a training run, with most people saving some legs for the next two days. At check-in we saw my friend Matt Hart, who I did a crazy three day training camp with last summer ( I guess we only meet up for triple day runs), and was introduced to Ty Draney and Corena and Kevin, from Wyoming. There were several runners from the year before, so it was like a mini running reunion. My favorite part of these races is the people, and this race seems like it has the nicest group of runners. At 9:00 we were off. The course had many creek crossing and scattering of debris from the winter tornadoes. I ran much of the race with a guy named Andy from Missouri. We managed to get off course a couple times, so when a local runner passed by us, we decided we better keep up with him. It was a blast. I took a few gels, drank some tri-berry nuun, and never hit any low worse than “ I feel ready to be done soon.” Before I knew it, we were on the home stretch. For good measure, Andy and I got off course one last time and had to bushwack through thorn bushes to get back to the trail. We finished together with bloody legs.

Day two is a 50 miler, which rumor had was going to have 16,000 feet of elevation gain. I was skeptical, but when it took me over five hours to reach the turn-around, I was hoping that statistic was true. I ran much of this day with Andy from the 50k and another Andy, also from Missouri (at least I could not mix up their names). I had to conserve gels because I miscalculated how many I would need, so around mile 35 I was feeling a bit hungry. When I reached the unmanned aid station, I discovered a bin under the table that was filled with treats. I ate a few cookies, which tasted like the best thing in the world- for about 5 minutes. Then I remembered why I can never eat food during races, especially several cookies. I had a low point for a while regretting the cookies, but even then, I was still enjoying the day. With nine to go, I saw Kevin and Corena, and they were so encouraging, I started to re-energize. Andy #2 was right behind me and was dealing with some cramps, so we gave him a nuun for his bottle and the two of us took off together for the final leg. Everyone hung out again at the finish eating and cheering in runners well into the dark. No matter how long they had been out there, how bloody their knees were, every runner seemed to manage a smile at the end.

The final stage is a 20k, but we all know it is really more like 14 miles. I ran a bit with some runners I had met last year. At one point I had to get over a big log, so I stepped up onto it and waited for gravity pull me down the other side. Another runner, Stuart, was behind me and from his perspective he thought I hurdled the thing. I had to laugh because there was definitely no hurdling going on in my stiff and sore hobble. The 20k course is very scenic. It winds through mountain bike trails, over bluffs, and along creeks. It is a perfect course to complete the fantastic weekend. When we crossed a gravel road I knew the finish was close, and I could not stop smiling. It feels like such an accomplishment to cross through the finish on the third day. That night, while hanging out with Josh, Matt, Ty, Corena, and Kevin, we began making plans for our trip to Arkansas next year for another three-day adventure.

the overall winners of the 3 days!.. the nordells!

congrats again ashley ~ awesome effort out there!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

An August To Remember

a few days ago had a great chat with montrail ultrarunner sean meissner. during this conversation he says "hey, i know it's very close to the plain 100 miler but what about you and me running the transrockies ultra?". without looking at my calendar or much thought i said "hells yeah". i had followed this race last year. it's 125+ miles in 5 days through the colorado rockies with over 25,000 feet of climbing, sleeping in the woods in makeshift camps at night... bad ass and adventurous (watch the video). not even 24hrs went by when i received the confirmation email that montrail was sending sean and i! i'm beside myself excited right now! but then i pulled out the calendar.. oh boy, it's going to be one crazy august and september ~ i hope i can hold it together!

the plan:
  • aug 5th - appalachian trail: starting on mount katahdin i'm running 47 miles a day for 6 days with karl meltzer in his attempt to break the appalachian trail speed record. i'll be joining him for the entire 281 mile section through maine.
just two weeks to recover just two weeks to recover
  • sept 13-14 - plain 100 miler - a tough tough 100 miler in washington

Friday, March 28, 2008

Karl Meltzer's 2008 Coyote Two Moon Race Report

nuun ultrarunner karl meltzer was cool enough to pass on a quick report on the dos lunas 100 miler he smoked last weekend.

Karl Meltzer's
Coyote Two Moon 100 Mile Race Report

Coyote Two Moons is not labeled a "race". It all begins with a group run at the Pt. Mugu State Parknear the beach in Sunny California. This 7 mile loop is a classic in this area with stellar views over thePacific Ocean. The evening kicks off a talent show won by Roch Horton and fellow Volunteer "Wild Bill". They played a tune on the Mandolin and Ukelele....It was awesome! Day two is a run at your leasure at Pt.Mugu Park again to the summit of Mt.Mugu, another peak overlooking the ocean, along with the seaside Coriopsis in full bloom made the run extra special. Now we move to Ventura for Bowling night where beers are flowing hard and strikes are few and far between...unless you are Dean Dobberteen who rolled a 206! Friday the clan moves to "Rancho Grande" in Los Padros National Forest where the start/finish is staged. I was not there for the BBQ as I had to pickup my wife Cheryl at the Burbank airport. Cherylprovide me with mental support and superior crewing as always. I arrived back at the S/F at noon to preparedrop bags. It was simple, two lights and 60 gels in three seperate bags.

The "race" or shall we call it "fun run" starts at 4pm for the slowest runners on Friday evening, the second wave at 6pm, then 9pm, then 2am (ouch). I started with the faster guys at 6am, a fairly normal day for us. For those that started on the first full moon, they certainly had there work cut out for them as two evenings of darkness awaited...not to mention some sleep deprivation.

The run started out quickly up a 1500' hill. I ran it all and put about 1 minute on the other 4 I started with (AJW, Hiroki, Justin, Clifton) as I ran up everystep. It felt way too easy, my legs were fresh had been a long time since I felt this way. I slowly put time on the field only to be caught by Justin Angle at the Sisar aid station at mile 17. Justin's 9 foot long stride kept him in it on the downhills. We turned around for the climb out of Sisar, from there I never looked back and ran the entire climb out and on my way to the Ojai ridge where I met Chris Scott (the RD) to put on the leaders hat.It was a hot beanie with the propeller on the top. Classic Coyote fun! The propeller spun faster and faster as I descended into Rose Valley where on my return trip up to the ridge I had opened up at least a 21 minute gap. From this point the sun heated us up heading to Thatcher aid station mile 50.2. I turned back to climb to the ridge and had been climbing for 39 minutes before I saw Justin and AJW coming down. At this point I knew I was gone daddy gone as long as I held together. I still had no pain issues at all, so I was confident I would hang tough. We dropped steeply back to Rose Valley, and on my return over 1 hour back at the ridge, AJW and Justin were nowhere to be found. I proceeded to cruise all the way down to Gridley Top...then Gridley Bottom. This was the nicest singletrack of the day as I just cruised down then ran most of the 3000' climb back up. I met AJW and Justin at the ridge and the gap was 2hr 20min. One more big descent into Cozy Dell and back up and gap grew to 3hr20min, from there I chatted with the Easter Bunny(Chris the RD) and just cruised to the finish. It was a textbook performance, and had I been pushed I had more in the tank if I needed it.

Although this was not a race "persee", I went to this run focused on running well and being the first to cross the tape. It makes number 23 in the 100 trail win category. I have to keep this going as a few younger guys could certainly break this record as they get older.

congrats karl!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sarah Logan's 2008 Iron Horse Endurance Run Race Report

one of the true joys of being the nuun ultrarunning ambassador is working with athletes that i admire... and ocassionally finding a gem! we might just be looking at a future ultra star ~ she's out to a very good start!

Sarah Logan's
Iron Horse Endurance Run Race Report

The Iron Horse Endurance Run:

March 1, 2008 was the Iron Horse 50 mile, 100 km, and 100 mile run in Orange Park, FL. The course was flat and fast and the Florida sun was strong. We started at 6 am in the dark, under the Spanish moss covered trees, in Orange Park and ventured out for our first 25-mile loop as a pack. I was planning to race the 100 km, so I paced accordingly. There was a 25-mile loop I was to complete twice, and then had another 10 km loop to do twice. I felt strong through out the whole race, which was a first for me in these~! But it was also the first time I had been able to train adequately and sleep enough after having taken my time off med school. Also I started eating steak a month before the race, thanks to my auntie, so I think that had something to do with it. I was worried about not having hills, because coming from VT, and being part billy goat, I thought I would fatigue early if the terrain was all flat. Luckily, it was OK ...

But my favorite part of the whole race and experience was by far the people. The racers were all so friendly, and supportive. It was just like running with a big family out there, and all the volunteers at the aid stations were just awesome. The race director and his wife were driving along the course honking and cheering everyone through the wee hours of the night. I was feeling strong and fast until about mile 44…when all of a sudden it felt like I had been shot in the knee on my left leg. It turned out I had pulled my Iliotibial band pretty badly, and it just came out of nowhere. I knew that if I started up running again on my knee, I would not be able to stop …so I hobbled it in to the 50 mile finish and called it a day. The volunteers and race director were yelling and smiling saying “

“You won!”, “First place!”, and “Girl power!”…I thought, despite the knee, this is awesome! I have not run one of these races before where a female has won! And a female also won the 100 mile race too! Yea Ladies~! There was a great BBQ and a fire at the finish line, and I ended up getting my PR for the 50 mile by almost an hour. I finished in 7:47:00. So despite the annoying IT band, it was an Awesome experience and I would go back and do it again in a second just for the people!

congrats sarah!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

3 Days of Syllamo Day 3 - 20km

with about 91 miles on our legs from the last two days of racing in the ozark mountains of arkansas, we lined up nice and late for the 20km race. this was day three of 3 days of syllamo. there were even more grumblings on this day about "having to race". i didn't feel like it either to be honest. after looking at the leader board for the overall times it was clear that the best i could do was 3rd place overall for the three days. i needed to beat this guy by 3 minutes to get it. ty needed 13 minutes to get 4th overall.

ty draney, steve kirk and overall winner josh nordell

ty pointed the guy out we both needed to beat. i figured i'd play a bit of cat and mouse easing into the race. shorter races and my anaerobic threshold scare me. the guy in grey that i needed to beat blasted off the start running 6 min miles on the road. forced to respond, ty and i picked it up and followed close behind.

once we hit the singletrack john muir, who hadn't run the 50 miler the day before was gone. josh nordell yelled out "goodbye john!". i repeated the sentiment. grey shirt got me fired up with his aggressive start! so ty and i made a move and passed him. i felt like screaming "you called down the thunder, well now you got it!". now i was racing! we steadily pulled away from the field. ty slowed slightly on a hill and since i was right on his heals i slipped by, catching an elbow in the ribs.

i focused on maintaining this 'around anaerobic threshold' pace. knowing i was probably over it on this climb i tried not to look at my heart rate monitor. focusing on my breath and my new 'run tall' form i started to pull away. i was really racing now as i passed a ribbon on a creek. after 15 more minutes i had yet to see another ribbon. "oh no, not again. 15 minutes is too long to go without a ribbon. i must have missed it - again!!" i had this wave of dread wash over me. i stopped and yelled across the draw. "ty! i think i missed a turn". he had his ipod on and just responded with "yeeow!". i kept running and decided if i was off course that was it. i wasn't running back, or finishing 35th. i'm pissed... and then, there it was! a ribbon! i jumped with joy and picked back up where i had left off. after the 7 mile aid i noticed someone other than ty was on my tail. i yelled "great job, nice running!". then figured i had to put it out there right now.

"sippin' nuun and feeling great" i started to recognize the trail, which mean i was close. time to blaze. i ended up finishing 2nd overall to mr. muir, being the first 3 day racer to cross the finishline on the 3rd day. i had also beaten grey shirt by about 27 minutes and solidified my 3rd place overall at the 3 days of syllamo with a 1:52 (8:10/mile pace). ty managed to easily take 4th overall too!

i loved this race. steve kirk put on an amazing 3 days event. there is such a nice community feel to being there for three days of suffering! so, i highly recommend this race.. and i'll most likely be returning in 2009.

the overall winners of the 3 days!.. the nordells!

my gear:
shoes: montrail odyssey with teko ecopoly socks (ok 1 lil blister after 106 miles! not bad)
electrolytes: nuun lemon lime
fuel: clif shots and clif bloks
general health day to day: i kept my immune system strong with my amazing grass

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Amazing Grass - My Amazing New Sponsor

when i first blogged a review of the amazing grass wheat grass i had absolutely no affiliation with the company. well i'm happy to announce that has changed as i'm adding amazing grass to my list of top notch companies that help me achieve my potential as an athlete. part of my contract that struck me was, "Our vision is to help people reach their pinnacle of health through better nutrition and an active lifestyle, while being conscious of the footprint we leave on this planet and the lives we touch.". this ethos resonates with me as it is essentially my mission statement as an endurance coach.

my trip to steamboat before the 3 days of syllamo was another example of how i think amazing grass wheat grass has changed my life. it's that good. since i come from sea level i knew my immune system would be extra stressed at 7,000 feet steamboat springs, colorado. i worked my way up to 3 tablespoons of amazing grass wheat grass powder a day just prior to leaving seattle. when i arrived i shared a room with a very sick person and there were two sick people in the house. my 3x daily dose of amazing grass gave my immune system a boost and the the antioxidants to fight off the sickness i was surrounded by ~ and i never got sick! even when i arrived in syllamo i slept in a bed with someone who was sick.. during the race. i might as well of had a wheat grass suit of armor on! anyway i'm very excited about this as i love the wheat grass, and i can't wait to try the superfood. i think the chocolate superfood will be perfect for my fruit smoothies!

get 15% off buying on their website by using the coupon code 'matthart'! and let me know what you think. i've had a handful of people already profess their love and noticeable increase in energy... good stuff.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Coyote Two Moons 100 Miler

dos lunas 100 miler is over and word on the street is that karl meltzer hammered it for the win. on the woman's side betsy nye took top honors. justin angle and ajw came in tied for 2nd place in 23:45!.. apparently hal koerner was apparently sick and did not race. derek carr took 4th with whit rambach in 5th.

congrats guys!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

3 Days of Syllamo Day 2 - 50 Miles

Day 2 - 50 Miles with 16,000 feet of gain (i say more like 12,000ft)

often after a race i cannot sleep that night. this happened on friday after the 50km day 1 race (3 days of syllamo). thanks to ty, kevin and corena i had a great comfy bed and it didn't help. i just laid there. i think i probably got 45mins of sleep. of course i don't like not getting much sleep but my days as an adventure racer i think have prepared me to at least not stress over it. and for this race i did not.

sore muscles and a bit colder temps met us at the start line. i couldn't have been any more confident in lining up on this day. i like 50km races... i love 50 mile races. i figured i did well at a lower distance the day before and now we were going to really run a nice long one. in my mind i figured this was my race. ah, not so much.

we started at 6am in the pitch dark. ty and i had planned once again to run together as long as it made sense and to be honest i really enjoyed this. we headed out to the first climb with headlamps blazing into the cold air. up the first climb ty and i started to pull away. we weren't runnig hard, but just slightly faster than most on the climb. the other lights, started to get further and further away every time i checked. since we weren't even really putting much effort in yet i let my mind get ahead of me and started thinking we "had this one".

but a lot can happen in 50 miles of trail. and it did. as ty and i ran through aid station 2 at around mile 10 or so we dumped out headlamps. ty's friends kevin and corena were crewing us. with the crowd cheering we got a lot of energy coming through the aid station. ty noticeably picked up the pace. through the aid, over the bridge and up the dirt road we went. i put my head down and followed as he "surged" (my new nickname for ty). it was here that we lost the race and the overall.

i didn't even see the ribbon with my head down. ty said he saw it but thought it was indicating we were on the right track, running up the road. we spent another 35 mins running uphill a couple thousand extra feet. by the time we decided to turn around we had come quite a distance and it was now hailing on us. a low for sure.

we finally made the call and charged back to the aid station 2. before the bridge was the now very obvious trail marking to the course. i gave ty my pep talk on how "this is what we do. we are absolutely going to catch up!". we then hit the trail and in my mind tried to make it all up right there - on that first climb! i held on for dear life! passing lots of runners it was obvious the damage was grave. we were now deep in the middle pack and had a ton of work to make up. we figured it was an hour or so of lost time, plus extra miles and vert we added to our legs.

after ty's push we hit an unmanned aid station where i filled my nathan bottle quickly, dropped a lemon-lime nuun tab in and started to put in my work. ty hung for a while but i was feeling good and he slowly started to fall back. around one of the creek draws i tried to get ty fired up with "put it down for a-town!". ty's from afton, wy and it rhymed. it didn't work, however and i was soon alone, but feeling great. i started to hit aid stations and hear how far back from now first place josh nordell. 35 minutes, 25 minutes, 20 minutes.. then finally "you are about 15 mintues back from 1st place". wow! that was great and motivating, but the effort had taken a toll on me. i started to feel really tired and upset that i hadn't slept better. i just didn't feel normal.

now i'll abreviate bc this is getting long.. basically we "mailed it in". our drive was gone. i hit the 25 mile 1/2 way mark in 5hr 20min. with an out and back course i did the math and josh now had 34 minutes on me again. after the turn around ty had made up some good time too and i had probably just 13 minutes on him now. i then got confused following the blazes and did a bit of bushwhacking! pretty embarrassing. i found the trail and started running the wrong way. i could tell from the slope, but went with it anyway as i figured "if i run into ty we can run together. if i don't i'm going the right way". and there was ty. the next 25 miles went like this.... ty led, i followed. i had massive issues with my stomach. i dropped trow 4 times before the finish. these weren't normal stops. they were often "if i don't drop this second my montrail/mountain hardwear shorts are going to be soiled" stops.

in the last 5 miles we even got passes and it didn't elicite much of a response. we just looked at each other and shrugged. finished our 58 miles together in 10:49. our overall aspirations were now gone.

matt clay won in 9:30:02 with josh nordell coming in 2nd in 9:40:54. nuun ultrarunner ashley nordell made it two for two winning the woman's race in 10:23:14. great running guys! -results

50 mile winner matt clay (this photo is actually from the next day, but i bet it looked similar)

my gear:
shoes: montrail odysseywith teko ecopoly socks (no blisters)
electrolytes: nuun lemon lime
fuel: clif shots and clif bloks
general health between the 3 races: i could not have done it without my amazing grass!

Friday, March 21, 2008

THANKS - 3 Days of Syllamo

i got ahead of myself posting a day one race report. i have major thanks to give. first to steve kirk who puts the 3 days of syllamo race on. awesome job man, you should be proud of the race, because it's an ass kicker for real! thanks for letting me and nuun share in this wonderful event. if it's any indication i am planning on coming back next year. i have some unfinished business to take care of. i hate adding to my redemption list (it now includes 4 events). if you are an ultra runner and it sounds like too much too early come on out and use it as a great weekend "training camp". the ozark singletrack will blow your mind. it blew mine.

special thanks to ty's personal sponsors the ricks (owners of the jackson hole ripley's believe it or not - go check it out!). kevin and corena you guys are amazing. your generosity was limitless. i'm lucky to have met you. on that note also thanks to ashley and josh nordell and the entire arkansas ultra scene who made it such a great 3 days of running.

most of all i think i have to thank ty draney for the invite and all that you did for me at the race. it didn't end up the way we planned, but it's just the start to many more adventures buddy!

3 Days of Syllamo Day 1 - 50km

i was lucky enough to be in the ozark mountains for steve kirk's multi day ultra, the 3 days of syllamo which started on march 14th, 2008. ty draney had invited me to join him as a two person team for a 3 day ultra in mountain view, arkansas.

Day 1 - 50km (measured 32.8 miles)
Day 2 - 50 Miles (about 58 miles for ty and i)
Day 3 - 12km (measured 13.8 miles)

at check-in they informed ty and i we were the only registered team. with no point in winning the team division we figured we would run together as long as it made sense and see what happened. we both hoped that we would be able to run hard together and win the races. it was not to be.

Day 1 – 50km (32.8 miles actually) with 8,000+ feet of elevation gain (i'd say more like 6,000)

here is the rub. we were running 3 days, but anyone could show up and just run 1 day. meaning they didn't have to save anything for the 50 mile "killer" the following day.

as we started out it was ty and I running behind ponytail, a local guy we found out was 2nd at the long running syllamo 50km and camo, last year’s winner from kansas (named for his camo shorts). Just behind us was ashley nordell’s ironman husband josh nordell. i felt very relaxed and contrasted it to the starting pace at the orcas island 50km i had run just a month earlier, which seemed almost frantic by comparison. this was good, since we still had a 50 mile and 20km race.

camo dropped off pace pretty quickly and after about two hours josh let us get a few minutes up on him. following ponytail john muir was great because he knew the trail and we were certain not to get lost. i'd say the trail was sufficiently marked, but not overly marked. after a couple hours i asked ty “when do you want to put it down and hammer?”. with the course being a nice loop we discussed maybe the half way aid station. well on one of the next climbs ty decided to go. john was very pleasant and stepped to the side of the trail as we ran past him up hill.

the course was awesome 99.9% singletrack. the weather was probably in the 60’s for most of the race and there was no sun.. yet. so we “put it down”. putting time on the whole race. i was running the finishing scenarios. it would be a glorious scene as ty and I would cross the finishline together. i thought holding hands would be weird so i'd stick my nathan bottle out and he'd hold that – team nuun victorious.

we had run about 25 miles i'd say when the sun came out to shine on us. this made me smile, and made my lemon lime nuun taste that much better. it felt like a glorious 70 degrees and i was in heaven as we ran the amazing trails of the ozarks. we were about 3hrs into the race and ty started to slow down a bit. his stomach had stopped digesting what he was consuming. we slowed our roll as he dry heaved. we would walk a bit, he'd try to throw up, then we'd try to run, he'd try to throw up, we'd walk again. this went on for a while until he finally emptied the contents of his stomach on the trail. buckets of water and gels spewed out on the ozark trail. i comforted him the best i could, asked if he needed anything and tried to get him running again. he of course apologized perfusely. i said “don’t worry about it, we’ll still winning”. that didn’t last much longer as 3rd place john muir soon caught and passed us. i coaxed ty along trying to run slow, but he disappeared around the corner so I stopped.

now the logic going through both our heads is this. staying a team means nothing since there is no other teams racing. if we can’t win together, then i figured one of us should go for it.
“ty what do you think? are you going to come out of this and be able to run again? or are you done? i'll wait if you can pull out of this.” these were tormenting questions for sure, but with john looking good they had to answered immedietally. i thought, "if ty can pull out of this it would be cool to chase 1st place with him. if he can't i need to go now or i will run out of trail to catch the guy." after some agonizing internal debate on both of our parts we were caught by josh nordell. ugh.

ty could feel my angst and finally said "just go!". i sped away intent on catching john. which i did after a few minutes. i sped past thanking him for letting me by and picked up the pace. he hung tough and closed on me a few times. i held him off and hit the road a bit confused as to where i was or which direction to go. before hitting the field to the finishline i checked over my shoulder and didn't see him. i ran a wide route following the flower markings on the field to make sure no one would claim i cut the course. people near the finish started to cheering as i ran towards the finishline thinking my race was over. then it seemed like they were cheering really excited. like something was happening. i checked over my shoulder and ten feet behind me in a full sprint was john muir! without thought i ran as though i was running from the cops and made it across the finish about 2 seconds before john. what a terrible way to finsih 50km. i had no idea how he closed all that distance so i asked "did you cut the course?". it really seemed like the only way he could have come from nowhere. i mean i checked a couple times.. on straight sections too. then a little bit beside myself with his move at the end i said "you tried to skunk me at the end!" john claimed "i wouldn't have done that".

my time was 4:22:59 (results) and i don't think it's a stretch to say that had i raced from start to finish, i could have run sub-4hrs. and thus started the "redemption list" for the 3 days of syllamo... it gets longer, trust me. coming soon ~ the day 2 - 50 mile race report.

nuun ultragoddess ashley nordell won day 1 for the woman in 4:59:45. she's fast! congrats ashley.

** disclaimer: after the race i hung out with john. he seemed like a great guy.

my gear:
shoes: montrail odyssey with teko ecopoly socks (no blisters)
electrolytes: nuun lemon lime
fuel: clif shots and clif bloks
general health between the 3 races: i could not have done it without my amazing grass!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Anno Domini Larry Bird

Anno Domini Larry Bird 52 i turned 33. this happened on march 5, while i was in steamboat. i'm now an old man. however i find comfort in the fact that larry played a young man's fast twitch sport until he was 35 and had a great season at age 33 (check out the career stats). as the under powered little white guy i can relate with larry bird. he was physiologically at a distinct disadvantage. he wasn't blessed with the physical abilities it takes to dominate his chosen sport. but he personified hard work and dedication... and in turn all that you can accomplish wielding those tools. my disadvantages are many; 80% lung capacity of a 'normal' male my age, asthma, very average VO2Max, 25% less meniscus in my right knee. we all have them (except jurek), but either you let them fuel you or you let them take you down.

i ran with a fella in arkansas who would at times would get into a funk mentally. asking "why am i out here? why do i do this to myself? i could be somewhere else." it struck me as strange because honestly these thoughts never cross my mind. so few people will ever find something they are passionate about. most just go through life not knowing what it's like to give 100% of yourself to something.. and that is sad.

i leave you with a larry bird highlight real and i suggest you find a way to make your own.

turn the volume off if you dislike swear words or rap

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

nuun Rocks Chuckanut 50km

updated! with race comments

the last couple of years i've been a volunteer at the chuckanut 50km in bellingham, washington (results). it's massively popular, super competitive (jurek got 3rd) and has grown to become the 10th largest ultra in the united states. this is probably due to the fact that nuun has sponsored the race the last two years! it was at every aid station this year once again. because i was out of town in the ozark mtns at 3 days of syllamo (race reports coming soon) i wasn't able to race (which i've never done) or volunteer. but the nuun ultrarunners held it down!

brian morrison rocked it for 4th in 4:14:26

here is a quick report from brian:
"The morning began cold and very wet. Even as excited as I was to run Chuckanut, having missed the race last year, I was feeling totally unmotivated by the steady downpour. However, as the race began, the skies dried up and the weather steadily improved throughout the day. The rain made for some very sloppy trail conditions, but that's always a factor at Chuckanut. So despite the pre-race showers, the weather and conditions ended up being pretty typical for a mid March day in Bellingham.
Having trained right up to the race, I knew that I wasn't coming in with the freshest feeling legs. With Bryan Dayton racing and Scott Jurek coming off a 6 minute PR at Way Too Cool, I knew that it was going to be a tough race. Bryan took off right from the start and basically led the race wire to wire. Scott, myself and a handful of others went out at a slightly less aggressive pace. I ran with Scott and Peter Ellis (2nd place finisher) to the top of Cleator Road, but Scott was able to put a little time on me at the aid station transition. Between aid station 3 and 4 I mostly ran alone. I wasn't feeling bad, but I could feel my drive beginning to wane. I forced down a gel and some blocks, and as I reached the high point of the course, I started to feel much more energized. With a few miles downhill on a road followed by the flat 10k of the interurban back to Bellingham, I was starting to feel really good. As I came through the final aid station I was in 7th place. In those final six miles, I continued to eat and drink and was feeling stronger with each step. When all was said and done, I'd caught three runners and moved up to 4th place in a time of 4:14. Looking at the chip timed splits confirmed what I had felt. My final split from aid station #4 to the finish was the fastest of the day. It felt great to finish so strong considering the training volume I had done right up to the race.

As an aside, Kona Kola Nuun is soooo good. That's all I drank at Chuckanut. I never even felt the slightest twinge of a cramp. Normally late in a race I have to switch to water just due to sweet overload, but when given the choice of Nuun or plain water, I kept grabbing the Nuun bottle. I just need to remember to eat a little more, since there are no calories coming from the Nuun. I'm really psyched on the product. Thanks"
read more on brian's blog

devon crosby-helms won the woman's division in 4:40:29 for 17th overall

here is a quick report from devon:
"Despite daunting prerace rain and the subsequent serious mud, the cards were in my favor Saturday as I ran the Chuckanut 50k. The combination of a flat start and finish, well scouted hills and some truly fun technical sections and downhills, all suited me well and I was able to put together a great race. My energy was great, my hydration perfect thanks to my Nuun and my legs felt strong for an early season "B" race and I was able to fend off some very strong female competition for 1st place woman and 17th overall in a time of 4:40:29."
read more on devon's blog

bruce grant warming up for the 100 mile coyote two moons this weekend ran 5:14:37

olga varlamova in the nuun jersey! she ran 6:34:58

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More Steamboat Fun - Rabbit Ears to Mount Werner

well with 10 days in steamboat i found time to run, ski, snowshoe and hang with the family. i had a great time, and really like this place. after running a good 18 snow miles on the first day my hip started to hurt more than it should. the previous monday i took a good fall on my road bike. road rash and a hurty hip were the result. sux. but with 3 days of syllamo coming up i used it as another reason to taper.. which was very hard to do in steamboat.

this was my view after skinning up the steamboat ski resort to the top of mount werner!

thanks meissner for connecting me to a training parnter in steamboat. katherine is an ex pro mtn biker, bad ass, and was a great tour guide. these two photos are from our 8 mile skin from rabbit ears pass to steamboat resort. great day but low vis, cloudy and not a great photo taking day.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Steamboat Floats My Boat!

yestderday i arrived at the little bitty airport that is hayden, just 20 miles outside of steamboat springs, colorado. i'm here for a family visit and, as you might expect as much training as i can fit in!

my mother and her husband david are avid skiers. david is a p.s.i.a. certified ski instructor. so rather than suffer through skiing in new hampshire another winter they decided to move to a real ski town! how cool is that? i like to brag about them having the gumption to do this.

my buddy and fellow montrail ultrarunner sean meissner, who used to live here, told me about the steamboat pentathalon, which was today. i ran down to see the event. mike kloser, who is quite possibly the best adventure racer to ever live, crushed everyone. i wished i had been racing. which brings me back to the fact that i need to learn to skate ski. the problem really is that if i'm in the mountains i'm backcountry skiing - not skate skiing. i'm still an adrenaline junkie at heart i suppose.

my next real race is now under two weeks away, the 3 days of syllamo, starting on march 14th. so i have to be careful not to overdue it while here in steamboat, and actually taper at some point. i'm also dealing with some hip pain from a bike fall, and some morton's nueroma.. sigh. today i felt great however, maybe it was the sun. i would run loops of the course that no one was on, stop in to watch the race, then run another loop, etc. in all i got about 18 miles in on the snowy trails with my yak traks (thanks cory/suzanne!. great gift!). it was a cloudless and sunny day. with the elevation in town being just under 7,000ft (perfect for elevation training) and my 2:30 hr run today producing enough endorphins to kill a road runner, i'm devising a plan to spend some real time here. we'll see if i can work something out.