Thursday, December 17, 2009

Backcountry.com's Gear Lists


sunday i was having a conversation with my buddy steve as we skinned into the crystal mountain backcountry. we are both admitted gear junkies and i was telling him exactly what mountain hardwear athlete / backcountry.com pro skier andrew mclean used for gear.  i've had a lot of trouble finding the right ski boot and i noted andrew's choice of the scarpa spirit 4.  steve had just brought a ton of slightly used gear to second ascent here in seattle and said "if i had these gear lists a few years ago i wouldn't have just sold $400 in used gear to second ascent".  using the pro's gear lists and the amazingly relevant reviews on backcountry.com is the only way to go when deciding on big ticket items that can make or break you trip into the backcountry.

andrew mclean's wasatch backcountry skiing gear list



Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Gifts for Adventure Athlete in Your Life

'tis the season to buy stuff. i am a certified gear junkie. here are some items that have been on my mind lately and could just be that perfect gift for the runner, cyclist or adventure athlete in your life.

Suunto T6c Training Watch  $399.00



this is the best watch for an ultrarunner, backcountry skier or distance mtn biker.  i like to know how much vert i'm climbing and the T6c's altimeter is spot on.  best i've ever used, and i've used them all.  the heart rate monitor is great and the useability of the interface has been well thought out.  it's no iPhone, but you could probably figure it out without the manual.
if you're buying this for a runner i'd get this watch with the runners pack, which includes a foot pod that meassures distance with an excelerometer.  once calibrated, it's far superior to gps in the backcountry.  that is an important distinction.  if you are buying this for someone who is in the backcountry a lot the tradition gps watch like a Garmin 305 or 405 will be in inept... trust me.  i've tried a number of gps units and keep coming back to foot pods.  in my experience gps connectivitiy just isn't good enough, foot pods still rule in the backcountry.  and don't even get me started on the vertical gain and loss calculations of gps units.  in one word ~ useless. 

VholdR ContourHD 1080p Wearable Camcorder  $329.95



my buddy steve brought this camera to our moab adventure.  i like to take videos of adventures and for mtn biking and skiing the 1st person perspective is really conveys the experience.  this camera let's you mount to just about anything you can imagine; bike or ski helmet, handlebars, etc.  it's small, easy to use and weighs just 4.3oz.  i'll let the camera speak for itself, here is video steve took while riding behind marcos and i on the porcupine rim trail.



Black Diamond Sprinter Headlamp  $79



just this morning mandy and i forgot our headlamps for a dark thirty run at cougar mountain. we ran for 1hr 30mins by the light of super K's beautifully designed black diamond sprinter. even though i have a strong selection of headlamps (and love petzl) in the closet i've been lusting over this headlamp for a few months now. the main reasons are; it's rechargeable, no more throwing away batteries after they die. since we all create 4.5 lbs of waste PER DAY this is a great way to lessen our burden on the land fill (watch the story of stuff).  second, it's functionally a great light that lasts 4hrs per recharge. with that said it's not the light i'd rely on for a long night section of a race or adventure run. but it is perfect for the twice weekly morning runs we have here in seattle, and as a camping torch.

Skins Compression Socks $44.95



i first heard of calf sleeves a few years ago while hanging out with some salomon athletes.  their version was "hard to find" at the time, and looking through their website for this post i still couldn't find them.  at outdoor retailer i was introduced to the zensah calf sleeves, and i've been wearing them for a few months now.  these are definitely one of those hard to tell if it helps type of products.  however i believe in the technology, even if it's benefits are overstated on the skins website.  i would say if you are someone with calf or foot issues then it can't hurt, and it's likely to actually help.  there have been some days where i'm certain my calf sleeves have help lessen the fatigue and DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Sorness) in my calves.
 
Mountain Hardwear Hooded Compressor Jacket $151.96 


this is a jacket i've been lusting over.  i think i need a hood for my down jacket when things get crazy cold and windy in the backcountry.  what pushed me over the top on this jacket was this review from FeedTheHabit.  his bottom line: "I’m sold on this jacket. I love how comfortable it wears and how well it insulates. Slip on the Compressor and you’ll feel like you just slipped into a mummy bag. With excellent wind and water protection combined with a tall collar to keep you protected from the wind, this jacket works great as a mid or outer layer.:"
Mountain Hardwear Nitrous Jacket $219.95



the nitrous is my go-to down jacket.  i probably wear this jacket more than any other in my quiver.  it's the best down jacket i've ever owned.  it's warm and super light.  i'll take this out into the backcountry skiing when the conditions aren't supposed to be arctic (see above jacket for that one).  i'll throw it on for backcountry lunch breaks and for the downhills.  this is a solid and versatile piece that looks great in the backcountry or a night out on the town.

... and of course THE best stocking stuffer is
nuun and U  $41.58 (8pack)





because it doesn't have the nasty sugars of a gatorade nuun is bladder safe. meaning you can add it to your ski or running backpack bladder and not worry about it becoming a science project. i'm going to publish a discount code for xmas soon... check back later!

Teko Pro Ski Socks  $15.16 


keeping my toes warm during backcountry ski tours is a real priority for me.  i've had frostbite on my bit toes before.  it's not pleasant, and it's left them more sensitive to the cold.  these teko ski pro socks have worked really well for me.  we all know the performance benefits of wool.  teko uses only the best merino wool, from one sustainable farm in new zealand.  the company is super environmentally conscious and analyzes every aspect of product and transportation of their products.  the best socks on the planet, the best socks for the planet.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Positively False - Floyd Landis's Book


floyd landis was the 2006 tour de france winner. period. i now believe that he won clean. i just finished his book positively false - the real story of how i won the tour de france. it was a good quick read that i highly recommend. if you watched that tour, or are a fan of the sport you will devour this book.

i'll recap some of the things i found interesting. floyd grew up a mennonite and has basically been training since he was 8 years old. he started with mountain bike racing. he even mentions his first experience racing with professionals in a 24hr mtn bike race with my buddy john stamstad. from there he wreaked havoc in the road peloton until he got a professional contract.

john actually joined floyd's defense team when he was attempting to prove that he hadn't used illegal performance enhancing drugs during the 2006 tour de france. the way he was portrayed in the media was reproachable.  we all convicted him before any of the evidence was presented, with the "they all do it" attitude.  that was a shame, but an arbitration system that works would have allowed him to defend himself properly and prove his innocence.  unfortunately lives are ruined and a clean athlete has no way to defend from the inevitable mistake.  not ONE athlete has won their arbitration case... not one.. EVER.



floyd was a domestique for lance armstrong in 2002-2004 and was an integral part of two of lance's tour de france victories. what he writes about those years on the postal service team doesn't make lance or team director johan bruneel sound like very nice guys. however he admits that he and dave zabriskie were "dumb and dumber" as lance used to call them. tension and floyd's improving performance sent him to team phonak and a better deal.

one thing that fascinated me most in the book was floyd's description of his training. he once road 24,000 miles in a single year. that is an average of 500 mile weeks.. all year! i've done a couple 400 mile weeks in my day back when i raced bikes. it's hard. real hard. i would liken 500 road biking miles to 100 miles of running in a week. now i realize i'm no floyd landis, but just the thought of averaging 500 miles for a year really is borderline unbelievable. he mentions that lance and johan actually didn't believe him, so i'm not the only one that impressed. he also states plainly that he wasn't much fun to be around because literally all he did was ride hard, and rest even harder. spending non saddle time exclusively on the couch taking naps.



having watched the greatest single day performance on a bike live on television i was eager to get to floyd's description of his stage 17 at the 2006 tour de france. this stage is the day he tested positive and is often used as the obvious example of his enhanced performance. it's been analyzed at this point from every angle. a couple of things, besides the alleged synthetic testosterone (which actually wouldn't have helped on that day) enabled floyd to have that amazing performance. his team launched him off the front, ahead of the peloton. so he rode alone in the 102 degree heat. this allowed him to have a team car hand him bottle after bottle. in fact he went through 65 bottles, only drinking 16. the rest he repeatedly dumped on his head. which they believe allowed him to create a micro-climate around himself a good 30 degrees cooler than the other riders in the peloton. and we know that a hydrated person doesn't have to work as hard (meaning they require fewer heart beats) as a dehydrated person to achieve the same power numbers or output. they have also compared his power numbers to previous days in the tour and to some of the data from his bigger training sessions. there is nothing out of the ordinary. in fact stage 17 was not unique as far as power numbers go for floyd, it was no anomaly. but the situation made it the most dramatic day in tour history and i believe he was clean.

i won't get into all the reasons i believe this, but there are many and most center around the incompetence of the french lab. he had 9 tests during the tour and only 1 day came up positive. it's my understanding that if he doped with synthetic testosterone it would not and could not be clear from his system that fast. the french lab technician admitted she knew it was floyd's sample while she was doing the test. commentator phil liggett called this "unscrupulous to say the least". there was also the small fact that they mislabeled the samples, and throughout the testing results actually use the wrong test tube numbers. numbers that weren't associated with floyd's. it's not a stretch to say the french lab botched the test.

i fully realize i drank the coolaid. floyd's book had the desired effect on me. since writing the above book review i've since done a bit of digging around. there is obviously a convincing story to the contrary and it will be fun to read the other side of things. lance armstrong fans will recognize(and likely hate) the name david walsh. he wrote from lance to landis - inside the american doping controversy at the tour de france. i read an excerpt from his book and all i can say is, wow, he doesn't pull any punches.

if floyd is innocent this is the greatest sports tragedy of all time, surpassing what bill buckner did.



Monday, November 30, 2009

2010 Tribute to the Trails Calendar


washington ultrarunner and photographer glenn tachiyama has once again put together a stellar tribute to the trails calendar.  there are some great shots in there.  the cover shot above is washington runner kathleen egan, and there is a cool shot of the white river 50 miler start as well as many others.  you can flip through all the photos here.  i'll be picking up a few of these as christmas gifts.  and you can feel good about it too because all proceeds from the sale of the calendars benefit the washington trails association.  head down to my favorite local (to seattle area) running store, the balanced athlete to pick one up or buy it online from hal koerner's rogue valley runners store.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Department of Goods confirms: ”Full Price is Dead”



Department of Goods confirms: ”Full Price is Dead”

New online closeout store brings wallet-relief to gear junkies

PARK CITY, UTAH (Nov. 11, 2009)
—With the economy stuck on its crux move, savvy gear shoppers have been faced with the scary possibility that the only way to afford new gear this season is to scour the aisles of sticky-floored discount stores and drop-shipping closeout sites in the off chance that they’ll discover some affordable piece of out-of-season gear that isn’t a mauve colored size XXXL.  But starting today, the era of settling for shoddy gear in questionable colors and tent sizes has passed. Today, the Department of Goods, a new online gear megastore, opens its e-doors — to the lucky few, that is.

The Department of Goods, another new store from the team at Backcountry.com, sells the latest and finest outdoor, surf, skate, bike, and mountain equipment from more than 400 pinnacle brands like The Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, Montrail, Oakley, Volcom, Burton, Rocky Mountain, and Giro. The selection; the deep, in-stock inventory; the ability to find what you’re looking for fast; community reviews and Q+A; and the bend-over-backwards customer service you’ve come to expect from Backcountry.com, mean, simply, that you’ve stumbled upon the promised land of premium gear.

But there’s a catch. Not everyone can get in. Not yet, at least. The grand opening/beta launch is VIP only. To get past the velvet rope for the first shot at the goods inside the Department, you need to get yourself an invitation — or use your wily resourcefulness to track down a key code.

The lucky ones will receive an email invitation. Others will get in because they “know people.”  But if you just show up at the door without an invite, the Department’s doorman will shut you down. You can politely ask for a code, but you’ll, politely, have to wait.

Once you’re in, you’re in. You’ll have immediate access to insane deals on amazing gear. And it’s worth your while to shop, because during the beta roll out, the Department of Goods will be giving away $150,000 in gear. A set number of first comers will be matched with a surprise prize from a bona fide grab bag of swag, with gifts ranging from socks, t-shirts, and multi-tools to kayaks, skis, and bikes.

On top of that goodness, one in 10 purchases will be comped at random for a limited time. Fully comped. So if you’re not beside-yourself-ecstatic because you’ve just paid pennies on the dollar for your dream cart, you’re completely blown away because you just scored that gear for free.


To keep up on the deals, to try to score a code fast, or for the inside scoop on what the in-crowd is taking away for free, check out the Department of Goods’ Facebook page.


Yes, this is Backcountry’s fifth store launch in 2009, in the midst of this Eeyore economy, and even the hard-working people within our walls that make these things happen wonder what the hell we’re thinking. Especially since Department of Goods is a replacement for the long-lived (but let’s face it, not very inspired) BackcountryOutlet.com.

But the Department of Goods is different. It’s the only place to find the breadth and depth in selection of high-end outdoor, bike and action sports gear (BackountryOutlet.com is seriously lacking in bike and action sports), leaving its predecessor lame and whimpering in the dust.

As for the fate of BackcountryOutlet.com? After we work out the kinks during the beta test and launch Department of Goods wide open to the public in early 2010, Backcountry Outlet will be taken out back and, unceremoniously, shot.
DepartmentofGoods.com: you’ll never have to choose between gear and groceries again.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mountain Biking the White Rim Trail in One Day


white rim in a day, what can i say? let's start with what this trail is not.. it's not a "trail". well not in the conventional sense. it's not singletrack. it's a jeep road. having ridden hours and hours of dirt road in my life during races, when i am planning my non-racing adventures i tend to lean heavily towards singletrack. i was however intrigued by the fact that the white rim was a nice 100 mile loop in a beautiful place. roch and catherine really drove that home for me a couple weeks before this planned trip to the meca of moab. they said "it's prettier than the kokopelli!".

dj and i had been talking about trying to ride the white rim and whether we thought we could talk the singletrack minded seattleites into it. "how cool would it be to knock out the kokopelli and the white rim in the same week?" i kept thinking, and saying. after all was said and done, dj broke his wrist and couldn't ride; the singletrack seattleites didn't have the butt endurance; and mandy who hasn't ridden 80 miles total on a mtn bike in the last 5 years combined, jumped in.

dj was cool enough to help us avoid the very boring 20 miles of road section on top of the mesa. so at 6am, with light and motion bike lights blazing, mandy and i dropped into the cold dark abyss.







the first few hours were cold. we had barely enough gear to stay comfortable. i can't speak for mandy but i was uncomfortably cold for the first two hours. as the sun came up and the beauty unveiled itself we warmed up literally and figuratively to the white rim... wow. from our start at mineral bottom we dropped down to the green river and potato bottom. we didn't push the pace, we just stayed nice and steady with our effort and soaked it in. mandy having jumped in last minute was on a rented bike, using a rental helmet, rental shoes and a hodgepodge of extra gear from dj and myself. we knew we had to be done in 11 hours or risk not getting the bike back to the moab cyclery in time.







we were riding counterclockwise. dj and most everyone else suggested going the clockwise. however with our dark thirty start i decided to go the other direction simply to see the views on the shafer trail.

..and the views along the way were fantastic. mandy pointed out some of the rocks she's climbed, washerwoman and monster tower. having eaten loads of fake food at that point we took a sit down lunch on the edge near airport tower.

the climb out was tough after 70 miles, and it seemed to go about as steep as a road could possibly be without tipping cars over on their end. mandy did great, she's an amazing athlete and you wouldn't have known she's not technically a "cyclist". with the sun blazing as we climbed out i was starting to really feel it. a nice english couple driving down the road stopped to encourage me. i took it as an opportunity to beg for some water, which they happily gave mandy and i. the ride out was in fact amazing and gorgeous and well worth the effort. we were excited to have gotten it done in one shot. we returned to the car exhausted, but in time to return the bike... perfect.

i will say driving back to salt lake city was just awful and i have no idea how mandy did it. my legs and body ached and i could not get comfortable. mandy drove while i moaned from my 275 mtn bike miles in the previous 6 days.







Monday, October 26, 2009

Running Kings Peak Videos

finally went through some of the footage i took of mandy, eddie and my run up kings peak (13,528 ft). here are two of my favorites - i'm working on a short video of the entire trip set to music.




Wednesday, October 21, 2009

M-Bars: Mandy's Energy Bar Recipe

by Mandy Hosford


I'm not a baker, or a registered dietician, or an experienced concocter of energy foods. However, I modified an oatmeal bar-cookie recipe to come up with these and I think they're full of things that I both like and recognize as food. Plus, Matt ate 'em whilst riding a mountain bike for 142 miles and he didn't go bad. So that's a small experiment, but a good one. Any questions on the recipe...call my friend Shannon. She's the real baker.

Oatmeal bars disguised as performance food. Call 'em what you will....

Mix well until fluffly...
1/4 c veg oil
3/4 c ground flax meal
3/4 c brown sugar or cane sugar

Add the following...
1 egg (If you're vegan, you can leave out the egg. I doubt that it would be catastrophic)
1 1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t salt

Now for the rest...
1 c whole wheat flour
3/4 t baking powder
1/2 c granola (any kind, really) or 1/2 c toasted wheat germ for a slightly lower fat option
3/4 c rolled oats
3/4 c raisins
3/4 c chocolate chips
1/2 c chopped walnuts or pecans or toasted sunflower seeds

*You can pretty much add anything here including ginger pieces, coconut flakes, other nuts, banana chips, other dried fruit, etc...

And now to get it all ready for the oven...
By now it's probably sort of dry so add 1/4 up to 1/2 cups of apple sauce such that it gets moister and can be spread in a greased (non-stick spray or butter) baking dish (I opted for a glass baking dish).

Bake at 375 deg F
Keep em in the oven until the kitchen starts to smell really good and a knife (not a finger) inserted into the center comes out clean. Time in the oven depends on the size of the dish you've used and how thinly the batter's been spread.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Kokopelli Trail - 142 Mile Two Day Mountain Bike Adventure from Fruita, CO to Moab, UT


pre-ride babble

if you've ever done any research for endurance mountain biking routes you've likely come across the famed kokopelli trail. at 142 miles it travels south west from fruita, colorado to moab, utah on singletrack, country road and a bit of pavement.

although i've made at least two trips to moab per year for the last 6 years, riding this entire trail has somehow alluded me. last september i had even arrived and planned on running it self supported. but the foot injury that subsequently took me out for all of 2009 wasn't ok with that plan.

fast forward to the end of this winter. my buddy, the quintessential weekend warrior, steve copson and a coaching client, endurance mtb studd and friend dj brooks had both mentioned a fall trip to the mountain bike meca. dj and i quickly hatched our plan to ride the kokopelli trail in two days.

we drove from seattle to salt lake city and my second home in the sugarhood. mandy helped us prepare for our two day mountain bike epic, which made it possible to actually leave with enough time on monday to get everything done. the logistics weren't pretty, but we figured out a reasonable plan. we drove to moab booked a hotel room for wed night and dropped some apre gear in the bike storage at the archway hotel. we then drove to dewey bridge where the kokopelli trail crosses the highway on 128. it's also a good mid point at mile 77 of the kokopelli trail heading south. we hid our camping gear and a cooler of food in the bushes here. we then drove to fruita, colorado for a quick bite to eat, then sleep.


Day 1 - Loma, CO to Dewey Bridge (77 miles with 7,000 ft of gain)




we started day one a bit later than planned at 8:06am. we assumed around 9hrs of casual riding for the 77 miles with 7,000ft of gain. the northern trailhead of the kokopelli starts in loma, colorado a few miles from fruita. for the day one ride to dewey bridge i brought 11 hrs of food (around 200 cals per hour), 122oz of water and 1 tube of nuun for the trip. with just 122oz of water i knew i'd be risking a bit of dehydration but the weather looked cloudy and not super hot. i also figured with the trail crossing the river some 50 miles in i'd be able to replenish if it was looking like i made a mistake and was at risk. i made sure to super-hydrated before the start as well. which i would never do before a race, but we weren't racing so i figured i'd be ok... and it did in fact work out perfectly.

after the climb up mack ridge from the trailhead/parking lot on the dirt road off i70 the trail turns onto mary's loop which runs on a shelf above the colorado river. this section of kokopelli trail was so amazingly beautiful we were quite literally stopped in our tracks every few miles or so to take photos and video.






after some fun downhill singletrack the trail then drops down crosses the river and has a few hundred feet of hike a bike. from westwater to the cisco takeout dj and i got our paceline on, or as mandy calls it our "kokapellaton". the wind was intense, pedal down hill type of intense. it was kind of fun to have to work hard to pull us through the nasty wind.


as you can see in the video the ride down to mcgraw bottom was beautiful with the vibrant fall colors lighting our way as night started to descend upon us. after crossing highway 128 we both said "we've only got 8.2 miles to go today!". well after 69 miles that last 8.2 to dewey bridge seemed to take forever. the climb was pretty tough and there were sections of soft sand that caused our bikes to get super squirrely. it required more walking than we were willing to admit, fighting for every inch through the sand. although we had lights just in case, we luckily made it to our camping gear at dewey bridge without having to use them in 10hrs 40mins.

one of our water jugs had drained overnight, so we had to boil a bit of water to assure we had enough for coffee, and i suppose for food and hydration reasons as well... but mostly coffee. i was pretty excited to get another night in my black diamond lightsaber bivy (it's only 1lbs 10oz!). it was however a restless night with hours of intense wind. i had totally irrational nightmares of the colorado swelling and gobbling me up as i lay helplessly in my bivy.


Day 2 - Dewey Bridge to Moab, Utah (66 miles with 11,000ft of gain)

we headed out into a light rain on the second day at 8:34am. my lack of bike training mean my biggest issue was how saddle sore my butt was. having done a few adventure races and 24hr mtn bike races in my day it was a familiar feeling really, but one i don't appreciate. we call it 'monkey butt' and i think that about says it all.


as you can see from this elevation profile of the entire trail, our second day started out with a climb and didn't let up a whole lot. i worried a bit about our finish time and pace so i made an effort to keep us moving with minimal breaks. the climb out of cottonwood canyon was sandy and steep at times. this section was ranked difficult to very difficult and felt really remote. like we were the only ones on earth and we were miles and miles from comfort, safety and civilization. the final drop into the valley was a super steep road with loose baby head rocks that i walked most of. the reward however was rolling the flat road through the sage into fischer valley . fischer valley was amazing. dead flat for miles and then bam! sheer cliff walls. stunning.



from there we climbed up and out to beaver mesa, our first big climb of the day. the second was castle valley road to mason draw. i'll be honest here, the end of the kokopelli is uneventful. first there is no trailhead for a finish photo, it just sort of ends at the slickrock trail parking lot or in town moab. second the ride down and out sand flats road sucks. it sucks even more when you do it in the dark. once we hit moab it was once again back to our kokapellaton for one final hammer sesh to archway hotel and the sweet relief of getting off the saddle and taking off my nasty bike shorts.

i feel like kokopelli, the god of fertility, blessed us with a great adventure (and quite possibly super-fertility). the ride was amazingly beautiful and i feel so fortunate to be healthy enough to do such a trip. thank you dj brooks for the great company and adventure of a lifetime. also thank you mandy hosford for all your help getting us to the trailhead ready to ride 142 miles.


wanna ride the kokopelli trail?

check out my coaching services if you want to get ready to mountain bike or run the kokopelli trail. i'm also available as a personal guide for the trail. email me - Matt@CoachingEndurance.com


my gear for the kokopelli trail

bike: turner nitrous mtn bike
bike shoes: northwave aerlite S.B.S. bike shoe
helmet: rudy project helmet
shades: rudy project kalyos photochromic glasses
energy gels: clif shots
energy bars: mandy's homemade energy bars (link to recipe) & clif bars
electrolytes: orange ginger nuun
watch and GPS: suunto t6 w/gps pod to track distance and elevation
tent/bivy: black diamond lightsaber bivy
map: this is the only map i needed. the trail is very well marked.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

An Altitude Run Up the Highest Point In Utah - Kings Peak 13,528 feet





a few weeks ago mandy and i got to talking about running at altitude. the conversation then naturally moved to the highest peak in utah.. kings peak at 13,528ft is the 7th highest of the us state highpoints. so when i arrived friday mandy had a plan for us to run the 30.1 miles round trip to the top and back. it was incredible.



rather than a blow by blow i'll give you a list of interesting tidbits:
  • there is nothing i enjoy more than an 8hr run with my girl and the terrignar.. seriously.
  • we started at henry's fork trailhead (9,430ft) and ran 15 miles to the summit 13,528ft (our run time was 4hrs 18mins).. then back.
  • from 12,000ft on it felt like i was dragging a prius with someone sitting on my chest
  • i got poo on my hand (adventure running it's always pretty)
  • i drank straight from a stream at 12,000ft without treating the water (i'm becoming more bold these days with all the talk of iodine actually having no effect on giardia)
  • we used nuun to nutralize the taste of iodine treated water (i did treat a bottle's worth lower down)
  • mandy, jack russell terrignar eddie and i completely underestimated the effects of running at this altitude and were goofy stupid at the top. i actually think eddie might have had doggie altitude sickness. however once below 12,000ft he quickly returned to normal.
  • my montrail hardrocks once again saved my feet. great protection for this very rocky run. mandy wears the montrail masochists
  • mandy took so many great photos it was really hard to figure out which to post..









...and now a dog drinking nuun

Friday, September 25, 2009

Evan Honeyfield sets a NEW Fastest Known Time for Teton Circumnavigation

i caught up with evan honeyfield this year at the grand teton races. he was running his longest race to date, the grand teton 50 miler. he did awesome, went under the previous course record and took 2nd place with an impressive run. he's what we call a "marathoner".. and by that title i usually mean a very fast marathoner. if you aren't fast but you run marathons i just call you a runner, but Evan excels at the marathon distance. last week he emailed nuun / la sportiva runner luke nelson and myself of his intension to better his and luke's fastest known time on the teton circumnavigation loop i put together. i thought he might be capable of taking an hour off one of the first times laid down. at the end of the day he took 36mins off the record - impressive. his report on the run below.. congrats evan!

photo credit: Greg Norrander


My 2nd Longest Run Ever (Again) - Teton Circumnavigation Run FKT

Before I talk about the Teton run I want to discuss a most unholy marriage I put in place that has almost bred perfection. I’m talking the combo of Nathan and Ultimate Direction hydration products. I have both an Ultimate Direction and a Nathan single bottle waist belt that both occasionally eject a bottle on the trail while running (usually steep or very rocky descents). A Nathan bottle has a gate in its ring on the lid. The Ultimate Direction waist belt is more comfortable and has a little nylon loop. Gate meet loop; the worry free marriage.

Back to the Tetons. My wife and I camped on Shadow Mountain Thursday night. I arose early, saw frost on the windshield and promptly jumped back in the sack. Finally arriving at Lupine Meadows at 8:20am I realized my mistake. Fifteen minutes after hitting the trail around 8:30am I had removed my shirt and was really sweating soon after. I relished every bit of shade cruising up Cascade canyon as I needed to refill both hand held bottles only 1:40 into the run.

The plan for the day was to carry the unholy marriage empty until I hit the descent into Death Canyon as I knew water sources in the remaining ~14 miles are suspect after this point. I also planned to load up on the Nuun after my hard lesson of severe cramping at the Grand Teton 50 miler two weeks prior.

The south fork of Cascade Canyon was once again my favorite section of the run. Hitting Hurricane Pass in 2:04 I tried to take in the spectacular view (so sorry I don’t own a digital camera) and gag down a Carrot Cake Clif Bar (the Cool Mint Chocolate is so good how could Carrot Cake be so bad?). En route to Buck Pass I started to feel light headed and took a walk or two. At Static Pass I hit a gel and started thinking about my Rossi S7s and how awesome this descent would be in 25” of blower. As the ski dream faded I dropped into Death Canyon and I filled up all three bottles as planned and then descended to the Patrol cabin in 3:31. As my left calf had felt twinges of cramping I drank a bottle double Nuuned which did the trick.

The hill leading out of Phelps Lake was like the next three short climbs – a few short walks and cooking in the sun. I took the opportunity to have some fun and run through every stream as I headed across the lonely Valley Trail. At Taggart Lake I skipped the bridge and waded across. I thought about a nice long swim and then remembered my task. I ran out of water heading up towards Amphitheater Junction (2.5 miles to go) and really started to hurt. Feeling light headed again with a touch of weirdness in my vision I toughed it home to meet my wife in 5:34:31 and pound some serious fluids.

I was hoping for about 20 minutes faster, but I think the time is actually perfect as it is still within reach of many others, including Luke Nelson, my running companion from last year’s loop. The Tetons rarely disappoint in scenery or challenge and I had a great day.

The next day I jumped into the Horseshoe Challenge 20k in Driggs, ID as my wife was racing. My warm up was the 20 feet hobble to the start line. About two miles in my legs came alive and I begin to roll. The downhill portions were a blast with some crazy windy single track. I owe a shout out to Wray Landon for helping me run the correct route as a few markers were missing. Using completely different leg muscles than Friday I was able to pull off the win. In contrast to Friday’s solidarity, it was a great social event seeing old friends and meeting new ones.

Next up is miles 76 to 100 at the Bear 100 supporting Luke Nelson. I am hoping to follow that up with an Old Faithful to Bechler run in Yellowstone in early October that should include some sweet hot springs soak breaks, some river crossings, and maybe some wolves or bears. And if all goes well a rim to rim Grand Canyon run is brewing.

Evan H




Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Running in the Tetons - Jared Campbell's Table Mtn Alaska Basin Loop



The Grand (left) and Middle (right) tetons as viewed from a small lake south of Table Mtn

jared's awesome photo of the grand teton and the middle teton

there are a number of really talented runners in the salt lake city area who i am lucky enough to call friends. la sportiva runner jared campbell is one of them. i think i was on my 2nd week of running after a year off when i wholeheartedly said to jared i was "in" on whatever he had planned. let's just say it was a stretch for me, and he did a good deal of waiting around for the "slow guy".what jared put together in an area i have run in and am fairly familiar with was amazing . if you are willing to go off trail a bit there is no limit to the incredible terrain you can travel, as you can see in the photos. this it very counter to what most ultrarunners are into, and that's fine.

Table_Alaska_Map_300

Overview of the Table Mountain to Alaska Basin Loop






thank you jared for the awesome run! check out his blog on it and his photos.