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.


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.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

If You Only Take One Thing, Make It Fish Oil

i'm often asked what supplements i think people should take. actually just yesterday patagonia hot shot ultrarunner rod bien just asked me that exact questions. so i figured i'd respond to the world... here is my response:
"the only supplement i suggest for every client i have is fish oils. most diet's ratio of omega 3 : omega 6 is completely out of whack.

but other than that sweeping generalization, it's impossible to say. i had my blood work looked at by my "witch dr." or, ah homeopathic genius. i'm on vitamin I, E and sometimes Zinc. but we're each different. it's worth having your blood work looked at i think. also get pharmaceutical grade supplements, studies don't favor the kind you can buy in the grocery stores unfortunately."
that's right, fish oils. the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 in our diets has changed drastically with the evolution of industrialized food. we're feeding our meat more grain and corn and less of their natural green diets. the result is that the meat we eat has a lower content of omega 3. the ratio should be 1:1, and is now more often 1:30! in his book The Omnivore's Dilemma michael pollan hypothesizes that this change in ratios caused by our industrialization of meat production might turn out to be the single biggest factor that effects our health as a population. consuming fish and more to the point fish oil supplements can help us balance that ratio. i'm partial to carlson's and i buy them from hammer nutrition.

the following is taken from a major cardiology news site (

New review endorses CV benefits of fish oil
August 3, 2009 | Lisa Nainggolan

New Orleans, LA - A new review concludes that there is extensive evidence from three decades of research that fish oils, or more specifically the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) contained in them, are beneficial for everyone [1].

This includes healthy people as well as those with heart disease—including post-MI patients and those with heart failure, atherosclerosis, or atrial fibrillation—say Dr Carl J Lavie (Ochsner Medical Center, New Orleans, LA) and colleagues in their paper published online August 3, 2009 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

"We reviewed everything that was published on omega-3 that was clinically important, and the major finding is that there are a tremendous amount of data to support the benefits of omega-3, not just as a nutritional supplement—people have known that for years—but evidence that it prevents and treats many aspects of cardiovascular disease," Lavie told heartwire.

The omega-3 data may not be as impressive or as plentiful as [statin data] but it should be 'promoted' to clinicians.

Lavie said he believes physicians are not as familiar with the omega-3 studies as they should be: "Clinicians know the findings of many statin trials even if they do not know all the details—they know that there are a ton of statin data. The omega-3 data may not be as impressive or as plentiful as this, but it should be 'promoted' to clinicians."

Omega-3 PUFA, says Lavie, "is a therapy that clinicians should be considering prescribing to their patients. Not just as something healthy but as something that may actually prevent the next event. In HF, it may prevent death or hospitalization and the same thing post-MI." He and his colleagues reiterate the advice of the AHA: that those with known CHD or HF eat four or five oily-fish meals per week or take the equivalent in omega-3 supplements; healthy people should consume around two fatty-fish meals per week or the same in supplements.

Most data on EPA and DHA

In their review, Lavie and colleagues explain that most of the data on omega-3 have been obtained in trials using docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), the long-chain fatty acids in this family. The most compelling evidence for cardiovascular benefits comes from four controlled trials of almost 40 000 participants randomized to receive EPA with or without DHA in studies of primary prevention, after MI, and most recently with HF, they note.

for more info see mark sisson's blog:
The Definitive Guide to Fish Oils
Rapid Fire Q&A: Fish Oil Guide Follow-Up

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"This is no catered hike" - Mandy Hosford's 2009 Wasatch Front 100 Race Report

The 2009 Wasatch Front 100 Endurance Run - This is no catered hike.
My first goal for the WF100 was one that I hijacked from my friend David Hayes: let's first get to the starting line. This means getting accepted into the race, staying healthy, and selling your soul for the summer to stay true to a training program that would physically and emotionally prepare you for the task at hand: 100 miles and 26,131 feet through the Wasatch mountains. My second goal was to improve upon my previous time of 34:05 when I finished the WF100 in 2005. Early in the summer, I enlisted Matt Hart as my coach to help me attain these goals. Three months later found Matt driving me to the starting line for the WF100 and in jeopardy of missing the start altogether owing to some bad map beta from, um, yours truly. Matt had kindly agreed to come out to Utah for the race to watch the spectacle, hang out with Karl Meltzer, and even pace me through the last, and perhaps most grueling, 25 miles of the course.

Needless to say, Matt got me to the start in the nick of time, snapped a photo of Darla Askew and I buzzing with anxiety, and within minutes we were all off and running. I had planned to follow split times from two previous WF100 wonderwomen, Liz Irvine and Krissy Moehl, both of whom had completed this gnarly course in less than 24 hours. It was a lofty goal, but I was mainly eager to learn how to run smart, as these two incredible women had done, and I chose to try to follow their example for as long as my legs and heart would allow. So when I pulled up on Francis Peak 20 minutes ahead of the 1st split, I was concerned that I had once again gone out too fast and could expect to begin paying the price rather soon. At this point, I was behind Betsy Nye and Prudence L'Heureux and I knew that I needed to SLOW down. It felt like arriving at a party too early in that it was eerily uncomfortable and I was a little embarrassed.

Over time, I fell into a rhythm and started to get closer to landing the splits so that I was tracking quite nicely through the day. My goal now evolved to just make the splits for as long as possible and have a good time. Chatting with the kids at the aid stations was a special treat because they have no expectations of you whatsoever, except maybe that you'll be smelly and dirty, which I was. At most aid stations I was told that Betsy Nye was "right in front of me" and I was in 2nd place. Prudence had dropped and Betsy had her eyes on the prize of a sub-24 hour finish. I was just thrilled to be feeling good, still smiling, and reveling in the delight that there was no place I'd rather be at that moment. It was a joy to be cruising along the Great Western Trail, in my backyard, knowing that I was on track to improve upon my previous time. I was eager to get to Big Mountain at mile 39 to see Matt and reassure him that I felt great and was having an awesome time. When I finally got there Matt and Krissy lubed me up with sunscreen, rations, and hearty pats on the back to keep me trucking.

Upon reaching lambs Canyon (mile 53) at 4:30 pm, I was grateful to be out of the sun and psyched to pick up my first pacer, Bryon Powell, the barrister turned blogger d'ultrarunners. An incredible cadre of friends was on hand to load me up with love, good thoughts, homemade cookies, and whatever else my heart desired. Master puppeteer Matt kept everyone focused on getting me in and out of the aid station and soon I was off and running again, this time towards Millcreek Canyon and eventually, the Wasatch Crest. We had a brief stop at Big Water in Millcreek Canyon where I was honored to witness Matt Hart putting his dance moves to use as he helped me don my headlamp and long sleeves. Still laughing, Bryon and I motored with good speed and good humor all the way to Brighton (mile 75.6) where I took the steps to the lodge two at time because I was so excited to grab Matt and get moving through the remainder of the course. The best part about Brighton on the WF100 course is leaving it, which is exactly what Matt and I did as soon as possible so as to commence the 25 miles and crushing 9000' drop to the finish line at the Homestead in Midway, Utah. Matt had his game face on and was ready to get me to the finish with style, a good time, and fast feet. I was simply elated to be so far ahead of my time from the first WF100. David Hunt had told me that the race begins at Pole Line Pass. He couldn't have been more right.

So shortly after midnight at Pole Line Pass I toed the "starting line" of the real race that was to come. We had just pulled up on "Team Legend," Betsy Nye and pacer-to-the-stars, Roch Horton. My heart rose, then sank. I appreciated that I was in a good position to acheive my goal of making Krissy's splits. I was amazed to be in Betsy's proximity as she was handily reeling in her sub-24 hr finish so long as she stayed connected to her goal, and to Captain Roch. However, I admit that I felt totally intimidated by being in a position to overtake Betsy. I was honored just to be in the race, but scared to actually begin racing. I can not say that I even know what scared me. I was just overwhelmed and mentally unprepared to duke it out with five-time WF100 winner, Betsy Nye. Four years ago, I was hiking through Pole Line Pass at nine in the morning with my pacer, Ari Menitove, who had an iPod connected to mini-speakers. We were hiking and rocking to James Brown and taking full advantage of the plush aid stations. This year, I realized that I was in a race, not a catered hike. So I tried to race, and temporarily moved ahead of Betsy, but my stomach and my nerves didn't buy into the idea. I stopped eating well and starting hitting the ground with regularity. This shook my body, my confidence, and my will. Regardless, Matt pulled me along with words of encouragement and the occasional hard candy. Before I knew it, we had hit the road to the Homestead. Matt thought that the finish was right there upon reaching the road and I wordlessly communicated to him that he was sorely mistaken. Upon crossing the finish line at the Homestead, I was sure I would cry. I still can't believe that I didn't. If the whole team had been there I most surely would have. I owe it all to my crew, Shannon O'Grady, Kirsten Bruns, and Christy Clay, as well as my pacers, Matt and Bryon. I was so sad that it was over. It had been the most intense, entertaining, collaborative, and inspirational 23 hours and 25 minutes of my entire running career. Everyone, except me, believed that I could meet and perhaps exceed my goals and I owe them everything and then some for their faith in me. Running is indeed a team sport and I had the most amazing team. I can't wait to shed the compression socks so that I can crew and pace my team and friends as they pursue their respective endeavors. So with lots of love, gratitude, and respect, thanks to everyone who carried me in their hearts at the 2009 WF100!

It goes without saying that my coach is the world's best. He took over 10 hours off of my finish time. Insane!

Mandy's finish in Homestead, Utah - photo by Bryon Powell

"Do you realize what you just did?!" Matt Hart & Mandy Hosford - photo by Bryon Powell

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Running Mount Timpanogos Emerald Lake Loop

yesterday i asked mandy for a "high altitude run". the night before she provided me with a highlighted topographic map and driving directions to Mount Timpanogos. it was an easy 1hr drive from SLC to the timpanokee trailhead. this run is an amazing 15 mile loop with a bit of off trail glissading to connect the ridge back to the trail. it might just be the best 15 mile loop i've ever run. the trailhead is at 7,300ft and the summit is a whopping 11,749ft and entire route is pretty much runnable vert. my buddy karl meltzer told me the day before he made the summit once 1hr 18min 49sec and the roundtrip record is held by his doggie binger at 1:58.58. i'm out of shape so i got up there in 2hr 06min. i love running at altitude, even if it looks more like hiking at altitude. i just threw the video together so you can get an idea of what blew my mind.

thank you mandy.

Geoff Roes 2009 Wasatch Front 100 Checkin

Caught Montrail UltraRunner Geoff Roes on his way to checkin (with the new iPhone video) to see what he had to say about the big showdown.

Friday, September 4, 2009

A New Addition to the nuun UltraRunning Team - Brian Robinson

i first heard about brian robinson while watching the movie the runner. jb benna's documentary on montrail ultrarunner david horton's record setting run on the pacific crest trail. in the documentary brian is introduced as the first person to complete the triple crown of fast packing, completing all three major trails in one calendar year; the appalachian, pacific crest and continental divide trails. as if that wasn't enough in 2008 he set the new course record at the barkley 100, while becoming only the 7th person to finish the race. below is a bio and here is an interview before the western states 100 miler this year... we're stoked to have him on the nuun team!

Brian Robinson earned the trail name “Flyin’ Brian” in 2001 when he became the first person to complete the Calendar Triple Crown, a 7,400-mile, triple thru-hike of the Appalachian, Pacific Crest and Continental Divide Trails, all in the same year. His 10-month odyssey through 22 states traversed the entire lengths of the three major US mountain divides.

Brian started trail running as conditioning for long hikes. Since then, ultra running has become his primary passion. For three years he focused on the Barkley, finally achieving success in 2008 when he became the 7th person ever to finish the Barkley 100, in a course record 55 hours 43 minutes. After one failed attempt, the John Muir Trail speed record remains his obsession.

Far from an athlete when younger, Brian was a Rubik’s Cube champion and master Bridge player. He graduated from U.C Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and worked for Tandem/Compaq before quitting the rat race and accepting the financial consequences of pursuing a dream. Now 48, Brian resides in Monterey, CA with his wife and adventuring partner, Sophia and stepson Skyler.

Read more here:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Roch Solid! Crewing & Pacing at the 2009 Cascade Crest 100 Miler

roch horton before running 100 miles

there are a couple hundred milers in washington state. with the plain 100 having just one aid station and no course marking is a different kind of beast. therefore charlie chrisman's cascade crest 100 miler is THE 100 for washington ultrunners. in 2007 justin angle and i paced patagonia ultrarunner jamie gifford to a win. this blog has some good video of bill huggins, darcy africa, nuun ultrarunner bruce grant and of course jamie gifford finishing in easton, wa that year.

this time around i had the honor of crewing and pacing my friend and mentor roch horton. roch runs for patagonia and vasque and is a legend. he's finished hardrock 100 nine times - nuff said.

i won't go into the blow by blow - instead i'll just list some thoughts and observations. oh and the videos are coming soon...
  • phil shaw ran his gutz out. it was fun to watch him get the course record of 20:33:43
  • scott wolfe did an awesome job taking roch the final 30 miles to the finishline
  • wow - jamie gifford ran his 10th cascade crest 100 (he's got a couple of wins in there too)
  • charlie chrisman is a great race director
  • it was very cool to see jim kerby (he's a bad ass)
  • jonathan bernard can run a 100 miles in a good mood the entire race
  • i heard laura houston's no name aid station was the best on earth, and roch said they had "real good coffee" in the middle of nowhere
  • proud of rod bien for running such a smart race
  • i am torn between UTMB and CCC100 next year
  • every nw runner i saw at olallie ate one of scott mccoubrey's pirogis
  • roch horton is fuckin tough
roch horton and rod bien before the race

roch's bag of race necessities and his laminated pace chart

race director charlie chrisman

2nd place rod bien and his team of justin angle and walter edwards

adventure racer miles ohlrich finishes his first 100 miler in 6th place!

2nd place rod bien showing me his rewards

monica ochs made my day a whole lot more enjoyable

a shot of roch's bag with quotes - i like: "sex is speed, endurance is love"

top 20

jonathan bernard and pacer western states fast guy phil kochik