Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chimera 100K washout

I signed up for the first Chimera 100K thinking that it would be a nice little run in sunny Orange County CA. Away from the cold and snow of Utah. Big surprise!
I kept watching the weather the week before and it was always calling for scattered showers Saturday with heavier showers Saturday night. Well, I'd be done by then so no big deal. I can handle a few showers.

I showed up at the start and it was raining, not hard but steady. The wind was there as well. Hmmm, this didn't bode well for the day since the weather was supposed to get worse.

The RD delayed that start by 30 minutes so that it would be light when we went out on the first section. Good thing as the first section was a nine mile loop on a trail. This would have been a great section to run in good weather. Instead it was a muddy mess. When I got back off that loop, I pitched my glasses into my car. They were worse than useless and I could see just fine without them.

The next section began the uphill grind to the top of Santiago Peak. Nothing but uphill 4 x 4 road. I felt really good on this section. All of the uphill training I've done seems to have helped and I was able to motor up the grade, passing all sorts of people. The way the road twisted and turned meant that at one point there could be a slight breeze and a light rain and 100 yards around the corner you could get hit with 30-40 mph winds and driving rain. It was amazing.

As the day wore on, the rain picked up. There were a couple of times when we could hear rocks coming loose on the road cut banks and we'd have to dodge them as they washed down on to the road. Made for a little more excitement.

I ended up running about 15 miles with Kevin Lawlor of Salt Lake City. He's run my race here in Utah and it was nice to have a familiar face to run with.

When we got to the Trabuco aid station, the wind was really strong. To the point that the aid station was eventually destroyed. Thank goodness we made it thru before that happened.

We kept going and at around mile 27 an SUV drove up along side to let us know that the race was being called and to stop at the next aid station. At the next aid station we were told that we could either wait until the station was broken down and go down with the vehicles or run another 8 miles to the gate at the bottom of Silverado Canyon where cars would take us back to the start/finish area. A bunch of us elected to do that and down the mountainside we went. During the run down the canyon the clouds lifted some and we could see where we would have been running had the race gone on. It's a section of trail right along a ridge and looks awesome.
Ended up waiting about 30 minutes for cars to come pick us up then make the hour plus drive back to Bluejay Campground.

Once back at Bluejay all of us could get warm, drink beer, have some hot soup and just enjoy talking about the day. What a day it was! I've never run a race in those kind of conditions. Like one of the runners said as we were waiting, "anyone can run when it's sunny". I had a great time, just awesome. A lot of my having a good time was that I was dressed for the occasion. My winter tights, a couple of long sleeve t's, gloves, a beanie, and a cheap plastic rain poncho kept me very warm the entire day even though I was soaking wet the entire time. I also felt really good. No stomach issues, I was eating enough, staying hydrated, and my attitude was great.

I ended up with a total of 36 miles over about 8 hours. Had I been able to keep going I was definitely on track for a 14 or sub 14 hour finish. I figure that I was in the top 10-15 when the race was called. Who knows, with the weather attrition could have really played a factor in the finishes. Steve is planning on putting on the race again next fall and I'll be there. Hopefully the weather will be a little nicer.

Here are some pictures taken during the race by Jakob Herman, one of the runners. They give just a little idea of what we went thru that day. http://jakob.smugmug.com/gallery/10629054_nethK#739239996_bDj8m

Sunday, September 13, 2009

2009 Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run

Ahhh, the Wasatch 100, the race that sucks you in. One of the toughest 100 milers out there. Almost everyone I know that has run it has sworn to never run it again, but very few follow up on that promise. I'm one of those. In 2005 I ran and failed miserably by dropping at 61 miles due to cold weather. I still don't regret that.

But I had to go back and finish that race, so I signed up for the 2006 version. When I crossed the finish line after over 34 hours on the trail, I swore I'd never run it again. It just take so much out of you just to finish. So I didn't run in 2007 and found that I really missed being there. I was hooked on a race that about does me in every time.

So I ran it in 2008, vowing to improve my time now that I knew what to expect. And I did do better by over 2 hours. Now I'm really hooked and have this idea that I can run it in under 30 hours. So, Wasatch becomes my key race for the year. All training and racing is geared for this one event. I figure that if I can just cut the time I spend sitting on my butt in aid stations down, then 30 hours was in the bag. In 2008 my total aid station time was over 4 hours.

My training to date has been greater than in the past couple of years. Over 1500 miles YTD, but I'm thinking this isn't enough. Oh well, it is what it is.

Race day - This year the race started on Friday. This is a change from past years, so Karen has to just drop me off and get back home to get ready for work.

0-18.8 miles - Start to the maintenance shed. This went well. I feel good, the climb up to chinscraper was made in about the same time as I usually do, the run down to the maintenance shed felt good. I got into the maintenance shed aid station about 10 minutes slower than last year. No big deal. In and out in 4 minutes. The one thing I did do was slam an Ensure Plus. Trouble is, it was warm. That stuff is icky when it's warm. For the nex 4 miles my stomach was protesting.

18.8-24 miles - I usually dread this section. It involves three separate steep climbs, not real long, but not a whole lot of fun. Still, I made it into Bountiful "B" about 15 minutes behind last year's time. I fueled up on fresh fruit, drank plenty and hit the trail again. By now my stomach is back to normal and I feel fine.

24-28.8 miles - This section to Sessions liftoff is pretty easy. Mostly dirt 4 x 4 road with not much elevation change. Along here is where my left knee started acting up. I didn't fall, twist it or anything, it just started hurting on the inside. I took a couple of Ibuprofen and limped along waiting for those to kick in. Once they did, I found that I could run. I got into the Sessions Liftoff aid station 20 minutes down from last year. I was a little concerned, especially about my knee. I was wondering how bad it would get. Would I end up dropping due to injury? I hoped not.

28.8-35.7 miles - At the Sessions aid station I met up with Ernie Floyd. Usually he's much faster than me, so it was nice to tag along with him for the next 7 miles. My knee felt much better and by the time we got the Swallow Rocks aid station I found that I had made up the entire 20 minutes. I didn't feel like I had run any faster, but there it was. I was happy. By now the day was getting really warm, well into the 80's. At least there was a breeze at times.

35.7-39.2 miles - This section into the Big Mountain aid station is pretty easy. Mostly downhill and easy cruising. Still, my knee started acting up again and at some points I was limping along and not running. A couple more vitamin I, hobble for 20 minutes and start running again. When I got into Big Mountain, Larry Mangum was there and gave me an ice cold Ensure. I didn't think this was a good idea, but drank it anyway. It tasted a lot better than the last one. By now the weather was really warm. I later heard that the high for the day on the course was 98 degrees. I believe it.

39.2-47.4 miles - This section into the Alexander Ridge aid station was definitely the hottest part of the course. The middle of the afternoon and very exposed,hardly any shade at all. Usually I love running in the heat, but on this section I did find it a little overbearing. Not only that, but my knee was still giving me issues. I was seriously wondering if I was going to end up dropping. After thinking about it for awhile, I decided that the only way I was going to drop was if I either timed out or the pain became so unbearable that I was reduced to crawling along the trail. I got into Alexander Ridge over a hour behind last year's time. Still not a big deal since my aid station stops were very short. At Alexander Ridge I saw my friend Jill just sitting in a chair trying to cool down. She was having some real issues with the heat, but then so were a lot of people. This was probably the low point for me during the race.

47.4-53.1 miles - The run into the half way point at Lamb's Canyon in mostly downhill and fairly easy running. This section was pretty uneventfull and I managed to not lose any more time. While I was running this section, I called Meghan, my pacer to let her know where I was. She was supposed to meet me at the Upper Big Water aid station and needed to know the approximate time I would be there. Lamb's Canyon is where I started spending more and more time at aid stations last year, so I knew I could make up some time by just getting out of there as quickly as possible. Once I got in, I ate some real food, a grilled cheese sandwich. Good stuff. Meghan called me while I was eating and told me she decided to meet me at Lamb's rather than Upper Big Water and if I'd wait ten minutes she'd be there. She only lives a couple miles from there and I wanted some company, so I waited. I ended up spending about 27 minutes at Lamb's, about the same amount of thime as last year. What a boost to have my pacer show up early. When Meghan showed up, we took off.

53.1-61.7 miles - This section is usually pretty slow since most of it is uphill. Meghan had brought me some Aleve so I thought I'd try that to see if it helped my knee. It really did when it finally kicked in. Along this section is when it usually gets dark for me, and this year was no exception. By the time we got to the top of Bear Bottom Pass, it was completely dark and we could see the lights of Salt Lake City off in the distance. The weather was still warm and promised to be all night, which is fine with me. We dropped into Millcreek Canyon and started making the trek up to the Upper Big Water aid station. Usually Upper Big Water is the coldest part of the course and I was determined to get in and out as fast as possible. So, in and out in 16 minutes, downed some spaghetti, and up the trail we went. Next stop, Desolation Lake.

61.7-66.9 miles - This section is one of the most beautiful parts of the course and unless you're a front runner, you go thru it at night. Nonetheless, since the night was clear, the stars were beautiful. My knee was feeling better, or at least no worse and I was able to run sections of this pretty well. We got into the Desolation Lake aid station about almost two hours later than last year. I figured that a 30 hour finish was out of the question with my knee the way it was but a sub 34 might still be possible. In and out of Deso in 5 minutes.

66.9-70.8 miles - After you leave Desolation Lake, there's a short but steep climb up to Red Lover's Ridge, then a fairly flat to rolling section at 10,000' until you get to Scott's Transmission Tower aid station. I wasn't feeling too bad along this section. It did get a little cool since there's always a wind across the ridge you're running on. But still, not bad. In and out of Scott's in 3 minutes and heading for the downhill into Brighton. A couple of times along this part of the trail Meghan and I just shut off our headlamps and stopped and looked at the stars. A crystal clear night and no city lights made for lots of beautiful stars.

70.8-75.6 - Brighton Ski Area Lodge, the black hole. More people drop out here than any other aid station because it's nice and warm, hot food, etc. Be very scared of this place. When I got there I had to weigh in. I think I was within 2 pounds of my starting weight. I had Meghan get me some scrambled eggs with lots of ketchup, salt and pepper. Wonderful stuff. I ate plenty then we hit the trail again. In and out in about 25 minutes.

75.6-80.3 miles - From here to the end is where my lungs always fall apart. I end up with asthma, and probably a little HAPE every time I run this race. I can run this section in training and nothing happens, just on race day. So needless to say I was a little nervous going out of Brighton and up the trail to Point Supreme, the highest point on the course at 10,500'. Well, this year I was pretty much fine. We made steady prgress up to Point Supreme and I didn't have to stop once to catch my breath. I was a little excited. While we were going up the trail, we heard a rustle off the trail. When we turned our headlamps over, there were four eyes and two very large shapes looking back at us from about 40 feet away. Two moose bedded down in a meadow, one of them a good sized bull. We hoped they would just stay where they were. Once past Point Supreme you have to go down a really knarly downhill for a couple miles. Steep, narrow, deep dust, lots of loose rocks. Not a lot of fun after 75+ miles. Made it into Ant Knolls aid station just before sunrise. Had a pancake and piece of sausage. Good stuff. In and out of Ant Knolls in 9 minutes.

80.3-83.4 miles - The trail out of Ant Knoll's goes up a short but brutal climb called the Grunt. Made it up that just as the sun was hitting the peaks around us. Stunning. Along here is where I noticed the little tickle in the back of my throat that signals a cold coming on. I finally caught Karen's cold, but at least it held off for the rest of the race. Made it into Pole LIne Pass aid station a little over an hour behind last year's time, so I had made up some time, probably on the trek out of Brighton. Grabbed some more food and left Pole Line in 12 minutes. Maybe I still could go under 33 or 34 hours.

83.4-87.4 miles - This was a long section. Mostly uphill to 10,000' again with a couple of steep climbs. The one site that was definitely worth seeing along here was the morning sun hitting Mt. Timpanogos across the valley from where we were. The Rock Springs aid station is really small, they have to trek everything in except the water. Got into here at around 10am, well behind last year's pace. In and out of here in a minute.

87.4-93.1 miles - Not a section I was looking forward to. We were going along a level portion and I could feel myself falling asleep on my feet. I told Meghan that I just wanted a 10 minute nap. She wouldn't let me, something about being on the side of a mountain. Finally we got to a little wider level place and she relented, gave me 12 minutes and I was asleep instantly. After that little nap I was good to go and wide awake. Now came the dive and the plunge. Two very steep, narrow series of switchbacks. Motorcycles have really churned the dirt and rocks up and it's very treacherous. Both of us went down on our butts more than once as we slid down. Then it was time for Irv's torture chamber, a series of seven short ups and downs that are not fun at all. Finally, Pot Bottom, the final aid station, 93 miles, the race is in the bag. Got some more food and out of there in 8 minutes. Now for the final push to the finish.

93.1-100 miles - A fairly short climb (700') on a dirt road and the rest is downhill. Hurray! Once we hit the downhill, I tried to at least do some trotting. Eventually we hit the last section of trail. I broke into a run here. One mile of trail, then on the road and 3/4mile to the finish. No matter how tired I am, I always run this last section on the road and run across the finish line.

Finish - At last I cross, 33:57:07. Not my fastest, not my slowest, but I'm done. I shake the race director's hand, kiss my wife and hug my pacer. I feel good. I looked down at my knee and it was pretty swollen. I hadn't noticed that before. Well, I figure it'll heal in a week or so, so no big deal. Other than the knee, I felt pretty good, the legs weren't really very sore at all, not like they usually are. I love doing these races, but I'm always glad when they're over. Many thanks to Meghan, my friend and pacer. She kept me on task, got me in and out of the aid stations much faster than last year and was good company to have for almost 20 hours.

Will I run Wasatch again? Who knows. Probably. For some deluded reason I still think I can go under 30 hours. There are other 100 mile races that I want to run and Karen has told me that I need to do some of those before I do Wasatch again.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Where's Waldo 100k 2009

Warning, this is a very long race report and can induce insomnia if not careful.

Well, I ran Where's Waldo 100K for the 4th year in a row. This race is a good excuse to take a few days off from work and go see my sister as she lives near where the race is held. Oh, the race is held at the Willamette Pass Ski Area in central Oregon and is a fund raiser for the volunteer ski patrol there.

For the past 2 years the race has served as the USATF 100K Trail National Championship and 3 years ago it was the USATF 100K Trail Masters Championship. They also offer $1000 for first place and $500 for first place masters. You can double dip. Needless to say, for ultrarunning, this is significant prize money and draws a fast crowd every year. This year was no exception.

I like the race because it's well organized, the aid stations are well stocked and have enthusiastic volunteers working them, and the scenery is central Oregon beautiful. Think fir forests with some huge old growth Douglas Firs, perfect trails for running (soft, shady, pleasant), lots of gorgeous lakes to run past, and views from the top of the peaks that are fantastic.

My goal this year was to break the 14 hour mark. I ran 14:08 last year and figured I could take 8 minutes off that time. But I also didn't plan any sort of taper since that week would serve as my last week of long training prior to tapering for Wasatch in three weeks. So, 70 miles the week before and 100 miles including the race last week.

A couple of the other Wasatch Speegoats were there to run the race with me, but both of them are much faster than I am and much better looking (Monica Ochs and Amy Sproston). At just about every aid station I got comments about my Wasatch Speedgoat shirt and how there seemed to be a bunch of them on the course. Nope, just three of us. Nonetheless, it was nice to see that the team is getting recognition on the trail.

Weather on race day was perfect, 40's at the start, clear, warming up to the upper 60's to low 70's during the day and cooling off nicely towards the evening.

So, here's the report.

First Section, start to Gold Lake, 7.4 miles - the first mile is a grinding uphill that no ones runs. Takes you from 5120' to over 6000'. After that there's a 6.4 mile downhill that's fantastic. I got stuck in a conga line on that section until I managed to blast past the 6 runners in front of me. Pulled into the Gold Lake aid at 1:22 into the race, 2 minutes faster than last year. So far so good. I felt great.

Second Section, Gold lake to Fuji up, 5.0 miles - this is mostly uphill, some steep. Time was 1:08, same as last year.

Third Section, Fuji up to Fuji down, 2.5 miles - This section takes you on an out and back up to the top of Fuji Peak. This is a gain of about 1100' in 1.25 miles. The views at sunrise from the top of tis peak are worth the effort it takes to get there. Unbelievable. Then a bombing run back down to the aid station. Time 0:36, same as last year. So far, 2 minutes up on last year, feeling good and ready for more.

Fourth Section, Fuji Down to Mt. Ray, 5.6 miles - This section is primarily downhill, although it is rolling. A great little section for cruising along and enjoying the race. Time, 1:03, 1 minute faster than last year.

Fifth Section, Mt. Ray to Twins 1, 6.6 miles - This section is mostly uphill, but the ups are gradual enough that you can run them.. This is where I would see if my hill work would pay off, and it did. Time 1:28, 7 minutes faster than last year and still feeling good.

Sixth Section, Twins 1 to Lake Charlton, 4.9 miles - Starts out going up but the last couple of miles are downhill. Charlton lake is also the half way point. Huge hoopla, beach party atmosphere make this a great place. Time, 1:00, 1 minute faster than last year. Now I'm up 11 minutes over last year. Things are looking good.

Seventh Section, Charlton Lake to Road 4290, 5.2 miles - This section is mostly flat, but can be the hottest part of the course due to the exposure. This area was logged off several years ago and the trees growing there are fairly small. Time 1:05, 3 minutes faster than last year and up 14 minutes now. This section felt slower to me but it actually wasn't. Still, as I came into Rd 4290, I was hungry, the energy level was down some. I did have a drop bag and immediately drank the 2 Ensures I had, hmmm, maybe slamming 700 calories down in a couple of minutes isn't a smart thing to do.

Eighth Section, Rd 4290 to Twins 2, 7.5 miles - This is the longest section of the course and one of the most difficult. You climb from about 5300' to just over 7000' and it's relentless. Much of it is runnable if you're fresh, after 40 miles, no one is fresh. I left Rd 4290 and walked for a bit to let my stomach settle. Should have just taken the other bottle and drank it later. This section felt much slower than last year, but my time ended up being just a minute slower. Time, 2:03. Lost one of those gained minutes.

Ninth Section, Twins 2 to Maiden Peak, 5.2 miles - this section starts out going down, but in the last mile or so begins the climb up Maiden Peak. When I left Twins, I was feeling just ok, not great, just ok. I ended up walking downhill parts that I should have been running, stupid me, but I just didn't feel like running. I figure I was going thru a little bonk at this point, not enough calories, or maybe it was too much training, I don't know, it was something. Time 1:24 vs. 1:10 last year. Oh crap, I just lost all of the time I had gained so far, now I was a minute down from last year. Can I make it up?

Tenth Section, Maiden Peak to Maiden Lake, 5.1 miles - Easily the most difficult section of the course, you gain roughly 2000' in just over two miles. The grade starts out actually somewhat runnable but just gets steeper as you get higher. In some places there aren't even switchbacks, just straight up the mountainside, ugh! But once again, the view from the top of Maiden Peak (7818') is phenomenal and worth the effort. Then it's a treacherous steep downhill 2.5 miles into Maiden Lake, not much running here unless you have a death wish or want broken bones. Time, 1:45, dang, lost another 8 minutes. Now I really have to fly on the last section.

Last Section, Maiden Lake to the finish, 7.5 miles - this starts out with an uphill, but quickly turns downhill and ends up being a 7.4 mile downhill run. This is my favorite section of the course because if you can or want to open it up, you can. The trail is perfect for running, downhill with very short ups, great footing, if you fall you won't get hurt and you know the finish is up ahead. I tried pushing this some and actually felt pretty good, but the stomach was trying to go south on me and I'd have to back off the pace a little so I wouldn't hurl. Met up with another runner and we just cruised the last few miles together and crossed the finish at the same time. Time, 1:39 for this section, lost another 12 minutes.

Aftermath - The beer my wife got me after I finished tasted really good, but then a beer after a race usually does. The barbequed hamburger was pretty good too. My time was 25 minutes slower than last year, 14:33 vs 14:08. Oh well, I wasn't unhappy. Could I have done better? Probably, if I had put a little more focus on running where I could rather than walking. On the other hand, I did no taper, so maybe tired legs from a 28 mile run the previous Sunday had a little to do with a slow finish. Still, I had a great time and to me that's the name of the game. I love this sport, where else can you trash yourself and feel a sense of accomplishment.

Gear - I wore my La Sportiva Fireblades, Injinji socks, and Nathan race vest. The shoes and socks worked great, no blisters at all, which is unusual, and the vest worked well. I also carried two bottles like I usually do.

Note: The winning time and new course record was 9:11, that's an hour faster than the old course record, an hour! One minute per mile! Average pace 8:49 for 62.5 mountainous miles. 5 people went under the old course record.

Next up, Wasatch Front 100 in less than three weeks. Time to taper.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Last year I ran the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 and failed miserably at 61 miles. I wasn’t injured, I was well under the time cutoffs, I just got a bad attitude in my head and quit. That really sucked and it’s bothered me ever since. Thus, I had to go back this year and redeem myself and finish the thing.
My main race this year is Wasatch, so running the TRT was more of some race practice and a really long training run. My mileage to date is higher than last year and I have more long training runs, so I was reasonably confident that I’d be able to finish TRT (never a guarantee in a 100 mile race).
Originally, my wife Karen and I were going to take our horses out a few days early and get in some trail riding on the same trails as the race. The area above Lake Tahoe is beautiful and I wanted to show these trails to her. Alas, her horse isn’t trail ready yet (he’s a 3-year old Mustang) so she decided to stay home and work. Davy Crockett had asked about carpooling this year like we did last year, but he ended up taking his family. I couldn’t find anyone to carpool with and I really thought it was a waste of fuel to drive myself out to Lake Tahoe. Then I hit on an idea, why don’t I go green and take the train? I checked the schedule, leave Salt Lake at 11:30pm Thursday, get into Reno 9:30am Friday. Leave Reno 4:00pm Monday and get back into Salt Lake at 4:00am Tuesday. Perfect. Cost? $116 round trip, less than what I would pay for gas for the car plus I don’t have to drive. Hmmm, now how do I get to Carson City and the race? I know, call my friend Meghan and see if she can pick me up since she’s running the race too. Meghan teaches Earth Science and is a big fan of going green so she was very willing to chauffeur me around for the weekend. It was settled. I might mention that I also have a UTA annual pass for the Frontrunner commuter train so I only had to drive to the Ogden train station (4.5 miles) and back.
Karen dropped me off at the train station Thursday evening,
I rode the Frontrunner down to Salt Lake. Amtrak was already there, I got my ticket and boarded the train. I love to ride on trains, but going overnight on Amtrak is not conducive to sleep. I think I managed about 3-4 hours total. I woke up the next morning as we were going across the Nevada desert.
I had time to get to the dining car for breakfast (ok, nothing to write home about) before the train pulled into Reno on time (rare for Amtrak). Meghan picked me up about 30 minutes later and we headed for Carson City.
The check in is on the State Capitol grounds and I saw a few people I knew and some that I had been wanting to meet. I finally met Monica Ochs, a fellow Wasatch Speedgoat team member. She and her pacer Annie went with Meghan, Dave (Meghan’s friend), and I to lunch. After that, it was relax and get ready for the next day’s race. I actually managed to get a good night’s sleep, roughly 6-7 hours. That’s rare the night before a race.
Meghan picked me up at about 4:00am and we made the drive up to Spooner Lake State Park, the race HQ. About 115 of us were nervously milling around waiting for the race to start. Finally, at 5am, the race was on.
I knew it was going to be a long day and night, so I tried to just hang back a little bit, but I felt myself running the uphills because I felt so good.
By the time the first aid station came into view, the field had spread out some and I was pretty much by myself (that’s how I usually like it). The first aid station (Hobart, 7900’) had an Irish pub theme, complete with a bar, a bottle of Jameson Whiskey, a keg of beer and a dart board. Runners could partake of any or all. Each runner got one dart to throw and scores were kept throughout the race (we went thru this aid station four times). After a quick dart throw, fill my bottles, drop off my sleeves and headlamp, I was off climbing towards Marlette Peak. The sun was just starting to come up and the view of Lake Tahoe when it came into sight was breathtaking. This section of trail is fairly easy, a gradual climb to around 8600’ then a switchback descent into the Tunnel Creek aid station (8100’). 100 mile runners go thru Tunnel Creek a total of six times so we get to know these people a little bit. Here I did the same, filled my bottles, downed two bottles of Ensure (600 calories, and headed out on the Red House loop. This is a 6.3 mile loop that takes runners to the low point on the course (6800’), then back up to Tunnel Creek. There actually is a red house on the loop with an aid station. Most runners don’t like this loop because it can get warm and the last half mile climb to Tunnel Creek is steep, but it’s no worse than what I train on around here, so no big deal. When I got back to Tunnel Creek, we started seeing the 50K and 50 mile runners heading out on the loop. They start an hour after we do. After another quick pit stop, I headed out on the long 18 mile out and back to the Mt. Rose aid station. This section is rolling terrain, but does climb to close to 9000’ at one point. There’s one water stop along the way and that’s it, so this was definitely a two bottle section. As I got closer to Mt. Rose, I started seeing more and more mountain bikers, day hikers and people out on the trail. Most everyone was very nice and would cheer us on and step off the trail to let us runners go by. I got to Mt. Rose and looked at my pace chart and saw that I was still on a 21 hour pace. Holy cow, way too fast I thought, but I still felt really good. By now I’d covered 26.4 miles and had 24 miles to go to complete the first half of the race. Once again, quick pit stop, downed two Ensures, and back out on the trail. I had my cell phone with me and called my wife from here. She let me know that I was in roughly 30th place and where Davy, Monica, and Meghan were. Davy and Monica were a ways ahead and Meghan was about an hour behind.
I headed out on the return of the out and back. By now the trails were getting pretty crowded in spots and I was glad once I got a few miles down and the crowds thinned out. The weather was also getting warm. It felt like it was around 80, but in the sun it felt much warmer. Running in the heat doesn’t bother me so I was fine. I got back to Tunnel Creek, fueled up again and headed out for Hobart. Now I had to climb those switchbacks, but they weren’t too bad. Across some of the higher ridges, there was a nice breeze to help cool us off some along with the gorgeous views to enjoy.
I got back to Hobart still feeling pretty good. My pace had slowed some here, mostly due to the climbing. Had another inch of beer in a cup, shot a dart, refueled and left heading for Snow Valley Peak. This aid was at the highest point on the course, right at 9000’. It’s a gradual climb and actually runnable for the most part. As I was going up, I came across a 50 mile runner that had just sat down by the side of the trail. I asked her if she was ok and she said something about stomach issues. I gave her a couple Tums and she decided to follow me into Snow Valley Peak. The Tums must have done the trick because she left out of the aid station and I never saw her again. Now it was my turn to start feeling kind of off. For the next 10 miles to the start/finish I felt like I was bonking some. Even though it’s downhill for 5.5 miles, I couldn’t get a run going, just no energy. Mentally I was fine, but physically I wasn’t. I decided that once I got into the start/finish, I would take a few minutes and take care of myself. I hit the start/finish in 11:30. Here I ate, sat for a few, emptied the dirt and dust out of my shoes and took a breather. When I finally left, it was right at the 12 hour mark. Ahead of last year’s time, but not where I wanted to be. Oh well. I left and while I couldn’t get a run going uphill to Hobart, I was able to get a fairly fast walk going. Once into Hobart, another inch of beer, another dart, fix the chafing and get going. Last year I got into Tunnel Creek after dark. This year I knew I would get in before dark. Good deal. Once in Tunnel Creek, I grabbed my headlamp, put on a long sleeve T since it was cooling off some, and headed out on the Red House loop for the second time. By the time I got to the red house, it was dark and the light was on. A few minutes here and I was gone back uphill to Tunnel Creek. I had been wondering how Meghan was doing. Every once in awhile, my wife would call me with updates. As it happened, as I got back into Tunnel Creek, there was Meghan with a couple of new friends getting set to head out on their second Red House loop. We chatted for a few minutes and I found out that she was having a great time. She said something about me being afraid while running alone in the dark and I told her I wasn’t and I preferred running alone. I asked if she was afraid to run in the dark and she said she was, I told her that was because she was a girl. Not a well received comment but I thought it was funny.
I headed out on the long 18 mile out and back to Mt. Rose, I got out a couple hundred yards and realized it might get cool and breezy, so I headed back into Tunnel Creek and grabbed my windbreaker. Good move I found out later. I managed to see Davy filling his bottles at a creek. I think I startled him a little when I called his name. He’s one of the few runners to use a green light so I figured it might be him. As I crossed the meadow to the Mt. Rose aid station, the temperature really cooled down. This ended up being the coolest part of the night, but it still wasn’t too bad. I stayed at Mt. Rose for about 20 minutes. I was starting to get a little sleepy (duh, it’s 2 in the morning). I drank some coffee, had some rice and beans, drank my Ensure and headed out again. By now I was walking with no thought of running, but the walk was still pretty strong. I got to the top of the switchbacks that descend into Mt. Rose and was so sleepy that I set my cell phone alarm for 20 minutes and just lay down in the dirt beside the trail. That 20 minutes was all I needed to get going again. As I was going along the trail I was amazed at how warm it was. The temp. had to be close to 60. I don’t like running in cold weather and I’m usually dressed pretty warm when going thru the night. This time I was still in shorts, a long sleeve T, windbreaker and gloves. Even the windbreaker was unzipped and eventually I took it off. After 9 miles, back into Tunnel Creek for the final time. I was wanting the race to be over and the mosquitoes were biting now, so the stop was short. Daylight was coming on as I started back up the switchbacks to Hobart. I got into Hobart I think at around 6am for the last time. I shot my dart, had a beer and asked for some eggs and bacon. That really hit the spot. I left there feeling pretty good. The final climb up to Snow Valley Peak seemed to take forever, but eventually I got there. By now the sun was up and it was going to be warmer than the day before. I ditched the warm clothes and headed out after a short stop. I could “smell the barn” and I wanted to be done. I finally got to the last aid station, only 1.7 miles from the end. I barely stopped. They asked if I wanted anything to eat, nope, I wanted to get done. I filled my bottles and was out. 30 minutes later I came out on the dirt road to the finish and had to run across the finish line. It was nice to be done. 30 hours 46 minutes, 39th place out of 115 starters. That cold bottle of beer at the finish line never tasted so good. I wanted nothing to eat or drink, just the beer.
After a few minutes, I found a chair to sit in and wait for Meghan and her friends. I set my alarm so I could take a little nap, but they really made up some time and crossed the finish about an hour after I did.
Aftermath – One thing that slowed me down some was a bout of asthma that hit me for the last 20 miles or so. I used to think it was altitude related, but I now think it’s all the dust. Even when I was by myself during the night I could see it my headlamp beam. This seems to be an issue with me for any 100 mile race that’s dusty. I wore my La Sportiva Fireblades. Very comfortable and perfect for this type of trail, but I was left with blisters in some weird spots. Oh well. Liquid diet. The only solids I ate the entire race were the eggs and bacon, also, very little soda. Water, sportsdrink, lots of Ensure, Starbucks Frappucino’s, 1st Endurance gel, and a little soup here and there. No stomach upset and I seemed to be well fueled the entire time.
I had a great time. I redeemed myself after last year’s race. Don’t know if I’ll run it again, there’re other races I want to do, but I highly recommend this one. The scenery alone is worth the race, the aid is top notch. I still want to take Karen out there with the horses and do some riding.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

So a couple of years ago my friend Meghan and I did an epic run. The route was on the road around Pineview Reservoir, then up Wheeler Canyon trail to Snowbasin Ski Area. Then up the ski area to the top of Mt. Ogden. From there we caught the Beus Canyon trail down to the trail head in South Ogden. A total of around 30 miles. We had an absolute blast that day and decided to reprise the run today. Alas, the outcome was a little different but we still had a great time.
This morning we met at the Beus Canyon trailhead, left my car there and drove up to the Wheeler Canyon trailhead. The weather forecast was a little iffy, but we were hoping that maybe we could beat out the weather with an early start.

Meghan ready to go

Our goal, over the top (hopefully)

We got started on the road portion around 6:30am. Traffic was fairly light and we finished that portion in a little over 2 hours. As you can see, the day started out fairly nice weatherwise. We kept our fingers crossed hoping it would stay that way.

Looking up Wheeler Canyon

So we got started up Wheeler Canyon around 9am. Wheeler Canyon is a fairly popular canyon for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. This day there weren’t too many of any of those.

The trail up Ice Box Canyon

As you can see, with all of the snow from last winter and the rain this spring, the vegetation was very lush. We felt like we were running back east rather than out in dry Utah.

10 foot deep washout

Snowbasin base area

Clouds rolling in

We kept on going up to the Snowbasin base area and noticed that the clouds were starting to roll in. Not a good sign. It hadn’t started raining so we thought we at least start up the haul road hoping it might get better. Well, after about a mile up the road, it started raining and the wind picked up. The top of the mountain was completely obscured so we figured we just head back down to the car using a different trail. Definitely a good call since now it was raining pretty good. We actually came across a couple of mountain bikers out in the rain.
Since we were now tanking the run over the top of the mountain we decided it was time for a mud fest and didn’t worry about avoiding any puddles or mud. We had a pretty good time with that.

As we went back down the mountainside, the rain quit and it actually warmed up some.

The trek back down Green Pond trail is one that I enjoying making. The scenery is great and it’s just a nice cruising trail.

Eventually we made it back to the car but noticed that we had 29.4 miles on the GPS. Since we wanted to go 30 miles, we went back up the trail for .3, turned around and came back down. We got some odd looks from some other hikers we had passed on the way down. Even though we didn’t make our goal of going over the top, we still had a great time and got the miles that we wanted.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

A really long ultra

Well, I'm back from the end of one of my longest events ever. Raising my daughter. Last weekend she got married and it was a fantastic time. I got to play a lot with my 2 1/2 year old grandson.
He's the greatest thing since sliced bread and I had way too much fun playing with him. Karen and I went back to Illinois and met up with my two sisters, my Mother, My mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, two nieces and a nephew. Everyone had a great time. I got together with friends at the local microbrew and had some decent non-Utah beer. I even bought my son one of his first legal beers, now that he's 21. I even managed to get in a nice long run with a friend in a local state park that I used to run in all the time when we lived back there.
The wedding party
Jessica (our daughter) basically planned the entire wedding herself as we weren't back there to provide any help. She did a fantastic job. The ceremony was kind of a mix of traditional and modern and was humorous. The bride was beautiful, takes after her Mother.
The guy who did the ceremony is Traver's (our son-in-law) cousin and got ordained online just so he could do the ceremony. He had some great remarks.
Dad and Kevin
The wedding was outdoors and the weather cooperated. Something not a guaranteed in Illinois.
Mom and Jessica

Dad and Jessica

Grandma and Brody

Dad and Jessica as we walked up the aisle
The reception was great. The DJ was good and spun some good tunes. I got to dance with my daughter and make a toast to the happy couple. I got the chance to visit with friends and family and catch up on the latest.

Brody busting a move

All in all, a great vacation.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

My speedgoat mascot

Just a short little post. Since I'm a member of the Wasatch Speedgoat Mountain Racing Team, I took some pictures the other day of my personal mascot. His name is Flash and he's a Nigerian Dwarf buck. A very cool goat I might add. We also have a couple other goats.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Finally, a post race post

Yeah, it's about time I posted something new. I've been super busy with my race, the Antelope Island Buffalo Run. This year the park let me have an unlimited number of entrants and I figured I'd get around 300-350. Nope, not even close. When the dust settled and race day arrive, 490 people had signed up for either the 25K, 50K, or 50 mile. Holy cow! Panic time. So on race day about 450 actually showed up to run.

It's always been my policy to send out the runners on time to the second. This year was the first year I failed. When I did the pre race briefing for the 50 mile, there were still a lot of people walking down the road from their cars. I decided to hold off for five minutes to give them a chance to start with everyone else. I ended up sending out the 50 mile runners at 6:05:00am. Two hours later I sent out the 50K runners at 8:00am on the dot, and the 25K runners left at 9:00am on the dot. There were the usual stragglers, but no one who left a little late complained.

Looking over the enrants for the 50 mile and the 50K, I knew that a couple of course records were going down. I finally had a pretty good field for the men's 50 mile. Erik Storheim was going to have to work for his win this year. For the women's 50K, I knew that record didn't stand a chance as Nikki Kimball had sent in her entry. True to form, both of those records fell. Nikki blew the women's 50K record out of the water by over 30 minutes and Nick Pedatella brought the men's 50 mile course record to well under 7 hours with a 6:43. Hot on his heels was Hiroki Ishakawa (from Japan) with a 6:45. Erik posted a third place finish with a 7:09. Meanwhile, on the 25K race, Genevieve Keogh set a new course record for the women with a 2:06. I hadn't thought that record would fall, but down it went.

Weather, I was a little worried about the weather. The Thursday before the race is when I mark the course. There was two inches of snow on the ground even though the trails were clear. Trail conditions were kind of icky, but I figured that if we didn't get any more precip, they would be fine on race day, and indeed they were. There were a few puddles, but by in large, trail conditions were ideal. The weather on race day was ideal as well. As usual, it was around freezing in the morning, but this year there was no wind at all. A far cry from past years when the wind has always been blowing on race day. Skies were partly cloudy and when the sun came up, the air warmed up and eventually reached the low 60's I think. A picture perfect day for the runners.

With as many runners as there were, I was worried about supplies, crowds on the trails, etc. but except for a few minor supply issues, things went very well. Elephant Head aid station was pretty slammed with over 1300 runner visits, but they held up well. Next year I need to get them a couple more people for the middle part of the day.

We were treated to a minor medical issue. At first it didn't seem minor as one of the runners that had just finished was complaining about shortness of breath and tingly arms. He thought he was having heart problems (he's 69). Within seconds, we had a doctor who had run the race, an ER nurse, another doctor, and an EMT at his side. Davis county paramedics were called and Lifeflight was called in. Needless to say, the helicopter landing got everyone's attention. Once the paramedics got an EKG on the guy, they found that his vitals were fine. They put an IV in him and transported him to the hospital for observation. He was released later that day with nothing more than a case of dehydration. Thank goodness!

The other excitement was a marriage proposal. Charlie Vincent proposed to Eve Davies. Naturally she accepted and now I need to find out the date.

All in all, everyone seemed to really enjoy the day. The runners, the volunteers, even my family that I suckered into helping out seemed to have a good time. We had plenty of buffalo stew for everyone and even had more beer this year, but I was still cleaned out by the end of the day.

As usual, this race wouldn't happen without a couple of groups of people, the runners (obviously), and the volunteers. Again as usual, the state park was more than accomodating and even the rangers seemed to have a good time through the day. Race day is one of my favorites through the year. I love seeing all sorts of running friends, seeing happy faces, seeing new trail runners having a good time, seeing ultra newbies finish their first ultra. But, I'm usually glad it's over so I can take a break and get back to my own training.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Antelope Island Run in the Snow

Today was a great day for a run. it was snowing fairly hard, the roads were a mess and I had a training run scheduled as part of the Buffalo Run. It seems as though every February training run the weather is a factor and usually not good. Instead of running trails, we usually end up on the roads because ther's too much snow on the ground. Today was no exception, with about 6-8" of untracked snow covering the trails. Not only that, but the roads hadn't been plowed yet. Only one car had traveled down the road and we ended up running in those tracks.
Even though the snow was coming down pretty good, there wasn't much wind, just a very light breeze, and the temperature was about 28.

Regardless of the weather, we do the training runs, so I knew that at least a few intrepid souls would show and I wasn't disappointed. All told there were seven of us that showed up to run. Several elected to go the full 22 miles and the rest of us decided to turn around after seven miles and call it good with 14.

One of the ones who showed was my friend Meghan. We always have a good time running together and today was no exception. We also had another runner with us out training for her first ultra. We were getting quizzed about what to eat, how to train, what's it like etc. It's fun to hear people who haven't done an ultra talk about their worries and then try to reassure them that "yes" they can do it and "yes" they will enjoy it.
14 miles ended up being about the right amount for the three of us, especially me. By the time we had covered about 12 miles, my feet were wet and starting to get cold.....and I don't like cold feet.
It snowed on us during the entire run but had quit by the time we got back to the truck.
As it usually happens, once we finished the weather had changed and the sun came out. Another beautiful finish to a great run.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Kahtoola Bigfoot SnowshoeFestival January 31, 2009

Ok, let me preface this race report with the fact that I really dislike running in cold weather and I don’t like running on snow and ice either. I define cold as anything less than 30 degrees, and even that’s not much to my liking. So what did I do? Sign up for a 50K snowshoe race out in Midway, UT. I have no brains. I’d like to also mention that I had never been on snowshoes in my life until about 4pm Friday afternoon in my backyard. A couple of trips across the yard with them on and I was good to go…..so I thought.
John Bozung of Squaw Peak 50 mile fame puts this race on and Kahtoola is the main sponsor. They make a series of snowshoes that are really nice. They also had a bunch available to use for those of us without them.
The race took place at Wasatch Mountain State Park on the golf course and up in the surrounding hills. The 50K race I entered involved a 10K loop on the golf course followed by a 5K loop up the mountainside followed by another 10K loop on the golf course, then rinse and repeat. We had wear snowshoes for the first 10K and 5K loops and then we could take them off if we wanted.
We started at 8am as the sun was just coming up. My car told me that the temp. was a very cold 7 degrees. Did I mention that I dislike running in cold weather? I knew that once the sun was up the temps would warm up. I was also wearing black to help absorb some warmth. I also knew that I would be throwing off some serious heat once the race started.
We all took off on the 10K loop in the fog and early morning sun. The golf course has a series of groomed trails for snowshoers, x-country skiers and anyone else who wants to go out, so we had a really nice packed trail 10 feet wide to follow. I managed to go around the 10K loop the first time in about 1:20. A lot slower than my normal 10K time, but I figured that would be the case. After I left the start/finish area I headed over for the 5K single track up the mountainside. The 5K loop has the same vertical as the 10K loop, but in half the distance, so the climbs are much steeper. Couple that with the fact that it was single track and you have a recipe for faceplants. I managed two during this loop by stepping on my snowshoes. It was a tough climb up the hillside followed by a great run back down. I think I did the 5K loop in about 40 minutes, but I’m not sure, also much slower than my normal 5K time (duh).
After a couple minutes at the start/finish I went back out on the 10K loop. I did about half of this with my snowshoes still on my feet then decided that was enough and took them off. I found I could run much easier but not necessarily faster. I ended up completing that loop in about 1:40. It was while on this loop that I decided to drop down to the 25K. My feet were absolutely soaked and frozen and I did have some concern about frostbite. Not only that, but I was rapidly developing a painful blister on my heel from the snowshoe strap. I should have placed it lower on my shoe. Oh well.
So after about 3:55, I finished the 25K. Good enough for 3rd place (I think, results aren’t up yet) out of six runners.
I did have a pretty good time in spite of the cold and snow. John puts on a pretty good race. Very low key. The course was challenging, the scenery beautiful. Lots of good homemade chili and soup at the finish. Would I do it again? I might, but I won’t sign up for the 50K. That’s just too much time outside with cold, wet, frozen feet.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wet Run on the Island

I originally wasn't going to do an outside run last Sunday, but a couple of fellow crazy runners wanted to go run on the island, so out I went. The day was icky at best. Cloudy, around 30 degrees, threatening to snow or rain or both, and a little foggy. I wanted to weenie out and run on the treadmill.
But as usually happens, once I got out and running with others, the day ended up being good regardless of the weather. John Maack and Tim Olson were my companions for the run. Both are fellow ultrarunners, Wasatch 100 veterans, etc. Tim was an island virgin. He had grown up and lived all his life in Utah and had never been to the island. He was in for a treat.
Turns out I think there were a grand total of maybe half a dozen people on the entire island, and 3-4 of them were park employees. We had the trails....and buffalo.....and deer to ourselves. The original plan was to run the White Rock and Split Rock trails. Kind of a figure eight and the 25K course for the Buffalo Run.
When we started out, it wasn't raining or snowing and actually not too bad. As we went up the White Rock trail, we could see a few head of buffalo in the distance on the trail. As we got closer they moved. With no wind, it was so quiet and peaceful, all we could hear was our breathing and each other telling tall tales about past runs and races.
Both Tim and John are faster runners than I am and they started to pull away a little. As always, I enjoy any run on the island, but running with someone who's never been out there makes it more fun. The run itself was pretty uneventful, we saw several mule deer, several does along with a lucky buck and several small herds of bison.

I love going out on the Split Rock loop. It's out on the west side of the island and from there it's difficult to see any signs of civilization. It's easy to imagine that you're back in time when the the west was just being explored, yet 20 miles away live half a million people.
We didn't see another soul on the trails until we were about a mile from the trailhead, as we were going in Brian Beckstead was heading out for a run.
All in all, a good time. We came back soaked from the light rain and snow that finally came down. Went to the park office and put on some dry clothes, chatted with the ranger on duty and headed for home. Good times.
Oh, I forgot to mention the two bald eagles we saw as we went back across the causeway. Way cool just sitting on the ice. This eagle was the closest but was still too far away to get a decent picture.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Across the Years 72 Hour Third Day Report

Day Three – Ahhhh, only 24 hours left. The end is in sight but still a ways off and I have many miles to try and cover.
The third day was much like the second except that part way through the day I noticed that I didn’t seem to be quite as tired or sore. The quads and calves weren’t quite as sore, the chafing actually seemed to have gone away, no more blisters were forming, and my digestive system was working semi normally. I tried running and was actually able to break into a little bit of a shuffle. But not for long. I’ve always heard that the second day is the worst and the third isn’t as bad. I found this to be true.
There was a certain air of celebration since this was New Year’s Eve and the final day of the race. The last group of 24-hour runners had started, the last group of 48-hour runners was finishing up as were all of us 72-hour runers.
The day wore on pretty uneventfully. John Geesler was slowly making his way around the track even with his hurt foot, but seemed to actually pick up the pace a little bit. He did spend quite a bit of time walking laps with 7-year old Gavin Wrublick. Yep, there was a 7-year old boy running in the 72-hour race. He ended up running just over 50 miles in three days. How many of us could have done that at that age? Not only was there a 7-year old running, but a 5-year old ran just over 20 miles, and 11-year old Aaron Doman ran 100 miles over three days. “Hey Aaron, what did you do over Christmas?”, “Oh, I did a little running in Phoenix with my parents.” A 16-year girl, Cat Cuda, set several age group records over the three day event.
I kept turning laps, eating, drinking, etc. I didn’t take a nap during the day but did take a break at around 5pm. I just couldn’t stay on my feet any longer. I tried to take a nap but was too wound up to sleep. As I was just laying in my sleeping bag, my friend Dave came in and sa down to chat a little. He had finished his race that morning and was back to take in the events of New Year’s Eve. He suggested we go do a few laps and since I wasn’t sleeping out we went. He ended up going about 10 laps or about 3 miles with me. This was after doing his own race and covering over 104 miles. He later told me that those few laps about did him in.
As the evening progressed, preparations were being made for the New Year’s Eve celebration. Party favors were put out, hats passed out, and I got lei’d by a women I had never met (the lei was a cheap plastic one). At about 5 minutes to midnight, most everyone gathers on the front lawn to ring in the New Year. Champagne in paper cups is passed out and after midnight everyone walks a lap together. As we were walking the lap, fireworks were set off in the fields surrounding the manor. All in all a great way to spend New Year’s Eve. If I had stayed at home I would have just gone to bed early.
Now I only had nine hours to go. How many more miles could I cover. As I checked the standings, I was trying to calculate whether I could catch the person in front of me and would the person behind me catch up. Some people had met their personal goals and were taking the rest of the night off. I knew I had to keep going if for no other reason than I’m a competitive person and hafve to do as well as I can. But the motivation was fading somewhat.
I kept going around the track until around 4am when I decided to take my last break. I set my alarm for 5:30am and for the first time the alarm actually woke me up. Up to this point I had always woken up before my alarm went off. So, at 5:30am I went back out on the track for the final time. By 8am, I was really tempted to call it quits. I knew I wouldn’t catch the person in front of me and I knew the person behind me wouldn’t catch up, but somehow I couldn’t stop, I had to keep going to the very end. AS the clock wound down to the last few minutes, I tried to pick up my pace. I turned my last lap in just over 4 minutes and decided not to try a last one with only 3 minutes on the clock.
FINALLY! My race was over. After 72 long hours, I was done. Usually when I finish a 24-hour race, I’m kind of at a loss as to what to do next. The same happened here. For the past 72 hours, this track, the people running around it, the volunteers, etc. had all been my life. With that much focus and insularity, to be suddenly be finished kind of leaves a void. Kind of a weird feeling. But I had things to do. I had to pick up all my stuff, load it into my car and get ready for the awards ceremony and lunch. It was fun to finally be able to talk with other runners without the pressure to keep going. We could all relax and enjoy our accomplishments. And there were some amazing accompliments. In the world of multiday running, my finish was decidely middle of the road. I did finish in 18th place out of 50 runners, but there was one person who was 71 years old that finished way ahead of me as did another person who’s 69. The kids I mentioned earlier were amazing. For them to be able to do something like this speaks volumes about what the future holds for them whatever they do.

Below is a graph of the elevation profile for the third day. You can see that the difference is now around 250 feet per lap.
Aftermath – Would I do this race again? I’m usually asked that after I try something new. Most of the time I say never again, then in a few weeks after the pain fades, I remember the good time I had and sign up again. This time I pretty much decided the same day that I would do the 72 hour event again. I’m convinced that I can do better now that I have a little experience. So, look for me to be down in Phoenix again for 2009 New Year’s Eve having a good time with my fellow crazy running friends.