02 July 2014

Black Hills 100 Mile: Keep it Real Like Chill

The Start

This was by far my best 100 mile performance to date. The missing pieces from previous hundreds found their places and made the run through the Black Hills of South Dakota quite enjoyable. Sure, my 2011 Leadville showcases a time 23 minutes faster but it pales in comparison to the composure and execution that played out only a few days ago. I'm understanding this distance in a whole new light and its exciting. Quite honestly I was a slow learner at 100's. It took me ten to write the epiphany laced report you're reading today. And the learning is elementary. Let me break it down for you with Burch's guide to a successful 100:

1. Keep it Real Like Chill (say this and actually follow through with it, seriously)
2. Run your own race (say this and actually follow through with it, really)
3. Execute your race day nutrition plan (say this and actually follow through with it, for the real)
4. Stay composed
5. Pee on your leg
6. Avoid getting sprayed by skunks
7. Embrace any conditions you may get. It was extremely muddy! Like Fruita 2014 muddy.

Ur bike on mud

The evening before the race the Fort Collins Contingent was discussing race strategy around the dinner table. My plan, to keep it real like chill. I was going to keep the heart rate super low for the duration of the race. No unnecessary spikes from starting too fast, trying to power through a ridiculous climb, and so on. At the most basic level it is easier to sustain a moderate heart rate over a long distance and it is easier to take in calories during lower intensity. Mentally I told myself I was going out at training run pace. I was hiking some of the first hills within the first two miles of the race. I'm learning you have to be really disciplined to go out slow and it makes up so much time later in the race. At mile 17 I was 7 minutes back of the leaders.

Runners talk about running their own race but few actually do it once the gun goes off. I made the decision the night before to do my thing, all day, no matter what was going on around me. I was going to put my theory to the test; if I focused solely on my race I would have a better outcome than getting sucked into the race and letting others dictate pace/effort. Only until the last Aid Station at mile 94 did I ask how much of a lead I had. I purposely went without a pacer (until the final 6) to keep it simple and not let outside thought influence my run (for good or bad). Here's how it played out on paper after I passed Chris R. for the lead around mile 31: Mile 50= +11, Mile 83= +42, Finish= +45. 25 Mile Splits: 1st 25- 4:15, 10:12/mi, 2nd 25- 4:16, 10:14/mi, 3rd 25- 4:43, 11:19/mi, 4th 25- 5:44, 13:45/mi. Definitely room for improvement, I'd like to get my first and second 50 mile splits within an hour or less of one another. Running by headlamp for the last 4 hours and cumulative fatigue were the biggest time sucks during the final 25.

Nutrtionally I have never been better in a 100. Constant energy all day. No highs, no lows, and I stuck to my plan. I put down approximately 40 of these. Here's what I like about VFuel compared to other gels: 1.The consistency is more liquidy and easier to get down. 2.Each packet has a gram of fat so you're getting more than just sugar as fuel. 3.Just the right amount of caffeine for me, 10mg per packet. Kept me alert not shaky. So over the course of my race I got at least 40 grams of fat and a stable 400mg of caffeine. The routine was scheduled. Every 30 minutes I took two large sips of Fudge Brownie from the gel flask (approx. 1 gel every 30 min.)I did this 37 times. Whenever I needed it I took an extra sip or two. I supplemented with cups of Coke and water at Aid Stations. The first half of the race I drank Nuun and then switched to plain water the second half as it seemed to unsettle my belly enough to warrant a change. At mile 71 I tried a bite of sweet potato but couldn't do it. Chewing felt foreign and there was no way I could have swallowed it down so I spit it out. Stay the course! Amazingly I never got tired of Fudge Brownie. For whatever reason I can't do fruit flavored gels anymore so chocolate is my go to!

Staying composed is self explanatory. You know you're going to be running for a long time so enjoy it. Keep it simple. Be efficient in and out of Aid Stations. My longest stop was about 5 minutes at 71 when I tried the sweet potato. This was my "low" of the race and it wasn't close to any of the depths I've experienced at other 100's. Race rationally, not emotionally. Pedatella is a great example of a runner who logically puts his plan in place and then executes it despite the "race" going on around him.

During 100's and other ultras you find ways to save time and keep moving forward. One of these tricks is peeing on the move. During the race I peed 4 times. It's always good to time it and pee when you're going uphill. That is the textbook way to do it. However, around mile 81 I had to go during a downhill segment. Let's just say it is much harder to pee going downhill, especially on tired legs. I hit more of my leg than the ground. 80+ miles in and I'm laughing hysterically by myself somewhere on the Centennial Trail with a wet right leg. The beauty of this story is that around mile 83 you get to cross Elk Creek a total of 5 times and each crossing was at least knee deep. Justification.

It must have been that time of the night. The skunks came out shortly after mile 90. I really did not want to tell the story about getting sprayed 10 miles from the finish line. With each encounter the odds were getting stacked against me. The first one grabbed my attention. "That's a skunk!?" Pepe 1 ran down the trail in front of me for 10 seconds, tail lifted to the heavens before taking a sharp right into the brush. "Please don't spray, please don't spray," as I passed. Pepe 2 emerged 20 minutes later with a bigger tail and less timidity. I followed him down the trail for at least 30 seconds before he darted left behind a tree. "Please don't spray, PLEASE DON'T SPRAY!"

Pepe 3 was just that. 3 times larger than Pepe 2 with a tail flick that could put even the best under hypnosis. I was succumbing to its powers. Feeling sleepy and moving slower down the trail as he mockingly waved that tail in front of me for the next mile. "Don't give in," I told myself. Suddenly, I caught a toe which snapped me out of it. However, I was hurtling toward the massive skunk in front of me. "PLEASE DON'T SPRAY, PLEASE DON'T SPRAY!!!" This erratic movement alarmed Pepe 3 enough and he deliberately jumped off the trail and disappeared. I had survived three skunks. Unscathed and unsprayed.

I arrived at the last Aid Station. 5.7 miles to go and 1:15 to break 19 hours. 13:09 pace is no big deal unless its the last miles of a 100. I knew it would be close! Thankfully I had K-Rob to pace me home and keep me honest. I couldn't have done it without her. The miles cruised by as we caught up in detail about our day. She had been crewing me all day as well but the depth of our exchange at Aid Stations boiled down to, "New gel flask, Nuun tab, feeling pretty good, see you in a few hours!" Fun to get updates on WS and hear about all the people she met and friends she made at all the Crew Stops. With 1.3 miles to go we hit the bikepath! Time to crush it, like a boss! In my mind I was cruising at 6:30 pace towards the finish line lights surrounding Woodle Field. My momentary daydream was obliterated when she said, "Great job, you're doing 9:30's!" Boom! Reality came back. Soon enough I couldn't have asked for a better reality as I crossed the line in 18:58:23. It's almost 1AM in Sturgis, Sunday morning, walking impaired, completely sober, and I couldn't be happier.


Happily tired.

1.Burch 2.Rubesch 3.Bradford

I mounted this on the F-150 today, like Boss Hogg!

PS- This is a great community based ultra event. It's a medium difficulty 100 (16K climbing, rolling terrain, very little flat, 97% single/doubletrack, 3400-5450 approx. altitude). Excellent crew access, 7.5 miles longest stretch b/t AS. Well organized. The biggest variable for DNF's is the weather. They've had massive thunderstorms, heat, cold nights, and super muddy conditions through the race history. Come prepared for it all, nearly half the field dropped this year primarily due to the mud. A big thanks to Chris, Ryan and all the volunteers!

06 June 2014

Dirty Thirty: Detoured

Start 1 of 2 for me. Pic: Chris Gerber

"I don't usually go off course, but when I do it's for at least 11 miles." The Most Interesting Man in the World whispered these fine words into my ear as I prepared to start the Golden Gate Dirty Thirty 50K for a second time last Saturday. How in the heck did I run 11 miles to find myself back at the Start/Finish area approximately 1:45 into the race? Well, let me tell you.

***DISCLAIMER*** I ran this race in 2012. Which means I should know where the heck to go. However, I did go off course that year as well!

It must have been the zero dark thirty wakeup. At 3:10AM I got the body vertical. By 3:29AM I departed in the Fifty for the meandering trails of Golden Gate State Park. Driving up the tight twisting Golden Gate Canyon Road I almost hit him. Sasquatch lumbered across the road looking as tired as I felt. He must have slept terribly too. I felt sad for the hermetic beast who has eluded countless hunters and scientists for the past 100 years. As the brakes locked down and tires screeched I made eye contact with the living legend. Deep turquoise pools set beneath a furrowed brow looked inside of me. This was going to be a day to remember.

As a tribute to my sighting I donned my PI turquoise singlet and boarded the shuttle bus for the final miles to the race start. No one believed my story as I zealously described what I had witnessed 30 minutes earlier. I was frustrated and upset. Why doesn't the world believe in Bigfoot? As I applied the sunscreen and waited in line for the john I mulled over what I must do. Prove it. Race be damned I had a new mission.

I lined up for the start like I've done dozens of times. Game on. It was the Search for Sasquatch. The race started and we were off. No sign of him yet. I stayed close to the front to make sure I had a perfect vantage point if anything were to happen. As we approached the creek I saw them. Truly remarkable. Twenty four inch footprints perfectly cast into the thick mud. I was on course and hot on his trail. Approaching the first aid station I was in third. As I got closer all I saw was wide eyes and pale faces. The volunteers simply pointed. I knew they had seen him. Chasing down a sasquatch is not an easy task so I made sure to fill my bottle and grab a few extra gels. I continued on and then veered left at the post. 4th and 5th came with me. They must have seen him too and knew this quest was much more important than their finishing place in a race.

There he was! I could believe it because I saw all the evidence. The prints in the mud. The tuft of hair in the post. If I quickened my pace I would catch him in a few minutes. I was committed. With each step I grew closer. In my excitement I had separated from 4th and 5th and was on my own in this journey. The gap was shrinking. I began to panic. What would I do once I caught up to The Bigfoot!? He could totally crush me. Let's crunch the numbers: 68 inches, 145 pounds vs. 108 inches, 503 pounds. Why didn't I think of that earlier? As with most Sasquatch Searchers I got caught up in the chase. It's a fever that spreads like wildfire in your thinking. Rational thought gets chucked aside and replaced with youthful abandon that lives simply in the present moment.

I came back to my senses and hit the brakes. Bigfoot stood 10 feet in front of me. I took a deep breath, regained my composure, and soaked in what I saw. The mythical creature leaned against a tree and began to speak,

"I am you. Find meaning in your journey. Sometimes it will be clear, you should continue. Sometimes it will be unknown, you should continue. Sometimes you will want to quit, you should continue. Sometimes you will make mistakes, sometimes you will be on cloud nine. Sometimes you will fall, sometimes it will be routine. You should continue. I am you. You should continue."

08 May 2014

QR III 50 Mile Men's Preview

This Saturday will see the third running of the Quad Rock 50 Miler held in beautiful Lory State and Horsetooth Mountain Parks. Here's a sneak peak at the Men's Field:

Returning Top Ten Finishers from 2013

2nd- Paul Hamilton: He's my pick for the title this year. In February he ran a blistering sub 4 hour finish to place 2nd at Moab's Red Hot. If he falters it will be due to lack of experience in the 50M distance as this will be his second attempt.

3rd- Ryan Burch: In February he shocked the PNW by racing Orcas Island 50K in a Broncos shirt the day before Superbowl Sunday. His second place showing was a bad omen as the Broncos followed suit the next day. In March he was 6th at Salida, 4 minutes slower than his 2013 finish time. He's put in 6 quality track workouts on Tuesday evenings chasing J-Lid and Ruth around the oval. He's got the home team behind him on this one!

5th- Jim Rebenack: No results to report in 2014. He finished 2nd at the inaugural QR. He'll be ready to roll.

6th- Jason Koop: 2014 has seen him 9th at Red Hot, 8th at Salida, and 2nd at the Zion 100. Two weeks after Zion he threw down a sub 2:40 BOSTON! That's what I call recovery. He's another repeat QR finisher taking the bronze in 2012.

8th- Mike Hinterberg: 25th at Salida this year. He's looking forward to returning to his former backyard trails and improving on last year.

9th- Bryan Williams: No results to report in 2014. He's put in some training miles on the course this year and will be building up for Western States in June.

QR Newbies

Jared Hazen: This TEENAGER crushed it at RR100 in February blitzing a sub 14 hour finish and earning a spot at Western States. In 2013 he won the Oil Creek 100. It's safe to say that Dakota has inspired a new wave of ultra-runners younger than himself.

Zeke Tiernan: A strong 5th place at Red Hot in February. With a new addition to his family he has been busier than ever. Hopefully all the miles chasing the kids will propel the CU All-American to a top finish.

Jon Anderson: He's registered for QR every year. Hopefully 2014 will see his first start and finish at the race!

Lewis Price: The FC local ran a solid 4th at Antelope Island 50K in March. He will be looking to avenge a tough go at Collegiate Peaks 50M from last week.

Corey Hanson: Bellvue's Best will be starting his 2014 campaign this Saturday. He's been training undercover this year with unsubstantiated sightings arriving daily on the Wildlife Camera Roll verified by Park Ranger M. Boyts. He is out there...

Jason Ostrom: The FC Birmingham local is a dark horse. Don't let his most current 2008 Ultrasignup finish fool you. He's been training on these trails regularly and looks to silence any naysaying from RD Clark.

Patrick McGlade: 7th at Salida. I outkicked him for 6th. He's on the radar now.

Honorable Mention

Bryan "BG" Goding: His last finish was QR25 in 2012. He'll be dusting off the shoes for this one and parking the bike on Saturday. I've seen him training at Maxwell and Centennial Dr...on the bike. He knows these trails and might surprise a few.

15 January 2014

2013 in Review / 2014 Schedule and Thoughts

Another year in the books! 2013 looked different than most as I was in TX four months completing Firefighter Academy with the Guard. Here's the numerical visual:

Jan- 368.7 miles, 0 days off, 11.9 daily avg
Feb- 277.5 miles, 3 days off, 9.9 daily avg
Mar- 371.9 miles, 1 day off, 12.0 daily avg
1st Q- 1018.1 miles, 4 days off, 11.3 daily avg
Notes: The year started off great with a PR at Moab (5th time at race) and a solid race at Salida.

Apr- 253.4 miles, 10 days off, 8.4 daily avg
May- 96.7 miles, 24 days off, 3.1 daily avg
Jun- 78.3 miles, 13 days off, 2.6 daily avg
2nd Q- 428.4 miles, 47 days off, 4.7 daily avg
Notes: Experienced some fatigue and sickness at Lake Sonoma resulting in a sub par performance. Rebounded at Quad Rock despite lingering fatigue. Left for TX on May 22 which kicked off my inspirational running options of the: track, treadmill, or flat pavement on Goodfellow AFB. The miles = my motivation during this time.

Jul- 90.8 miles, 14 days off, 2.9 daily avg
Aug- 70.1 miles, 17 days off, 2.2 daily avg
Sep- 108.3 miles, 16 days off, 3.6 daily avg
3rd Q- 269.2 miles, 47 days off, 2.9 daily avg
Notes: Returned to CO and civilian life on Sep 18. Ran Towers Sep 19. In one 3.4 mile, 1700 ft.ascent I gained more vert in :36 min than I did during 4 months in TX. The body rebelled returning to regular running. Super tight calves, twingey hamstrings, and other hitches in the giddy up started the comeback on a slower than anticipated return.

Oct- 234.8 miles, 7 days off, 7.5 daily avg
Nov- 202.2 miles, 11 days off, 6.7 daily avg
Dec- 225.9 miles, 6 days off, 7.3 daily avg
4th Q- 662.9 miles, 24 days off, 7.2 daily avg
Notes: With 2 weeks of running under my belt I ran a decent race at Bluesky given the circumstances. Decided to race my way into shape having a blast in the snow at Silent Trails the weekend after. Enjoyed getting back on the horse at Lory and Horsetooth. Capped off the year running under some cloudless NV skies and enjoying some logging trails next to Lake Tahoe.

Totals: 2378.6 miles, 369:53 run time, 122 days off, 6.5 daily avg, 46ish miles/wk avg.

Summits: Horsetooth- 37, Arthur's- 24, Aggie- 21, Towers- 6, Round- 1, Bobcat- 1, Greyrock- 1, Lone Tree- 1, Middle Bald Mtn- 1

Memorable Moments: Watching the Ultra Community come together and fund a trip for Bill Dooper to spectate at the 2014 Western States 100. This was the first thing that came to mind and I'll leave it at that.

2014 Schedule

Feb- Orcas Island 50K
Mar- Salida Marathon
May- Quad Rock 50M
Jun/Jul- TBD- Black Hills 100? Speedgoat?
Aug- Telluride Mtn Run or Pikes Peak Marathon
Sep- Run Rabbit Run 100M

Thoughts: I'm looking forward to getting in consistent training this year and improving my 100 mile game. A few notable changes for the year: I've been doing two-a-days every day. This surprised Clarkie's ears when I made my intentions known. In the past I have not been a big fan. Life is all about perspective. So here's the goal- Run at least 3000 miles for the year and walk the dog at least 500. Run and walk each day. Yup, walking the dog is now part of my official training plan. My mornings start with a 2 mile tempo at 3 MPH, it's epic! The mitochondrial proliferation during this time is through the roof. During an average week I'll put in 14-15. During high volume I hope to hit 18-20. Bailey Monster is stretching his paws in anticipation as I write this. Game. On. GRRR.

Diet: Over the past few months I've been transitioning to a high fat, lower carb eating plan and have gone 98% gluten free. After learning more and picking up tips from OOJ, FastEd, and K-Rob it has been a quality process of deconstructing a lot of the food beliefs I had built up in my life. I like the idea of a consistent fuel burn vs. the ups and downs of insulin response with carbs. I like the idea of eating nutrient dense food vs less useful calories that are more abundant in grains. I like the idea of less inflammation in my body. I've noticed more satiation eating a high fat/smaller portion meal vs. eating a low fat/larger portion meal. I've noticed improved joint health which I think is simply having more healthy oils in my diet and a decreased inflammatory response from a number of foods. These are a few of the insights/experiences I had while experimenting with this method. I'm also intrigued to see how it affects my overall racing and training throughout the year especially at the 100 mile distance.

Breakfast then: A huge bowl of my oatmeal blend. Breakfast now: 4 eggs fried in coconut oil, topped with half an avocado and salsa. Lunch then: A huge PBJ, banana, granola bar, and other fruit. Lunch now: A huge hearty salad with tons of colorful veggies, avo, nuts, and seeds. Apple slices dunked in almond butter. That's the gist. I'll spare the details. Here's to a happy and healthy 2014 with positive change.

BTW...Look out for J-Rob coming out from under the radar. The Seven Hills Silent Assassin is on the Warpath...

08 October 2013

Bluesky 2013 - 3:40, 6th

Pic: Spiderman Lee

Been a long time since I rock n' roll'd. It was great to get back on the trails and race this past Sunday at the Bluesky Marathon. Coincidentally, it almost did not happen. Returning back to regular running over the past two weeks has been a much more difficult transition than the experience I had a year ago. In 2012 I went to Basic Training, hardly ran, came back, seamlessly returned to training, and won Bluesky. Fairytaleesque. 2013 I completed Firefighter Academy in TX, ran 15-25 miles/week, came back, the body rebelled to training, and I was 19 minutes slower at Bluesky.

The day before the race I celebrated my B-Day and reflected on the past year. Despite running more in TX I was not into it. Monday through Friday my options were the track or treadmill. On the weekend I could run around base if I found someone to join me. Thankfully there were two guys that enjoyed seeing more than the oval so we would get out for one of the days off. I saw way too much of that track over my four month stint. Lanes 7-8 showcased dead baby scorpions that did not scurry fast enough to make it home to the surrounding rocks. The things you notice when you run in circles day after day.

Coming home I was once again refreshed to hit the dirt. My first run was Towers. BUT the 1700 feet of climbing in that run was more vert than my four months in TX combined. My calves hated me. Super tight. Hobblin' around OMB style. Coming back to the dry climate my feet cracked and split. My lower back ached. My body was out of sorts and I was a mess. I managed to put in a 60 mile week during my first full week back. Topped it off with a 12 mile long run. My longest run since Quad Rock 50 in May. Was I really gonna race Bluesky? This is the question I asked myself many times on Saturday night and race morning.

What would you pick in my situation? I could have stayed up all night, had a Breaking Bad marathon, and then showed up and volunteered at the race. Or I could run a marathon on a rusty set of wheels and get an intimate look at my off the couch fitness. I hoped it wouldn't be a disaster; but I really wanted to get through Season 2! In the end I compromised and stayed up until midnight watching Walter White's web weave itself through the ABQ. When the alarm went off at 5AM I almost ditched the race once again...funny what goes on between the ears.

The race started and I felt great! Until I started the grind up Towers. Ugh. The short of my race report was my legs ached for 20 miles and were super heavy. I ran steady eddy all day passing 3-4 runners during the return from Devil's Backbone. Definitely glad I chose to race and establish a base to grow on as I move forward with the necessary consistency that's been lacking.

May- 96 miles, 24 days off.
June- 78 miles, 13 days off.
July- 90 miles, 14 days off.
August- 70 miles, 17 days off.
September- 108 miles, 16 days off.

Last but not least... Congrats to locals: Nick Davis, Justin Liddle, Sam Malmberg, and Corey Hanson who raced up front all day; each setting PR's at Bluesky in the process, awesome!

19 May 2013

Quad Rock 50 Rockin' Report

Photo: E. Bibeau

Needless to say I wasn't brimming with confidence coming into QR. I had been watching shadows of my former self running effortlessly on the walls while I lay horizontal in the fatigue cave. On the couch, feet off the ground, wondering what my deal was. Was QR going to turn into another second half 25 mile death march like Sonoma? These were some of my thoughts leading up to race. Here's what it looked like on paper since Sonoma:

Week 1- 9.5 miles, 5 days off, "recovery week"
Week 2- 81 miles, 1 day off, started feeling a bit better so I resumed "normal" training
Week 3- 34 miles, 3 days off, felt like I was re-entering the cave, kept it real like chill
5 days before race- 20 miles, 2 days off, felt worked after these super easy runs

Went to bed early on QR eve. Woke up unsure of how the race would pan out. Drove to the race with the jams going LOUD! Singing along full throttle was a HUGE boost to my energy and spirit. It wasn't Aldean or Church that saved my race...it was Shelton! "Small Town Big Time Night" got me ready to roll! Whew! Disaster averted.

Rollin' in the valley. Photo: M. Hodges

The race started and we rolled out comfortably on the road catching up with those we knew and figuring out who was who from those we didn't. On the first descent down Spring Creek I was enjoying the home trails and moved past Arthur, Briney, and then Aish to take a brief (any my only) lead of the day. Aish and I struck up a bit of conversation about his NZ homeland shortly before we hit the Horsetooth AS. From here out the race was on! As we headed up Southridge I watched Aish, Briney, Arthur, and Hamilton float up the second climb of the day as I took it somewhat conservative as I thought about the remaining 4 we still had to ascend.

Aish and I dropping into Horsetooth AS Photo: N. Peterson

From Southridge I ran solo all the way to the Timber Trail descent where I went by Briney on the steeper pitches before the bridge. I hit the turn in 3:39 (3:36 in 2012) and soldiered on. The temp was warming and the climbs were feeling tougher. I was mentally preparing for my rematch with the crux climb up Mill Creek. Last year it kicked my butt. This year I took it easy not letting the heart rate skyrocket as much. More intentional hiking on the steeps...maybe I went too easy. I got to the top where I surprisingly saw Aish in a chair at the AS. He apparently took a brief detour off course descending Arthur's Rock Trail. Instead of following the named trail to the AS he went left on Overlook. During this time Arthur unknowingly took the lead and began his Mill Creek ascent. Aish then went beast mode to catch up to Arthur and was stopped short by the accumulation of lactic acid by the time he got to the top.

Photo: N. Testerman

I got knews that Hamilton was only a few minutes in front of me and was looking rough. I figured keep it steady and I'll catch him within the hour. I passed by the oncoming masses ascending Horsetooth as I made my way down with no sign of Hamilton. Once I got to the Horsetooth AS Erskine gave me the status, "Kiss your course record good bye, Arthur is looking STRONG!" "Hamilton is only two minutes ahead and looking rough, you've got 2nd!" I went up Spring Creek and never got a visual on Hamilton. Same thing at Mill Creek AS. "He's only 2 minutes ahead and looks ROUGH!"

Photo: N. Testerman

I bombed down Towers and had my first Goding sighting of the year. "There you are" said Goding in a very relaxing yet reassuring way. Goding revealed the truth. "You're not even close to 2nd. Just keep doing what you're doing. Stay in the present moment. Be the trail. You'll run faster when you stop running. All we are is dust in the wind. Grasshopper." (Disclaimer: only the first quote is legit, the others are what I heard after 7 hours of running)

The Finish! Photo: S. Price

Once I hit the valley I cruised to the finish; mistiming my kick by 22 seconds to finish in 8:00:21. (4:21 second lap, 4:04 in 2012). Another awesome post race and successful event beautifully directed by Pete and Nick and the INCREDIBLE ARMY OF AWESOME VOLUNTEERS!!! Congrats to King Arthur for making it 3 in a row! On his first pass of Arthur's Rock he grabbed the sword and never looked back! Shelby Berg- awesome job on your first 50! No DFL...keep rockin!

07 May 2013

Tick Tock Quad Rock 50 Mile Race Preview

Since last year's inaugural running the Quad Rock course has survived two wildfires. On Saturday the second running will see a longer/different course (fire related), a deeper field, and a prettier purse. Here's a look at who's gunning to be one of the Hot Shots:

The Favorites-

Michael Aish- Ran in the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games for NZ in the 10K and 5K. 4 Time All-American at Western State with individual titles in '99 and '01. He's 2 for 2 at winning the 50 milers he's entered. Even with limited Ultra experience it's tough to bet against this level of ability.

Trent Briney- 3 Time Olympic Marathon Trials Participant with a 26.2 PR of 2:12! One of the fastest times ever at JFK 50 with a 5:37. Was 2nd at the Crown King Scramble 50K in AZ this year. Another raw talent who's familiar with racing the top competition this country has to offer.

Josh Arthur- new to the Ultra scene with a few results under his belt. Was 2nd at Cascade Crest 100 in 2012, his first time at the distance. Has two 50 M finishes, nothing electric. What stands out is his 2013 campaign with wins at Salida and Fruita marathons. Look for him to flip the switch this weekend.

Karl Meltzer- He's running super smooth this year. 4th at Bandera, 5th at Moab, 1st at Antelope Island 100 with a 14:34! A deceptive 14th at the uber competitive Lake Sonoma last month. I have a feeling things are setting up nicely to challenge Clark's WS/HR record. This may be the perfect tune up he needs.

The Repeat Offenders-

Ryan Burch- the defending champ had a solid start to '13 taking 3rd at Moab and 5th at Salida. A sub-par performance at Lake Sonoma increased the fatigue he had been experiencing. It was an interesting last month to say the least. The ball could bounce either way on this one. However, home field advantage rules in his favor. The friendly confines of his backyard trails hope to give him that spark.

Jim Rebenack- the 2012 silver medalist was 7th at Chuckanut this year. It's amazing how much this guy flies under the radar. Watch him move through the pack in stealth mode once again.

Jason Koop- took the bronze after racing a ton before Quad Rock last year. This year he only has a 50K under his belt. Will the fresh legs speed his steps this year?

The Other Contenders-

Paul Terranova- Having a great '13! 3rd at Bandera, 2nd at Nueces, 1st at Hells Hills, 1st at Squawk Mtn. He knows the course and looks to make an impression this weekend.

John Anderson- no 2013 stats. Won the North Fork 50k last June. Solid and tough, don't forget about him.

Troy Howard- 1st at the Destin Beach 50K in February. Tons of experience.

David Ruttum- he's my sleeper of the bunch. Went sub 7 hours at the Leadville 50 and ran a 7:01 at Collegiate Peaks in the past. Will be interesting to see where he lands on Saturday but he may quietly surprise a few.

Sam "Man of the Hour on Towers" Malmberg- No one has been faster than this guy on one part of the course. 13th at Moab this year. I really want him to have a break out 50M performance and turn some heads. Will it be this weekend or at Pikes Peak 2014? Why not now.

Who will be the new Queen? A quick look at the ladies field:

The Repeat Offenders-

Jenny Pierce- reigning queen. No 13 results.

Kris Klotzbach- bronze medalist. No 13 results.

The Other Contenders-

Kerrie Bruxvoort- 1st at Zane Grey. I'm picking her for the W.

Anita Ortiz- has the pedigree. No results in 13.

Becky Wheeler- no results in 13.

Kristel Liddle- the hometown girl was 4th last year. Looking to make some noise this year, she's 2 for 2 taking gold in both her races with a CR at Antelope Island 100M.

Alyssa Wildeboer- 3rd at Terrapin Mtn 50K this year.

Katherine Metzger- 3rd at Cedro Peak this year.

Meredith Terranova- 1st at Squawk Mtn this year.

Francesca Conte- 13th at Lake Sonoma this year.

There it is! Who am I missing? ...Be gnarful out there...