SMILES AND 50 MILES- WHITE RIVER 50

SMILES AND 50 MILES- WHITE RIVER 50

Monday, August 17, 2015

After some goofy photos, I decided to tend to my rock, dirt, and tree filled knee wound.

As I stumbled towards the health tent, Kurt, the Scott rep, said, “You were so fun to watch, you were such a ball of joy entering the aid stations, with a smile across your entire face.”    I immediately stopped and looked at him with a stupid grin across my face and thanked him immensely. 

Rothrock 'n Roll (On the Ground)

Rothrock 'n Roll (On the Ground)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

From the start, I had the mindset of being out for a long run with 400 people. I followed the assembly line of racers up the first steep climb and then at the first downhill the eventual winner, local Meira Minard (she has won Rothrock multiple times), went bombing gracefully down. I tiptoed down as if on hot coals. I realized that I was not going to win this race by being conservative. I ran alone for the next several technical miles. Around 7 miles, a group of chatty men caught up to me. They kept me entertained until I fell flat in front of them and stopped the train. While I was rolling around on the ground, the third place girl passed me. I motioned them on so I could take my time and carefully maneuver the rocks. Despite my trying to be careful, I caught my toe and fell twice and rolled my ankle several times. Fortunately, just a couple scrapes and bruises to show for it.

Running Happy and Building Character

Running Happy and Building Character

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Everyone at the AS was also a bit baffled, then the razzing started. “Is this your first time on this course?” “How could we make the turn more obvious?” I looked at the turn, which had multiple pink ribbons along with a garbage can. This was a turn that I had missed multiple times in past training runs and yet again?!

Mark Tanaka at the Quicksilver 100K

Mark Tanaka at the Quicksilver 100K

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I cut almost 2 hours from last year's race, placing 5th overall.  I passed at least 10 people between mile 24 (at the start of a long 2400 foot ascent) and the finish line, including the 2 elite front-runner women and a bunch of fast young guys, some 10 to 20 or more years younger than I.  
Those 4 runners on my tail 5 miles before the end-- I put another 5 minutes or more on all of them. I was hammering down that final descent, protected by the Helios SR.

Hurtin' in Helena

Hurtin' in Helena

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The last climb up to the top of Mount Helena was hard. There was a lady walking up the trail who had started the race an hour earlier. She pulled over to the side to let me pass and said some words of encouragement. Then she pulled out her phone and started taking pictures of me so I really had to get moving! At this point I started to lose it. Close to the peak, a man's voice yelled down that I was
almost there. When I reached him he said to go down this trail and then go to your left. Once I figured out which was my left, I started a mantra that was "go to your left, go to your left." Now was not the time to go off course; I just wanted to be done. The last mile is so steep
and rocky, my feet were burning inside my Helios.

Mountain Cup #4: 2015 Seven Sisters Trail Race

Mountain Cup #4: 2015 Seven Sisters Trail Race

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

This year marked the 25th anniversary of the 7 Sisters Trail Race and it’s 2nd year as a part of the La Sportiva Mountain Cup Series. I had the pleasure of meeting the race director, Fred Pilon, and talking to him a bit about the history of the race. At it’s inaugural event a quarter century ago, it started as many other races have- with a group of friends who wanted to share a ridiculous adventure together. 

My Canine Classic by Tiva Ames

My Canine Classic by Tiva Ames

Monday, April 27, 2015

This time I could hardly contain myself. It has been a couple years since I last toed the line and I could hardly wait. We did a few sprints to warm up and made our way to the front of the starting line. The hardest part is waiting the start. Whenever I am on the line and see that clear road ahead of me I just want to take off. I was so excited I started howling (I've never done that before)!

2015 Tuck Fest Half Marathon

2015 Tuck Fest Half Marathon

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The gun went off and racers hurled themselves down the course. La Sportiva athlete Ryan Woods had a strong lead from the start as he led out the pack of runners eager to challenge themselves on the windy trails of the USNWC. With over 20 miles of trails cutting through the lush forest, the runners enjoyed breathtaking views of the Catawba River, opulent foliage- plump and green from the recent rain, tall oak trees, and scampering critters.

Orcas Island Marathon Debut

Orcas Island Marathon Debut

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Orcas Island Marathon is a new addition to the Bellingham Trail Running Series (BTRS) this year. It takes place in Moran State Park on beautiful Orcas Island, the largest of the San Juan Islands. Many people asked me why I picked this race to be my debut marathon with almost 6,000 feet of elevation gain and loss when I have never run a step over 20 miles. I was asking myself the same thing after a reconnaissance of the course! 

Lessons Learned: Georgia Death Race 68-mile Trail Run 2015

Lessons Learned: Georgia Death Race 68-mile Trail Run 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

I cursed a lot. I almost started crying.

By the time I was back up to the highway crossing, I was frantic. I found the small trail heading down into the wooded abyss on the other side of the highway (you could see flagging about 100-feet downhill  in a headlamp beam once you were on the opposite side of the road). Running angrily downhill through every bit of pain, I was nearly hyperventilating.

Season Opener: Fragrance Lake Half Marathon

Season Opener: Fragrance Lake Half Marathon

Monday, February 23, 2015

At the top of Chinscraper he stopped to tie his shoes so I was able to get a head start on the Ridge. He soon passed me, but I was able to keep him in sight with some fancy footwork.

Wasatch Front 100

Wasatch Front 100

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Imagine.

That was the word I used when telling a friend why I wanted to run my first 100, Western States.  I could imagine myself on the Western States course and crossing the finish line. And that, I did 11 years ago.  Driving into Sugarhouse Park, the site of race check-in/meeting, there stood a garden with the word IMAGINE formed by the flowers. I took a big breath in and felt calmness run over me. I had imagined WF 100, now I needed to believe I could do it.

The mind is a powerful tool. It can make whatever you truly believe happen. Others believed I could earn the Crimson Cheetah, but did I?

2014 Vail Hill Climb

2014 Vail Hill Climb

Monday, July 14, 2014

The theme for the weekend was "local power" and the results definitely reflected this.  The course starts in Vail Village with a little jaunt along pavement to warm competitors up and then grinds straight up to the summit of Vail Mountain. 

Hell's Hills 2014

Hell's Hills 2014

Monday, April 7, 2014
Heat has always been the enemy at Hell's Hills.  Texas in April is generally somewhere between warm and unbearably hot and this course out in Smithville only exacerbates the issue.  

The Mountain Cup Is A Long Season

The Mountain Cup Is A Long Season

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wow, at the first race of this year’s Mountain Cup, I never would have predicted that it would turn out like it has.  It has been a roller coaster of racing for me, physically and emotionally.  I thought I would recap the season, to demonstrate the ups and downs of a season on the trails.

2013 Duathalon World Championships

2013 Duathalon World Championships

Monday, August 19, 2013

As a life long runner and cyclist, I figured there was no better way to celebrate my 50th year than focusing on the ITU World Duathlon Championships held this year in Ottawa, Canada. It would be my 6th time in the event over the last 20 years. It was over 10 years since my last participation, however.

Catalina Island Eco Marathon

Catalina Island Eco Marathon

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The seventh annual Catalina Island Eco-Marathon is slated for Saturday, November 9 at 8:00am on Catalina Island, CA. The Eco-Marathon offers not only a very challenging and beautiful marathon that travels through the interior of the island, but also a challenging trail 10K that is held around the city of Avalon.

 

Yukon Arctic 100 Mile

Yukon Arctic 100 Mile

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I guess it comes down to you can’t tame the north, but the north can sure as hell tame you.

Around the Lake Giv'r Take 30km Race Report

Around the Lake Giv'r Take 30km Race Report

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The entry always includes a great hoodie and the volunteers all bring food for afterwards. The food is really what makes the race as there is delicious warm soup, meats and cheese plates, andugh home baking to feed an army! I am such a sucker for home baking so maybe that is the reason I really love this race. I have done this race twice before and have been fortunate enough to have won and taken home the greatest prize ever: A hand carved walking stick.

Wasatch 100

Wasatch 100

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

With nearly 27,000 feet of climbing, nearly the same amount of downhill and a thermostat that was expected to be at least 15 degrees warmer than previous years, I knew I had my work cut out for me. Trying to be realistic I had a goal to break 24 hours. I had loftier, dreamier goals too but I reminded myself of the true prize when the suffering began, that is to finish.

Jungfrau World Trail Marathon

Jungfrau World Long Distance Trail Running Championship

Monday, September 24, 2012

Jungfrau Marathon was also the World Long Distance Mountain Running Challenge for 2012.  There were individuals from over 20 countries, plus 13 countries field full teams to compete for individual and team world champion titles.  I was blessed to be running with four great guys to represent the USA.  

TransRockies Run

TransRockies Run

Monday, September 17, 2012

Our goal was to win the 80+ division(combined age of the 2 runners) but after several days of running together we realized the biggest challenge would be foreach of us to arrive at the start healthy. It wouldn’t matter how much running we did before the race if we got hurt in the process. Moderation in preparation would be key as neither of us wanted to let the other down. Fortunately, after some up and down months of training we both came into form at just the right time.

Tahoe Rim Trail

Tahoe Rim Trail

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Every race offers some lessons of improvement and at age 40 I need all the lessons I can get. Next up, Ashland Hill climb… and then Wasatch? I may want to rethink... 

Sean Blanton: AT Speed Attempt

Sean Blanton: AT Speed Attempt

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I took off down the mountain. It was official; my AT speed record attempt had begun. I can't tell you how happy, nervous, scared and excited I was. Everything I had done to get to this point. All the mountains, all the miles and all the planning. With familiar trail and an easy 8.3 go to my first aid stop I was feeling great...

Jenny Capel - Leadville 100

Jenny Capel - Leadville 100

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The next time I hear someone at the start of a 100 with that bit of doubt in their words, I will be looking for their name in the results.  If I see it, I will know what they experienced to get it there.

Don't Fence Me In Trail Race

Don't Fence Me In Trail Race

Friday, June 1, 2012

The early morning Montana sun seemed to forgive my mental slip and the warm-up jog confirmed that everything was back in order.  Let’s get this thing started.  Some last minute lacing up in the La Sportiva tent was noticed by rep Vince Close.    “Ready to go Matt?, how was your trip out?”  Funny you should ask Vince, let me tell you.”  “That’s a great story Matt, but don’t you think you should get to the starting line?”   BANG!...it’s starts and I’m still in the tent. 

Ellen Parker - The Bear 100

Ellen Parker - The Bear 100

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

On Friday September 23rd, 2011 at 6am I would embark on a journey I had begun just 3 times before and had finished only twice before. A 100-mile endurance run is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Perhaps having had 3 previous experiences to weigh on my nerves was a good thing.

Bronwyn Morrissey - Bhutan

Bronwyn Morrissey - Bhutan

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I recently had the opportunity to travel to Bhutan to do an expedition with my husband and some other trekkers. The trip itself was a chance of a lifetime. Because there is only one airport and one airline with limited flights, this isolated country is hard to reach.

GUTS Fatass 50K

GUTS Fatass 50K

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

In true Run Bum style, the gun went off as I was running up to the start putting on arm sleeves and tying my laces tight on the X Country.  I took off yelling and screaming as I made my way to the front. As I passed everyone to get up front I was greeted by all my local ultra friends. It was such a great feeling having friends yell,'' GO RUN BUM, HEY SEAN, YOU GOT THIS!"  With a smile on my face I did what I do best and that's bomb down hill like a fat man in a barrel.

Alison Bryant-San Francisco 50 Mile

Alison Bryant-San Francisco 50 Mile

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The starting line was like a running reunion, with everyone wishing the others a good race.  The race started quickly and I knew better than to try to stay with the lead women.  As it was, my split to the first aide station was under 8:00 pace and that included a long climb with an equal descent.

Oxfam TrailWalker 100K

Oxfam TrailWalker 100K

Thursday, December 1, 2011

As a warm-up, I started the year with a snowshoe race and a muddy 25k. Then I upped the ante with the 6-day Transrockies Run in Colorado, followed two weeks later by my first 50 Miler. TransRockies was a study in red-line, uphill pain, and the Haliburton 50 was where I learned I could hurt for a very long time. Just as I was recovering from these two long races, I was getting set to travel to Hong Kong for something different yet again.

By this time, I had few toenails left to lose.

Continental Divide Trail Race

Continental Divide Trail Race

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Finally the race began. The race starts on top of the mountain in an open field and runs off the side of the mountain four times, forming a cloverleaf pattern. The first downhill is the harshest but the second and fourth climbs are the most difficult. I quickly settled in to about sixth or seventh place. My mind wasn't really in the race yet though. I had too many race director problems to take care of still. I ran past Dave Dunham, our USATF liason, and asked him the question that a male runner had asked me on the starting line about team uniforms. I then came up the hill and saw the camp assistant director standing there. “More toilet paper . . . women's bathroom . . .” She seemed to understand. 

Don Gallogly - Three Sisters

Don Gallogly - Three Sisters

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

On the first weekend of October, I ran to the summit of the South Sister; the third highest peak in the state or Oregon.  Although it's the highest at 10,358 feet, the South Sister is the least technical climb of the Three Sisters and a popular destination.

Ellen Parker: Denali

Ellen Parker: Denali

Monday, July 25, 2011

There are not enough words to describe this experience, especially when accomplished with a sibling. Kurt and I had an experience that we will never forget and also one that we can not ever replicate. We had luck, strength, support and teamwork on our side. Things went wrong. We both reached our limit with each other and with being on a cold, stormy mountain. We endured it all, lived, learned a lot and for myself I can now say that I can’t wait to get back for more.

Jason Bryant - Slovenia

Jason Bryant - Slovenia

Thursday, June 30, 2011

When I saw the course profile for Gorski Marathon, I knew it was a race I wanted to test myself on.  Then I looked at race photos of the course and saw the beauty of the area.  This year Gorski Marathon was also the 8th World Long Distance Mountain Challenge, so it would have some of the best mountain runners from around the world racing. 

AJW - American River 50

AJW - American River 50

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The American River 50 miler is one of the great Spring Classics on the ultra circuit.  I had only run it once before this year and given the timing and my run-up to Western States in June it turned out to be a perfect tune up race.

Skurka - Wind River Range

Skurka - Wind River Range

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Wind River Range in western Wyoming is one of the premier backcountry locations in the American West. It features towering granite walls, big alpine glaciers, textbook-worthy glacier-carved valleys and spires, cooperative and predictable 3-season weather, and an infinite number of cross-country travel routes.

Ellen Parker - Grand Canyon

Ellen Parker - Grand Canyon

Monday, October 19, 2009

On Friday, October 16, 2009 three incredible women and I embarked on a fast and furious weekend of adventure to celebrate a birthday and also to enjoy one passion we all have in common, distance running.