Friday, December 31, 2010

Canadian Male Ultra Runner of the Year

We are going to go with a slightly different format this time around for debate and voting for the Canadian Male Ultra Runner of the Year (UROY). Some names are going to be posted below with the results from races in 2010. Gary and myself deemed these ones as obvious choices to be put to the vote. There are certainly some obvious choices out there that we missed. This is where you the readers come into play! If you feel someone should be added to the list make a mention of it in the comments section with that persons known results and I will add it into the text of people to be voted for.

Debate will be open until Sunday at 6pm PST and then those on the list and those that have been added will be listed in the poll that will go for about 4 days.

In alphabetical order here are the contenders:

* 4th place Bull Run Run 50 miler - 6:52:51
* 1st place Sulphur Springs 50 miler - 6:28:07
* 3rd place Ultimate XC 58km - 7:03:37
* 1st place Haliburton Forest 50km - 4:26:17
* 1st place Vulture Bait 50km - 3:54:12
* 3rd place Mountain Masochist 50 miler - 7:42:39

* 2nd place Orcas Island 50k - 4:38:44
* 12th place Chuckanut Mountain 50k - 4:16:00
* 2nd place Diez Vista 50k - 4:26:37
* 7th place Miwok 100k - 9:00:23

* 4th place Vancouver New Years Day 50k - 3:59:55
* 1st place HURT 100 miler - 20:12 (CR)
* 11th place Chuckanut Mountain 50k - 4:12:14
* 1st place Diez Vista 50k - 4:10:38 (CR)
* 6th place Western States 100 miler - 17:06:20
* 4th place Knee Knacker 50k - 5:05:52
* West Coast Trail 75km Speed Record - 10:08
* East Coast Trail 220km Speed Record - 35:17

(4) Glen Redpath (NY)
* 3rd place Umstead 100 miler - 14:27:51
* 8th place Miwok 100km - 9:06:45
* 6th place Bear Mountain TNFEC 50 miler - 8:23:23
* 1st place South Mountain 100km - 10:31:00 (CR)
* 7th place Western States 100 miler - 17:10:06
* 5th place Trans Rockies 3 Day Race
* 2nd place VASS Vermont 50 miler - 7:01:31
* 1st place Oil Creek 100 miler - 17:25:54 (CR)
* 1st place Delaware Water Gap 50k - 5:29:00 (CR)

(5) Ryne Melcher (BC)
* 2nd place Vancouver New Years Day 50k - 3:55:11
* 3rd place Calgary Frozen Ass 52k - 3:46:54
* 18th place Chuckanut Mountain 50k - 4:21:36
* 1st place Mount Si 50 miler - 5:54:15 (CR)
* 1st place Capitol Peak 60km - 4:45:32 (CR)
* 1st place Lake Youngs 50km - 3:17:00
* Stormy 50 miler 10:29:07 (pacer for Kristin to get her WS Qualifier)
* 5th place Run for the Toad 50k - 4:15:15

So there you have five to get things rolling. There are names for sure that need to be added to this list. Get them comments flowing and I will get them added as they come up!

Happy New Year to everyone, play safe tonight and voting again will commence at 6pm PST Sunday January 2nd.

The exact same debate is over on Gary's Blog for the Canadian Women.

Happy trails!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Results for Canadian Performance of the Year

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and is getting those resolutions for 2011 hammered out as its a mere 35 hours away!

Thanks to everyone who participated and contributed information and results for the Canadian Male Ultra Performance of 2010. Polls closed on Boxing Day and the results are still up on the right sidebar of the blog.

Congratulations to Gary Robbins and the HURT 100 miler performance which took 48 votes (43% of the vote). My Mount Si 50 miler took the silver with 36 votes (32%) and Gary's Western States 100 took the bronze with 11 votes (10%).

My personal thoughts are:

(1) Given the amount of votes Tracey was getting for her great Western States victory over on Gary's blog I thought both Gary and Glen's WS100 performance would garner more votes.

(2) I really thought Glen's blazing 14:27 at the Umstead 100 miler would get more consideration as well (it's the 4th fastest 100 miler in Canadian History). It got 3 votes (one of them was from me!)

(3) I figured I would get some votes for sure with my Mt Si 50 and Canadian Trail Record run but know more weight is typically given to 100 milers. I didn't think 32% would be the total, maybe 10-15%

(4) I'm glad to see Adam Hill's Sulphur 50 miler picked up at least a few votes. I didn't want to drum myself up in mentioning this performance but in 2005 I was in the shape of my life and ran 6:26 in my final preparations for DNFing Western States. It broke the course record at the time by 75 minutes. Adam for the last few years has been within a minute or two of taking out that record. I know first hand how impressive running 6:28 there is. Adam if your reading this if you agree to supply the post race beer I could be conned into coming out this year and we can hammer each other into the ground and both get under that 6:26 mark!

(5) There were A LOT of impressive results by Canadians this year from both sexes. My gut tells me in the voting for female UROY by Ultra Running magazine Canadian women will be 1-2. I think that had a legitimate shot of being 1-2-3 until Beverley Anderson-Abbs got injured early in the spring. She had 4 amazing races with 3 wins and a close 2nd at Way to Cool all before April 10th!

(6) Gary and myself are going to have a few beers tonight and getting the debate going on male and female UROY in Canada. I will be hosting the men's debate and vote again and Gary will handle the women's.

Happy New Year to everyone and look forward to some debate/banter on here in the coming days with opinions on who should win ultimate bragging rights as top dog in the Canadian Ultra World!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Voting Time for Canadian Male Ultra Performance of the Year

Alright folks. Thanks to all for the comments, suggestions and weighing in on the list of male ultra performances. It certainly was a great year for Canadian Ultra Running not only on the men's side but especially on the women's side. Gary Robbins is hosting the debate and now the vote on the women's ultra performance of the year on his blog.

Voting is now available on the right hand side of the blog page. The time frame for being able to vote will be from December 19th to December 26th ending at 5pm PST. I just want to stress that the goal of this is to vote on the performance you believe is most worthy and not be a vote for my friend contest. All performances on the finalist list are phenomenal as were the few that didn't make the cut and each deserve a huge pat on the back to the respective athlete.

Comments are still welcome to come in and if you want your more than welcome to state who you voted for and why.

Congratulations not only to those on this list but everyone this year on your respective runs, adventures, journeys and any other miles along the way. Best wishes for a happy holiday season and a healthy 2011 running season.

Again in chronological order, here are the ten finalist.

(1) Gary Robbins
HURT 100 miler - 20:12 - 1st place, course record
Gary's time lowered the course record set by Geoff Roes the year earlier from 20:28 to 20:12. He also became only the 5th person in the history of the run to break 24 hours.

(2) Adam Campbell
Chuckanut 50k - 3:52:59 - 3rd place
Adam's time was the 4th fastest in the long history of the Chuckanut 50k. Unfortunately for him this year 2 of the 3 times faster than his were run by competitors Erik Skaggs and race winner Andy Martin. With nearly 5000 feet of climb this time is very impressive.

(3) Glen Redpath
Umstead 100 miler - 14:27:51 - 3rd place
Glen's time was the fastest 100 miler recorded by a Canadian in 2010 and the 4th fastest all time. It should also land him in the top 5 100 mile times in North America as well for 2010.

(4) Ryne Melcher
Mount Si 50 miler - 5:54:15 - 1st place, course record
The time was good enough to squeak under the old course record held by James Kirby by 22 seconds and is also the fastest 50 miler ever run by a Canadian on trail .

(5) Chris Downie
Miwok 100km - 9:00:23 - 7th place
Chris' time is the fastest known time laid down by a Canadian at the Miwok 100k. 7th place was impressive given the list of people at the race aiming for one of the final two Western States slots.

(6) Adam Hill
Sulphur Springs 50 miler - 6:28:07 - 1st place
With an elevation gain of 6000' over the 50 miles 6:28 is a very impressive time. It also came within 100 seconds of breaking the course record of 6:26 set in 2005.

(7) Taylor Murphy
Fast Trax 50k - 3:32 - 1st place, course record
Taylor continued his success in ultras following up his brilliant Run for the Toad 50k victory with an impressive time laid down in hot conditions

(8) Gary Robbins
Western States 100 miler - 17:06:20
Gary narrowly missed the fastest time run at the WS100 by a mere 3 minutes. His time also placed him 6th in arguably the best field ever assembled for the race.

(9) Glen Redpath
Western States 100 miler - 17:10:06
Right behind Gary for 7th place Glen also took home the honors for top masters runner at the Western States 100.

(10) Thierry Asselin
IAU World 100k Championships - 7:40:37
Thierry's time landed him the top Canadian on a course not exactly designed for PRs. His time was also the fastest 100k run by a Canadian in 2010.

(11) Other
If you think the best performance of 2010 by a Canadian Male was not on this list. Vote for other!

Again thanks to everyone for participating in this and making it fun. Once the vote closes on December 26th at 5pm PST the initial list will go up for Canadian Male Ultra Runner of the Year.

Happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Canadian Ultra Performance of the Year - Male

It's that time of year again to not only get fat and drunk over the holidays but to put your $0.02 in on who had the best ultra performance for 2010.

Gary Robbins and myself decided to share the work load this year and each take a gender. He's had more than his share of men lately so I offered to give him a bit of a break and tackle the men while he will be posting for the women.

Best way I figure is to start with a list of notable performances and leave them up for a few days to debate about and find any hidden gems that we might have missed over the year. Once the debate is over I'll post up a poll of the top 10 and we'll take to voting! Winner receives bragging rights and dinner with the Prime Minister!

So here, in chronological order, are the top male ultra performances of the year:

(1) Gary Robbins - HURT 100 Miler - 20h12m and course record (Geoff Roes old record holder). Rumor is the course was in wicked fast shape but that shouldn't take away from becoming only the 5th person to break the 24 hour barrier in the history of the race.

(2) Eric Deshaies - Rocky Raccoon 100 miler - 16:37:13 in what I believe is the second fastest 100 miler of the year behind Glen Redpath's Umstead 100.

(3) Adam Campbell - Chuckanut 50k - 3:52:59 somehow placed him 3rd in the stacked field this year behind Andy Martin and Erik Skaggs but Adam's time is the 4th fastest in the history of the event.

(4) Glen Redpath - Umstead 100 miler - 14h27m placing him 3rd overall. This is one of the fastest 100 milers run in Canadian history (4th all time) and may well also be the Canadian Masters record as well

(5) Adam Hill - Bull Run Run - 6:52:21 placing him 4th and missing the podium by less than a minute. One of the top 25 times laid down on that course full of history and fast people that have ran it over its 18 year life span.

(6) Ryne Melcher - Mount Si 50 miler - 5:54:15 broke the course record by 22 seconds and is the fastest known time for a Canadian on a trail 50 miler.

(7) Chris Downie - Miwok 100k - 9:00:23 landed Chris 7th place in the highly competitive Miwok 100k this year filled with people desperate for one of the last 2 Western States entries. Chris' time may also well by the fastest Canadian time recorded at the Miwok 100k.

(8) Adam Hill - Sulphur Springs 50 miler - 6:28:07 and within 2 minutes of the course record.

(9) Taylor Murphy - Fast Trax 50k - 3:32 was good enough to give Taylor the National Championship on what was rumored to be a hot day in Edmonton.

(10) Gary Robbins - Western States 100 miler - 17:06:20 was about 3 minutes shy of the fastest time laid down by a Canadian at the WS100. 17h06m also landed a spot securely in the top 10 at 6th place this year

(11) Glen Redpath - Western States 100 miler - 17:10:06 was right behind Gary for 7th spot and 7 minutes off the Canadian record at Western. Glen also took home the Gold for the Masters Division at the 2010 Western States Track Meet.

(12) Guy Gilbert - Ultramarathon Michel Gouin 48 hour race - 312.610km is a long way to go in 2 days! Imagine running 100 miler and breaking 24 hours, not bad. Now get up and do it again the next day as well!

(13) Thierry Asselin - IAU World 100k - 7:40:37 landed him as the top Canadian male at this years IAU World 100k Challenge in Gibraltar. The course at Gibraltar isn't exactly designed for PRs either.

Please comment on your thoughts of how the above stack up and certainly if you feel something should be added to the list that isn't on here! Again to view the same list but for the women go to Gary Robbins site!

Friday, November 12, 2010

2010 Year in Review


This race has been an annual event for me since moving to North Vancouver in 2007. Typically this time of year in Vancouver sees a plethera of rain with the exception of 2009 (it snowed) and this year was no exception. Most of the day we encountered monsoon like conditions. Yet 106 hearty souls toed the line including "Rain, No Train" Ean Jackson who was making this his 100th ultramarathon.

A group of 4 consisting of David Papineau, Dario Herrera, Sammy and myself spent many miles shooting the shit and wondering when we would catch Ryan Conroy who had bolted from the starting gun like he was running from the cops. It took quite sometime but just past the turnaround at the halfway mark we got him. Shortly after Papineau threw down some speed intervals with over 10 miles to go and he was never seen again. I found myself beside Sammy with a few miles to go and we cruised in together under 4 hours and the old course record but 4 minutes behind the studly "Big Papi." I then proceeded to set the world record for the longest hot shower!


February I had plans of doing a back to back ultra weekend with the Pemberton 50k in Arizona on Saturday and the Calgary Frozen Ass 52k the next day. Unfortunately I came down with pnuemonia the week of that plan and cancelled the Arizona portion of the plan but kept the Calgary portion alive as I used Air Miles to book that leg of the flight and didn't want to waste them!

All things considered the race went well and I finished in 3:46 about 90 seconds behind the leader. I would of liked a little more zip in the legs in the final few miles to make a charge at the leader but the lungs didn't want to cooperate with that notion.

Next up on the racing list was the Chuckanut 50k. The field was absolutely stacked this year. A
typical year has seen times around 4:05-4:10 take the "W." I had a decent start to the race and found myself hovering around 10th about 1/3rd of the way through the race heading up Cleator Road to the Ridge Trail. I chatted with Peter Ellis for a brief bit and he mentioned that he was ahead of his pace when he ran 4:05 two years back en route to a 2nd place finish. The next 5-6 miles I got passed a few times and got depressed. Not at the time I was running but more on the position I was in.

Looking back I'm a little frustrated with myself for this. I had a decent time going and lost time just by giving up because I wasn't as high up as I wanted to be. I finished in 4:21 and 18th place. I really want to head back next year and have another good go at this course. I know I have more in me on that course and will just focus on running my time goal and my race plan.

MT SI 50 Miler

3 weeks later was my return to Mount Si for the 50 miler. I actually wrote a somewhat lengthy blog post on the recap of this race so won't go into too much detail other than my plan was to break the course record. It ended up being a lot closer than I would have liked but managed to break it by 22 seconds. I was very happy with the time of 5:54:15 and it looks like that time might hold up for one of the top 10 times for 50 miles in North America for 2010 and will likely be the fastest 50 mile time by a Canadian.


Riding that high I made a last minute call to head down to the Capitol Peak 55k (which I'm convinced was closer to 60k!) It was refreshing to run some trails I've never been on and had very little effect of the effort at Mt Si two weeks prior. Managed again to bag a win in 4:45:32.

After this race my focus shifted to train for Western States. I had found out that I got in and the race was a mere 7 weeks away. May was a massive mileage month, knocking down
501 miles to be exact. No races just heavy mileage.


To tune up for Western and try to get some heat training in (our high temperature in May and early June was something like a whopping 60F!) I went down to the Lake Youngs 50k (actually 47k) in Seattle. The forecast called for 70F for the race so I was jacked to use this as my heat training long run - pathetic I know!!!

The course was a very boring 3 loops around a lake that you never got a view of. However it was very well organized and friendly. I enjoyed it and didn't do anything to stupid and ran a solid 3:17 to grab a 3rd win in a row.


Then the big clusterfuck at Western States. Still not entirely sure what my issue is with that race but were not on speaking terms nor do I ever wish to head there again, wearing a race bib anyways. This was my 3rd kick at the can at WS100, my 3rd different strategy and approach and the 3rd time I've had the same result which left my pants sans buckle. I'm okay with letting Western States win. I know I am not a 100 mile runner (unless I'm holding hands with Wakefield running from hillbillies through the Ozarks). Maybe in my next life I'll be a 100 mile runne
r but for now I really just need to stick to stuff I'm good at. And stuff that leaves me in a coherent enough state to drink beer after crossing the finish line!

I got a little depressed after the Western debacle and didn't run much in the following weeks. I mostly just lazed around the house eating Joe Louis' and watching soap operas in my moo-moo. Then I remembered I agreed to pace Jackie Muir for the Fat Dog 100 miler. Well, actually, I had initially said I would enter the race and run the full 100 miles with her. That was back in my younger days when I was ambitious and foolish. We both agreed me pacing her for the last 60 miles was probably a safer option.

FAT DOG 100 Mile +++++++++++++++++++

This race made Horton Miles look short! The course was terribly mis-labelled. It was billed as runable and fast. It was not runable, orienteering at times, measured in nautical miles and then some and so on and so on. The leaders hit the "54k" aid station over 8 hours into the race. I knew then this was going to be a LONG day out there. I had projected Jackie would finish in 22-24 hours. I picked her up at the "70k" aid station almost 14 full hours into the race, with the toughest section still ahead! Being at aid stations I had heard all the reports from runners and relay people saying how long the course was. A leg that was billed as 17 miles ended up being 26 miles.

I tried to keep Jackie motivated and figured maybe someone just screwed the pooch on that section and it would get better and more accurate the rest of the way. WRONG! I had been running/walking with Jackie for 3 hours and we still hadn't hit the 85k water drop. Finally 3h0
2m later we finished the 15k flat section and got to the water. Next up 15k more to the manned aid station where the crew was and all downhill, 4000ft net loss of elevation. We ran, and ran, and ran and Jackie came back to life. 2 hours in no sign of the station. 2.5 hours, no sign, 3 hours, no sign, 3.5 hours no sign. WTF?! 3h46m later we finish the 15k downhill segment! The aid station tells us the reports have been that section was actually 48k not 30k. I vow to buy the RDs a calculator for Christmas. I start doing math in my head and realize this is going to be a long time. Jackie is determined to finish. I get another crew member to be ready to pace at the next checkpoint so I can grab a quick nap and have energy for the last section which is supposed to take 6-7 hours. 3 hours later we pull into that station which is only 9k away. I've paced for 10 hours and according to this bloody RD we've only covered 39k!

I sleep briefly and pull into Gary Robbins aid station and we have a shot of newfie screech. Gary's been a one man party/aid station/cheerleader out in the woods. With no radio contact with the world he's got no idea what's been happening. We estimate that there may only be about 12 people left in the race! The last section is supposed to be 26k but I clearly know its a lie at this point. Jackie pulls into the station at 11am (31hrs race time). She loads up on goodies and I relieve Mike of pacing duties and we set out with Ken Legg and his pacer Action Jackson.

Jackie is in full on death march mode. We're told there is a water drop 13k into this 26k section. Its scorching out, its day two and 85F. We're headed up to an alpine meadow exposed to the sun with no shade. Its a glorious day. Jackson is doing anything and everything to keep Ken and Jackie motivated. He takes off his shorts and hikes his gonchies up his backside and makes them into a thong. This scars me but makes Jackie chuckle. We've been hiking up this 5000 foot ascent to the ridgeline for a good two hours and out of nowhere a man walking a poodle comes around one of the switchbacks. We're as surprised to see him as he is to see a man hiking with no pants and gonch converted into a thong. We figure this will make great dinner conversation for whoever he has dinner with that night.

Soon Ted from Ohio catches us and informs us he's the last runner. So Jackie, Ken and Ted form a group and agree to stay together for the remainder. Jackson and myself assume comedy duties and tell every dirty story from our ultra running careers. We hit Mowich Camp 13k from Robbins aid station. No water. All of us are out. Its been four hours since we left the aid station. I see a tiny snowbank and ask Jackson to do a naked snow angel to pep Jackie up from the disappointment of the water drop being MIA. He obliges and Ted regrets his decision to march with us. We trudge on and the hours pass. No water. No food. No help or access to get out except at the finish. The course sweeps catch us. They are out of water too. Its getting late. An hour from sundown maybe. We finally after almost 8 hours reach the water cache. According to the sweeps we have covered 22k since leaving the aid station. We are running a 26k section. We're nowhere near the finish. The group comes to grips with this section likely being at least 5 miles long too. Maybe more. The death march continues and we barely make it out of the alpine before dark. Ken is the only one who finds Jackson and my jokes about vasoline and popsicle sticks funny.

We have one lamp between five of us and the last half hour we need it and make our way to the finish line. 41 hours and 51 minutes after it started, Ken, Ted and Jackie finish the Fat Dog "100" miler.

We guestimate its pretty much bang on 200k (125 miles). My pacing stint which I thought would be maybe 10-12 hours ended up being near 30. We all have a beer and quickly pass out for well earned sleep. Jackson and myself have a morning Guinness and share stories at the cabin of the previous days adventure.

Shortly after I head out with Kristin, Mike and Megan up to Frosty Mountain for a 25k run. There isn't a cloud in the sky and stunning vistas whichever direction you look. It was a tiring climb 4500' up but worth every bit of it!

STORMY 50 Miler
This also served as one of the last training runs for Kristin's debut 50 miler at the Stormy 50 mil
er in Squamish. She was using it to get her Western States qualifier as she wants to see one of the buckles but knows I sure ain't getting one!

I ran alongside her for the 50 miles taking photos, videos and documenting how it played out. Things went remarkably well up to the 40 mile mark until fatigue set in. The last 10 miles were challenging for her but there was enough time in the bank to walk in and break 11 hours to gain that WS qualifier. We crossed the line in 10:29 and a very respectable 6th female for Kristin and mission accomplished for qualifying for Western.


In October I returned to the 9th Annual Run for the Toad 50k in Ontario with Montrail teammate Ellie Greenwood. Although this year I was a little more bulbous and a lot slower than previous years! I set an original goal in 2010 of running 5000 miles. I was mostly on track for that and entered September with 3161 miles under my belt. I needed a break. I only ran 8 days in all of September. Rare for me to run that little.

Not exactly the best time to get out of shape but I needed a body recharge and a mental recharge as well. Really not much to report from the race other than it hurt just like I thought it would. It wasn't the running 50k that was the challenge. Of the 8 runs in September I did 4 of them were 20 miles or longer. It was just that racing intensity. I had it for maybe 1/4 of the race and the rest was just a long tempo run, no extra zip, no other gears.

4:15 was the slowest I've run in the 5 years I've done that race and 5th place was the worst finish I've had there (had 1 Win and 3 silvers) but it was expected. Since then the mileage has come back to getting near the norm. Upcoming I have the North Face 50 Miler in San Francisco in 3 weeks.

Other than that I'm just trying to finalize the 2011 race plans. Hopefully I'll get a schedule nailed out soon!

Happy trails!

Monday, June 14, 2010

What do you do during taper times?!?!

With Western States a mere 12 days away I figure it is now time to officially start tapering. I'm normally not good at this because I just like to go run even if I'm tired or off.

This past weekend I went down to the Lake Youngs 50k (well 47k) and was going to use that as my last long run for WS100. Sadly it also doubled as my only long run in heat (if you can call low 70s hot). The course is 3 loops around Lake Youngs. It is very runable and has just under 1000 feet of climb per loop. Ran the first loop with Stuart Johnson and we seemed to be feeding well off each other. Came through lap 1 in about 62 minutes. My goal was to run about 3:30-3:40 to make sure I wasn't doing anything too dumb before Western. I had to stop and take a whiz about halfway through the second loop and used that chance to fill up my water bottle at the unmaned station so I did that and let Stuart cruise away. With about 6 miles to go in the race I saw him up ahead and took a time check to see what the gap was. It was about 50 seconds and when I took another one a half mile later it was 22 seconds. I decided to just put the hammer down for a few miles (despite wanting to relax) and managed to put a gap in those miles and I glanced back with a mile to go and all looked clear so just dogged it in. Crossed the line in 3:17 for the "W" and got me some more points in the Trail Runner Trophy Series.

Wore the Montrail Rockridge again for this race. I really love this shoe and have had zero blister issues in the lat 3 ultras and numerous long runs with them. Hope I can keep that streak going at WS!

So what do folks do in time of taper? Its super nice outside and I haven't seen sun in near a month and the trails are calling my name but its time to nap, eat, turn down offers to run etc.

9 days till leaving for Squaw so thankfully this lack of mega miles will stop shortly!

Happy trails!

PS. I normally would take the chance to watch the World Cup despite not being a huge soccer fan but (a) the games start at 4:15am local time and (b) those damn vuvuzelas give me a headache just hearing it via TV!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Is taper time here yet?!

May has been an INSANE month of mileage and although it feels great I am certainly looking forward to some shorter weeks in preparation for Western States. If the last weekend of running pans out as planned I should surpass 500 miles in the month of May and be back ahead of pace to run 5000 this year. This week as long as tomorrows run to and from work happen and Saturday's run home from work will put me at 134 miles this week.

On tap tonight is the always dangerous sauna date with Gary Robbins He has promised to leave his speedo that resembles dental floss at home this time!

Also Ken from Running Stupid needs you to join his army of happy runners and log your miles in a podcast challenge! Do it before May 31st! Check out Running Stupid for all the details of it.

See ya on the trails!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Capitol Peak 55k (ish)

Two weeks after the Mt Si 50 I decided to head back down to Washington State for the Capitol Peak Ultra. The event has a 55k and a 50 miler. I opted for the 55k as I didn't want to push the envelope 13 days after Mt Si and I was in the midst of a massive mileage week when I made the decision to enter.

Got in super late and didn't eat dinner till near 11pm that night. The plus to that was there was no real need to be up super early to eat breakfast before the race as the previous nights dinner ought to suffice!

The gun went at 6am after a brief speech from RD John Pearch. We left the Mima Falls Campground and into the single track trails of the Capitol Peak Forest. Due to logging activities in the park the course had been completely changed from previous years. The profile looked like it was a gradual climb to about the 16 mile mark and then a one mile, one thousand foot climb to the top of Capitol Peak. There was a longer 3 miles descent to get to the Capitol Peak Grunt before taking the same 16 miles back to the start/finish area.

I had planned on going on very slow. Painfully slow in fact. I wanted to be trailing ideally at the top so I could really push on the downhills which has become a weakness for me. I set out with Yassine and Matt (both of whom were running the 50 mile) and had a great chat with Yassine for a few miles while enjoying the sun coming up over the mountains to the east of us. It became evident that it was going to be a mudbath as well. Within a few miles I was already covered knees down!

We pulled into aid station one at the 8 1/2 mile mark together and left together. I had to make a pit stop in the woods and those two went on ahead. I settled into a groove solo once business was taken care of. The course was great single track with some nice views. It was slightly overcast so no views of Mt Rainier, Mt St. Helens which are visable on clear days.

Just before starting the grunt climb Alex Henry caught me. I hiked the first half of the grunt and then figured I would run the second bit of it. Hit the 17 mile aid station in 2:19. I was thinking I would hit the juncture where the main trail and the CP Grunt trail were as 55k is 34 miles but minutes kept going and going and I hit the junction 30 minutes after I left the 17 mile station (obviously much more than a mile to that point!) From there I knew there were 16 miles left and the race was likely closer to 60k than 55k. I felt pretty strong and tried to open up and attack the downhills. It was a little challenging to run a kamakazee mission down as there were runners coming up the trail and lots of little blind corners. Was great to wave and cheer people to pass the miles to the finish though.

Met Kristin at the 13 mile to go station and fueled up on many cokes and slathered on some more body lube to prevent the boys from chaffing. The next 4 1/2 miles are pretty much all downhill. I attacked pretty hard and got word that at the 13 mile station I had a 6 minute lead on 2nd place. I knew it was unlikely much time was gained on me if any during the last section cause I managed a great clip through it. The last 8 1/2 miles have a climb for the first 2 miles then pretty much a gentle descent from there. I knew if I didn't screw up too badly climbing then it should be smooth sailing.

Hit the un-manned water station with about 5 miles to go and recall it was 36 minutes to get to this juncture on the way out and that was all uphill. The miles started clicking off pretty easily in the last bit and was surprised the zip I had left considering this race put my weekly mileage total near 130.

Broke the tape for W #2 in 2 weeks in 4:45:32. Felt fatigued from the effort but not destroyed like I felt the day after Mt Si. Spent the afternoon the walking around the State Capitol grounds and went to the Seattle Art Museum and out to Cafe Flora in Seattle from some vege dinner.
Went for a run the next morning at Cougar Mt with Kristin. Love that park and the trail system in there!

Happy trails!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mt Si 50 mile

This year was my second go at this race. It's an event that's been happening since 1983 down in Snoqualmie just about a half hour east of Seattle. Last year I managed a win there in 6:17 despite being in the middle of recovering from an MCL and medial and lateral meniscus tear with a surgery slated for shortly after the race. While I was thrilled with the time and win I knew there was some room for improvement time wise.

The record was set by a phenominal runner (Jim Kerby) and that was the benchmark I set for myself. His CR was 5:54:37 and my personal record was 5:52:00 so if both could be achieved in the same race I would have been thrilled! I must admit I was just pumped reading about the results coming in from my Montrail teammates at the various races that happened that weekend. Geoff Roes had cruised to a very impressive with at American River 50 Miler and Max King took a bronze in the same event. Gary Robbins had lowered his own course record at the Diez Vista 50k. Annette Bednosky had run 8:05 at the Mad City 100k qualifying her for the US 100k Team and Beverley Anderson-Abbs had notched a victory at the 50k at Mad City setting a Canadian Age Group Record in the process.

Got some chow at Whole Foods and checked into the hotel and just chilled out and hit the hay early as the wakeup call at 4:15am would come all too soon.

The course at Mt. Si is basically two out and back sections. The first goes out just under 10 miles and you come within about a half mile of the finish line at the 19 mile mark before heading out on the second out and back portion of the course. The nice part I like about the out and back portions are (a) you can see where your competition is and (b) you get to smile and wave at people! The event has the 50 mile distance and a 57 mile relay as well. A 50k event goes off a few hours after the 50 mile starts so the course is full of bubbly, sweaty people so you don't get too lonely!

Uncharacteristically I took off like a jack rabbit from the gun. About two miles in I did a little shoulder check and realized it would be running solo against the clock for the day. 10 mile split came around 64 minutes and all felt pretty decent. It was a great day for running. Temperatures in the low 50s and slightly overcast. The first bit of grumbling I had about the day came on my way into the 22 mile aid station. It was a long straight segment and a pretty strong headwind. I just told myself that it would be a tailwind in the final miles which is a much better scenario! I cleared the 22 mile station in 2:23 and still felt like there was some zip before the mental aspect took over. Last year when I left the 22 mile station I became unraveled and lost a good chunk of time between the 22 and 29 mile stations. This year I checked into the 29 mile station at 3:13. I was a little winded and starting to get energy depleted from the expenditure into the wind. Some coke and salty chips really do make everything alright again!

The next section is 11 miles of 5.5 uphill to the turn point and return to the 29/40 mile station. I had a pretty strong ascent but didn't have the best downhill section which put me in the position of doing the math in my head and realizing that breaking the record would come down to a matter of seconds to spare potentially!

I had a pretty quick transition out of the 40 mile station. There was one last crew stop at 46.5 miles that Kristin was going to meet me at but I knew that would be a grab and go for sure. I broke the last 10 miles up into different sections and with 5 miles to go the projected pace had me sitting in that 5:54 range. To make life a little more interesting that wind direction had shifted to be a headwind for the return trip!

I did a quick bottle fill with Kristin at the 3.5 mile to go mark and just put the head down and tried to turn the legs over as fast as they would go. I needed energy in me and decided to take a quick 20 second power walk to down a Clif Gel and hope that would give me one final burst of energy. I actually started laughing to myself aloud with about 2 miles to go and then ended up talking to myself saying "if you have energy to laugh you have energy to go faster!" I was laughing at the fact that I was about 40 minutes up on second place with a few mere miles till the finish but to hit a CR would require a flat out kick to avoid missing it!

It hit the pavement off the trail into the town of Snoqualmie which meant about 3/4 a mile to go. It seemed like back in the track days but I just sprinted as fast as I could possibly sprint having just covered 49 miles and change. Broke the tape in 5:54:15 to sneak under Jim Kerby's record by 22 seconds. It was most likely the ugliest finish line photo ever as I couldn't muster a smile nor have the energy to lift my arms and am pretty sure I had drool on the left side of my face and a misfired snot rocket on the right side.

I'm already looking forward to another crack at this course as I learned a few things and know some spots where I can take some more time off if training and nutrition improve.

Results are here if your keen on having a peek!

Happy trails!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Miles, miles, miles

Goal for 5000 miles in 2010 still seems to be attainable after 1/3rd of the year in the books. A low February due to pnuemonia is long past and after April 30th I sit at 1574 miles (on pace for about 4800).

April was a stellar month of racing down at the Mount Si 50 miler in Snoqualmie and the Capitol Peak 55k in Olympia. Reports I hope to have done in the next day or so then I also thought I would re-live the adventure from a year ago on the Juan de Fuca with Gary Robbins. I don't think I ever really wrote a story about that but it was such an epic trip on so many levels from the standoff with a bear on the trail, trying for 4 hours to hitch hike back to the car, drunk locals waking us up at 5am in the boonies and sleeping in the car cause we missed the ferry home. Good times!

Also a fine gent by the name of Ken Michal is in a mileage challenge with some fellow podcasters and is recruiting people for his team to log miles for the Team "Running Stupid" for the month of May. Go to and you can create a log and register for the "There can only be One" challenge and join the group Running Stupid. This is the last month and Ken and his "Stupidheads" are in the lead!

He also has some pretty entertaining podcasts available on his Running Stupid site as well including a 90 minute interview with Gary a few weeks back. Check it out!


Monday, March 15, 2010

Catching Up

Man I am one bad blogger. Don't know how all these people update their blogs so often! Its not that I don't have things to write just can't seem to find the dang time.

February was an interesting month. Lingering cold I thought I had was actually pnuemonia so that was a rough few weeks. Then the Olympics and the post-hangover of that and next thing you know we are a few days away from spring!

This weekend is the Chuckanut 50k and the field looks stacked with a pile of solid runners including Hal Koerner, Andy Martin, Kyle Skaggs, Peter Ellis, Gary Robbins, Adam Campbell, Adam Lint, Brian Morrison to name a few. Should make for a great race and produce some fast times.

To catch up from past races though here is a little report on the Calgary Frozen Ass 50k that I did February 15th.

This was the 3rd time I had run the Frozen Ass 50k. It is a fun event dead in the middle of winter in Alberta following the Irrigation Canal from Calgary out to Chestermere and back. Weather can be from a nice sunny 40F day to a -40F day with feet of snow burying the course.

Last year I ran the race and it was -20F at the start. At one point I thought my elbow had froze over and fallen off as I felt a bump jingling around in my sleeve. Turns out it was just sweat that had frozen into an ice ball. It was so cold I couldn't even drink coke at the aid stations. For those that know me well to have that happen where I can't even find a way to drink coke is unfathomable.

After the race I spent about $50 on those hot patches and kept putting them on my crotch, it took about 3 days for me to get feeling down there aagin. For some strange reason I decided to go back to the race again despite that cold experience a year prior.

Weather looked to be a little more tolerable is comparison to the year before, forecast called for 34F and sunny skies. Probably about 50% of the path was clear of snow and the parts that weren't for the most part were decently hard packed.

I wasn't sure how the race would pan out for me. I had a great base of miles over the winter but came down with pnuemonia earlier in the week and was a little sluggish given the medication and time off from running (100 mile weeks are the norm for me not 10 mile weeks!)

Despite those challenges I was very satisfied with my run. Crossed in 3:46 about 2 minutes behind the leader. I just didn't have that extra energy to try to make a charge and overtake him. I was sore and beat up for the next few days which is unusual for me after a 50k but got me a few more days rest and this past week hit 112 miles for the week with relative ease. Excited about Chuckanut coming up this week as well as Mount Si 50 miler which is a little less than 4 weeks away. I am really keen on gunning for a PR there (currently my PR is 5:52)


Friday, February 19, 2010

Mountain Hardwear Send a Kid to Camp Program

Please click on the link below daily to help raise money to send kids to camp! Info in the link and on the Mountain Hardwear site. While your there check out all the cool gear/product they have too!

Mountain Hardwear’s Send a Kid to Camp campaign is back again. For every click on the “Send a Kid to Camp” button found at Mountain Hardwear will donate $1 to the cause, up to $40,000. You can and should come back each day until April 15th and click the button until we’ve reached our goal. The following organizations are part of the 2010 Send a Kid to Camp program:

Big City Mountaineers – Denver, Colorado

City Wild – Denver, Colorado

Girl Ventures – San Francisco, California

Kismet Rock Foundation - North Conway, New Hampshire

Outdoor Outreach - San Diego, California

San Jose Inner City Outings, Sierra Club – San Jose, California

St. Louis Inner City Outings, Sierra Club – St. Louis, Missouri

SOS Outreach - Avon, Colorado

Summer Search - New York, New York

Youth Enrichment Strategies (YES) - Richmond, California

Monday, February 1, 2010

January Mileage

Ended the month with 428 miles (got a little sick towards the end so mileage to a bit of a dive) but nonetheless came out on pace for 5039 miles in 2010. Looking forward to getting rid of this dang clogged throat and heading down to Arizona in 10 days for some sun and a 50k jaunt on the Pemberton Trail!

Had a great run to end the month yesterday on the north shore trails with Beatty, Kristin and Dom "Long Term" Repta.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Double Ultra Weekend

Its been some time since I've done two ultras in the same weekend (2003 did Chicago Lakefront 50k & Buffalo 6 hour) and in 3 weeks I'll do it again! Kind of extreme weather opposites with this one planned however. First one will be the Pemberton Trail 50k in Fountain Hills, Arizona followed by the Frozen Ass 50k in Calgary, Alberta.

While Arizona can see cold snaps in February likely temps should be around 60-70F. I did the Frozen Ass last year and literally needed three days to get feeling back in my crotch. The starting temperature was a balmy -10F. It did warm up to about 5F by the end of the run. Calgary can have chinooks to make it more tolerable so hopefully that'll happen.

If the weather is clear would love to cap the trip with a midnight summit of Prairie Mountain (7245') out in Kananaskis Country before the 7am flight back to Vancouver!

Figure this ought to be a good kick in the pants to get in shape for the spring! Not to mention help pad those miles for the goal of hitting 5000 this year!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

5000 miles in 2010?

I have long been a mileage junkie. My idea of cross training is running in rain or snow. Rather than stretching I would rather run a few more miles and skip that evil. I am strangely proud that my flexibility basically allows me to bend over and touch my knees (on good days).

So I set out to track and run 5000 miles in 2010. I don't see it as a major challenge as I get about 50 miles a week running home as my form of commuting from work.

Its easy to run and keep running on the North Shore and the Pacific Northwest as the choices for trails are endless! So far above seasonal temperatures have made a normally lower mileage January turn out pretty decent. As of the end of 19 days in I'm sitting at 256 miles (on pace for 4918). Got a 40 miler planned for Sunday so that should help pad the stats.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Blog world here I come...

I have been reading a bunch of other blogs for some time now and have always thought, "hey those look neat" but have just been to dang lazy to actually make one of my own. Not to mention I am the least tech savvy person on the planet so combining those two make for all the more reason to not have a blog.

Then Ellie Greenwood started a blog a week or so ago and I figured if that's what the young kids are doing these days I better keep up. And I hired a tech team to take care of all the logistics for me that don't mind being paid in fake Canadian Tire money. So here I am!

I doubt any serious thoughts will come out of me here but if your keen on following look for stories about ultras, trails and adventures past, present and future. Maybe some polls, maybe some jokes that only make sense to me, I really don't know!

That's all for now. Gotta go catch this episode of Gossip Girl about to come on the TV.