Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Pipeline

Finally ran the all to familiar Pipeline out and back with Peter, Jason and Rich. Rich decided to go big and do the Grandeur loop with tired legs. I told him I'd send search and rescue if I didn't see him at Squaw Peak...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Massanuttten does Rock

Jesus walked on Water and Moses parted the Red Sea, but I ran the rocks of the Massanutten Mtn Trails 100!
The descriptions of the course below was taken from a race report after the first Annual race:

“Folklore says that Eskimos have a hundred words for snow, in order to distinguish the myriad varieties of snow they encounter intimately in daily life. I predict that, similarly, MMT100 runners will develop a hundred words for "rocky trails." We had large rocks, small rocks, medium rocks covered with leaves, steep rock "steps" slick with rain, rocks with water running across them, rocks with water running down them, suitcase-sized rocks, rocks in mud... Not to mention the varieties introduced by steep uphills, steep downhills, and night.
One of my personal favorites were the rocks leading through the stream crossings. Joe Clapper may have been able to cross on these rocks, but when I got there they were six inches under water.... I also suspect that on parts of the course (like coming into Edinburg Gap), the organizers abandoned trails altogether and just marked rocky streams instead.”

I can’t agree more, and even though I cursed the rocks the whole way, it is truly what made the race so great, different and so satisfying to make the finish. As I ran, walked and stumbled through the night my mantra was “I didn’t fly 2,000 miles to run the Vermont 100, I came to run Massanutten, so pick it up and move”

Since I didn’t know anybody in the area and didn’t feel like trying to hook up with a pacer I ran the race without one. I was a little worried about this and had planned to try to team up with people for the night section, but since I found myself mostly running alone after the 48 mile mark I got used to running by myself. I actually started to either speed up or back off a bit in the night to stay away from other groups. I started to like not having the distraction of other people, easier to remember to take your gu, look for the next marker, set exactly the pace you want. I started to retreat inside my own head, this made the lows lower but I seemed to like the extra challenge. This of course was made easier by the fact the I had my wife waiting for me at the aid stations to look forward to, I might have been more bored, lonely, what ever you want to call it if I didn’t have her to look forward to. Once again my wife came through with flying colors, driving all over Gods greens earth on narrow back country roads by herself, staying awake all night, and she even found time too help take care of other runners and of course took care of me. The aid station people as usual were fantastic, and would always go the extra mile to help.

I will not go into a detailed race report. I didn’t make my time goal for the race, and I really don’t have any excuses. I had no major issues accept some extra sore feet from all the mud and water crossings. My goal was 27 hours and I came in 28:26. But I did place in the top 25 and that was one of my other goals so 1 for 2 sits well with me. I lost the battle but won the war so to speak. I met a lot of great people, ran a terrific tough course so I am just really pleased to have finished. Plus I doubled my 100 race experience, which make me confidant going into Wasatch this summer.

So enjoy these great smooth wonderful trails we get to run on out West, I know I will

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Terrace Hills Loop

Mats running with Black Mountain in the background... Nothing like being outrun by a 6 year-old.  

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Good Luck Greg!

Massanutten this weekend, Godspeed.

Watch it Live here...

Black Mountain Update

I should have guessed Shilling had lots of snow and scrub oak planned when I agreed to run with him this morning. We started at 6:00 am at the JCC and headed up Dry Creek. From the Shoreline trail we climbed up Black Mountain. The trail up has a little snow, but for the most part was clear. The peak is snow covered and the backside is a mess. The snow is so deep that we had to head strait down. Luckily we could slide down most of it without post holing. At the city creek road I had to stop and scrap the snow from my insoles. We ran down the road about a mile and headed north on what Shilling calls a trail. The climb up to the ridge was clear of snow. Not scrub oak! I think a moose may have used the trail once this year. The ridge was beautiful, except for the snow. To the south the mountains were very green. To the north we had a spectacular view of the most wonderful building in Bountiful. (of course I mean the Temple) We ran the ridge to the antennas and down to City Creek and back to the JCC. Squaw Peak is going to be long and slow if this is any indication of the snow in Happy Valley. It was a great day convening with the lord on the trails!!! Rich

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Grandeur Loop

Quite a good time. I'll let the photos and video speak for the run.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Miwok 100k race report

Definitely put this race on your to-do list. This race embodies all of the reasons we like to run off-road. The course has just about every possibility you can imagine, sand, fire-roads, singletrack, stairs, pavement, ascents, descents, redwood forests, meadows, creeks and some of the friendliest aid station volunteers I've ever had the pleasure to be around. In a nutshell it would be hard to have a truly terrible day while running this course. Here are some race day photos from other runners, here and here.
I ended up running the first half of the race with Peter's brother-in-law Mike, while Peter decided to hang with his sister. Mike and I had similar time goals (10:30), but since this was going to be the farthest he had ever run he was wise in being a bit cautious. I didn't really think about it to much but it was the second longest distance I would be attempting, the longest being the Bear 100. The race started on the beach then immediately started climbing to an overlook of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge just as the sun was coming up (see the photo below from Peter). The course rolls up and down for the first 16 miles before hitting the first big climb of the day up to Pan Toll aid station at mile 21. While it felt like we were climbing it wasn't that bad compared to the climbs we do in the Wasatch. The next section was the one that started to take it's toll on me as we left the shade of the redwoods and made our through exposed grassy hillsides to the Bolinas Ridge aid station. Mike had a bit of a cramp through here and decided to ease off, while I pressed on. I could feel myself getting dehydrated in the sweltering 70 degree sun (compared to highs of 55 in SLC) so I tried my best to empty my bottles before the next aid station. After Bolinas aid the course rolled up and down through the redwoods for a good 5 miles before descending 2 miles to the turnaround and the next aid. It was here that Helen Cospolich caught up to me and we ran together for a few miles until I was stung by a bee on my forehead. I stopped for a second to make sure I got the stinger out and the gap had opened up to Helen. It was through here that I started seeing the leaders coming back from the turnaround. Mackey was a 15 minutes up by this point, Jurek looked good, but Hal was walking (I believe he started injured). I hit the downhill and found my groove again, catching up to Helen at the aid station. Filled bottles and we left together, tackling the 2 mile climb back up to the ridge. I felt like we were going a bit slow, but at the same time I knew I had to be careful. Sure enough I started to slow on the ridge and Helen pulled away for good. On the way I found Shane Martin who was having some GI difficulty, Mike who was overcoming some cramping issues, and Peter and his sister Leslie, who looked fresh as could be. By the time I got back to Bolinas aid I saw Hal climbing in a car, which was a little discouraging but everybody has issues sooner or later. On the way back I went through a couple of low spots but I was always able to run the flats and descents. However, I began to realize that 10:30 was definitely not in the cards so I focused on a sub 11. I hit the last aid with one 800' climb and descent over 3.7 miles between me and the finish. I felt really strong so I started to run up the climb and passed a few runners. I asked one guy if he thought a sub 11 was possible from where we were at and he replied it just wasn't possible. He did wish me luck in my attempt though. I powered up the climb, took a left at the top when I should have taken a right and lost maybe a minute or so. The thing I wasn't prepared for was that the descent to the finish was mostly pavement. My left knee was acting so I had a hard time pushing to much on the descent and came across in 11:03. No biggie, I felt great, I didn't puke and I had a great day running in the hills. Helen came across in 10:44 or so, Mike followed behind me with a strong 11:30 and Peter and Leslie made it through in 13 hours. Check out the rest of the results here.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

This past weekend Christian and I ran the Miwok 100 km.  I met my sister, Leslie, and her husband Mike who both ran as well.  The course was spectacular, and while the climbs were not comparable to UF, the course was far from flat.  The winner who is visible behind Christian in the yellow visor to the right of Juric, ran the race at a 7:36 mile pace (7:55), crushing Lon Freeman's previous recordof 8:09.  Christian, knowing that he had a family vacation let the leaders go and ran a comfortable 11 hours and 3 minutes.  I decided to run with my sister, as we don't get to see each other often enough.  
Leslie is one tough cookie.  This was her longest race to date, and though she has run a couple of 50's she hasn't done anything with much climbing.  She made me proud flying down hills, at times making it hard for me to keep pace.  We had a great time along the way enjoying the scenery and meeting other runners.  She had some foot issues that would have side-lined most.  She lost the skin on the bottom of her foot.  I think the lesson here is pop and drain the blister early to prevent spreading.  She didn't complain once.  At the finish both her husband and I, who have seen our fair share of gore, had a hard time looking at her foot.  Leslie and I finished around 13:10.  Mike ran the course in 11:27, but suffered from muscle cramps.   Great fun overall.  Certainly a race to do at some point.  And while some of the MRC might not appreciated it, there was a custom bottle of "Trail Ale" for each finisher.  Ahhh, not that is the way to finish a celestial run.   

In Search of the Celestial Run...

Peter gave me the suggestion for the title. Ran from Morris Meadow up Black Mtn Ridge to the base of Black Mtn. then back down our favorite Unkle. Good times.