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2001 Incline Club Race Reports

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View 2002 race reports

Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon, Aug 18-19, 2001 - 53 reports
La Luz Trail Run - Sandia Mtn Wilderness, NM - August 5, 2001
Mt. Fuji Climbing Race - Fujiyoshida, Japan - July 25, 2001
Salt Lake City Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT - July 24, 2001 - 2 reports
Kendall Mountain Run - Silverton, CO - July 21, 2001
Summer Roundup 12K - Colorado Springs, CO - Sunday July 8, 2001 - 13 reports
AATRA/MA Trail Running Challenge - Deer Valley Resort, Park City, UT - Sunday, July 1, 2001
Vail Hill Climb - Vail, CO - July 1, 2001 2 reports
US Fila SkyMarathon - Aspen, CO - Sunday, June 24, 2001 - 4 reports
“Asia’s most beautiful run.” - Mongolia - June 20, 2001
Comrades Marathon - South Africa - June 16, 2001
Pilot Hill Trail Run 25K, - Laramie, Wyoming- June 10, 2001
Double Trouble Trail Run - French Creek State Park, Morgantown, PA - June 10, 2001
Horsetooth Mountain Trail Run - Horsetooth Mountain Park, Fort Collins - June 10, 2001
Mile High 24-Hour Run - Chatfield State Park - Junr 9-10, 2001
Old Dominion 100 miler - Woodstock, VA - June 3, 2001
Steamboat Marathon - Steamboat Springs, CO - June 3, 2001 - 3 reports
Montana Marathon - Helena, Montana - June 2, 2001
Squaw Peak 50 mile trail run - Orem, UT - June 2, 2001
Wyoming Marathon - Wyoming - May 28, 2001 - 3 reports
Sulphur Springs 100 Mile Trail Run - Ancaster Ontario, Canada - May 27-28, 2001
Vancouver International Marathon - May 6, 2001
Cleveland Marathon - Cleveland, OH - April 29, 2001
Boston Maraton - Beantown, MA - April 16, 2001 - 3 reports
CAI Westland Halve Marathon - Holland - April 8, 2001
Umstead 100 - Raleigh, NC - April 7-8, 2001
Golden Gate Marathon - San Francisco, CA - April 7, 2001
Canyonlands Half Marathon - Moab, UT - March 17, 2001
Napa Valley Marathon - California - March 4, 2001
L.A. Marathon - L.A., CA - March 4, 2001
Old Pueblo 50 - Tucson, AZ - March 3, 2001
Mt. Taylor Quadrathlon - Grants, NM - February 18, 2001
Austin Motorola Marathon - Austin, TX - February 18, 2001
USATF Cross-country National Championships - Vancouver, WA - February 17, 2001
“Mardi Gras” Marathon - New Orleans, LA - February 4, 2001 - 2 reports
Rocky Raccoon 100 - Huntsville State Park, TX - February 3-4, 2001 - 2 reports
Colorado FROG Backyard Challenge - January 14, 2001
20th annual Avalon (Catalina Island) 50-mile Run - January 13, 2001 - 2 reports
Walt Disney World Marathon, FL - January 7, 2001
Swift Skedaddle Snowshoe 10K & 3K , Copper Mountain, CO - January 7, 2001
Turquoise Lake 20 mile Snowshoe Run, Leadville, CO - January 6, 2001
New Years Resolution Run - Auburn, CA - January 1, 2001
Ancient Oaks 100 - December 9, 2000
Rock Canyon Half Marathon, Pueblo, CO - December 3, 2000 - 5 reports
Seattle Marathon - Seattle, WA - November 26, 2000

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La Luz Trail Run - Sandia Mtn Wilderness, NM - August 5, 2001

Andy D reports:
I was using this race as my final preparation for the Ascent. The first mile went great as I was in perfect position about 150 yards behind the leaders. Then after a few sharp curves, the road suddenly forked. There were no markings or course officials of any sort present and the road was so curvy we could not see the leaders, who were just ahead of us. We then made our best guess and took the left fork. This detour cost a large group of us about 20 minutes. When we arrived at the first water station we were in 397th place out of 400 runners. A quick glance up the trail revealed an unending mass of walkers/joggers blocking the trail. Passing these cumulatively and individually large masses proved to be anything but easy. On more than one occasion, I was forced to physically knock people out of the way when they refused to yield to the faster runner. The race beLa Luz Trail Run - Sandia Mtn Wilderness, NMcame an exaggerated fartlek workout. Despite these factors, I ended up in 20th place. If one simply cuts the 20 minutes off my time and does not account for the added time of passing the hordes of people, I would have been 4th

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Mt. Fuji Climbing Race (Fujisan Tozando Kyoso) - Fujiyoshida, Japan - July 25, 2001

Randy L reports:
- Length: 21 km, 3006 m (9770 ft.) altitude gain to top at 12,383
- Course: Well, the level parts where we ran across the patios of the mountain huts were really, really welcome. The steep 8 km hike down from the summit to the bus kind of sucked.
- Checkin: Not to be missed is having 15 smiling teenage girls simultaneously shout “ohio gozaimas” (good morning) as you approach the registration tables. I could have run for free, except I was too far into trying to force my 5,000 yen (about $40) upon the 15 teenage girls before I figured this out (the Japanese runners had to prepay).
- Water stops: Every 5 km until the last road, then you’re on your own. Some runners bought something at one of the huts.
- Organization: Geared for elite runners, with a cutoff time that only allows 1/3 of the runners to finish officially. No age group awards. Champion chip for results and splits. Nicer buses than Pikes Peak Ascent.
- Shirt: You can buy your own. But they gave us a nice “Lucky Bell,” plus a keychain and certificate for finishers.
- Expo: Parking lot in the rain.
- Post race feed: Outstanding! They gave us a bento (box) lunch after we hiked down to the bus. Then soba (noodles in miso soup, sort of like ramen only much more robust) back at headquarters. Plus fruit and this really awful vitamin B drink.

Well this may be the first R report for a Thursday run! The race was on Wednesday, 7/25, and since it was out of state that should count, eh? My summary in a word: “relentless". This mountain never lets up. Margie Allison described it as “21 km of the 16 Golden Stairs". It wasn’t really that bad. I think only the last half was that steep. Sorry if this is too wordy for is my first “memory dump” after returning to email.

At the start I was about in mid pack, but everyone ran like it was a 5K. I could barely keep up! We ran about 1/3 mile level to the center of town, then commenced the uphill. It never let up from there, steadily increasing the gradient until it maxed at about 25% for the last quarter of the distance (the average for the whole race is 14.3%). I know I went too fast in this stretch, but I just couldn’t believe I should be letting mid-packers go. I settled on a heart rate of 168 as an aggressive compromise for the first 7 km, yet people were steadily passing me. I didn’t reach equilibrium with the pack until the gradient steepened to the point where most began walking.

At the second water stop, Umagaeshi, the official splits show I was in 876th place out of 2,100 starters. This was about an hour into the race and half the distance, but only 22% of the elevation gain. At least I think it was Umagaeshi. Since I can’t read the Japanese Kanji characters, I was pretty much in the dark as to location the whole way.

By this point everyone was walking most of the time, so I turned to my power walking mode and began steadily passing people. The trail soon narrowed to single track, much of the time running straight up the mountain in a V-shaped ravine 15 feet deep, cut by hundreds of years of erosion on this ancient trail. We were in deep forest up to the 5th station, which provided welcome shade on a clear morning. Passing became a constant challenge with a lot of sweaty body contact, accompanied by “sumimasen” (excuse me) and "domo” (thanks). I constantly reminded myself to take the tangents, frequently passing 3 or 4 people by sticking to the inside of each curve. By the 5th station, I had gained 200 places to about 675.

After almost 2 hours I began to run out of gas. At the 5th station, there was a welcome spread of food including empan (rolls filled with sweet bean paste), bananas, grapes and lemons (there were lemon slices at every water stop). I took a couple of minutes to wolf down a lot of food and water, miraculously feeling much better after that. This was to be the last real water stop until the top, despite having over half the elevation still to gain.

After the 5th station we joined the mainstream hiker’s trail to the top, since there is bus access up to that point via a different route than ours. We also broke out of the trees into a tilted volcanic moonscape of variously colored gravel. The trail became wide enough for 3 or 4 people side by side, with enormous highway-grade embankments to hold back the slopes. There was a solid line of people switchbacking up the mountain as far as I could see both up and down. Clouds were streaming across the slopes above us, but it never rained. We spent the entire day surrounded by clouds, never able to see up or down more than a couple thousand feet or so, but frequently in sunshine. I wondered if my sunscreen would be effective after so many hours of soaking wet skin, but the only sunburn I got was 3 little dots through holes in my watchband where I didn’t put any on.

With the humidity, my clothing was completely soaked after the first half hour. I’ve never felt a Coolmax shirt dripping wet from sweat in Colorado! My favorite mark of distinction now is the rust spots on my shirt from the safety pins. I carried a single-use camera in a mesh pocket in my shorts. The viewfinder was always too fogged to see through, although by keeping the lens facing out it stayed mostly clear. I’ll post some photos on a website after I get back.

At one of the 7th station huts, a young woman was yelling my name. I guess she picked me out as a “gaijin” (foreigner) and found my number in the race booklet. At least it got me running across the stone patio of that particular hut. Interestingly, I was listed as “L. Randy” which is in keeping with Incline Club tradition. Most gaijin got the same reverse treatment for their names, since Japanese typically write the family name first.

By the 8th station, I was in about 600th place, having gained another 75 places. I was starting to be concerned about the cutoff time, a new experience for me. I had 45 minutes to climb the last 1,200 feet, and it was looking like a long way up there -- I still couldn’t make out the top. It had been rock scrambling since the 7th station, and I was having to use my hands to prevent balance errors. But around the 9th station, the rock turned back into gravel and the gradient began to ease slightly (to 18%). Finally I could see the top and my confidence increased.

I reached the summit in 4:16:05, 14 minutes ahead of the cutoff. I was in 538th place, and another 200 made the cutoff behind me. Looking down from the summit, I could still see a solid line of racers who had no chance to finish officially. It seemed sad to me that the race couldn’t be more accommodating to regular people. We didn’t have the Pikes Peak Ascent’s cheering crowds and announcer at the top, but we did arrive into a highly commercial, bustling city street atmosphere. Vendors were hawking their wares as we walked past a line of huts offering food, drink and accommodation. The race supplied water here, and I bought a 16-ounce bottle of Pocari Sweat for 500 yen (about $4) to drink on the way down. My 1000 yen bill was still soaking wet when I handed it to the unfortunate salesman. Glad I didn’t try to feed it into one of the vending machines.

After a detour to see the crater, I headed down the descending trail (separate from the ascending trail). I can see why they don’t include the descent in the race, although it makes for kind of a bummer to have to hike down after you finish. There’d be a lot of dead hikers knocked off the trail by runners if we were racing down. This trail is MUCH busier than Barr Trail. I jogged most of the way through loose soil and gravel, reaching the 5th station in an hour. There I collected my spare clothing bag (marked with permanent ink after last year’s rain-soaked debacle) and a bento (box) lunch of rice balls wrapped in seaweed. I was soon on a chartered bus filled with chatting, laughing runners, arriving at race headquarters by 2:15 in a driving rainstorm. Last year’s winner was just presenting his 3 trophies (6 feet tall) back to the organizers in exchange for smaller, but still impressive, permanent trophies. After a meal of soba noodles in miso soup, I walked the 2 km to a train station and my ride back home.

In retrospect, I didn’t give this race enough respect beforehand. I thought it would be a slightly longer version of the Pikes Peak Ascent, ending at only 12,380. But I wasn’t prepared for the steepness, and the lack of breaks. I’ll really value that stretch before Barr Camp in the future! Although the average gradient is only 14% compared to Barr’s 11%, it doesn’t account for the long, gentle stretch at the start. Thus for the last half, the gradient averages 23%.

Given that I only have 7 more years before I hit the age cutoff of 55 for this race, I think I’ll obey the traditional Fuji credo, “A wise man climbs Fuji once, but only a fool climbs it twice."

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Salt Lake City Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT - July 24, 2001

Craig H reports:
Crunch time. Four marathons and the Pikes Peak Ascent within 69 days. The first one went well. I’ll take the 3:29 considering the course was called the 6th most difficult in North America. I’m not sure I’d agree with that ranking. It’s WAY behind Pikes Peak and Wyoming.

There was certainly nothing too standout about this event.except maybe the 0245 wake up call to catch the 0330 bus to make the 0500 start. But there is something neat about having completed a marathon by 0830.

The biggest surprise was the “supposed” incentive to hit mile 25 by 0830 so you could run down the Pioneer Day parade route that had tens of thousands of people lining it. The actual big surprise was that it appeared the crowd was clueless to that fact that the marathon was taking place. They were totally oblivious to the run.

The side trip was to Moab, Utah and Arches National Park. Really impressive landscape. Definitely worth the short detour. Awesome rock formations and geology!

Seven down, five to go. Course info follows.

Salt Lake City Marathon — 24 Jul 01
Entry Fee — $30
Link —
Course — Point-to-point. Semi-mapped but not too accurate. No course profile to be found. Hilly. Better part of the first 11.5 miles is all up hill. All downhill after that with a very slight uphill on the last mile. Best tip — Throttle back at the crest of the course. The next two miles are VERY steep downhill, and I saw so many blow their quads in this section. I ran with a local who warned me about that section. From 13.5 miles you can cruise. This may be the only race I never got passed in the last 13 miles. Passed tons of folks who made the big mistake on the steep downhill.
Expo — Negative.non-existent
Medal — Weak.
T-Shirt — Weak.
Crowds — Pretty lame but then again it was pretty early.
Cliff Shot Stops — 3. Water every other mile.
Start temp — Cool (for the first mile) and VERY dark. Reasonable temps overall but some years you can bake out there. Finish by 0830 and you’ve got darkness or shade at least half the way.
Overall impression — Decent small event (about 750 runners) but surprisingly lame for a big city like Salt Lake.

Laila H (soon to be B) reports:
I missed the Barr Camp Trail run because I was helping Steve B. find Sam over the San Juan Wilderness area. I felt bad and decided to do a different race instead to make it up for the month of July. Well, what better choice than run the Deseret News Marathon that was coming to town. I signed up two days before the race (paid $5.00 more). On race day, I remember Steve’s encouraging words “you should do well with the hills because you are trained". Yes, not too much running done during those days, but lots of mountain trail climbing. So, I took off with confidence and the almost 11 miles of initial pure hills, were a piece of cake. Then comes a long downhill, which I decided I better try to run fast (downhills are my challenge). Still, at the half marathon mark, my time was 1:42, I sucked, I thought. I still was convinced that I had enough energy to keep pushing. By mile 19, my body started to feel tired, but I kept pushing. I had been passing lots of people (male & female) and nobody had passed me. I was getting very close to another woman and at this point, mile 20; I wanted to make it for an award. So, this woman was another of my goals to pass. I was so close to her since mile 16, but at mile 24 or so, I really started to slow down. She finished 2 minutes ahead of me. My time 3:19:07 (negative split by 5 minutes), 8th woman, 2nd place in age group... Almost made it for the cash Utah finishers award, the woman before me, was from Utah... Maybe next year.

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Kendall Mountain Run - Silverton, CO - July 21, 2001

Scott R reports:
It has been a long time... However, I completed the Kendall Mountain Run last weekend at was a really good race in prep for the PPM (for those of you doing it). There were only about 100 or so folks that raced, but that was plenty especially when you consider the scramble at the peak. The course was dry and very tough. The race begins at approximately 9,300 ft. in Silverton, and once out of town, starts heading up a steep jeep trail. You cover almost 4,000 ft. in 6.5 miles up to a little over 13,000 ft. (with the last 100 meters or so being an extremely steep scramble to the top). The race was well done and everyone was extremely friendly. If you can find the time next year, the beautiful drive alone makes the race worthwhile. It’s a great race that will test your high-altitude fitness and makes for a fun replacement to the Sunday climb to the top of Pike’s Peak. I hope to be back running with you all soon.

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Summer Roundup 12K - Colorado Springs, CO - Sunday July 8, 2001

Laura K reports:
Oh, so it doesn’t count if someone else mentions you in their R report to get your *, you have to do your own report... Summer Roundup 12K — 7/8/2001 — This is one of those races where it helps to know the course. For the first time I think, I actually had some basic race strategy and it worked. Before the race, Tom K and I talked to Maddy for a few minutes and she showed us her pacemaker. I was wondering how she would be feeling during the race. That was evident after the first 1/2 mile! I wanted to hold back on the first half of the course because I knew what was coming. I run that loop in Bear Creek Park very regularly. I’ve run it fast and I’ve run it easy so those hills don’t scare me. I think I was in 3rd or 4th going into the park. Thanks to the mental and physical strength gained by training on Barr Trail, I was able to finish in 2nd in 50:34. That was the first time I’ve been able to do a “come from behind."

Mike L reports:
My goal was to get under 50 minutes (I did 50:48 last year). I went out too fast at GOG so I decided to start easy and get my rhythm and then pick up the pace. It worked well until the big hill where I slowed but maintained my cadence. My finish was fairly strong but not good enough to make up for my slow 6th mile. I didn’t make my goal but I beat last years time finishing in 50:37. Overall, I felt pretty good about the race.

Larry M reports:
I couldn’t find my pick so I ran the Summer Roundup 12k? 8 miles — it was marked in miles. Weather was nice. Trail was real lose sand. Upper Barr Trail is better. For a change I started off at a nice pace, just a little slower then last year’s pace. Well that shirtless old man (Don R) got ahead of me again, but I passed him at two miles. However I forgot it was a 8 mile race. Well, about half mile down the trail the shirtless old man passed me again so this time I just sat back and waited. As we passed by Wally-mart for the second time I noticed he was getting closer. Another Paramecia race? (outkick the shirtless wonder at the end). Well, moving into the rolling hills he got real close so at six mile mark I passed the shirtless wonder again and pushed it as we headed for the barn. As far as results all I can say is I won my age-group. A little slow and a little older. PPRR needs to get a good finish and result program. There was a lot of Incliners at the race! No way I could write all your names down but lots of you had on the shirts and won awards. Way to go Incliners!

Dave R reports:
Goal time: 55 minutes, actual 57:45 (11th of 58 in age division)

Things done right:
— kept an even effort through the various terrain and then pushed the last 1.5 miles
— well hydrated
— did some speedwork sessions for the past two months

Things done not so great:
— needed more hill/strength training as I slowed too much on the steeps
— realized a little too ambitious with my goal time

The race began, like last year’s, at a fast pace. I thought the volunteers were great at the water stops. Saw lots of ICers. I basically held my pace for most of the race and into the hills about mile 5. I then slowly started picking off those in front. Just hanging with the rest of the IC shirts was the goal, but that helped me keep passing runners the last 1.5 miles. Spoke with Louise E and others afterwards. Was very satisfied with my finishing time and felt I gave it all I had. Next year, though, I will do more IC runs as I’ve only run with the group twice on Thursdays so far. So mark me up for an “R” for a Sunday run. It was hot but fun!

Linda R reports:
I just realized that I should submit a “race report” for the 7/8 Roundup because it was a 12k trail race (I was thinking it had to be over 13mi). So, here it is.

I thought at first I would be sent home because when the volunteers held up the pace per minute signs, there wasn’t one that applied to me! But being the “race rogue” that I am, I firmly entrenched myself toward the rear with the others who had a “yea, my time’s not up there either” look and figured I’d fit right in. This my was first time for the Roundup and before the race I couldn’t see how we’d end up over on Cache La Poudre St. based on where we were starting. I had no idea there was a trail that went under I-25! That’s pretty handy.

At any rate, I enjoyed learning of a new route to run since I work downtown and tend to go north into Monument Valley instead of south. The run itself was great, except of course for that last *#@!@*^%*^* hill toward the end! But I trudged up it in true Incline Club fashion....okay, well maybe not in the Incline Club fashion YOU’RE accustomed to, but the only fashion in which I could muster since I haven’t been a faithful club attendee, which was painfully (ah say PAINFULLY) obvious at that moment! I briefly thought of asking Dr. Rocket for some advice on the best way to tackle this hill, when I realized he was probably at the finish line about then!

Anyway, once I did finish and after standing under the water sprays for a little while, I spotted Larry M., who, of course, debated with me as to whether it was hot during the race! I’m sure you know his position was that it was, indeed, NOT hot that morning, neverminding all the sweaty, aromatic bodies lingering about, waiting for their awards.

Well, I did have a good time but remember feeling rather disappointed thinking that I had to forgo my “*” that Sunday. However, all is well now that I realize that is not the case!! Oh, by the way, Robert did volunteer for that race — does that count? : — )

Brenda W reports:
It was a wonderful Sunday morning, I would say 300+ runners attended. The temperature, well need I say more. It was hot except for the few shady areas along the creek. I finished 3rd female overall, first old lady. The hills basically kicked my booty on mile 6. I don’t know what my finish time was because the computers were not working and they did not announce them. The overall women’s winner was Maddy T. and Peter Flemming won the men’s race with a new course record of 41:15 I do believe. Being a flatlander and only here to train for the summer, I find it very hard to breath sometimes. I can hardly wait for Pikes Peak Marathon. I wish everyone the best at what they do.

Robin F reports:
On Sunday, July 8, I was able to wake up early enough to make an appearance at Penrose Equestrian Ctr for the 12k jaunt through trails of the city. Temps were avg or slightly below under beautiful CO skies. There were lots of fast runners. I was not one of them, but I saw some before they took off down the trail, then later as they ran past me in the other direction.

This is the only race I have done since last year’s marathons, so I had little expectations. Last year I finished this course in 57:27. This was my only reference before getting to the race. Along the way my mind was preoccupied with calculations of how long 12k was in miles (the course was marked with mile markers, not km’s). I crossed the line at 59:02. Respectable, but I am still wondering where they added 95 seconds of length to the course since last year. It seemed to be the same course, but then I would have finished at the same time, right?

Next race: PPM. Gotta find that 95 seconds if I am going to beat last year’s time.

Tom K reports:
OK, so I guess urban trails count. Here is my “R” report for the Summer Roundup, Sunday, 8 July, 2001.

This was the 2nd race in the Triple Crown series (I missed the Garden 10 miler due to tendentious). The 7.5 mile course started and finished at the Penrose Equestrian center, and ran through Bear Creek and Monument Valley Parks. About 6.5 miles of the course were on dirt trail, with the remaining 1 mile on pavement (mostly getting to and from the trails). The first 4.75 miles were flat, the section between 4.75-6.25 miles was mostly uphill, and the remaining section was mostly downhill. There were 339 male finishers, and 170 female finishers, for a total of 509 runners completing the race.

The weather conditions for the 7 am start were warm, but since we were shaded from the sun for most of the first part, it didn’t feel too bad until the last section where we were running through the exposed part of Bear Creek Park. I was still getting over a little “mystery bug” that had kept me feeling extremely fatigued over the previous week, but considering that, and the tendentious that had kept me out of any serious training over the past month, I felt pretty good, put in a quality run, and had a pretty decent race. I finished in 49:35 which put me 24th overall, and 1st in the 45-49 age group. The overall men’s winner was Peter Flemming who finished in a course record time of 41:15. Laura K was the 2nd overall female finisher in a time of 50:34. She finished behind the amazing Maddy Tormoen who (running with her newly implanted pacemaker) bested her last years time for a new female record of 48:35.

In summary, it was a good race, and a course that offered both a flat fast section and a hilly challenging section. But if you’re looking for a few extra roots, rocks, and several thousands of feet of vertical gain to challenge you, stick with the BTMR (the best little trail race in these parts).

Fred W reports:
I ran the Summer Roundup 12 K Trail race today. Tough last two miles but I got an age group win. No official times available due to a computer glitch!

The Incline Club was well represented, and gave an excellent account of itself. A number of age group wins and places, and good overall places in the open division. Amongst those I saw were Kees (3rd o/a), Louise (another excellent time), Larry M., Glen A., Ben, Dr. Rocket and his good wife, and numerous others I recognize but am unable to put names too (another “senior" moment!).

It must have been beautiful on the mountain today.

Kees G reports:
SRU12K: I’ll make it short since you will get a million of these... I guess the Americans were being beaten for this race with two foreigners in the top 3! I was 3rd but actually one minute slower than I had expected. All in all not too bad since I was feeling tired doing my warm up... not a good feeling considering the race still had to start and that there is a nasty hill for about a mile around mile 6. Running and tapering wise I did roughly the same as before garden of the gods, but I didn’t do enough sitting on the couch and eat bonbons in between. The incline shirts were cool as usual, and people were telling us that they (or we?) were cool, and were asking how to get them (the shirts... I assume...). I don’t know if we made a good impression by pointing at the “when it’s hard go out and speed up” but I think people got the message!

Steve S reports:
I just wanted to make sure I got my “R” for the Summer Roundup. 57:42, which was great for me. I love powering by flatlanders on the uphills and crushing their egos late in the race after they passed me on the flat section of the previous mile. You rarely see somebody later in the race after you drop them on a hill. Your pacing tips helped me during the race such that when the last two miles came, I had enough overall energy and juice left in my legs. Thanks. I even felt good enough that I didn’t kick at the finish to save my legs for the BTMR. The 20 seconds I might have shaved off my time weren’t worth it. I can make that time up (and more) during the PPM.

Louise E reports:
Seeing that the Summer Roundup Trail counts for a “R". I would give my report as well.

I kind of went to fast and it is easy to make a mistake like that in that race because the first section is very flat and easy running. I realized the mistake very quickly and then eased in a comfortable yet not to slow pace. Even with all that I did very well. Took again 7 minutes of my time last year. Came in 16th overall of the women and 3rd in my age group.

Keith L reports:
Guess I’ll add my belated race report....the things one will do for an R!! This year....slow @1:04:57. As I just posted on the forum, I’ve slowed about 10% this year, probably due to overtraining(?), so I was nearly 6 minutes off my last year’s pace. I basically took June “off” in hopes of recovering and have done no speedwork since April--and it really showed on the hill--egads, I had to walk some it. Goal now is to finish the Ascent, then start working towards the fall series.

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AATRA Mountain Athletics Trail Running Challenge Series # 1 - Deer Valley Resort, Park City, UT - Sunday, July 1, 2001

Kelli L reports:
6+ miles / Mixed climbing and descending, lots of singletrack. Biggest climb was at beginning of race. One gradual ascent was on pavement. Finish was a singletrack, switchback descent into expo area. One aid station on course. 2nd overall female/44:13 7th overall race

This race was fun and fast. It was held in conjunction with the National Off-Road Bicycle Association (NORBA) National Championship Series (NCS) event in Park City, Utah. This is the first time that a trail running race has been held at an NCS event. It was cool to see some of the PRO mountain bike racers and the Outdoor Life Network commentators jump into a running race (at a bike event!). I was at the event for work, so I decided to jump into the race on Sunday morning. I didn’t know who would be racing, but a fast female runner showed up from Colorado. It made for a good race and I was happy with my finish. The race began with a mile-long climb (approx) in which I was the first woman to the top. The girl who finished in first took-off once we crested and flew on the descent. She put a slight gap on me, but stayed in my sights until the last descent of the race. I could bridge some of the gap on the climbs, but not enough to catch her. Overall, it was a solid race for me and I felt good about my effort. The event was well-run and the course was well-marked. It was cool to finish in the expo area of the mountain bike venue, with professional announcers giving commentary. I would recommend racing in one of these events if you have the chance. The prizes were nice, too. I won $ 75 for 2nd and a pair of Timberland trail runners. There were cash purses and Timberland shoes for the top-three men and women (125/75/50) and Timberland shoes for age-group winners.

The next venues in the series: Mammoth Lakes, California July 22 Mount Snow, Vermont Aug. 19

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Vail Hill Climb - Vail, CO - July 1, 2001

Mike F sorta reports:
Indeed I did run the Vail Hill Climb. Time was 1:16:50, three minutes or so behind Bob McA. Don’t know how far back I finished in age brkt. Pacing was good. Finished with a little surge at the end, but not much left. Still looking for some speed. Maybe at BTMR. Definitely ran better than at Leadville. Headed in the right direction. P.S. Wore IC shirt. received some favorable comments.

Glenn G reports (and sets a new record of 267 words per mile!!!):
Left Littleton at 5:30 A.M. The race started at 8:30 A.M. Third time I have run this race. The race starts in the town of Vail, which I believe is about 7,500 feet in elevation. It climbs according to the race description 2,200 feet to the top of Vail Mountain. It covers 7.5 miles.

The Race:
The weather was beautiful for a day in the park, but a little on the warm side for a race. I would estimate at 70 to 75 degrees and climbing. I have ran this race three times before and the weather has always been fourth of July weather, or as they say, hotter than a firecracker on the fourth of July. I overheard another runner making the same comment before the race, that for the last four race he had run, the weather was always clear and sunny. No difference today. I always look forward to going back to Vail and the Avon area. It does have a special effect, especially in the summer for me. Maybe it is that it is close to a holiday, I get to run a race, and the setting is in beautiful Colorado. It is also easy to understand why Cortez named the territory (which later became our state), “color rado,” in Spanish, translated into English for you gringos, “color red.”

There are always tons of tourists in Vail, in the summer, in fact I think sometimes there are more people that are not from Colorado when I go up to Vail. It is neat to think that this is our state when they are doling out all of the kudos. It also always adds an air of excitement for me, because everyone is always in a festive mood, being on vacation and all, and they also always seemed very impressed and encouraging to the runners that they encounter before and after the race. They make comments like, “what kind of race is this” and “oh you mean you actually run up these mountains?” You have to admit, you could say just about anything and I do believe they would believe you and it does make you feel kind of “stud-ly,” at least until the start of the race when the pain begins. But then you can kind of fantasize with the thought while you are doing the race. Anyway where was I?

I arrived early as I had changed my mind about running this race in the middle of the week, opting to do the Peak on Sunday. However at the last minute on Saturday, I reconsidered and decided to keep my original commitment, and to try to do the Peak on Tuesday or Wednesday of this coming week. I always seem to confuse the start of the various races (Vail does a whole series in the summer, and you can find out more about the remaining race by logging in to the web site, >). So I asked a couple of ladies who were walking the same direction I started out from the Lionshead parking lot, who were in running attire (thinking they were entered for the race). They said, “Which race?” To which I replied, “The Hill Climb. Are you not going to run?” “Oh no, we cannot run up any mountain around here we are lucky to be able to walk at this altitude", they answered. See what I mean. Already I was having fantasies of winning this race in their minds and mine.

Anyway, from their last remark and the accent I surmised that they were from the flatlands somewhere back east.

The starting registration was well organized as is usual for Vail Recreation, who sponsors the series. However there were no port-a potties, instead you had to climb the stairs to the visitor center, where the men’s room had two stalls and a line out the door. Somehow I felt for the first time in my life what it would feel like being a women in line at a Bronco game back before the restrooms in the old Mile High Stadium had been upgraded for women, several moons ago.

Mike Ortez was still the race director. I recognized one other ICer right before the race started (have not met him, but I think his name is Brad). Since the start was about to begin I did not want to interrupt the race director’s last words to the runners. If Matt C. had been there it would have been important, because the beginning of the course had changed from those of you who have run the course before. Fortunately, Mike seemed to know and recognize the elite runners and humorously gave the change of course directions directly to Jeremy W., whom he assumed correctly, would lead from start to finish.

This year the start consisted of a countdown, which I liked because it made the starting of your own watch easier.

Soon enough we were off. And quickly the temperature began to rise. I would estimate at the start the temperature had risen to 80 degrees. I knew I was going to have to hydrate early and often.

My last and best time for this race was in 1996, 1:15.02. I came in 128 overall and 39th in my age bracket then.

I had calculated my splits the night before based upon the 1996 results which I thought would be a good and fair goal for myself (after all I am five years older than I was in 1996).

Well 75 minutes divided by a 7.5 mile race is ten minute splits so I didn’t need to write this on my hand. I had already asked where the mile markers were before the start and was told at the two, four and six mile markers.

At the two mile marker I was at 15 minutes, five minutes below my split time of ten minutes (using my prior 1996 time as my base). Well it was still early, too early to tell if this was going to be a meaningful day for me, but I liked the start of my time at the first split. (But the fist mile in town is pretty flat). I took a cup of water at the first aid station at mile two and felt very good at this point.

Then at the four-mile mark my split time was 38 minutes. Two minutes below my calculated split time of forty minutes (calculated using my 1996 prior time as my base). I was starting to feel a little warm and this time at the four-mile aid station I took two cups of water. I did not stop, but drank them as I merely slowed down. I felt a little more of the hill effects on the legs, but no major pain.

This is about where the switchbacks get real steep, for those of you who have also run this race before will also recall. There is especially one major long climb (about a quarter of a mile). At this point the Hydro Hill repeats and the Highway 24 bypass (or what I try to do to mirror these up in Littleton) helped me a lot compared to the 1996 race.

Between the four and the six-mile marker, I somehow managed to pass four pony tails. Two of them I recognized from the Turquoise Lake race, from June 2. They had beaten me in that race and obviously were younger than yours truly. I really didn’t expect to be able to hold them off until the end. But then something happened. I knew what they were thinking. The same thing as the last race at Turquoise Lake. I had passed them before on an uphill. The next uphill they challenged me and I could hear several distinct moans and second wind gasps. I knew they were going to try to re-take me on this or the next uphill. With each challenge I thought of Matt C’s words to us ICers, “go out hard and when it hurts speed up". Try it I said to myself. I know they are hurting just based upon what I can hear from them. I knew they were in a pain (so was I). But this time I kept saying to myself, ".when it hurts, speed up.". Three of the four soon began to drop further and further back. Soon I could not even hear them. The fourth continued to press me. She was right on my shoulder and I knew she wanted like crazy to break me on a hill (she must of remembered that is where she had re-taken me at Turquoise Lake). I kept saying, “when it hurts speed up". Soon the pain was less. I mean it wasn’t getting worse, it actually felt better for the "knowledge” of those words sinking into my psyche, “when it hurts speed up." . I could hear the last pony tail literally talking to herself, “Oh G-d," and more groans and moans.I knew she was in pain. I just spit and actually was starting to feel a reprieve in my legs. Then suddenly I could see another quarter of a mile level section. Okay I said to myself. She couldn’t take me on the hill, now I am going to break her on this flat section for sure. I am going to let her feel the stride of someone who can stretch it out on down hills and flats.

By the time we reached the six-mile mark and I grab a cup of water and merely slowed down. She came to a complete stop. I knew that she had had enough already. Soon her steps were no longer audible. Also interesting thing was that this aid station was manned entirely by children, who always give a lift to my spirits. It was so interesting to hear kids yelling their cheers, “you are almost there."

At the finish I clocked 1:11.59. Three minutes faster than my 1996 time of 1:15.02. My place 89 overall was better by 39 runners (I heard there were about five hundred total runners, so this put me in the top 20 percent, this was disappointing for me) and 21st for my age bracket (compared to 39th in 1996, an improvement of 18 runners). All being five years older now than in 1996.

I was a little surprised when the last ponytail came up to me to thank me for pushing her.

The winner for the men was Jeremy W. in 50 minutes, something. Well off Matt C.’s record I believe of forty-some minutes (Matt C. can fill in here.). The winner for the women was a lady from Aurora and second woman was a lady from Boulder, Laura H., I believe.

Overall I dramatically increased my “time” and “age bracket” finish compared to 1996, when I was five years younger.

Fair is fair, I must attribute and credit the Incline Club Sunday workouts that I have attended, Matt C.’s coaching, tips and encouragement throughout the winter and for the last five Sundays, and finally the altitude training on the Peak for the last five Sundays. My hat goes off to the Club and Matt C. for all of your help and advice (Rick, Jonathon, Scott, Steve and Kees have all given me tips and advice as well). Thanks to you all.

Met another Littleton runner who is also a CPA on the trail on Friday before the race and he saw my Incline Club shirt and he already knew and had heard a lot about the club. I then saw him at the race as well. I extended an invite for him to come down to Manitou. His name is John S. He is running the Ascent this year. He has done no high altitude training and I encouraged him to join us for some of that before the race in August. Hopefully we see him.

I guess I can now swear by the results of Incline Club training.

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US Fila SkyMarathon - Aspen, CO - Sunday, June 24, 2001

Andy D reports:
In my first skymarathon, I was 4th overall with a 2:34:30 and in the process I won $100. Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience and a great race. The little orange flags marking the course were quite a bit more subtle than I had imagined they would be, but they proved to be sufficient nevertheless. The only major mishap of the race involved the first 1.25 mile out and back. For some peculiar reason, the volunteer stationed at this turnaround completely neglected his duties, and everyone ended up running way farther than they were supposed to.

The Incline Club training is definitely making me much faster. In the beginning, I ran conservatively and let the leaders, as well as many others, go out too fast. I started reeling them in when the climbing began in earnest. However, it was not until the steepest part of the course that I finally caught the 5th, 4th, and 3rd place runners. I battled with this 3rd place person on the ridgeline and on the tundra downhill only to be passed when we proceeded onto the road. Obviously the training is working well.

Steve B reports:
Laila and I ran the Aspen Sky Marathon last Sunday. We started up the road towards Montezuma Mine for the 1.25 mile turnaround in good spirits. As the course started climbing in earnest I glanced at my watch and noted 10 minutes elapsed. Even at 9,000 feet I think I can run eight minute miles on the gradual slope we had so far covered. As the time increased to fifteen minutes I suspected something was amiss. At 15:45 Dan Vega and three others were on the return--I knew they were no more than 30 seconds ahead of me... Andy came next, and I knew he was only just a few steps ahead of me... I thought he was quitting... I kept going to 17:30 on my watch before I turned around. Others went much further... In short there was no one there to turn us around!

Well, might as well keep going. We all paid our entry fees... Later Dave Mackey was catching up to me (he had been with the leaders, but kept going when they turned around) and I looked back to see him heading into the woods. I yelled “that’s not the course Dave.” He said that the red flags were leading back there, so about four of us backtracked to follow. We both knew the course and knew this didn’t make sense, but they were definitely the red flags that marked the course... After a couple hundred yards the trail disappeared though and we all retreated back to the road... Later when Dave finished the course he refused to go through the finish chute in disgust. I finished in 3:03, estimating that I had run better than 19 miles on this 16.8 mile course... Still I won the master’s. But I don’t think I’m going to run this race again.

Laila ran way up the Montezuma Mine road even though I told her when I passed her there was no one to turn us around... She finished in 3:47.

Andy did great--finishing 4th and “in the money.” Dan Vega won.

John G reports:
First race report, first SkyMarathon, far from first finisher ... I actually finished 24th with a time of 3:36:01. I think there were only 56 competitors but even so, my goal of finishing in the top half was met.

The course was about 19 miles in length and aside from the first 5 miles and the last 5 miles it was great. The middle 9 miles went from a moderately steep jeep road to quite steep scree and small talus to a nice ridge line up to near the summit of Taylor Peak. We then retraced our steps back down the ridge and headed off across high alpine tundra. There were a couple quite steep sections here but for the most part it was a gradual descent and really fun to run.

The first few miles of the race were added on so that the course would meet the minimum SkyMarathon requirement of 17 miles. It was supposed to be 1.25 miles up a rather undistinguished jeep road and then back to the start where the “real” race would begin. Problem was, there was nothing to indicate when to turn around. As I was still running up toward the “turnaround” I remember seeing Jonathan C running in my direction and with no one in sight behind him. Either he had a huge lead or .... turns out Jonathan turned around about where was intended. Most of the other runners, including myself, ran a mile or so beyond the intended turnaround. Hence, 19 miles for a 17 mile race.

The last 5 miles were downhill jeep road similar to Rampart Range but a little steeper and rockier. I was glad to be through it.

This was all in all a good race that I would run again ... and a finishing time that was helped immensely by the quality of the Incline Club workouts.

Jonathan C reports:
As one of my goal races for the year, I was looking forward to see if the training was making any improvements. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find this out. I started the race. After running a mile and a half out I realized that the chest congestion and sore throat that I’d be wrestling with was not going to let me run hard. I just couldn’t breath on the up hills. So, rather than make myself sicker and ruin my training for a week, I opted to drop out.

The turnaround for the out and back portion of the race was not marked. So, people turned around whenever they realized that they probably had gone too far. I actually ran a little too far myself, but I was about five minutes ahead of the leaders in returning from the out and back. So, the results ended up being skewed with some going way longer than others. Some went a 1 mile to far while others went a 2-3 miles too far. It was said by race personnel that everyone had a map, but I didn’t see anyone carrying one.

Still it was a nice day. Andy D ran a great race coming in fourth.

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“Asia’s most beautiful run.” - Mongolia - June 20, 2001

Gordon N reports:
This event was the most fun I have ever had at an ultra run. The trip was a package that started on June 17 and finished on June 24 with the race taking place on Wednesday, June 20. This meant that there was plenty of time to get to know the other runners and to see a little of Mongolia and its unique culture. The tour started and finished in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia’s capital city and the race took place along the mountainous shore of Lake Hovsgul near the Siberian border. There were 31 runners entered in the 100K and 19 entered in the 42K. The run is organized to raise funds to help support conservation projects in the seriously under funded Hovsgul National Park with the hope of keeping it in its pristine state.

I expected that the remoteness of this run would attract a fairly hardcore running crowd, but at least half of the runners had never run an ultra before and some had never even completed a marathon. Most approached this race more as an adventure rather than as an athletic competition. While there were few runners who were competitive, there were many who had impressive experience with travel and international living. Americans were the largest contingent but the majority of the American runners were living in Asia or Australia. Swiss, Mongolian, English and Japanese runners were also well represented.

The race consisted of two loops. The first 42K started and finished at the run’s base camp. Then those of us who were running 100K went out on a second 58K loop that also finished at the base camp. I spent a fair amount of the time during the first 42K socializing with other runners and taking it easy knowing that I still had a long way to go. The first loop was also where the majority of the courses climb was and the majority of the off trail travel. I finished the 42K in 5:41 with lots of others coming in before and after me. After a quick change of socks and shirt and taking some food I headed back out with a huge cheer from the crowd. It was at the 55K aid station that I found out that there was only one other runner ahead of me in the 100K. The runner ahead of me was a Mongolian who was running to win. At 55K he had more than a 55 minute lead on me and his winning time of 12:24 was an hour and 45 minutes ahead of second place. I was still solidly in second place at the 76K aid station, but then the mid day heat and a long section through a dense muddy forest started to sap my strength. I eventually ended in 14:21 with 4th place out of 15 runners who finished under the 18 hour cutoff. This 100K course offered about the right amount of difficulty and I attribute the low finish rate to the option of dropping out at 42K and being considered a finisher and the fact that many of the runners lacked experience with longer runs. But everyone who started covered at least the first 42K. How may marathons can say that they have a 100% finish rate?

Where most race award ceremonies are held while most runners are still exhausted from their efforts, this race awards ceremony gave everyone 24 hours to recover. Also all of the Mongolians who had worked aid stations and monitored the course were invited to join the party and Mongolians do know how to party. The first place male in the 100K and the first place male and female in the 42K were all Mongolians who I shared a table with at the awards ceremony. It appears that the Mongolian winning formula is eating huge chunks of baked Mutton chased down with plenty of straight vodka. Who was I to argue with a winning formula? I do not expect that I will ever attend a wilder awards ceremony.

The course is even more beautiful and varied than any Rocky Mountain courses that I am aware of. Due to the feedback from runners that have participated in this race, the organizers say that they are changing the label on next years race from “Asia’s most remote Ultra” to “Asia’s most beautiful run.” Aid stations are well stocked and at reasonable intervals. Safety is at the forefront with plenty of medical staff throughout the course. Running this race is not cheap, mostly because of the airfare to Asia, but it is a race I will definitely consider doing again. If anyone thinks that they might be interested in a race like this in the future please grab me at one of the training runs and I can tell you much more about this unique experience.

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Comrades Marathon - South Africa - June 16, 2001

Connilee W reports: (for AnneMarie W)
For those of you who know AnneMarie W, you might be interested in this year's Comrades Marathon which was run on Saturday June 16. (AnneMarie is busy sunning herself on some remote South African beach, doesn't have access to a phone, much less email, so you'll have to bear with my rough "R" report). Comrades is a 56 mile (89k) point to point ultra-marathon that switches beginning and end points each year. This year, a 'down' year (meaning the course has net elevation loss despite being very hilly with 5 major hills), it started in Maritzburg and ran to Durban, South Africa. AnneMarie has run it twice before finishing in 9:16 (a 'down' year) and 9:26 (an 'up year). Her goal was to run a sub-9 hour, and this year she made it with a time of 8:37!!! (Anyone breaking the 9 hour mark gets the 'Bill Rowan' medal, maybe she'll show it off when she comes back to the states in July). By coincidence, I met a man recently who had run Comrades 8 times. He may have been exaggerating, but he said that Comrades has far more elevation gain and loss than the Pike's Peak Marathon! In any case, well done, AnneMarie!

(An interesting tidbit - Bill Rowan, the namesake of the sub-9 hour medal, was the first ever winner of the Comrades marathon, which was run on a mostly unpaved course, winning in a time of 8:59 in 1921. This year's male winner, Andrew Kelehe, won the race in 5:25:51.)

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Pilot Hill Trail Run 25K, - Laramie, Wyoming- June 10, 2001

John M reports:
Under 100 runners in this little-known, tough, scenic, race in Laramie, Wyoming. The race starts at 7,165’ climbs to 8600’ at the top of Pilot Hill, and returns. The course is smooth rock, cracked rock, rough rock, rough cracked rock (starting to pick up a theme here?) large loose rocks, small rocks and mixtures of different types of rocks connected by dirt. The course is a 4-wheel drive (your vehicle, not mine though) road/trail through fields of wildflowers, sagebrush, and a few pine trees. Most of it is runable but 10% is very slow going (walk!) due to the rocks. No “steep” sections but always up. The course does cross private property at one point. A good idea, the race director added a Thank You card at the finish line to be signed by the runners to be sent to the owners. There were 5 water/Gatorade stops, evenly spaced. 7:30 AM start was fine in theory but with the sun coming up at 5:20AM, the temperature was HOT by the time the race started. I drank 3 water bottles, one All Sport bottle, and several cups of water at each stop and was still dehydrated. Several small canyons, out of the wind, were brutally hot. The course is nearly 100% open. This translates to awesome views of the Laramie Valley and NO shade. I couldn’t find anyone who knew for sure what the winning times were. It was not me. I came in at 2:47. Lost 3 minutes over last year’s time. Due to the heat, I feel. RD, Beverly Alexander and her crew do a great job on this race. Nice T-shirt and a finisher medal. Enthusiastic crews at the water stops. The same crew also does an 11 mile Jelm Mtn run on 15 Sep. It’s an up and back, starts at 7600’, 5.5 miles up to 9656’ and back on “unimproved” road. Starts 27 miles SW of Laramie, near Wood’s Landing. I have more entry info if it can’t be found on the web.

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Double Trouble Trail Run - French Creek State Park, Morgantown, PA - June 10, 2001

Jonathon F reports:
Distance: 15k/30k
Weather: 75 deg, sunny, light breeze.

This was an interesting race from before the word go! People who planned to run the 15k lined up behind one line on a 1-lane road. People who planned to run the 30k lined up behind another line about 20 yards from the 15k line FACING the 15k runners. Between the two groups was the beginning of the trail that was about 10 feet wide. At the start, both groups funneled onto the trail.

The trail had plenty of rocks and roots to trip over or turn an ankle on and a few brambles just to keep you awake. I saw several people with dirt on their shoulders, and numerous bloody shins, knees and hands. The tree-covered course weaved up and down several hills, some of them quite steep. There were several 1-lane bridges consisting of 2 2x12's side by side (several boards were broken or had holes in them). There probably wasn't more than 1-2 miles where you could relax and stretch out your stride. Most of the course was single-track and it was quite risky to run too close behind someone because you couldn't see the footing. The only thing missing was a water crossing.

A nice thing about this race was that you could change your mind about whether you wanted to do the 15k or 30k. Those choosing to do the 30k just ran a second loop of the 15k course.

The overall winner of the 15k finished in about 1:03. First female was about 1:08. In the 30k, the first male finished in 2:19 and first female in about 2:40.

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Horsetooth Mountain Trail Run - Horsetooth Mountain Park, Fort Collins - June 10, 2001

Gary H reports:
Since Lynn and I had a climbing practice session we had to attend in Rocky Mtn National Park on Saturday, we stayed overnight at her sister's in Loveland, and jumped into the Horsetooth Mountain Trail Run Sunday morning.

This race is somewhere between 8 and 8.5 miles long, and follows a loop course through Horsetooth Mountain Park in the foothills west of Fort Collins. The elevations aren't as high as on Barr Trail, but the climbs and steepness are comparable in most spots, with some short sections being closer to the Incline's grade. It was definitely a lot harder course than I expected when I viewed the terrain from the start line!

The first 3 miles are mostly uphill, then it's up and down until the aid station at about 4.5 miles. Then there's a relatively gentle descent down a service road for a mile or so, followed by more downhill on a trail to the creek bed, then one last long uphill (relatively easy grade) before re-joining the outbound course for a screaming downhill finish. It was terribly hot out on the course, which has long sections of unshaded running, even though the race started at 7:30!

Things Done Wrong: didn't get an accurate description of the course before the run (the course map didn't show which sections were uphill, which were downhill, etc. - I made some guesses, which turned out to be very wrong!); pushed too fast at start, due to previous error; didn't hydrate enough Saturday evening; and, ..., oh yeah, didn't train!

Things Done Right: well, I ran!

This was an interesting course, and would be a good challenge for IC runners! It fills up at 175 runners; they took race-day signups this year (we were among 40 who signed up just before the race), but will not next year, since they were so far over their 'capacity', so be sure to sign up early if you'd like to do this race next year!

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Mile High 24-Hour Run - Chatfield State Park - Junr 9-10, 2001

Carol S reports:
I completed 60 miles, 18.5 hours.
The goal was to complete 100 miles in the 24 hours...but it did not happen.

Things done right:
Pacing through the first 20 miles, right on target. I was rested and prepared. Transition preparation was also improved as I had pre-filled bottles with fueling/hydration mix, in an ice chest.

Things that went wrong:
As near as I can figure, I simply got beat by the heat. It warmed up to the 90's, after the first 20 miles. I suffered from both dehydration and symptoms of heat prostration. I probably should have pounded down additional H2O, and soaked in an ice bath, but by the time I figured that out it was too late. I had already lost too much time, and my body just had enough at the end of mile 60.

It was still a good 'training run', for Leadville preparation, so all was not lost.

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Old Dominion 100 miler - Woodstock, VA - June 3, 2001

David W reports:
Old Dominion was going to be my most challenging race, with the most rise in elevation I have done to date. Friday afternoon had brought some rain showers, which worried me a little as I didn't have a spare pair of shoes and that could make for a long race. The temperature 04:00 am was perfect (+/- 65 degrees) and it was dry with clear skies at start of the race. I used a pace chart to help me get thru the race but there is a problem with using a pace chart and that is fatigue and night running is not factored in. Still relatively new in the Ultra vortex I'm still trying to figure out what is my running style. In the Ultra world "the race doesn't really begin till the 60/65 mile". I felt like I was running pretty good despite the first five or six aid station not having anything but goldfish, chocolate chip cookies succeed and water. In fact I had lost about seven pounds by the first weigh station at 34.2 mi. and still a little ahead of my pace by about a .5 hr to 40 min. And as I had thought I had lost sometime when crossing over Sherman Gap and Veach but after that did quite well after Woodstock Tower. It was downhill from there. I finished 31st of 70 finishers with a time of 23:32:00.

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Steamboat Marathon - Steamboat Springs, CO - June 3, 2001

Neal O reports:

The day started out perfectly-10 hours of solid sleep the night before, incredibly good race weather and most importantly, I felt great. I thought this would be my breakthrough marathon-didn't happen. My goal before the race was to finish in the top 5. I knew there would be quite a few people ahead of me at the 1/2 marathon point and from there I would try to take on one runner at a time. I hit the 1/2 in 10th place feeling great. I don't know what happened at that point but I lost focus of what I was trying to do and got content being where I was. I could see a couple of people ahead of me that I could have passed but I never pushed the pace which my legs were definitely ready to do. I managed to pass only 2 people between the 1/2 and 20 mile point. I got passed by another at the 22 mile point so I ended up 9th in 3:13:02. The worst part of that is due to slower men's times than in years past, top 5 was VERY doable. I've always heard people say the hardest race they run is the one where they leave something out on the course. I left a lot of time, not to mention pride out there. As a result of not giving it my all, my legs are in great shape other than some minor chafing. At least I can resume hard training earlier than I had planned. I was so mentally weak-I just don't know what happened. I'd better get my act together before doing the Pikes Peak races. Mental weakness up there will kill ya!! On a more positive note, it was absolutely awesome to see Connilee come in right after me as the first woman (10th overall!!). What is that-3 wins in 2 weeks for the Incline Club?! Something is working there.

Connilee W reports:
General Goal: Beat my PR (3:21), place better than fifth (my place last year)

Dream goal: First place, 3:15

General strategy: Before the race, I plotted out my goal times per mile, starting out a little slower than my goal pace and hoping to pick up speed on the downhills, save energy for the end of the race (I noticed last year that a lot of women faded at the end - I passed three women in the last 3 miles alone. I wanted to make sure I was strong, not weak at that point).

The race: Dave S and Neal O gave a warm Incline Club welcome at the start.... always good to see an IC'er for good luck! At the starting gun, Neal O was off to a cruising start, and behind him the pack of ponytails (the women runners). I held back to my own pace and was probably 10 or so back for the women. It was frustrating to be so far back, but I stuck to my plan and passed them one by one. By mile 13 I was in 4th place, feeling very strong, and reeling in number 3 woman. Number 1 and 2 were close together and in sight (thanks to the pacing bike that rode alongside #1 woman, they were very visible). I slowly gained on them and trailed at a close number 3 for several miles. At mile 21, I came in close and knew I could better the pace of both #2 and #1. I took a strong lead. Over the next 5 miles I widened the gap and gained another 2 minute spread on the #2 woman, and 4 minutes on the #3 woman at the finish. The last mile and a half were PAINFUL, giving me a new appreciation for the phrase "Go out hard, when it hurts, speed up!!" Boy did it hurt, but speed up I did and even ran a couple of sub-7 minute miles at mile 22 and 23. Even though I could not see #2 woman and the bike pacer informed me I was in the clear, I wanted to finish STRONG! A quarter mile from the finish, the folks who had run the 10k and 1/2 marathon, race fans, and Steamboat Springs citizens lined the street. They were incredibly encouraging and I am sure I was grinning from ear to ear as I pushed to the finish - first place woman! I am still pinching myself to make sure it is for real!

Done right: Took water at every aid station (every 3 miles) except the last one. Took a gel every hour (carried my own). Ran the tangents (we only had one lane of a two lane road, often dealing with oncoming traffic so this was especially challenging). The last 7 weeks I added a 20 minute tempo to the end of my long runs as well as speed pickups during and after my other runs. This really helped my 'kick' at the end of the race.

If you ever run Steamboat: The scenery is incredible - if you have to run on the road (all asphalt) this is a great place to be! The first half of the course has some intense downhill, making it very difficult to run the second half faster than the first.

Added bonus: My hubby Pat got a real nice buzz cut Sunday night - fulfilling a promise he'd made to shave his head IF I beat my PR.

Dave S reports:
Well, I guess I need to submit a report to get a star for the day.

It was really fun to see how well Connilee Walter and Neal Oseland did. Connilee ran a PR and finished 10th overall (for all runners). She WON the women's race. How cool!

And Neal finished 9th overall and 2nd in his age group. Those two really had an outstanding day, and have a neat jacket to prove it.

It's a different story for me, though. I struggled and finished more than 20 minutes slower than last year. I just sort of ran out of energy after about 17 miles, and got slower and slower after that point. I'm not sure what went wrong. I've put in more training than last year, and everything else was about the same. But oh well, I guess it just wasn't my day.

It was still an enjoyable weekend. Usually when we go to Steamboat Springs, the whole family comes, but this year the kids were working so it was a little escape for me and my wife. We explored some new territory while there. Instead of using the hot springs in town, which we've always done in the past, we went to a hot springs about 7 miles out of town called Strawberry Hot Springs. It was quite an adventure just to get there, as the last several miles are on a poorly maintained dirt road, akin to the rougher sections of Rampart Range Road. But it was worth the drive. The hot springs are secluded and rather rustic, with a mountain stream adjacent to the hot springs pools. The soak feels excellent after running a marathon.

My wife and I also checked out Fish Creek Falls. This is about 4 miles out of town, and is a magnificent water fall, that makes Seven Falls look like a puny water faucet. There are tons and tons of water coming down the cliff, and it is definitely a perfect picture taking spot. There's also a cool trail that goes up to a lake. It's 5 miles, one way, and the elevation climb is 2400 feet. I didn't have the legs for it, so we just followed the trail for about a mile or so.

Well, I guess that's about it. I'll have to figure out what went wrong and give it another try next year.

Congratulations to Connilee and Neal. They did awesome!

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Montana Marathon - Helena, Montana - June 2, 2001

Craig H reports:
As I mentioned last week, the Governor's Cup in Helena Montana went very well. 3:28 and 30 minutes faster than the previous week. This run was also not quite in the Boston league but compared to WY the week prior, it looked pretty darn good. This is another race where you race directors ought to feel good about your events.

Checked out a good chunk of western Montana. Some OK towns and some awesome views. Not too much to the capital city of Helena however. Pulled into town and saw a huge sign for what I thought read "Helena Visitor Center." After I finally found a place to park in the crowded little downtown area, I walked into a shop with tons of eyeglasses. I walked back out, took a little closer look at the HUGE sign and realized it read "Helena Vision Center." (Does this mean I'm entitled to a rebate on my LASIK surgery??)

There was, however, one small older neighborhood that was really neat. The old (late 1800's old) rich part of town had some very impressive homes. Helena was actually a gold town on the verge of drying up before a very suspect state-wide vote placed the capital in that town to save it from ghost-town status. At one point Helena had the highest per capita number of millionaires in the country during its heyday.

Saw some really beautiful land north of Helena and Missoula. I was looking for property as I've said I'm going to retire on big acreage in Montana for 10 years now and up until this trip has never set foot in the state. Some great vistas up there. Still considering it.

Back to the running, I'll start adding links to the runs for those that want more details. (i.e. The "official" propaganda.) And I'm also going to plug a great race in Ohio... the Air Force Marathon. I ran the inaugural race in 1997 and it was great and it has only improved each year. One of the best mid-sized marathons in the country. Check it out.

I will probably end up in Salt Lake City for my July run. Halfway through the year. Course info follows.

Montana Marathon - 2 June 01
Entry Fee - $35
Link -
Course - Point-to-point. Semi-mapped. Start in the ghost town of Marysville at 5400 feet and finish in Helena at 4400. First 6 miles were downhill dirt. (paved within the next few years though.) Hills at miles 13-16. Also a climb 25-26.
Expo - Very Wyoming-like...non-existent. I was handed my race number and my choice of one Gatorade bar.
Medal - Average.
T-Shirt - Two shirts. (One pretty average, one pretty neat)
Crowds - On the 1 - 10 scale...1. (On the Wyoming 1-10 scale...10!)
GU Stops - 3 (BTW, I am now a total convert from Power Gel to GU.)
Start temp - Cool and overcast. Decent tailwind for about half the run. Heated up 22-26.
Overall impression - Very respectable small event. The fast ICer's could walk away with some hardware. (A nice piece of glass actually.)

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Squaw Peak 50 mile trail run - Orem, UT - June 2, 2001

Anita B reports:
This was my second year doing Squaw Peak. I don't know which time was better; the first time when I didn't know what I was getting myself into, or the second time, where I was more familiar with the course, but knew what lie ahead. The Squaw Peak 50 mile trail run is the third most difficult 50 miler in the country. There is about 10,000 ft. in elevation +/-, and alot of it is in backcountry. Although there are aid stations, and drop bags, the course is rocky and steep, so going six or seven miles for slow , creaky duffers like myself would sometimes take me over two hours, so its a course where you really want to know what you are doing, because you can be out there alone for a long time. Anyway, the course is beautiful. If you like to be surrounded by snow capped mountains, flower covered meadows, teaming with wild life, and very little signs of civilization on much of the course, then this is the trail run for you. It is well organized, and the pre-race meeting was alot of fun. The race director had excellent sponsors, and had all sorts of really cool drawings for stuff runners really could use.

My finish time was a little slower than last year. For whatever reason,(I never had this happen to me before) at the 35 mile point, my left eye began flashing, kind of like a strobe-light. I sat down at the top of a 9300 ft. mountain for about 30 minutes( so much for doing better than last year) and it went away. When I got back up, I developed one heck of a headache, and became dizzy for the next seven miles. It got so bad that I found two sturdy sticks and used them as walking poles, until it went away. But the reason I let them go was because quite suddenly my fingers, hands, arms, face, even my tongue went numb and tingly, and I had no sensation what so ever. As if that weren't enough, my hearing went on the fritz too. For about an hour, everything sounded as if it were far away, and had an echo to it. But when you are out in the middle of nowhere, and there are bear tracks, and mountain lion tracks everywhere, with no aid station in site, what are you to do? Lie down on the trail and cry? I know I hydrated and fueled properly, so if anyone out there has any idea what all those symptoms mean, I would appreciate the input. Never the less, I crept to the finish line, and grabbed a cold piece of pizza I found lying on a nearby table. They feed you really good at this ultra, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a challenge.

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Wyoming Marathon - Wyoming - May 28, 2001

Craig H reports:
My first back-to-back experiment of the year turned out very well. Better than expected in fact. On one-third of normal training, I have to admit I was a bit intimidated by two marathons six days apart. The first run on Sunday was the Wyoming Marathon. Comparing it to my previous run (Boston) it was definitely the anti-Boston. Sad, sad, sad event...but I do give the few folks that put it together credit for what they do accomplish. They definitely win the prize for most accurate race motto. ("The Wyoming Marathon...where the race director promises you nothing...and he delivers.")

It was tough to get accurate stats on the course, (elevation charts, etc.) but the course did average above 8,000 feet and included about 3,500 vertical feet along the way. Given that, I'd have been content with a 4:30 given my condition. Turned in a 3:58. Very surprised. Most folks typically ran about 25-30 minutes slower than average.

This was my first marathon trip which was not a rushed out-and-back over-the-weekend type trip. I actually took vacation between the runs and explored Yellowstone and a small part of Western Montana. Much of Wyoming is pretty barren but had TONS of buffalo all over the place...or so I thought. I thought I must have arrived just after shearing season. I was later informed they were all just cows. The Grand Tetons were really beautiful but I think I'll take Pikes Peak any day. Yellowstone was awesome. Old Faithful was right on time. (Currently every 81 minutes.) The Lower Falls that land in Wyoming's Grand Canyon were quite impressive.

For my first night in Yellowstone I had planned on camping until a torrential downpour began and I was losing daylight fast. Being an Air Force guy, with superior Air Force training behind me, my first instinct was to abort the camping idea and head to the nearest hotel...the natural inclination for a well-trained AF guy. But something possessed me. Placing extreme faith in the Army guy who lent me the tent, and praying he had his gear squared away, I began to put together a never-seen-before tent in the cold rain. Happy to report the Army guy had his gear in good order and I stayed dry that night. (Thanks Jim)

I was also reminded just how up close and personal you can get with nature on my first morning in Yellowstone. Five minutes before I ventured out of my tent, a huge brown bear strolled by 10 feet from my tent. All the other campers were watching and probably wondering if the bear likes runner meat. Saw the tracks a few minutes later and came down with "bear on the brain" syndrome for the rest of my stay in the wilderness. I doubt I'll ever be outrunning a bear... certainly not two days after a marathon anyway.

During my WY run I tried to save a little gas for the Helena, MT run the following Saturday. Guess I did. Ran a 3:28. Was REALLY surprised by that. Just kept expecting to die any minute from the week before. (Funny thing happened one the way to the finish line...I never hit the wall. Strange.) Anyway...tired of typing. The MT report out next week. Six down - six to go! Course info (warning) below.

Cheers, Craig

Wyoming Marathon - 28 May 01
Entry Fee - $35
Course - Who really knows?? Technology and Wyoming courses have not been introduced yet. Out and back course. I'm going with a start at 8600 feet down to 7800 feet and then back again. About 3500 vertical feet along the way. Dirt trail with about 5 miles or so of frontage road asphalt.
Expo - Yeah right.
Medal - Pretty slick... not bad at all really.
T-Shirt - Average.
Crowds - On the 1 - 10 scale...ZERO. Not sure I hear heard or saw a single spectator. Two of the three "aid" stations were manned by one person. The other had a gaggle of three I believe. If crowds turn you off, then this is the race for you.
Famous encounters - Just a few Incline Clubbers. :)
Start temp - Cool and overcast. Really lucked out with the WX. Got a little windy coming home though. Temperature dropped drastically right after I finished. (They've had everything from snow to 90 degrees before on race day.)
Overall impression - Hmmm...unless you're attempting the 50 States...I can't think of any real compelling reason to run this.

Steve B reports:
Wyoming didn't have a marathon until some "fifty stater's", those strange fanatics not satisfied to simply run a marathon, but who insist on running a marathon in each of the fifty states, talked the organizers of a fifty miler near Cheyenne into also adding the standard marathon distance to their race. Being just a three hour drive for me it was easy to incorporate it into Laila and my marathon schedule for this year. Conveniently, the "Rocky Mountain Marathon" is also a race in the Skyracing circuit of mountain trail racing.

Before I found out who was running the marathon I had anticipated breaking the course record of 3:24. The course, 70% of which is on dirt roads, starts at 8900' elevation, and with continual ups and downs along the way drops to 8100' at the turnaround. The way back is much harder... I succeeded in running it in 3:12, but a certain Dave Mackey from Boulder had already crossed the finish line ten minutes ahead of me.

Laila fared better than I placewise, finishing first among the fair sex and ninth overall with a strong 3:51 on this "ultra-like" marathon. I was astonished at how close she was to me at the turn around point, looking fresh enough to be on a five mile easy training jog! We both agreed afterwards that this was the most difficult marathon course we had run outside of Pikes Peak or the Aspen Sky Marathon.

Taking advantage of one the perks we enjoy with the military, I had reserved a suite at F.E. Warren Air Force Base near Cheyenne for $21 a night. Once settled in we made our way to the pasta dinner in an Italian restaurant nearby where we found our friend from the Springs, Craig Hess and got the course briefing.

Though the race director's motto is "Where the race director promises nothing, and he delivers", for the most part the support was acceptable with aid stations spaced about four miles apart. Unfortunately, when I passed by the volunteers were for the most part unready to deliver the goods and I had stop and open bottles. On the way back to my dismay they had dismantled an aid station leaving only one (!) station for the last ten miles of the course! Everyone finished the course in a state of severe dehydration. It wasn't until the next day that I considered myself properly rehydrated.

Following the 45 minute drive from F.E. Warren AFB to the race start in the Medicine Bow National Forest at the Lincoln Memorial(exit 323 off I-80), we barely had time to fit in the obligatory prerace "pit stop", jogging to the start line just as the race director peremptorily and without preamble stated simply "runners go".

Jonathan Cavner, who was running the half marathon took off quickly. On the steep downhill that marked the first mile of the race I felt okay with matching his pace and quickly caught up to him. "Is that Dave Mackey" I asked, referring to the nearest runner behind us by about 100 yards. "No, Dave must have missed the race start!" No one else was in sight after the first mile. Soon "Eric from Longmont" caught up to me--he was running the half as well. Looking back I saw the runner who would prove to be Dave Mackey slowly gaining ground. Eric pulled ahead intent on reaching Jonathan who now commanded a 200 yard lead. Twenty minutes into the race Dave pulled alongside and we met for the first time, though he had also passed me about twenty minutes into the Aspen Sky half marathon nearly a year before.

At the turnaround for the half marathon, roughly six and a half miles into the race, I was surprised to see that it had taken me 44 minutes, just under seven minutes per mile, though the effort felt like 5:45 per mile--clearly the altitude was going to make this race challenging.

Soon after where the half marathoners had turned around we came on the "paved stretch"--a stretch of I-80 service road paralleling the freeway for about two and a half miles. Dave had opened up a lead on me that stretched roughly two highway markers. I concentrated my effort and attempted to close the gap, tracking the distance using the markers to gauge my progress. By the end of the paved stretch I had gained ground, but once on the dirt again I could no longer consistently spot him. I reached the turnaround in 1:27, about two minutes behind. A couple others only a couple minutes behind me kept me on my toes. I thought of visiting the only rest room I had spotted on the entire course, but didn't want to risk losing a place in the process, so I soldiered on. Ten minutes after I had turned around Laila as the first woman and definitely in the top ten passed by in shape. Craig Hess was about a minute behind her.

This time on the pavement was not as easy as on the way out. Dave was now five hiway markers out in front and barely discernable in the distance--I measured him at five minutes ahead of me at this point and the way I felt there was virtually no chance of catching him.

Rounding the corner and leaving the asphalt to go under the freeway I was dismayed to find that they had abandoned an aid station! This four miles after the last aid station! I wasn't until three more miles that a much needed water station came into view. The last six miles was difficult, but not as bad as I had imagined it would be. Still, the effects of dehydration took their toll, and I covered the last four miles in a Bataan-like death march time of 38 minutes, finishing in 3:12.

We stayed one more night in our luxurious quarters at FE Warren, before driving up to South Dakota, where we hiked to the highest point of that state, Harney Peak the next day; also taking in the Crazy Horse monument in progress--will be the largest statue in the world when completed--they are carving a granite mountain into a likeness of Crazy Horse, the famous Sioux Indian warrior. That night we stayed at Ellsworth AFB near Rapid City and the following day (today as I write this) we drove north to North Dakota where we ascended the highest point of that state, White Butte, pursuing yet another of our "lists", to climb the highest point in all of the fifty states. Tomorrow, Laila will get another state high point--- Nebraska: a state I have already bagged.

The counts:
Steve: 24 marathon states, 3 provinces; 32 state high points
Laila: 20 marathon states, 1 province; 15 state high points

Jonathan C reports:
Half marathon report
The trip materialized when Dave Mackey and I were talking after the Collegiate Peaks race. We thought that it would be fun to rock climb in Vedauwoo on Saturday and run the half marathon on Sunday. Over the next few weeks we confirmed this plan.

So, Lindsay and I traveled to Vedauwoo, near Laramie, Wyoming, Friday evening. Free camping is allowed everywhere besides the Vedauwoo campground($10/night). The scenery is spectacular. Unique rock formations scatter the area. The next morning we woke up and met up with Dave and Ellen his girlfriend. We spent the day climbing the hard, slippery granite of Vedauwoo. By the time the day was over I was cut up and we were all sun burned. But, much fun was had by all.

The next morning we woke up at 4:30 am to make the race start of 6:00 am. We drove to the Lincoln Monument rest stop only about 7 miles away. The dirt road, out and back course was described as 1000 ft. of elevation drop within the first couple miles and a 1000 ft. of gain right before the half marathon turn around. The marathon continues on relatively flat terrain before the turn around. Dave had decided to run the full marathon after all. I had no intentions of changing my plans of doing the half. Steve B, Laila H and Craig H also showed up due to their marathon in every state pursuit. There seemed to be probably a couple hundred people all together, though I'm not sure how many people were in each race though. We lined up at the start line. A prayer was prayed before the start. Then the race director surprised us all by just saying, "GO!" I took the lead at the start, but could here feet quickly catching up to me. It turned out to be Steve B. We ran together for the first mile and then he wished me luck and I left. Looking back at that point I could tell that I had one competitor that was hot after me. So, I upped the pace slightly and continued on by myself. About three miles into the race I passed the first aid station. I was handed a bottle of Gatorade which I took a few swallows and traveled on. About four and a half miles into the race I reached the first major hill which continued "Rampart Range" style to the turn around and a drink from a Gatorade bottle. At the turn around I realized that the guy behind me was only about 30-40 seconds at my flank. The downhill went by fast and pretty soon I was at the first aid station again. I yelled Gatorade. They said, "All we have is water." All the Gatorade bottles had been opened but not finished. I freaked them out by running through the aid station, grabbing one of the used Gatorade bottles, taking a swig and running on. Kept looking back, but the turns in the road prohibited me from seeing the guy behind me. Hit the big hill and knew the finish was at the top. Incline club training came into play and I powered the mile and half to the finish. Winning with time 1:27:35 (course record). Second place, Erik from Fort Collins, was 1:28:38. Dave Mackey came in first for the marathon 3:02 something(course record). Steve B was 2nd at 3:12 something. Laila H won easily (forget the exact time).

Overall race impression:
Fairly disorganized. Didn't have many volunteers. Ran out of Gatorade at the aid stations. No prizes for first, second, or third. Nice finisher metals though. 5% paved road (marathon only) was more like 30%. Elevation drop/loss didn't seem as significant as portrayed. Definitely should NOT be in the Skyrunning race circuit.

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Sulphur Springs 100 Mile Trail Run - Ancaster Ontario, Canada - May 27-28, 2001

Teresa T reports:
Neal's version: We were there, we ran, we finished, and we are done(Man of many words)

Teresa's version: Results: 1st woman, 23 hrs, 38 minutes, 5th overall. Neal ran 26 hrs 45 minutes.

Neal's father, Dave, always told me someday I would beat Neal. All I needed was to believe it. Now I do - as I beat him by three hours! 100 Miles, the great equalizer. You never know going into one of these how it will come out. You hope to finish, and from there, your plans change as it evolves. I always expected Neal to catch me, so in essence, he pushed me through the whole thing! (He was as close as 30 minutes at one point) No one was more surprised than I when he didn't. And to lead the woman's race was scary - I have not been in that position for many years. The second place woman was as close as 28 minutes at one point. To keep pushing to stay in the lead for 100 miles was pretty mental. Great long and tough Sunday runs sure helped with the mental part.

Great forested course, great people, great trip. See you all soon.

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Vancouver International Marathon - May 6, 2001

Steve B reports:
Laila and I ran the Vancouver International Marathon on May 6th. We met at Sea-Tac Airport the evening of May 5th, picked up a rental car and drove to our reserved hotel room in Vancouver, arriving after midnight. The race was to start at 7 A.M. the next morning. Fortunately we had friends running the race who picked up our race packets and left them conveniently for us at our hotel. Not so pleasant was the "smoking" room we had been given. With no other rooms available we truly suffered that first night... Even the pillows reeked of smoke. Travelodge moves down in our ratings--we won't be using them in the future...

Next morning the weather was "right". Not too cold at all, so I went ahead and went singlet and shorts. A bit more cloud cover would have made it even better, but we couldn't complain with 40-ish temps and minimal wind.

At race warm-up I connected with Uli Stiefl, a German citizen, grad student at the University of Washington, and winner of last year's Vancouver marathon, as well as the Seattle, and Portland Marathon for the last two years. He has a 2:13 marathon PR. At the Seattle marathon in Nov 1999 (where I met Laila BTW) I ran with him for the first eight miles. We communicated in German. Chance for me to practice. :-) (He was "training"--when I told him he might as well go win it, he left me and "won") Well, he remembered me right off when I approached him Sunday--"you're from Colorado right?" He had some competition this time. When I saw him coming back to the finish at an out-and-back point on the course around kilometer 35 (42 Km in a marathon) he was 100 yards behind the front two runners. By race end he had reeled them in and finished on top in 2:18.

For me this was quite the "comfortable" marathon. After running now 40 marathons, a marathon doesn't hold the same awe as it once did...It's almost like just another race. I started off just running comfortably. 25 or more runners surged out ahead, while I just relaxed. After five miles I sighted the third place female--a runner from Japan about 200 yards ahead. Slowly I reeled her in. When I went by her I said "Gambatte" (succeed), She looking spent (not good so early in the race) replied "Hai" (yes). Next in my sights was the second place female--she had "Island Runners--the Underdog" on the back of her singlet. When I pulled up alongside I asked her "what island?" thinking Queen Charlotte or Vancouver? When she replied "Poland" I did a doubletake. Poland is not an island, but well, okay, whatever. Next was the mystery entry from Ethiopia. She had entered the race at the last minute, flying in from Addis Abababa 48 hours prior. She was running strong, but I caught her just before the longest hill of the course. Well, we know about hills, don't we ICer's, particularly at sea level!

With a smattering of men along with the top three women by mile 21 I had moved up from 18th to 11th place. Though by watch I noted that I was slowing, I still felt "just fine". I went into the marathon finish "coast mode". To mile 25 or so we had to climb up a bridge, then once at the high point of the bridge it was "all down hill". I opened it up finishing strong in 2:43:29, 11th overall and 1st in the 45-49 age group.

Laila ran a comfortable 3:30 marathon.

Though we moved from the "smokey room", we stayed one more night in Vancouver. Monday we took the ferry to Vancouver Island and stayed in Victoria. There we walked around town, explored Beacon Hill Park, the Parliament buildings, and ate Chinese food in the 2nd oldest Chinatown in North America. Tuesday we took the ferry to Port Angeles, WA on the Olympic Peninsula. Driving through Forks, WA (big logging town) we came to the Hoh River valley, where we entered the Olympic National Park. I had been here before, but enjoyed showing Laila some of the largest cedar/spruce/fir trees in the world. She wants to go back to climb Mt Olympus...a 3-day backpacking expedition. That night we stayed at Kalaloch Lodge on the Pacific Ocean. Wednesday morning we ran up the beach for 40 minutes before turning around, for a nearly hour and a half run.

My parents live in Olympia--in their many times remodeled home on Puget Sound. We stopped in for dinner Wednesday evening, before heading up to McChord AFB for the evenings lodging prior to our flight out this morning.

Great Trip! We needed more time though!

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Cleveland Marathon - Cleveland, OH - April 29, 2001

Kelli L reports:
CONDITIONS: Pretty close to perfect. It was around 45 degrees at the start and remained around 50 degrees for the race. It was sunny with some wind, stronger on some sections of the course.

COURSE: Okay, but definitely not too exciting. It was an out-n-back from downtown Cleveland. The aid stations were good, but not many spectators. Some sections of road were uneven and very noticeable (especially after running trails all winter!). Since it was difficult for spectators to watch runners from various points on the course, there were way too many cyclists riding on it. At one point, a dad with a girl in a buggy flew past me! It was somewhat annoying since you're trying to focus on the race, not on the bike traffic. Very little music on course except for maybe two bands at two of the aid stations. No water tables at start (I like water tables at the start so I can get a few more cups in before the race begins!).

RACE: Well, let's just say it was a disappointing day...I was about a day shy of canceling the race a few weeks ago because of the back injury, but decided I could still do it. I haven't felt quite right since the back accident, so it would be no different on race day. I didn't feel exceptionally good or bad. The first 15k went well, then I just gradually lost time on each mile. My mind was thinking one thing and my body was doing another! Truly an outer-body experience! WOMEN'S FIELD: There were six very fast women in the "seeded" field (I made the seeded field seven). One other American (making her marathon debut) and a few Russians, a Hungarian and a Pole. I managed to get a seeded number because I called the race organizers once I saw the elite runners times posted on the website (my PR is 2:49), so I was able to start at the front with the others. I bumped into the elite athlete coordinator (who I used to work with at the Runners Roost) and he invited me to attend the elite athlete prerace technical meeting. The front women all had posted times in the low 2:30s and the race organizers were expecting the first woman to cross the line around 2:32. Well, not at this Cleveland Marathon! I think the entire women's elite field ran bad today! Everybody seemed to be about 10 minutes off what they were expected to run (including myself), so it was a disappointing day all around for the women. The woman's winning time was 2:42, way off of what was anticipated. I did manage to be 6 out of the 7, I passed the Hungarian woman around 15k. Her PR was 2:30 and she was going for low 2:40s...she must have finished a few minutes after me or dropped out. TIME/FINISH: 2:55:30 6th overall spot shy of money! damn! AFTERTHOUGHTS: Something I learned from this race matter how hard you work all winter, you can still have a freak accident which will destroy any chances of a PR! I feel like the queen of 2:50s! Now I'm looking forward to the race season since it hasn't really even begun. I'm signed-up for New York City marathon in November, so maybe my dream marathon will happen there! 'Til then, it's off to Barr Trail!

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Boston Maraton - Beantown, MA - April 16, 2001

Craig H reports:
The 105th running of the Boston Marathon...Awesome event! In terms of organization...hardly any better. But then they've had 105 years to get it right. (Only 100 years longer than your event Col Hazen) The experience was great--even better than the first time despite my time being slower. But with four weeks of PT on the knee and no training for six weeks (a grand total of 28 miles), I was just thrilled to toe the line. I'll take my 3:45 and be happy. Couldn't have picked a better run to celebrate my 25th marathon.

Bean Town can be expensive. Lodging could cost a small fortune. (Military guys could take advantage of Hanscom.) The best deal...have your sister move to Boston. Worked for me! :) Public transportation... you can make the metro lines and the marathon buses work for you. The weather is really fickle in April; be prepared for anything.

Got to meet Dick Beardsley at the Marathon and Beyond booth. Super guy. However, I realized I was sorely lacking in the "Great Moments of the Boston Marathon" department. (He was the one who duked it out with Alberto Salazar and finished two seconds behind him in 1982. Or was that 1981??) Anyway, with over 1500 women beating me on Patriots day, (which my co-workers so graciously pointed out upon my return) I don't think I'll ever be on the winner's podium and pressed to compare my day to any past great performances. Two more marathons in the next seven weeks. Just hanging in there. Four down, eight to go. Course info below.

Boston Marathon - 16 Apr 01
Entry Fee - $75
Course - A net 450 foot drop, but of course you have over 200 feet gain along the way, mostly in the Newton neighborhood. Most of the route is very scenic.
Goodie Bag - Pretty decent...nothing too special though.
Expo - Fantastic! I recouped half my entry fee in energy bars I think. Of course buying all the "official" Boston gear will require a second mortgage, but's Boston; expect to be gauged.
Medal - Standard Boston Medal with the year change.
T-Shirt - Great long sleeve T.
Super Neat Hi Tech Thing - Your running chip was tied to the internet (and your cell phone if you registered your phone) to give updates every 5K on whatever runner you wanted to track.
Crowds - TOUGH to beat!! (Maybe Chicago and London are a not too distant second.) Great volunteers!
Start temp - Sunny and warm noon start. Cooled down after about two hours though.
Overall impression - AWESOME!! If marathons are your've got to do it! If marathons aren't your distance...why's that?? :)

(Matt C adds: When asked "what is Col Hazen" Craig wrote back: "The question is WHO is Colonel Hazen. He was an old boss of mine who is now the Wing Commander at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. This is of course where the Air Force Marathon is held so it's sort of his show.")

April 16, 2001
Boston Maraton - Beantown, MA

Gordon N reports:
Training at altitude does help!

I finally ran the Boston marathon this year after saying it was one of my long term running goals for the last 17 or 18 years. After running a within 10 minutes or so of qualifying in the early 80's, I shifted to ultra trail running and started just treating my once a year or so road marathon as a long training run. Then when Boston started using the shoe chip timing system a couple of years ago and relaxed the qualifying times, I saw that qualifying was once again a real possibility. Last October at the Pueblo River Trail Marathon I finally ran my qualifying time.

Boston definitely lived up to its reputation as the best organized road marathon in the world. I have run more than two dozen road marathons in cities in a half dozen states and none comes even close to the support Boston shows for its marathon. Its an experience every runner should try to experience once. Of course the weather in Boston in the spring can be unpredictable, but this year we won the luck of the draw as the weather was sunny and cool the whole way from Hopkington.

Maybe it was all the training on the Barr trail, but I found running at Boston relatively easy. For all its reputation as a hilly course I wouldn't have even noticed the hills if the runners around me hadn't been talking about them. I actually found the course downhill and quite flat. The cheering crowds and good support definitely helped also. My official time was 3:20:54 which got me 2894th place out of 15,606 entries. My chip time was 3:17:14 which is the fastest marathon I have run in 18 years. I never felt overly tired during the run and I recovered very quickly. All in all a very gratifying experience.

April 16, 2001
Boston Maraton - Beantown, MA

Connilee W reports:
First things first, thanks to all your ICers who helped out with my 'run for a cause'. Donations are still trickling in, but because of you guys and other folks in the community, over $4,000 was raised to send kids in Pueblo to a Young Life camp this summer, far exceeding my goal of $100/mile or $2,600. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Race report - Short version:
Incredible crowds, decent weather, fantastic organization and goody bags by the B.A.A., very cool chip-timing technology, competitors ranging from not-so-serious (hula dancers and easter bunnies) to the world's great contenders in the Marathon. What more can you ask from 26.2 miles of asphalt?

Race report - Long version:
Initially I thought I could beat my PR of 3:21 (aah, pre-race optimism) if things went well on race day. This was based on a 'predictor' based on my 5k time at the St. Patty's Day Run (20:29). In the interim, however, I came down with 'the crud' (about 10 days before the race) which wreaked havoc on my lungs and training. I did taper well so I was not sure how things would turn out. All told, my plan was to keep a consistent pace and bolt for a PR at the end IF I had the energy. I w as probably feeling overconfident about running up a hill the size of Heartbreak when we train on the Peak all year round...forgetting it's a PAVED hill after a LOT of miles on your feet already. My legs were slowing after the hills so I opted against a push for a PR (okay I'll be honest I probably wouldn't have made a PR anyways), took in the crowds and camaraderie, and hopefully saved my legs for summer races. I finished (chip time) in 3:23 and change.

Advice I took:
Keith G had advised that I write my name somewhere on my shirt, bib, etc. so folks could cheer me on by name. Although pessimistic that the name "CONNILEE" would be a big hit, I was dumb enough to let someone write my name on my leg - you never know, right? It's not like I have an easy name like Bob or Cindy that people can see and pronounce and really shout out. No I have a name like Connilee....only TWO people the entire race even attempted even almost got it right. Oh well...if I ever run again I am going in cognito as 'Jane' or 'Fred' or something easy to say and shout! I did run with three Easter Bunnies and a Hula Dancer. Apparently the rule at Boston and some of the other big road races, especially the closer you are to the back of the pack, is to dress crazy and get encouragement to push you and your 10 pound costume to the finish line. (Perhaps those of you with lots of experience at mid or back of pack already know this but this was a completely new concept to me!!)

Chip timing:
The chip time thing is pretty cool. For those who have never experienced chip timing before (like me) and have only seen folks scribbling down bib numbers and split times (like my hubby and others at BMTR last year), chip technology is an amazing thing. The chip is strapped onto your shoe and at each checkpoint (at Boston it was each 5k, I believe), you cross over mats that sense your chip and transmit your bib number and time across cyberspace almost instantly. I think a lot of folks missed a LOT of work on Monday as they were able to give me a play by play of my entire run. :) The only frustrating part to this is that the BAA still reports your 'official' time as the one that includes the 3, 5, 10 minutes it takes you to get to the starting line once the gun goes off. That's a bummer.

Advice to give:
Advice (aside from taking the pavement and Heartbreak Hill seriously) is on pre-race and race logistics...bring a blanket, lots of water, and warm clothes to the athlete's village (you are there for 3 or 4 hours before the race and will be glad to be warm and comfortable no matter what the weather ). They provide food and water at the village (along with entertainment) but I found it hard to get hydrated enough using their little water cups. I was glad I'd brought 32 oz of water in my bag. However, I would bring more water next time - I was hydrated sufficiently for a race that starts in the morning, but this one does not start until noon and I had probably not taken in enough water by the time it started. More importantly than your comfort level pre-race of course, is to be sure you are prepared during the race. Be sure to pack race clothing for any kind of weather as it can change in the period of time from when you leave your hotel to when you are actually at the start line. The morning of this year's race was cool with an anticipated high in the 40's. The temp actually soared into the mid-50's. With the humidity making it feel even warmer, I was comfortable in a light t-shirt, shorts, and gloves that I could take on and off as needed. They provide Gatorade and water at 24 aid stations along the race route. I tend to need a lot of hydration and slowed/stopped at nearly ever station. The stations are staggered with one on each side of the road at about every mile. The first couple of stations I wasted a lot of energy crossing the road to get to the water instead of waiting to get to the station on my side of the road. The aid stations were literally ON the course, and I found it challenging to stop or slow down to slurp down the fluids without getting in the way of folks who were still running. The only official 'food' is a PowerGel stop at Mile 17. Folks watching the race bring everything from orange slices to jelly beans if you really need some refreshment but my advice is bring whatever you normally bring to energize during a race. For me that was 3 PowerGels and Ibuprofen. The leg turnover of 'flatter' land and hardness of the asphalt take some getting used to if you usually run on trails. I am glad I spent some time training on the roads and flat land before this race. If I were to run it again, I would add some tempo work or body speeds in at the end of my long runs to get more accustomed to pushing at the end.

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CAI Westland Halve Marathon - Holland - April 8, 2001

Kees G reports:
Well, here is the race report from db (dutch boy) in db&dg-land. Since it is an overseas report I thought it would be appropriate to write it in the hosting country's language, db-talk, no rule in the unwritten incline-rulebook talks about the language. Plus, who really reads these anyhow??? I'll tell you a few things: People smell different here... They have racers and runners. You can only get where the racers are by having a license... guess what, get a license (don't know how...) or be stuck behind big mammas in tights for about 10 min on the narrow roads! Oh, I forgot to tell that the sequence at the start is not determined by (predicted) time. According to the smell I had for 10 min, it seemed like the worst smelling people were all in the front at the start! This is the run to prepare for the Rotterdam marathon (which is the fastest course in the world?). Top 5 were 4 Kenyans (1:05-ish) and a db 3rd (I think he was the db in the olympic marathon but I am not sure).

CAI westland halve marathon

Start klote achter alle huisvrouwen in leggings, 30 s tot de startlijn, 5 min om eigen tempo te kunnen lopen, zeker nog 5 min om echt te kunnen lopen.

Weer: zon, regen, wind, koud, 5C

Hoogte: -20m?

Tijd: beetje teleurstellend met name door de start maar toch wel blij: 18e overall, 1:17-ish

Kan het vertalen mocht ooit iemand dit willen lezen.

(Matt C adds: now that made for some spellchecker fun:-)

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Umstead 100 - Raleigh, NC - April 7-8, 2001

Anita B reports:
Well, here is another race disaster, I mean report, for another attempted 100 miler I tried on April 7th and 8th, in Raliegh, NC. I have to say, I hope persistence pays off, because my next 100 miler,(in October) ought to be spectacular! But keeping with the report, the Umstead 100, in Raleigh was well organized, and the volunteers were great. They really seemed to care about you, and boy, did they feed you. As I sat down, working on my second plate of spaghetti and meatballs, they brought out two huge homemade cakes. Not wanting to offend the cooks, I was obligated to have some. So I was really glad to have a 100 miler to look forward to. Everything started out great, although it was quite humid. N.C. was beautiful, with all the dogwoods and redbuds blooming all around us. It was the humidity that was to later do me in, along with 92 degree heat. I have to confess, coming from the Rockies and running in high altitude maybe made me think I was a bit invincible. Boy, was I wrong. Personally, I'll take altitude over humidity anyday. Anyway, the combination of heat and humidity had an adverse affect on my stomach, and at miles 50 I was unable to keep anything down-nothing! And Carol S. of the IC club was there to witness all the fun. I'll leave out all the lovely details, but somehow I found it in me to keep going, at a pace that was later to prove to be too slow. However, I know that without Carol S. babysitting, I mean pacing me, I wouldn't have made it the eighty miles that I did go. Later I learned that the race had one of the lowest finish rates ever this year, but that only made me feel worse, because it's good to see as many happy, exhausted finishers at the end of a race as possible. On the brighter side, I made some new friends, and met some really talented, interesting, obsessive-compulsive people. Based on my limited experience, I would have to say that the Umstead 100 would be a good first time 100 miler, if the weather cooperates,(normally they said it was 45-75 degrees in April in Raliegh).

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Golden Gate Marathon - San Francisco, CA - April 7, 2001

Steve S reports:
Here is my race report for the Golden Gate Marathon which was held April 7th in the Marin Headlands at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA.

Weather: Sunny and 55F at the start, sunny 65F and really, really windy when I finished.

Elevations: the start is about 10 feet above sea level and the "ups" supposedly added up to 2,200 feet per 13.1 mile loop. High point is around 900 feet.

This was a definitely a trail run with some variety. There were only around 50 marathoners with a few hundred half-marathoners and a bunch more 7-milers. I was pleasantly surprised that they started the marathoners 5 minutes ahead of everyone else as the first two miles is a climb up a fire access road and ultimately into a single-track trail. For once I knew what it feels like to be ahead of the pack. Scenery was incredible as you can see the beach and ocean, the Golden Gate Bridge and lots of wildlife. I saw a couple of golden eagles and a wolf around mile 4. Awesome! He/she was patrolling the fields looking at us like we were mad. There are two major hills on the loop and the last 3/4 mile is right on the beach. The wind was directly in your face approaching the finish line which was definitely not appreciated.

Overall impressions: this is a small race with a very weak field (The winner came in around 3:20). Envirosports was the group putting on the race. There were 3 aid stations not including the start/finish which were equipped but not manned during the second half of the marathon. No port-o-lets (or many trees). No mile markers. As a race, it sucks. As a run, it is awesome. I think it is a good race to judge how well (or poorly) you are doing after the long winter. T-shirt is ugly, the finishing medal is okay, the race bag did not exist.

Personal crap: This was my second-ever marathon so I learned a lot more about the strategy of running one. I went too fast on the second half of the first lap and, as a result, had some major quad issues on the last hill of the day. Speeding up when it started to hurt didn't help this time so after my legs locked up, I spent five minutes convincing my quads that it was quicker to run back than crawl back. I need to learn how to pace myself better prior to the PPM or I am going to be toast by the A-frame. I think I'd also better get my ass out on Thursdays after I recover. This was my first race running with a water bottle and my first using Body Glide to eliminate chaffing. Both worked very well for me. GU continues to work well for me during training and racing.

Time: 4:16, 11th place
Halfway split: 1:49 which means 2:27 on the home half (ouch)

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Canyonlands Half Marathon - Moab, UT - March 17, 2001

Hans Z reports:
As mentioned the last time we met, I was going to run the Moab Half Marathon. It is a neat race, interesting scenery running through a canyon along the Colorado river. Terrain kind of rolling with a net loss of about 50 feet. Sometimes you get backed by the sun only to get chilled again in the shade.

I had hoped to run a pace below 8 minute miles but after mile 9 my groin muscles started to act up again so had to slow down not to aggravate it.

Ended up with a time of 1:47:01, which is a 8:10 minute mile pace, finishing 8th in my age group out of 27. Great run, I do recommend it as a change of pace and scenery.

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Napa Valley Marathon - California - March 4, 2001

Craig H reports:
Hmmm...In a word...WET! Lots of great things about this run, but the weather this Sunday was not one of them. Out of 24 marathons...the worst weather by far. It rained the entire way, but at least we had a 20 mile an hour headwind bearing down on us most of the way. Oh...and we had the cold going for us too. It started off great...that is to say the pasta dinner the night before. It was the BEST pre-race pasta event I ever experienced. Great (almost gourmet) eats along with wine (of course) and some really great speakers that night. (Dick Beardsley, Joe Henderson, and some English guy who ran a sub 3:00 marathon on only his second attempt. At age 61! And he sang a little Pavarotti for us.) Rich Benyo (race director) did a great job at putting it all together.

The course was decent, but I swear they must pick and chose their data points when they create their elevation chart, because it sure feels like I ran a lot of hills that I didn’t see on their chart. I was anxious to see how I’d run since my PR attempt was just 14 days prior. However a knee twitch at mile 3 turned into a show-stopper by mile 20. I had two choices...DNF or go over 4 hours. I chose the lesser of two blemishes and did my best Quasimoto impression and dragged my right leg for the last six miles to turn in a very sad 4:11. But I’m beginning to cope with it now. Three down...nine to go. With CA, TX, and FL already behind me, I thinking I’m on track to win a majority in the electoral college if nothing else. Boston next month and a six week break! Details below.

Entry Fee - $60
Course - Net 300 foot drop, but fairly hilly along the way. Very scenic and probably even more so with a little sunshine.
Goodie Bag - Average contents, but the bag itself was pretty hi-speed.
Expo - Not held this year due to Marriott renovations.
Medal - Sorta gay. (but given it’s locale...sorta expected??)
T-Shirt - Sorta like the medal. But long-sleeve gay.
Crowds - A rare sight, but given the weather, anyone who should up along the way was much appreciated. Great volunteers.
Start temp - Cold, wet and windy. But then it got worse. :)
Overall impression - Very well organized. Water is only every 2.5 miles. Two GU stops. Good event.

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L.A. Marathon - L.A., CA - March 4, 2001

Carol S reports:
Well, I missed running with you guys this past Sunday. But I made the most of it as I was in L.A. for the XVI L.A. Marathon on Sunday 3/04/01. So, I took advantage of the opportunity and participated in the Marathon, as it was certainly one way to get my long run in for the weekend. I finished in 4:45, and was happy about it as this really was a ‘training’ run for me. Here’s my “official” splits:

1:02:18    2:16:01    3:23:26
Here’s the stats on my run, based on the number of finishers.
Age Group (45-49) = place 88/566, top ~15%.
Overall Female = place 1243/5860, top 21%.
Overall Finishers (men and women) = place 5696/15026, top 35%.

Some notables:

  1. This was my first and only full flatland marathon. I have never had the desire to run one of these ‘types’ of marathons as they are predictably in BIG cities and run on PAVEMENT, both of which are HUGE disincentives to a legitimate trail runner.
  2. Since I did finally do one of these types of runs, I think I picked a good one. In addition to being one of the premier Marathons in the USA, it was very well organized, supported and executed. The people of L.A. were fantastic as they poured out to cheer all the competitors on, all along the course. It was certainly a cultural extravaganza!!
  3. It was the 16th running of the L.A. Marathon, which is exactly the same number of years that I have been running.
  4. There were no unpaved trails to run on...but I did take advantage of a stretch of green earth and ran on the grass for a while.
  5. We ran a long ways down Hollywood Blvd., so I also took advantage of that opportunity and ran on the sidewalk for a while, over the Hollywood Stars. Along with Elvis Presley and Bing Crosby’s ‘Stars’ I saw the one for my all-time favorite comedian - Red Skelton ! I was charged !!
  6. I have proved that running for an extended period on PAVEMENT is VERY BAD for the body. I was not particularly tired at the end of the marathon, but I am certain that I was in more pain than when I finished the Rocky Racoon Trail 100 a month ago !!
Happy trails from now on...

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Old Pueblo 50 - Tucson, AZ - March 3, 2001

Gordon N reports:
On Saturday March 3, I ran the Old Pueblo 50 mile trail run in the Santa Rita mountains south of Tucson, Arizona. This is a run that I have a lot of history with, having run it 5 times previously and race directed it twice. Previously it was done in conjunction with an endurance horse race, and the horse folks took care of getting permission for using the trails, insurance, staging areas, and award catering. But 4 years ago the ride was cancelled.

Duane Arter decided to do the work of reviving the race this year and with he and his wife Julie’s considerable trail running experience they did an excellent job. The latest incarnation of the Old Pueblo 50 is in many ways a better course for runners than the old route. Trails are better marked, runners aid stations more accessible and better stocked. The course was about 1/3 dirt roads that could be traveled in a passenger car, 1/3 primitive jeep trails and 1/3 foot trail. Elevations ranged from 4000 to 5800 feet with at least 7000 feet of total climb. It was a friendly sized race with 45 starters. Temperatures were in the 40’s and 50’s all day with lots of sunshine. For IC’ers this is an excellent winter getaway.

As far as myself I almost had one of the best runs of my running career. I was third place male at the last aid station having led for a quarter mile or so around mile 35. Knowing that I wasn’t far back and knowing I could break 10 hours on a reasonably difficult course I started cranking it up. I passed a guy who was walking and looking wiped out at what I estimated was mile 49. Thinking I was in second I heard music playing and figured that must be nearing the finish so I really started cranking. I looked up and to my shock and dismay I found myself running back into the 40 mile aid station. Pulling out my map I realized immediately what I had done. Between miles 47 and 48 there was a spot where the course passed within 300 yards of the course at 37 miles or so. I had missed a turn and found myself following the flags over a section of course that I had run more that two hours earlier. From the 40 mile aid station I was able to shortcut back to the 46 mile mark and get back on course. The stretch that I thought was my finishing kick took some out of me, not to mention the mental let down, so it took a bit before I could get motivated to run again. With a 4 mile or so detour I finally finished 16th overall in 11:06. Don’t get me wrong, the course was well marked and I had to suffer the embarrassment of running the farthest off course of any runner in the field.

The race this year has the distinction of being the first open ultra that I am aware of that not only was won by a woman but second and third place also went to women. Although I said that I was third male when I got off course, I had been seventh overall. There were no really strong male runners in the field but there were several women that had won major 100 mile and other ultra trail runs and the men never stood a chance. Pam Reed, a previous winner of several 100’s was the winner in 8:58.

If anyone is interested in running this race I will be returning next year, hopefully to find out how fast I can run if I stay on course.

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Mt. Taylor Quadrathlon - Grants, NM - February 18, 2001

Jim L reports:
I spent this weekend down in Grants New Mexico, participating in the Mt Taylor Quadrathlon. I am pretty sure I saw Matt coming in on some skis with snowshoes on his back during the viewing of the orientation video. Being a low key triathlete Ii went to Grants just to experience the quadrathlon only having x-country skied once before, and snowshoeing a couple times, the focus was definitely on having fun. The mountain was beautiful, covered in snow for the first time in a couple years, and sun was shining bright. The race started on the bike at a swift clip, the first 8 or 9 miles of the 13 mile leg flew by but then the hills, yikes, the bike portion gained 1800 feet with 2/3 of it in the last few miles. As a flatlander from flat San Antonio, anything greater than a speed bump poses a problem and then without oxygen, help! After grinding out the last few miles, the 2nd leg starts, a 5 mile trail run similar to what we see every Sunday, only this group of folks had their game faces on, not the typical smiles you might encounter on Waldo loop, the run was gravel early and then became packed snow as it climbed 1800 feet also. The 3rd leg was x-country skiing (hiking). I found out what ‘skins’ were, thank goodness, my only fear on the skis was that I would inflict great harm on another competitor accidentally, I think the course was 2 miles and gained 1200 feet, carrying snowshoes with you. The last leg to the summit was the snowshoe, only 1 mile and up 500 feet, the first .9 mile was relatively flat and then the last .1 mile is were the 500 foot ascent showed up or so it felt. When I reached the summit, I had always heard that people didn’t take enough time to look around and take the view in, so with a desire to take it all in and to breathe a bit I stopped and looked from the top of Mt Taylor. A sign was sitting right there stating 11,301 feet, for all of you high altitude types and 14’er kings and queens, this is probably a walk in the park but for me I was elated or hypoxic, maybe both. Well the race was only half complete, time to snowshoe down, gravity tends to reward a 200 lb body going downhill, much like it punishes the same going up. Getting back to the skis was easy, getting down on the skis was scary! Again not wanting to damage fellow skiers, my snowplowing took up the whole trail and every time someone wanted to pass I was down for the count! Well no bones broke on me or by me so I reached my running shoes intact — just a bit wet from the packed snow melting into my shirt and pants. The run down was easy, relatively speaking, just like coming down Barr Trail only much more mud and slush from the sun warming it all day, and finally, the downhill bike sitting on my backside the rest of the way. What a relief to finally reach the finish line. I had an absolute blast, what a challenge. The volunteers and race committee were great and the people of Grants were really hospitable. I hope to go back next year, hopefully between now and then, some of you can assist me with some x-country ski skills. I think the altitude issue and the trail running will come in time. I know I would have been dead on the mountain if not for the Sunday runs with the club to help (special thanks to Mike F). It would be great to get more folks from the club to participate next year, they have solo, pair, and team entries. With the caliber of athletes I see every Sunday at SSP and the group I saw in Grants, no doubt that the club would do really well down there. Thanks and I thought about you folks this morning as I drove up the interstate.

ps- Lesson learned, I totally forgot about sunblock and my face got sunburned, don’t forget that sunblock!!!!

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Austin Motorola Marathon - Austin, TX - February 18, 2001

Craig H reports:
OK...I’ll try not to let my failed PR attempt taint my race report. Overall impression of the sucked! (oops...It’s so hard to maintain your objectivity at times.) Actually I’m sure there are those that ran a great time on the course. (I just didn’t meet any of them.) It is supposed to be a very fast course. And had I run within my means I think I could have run a 3:05. A sub 3:00 was just not in the cards for me on race day. Ended up with a 3:15. The race got high marks in organization and there were water stops every mile. And two GU stops if you got there early enough.

Best advice on where to stay...the Marriott or one of several hotels located right at the start line on the north side of town. Several hotels share the parking lot where the race begins. You’ll avoid some nasty parking headaches and the porta john lines. Shuttle buses bring you right home. If the race doesn’t please you, at least the great Mexican food should. So...two down...10 to go. Just a 14 day break before Napa Valley. Particulars below.


Entry Fee - $50
Course - Pretty fast course but lots of right angles. It was about a 300 foot drop with a few small uphills along the way. Absolutely nothing scenic about the course. Pretty blah.
Goodie Bag - Average.
Expo - Nothing special. Except for the Pacifico Marathon booth. A high-priced call girl seemed to be advertising for sex, beer, and perhaps a long run thrown in.
T-Shirt - I guess Motorola thought they were pretty neat... they gave you two of them. One at check-in and one at the finish line. Sorta weird.
Medal - Above average. (10th anniversary though)
Crowds - On par with Disney - lame. But at least they steered clear of the piped-in (taped) clapping. No bands or anything.
George Dubbya sightings - Zero
Elvis sightings - One (he finished about 4:00)
Start temp - Cold but the perfect type cold. Started warming quickly by 0900. Race start at 0700.
Overall impression - Lots of folks seem to PR there. Just don’t plan on running with any Runner’s World pace guys who have never heard of negative splits. Good event.

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USATF Cross-country National Championships - Vancouver, WA - February 17, 2001

Steve B reports:
Ran in the USATF Cross-country National Championships in Vancouver, WA last weekend. Vancouver, WA is just across the Columbia River from Portland, OR. They held the US Armed Forces XC Championships in conjunction with Nationals. No, the military didn’t get anyone on the National team!! The best we could muster was 17th in the Men’s 4K, 25th in the Men’s 12K, and my 11th place finish in the Master’s 10K. Our Air Force team drubbed the other services though.

This was for a XC course. Grass, with some muddy sections churned up from the predictable drippy conditions in the Pacific Northwest, the course consisted of a 2K loop on the Fort Vancouver National Historical Site. Beginning with a long gradual downhill, it then looped back with two medium hills on the return. A couple of hairpin turns rounded out the , but I estimated that the effect would only increase one’s 10K time from the roads by a minute or so.

I ran the 4K open as my contribution to the Air Force effort. When Eric Mack, our star athlete who had the third fastest marathon time for an American last year (2:12), and who is ranked third in the nation by the USATF, couldn’t manage to get back here from Saudi Arabia (was he bombing Sadam??), I had the choice of either running the “short course” or the “long course.” On my own I had signed up for the Master’s 10K competition which took place an hour after the 4K short course on Saturday. The 12K was on Sunday. I decided to just go ahead and run the 4K so I could do my best performance for the Air Force team. Ain’t I unselfish?!

The 4K race was hard for me. I am just not used to races these days. As you know only five weeks ago I ran a 50-miler. Though the first mile went by for me in 4:56, most of the field had left me in the dust! When I checked my final time (13:36) it was really not much faster than the pace I ran the 10K an hour later! It did feel much harder though. For the Air Force, Academy graduate Captain Nick McFalls won the Armed Services competition though he was 17th overall in 11:34. He has a lot of talent and with some good training I see him eventually running 13:20 for 5K.

Following the Open 4K came the women’s 8K. Our Air Force team took second and third in the Armed Forces competition with two local Colorado Springs women: Captain Brenda Schrank, assistant cross-country coach at the Academy in second, while Captain Heidi McKenna (Shriever AFB), winner of the Fall XC series here in the Springs last year, was two seconds behind Brenda in third.

Meanwhile, I continued rehydrating and keeping in motion (treat the 4K like interval training) to prepare for my next effort—the Master’s 10K.

When the gun went off I immediately decided I much preferred this race to the 4K open. I found myself gliding easily into first place briefly after the first 100 yards! No one madly sprinting for advantage. This was a race against my peers—the “old guys.” About five or so with the 40 age brand tacked to the rear of their singlets forged ahead, while one with 45 (my age group) slipped in front of me. I latched on and enjoyed the welcome wind break he provided.

The second lap saw us in the same position. An Army friend cheering from the sidelines advised me to just rest behind him. I felt most comfortable gliding down the downhill stretch. By the third lap I began to notice more with the 45 affixed to their back. One tall guy broke out. I tried to follow, but managed to track him only until about halfway into the fourth lap. I felt flat and he easily opened a gap. More with the 45 age group began hovering around me like buzzards, picking me clean then moving on. We had been a pack of about six in the 45-49 age group, now we began to string out. By the end of the race I still could have thrown a stone and struck the first place finisher in the 45-49 age group—he was about 35 seconds in front of me. Regardless, I wound up sixth 45-49 and 11th overall in 35:27.

Not wanting to make excuses, I could have done better. If this were to have been a goal race I would not have run a 50-miler five weeks prior, nor would I have run a marathon three weeks after that!!!(two weeks before the XC competition). I have been struggling with a knee injury following the 50-miler which limited my training as well. I am sure that if I had not run the 4K race an hour prior and if I had not also run the ultra and the marathon I could have run under 34 minutes and would likely have finished third or better and first 45-49. Would’a, Could’a, Should’a. I know! No Excuses!!

Going into Sunday’s competition our Air Force team held a slim 28 second advantage over the Marines, and a three minute advantage over the Army. The Navy was out of contention ten minutes back. Fortunately, for the 12K we had a formidable group. Though the Navy had the first place military finisher the Air Force took the next three places, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, as well as 8th! We had five of our finishers beating all the Marine Corps finishers but one, and our fifth place was only four seconds behind the first Marine! Like I said we them. Mark Cucuzzella, top five finisher in the Pikes Peak Ascent for the last few years, now living in Denver and in the AF Reserves, was third military.

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“Mardi Gras” Marathon - New Orleans, LA - February 4, 2001

Steve B reports:
Just got back from New Orleans and the “Mardi Gras” Marathon. This was marathon number 39 and my 23rd state. (I also have two Can. provinces). Just an “average” marathon for me. I ran 2:44 and placed 10th overall. They put an asterix by my name though for “under USATF age-group guidelines.” I interpreted that to mean I was pretty fast for an old guy. The only other one in the race to have the asterix was the winner, age 41. He ran 2:32.

The weekend before when we ran Barr Trail my knee started hurting again (injury started from 50-mile race three weeks ago), so I took the rest of the week off before running the marathon yesterday. Around mile 12 it started to hurt slightly, but went away in just a few minutes. Then at mile 25 it came back with a vengeance. I kept going since I was almost done anyway. Now I am hobbling. I’ll be taking a couple of days off, so hopefully I’ll be out Sunday to run with the club.

The course was flat as a pancake and below sea-level. (New Orleans is below sea level. They pump the rain water out through an elaborate system of pipes and canals.) Pretty nice race and of course New Orleans is always fun. Recommended for marathoners looking for a fun run.

Laila H reports:
Here goes my little story about the New Orleans Marathon, ran on February 4th, 2001:

I ran my last race, which was a 50 miler, in Santa Catalina Island on January 13. Steve and I had signed up for another marathon many months ahead to be happening on February 4th, only 3 weeks after the 50 miler! This time, we were going to New Orleans, Louisiana. I, myself, had not been to Louisiana before. If there is a place to be called “sin city” this was the place. New Orleans is a city that is not shy to show the innermost "sinful" thoughts and put them out in the open for everyone to see & experience. But with all of this, we also had the opportunity to experience some of the history of Louisiana. I truly enjoyed the people, the history, the museums, the music (jazz & blues), the food, the bands that you find in every corner; also, we were able to experience the excitement of the Mardi Grass Festival that was coming up to full bloom the day after we left. We also went to several book stores, and even the book stores were very fun to visit, books stacked everywhere from corner to corner... Anyway, my marathon sucked (3:31), I had been feeling injuries coming up since November, which became exacerbated on my 50 miler race. New Orleans Marathon is an easy course, pretty flat, but when my body is injured, it is not a piece of cake. I decided that I was going to run a slow marathon... Maybe this is where my problem resides, giving up too soon before I even start; anyway, by half marathon time, I felt I probably should try to go a little bit faster. By then, I think I had been running too slow to make much of a difference on my final time. I did end up with a negative split (what a surprise!). I passed tons of people on the second half and only one man and one woman passed me at the 26 mile mark (this hurt); but again, I will be making smarter decisions this year on the rest of my races. I will be coming back to running again after being off for 5 weeks (healing) and ready to run with the club with a new set of running goals.

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Rocky Raccoon 100 - Huntsville State Park, TX - February 3-4, 2001

David W reports:
The Rocky Raccoon 100 mile trail race was being hosted in Huntsville State Park, TX. This was a 20.2 mile loop course over a combination of jeep trails and pine needle covered trails rambling over rolling hills. The running conditions were excellent, at the start it was about 38-40 degrees and midday about 60 degrees with no precipitation. Total elevation gain/loss for this run was 5375'. This was an excellent confidence builder for me.

Next year it is moving to Bandera, TX, 48 miles northwest of San Antonio. I am told that this will be a more difficult area to run in compared to Huntsville. The race director has added an extra two hours to the cut-off. This will be a loop course also.

I got to Texas and camped out under the stars at the start of the race. Got up, had breakfast and I took my time in getting to the start of the race, maybe a little too much time. I got to the start of the race with just enough time to drop off my dropbag, take off my wind pants and 15 sec till the start. The race started at 0600hr and all I had in my mind at the time was just to finish the race, with a cutoff of 30 hrs. My secondary goal was, depending on how I was running, to finish under 24, first things first. I was feeling pretty good at the start and I was trying very hard not start out too fast this time. As I got into the first aid station I had a pretty good feeling about the race. About 2/3 way thru the first loop I figured I was running too slow so I picked it up. I thought that I would be able to make up time later on in the race and I had time, I ran the first loop in about 3:45 hrs which was a little slower than I had wanted but that is ok. Cut-off for the first loop was 5hrs. The later portion of the first lap and beginning was time trying to get settled into my pace. Feeling fairly good about the race because I spent a major part of my time holding back, I didn’t want to die. Still learning how to set my pace I guess. After completing the first two laps, knew that I would be able to complete 3 loops before dark, which according to some who ran last years run, was imperative. Loops 2 & 3 I averaged about 3:35 loops and figured that loops 4 and 5 would be slower. Runners from last years advised taking extra clothing with you when starting loop 4, as the temperature would dropoff quite quickly. Well, I guess I was just banking on what the weather was like the night before, since I had camped out I didn’t actually feel the temp really drop off till late in the evening 10ish (woke up enough to zip up the bag). I figured I could make it to my second drop bag to pick up my wind breaker and some light gloves. I figured as long as I was running that would be enough. Loop 4 did go slower than the other three but not quite as slow as I had thought, 4:00 hrs. As I started loop 5, I was starting to feel the past 80 miles but I was happy, as I could walk the last loop still make it in well under 30hrs. It was around the 90 mile mark going down a slight hill that my left knee started to let me know that it was there. With 7.5ish miles to go, I sat in #3 aid station for a little bit and saw Carol S going by. “Beware of the Chair” my brain was telling me and it is only 7.5 miles walk if you have to but go. I ended up jogging the uphills and flat but walked the down hills as that seemed to be my “Achilles heel.” I finished the race with a time of 22:17:45, for a 100 miler this is a PR. This is my third 100 miler and first for 2001, more to come.

Carol S reports:
Rocky Raccoon Trail 100 - The run was the weekend of 2/03 – 2/04/01. I have been running and training for the Rocky Raccoon Trail 100, since October. This was my first 100-miler to complete. My time was 29:06, against a 30-hour time limit. This course was fairly easy, except for the ROOTS, which were prevalent over most of the course, and often hidden by fallen leaves. This made for some technical trail running. It was especially challenging at night ! Also, David W. was there and finished with even MORE time to spare !

This course consisted of running 5, 20+ mile loops. Here’s a summary for each loop.

Loop1 - Felt like a warm-up loop, pretty easy.

Loop 2 - Still felt pretty good. Halfway through the loop, I started having lower GI problems, and had to make a few pit stops

Loop 3 - Still feeling ok, but starting to feel tired and sore. The lower GI issue persisted…more pit stops. By the end of loop 3, the problem was finally under control

Loop 4 - This was the toughest loop, and took the longest to complete. I picked up my pacer, Anita B. (from the IC), and off we went. The roots were difficult to navigate at this point, in the dark (again), so it was slow going on the trail. My tummy was at the threshold of getting upset. I just started taking a lot of very deep breaths, and walked more often. My tummy finally settled down. I never did get sick, for which I was very thankful. Then the blister came up on one of my toes, at about mile 75. This was a blister under a callus. You may know how painful that is. I stopped to see if I could work on the toe to relieve the pressure, but it was not possible. So, I put my shoe back on and we started down the trail. I prayed that God would either take the pain away, or help me endure it. Within about 15 minutes, the pain completely subsided. Again, I was very thankful.

Loop 5 - Picked up my Dad as pacer on this last loop. It was a struggle to get to AID #1, but good to have Dad there, as he was a big source of encouragement. The rest of the loop, I spent moving as fast as I could. I was able to jog a good bit, but had to take frequent walking breaks. Finished with time to spare...hallelujah !

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Colorado FROG Backyard Challenge - January 14, 2001

Todd M reports:
This was an adventure race designed to practice the required disciplines for upcoming winter adventure races. It was held in and around Cheyenne Canyon. Coed teams of 3 or 4 people competed and the disciplines included running/trekking, rappelling, mountain biking, orienteering and a special skills test. Teams had to finish together.

The first loop included a trail run with a rappel in the middle followed by more running back to the transition area. I think this loop took us about an hour and a half.

The second loop was a mountain bike loop with check points along the way that we had to find from our map and directions. In the middle of this loop there was an orienteering loop where we left the bikes and continued on foot through Bear Creek park searching for the orienteering check points. This became a mad dash running through the bushes and along the trails, frantically looking for the check points and checking our map continuously. Following the orienteering leg, a special skills (written) test was given before we once again got on the mountain bikes.

The second part of this mountain bike leg took us up onto Gold Camp road where we once again left the bikes behind for a scramble up the mountain to our second rappel. This rappel was on very crumbly rock with some overhanging exposure.

The final leg of the race was a scramble back down to the bikes and a ride down the Chutes back to the start/finish area. This was a tough 7+ hour race that was great practice for some of the longer races we have planned for this year. If anyone is interested in future races like this one, the website is a good place to check out.

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20th annual Avalon (Catalina Island) 50-mile Run - January 13, 2001

Steve B reports:
Fifteen minutes into the boat ride to Catalina Island on January 11th, I began to feel I might get sick. Moments later it was all I could do to lurch across the swaying transport to the Head. The boat ride from the California coast near LA to Santa Catalina Island is a mere 26 miles and takes only 65 minutes to complete, but this evening of January 11th we had to contend with the huge swells left by a major storm. After waiting for over an hour at the San Pedro pier we were summarily transported to the Long Beach pier in order to consolidate all passengers onto one boat, “for safety reasons.” Not long after I had made my way back to our table, my girlfriend Laila had also surrendered to nausea and the dreaded seasickness. The rest of our boat ride was utter misery. As if running a bad marathon I kept checking my watch for time elapsed to monitor when we would again get our land legs.

Fortunately we didn’t have to race until Saturday. Friday we slept in very late before going on a guided tour of the city of Avalon — the only real “town” on the island. Avalon and Catalina Island in its present state of development is a testimony to William Wrigley, founder of Wrigley’s Gum. Wrigley bought the entire island in 1919 and began vigorously to develop it, including resort hotels, large casino, and even mining operations. Fortunately, Wrigley’s heirs had the foresight to donate 88% of the island to the Nature Conservancy in 1974, so most of the island will remain unspoiled for future generations. On Saturday we would run to the small community of Two Harbors, approximately 25 miles away on the other side of the island.

Avalon in summer is a cheesy tourist trap with every spare hotel room booked months in advance. The only way to fit an extra 200 runners into the town is to hold the race in January. The town seemed to have a sense of community this time of year... apparently we “tourists” were few enough in number that we fit into the fabric of life in town. Still I did feel more than one lingering stare. The temperature was a reasonable 50 degrees or so... another plus for a road race at this time of the year.

What sort of animal voluntarily submits their self to a 50-mile run? This was not your crowd of typical runners. Not even typical marathoners. These people had graduated to the ultimate “sick” level of running — ultramarathoning. Before race start at 0500 on Saturday there was no one nervously jogging in front of the start line. No one even vigorously stretching. Just a lot of happy people talking, joking around and waiting for the signal for a looonnngg run.

To round the distance to an even fifty miles we began by running a little out and back along the harbor. Heading west back through downtown Avalon (pop. 2000) we passed through the Botanical Gardens and around the Wrigley Memorial (originally a mausoleum for Wm Wrigley until his wife presumably appalled by the throngs of tourists tramping his grave moved him to a more suitable graveyard on the mainland. As our tour guide had advised us on the day before: “Being dead he probably didn’t care one way or the other.”). We were leaving Avalon and entering “wild” Catalina — now climbing steeply up a trail to the ridge high above town. I had fallen in with the leaders in the race — satisfied with their pace and taking advantage of their use of a flashlight.

A couple of miles into the race and before we had even left town a runner came up behind and asked one of the guys I was running with, “Aren’t you Peter Park the fellow who won this race two years ago in 6:08?” When he said yes I then remarked that he must have been disappointed to have missed the course record by only three minutes. He responded that he had missed it by a minute and a half. I didn’t reply though I was quite certain the course record was 6:05. His lack of precision would later cost him another chance at the record when he eased off at the end of the race thinking he had the record — only to miss it by 36 seconds this time... His friend Mike Swan, who had placed 2nd behind him in 1999, rounded out our “lead pack.” We pushed steadily up the hill.

Although I have run 38 marathons, this was my first experience running a race longer than 26.2 miles. I wasn’t sure if I should carry water or count on the aid stations. Laila strongly urged me to carry a camel pack, but I had my doubts. After all, the elite runners I had seen portrayed in Ultrarunning magazine carried nothing extra at all! When we met with some of Laila’s friends the night before the race, one of them, Bob Gracy, told me “that is extra weight, you should be able to get what you need from the aid stations.” Since this confirmed my intuition I compromised with Laila’s well-intentioned urging and carried a camel pack to the 7-mile point, where I dropped it along with my long sleeve shirt — at which point I was well hydrated and warm.

We reached the first official split time at the aid station located at the 12.6-mile mark in a comfortable 1:22. No one else was in sight. Indeed, though we didn’t know it at the time we three had opened a seventeen-minute gap on our nearest rival at this early stage. This would narrow as we eased off the pace over the next stretch.

When racing a marathon you approach an aid station in a hurry — grabbing cups from the outstretched hands of the volunteers, trying not to break stride. The stations, spaced one to two miles apart, allow you to miss a drink since you can always get another a mile or so down the road. In an ultramarathon with aid stations rarely closer than five miles apart and sometimes spaced by as much as seven or eight miles you home in as you would to a smorgasbord. The volunteers neatly arrange cups of defizzed cola, Exceed electrolyte replacement, and water. Bananas cut into thirds, orange slices, Gumi-bears, cookies, potato chips, pieces of baked potato with salt on the side, and M & M’s round out the selection. You pull up to a stop, guzzle fluids, eat for a minute or more, then off you go again. Let’s face it. When racing for 50 miles seconds just don’t matter...

Over the next seven mostly downhill miles we took turns making “pit stops” in answer to early hydration efforts, each time followed by a little fartlek burst to rejoin the “pack.” As the sun began rising in the sky, thoughts of my drop bag at Little Harbor with a spare sun visor rose to the fore.

The infamous “Wacko Café” at Little Harbor located at about the 20-mile point was the next aid stop. We reached it in 2:19. Several older “wacky” women greeted us rather raucously, “How’s your day going?” “Let us take your picture,” “Don’t be so serious! You’re never going to finish like that!” To get away from the “noise” I quickly downed only one cup of Exceed and dashed off again, instantly opening a 50-yard lead on Peter and Mike.

Having descended to sea level we now had to go up to 1500' elevation once again on our way to the turn around point at the “Isthmus,” where the idyllic settlement of Two Harbors (pop. 140) awaited our arrival. “Slow and strong” I intoned internally as I steadily plodded up the dirt road. In the words of Matt Carpenter, “Sell your soul to the cadence.” Glancing occasionally over my shoulder I saw that Peter was closing the gap, while Mike dropped back. Soon I heard Peter’s footsteps and he pulled alongside. “That’s hard work closing the gap isn’t it?” I offered, remembering the two occasions I had closed the gap on Mike and him after early pit stops. Peter, a fitness trainer who owns his own gym, had just started back up running again after a 12-week hiatus due to a pelvic stress fracture. The rest must have done him good.

Two Harbors lies literally between two harbors in a narrow isthmus on the island. The island extends a few miles even further north from there, but that segment is left to the 100K race in February. We would be turning around here, 26.1 miles into the race. The non-commercial fishing village was a beautiful site lying below us as we wound down the road from on high. We reached it in 3:09. Not bad for the first of back-to-back marathons. Actually 3:09 was the time I clicked on my watch as we broke away after gorging ourselves at the “smorgasbord.”

We climbed steadily, now passing our competitors. At first they were few and far between, but as we climbed higher they became more dense. Peter offered that he didn’t remember this section from his run two years prior. When we reached the apex he said to me, “nice job.” I remarked in turn, “I won’t forget that effort.” We glided down with gravity on our side, destination: the Wacko Café for the second time... this time at the 32 mile point. I hadn’t seen Laila yet though. Fortunately just before we pulled into the “Wacko,” Laila and her friend Mike Rogan came cruising by. Laila later reached the “isthmus” in 5:00... Since she wound up running the 50-mile distance in 9:08 this turned out to be a huge “negative split,” meaning that she really should have started off faster. We reached “Wacko” part deux around the 4 hour point. I snatched my sun visor, grabbed a power bar from my bag and started on up just ahead of Peter. He closed the gap readily and as we set into the hill, he started to move ahead. I just could not push off, now more than four hours into the race. Striving to maintain contact I tried to keep pace.

Peter passed out of view just over a crest in the road. With eyes focused on the next ridge I strove ever upward. There was a problem with my elevated vision and upwardly striving objective... I missed the unobvious left turn onto a lesser dirt road. I continued up and over a cattle guard — not to worry... we had run over cattle guards earlier in the race. I was still on the main road, but over the crest the road branched — no markings?? This was troublesome. Nevertheless this was a main road so I continued on... now losing elevation... headed down to sealevel... I could see well ahead, but a portion was hidden by trees... that must be where Peter was. I kept my eyes pealed for a sight of him ahead, but as I reached the trees he was not in sight... Not seeing his footprints was very worrisome. Still I continued since this was obviously the “main road.” Soon I was at sea level again. Now the road was not so great. It wanted to go inland along a creek, but now it was washed out — a single track was all there was. I remembered Peter telling me the course deteriorated into single track trail with some real “grinders” later on. It didn’t take long though to see that this simply was not the way!! I had to turn around. (This was the main road to the interior before it got washed out by an El Nino Storm of 1998) Glancing at my watch I noted the time. 16 minutes later I found where I had missed the turn. Based on that I estimated that I had lost 30 minutes and about four miles to the error...

Very discouraged, I plodded onward, increasingly desperate for the next aid station. When I reached it I lingered long... devouring the delectables. The following stretch was interminable... flat and unending. It passed by a ranch... no one was in sight... I must be the last man on earth. Long time later the final aid station at the foot of the infamous “Pumphouse Hill” came into sight. I stopped, ate and drank my fill, then plopped into a chair and took a break for about five minutes. My race was over — what the heck!! I had no idea what place I was in, I was the last man on earth, lost in the barrens! Might as well get it over with... I started up Pumphouse hill — walking the first 15-20 steps before easing into a run. As I neared the crest of this 5/8 mile hill I glanced back and saw someone! Now I would have to maintain concentration — I wasn’t going to give up another place!

After the hill the course regains the paved road from the airport. Mostly flat for a couple of miles, it then begins a sharp three-mile descent into Avalon. The ghost behind kept me honest. Maintain form, keep fluid, I intoned... It was pretty easy to just flow downhill, to let gravity do the work. Still, it was a lot of elevation to lose. Moving into the town, now to sea level, running the three flat blocks, then crossing the finish line of this 50-mile race — a very welcome finish line indeed!!

Even though I spotted the field four miles and half an hour I still finished seventh overall and third masters... Without my egregious error I would most certainly have finished second and <who knows> I may have won and set the course record!! I will return next year. This will be my goal — a course record. I am euphoric after running a 50!! mile race!! Unbelievable. I think I am an ultramarathoner!

Laila H reports:
I have run 2 other ultramarathons before, but Santa Carolina Island 50 miler was one of my most teachable experiences. Last year, Steve and I ran 9 marathons and in between a bunch of smaller trail races, half marathons and some mountain climbing. After running my last marathon of the year (Atlanta Marathon on Thanksgiving Day), I was burned out. I only ran Waldo Canyon/Ute Trail twice (one I did great {2.23hrs.} and the other I ran awfully {2.53hr.}), climbed two winter mountains, one 3 hour run and a 1.5 hour run a week before the 50 miler. I thought I was out of shape... so, I decided to go very slow for the first 26.1 miles (5 hours) and then speed up for the second part. I ended up feeling great and finished in 9:08 hours! I could not believe the huge negative split I made. This taught me to trust more in my level of fitness and plan better for my races, instead of giving into my fears. Next year when we go back (Steve will try to win the race), I will be shooting for an 8:30. I finished 9th overall (women), but I will be able to place closer to third or better with my new goal, depending on who runs.

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Walt Disney World Marathon, FL - January 7, 2001

Craig H reports:
OK... Matt says I don’t earn my “R” until my trip report is filed so... One down and eleven to go for this year. This year’s first marathon was in Florida, but the temps sure felt like Colorado. This was a long slow training run for Austin in February. (3:38: Considering all the times we stopped for photo ops with Mickey, Goofy, etc. and pit stops along the way, I’m very pleased with my time.)

Walt Disney World Marathon wrap-up
Entry Fee - $70
Course - Pretty lame - 30 minutes worth of highlights on the Disney grounds, the rest of course was along Disney highways and service roads. Basically flat except for the highway overpasses.
Goodie Bag - Completely goodie-less
Expo - Nothing special
T-Shirt - Lame!
Medal - I have to admit... pretty neat.
Crowds - What crowds?? They had piped in (taped) clapping at several points. Never saw that before. Weak.
Cinderella - Babe
Snow White - Babe
Start temp - COLD... no wait... BUTT COLD! Freakish weather for FL. Could still see your breath from the cold at 20 miles. Race start at 0600.
Overall impression - Lots of Disney hype to get you to the race, but not so much hype once you’re there. The big mouse is just out to make a buck. Many more marathons to put ahead of this one on your list.

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Swift Skedaddle Snowshoe 10K & 3K , Copper Mountain, CO - January 7, 2001

Doug L reports:
IC members know that the distance of a trail race often is not a good indicator of difficulty; the same is true in snowshoe races. The fact that the winning time was just under one hour tells you this was not a fast course, no matter the mode of propulsion. Then there is the issue of what really was the race distance. I am not sure how one measures a single-track course through deep snow that twists and turns, rises and falls through the forest. According to Danelle (race director) the 10K was probably closer to 9K and the 3K may have been over 4K. Additionally there is no way to add distance for the extra effort required when one steps off the “trail” and flounders and falls in the really deep powder. So I am putting 10K in my logbook.

The event itself was great. Yes, the course was really tough, but it was fun! There were about 100 runners (guess that would be shoers). Given the narrow single-track course, hockey rules were employed for passing; I saw some checks that would make Adam Foote proud ;-) Seriously, passing was not a problem, sooner or later someone would take a “bad” step, get stuck in the powder and let others go around them. There were several places where the best way to get from point A to point B was sliding on your butt, it was better than Elitches! It was a beautiful, sunny day but that did not stop the hands and feet from getting cold after awhile. The post race awards included drawings for lots of stuff, including a pair of Tubbs Snowshoes.

The next Swift Skedaddle Snowshoe race is February 18, in Frisco. There are other snowshoe races most every weekend. PPRR recently added a calendar of snowshoe events to their web page – check it out and go do some unique, fun cross training.

happy TRAILS

(be they dirt or snow)

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Turquoise Lake 20 mile Snowshoe Run, Leadville, CO - January 6, 2001

Todd M reports:
This was my second time on snowshoes and I figured with some running fitness I could at least get through it. 90 people started the race and 76 finished. There is a 7 hour cut-off time for this one.

The course starts with about a mile or so of single track before hitting Turquoise Lake. On the lake there is plenty of room for passing (or being passed) and everyone gets spread out here. After the lake section (seemed like about a mile on the lake) there is some more single track followed by some service road (packed snow) climbing up to the first aid station (water only). From here the course went straight up another snow-packed road with single track at the top to the turn around. Participants are required to use the hole punch at the turn around and punch your race number.

After the turn around, a huge decent takes you right by the first aid station which is now the second aid station (later to run out of water). The next leg, which seemed like about 8 miles, was along the perimeter road around Turquoise Lake. Ups and downs all the way around the lake to near the dam at the Southeast end, before re-crossing the lake and hitting the final mile or so of single track to the finish.

All in all I had a good time and would do this race again. It is low key and there were some good raffle prizes after the event, including a free pot luck. In fact, if you didn’t want to pay the $10 entry fee, you can bring a dish to the pot luck and race for free.

It took me just over 4 hours to do the race.

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New Years Resolution Run — 10 miles on dirt and horse trails, Auburn, CA - January 1, 2001

Keith and Kenn L report:
I spent my Christmas/New Years in Sacramento, CA. I thought I would briefly tell you about a race I ran on Monday, the 1st (“R”??). I checked the Buffalo Chips Running Club site prior to going west and found a first annual New Years Resolution Run in Auburn — about 20 miles east of Sacramento, in the Sierra foothills. The race was a 10M, with a 5K and 10K also available. There was a total of about 50 runners, with only 10 total doing the 10M. My son, Kenn L, and I did the 10M and my daughter the 10K. We started at about 1500' elevation and they ran us down into the American River Canyon and back up, twice, on long loops. Great scenery with most of the course on dirt, horse trails. Yep, had to cooperate with the equestrians, who were all quite polite and accommodating. When you came up on a horse, you do tend to slow, stay back about 5', and wait until they ok your passing. I’m guessing the elevation gain/loss was about the same as the Garden of the Gods 10M. Actually felt like more, buy you know how that is... How did I do?? Well... just a bit over 8min/mile which was “OK” for me on a hilly course, but near the end of the small pack of runners for the 10mile race. I had hoped to kick some flatlander butt, but... next year... One difference, in addition to the low elevation, was the 80-100% humidity — I like the dry, thin air here! So, nice course, small race, and most of you much faster ICers would win it all!

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Ancient Oaks 100 - December 9, 2000

David W reports:
I was not going to write a report on this race as I was so disappointed in my performance. But I guess one probably learns more from failure than success. I DNFed (Did Not Finish....Last) this race at 22.50 hrs Sat night (that would be 10:50pm) after completing 71.5 miles. Now that some time has passed, here is the long over due report for 9 Dec 00 Ancient Oaks 100. I learned something about running at this race, though some may disagree that I learned anything, as I plan to run more 100s this year. Something I had heard before but never took to heart but it got re-iterated again at the 14 Jan 01 (post training run Bagel gathering). And that is ...100% of running is 90% mental and 10% running. Another thing that was conveyed to me during this same time period was .... that one should approach the race as though you will win! And I will now approach races with these attitudes.

Misconception #1. I only decided to run in this race about two weeks prior to the start of the race. But because I had gotten ready for Arkansas Travellers in 6 weeks (my first 100 miler), and it had a few hills in it, and I made it in 25.5 hrs I thought that I would be able to make it thru this one. Besides it was in Florida and there are no hills or mountains there, just alligators and big wolf spiders. So what’s the big deal? The race started at 0600hr, according to the atomic time keeping system that was in place. We ran the first 2.75 mile loop in about 27 minutes...hmmm probably just a might fast for me. Considering my best 5k time was 22 min., earlier that year. But whatever it was I had decided that I would slow my pace down to 30 min loops, still too fast for me to keep up for the next 97.25 miles. But I did not realize this until I’d hit about the 30 mile mark when my pace drastically started decline.

Misconception #2. I could run thru the pain. I tried to do everything the same as Arkansas but there were subtle differences. I went to this race with some new shoes of sort, purchased them about a week out from the race and had ran one or two short runs. I had run in the same model at AT 100, but they were a half size larger. My foot seemed to have grown after Arkansas. I was running in thin socks, which I had done in AT100. But my foot seemed to be sliding all over the place inside the shoe when I would step on a root (one of many). I did not take the advice of a seasoned runner and take care of hot spot as soon as one feels them coming on (The wonders of duct tape). I didn’t want to stop. I also developed a knee problem that would not go away with Advil. In fact I’d limped for so long that I ended up possibly injuring my good leg. Most and all the problems and pain seemed to be on the left side of my body and it wasn’t going away as it had in AT100. This frustrated me to no end and was my undoing.

Misconception #3 Just do it!! As I look with 20/20 vision in retrospect, I had no goal nor plan of attack and was not mentally ready for this race. I had taken it too lightly, after all it was flat. Easy! Well, one of the things I neglected to mention was the couple of fallen trees on the trail. Not that they made a difference as to my DNF but it was one more challenge I was not ready to overcome.

I think that I had a naive outlook on running and perhaps if I’d DNF’d in AT100 I would have had a different perspective. I will be going to Rocky Racoon 100 in Houston TX this weekend. We’ll see you soon.

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Rock Canyon Half Marathon, Pueblo, CO - December 3, 2000

Larry M reports:
1/2 marathon — 13.1 miles. The last one I ran was Georgetown to Idaho Springs in August where I was beat by Mark Koch by a stride — no sprint work does that to you. Mark went on to be the first master in the TCR series and get second overall to his bother Paul. Turns out Mark was here this morning as was masters runner Rich Hadley. Knowing Rich starts slow, catches you and then grinds you up I knew I was in for a RACE. Well, with this rolling course heading east into town and back it should be fun. I Like courses that backtrack, you get to see where everybody is. Pueblo River “trail” is concrete and asphalt but no dirt. It has a lot of artwork along the way and you can lose your train of thought if you are not careful which is what I did for a time but was awakened to the fact that at the 7 mile turn around Mark and Rich were on my butt. Thanks to a red headed turkey by the name of Kelly M I started picking up my tempo for the next 3 miles and on a cut-back in the trail I didn’t see anybody close to me. With a mile to go I put the old body into hill mode and started to push to catch the three people who were a good minute ahead. As Matt would say if it hurts, run faster. Well, I pushed and pushed and finally tripped over the finish line. Then I knew it was time to stop pushing it. Picked up 35 second on them and finished in 1:26:05 for 10th overall. Mark Koch ended up almost a minute behind me and Rich just behind him. Looks like this 50 year old can still run. Like I say “Keep Running.”

Jonathan C reports:
I got up Sunday morning drove down to Pueblo for the Rock Canyon half marathon. Had a little bit of banana bread on the commute. I parked behind this white SUV which turned out to house Larry Miller and Rick Hessek. We said hey and spoke only briefly due to the cold. I ate a PowerGel before the race and warmed up for about 20 minutes. It was chilly, but there were no clouds in the sky. So, I took a chance with running shorts, a racing singlet and gloves. Fortunately, I ended up staying perfectly warm the entire race.

All the runners lined up at the race start line. I scanned the runners at the front of the race. There was Rick Hessek, Paul Dewitt, Kelly Mortenson, and Geraldo Silvia. Rick and I decided we were definitely not going out with Geraldo, who performs at a very high level in local half marathons. Not to mention that he is a former member of the Brazilian Olympic Team and winner of the Mile High Marathon. I was hoping for a sub 1:20 half marathon and even dared to dream of a 1:18 something finish.

The race began with a deafening gun shot. The race started out with Geraldo and Paul at the helm, a guy I didn’t know behind them, me directly behind him and Rick right behind me. Kelly was doing the race as a training run, so he wasn’t in the front. The guy in front of me slowed, so I passed. The race quickly settled with Geraldo in front, Paul a couple car lengths behind him and myself the same distance behind Paul. I could here foot steps behind me until after a mile or so. Then I was on my own. I could see Paul and Geraldo for about four miles and then I lost them in the multitude of hair pin turns and miniature hills that comprised the new Rock Canyon out and back course. Passed the first aid station with a sip of water. At about 4 miles I felt my strength ebbing because of the lack of food I had eaten the previous day. So, I ate my one PowerGel. I think I maintained pace for most of the course running a little faster the first mile because of a good downhill section and a little slower up the back up the hill on the return. However, I couldn’t be sure. I had failed to find my stop watch that morning. Went across the river on a bridge and almost made a wrong turn. Quickly recovering, I ran on. Many more bridges and turns later I came upon Gerald, Paul close behind and the turn around. Rick and another guy were a little ways back.

The way back went well, just trying to maintain pace without a stop watch and someone to push me. At mile 12 the steep hill awaited me. However, the hill didn’t seem too bad, probably due to the incline club tempo runs. Above the hill I accelerated slightly to the finish. When I saw the race clock I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was 1:17:58,59... I finished 1:18:07 in third place.

I had met my goal. PR’d by a long shot. My quickest time on a half marathon course previously was 1:21:56 a couple months ago at the Academy Half Marathon. My workouts have been paying off. Especially the intervals. The guy I didn’t know came next with Rick close behind. Rick had a PR as well. So, we celebrated with our PRs with a high five. Larry Miller did very well capturing 1st Masters and a nice plaque.

Sunday was a ton of fun and a great Incline Club victory!

Dave S reports:
I was there, honest. And I even ran the half marathon without falling down!

There was a course change this year, thus the runners were able to tour the new Riverwalk area in Pueblo. The city of Pueblo has really done a terrific job in this area. It’s only going to get better as more restaurants and shops open for business in this district.

But back to the race. Larry M paced me for a few yards at the beginning, but dashed ahead before we even crossed the start line. Larry just gave himself a little handicap to overcome, and he surely did that, finishing in the top 10. Rick H also finished in the top 5, setting a PR. And what about me? Well, I wasn’t last as I usually am on the Sunday long runs, and there was even food left when I finished. I couldn’t ask for anything better.

Rick H reports:
Several ICer’s went down to Pueblo for the Rock Canyon Half Marathon on Sunday Dec. 3, 2000. As the entry form says “despite the name the course is relatively flat.” This year the course went East from Pueblo City Park instead of heading West towards the Dam due to trail construction. Running East towards Downtown added a couple little rolling hills. Below are fellow ICer’s that ran:

Paul D 1:12:58 (1st 30-34) (2nd Overall)
Jonathon C 1:18:07 (1st 25-26) (3rd Overall) Half Marathon PR
Rick H 1:19:14 (2nd 30-34) (5th Overall) Half Marathon PR
Larry M 1:26:05 (1st Masters Men and Top 10)
Todd B 1:31:24
Carla A 1:35:41 (1st Masters Women and 6th Overall)
Jamie M 1:51:52
Dave S 2:16:11

Jamie M reports:
I needed something to get me motivated, to get me up. The season was over. I’d done the Peak Marathon, my goal for the year. I was idling.

Last year I did the Rock Canyon Half Marathon only because I had such a terrible experience at the Colorado Marathon in Cherry Creek. (It was cold, unsupported, and my it band forced me to accept the “Finish” sign (of the half marathon) with relief.)

This year was different from the start. I finished the Gazette’s crossword puzzle sitting in my car with the heater on, (ability to finish difficult crossword puzzles has always been my astrologic substitute of good or bad fortune), just before the starting gun.

As others have told, the course was different, a bit more hilly than last year. However, there was still a lot of concrete or hard stuff. Unlike Larry Miller, I never did feel as though I could wax poetic about the course, but it did turn out to be a nice day, (after the first hour.)

Okay, so don’t prolong this story. It’s just an “R” that you’re trying to get.

The highlight of my race was this big kid who seemed to be running at about the same slow speed as me. I tried to out-fox him with speed ups and so forth to no avail. Finally, at about mile 11, I decided to pull up alongside him and say, “Hi, I seem to be shadowing you, or vice versa.” He laughed. A senior at the Air Force Academy, he was doing it because his girl friend goaded him into it. He’d never done longer than 10 miles before. I got so into chatting with this guy that I forgot I was in a race.

Guess that can happen, right?

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Seattle Marathon - Seattle, WA - November 26, 2000

Doug L reports:
What do you think of when you think of Seattle? Did you say rain? Well when I told Bob McAndrews I was planning to do Seattle he assured me it was a bad idea because it would be a cold, rainy day. It did rain all day Saturday and off and on Sunday morning before the race stated, but about 5 minutes before the race started the sun broke through. I knew Bob would be disappointed. Then about 15 minutes later the sun went away, and never came back. But it did not rain, well not right away. It sprinkled a time or three between miles 4 and 16, and then it rained and rained hard for the last 10 miles.

Did you know Seattle was hilly? It is, kind of San Francisco hilly in some parts of town. But the course was flat until mile 19. The hill at mile 19 is about a 2-mile hill. Now it is no Colorado mountain trail hill, but it is more than Boston’s Heartbreak Hill. It is the kind of hill that when you are cold and wet and running out of glycogen can take some of fun out of the experience, slow your pace and make you late to kickoff of the Bronco/Seahawk game. Luckily the Bronco’s fared much better in the rain then I did.

Results: 3:32:31, after 1:38 first half. Did the last 10K in a blazing 59 minutes, conditions and cold caught up with me I guess. Did a training run marathon (what you have to do when you are collecting states) 6 weeks ago in a relaxed 3:27. La de da do...

The Course: Basically a loop that starts and ends downtown. Mile 1 slight downhill, miles 2,3 slight uphill. Then flat until mile 19. Miles 4-9 on I-90 express lane, over a floating bridge to Mercer Island, kind of odd. That segment (and about 1/2 the race) was on concrete (trail runners do not like concrete). Miles 9 to about 23 most scenic, in general very scenic course — strong point of the race. A number of mile markers were missing on the course, made splits/pacing a difficult task. Suspect some markers were in wrong spot, not so much because mile 12 “took” 11 minutes, it was that follow up with a 4 minute mile on number 13 that caused me to doubt all future splits.

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