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2009 Incline Club Race Reports

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North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Miler hosted by Dean Karnazes — Marin County, CA (North of San Francisco) — 12/6/2008 - 3 reports
Rock Canyon Half Marathon — Pueblo — 12/6/008 - 3 reports
High Desert 50km — Ridgecrest, CA — 12/7/2008
XTERRA Trail Running World Championship — Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, Hawaii — 12/07/2008
Tucson Marathon — Tucson, AZ — 12/07/2008
Tallahassee Ultra Distance Classic — Wakulla Springs State Park, Florida — 12/13/2008
Running from an Angel — Lake Mead, NV — 1/03/2008 - 2 reports
Turquoise Lake snowshoe run — Leadville, CO — 1/03/2009 - 2 reports
River, Roots and Ruts Trail Run — Caloosahatchee Regional Park, near Ft. Myers, FL — 1/11/2009
Disney World Goofy Race and a Half Challenge - Disney World (DUH!) — 01/11/2009
Avalon 50 mile run — Catalina Island, CA — 1/17/09
Calico Trail Run 50km — Calico Ghost Town, near Barstow, CA — 1/18/09
PF Changs Rock And Roll Half Marathon — Phoenix, AZ — 1/18/2009
Houston Marathon — Houston, Texas — 1/18/2009 - 2 reports
Austin Half Marathon — Austin, Texas — 1/25/2009
Carlsbad Half Marathon — Carlsbad, Ca — 1/26/2009
Sedona Marathon — Sedona, AZ — 2/7/2009
Surfside Marathon — Surfside, Texas — 2/14/2009
Austin Marathon — Austin Texas — 2/15/2009 2 reports
Iron Horse 100 — Florahome, FL — 0/21/2009
Wild and Crazy Half-marathon — Houston, TX — 2/22/2009
Run The Republic — Denver — 2/22/2009 - 4 reports
Waco Marathon — Waco, Texas — 3/1/2009
Gasparilla Marathon — Tampa, Fl — 03/01/2009 - 2 reports
Carl Touchstone 50 miler — Laurel MS — 03/07/09
Spectrum 10k — Ivins Utah — 03/14/2009
Catalina Marathon — Catalina Island, CA — 03/14/2009 - 2 reports
Salida to Turret Marathon/Run Through Time — Salida Colorado — 03/14/2009 - 2 reports
Run to the Sun — Haleakala, Maui — 03/14/2009
Little Rock Marathon — Little Rock, Arkansas — 03/15/09
The Better Half Marathon & Five — Gateway, Colorado — 03/21/2009
Big Island Marathon — Hilo, Hawaii — 3/22/09
Waco Half-marathon — Waco, Texas — 03/28/2009
Bataan Death March Memorial Marathon — White Sands Misslie Range, NM — 03/29/09 - 3 reports
32nd Annual Capitol 10,000 — Austin, Texas — 03/29/2009
Platte River Trail 1/2 Marathon — Denver — 4/5/09 - 3 reports
Umstead 50 Mile Trail Run — Raleigh, NC — 04/04/2009
Desert RATS 25 — Fruita, CO — 04/18/2009
Desert RATS 50 miler — Fruita, CO — 04/18/2009
Granite Grinder — Conyers Georgia — 04/18/2009
Race Track Half-Marathon — Houston, Texas — 04/19/2009
Vienna City Marathon — Vienna, Austria — 04/19/2009
WSU 100km — Palouse, WA — 04/19/2009
TriColumbia Howard Life Festival Blossoms of Hope Half Marathon — Columbia, MD — 04/26/2009
Collegiate Peaks 25 Mile Trail Run — Buena Vista Colorado — 05/02/2009 - 7 reports
Collegiate Peaks 50 Mile Trail Run — Buena Vista, CO — 05/02/09
Colorado Marathon — Ft. Collins — 05/03/2009 - 2 reports
Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon — Holdingford to St. Joseph, MN — 05/09/09 - 2 reports
Greenland 25K — Greenland Open Space, CO — 05/09/2009 - 3 reports
Greenland 50K — Greenland Open Space, CO — 05/09/2009 - 3 reports
Great Wall of China Marathon — China — 05/16/2009
Sky Mesa Pass Marathon, Colfax Marathon — Gateway and Denver — 05/16/2009
Jemez Mountain — Los Alamos, NM — 05/16/2009
Sweet Water 50k Trail Race — Atlanta, GA — 05/30/09
Vail Pass 1/2 / Spring Runoff 10K — Vail, CO — 6/6-7/09
Squaw Peak 50 Mile Run — Orem Utah — 06/06/09
Turkey Track Trail Half Marathon — Pagosa Springs, CO — 06/06/2009
Turkey Track Trail Marathon — Pagosa Springs, CO — 06/06/2009 - 2 reports
Steamboat Marathon — Steamboat Springs — 06/07/2009 - 2 reports
Joe Colton 15 Mile Run — Rollinsville, CO — 06/13/09
Garden of the Gods 10 Mile Run — Manitou Springs, CO — 06/14/2009 - 11 reports
Estes Park Marathon — Estes Park — 06/14/2009 - 3 reports
The 99th Annual Dipsea Race — Mill Valley to Stinson Beach, Marin County, CA — 06/14/2009
Mt. Evans Ascent — Idaho Springs, CO — 06/20/2009 - 6 reports
Wulfman CDT 14K — Homestake Pass, Montana — 06/20/2009
Big Horn Mountain Wild & Scenic Trail Run — Dayton, WY — 06/20/2009
Durango Off-Road Mountain Marathon — Durango Mountain Resort, CO — 06/21/2009
San Juan Solstice 50 Mile Run — Lake City, CO — 06/21/2009
Slacker Half Marathon — Georgetown, CO — 06/27/2009 -; 2 reports
Mt. Marathon Race — Seward, Alaska — 07/04/2009 — 2 reports
Summer Roundup Trail Run 12K — Bear Creek Park, Colo Spgs, CO — 07/05/2009 - 11 reports
Hardrock 100 — Silverton, CO — 07/10/2009
Leadville Trail Heavy Half Marathon — Leadville, CO — 07/11/2009
Leadville Trail Marathon — Leadville, CO — 07/11/2009 - 2 reports
Barr Trail Mountain Race — Manitou Springs, CO — 07/12/2009 - 21 reports
Vail Half Marathon — Vail, CO — 07/19/2009
Gold Rush Gold Rush — Victor, CO — 7/19/09
Leadville Silver Rush 50 — Leadville, CO — 07/26/2009 - 3 reports
Leadville Trail 100 — Leadville, CO — 08/22/2009 - 2 reports

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North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Miler hosted by Dean Karnazes - Marin County, CA (North of San Francisco) - 12/6/2008

Yvonne Carpenter reports:
Distance: 50 Miles
Goal: Remove Aid Station delays from last year
Results: Objective achieved! Matt spent less than 30 seconds on all aid stations combined!
Website: http://www2.thenorthface.com/endurancechallenge/

General Summary:
CREW REPORT for Kyla and Yvonne
===============================

The drive to San Francisco was uneventful. We got there Thursday, Dec 4, at 4pm in time for Matt to go for a very short run at Tennessee Valley (part of the race course) before it got dark.

That night Matt asked me a question he never asked before during the 11 years I have known him: “My hamstring is really tight — I am not sure I can run 50 miles on this — I might have to drop out or not even start if it feels like this race day — so, what should I take? 4 Aspirins or 2 Ibuprofens??????” To which I answered: Hummm. WHAT? What do you mean? We drove for 2 days and you are NOW saying you might not race at all? Are you crazy???? Get in the tub and soak the leg! I don’t know what you should take — maybe 2 aspirins and 1 Ibuprofen!!!!!! How the heck should I know? Want me to massage it or something? Gee, how did it happen? Did you pull it during the run today? His answer was, “I got it from PACKING! And then sitting in the car for 2 days. I don’t do well in the car.” All right. I guess not!!!!!!!!!!

The next day (Friday) we drove to downtown SF to pick up the race package, I accidently ran thru 2 red lights, but no one seemed to notice or care except Matt! We then drove to the race start so I would know the way the next day. We headed back to the hotel to drop Matt off and Kyla and I went for a “dry run” of the crewing route. I had no issues finding the aid stations, but I had no clue where I had to stay to crew. I decided to do another dry run, but this time I got out of the car and tried to find the trail markings and take pictures of the places I “thought” I had to be at! We headed back to the Hotel and got confirmation from Matt we were at the correct locations. Phew.

Saturday, Dec 6, race day started very, very early (3:45am) — Kyla described it best as “middle of the night.” I dropped Matt and Kyla as close to race start as possible at ~4:30 am and parked the car 1/2 mile away. I met them back at the race start after a few minutes. Matt did his warm-up and did not say a word about the hamstring so neither did I!!!!! And just like that the race stared — a stream of lights dancing in the dark.

My main job had started too.

Tennessee Valley (Aid Station #2, 9 miles) is the first aid station we can crew at. It was still pitch black — good thing I drove that 4 times the day before in daylight! There is no way I would have found that place in the dark for the first time. A few minutes of waiting and 20+ lights showed up on the dirt road heading down towards us. A short time later there were 20 guys dashing thru — there was no way to recognize anyone until they were right at your face! I started calling out real loud “Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt...” in the hope Matt would see/hear me because there was no chance I was going to spot him! He switched camelbaks and was gone without missing a stride. I have to admit that I was quite surprised to see so many guys together at that point of the race. Matt was probably in 7th or 8th but itt was really hard to tell.

Next stop: PanToll Station (AS #4, 18 miles). I decided to skip AS #3 at Muir Beach as it was still going to be dark and no crewing is allowed so we would have just stood there only to watch Matt zoom by in the dark and then have to rush to the next AS. Not very appealing and very cold so Kyla and I took our time driving to PanToll and got a good parking spot. That is where I met Uli Steidl’s wife, Trisha. Uli won the race last year so needless to say Matt and Uli were running together or pretty close together for the entire race. Therefore, Trisha, Kyla and I were together the entire day as well! Matt showed up first at PanToll going out. He grabbed a small bottle and dashed out — no time wasted there. One minute later Uli and some other guys trickled in one by one, still very close to each other (~1 min apart).

Next station was Stinson Beach (AS #5, 21 miles). The first runner out of the trail was not Matt, but some guy flying down the trail in a tank top and asking where to go! (It was cold — not exactly tank top weather!) He did not even grab anything — just continued his flight in the direction pointed out by the aid station crew! I think 5 or 6 guys including Kyle and Uli came in before Matt. As soon as Uli went buy Trisha told me Uli had reported Matt had stopped to “relieve” himself!! A few seconds later Matt went by, grabbed his stuff and went on his away. He did not look rushed or worried about the guys taking off on the downhill they just came off of. Neither were we — we knew most of those guys were not going to be around for long. “Tank Top” guy btw I heard dropped out of the race soon after this station.

Back at PanToll (AS #7, 30 miles) Matt grabbed more Gatorade and gels and headed off. He lost a few seconds as he wanted to lose the jacket he had tied “real tight” around his waist! Matt actually looked great and that was the first time I was a little calmer as it is nerve wrecking to watch so many runners battling it out and so close that late in the race. Next runner into PanToll was Uli and another guy (that ended up 5th) 2.5 minutes later — so Matt had a little cushion. Uli left the station with his wife screaming encouragement saying he should not give up and that “the steps are yours, the steps are yours.”

Kyla and I drove back towards TV for the last crew accessible Aid Station of the race (AS #10, 44 miles). But before getting there, we stopped halfway to watch the runners go by. We followed Trisha as she was there last year and knew some good watching spots. We just watched and cheered as that is not an aid station but just a viewing point! Uli had closed 1.5 minutes already — he was only 1 minute behind Matt now! Phew...Stress? What Stress? I guess the steps were his after all!!! Kyla wanted to run with “Dada” so she waited for him at the top on a little hill and took off after him like a mad dog for about 30 yards or so after he went by — I got a picture — it is hilarious — both of them with their hair flying in the air! She surprised Uli too as she went back up the hill to chase him as well! Kyla met Uli when he stayed with us for a month 2 years ago for the PPM.

Once we saw the top 5 go by (Matt, Uli, Japanese guy, 5th place guy, Kyle Skaggs that got 4th) we headed back to TV. That one was really stressful. We can see the runners at the top of the hill — they look like little ants on an ant hill!!! Since Uli had closed up the gap to a single minute last time we saw them, there was no way to tell who would show up first at TV. So we waited, and waited, and waited. I had to get away from the other people because the conversation about this race and other races was making me even more nervous! So I stood right next to the aid station table and Kyla went to climb a tree. I don’t remember the exact time but ~ 6h 10 min into the race, Matt showed up at TV looking as fresh as a daisy, he took a small bottle of diluted Boost and headed up the hill out of TV. Not a second was spared. I was sure Uli would be on his heels so I told Matt (well, I yelled as he was getting away fast!) that Uli had closed most of the gap by the spot on the trail where we were. I told him not to hold anything back and just go as hard as he could to be on the safe side. But... he never listens to me, well, except for the Aspirin vs Ibuprofen deal two night before! Uli finally arrived at TV 3 minutes later with some stomach issues. He was desperately looking for Coke. He finally got some and dashed out of there with what looked like a canon in his hands! The Coke had a lot of carbonation and he was shaking the water bottle to get rid of it, but when he tried to drink it sprayed out like a hose!!!! Very entertaining! But, they were now gone — and so were we. It is only 6 miles from there to the finish so no time could be wasted or we would miss the finish!

We arrived at the finish line, but again had to park 1/2 mile+ away. Kyla and I ran to the finish line just in case. I asked the guy behind the computer if the 50 miler winner was thru already. His answer was that the 50K and 50M runners were not expected to finish until 12:15pm. It was 11:45am at that point. Four minutes later, Matt crosses the finish line winning the race! So, so cool — the job was done! His and mine! Uli finished second about 5 min later.

We stayed for the awards ceremony, chatted with old friends that were there, and later on went out for dinner with Uli and Trisha. We drove back home the next day after a “little” detour thru Yosemite Park and Las Vegas spread out thru 3 days of driving.

Ironically, I did not run a single mile race day nor the 4 days before or the 3 days after, so the race “weekend” was a massive taper for nothing! Kyla and I had a great time though. And just like that we both got our stars!

Things Done Right:
Scouted the aid station locations twice — it would have been really hard to find where to go on race day.

Things Done Wrong:
Put the camelbaks in the same basket as the extra race clothing — the camelbaks leaked overnight soaking up one of the shirts and a pair of socks! Ooops! Fortunately, Matt never asked for anything that was wet!

Back to the top


Matt Carpenter reports:
Distance: 50 miles
Goal: Win / Get some redemption for last year
Results: Won / Redemption feels good
Website: http://www2.thenorthface.com/endurancechallenge/

General Summary:
After my last race report, some chastised me for its rather short length. Apparently there is an unwritten rule that an ultra race report must take as long to read as the race itself. With that in mind...

The North Face Endurance Challenge is just that — a challenge and a pretty serious one at that. The course is always throwing something at you and any mistakes you make will come back to haunt you. I learned this the hard way last year (http://www.inclineclub.com/r_2008.htm#NF50). To say that this haunted me is an understatement and for the past year pretty much every hill I ran I had visions of Uli Steidl pulling away from me at mile 44. I was determined to “get it right” this time around by leaving nothing to chance.

First and foremost would be to get a crew. I went with my Leadville crew — Yvonne and Kyla. After looking into the cost of 3 plane tickets and a rental car we decided the best option was just drive out. We got an unexpected bonus when in the weeks leading up to the race gas prices had dropped from $4 to below $2.

We left on Wednesday morning and after a long day of driving (721 miles in 10h55m or 66.0 mph avg, 11h45m with stops) we stopped at Ely, NV. I had picked Ely as a stopping point since it is at the same altitude as Manitou Springs — again nothing was being left to chance. However, an easy 20 minute jog revealed a kink in my planning in that my hamstrings had become tight from the drive. Fortunately, they worked themselves out during the run.

The next day was quite a bit shorter (546 miles in 8h5m or 67.5 mph avg, 8h35m with stops) and we arrived at our hotel at 4pm. We stayed at the host hotel which was located only 1.89 miles from the first/last crew access point at miles 9 and 44. We quickly drove there before it got too dark so I could run the “evil last hill” in the event that the race came down to that section again.

Almost immediately two things became obvious: 1) 372 days had made this hill much bigger in my mind than it was in reality and 2) my hamstrings were really tight today — painfully, limping tight! Hoping for a repeat of the day before when they loosened up, I slowly worked my way to the top of the hill in 20 minutes and ran a few extra minutes to get to where we would intersect this trail on our first climb (see http://www2.thenorthface.com/endurancechallenge/content/maps/SanFranMarin_50MileCourse.pdf). Upon getting back to the car I was very concerned because my hamstrings never completely relaxed and unless I could get that under control I did not see how I was going to race 50 miles in two days. Back at the hotel I could not decide between aspirin or Ibuprofen for my hamstrings. Yvonne suggested both. I also took a hot bath and worked on my hamstrings with some deep massage and gentle stretching.

On Friday we did a quick trip (made even quicker by Yvonne’s ability to ignore several stop lights) into San Francisco to get my packet. We made Kyla’s day by driving up and down Lombard Street which is the famous and insanely steep street with a section that switchbacks back and forth 9 times in the space of one block! Another quick detour over to the race start and then I got dropped off back at the hotel while Yvonne and Kyla drove to the various crew locations. She drove to some of them more than once since it would have to be done in the dark and even brought back photos to prove that she had been there. Did I mention we were leaving nothing to chance?

After a couple of hours going over the course in my mind and on my laptop I went for a 25 minute run and was relieved to find that my hamstrings were not an issue at all. In fact, I felt like going more and doing a few “tests” on them but deiced that more races are lost by doing too much in the final days instead of doing too little.

That evening, as I had done for about a week straight, I had the exact same meal — pretty much plain pasta. Kyla was not hungry so I ate her portion as well. Yvonne and I went over the Camelbak/water bottle/Boost/gel ratios and quantities and we got to bed fairly early. For the most part I just laid there and went over various race scenarios but I did manage a little sleep before the 3:45am alarm went off. We were out the door with plenty of time to make the 4:30am check in time.

I was happy to see that it was not as cold or wet as last year. But it was still a bone chilling 45 which, because of the humidity, felt more like 25 in Colorado. As such, and despite knowing that it would “warm” up to perhaps 50, I went with knee length tights, a long sleeve shirt and a super light jacket.

The start was uneventful other than Uli coming up beside me to say “good luck.” I don’t believe races are about luck so replied, “have a good run yourself.” Ten minutes in and I was glad I had my jacket because there was a very strong wind that cut like a knife and it was funny to watch the pack narrow to about 2 wide with everyone drafting off of everyone else as we headed up the first 900’ climb.

Depending on what you call a climb, the race consists of a ton of them with 7 being rather significant and 2 of those being 1,400’ or more. (See course map at http://www2.thenorthface.com/endurancechallenge/content/maps/SF-50M-Elevation.jpg) Of course, on the back side of all those climbs is a downhill!

During the first climb, which I felt I had to lead last year, I was content to just hang back about 5 seconds in a rather large group of about 15, perhaps more. At the top, as mentioned before, we intersect with what would be the final stretch. I took a split so between Thursday’s run and now I would know the ins and outs of the last 6 miles. When we reached what would later become our 47 mile aid station (it is not an aid station on the first lap) and the start of our first downhill the group started to head to the right. However, I saw a glow stick about 15 meters straight ahead and went for it thus taking the lead while shouting “cable” so those that tried to cut too early would not get tripped up by the cable blocking car access.

Within seconds a swarm of runners went flying by me. Again, unlike last year, I did not feel the need to be at the font of that and let it string out by about 10-15 seconds. At this point Michael Wardian ran up beside me and started chatting away. He seemed like a nice guy and I tried to be social to a point (I told him about the ladder to come later when he asked about it) but finally I told him that I needed to get back into race mode as someone was making a surge on the front. However, within seconds of the hill starting to level out we were one big group again — like an accordion whose song would play several more times.

The next climb/descent pretty much unfolded the same way — a group going up with it spreading out going down. This downhill in particular I had been thinking about as it was the first one with steps in it. Since I was running my own race they were not an issue. Just before the first crew station at 9 miles I ran by Uli who was watering the bushes. Soon after and still about 100 meters away I started hearing what I thought was my name being called over and over and over. Turns out that is exactly what it was as Yvonne could not tell one runner from another so was just standing there yelling “Matt, Matt, Matt...” I had already taken off my jacket and tied it around my waist and pulled off my camelback so the exchange was done on the run and may have taken all of 1 second. This quickly closed the downhill gap that had developed and again I was near the front of the pack but not at the font — just where I wanted to be.

Like last year, things started to settle down after the first crew section and there was a lot of talking going on. Indeed, several never seemed to stop talking. This sort of thing really threw me for a loop last year and I stressed over it. Those of us that live at altitude know that there is little to no talking at the front of the pack because there is no air. Those that talk too much are usually off the back within minutes. But at sea level, and especially in an ultra where the first 2 hours are run in pitch black which tends to slow things down, there is just a mob of people with many yacking about everything from races they just did, are going to do, or want to do, to family, work and politics. I just soaked it all in and pretended I was out on a training run except that we were going slower.

At any rate, at the end of the first part of the climb there is an intersection where the 1/2 marathon runners would be turning right. It was marked with yellow (we were following blue and white) and the 5-6 who were running in front started going the wrong way. I was about to call out when Uli set them straight. This put Uli and I in the front but I was happy to let Uli lead as the next section is rather steep and has a couple of nasty stair sections which are not fun at all in total darkness!!! (see http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/m_G3VxEtFx4sn8J2wolIrg?select=LSfiYoC9HfFvOrqqyOPy_w)

Fortunately, soon after this section and about 1h30m into the race, dawn begins to take hold and for the first time you get to see some of the spectacular views! Unfortunately, with the light some of the runners start getting a little crazy on the downhills. In fact, at the next one into the Muir Beach aid station at mile 13 a few of the runners tested their legs a little. One guy in particular just flew off the front.

Between the aid station stop and the flats we were now running, most of the group quickly reformed. We soon came up on the remaining fast downhillers just standing there wondering which way to go. There were markers in the trees that I thought were rather obvious. And so for the 3rd time I found myself back right back at the front. So much for their 10 second lead! I joked with Uli, “you would think these guys would have learned by now.”

The next .25 mile is on the road. I choose to run on the left facing traffic whereas the group stuck to the right. It just felt good to get a little “air” and now things were light enough that we did not need the combined power of all of our lights to see what we were doing. We hopped off the road for .65 of a mile onto the Redwood Creek Trail until we had to leave it and cut back across the road. Last year, this turn was not marked so well but this year, like many spots that were lacking last year, not only was it extremely well marked they even had a real live person standing there. Kudos to the North Face Crew!

Our next climb is the first of the two longer climbs and starts out up the Heather Cutoff trail. It is an extremely shallow climb undoubtedly due to the fact that there are an amazing 25 switch-backs in only .8 of a mile! Back and forth, back and forth — just crazy! Most of the switchbacks have a little retaining wall at the end where one must balance the costs/gains of stepping up a step or going a few feet longer to avoid the step. I saw both strategies being used. I was running 4th behind Geoff Roes, another runner and I think Shilo Mielke or Tsuyoshi Kaburaki (yes, my fingers were on the correct keys when I typed both of those names.) Whomever was in 3rd let the gap grow to about 15 seconds on Geoff but this was of no concern because soon we would run into the much wider Coastal Fire Rd. Once there, I closed the gap on Geoff and was content to let him break the wind that started popping up again. And finally the sun rose from its sleep for a beautiful sunrise! Soon after Shilo ran up and asked me when the “real” race began. I thought of something really smartass to say but instead looked at my watch and told him, “it started 2 hours and 11 minutes ago.”

Evidently, the long climb to PanToll aid station at 18 miles finally started to spread the group out a bit. I did not know it at the time because I had not been looking back but it can be seen by the splits in the results. Still, there were 10 of us within 90 seconds. Thanks to another exquisite handoff from Yvonne and Kyla I ended up starting down the Steep Ravine Trail in the lead. Very shortly thereafter Shilo must have decided that this is where the real race was going to begin because he just took off. I wanted no part of it. I just cruised on down and soon Kyle Skaggs pulled up behind me. I was not sure if he knew about Shilo so I let him know there was one more in front of us. He responded, “it’s too early to fry the quads now.” I truly did not expect this from him because every time we ever ran together in an IC run he would fall back on the ups and then just dive bomb the downs. This race day composure really impressed me coming from a 23 year old as I had not learned it last year at 43.

We ran down the rest of the way together including climbing down “the ladder” (See: http://www.redwoodhikes.com/Muir/Willow%20Camp%204.jpg) and the trail’s many, many steps (See http://lh4.ggpht.com/_A1ZAgygvd5U/SAQtph_FgDI/AAAAAAAADbY/qmpb9wPavXY/s720/IMG_0017.JPG and http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/1400132333017353410FKWwpF) Once we left the steep stuff we hopped onto the famed Dipsea trail where I had to make a pit stop to unload Kyla’s portion of the previous night’s dinner. I pulled off the trail onto a side trail which I thought would be out of sight of the other runners. Unfortunately, I was in plain sight and watched about 2-3 guys go by. At this point I started debating between a quickie (< 30 seconds — yes, I practice) and a more relaxed and um, thorough job. I went with the latter which extended my stay to just a tad over 1 minute and allowed me to see another 3-4 go by, including Uli. I would later learn that Uli was nice enough to let Yvonne know, via his wife, not to worry about me. Soon after my stop I arrived at the Stinson Beach aid station at mile 21 for another flawless handoff.

The next hill is the biggie, 1,400’ up the Matt Davis trail. This climb also has a lot of steps in it and as such I did not want to overdo it and instead just focused on maintaining a good cadence. However, much to my surprise I started picking off the runners who had passed me during my pit stop at a much faster rate than I was thinking was going to happen. By the top of the climb I had caught all but 2 and they were in sight and within 15 seconds or so. Props to Uli for being the only one who asked if I wanted to pass and for getting clearly out of my way.

In short order I pulled up on Shilo, who in my head I was now referring to as “downhill boy,” and Geoff. Despite knowing the answer, I asked how many were in front. When they replied, “none” I just went by them at the same effort I had been doing since my pit stop. Last year I was hosed here and could not put any distance on Uli and eventually I just pulled over for a pee to let him catch me at the turnaround so I could relax and run with him. This year I felt fresh but there was no need to press. The in and out nature of the trail made for lots of locations to spot check the gaps. Just over a mile later at ~24 miles I had 26 seconds on Shilo and Geoff and 39 on Uli (see middle of this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU-COIZ3VJE) Normally, I would not put too much into such a small gap at this point of such a long race but the fact that I had obtained it without trying had me feeling pretty good. I kept my rhythm and proceeded to the McKennan Gulch Aid station/turnaround at mile 26. The run back to PanToll was uneventful although I must thank Nikki Kimball for being perhaps the best cheerleader I have ever seen in the middle of a race. As I went by her on her way out she yelled, “Go Matt” and other encouragements so loud it gave me Goosebumps!

Unfortunately, this section did not go so well for a couple of the top runners. “When’s the real race start/downhill boy,” Shilo, appeared to me to be out of it — perhaps feeling the effects of his downhill indiscretions. He must have dropped at the turnaround since he has no PanToll split. And it would turn out that “where’s “the ladder” boy” Wardian must have wanted to do “the ladder” again because he headed back down the Matt Davis trail instead of continuing straight to PanToll. I spoke with him after the race and he said that everyone coming up the trail was looking at him rather strangely until he finally got turned around and back on course. When he got back to the intersection he said he saw the arrow pointing towards PanToll and had one of those “DUH” moments. According to his race report he thinks the detour cost him about 15 minutes. But credit where credit is due and he did not let it phase him too much and he went on to finish in the top 10.

At any rate, back at PanToll, now the 30 mile aid station, I finally got rid of my jacket which cost me a couple of unplanned seconds because I had tied its thin sleeves into a very tight knot. Otherwise, Yvonne and Kyla were like a NASCAR pit crew and had me in and out in no time. However, I was delayed 10-15 more seconds when a volunteer was trying to get me to go back down the Steep Ravine trail apparently wanting me to do “the ladder” again as well. It took a few attempts to get it through to him that I had “been there, done that” before he would let me go on to the Bootjack trail.

Ah, the Bootjack trail. What to say other than perhaps the most technical section of the race! More steps along with lots of rocks and roots from hell. (See photos 12-17 in this series — a super series from a 50k runner that covers almost all of the 50 mile course. #13 and #14 in particular do the Bootjack trail justice! http://www.smugmug.com/gallery/6760240_BkG6s/1/431700410_GrLWW#431700410_GrLWW) Not stuff I want to take any chances on unless absolutely necessary. However, I did not think I was jogging either. But apparently I was because out of the corner of my eye on a switchback I saw Uli! This meant he had closed what I was thinking to be a 2 minute gap at PanToll (the splits would show that it was 2:16) to within 15 seconds in the space of only 15 minutes!!! I did not know what to make of it. I instantly began to think of another duel to the finish. Should I push it? It was rather unnerving but after a few panicked moments I decided the best course of action was no action and just to continue at what felt was a safe speed. I knew from last year the technical stuff would end when we turned off Bootjack onto the Pelvin Cut Fire road. Here I was able to run more relaxed since it was a much more gentle downhill on less technical terrain. There were even a few uphills to break things up a little. But I was relieved to finally get to the bottom which is marked by a huge fallen tree that last year we actually crossed on top of but this year apparently the liability gods must have thought it safer to have us run beside it. I looked back and much to my surprise the gap was about the same. This was very un-Uli-like! I had no explanation as to how at the rate he was closing he did not just swallow me up. Did he go to the bathroom? Did he fall? Or did he overdo the steep technical section only to have nothing left for the more runnable section? (I would later learn that his wife was yelling at him at PanToll that, “The steps are yours Uli.”) I only knew that I was very glad to take a turn in the direction of up onto the Lost Trail and our next climb. I felt what happened over the next several miles would be crucial.

The Lost Trail gains about 800’ in the space of a mile. Much of it is done via steps. (See photo #19 in the photo series above.) Last year when I surged on Uli here he just slowly reeled me back in on the flat section that follows so my surge only hurt myself. Therefore, I decided that this was not the time to change my effort. I wanted to see what he would do. I got into a good rhythm on the steps. When I got to the top I had about 1 minute on him. OK, that was expected since he does not climb like I do. What will happen on the next flat section? Near the end, I still had right at 1 minute on him. OK that was unexpected and a bonus. As was getting to see Kyla who I guess technically illegally paced me for about 20 yards. Indeed, I actually caught myself trying to drop her in the event someone would complain. The irony of having to surge to outrun my 6-year-old daughter. Back to the race Carpenter!

How about some gentle downhill on some asphalt? Check! How about a real test — the downhill to the Old Inn aid station at 36 miles via more nasty steps which are part of the famed “suicide hill” of the Dipsea? I arrived at the aid station and did not even want to look! Instead, I quickly refilled my bottle and was just waiting for a “hi Matt.” But there was no Uli! I did not know the gap but I did know I had gotten through a good section of flat, a good section of gentle down on a road, a steep section of down on some steps and had even managed to refill my bottle and there was still no Uli. I had held him off by maintaining the same effort as I had been running since the beginning of the race. An effort which was designed to preserve my energy for mile 44!

Our next little climb is rather short but it is also very steep. We ascend up the Dipsea trail to connect to the Deer Park trail/fire road for a short downhill before crossing the road and jumping onto the Redwood Creek trail. I felt very strong on the climb and passed a huge group of about 20 hikers before taking a sharp left and cruising the downhill. The Redwood Creek trail is ever so slightly downhill, very smooth and somewhat lush because of the creek that runs through the valley.

I was rolling along at about mile 38 taking a mental and physical inventory when all of a sudden something moved in front of me. That’s a freaking mountain lion! After looking at me for what seemed way too long, it turned and proceeded down the trail with me following it for about 100 meters before it went off trail. I was a little worried he would jump me when I got to that point but he must have realized I was the leader of the pack and so was waiting for weaker prey. The encounter was very exciting as the only other mountain lion I had seen was when I was running on my treadmill and one walked in front of my garage not even 3 feet away!

Soon, I came back to the intersection where previously we had jumped off the Redwood Creek trail to head over to the Heather Cutoff trail. Again, thanks to the in and out nature of the trail, I could not resist doing a couple of gap checks. Many times I saw nothing but finally I saw that the mountain lion had not gotten Uli either. I was pleased to see that the gap seemed about the same as back at the top of the Lost Trail (~1 minute). I told myself that if he had it in him he would have already caught me by now. I even considered the possibility that he was now running with his only hope being for me to falter. However, I was feeling strong and by now had regained most of the confidence that had escaped me back on the evil Bootjack Trail. I then hit the same road we had run on earlier for the .25 miles to the Dias Ridge trail. The road felt smooth, fast and easy. Things were looking up!

Literally! The Dias Ridge trail would be a great climb in and of itself. (See photos 20-26 of the series above. Again, the photographer really captured the essence of its magnitude.) But to throw it at runners ~39 miles into a 50 mile race just seems cruel. Not unlike the hitting the Powerline monster ~78 miles into the Leadville Trail 100. But just like the Powerline at Leadville, this was to be one of my favorite sections. I hit another split on my watch at the foot of the climb and looked back a few times until Uli hit the same spot to start his climb. 59 seconds! A short time and a lifetime all at the same time. Short if you are in front, long if you are not.

It would be 24 minutes before I hit the Shoreline Highway aid station at 41 miles. I did not run easy and I did not run hard. Again, all my eggs were going into the 44 mile basket. A quick refill and again I was gone. The next section of fire road (still called the Miwok trail) is very gradual. Last year I made yet another desperate surge here while Uli was getting food. I was done but hoped he was as bad off as I was and that perhaps he would break. He did not. This year there was no need for a surge as I already felt like I was picking up speed without even trying. The soft dirt of this section felt like an all weather track. My 5.8oz flats felt like I was running in socks and for the first time I thought about winning the race. As an added bonus, they kept us on the Miwok this year whereas last year they incorrectly had us run the 1/2 marathon route which added .2 of a mile. Point 2 is not much, but not having to run it felt like Christmas had come early! Before taking the turn off the fire road portion of the Miwok back onto the single track portion, I did another gap check on the huge “C” section of course I had just finished. I saw no one! It had to be at least 2 minutes perhaps even 3. No matter, it looked like a long way when I was looking over to this point several minutes ago and I hoped it would be just as discouraging to Uli to get there and see no one.

The final downhill back to the Tennessee Valley aid station at mile 44 is pretty steep and somewhat rutted. Last year I had Uli puking on it. I had thought it was mine then just as I was thinking it was mine now. In fact, I was now close enough to the end that for the first time I even started pressing the downhill a little in the event that Uli was going to do another crazy descent. I was reveling in the fact that I was starting to pass more and more 1/2 marathoners when I came upon a group of 3-4 of them. (I had long since passed the leaders of the 50K) I was making my way to the side of the trail to go around... THUNK! I hit the ground before I knew I had fallen! I landed on a three point triangle consisting of my ear, my jaw and my shoulder. I heard a pop by my ear. I don’t even remember what I yelled. My ear was already ringing but I could hear muffled voices asking if I was OK. Over years and years of trail running and the obligatory falls that come with it, I have forced myself to get up after a fall and just start running faster before the shock and pain settles in. Here, now, I did not have to think about it. It was reflex. I got up and ran. I ran as fast as I could which for a few moments was not that fast. Oddly, this was the only time in the entire race in which I thought about the 10 thousand dollars that were on the line. I wondered if I could still win it and, if so, how much of it would be used for my medical bills.

The rest of the descent down to the Tennessee Valley aid station was a blur. At first I could not open my mouth very far but then it popped and started working again. My ear was ringing less and less and the white holes in my vision slowly went away. Even the buzzing feeling in my head dissipated. I was still a little confused when I got to the aid station but by then I was going fast enough that I felt the fall was not going to be a factor. However, it took a few seconds to register Yvonne holding out my final water bottle and I almost did not take it. At the last second the thing that “clicked” for me was that it was a smaller bottle than the one I was carrying so I grabbed it to save some weight. I don’t think I even broke stride. It had not even registered that I would be exchanging air for liquid so I would actually be taking on weight. As I headed away from the aid station Yvonne was yelling something about 1 minute and not to take any chances.

And just like that 372 days had brought me back to mile 44. But today it would not be an issue. Despite the fall I had saved everything for here. I killed the demon in 13 minutes compared to Thursday’s hamstring gimped 20. I knew how long it was until I started down. I knew how long I would have to run down and over and to the end. The whole time I just stayed in that little place I had gone after my fall and focused on each foot plant so that I would not make the same mistake twice. Other than that I really don’t remember what I was thinking most likely because I was not thinking. I was just running and I was feeling better with each step. My feet danced when they reached the pavement. The smile on my face at the finish was one of relief. Kyla joined me for a little jog and within a few minutes or so I was eating some great food. The North Face crew had a heck of a spread last year and this year it was even better. For the next several hours I smiled a lot, hung out and visited with other runners, and just soaked it all in while we waited for the awards ceremony.

Afterwards, we took Kyla to Rodeo Beach before heading to the hotel. Once there, another inventory revealed a clicking jaw and a painful shoulder which Yvonne felt compelled to take a picture of. We went out to eat with Uli and his wife. It was a great time and I downed a whole pizza. I did not sleep that night but instead floated through it on a cushion of joy. We left the next morning and split the drive over 3 days with stops in Yosemite and Las Vegas. Unlike the trip out, I did not keep as many stats. For that matter, it dawned on me that I had failed to pack a single thing that would be needed after 12pm on Saturday. When we finally got home it was 28 degrees and as I stood there in the cool crisp air and looked up at Pikes Peak I could swear it felt warmer than any day in San Francisco. I love Manitou!

Things Done Right:
- Knew the course (by default) but still studied it endlessly
- Got a crew!
- Trained more specially for the demands of this course. How do you spell STEPS!
- Used a couple of Fall Series races at tune-up races looking for any weaknesses.
- Ran my own race and let the others do crazy downhill dives.
- Did not let it phase me one bit when I had to make a pit stop.

Things Done Wrong:
- I almost blew it by not monitoring my legs on the drive out.
- I should not have eaten Kyla’s portion of pasta the day before the race

Beyond that, considering the outcome there is not a lot that I need to beat myself up over.

Any Other Stuff:
Got a Poison Oak rash on my arm which was new for this year.

The “official” North Face recap story is at:
http://www2.thenorthface.com/endurancechallenge/races/2008/sca_recap.html

Yvonne’s and Kyla’s crew report is at:
http://www.inclineclub.com/r_2009.htm#NF50

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Stephen Mitchell reports:
Distance: 50 miles
Goal: Finish in 12 hours
Results: 10:53

General Summary:
National Championship for the NF series with previous other regional races throughout the year in different locations across the country. Course is significantly hilly, but mostly run-able. The weather was excellent. The course was dry, but with a plethora of poison oak (watch out for it on your right side somewhere on the course, my arm still is itching after weeks). Wanted to run the course at ease because I had not run it before. Well supported race. Nice volunteers. Great goodie bag (more merchandise than I paid to enter the race). Flew out early the day before to be able to run the portion of the course that we would race in the dark. Reviewed the course on Google Earth. Trained in the local area that replicated the tough parts of the course. Drop bags and crews allowed, I did not employ either. Aid stations were well stocked for the most part. Scenery was beyond imagination. The redwood trees were a real highlight on the course. The course started with a 5-mile loop and then a series of 4 half loop cour ses to an out to mile 26 and a return on the same route of about 3 miles. Then another series of 4 half loop courses back to the finish. The half loop course allowed the same aid station to be used twice during the race at the point where the half loops connect to make a full loop. Nice 50 mile course.

Things Done Right:
- Arrived early the day before
- Ran the “dark” portions of the course the day before
- Picked up packet the day before
- Used GPS device to lay in driving course to ease dark morning drive
- Used GPS device during race
- Trained specifically for type of terrain in race
- Went to bed early
- Read everything on the race I could find
- Studied course materials
- Pored over Google earth data
- Wore minimal clothing
- Wore a plastic throw-away poncho to begin race
- Wore race ready shorts (lots of pockets)
- Had fun and took lots of pictures on the course

Things Done Wrong:
- Did not fuel well, I had 5 low energy states I had to eat out of
- No other issues

Any Other Stuff:
- Could have used a few different things at aid, but without a crew it was satisfactory
- Aid stations ran out of some of things I like to eat/drink
- No mylar blanket at finish, people got cold and left (disappointing)
- Food at finish was alright, just not something I normally eat
- Finisher medal was pretty big
- Chip timed
- Splits for 18, 30, and 50 miles
- Middle 12 miles are the tough miles
- Really a beautiful course and challenging
- Recommend it to anyone

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Rock Canyon Half Marathon — Pueblo — 12/6/2008

Tim Steffens reports:
Distance: 13.1 Miles
Goal: Under 1:40:00
Results: 1:35:16
Website: http://www.socorunners.org/races/raceinfo/RockCanyoninfo2008.htm

General Summary:
What a great day for a race! The weather was perfect and the course was dry.

Things Done Right:
I kept my pace under 7:30 for a majority of the race.

Things Done Wrong:
I slowed during mile 11 letting my HR drop and my pace as well. It was difficult to recover from but I increased both..

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Alonzo DeBerry reports:
Distance: 13.1 miles
Goal: Get close to my ADT 1/2 marathon time
Results: Beat my ADT 1/2 marathon time

General Summary:
It was a beautiful day for the race.

Things Done Right:
Paced myself well and was able to do a negative split on the way in.

Things Done Wrong:
Didn’t go to the potty before the race because the lines were too long and had to go after finishing the first mile.

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Michael Hartley reports:
Distance: 13.1
Goal: qualify fiance for ascent
Results: qualified with last year's quals...hopeful no changes

General Summary:
Great day for race.

Things Done Right:
Stayed with Sara and pushed hard when needed.

Things Done Wrong:
Uncertain what happened to left calf...but WOW, it was painful and like a rock...I am still working it out?

Any Other Stuff:
Oh my gosh! That wobbly bridge, although short, was almost Saras nemesis. I had to work hard to talk her out of motion sickness and unconsciousness...lol

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High Desert 50km — Ridgecrest, CA — 12/7/2008

Anita Bower reports:
Distance: 50 km
Goal: sub 5 hours
Results: 4:53:43 7th woman, 3rd in my age group.
Website: http://www.othtc.com

General Summary:
This was the first race I did, and run longer than 13 miles since my last 50 miler Oct. 26th, (winning it in 8:12) as I was a bit burned out after running a 100 miler, two 50 mile races and a marathon in October. Still walked and ran, but nothing over 40 miles a week.

Things Done Right:
Was rested, dressed right, found the perfect jog bra for my new additions, and had a great time, and set a PR for the 50km distance. Beat the rain that came in for the slower people.

Things Done Wrong:
Too rested. I could tell my legs hadn’t been doing the hills, and I got dehydrated a little, which cost me a few minutes later on.

Comments on Calculator:
Can’t do math.

Any Other Stuff:
Hilly, but beautiful desert scenery.

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XTERRA Trail Running World Championship — Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, Hawaii — 12/07/2008

Larry Rosenkranz reports:
Distance: 21K
Goal: To Finish
Results: 2:02:59, 4th place in my age group M40-44
Website: http://www.xterraplanet.com/xduro/index.html

General Summary:
More than 800 runners from 32 states and eight countries participated in the 5, 10, and 21km events.

Near perfect running conditions with cool breezes, cloud cover, and temperatures in the mid-70’s greeted runners for the 13.1 mile championship race that featured 3,000 feet of elevation gain while weaving up-and-down the verdant cliff faces in Ka’a’awa Valley and into the dense rainforest of Hakipu`u Valley at Kualoa Ranch.

There was far too many dirt roads and not enough single track on this race course, but there was some really fun, muddy, and slippery downhill single track where I landed on my butt at one point. I came in 69th place overall out of 357 runners and 4th in my age group M40-44.

Things Done Right:
Took in plenty of fluids at all the aid stations.

Things Done Wrong:
The accidental fall on my butt when coming down the muddy, slippery single track downhill section must have caused me to pull or tear a muscle in the side of my torso. I thought it was a stitch when it developed about 3/4 of the way through the race, but realized it was an injury when it didn’t go away after the race. I have not been able to run since the race since it is still quite sore.

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Tucson Marathon — Tucson, AZ — 12/07/2008

Matt Laubhan reports:
Distance: 26.2 miles
Goal: To complete
Results: ~5 hours
Website: http://www.tucsonmarathon.com

General Summary:
Despite having a partially-swollen ankle, I tried the Tucson Marathon on Sunday, December 7. My buddy and I both had “questionable” ankle conditions--so we decided to do an “easy” 11-mile trail run (Phone Line Trail in the Sabino Canyon area) to “test the water.” Coming out of the run OK, we both decided to stick with the full marathon the following morning. I had some major problems after mile 14 in this marathon (see below for reasons). I honestly had no preconceived expectations for this race other than to finish given the circumstances. I ran so poorly, I believe Oprah Winfrey actually beat me (burying my head in the sand)! But the 11-miler warm up was a fun run the day prior! ;)

Things Done Right:
* Appropriate amount of training to run a sub-3:40:00.
* Took water at every aid station to avoid dehydration.
* Started at a good (normally maintainable) pace.

Things Done Wrong:
Everything. ;)

I ran a 3:41:00 in the San Antonio Marathon 3 weeks prior. Although I don’t think the proximity of this marathon relative to San Antonio had anything to do with my poor performance, the following factors did have a major impact:

* Too little sleep.
* Partying (boozing) the night before.
* Not enough carb loading.
* Swollen ankle.
* No tapering.

I also need more distance training to mitigate the impacts of “hitting the wall” after 20-some-odd miles. Although I know everyone hits this limit at some point, I think I get it worse than most.

Comments on Calculator:
GPS is nice.

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Tallahassee Ultra Distance Classic — Wakulla Springs State Park, Florida — 12/13/2008

Kevin Carnahan reports:
Distance: 50 Miles
Goal: 8:20 or just finish
Results: 9:00:03
Website: http://www.tallahasseeultra.com/

General Summary:
The drama actually began a few months before the race itself. I had methodically increased my weekly distances to over 50 miles a week. I began to think that I could sustain more speed much longer than I had been and, at the same time, I began to increase the weekly miles more quickly than was recommended.

As I ran one morning, the nasty feeling of something in my knee moving in an unnatural direction followed by slowly building pain in my knee tendons was not a welcome development. I reduced my running to under 2 miles a day and then, sensing that I wasn’t improving, I gave up altogether.

I didn’t begin again until the first week in November. Two miles a day for a week. 20 total miles the next week. OK. I’ll be OK. I entered the race still determined to get the 50 mile run under my belt. At her request, I signed my wife up for the 50k. She trains consistently in a gym but hadn’t been running.

After beginning again, all of my runs had consisted of 9 minute runs followed by a 1 minute walk regardless of total distance. I was able to keep a 10 minute pace and decided this would be my strategy in the race. My wife and I took a run together on the Saturday before the race. I ran 11 miles comfortably. 9 minute run. 1 minute walk.

My wife ran about 8 miles. She was unaffected the next day and I knew that she’d be fine.

I ran 9 miles the next morning and 6 more on Monday. I forgot my water bottle and spent Monday and Tuesday recovering from dehydration. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday involved 2 mile runs. Friday, with our 11 year old daughter, we drove to Tallahassee and celebrated an early Christmas.

My father-in-law was kind enough to drive my daughter and me to the race location so I wouldn’t have to worry about finding it in the morning. We got a little lost but found an easy route that made for an uneventful drive the following morning.

We were out of bed the next morning before the alarm clock. It was 4:30 AM. Both of us had slept soundly. I hadn’t expected that.

We left our daughter to sleep and to spend the morning (and afternoon) with her grandparents and headed out. The thermometer in the dashboard of the car said 33 degrees. The night sky was clear and the full moon was bright.

“The moon will be as close to the earth as it ever gets, tonight,” my father-in-law had informed us the night before. That would seem important to share with Gary Griffen, the race director, as we briefly ran near each other at the beginning of the race.

At the start/finish area, the runners who had made their way up from further down Florida’s peninsula were quite conscious of the temperature. Everyone was upbeat and anxious to begin.

Gordy Hawkins, a race veteran with 24 starts, introduced himself to us. He would encourage my wife by name throughout the race.

After a few words about logistics and an inspirational verse from Isaiah (I would reflect later that I must not have waited very well. While I didn’t faint after walking, I did grow quite weary and did not sprout wings.) the 50 milers followed Gary to their separate start line.

Gary and, I presume, his wife, Peg, used cell phones to coordinate the simultaneous start and we were off.

On the drive to Florida the day before, I had decided that I would go ahead and run for a couple of hours before starting my run walk routine. If my knee started feeling funny I could start walking earlier. It seemed that running when I was stronger made sense so that I could give up time on the walks when I wasn’t moving as fast.

“Run the tangents on the curves,” I heard Gary telling a runner he knew. “On a race this long you can run a lot less.”

After about 3 laps around the 2.06 mile course I realized I’d need to stop to use the bathroom. “Too much coffee,” I thought.

I had worked out the way I expected to run the race with respect to hydration. Three gulps of water mixed with gel would yield 16 oz. and 220 calories an hour.

My pace was under 9 min/mile.

Three more laps and I would have to stop for the bathroom again. Now I was beginning to think it wasn’t just the coffee.

My stop edged me up over 9 minute pace. I still felt strong and hadn’t even thought about walking.

Three more laps. Now I was irritated. I was carrying a 32 oz. bottle, one of 5 I had filled up for the run. It didn’t seem heavy but I thought it would be nice to quit carrying it. I would try 4 gulps each time I came around. I had been taking three gulps every 10 minutes as I had planned. I grabbed a bagel from my own stash of goodies to help make up the calorie difference. I had no idea how many calories a bagel would give me but I suppose it wouldn’t be enough.

As I ran, my wife and I kept crossing paths. She would give me a thumbs up. It didn’t seem long before I was able to tell her she was half way.

“Good.”

We were headed in opposite directions and we were about a half mile apart when I realized that it was I who had done half of the 50k distance and she was a half lap behind me. Oops. Close enough.

I was now getting lapped and, less frequently, lapping others. The protocol of brief encounters had by now been determined. There were the serious, unresponsive front runners of the 50k, the meek, private runners and the extroverts attempting smiles or a fine atta boy.

I came up on a 50 miler who I had spoken with briefly before we started.

“How’s it going?” I asked in the fashion instinctively engineered to balance between sympathy and encouragement.

“I’m just trying to make the 50k. Then we’ll see.”

“Hang in there.”

At 25 miles I came across Gordy speed walking the 50k.

“I’ve never run this far before in my life!” I think I was bragging but may have sounded like I was complaining.

“Just stay in the now. Don’t look ahead. Just stay in the now.”

I was creeping up over 9 and a half minute pace. Somewhere in the mid 30 miles my watch told me I had tipped over the 9:40. Something clicked on and I attained a brief euphoric high. I looked back at my watch a few minutes later. 9:39.

Then, back to 9:40. Oh, well. I was hooked.

9:42

At the 40 mile mark my loss of training kicked in. Every half mile I’d loose another second or 2 on pace. I kept my smile and thought, “From here you could crawl to the finish.”

The 50kers were pretty much done now and the looks of sympathy and encouragement that were exchanged when we crossed each other's paths took on more meaning. We were asking the front runners how many laps they had to go. When runners got within a lap or two from the finish they began to volunteer it. “Two to go after this one.” “One to go after this one.” “I’m on my last lap.”

As one runner passed in the opposite direction he pointed his finger in the form of a gun at his head and pulled the trigger. He used his other hand to represent the effect of the bullet coming out of the other side of his head.

On another occasion he would shout to me, “I just ate a roast beef sandwich! How stupid was that!” It sounded good but probably was affecting him differently than he intended.

Every report was received as an encouragement. He’s going to do it! I’m going to do it, too!

9:50

Throughout the second half of the run it had been occurring to me that my daughter would be able to pace me if she wanted to. I had thought of how I would coax her onto the course when I saw her. With still more than 10 miles left I saw the car she would have come in. At 5 laps I asked my wife who had already finished if she had seen them.

“No.”

9:58

Just as I was beginning the 4th to the last lap, I heard a cheer. There they were. Where was my daughter? There she is.

“Come run with me!”

“Go run with Dad!”

She was on the other side of a low hedge that she briefly contemplated jumping. She found her way around it and ran up along side me. She spent the next two laps running ahead of me and then waiting. At the end of the second lap she ran ahead and got my water bottle.

On the first lap with her I crossed the 10 minute pace mark going irretrievably in the wrong direction.

“But you’re going to finish, Dad!”

I ran the second to last lap alone. I was barely moving.

My daughter rejoined me for the last lap. I picked up the pace and when rounding the corner for the final mile I realized that I might be able to finish just under 9 hours. I left my daughter behind for a desperate attempt a spontaneous goal.

I crossed the line at 9:00:03.

My wife and I were fortunate to have her father to drive us back to his home after the race. While on the ride I asked a question that had occurred to me throughout the race.

“What were those people protesting today?”

“What people?”

“The people wearing the signs with the word ‘Ultra’ covered by a circle with a line through it.”

“Those weren’t protester. They were running the race even though they didn’t get registered. They were wearing those signs so that the lap counters wouldn’t get them confused with the registered runners.”

“Oh.”

Things Done Right:
Didn’t let unexpected events deter me.
Kept a good attitude throughout the race.
Didn’t stop at the start/finish aid station and kept stops for refueling to under a minute.

Things Done Wrong:
Didn’t stick to the pre-race plan. I started sweating salt in the last 10 miles and lost about 4 pounds during the race. I think my end of race meltdown might have been avoided even with the lost weeks of training if I had kept to the plan. Stopping because of too much hydration trumps not finishing.

Any Other Stuff:
Thanks for letting a displaced Coloradoan be a part of the Club. The news emails are inspirational and served an integral part of my education and training.

This race is flat, nearly at sea level and the aid station comes around every 2.06 miles. A great beginner ultra course at 50k and 50 miles.

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Running from an Angel — Lake Mead, NV — 01/03/2008

Chris Grove reports:
Distance: 50 Miles
Goal: < 10 hours
Results: 9:16
Website: http://www.calicoracing.com/

General Summary:
I decided in early December I was in fantastic shape and was peaked for a 50 miler. The problem: Its winter time. Running from an Angel was a good option (cheap travel, good location) BUT it was a week before the Disney World weekend. After some thought, I decided if I designed a conservative race plan and threw out any times goals for Disney, I was capable (and stupid enough) to run all three.

The race plan: Run the first hour. After the first hour, use a 9/1 run/walk intervals. Eat a gel every hour and not depend on the aid station food.

The weather was great except for a headwind which was never a tailwind on an out and back course. How does that happen?

I had a 10 mile runner’s high after the turn around and never a moment of despair. It was really the prefect race day. It was probably because I wore my Incline Club shirt :)

Things Done Right:
1) I did a proper 2 week taper before the race.
2) I followed my race plan.

Things Done Wrong:
Nothing!

Any Other Stuff:
Running from an Angel was a great little road ultra. The area around Lake Mead is scenic. The course is rolling hills and never flat. The weather was perfect.

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Anita Bower reports:
Distance: 50 miles
Goal: faster than last year
Results: 7:48:13 1st place woman, 7th overall
Website: http://www.calicoracing.com

General Summary:
This would be my second year running this very hilly out and back desert race. I went in relaxed, slightly overfed from the holidays, with no solid expectations, other than to burn off some holiday cheer. but as it turned out, things went very well and I was able to win the women’s race, take 7th overall, and set a PR.

Things Done Right:
Rested the night before. Actually was able to sleep, although 6am seemed awfully early. No stupid carbo loading. Ate a light early dinner, watched “Wife-Swap” on TV, just to show my husband that there are worse women he could be married to, and only ran 40 miles total for the week of the race. Took in lots of caffeine during the race to keep my energy levels up, and ran the first half 7 minutes slower than last year. I also had a great crew, and two very tough women I beat in the last 12 miles. One was beautiful, blond, and younger than me, so I HAD to clobber her, and then it came down to duking it out with a 50 year old woman the last half mile. I hate coming in second place, more than third, or even last, but really hate it when it is only by a few minutes, or seconds,(all the “what ifs” get to me) Had I not had a crew, or bothered to use the bushes that last mile,( a bathroom story that will never be posted on my IC bio) she would have had me. One very tough classy lady for sure. We bo th thanked each other at the finish for pushing each other so hard.

Things Done Wrong:
Wasted energy fighting myself. I wasn’t in the mood to compete, found myself 7 minutes slower than last year at the turnaround, and in fourth for 35 miles. I could tell my husband wasn’t too thrilled about it either, although he did seem to enjoy some of the views along the course, (see “things done right”) a bit much.

Any Other Stuff:
Saw another ICer there, in the trade mark shirt! Very hilly out and back course. Well organized, but windy. see my blog for more details and photos.

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Turquoise Lake snowshoe run — Leadville, CO — 01/03/2009

Jon Teisher reports:
Distance: 20 miles
Goal: finish
Results: finished

General Summary:
20 mile snowshoe race going around Turquoise Lake in Leadville, CO. Supposedly this is one of the more difficult snowshoe races in the country.

Things Done Right:
Finished.

Things Done Wrong:
Never wore snowshoes in my life before race morning.

Any Other Stuff:
Good five plus hour effort at altitude. Doing some snowshoeing before the race probably would have helped a lot.

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Katie reports:
Distance: 20 miles
Goal: finish 10miles
Results: finished 15 miles

General Summary:
It was a 20 mile snowshoe race in Leadville. Start was cold and snowy. the lake was even colder and very windy. The rest of the race was filled with beautiful views and challenging hills:)

Things Done Right:
I brought enough water and wore/brought enough layers.

Things Done Wrong:
the duct tape on my shoes didn’t keep the water out once I sunk 6” in slush on the lake. Not trying out my snowshoes before the race.

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River, Roots and Ruts Trail Run — Caloosahatchee Regional Park, near Ft. Myers, FL — 1/11/2009

Adam Feerst reports:
Distance: 1/2-marathon
Goal: 1)Race hard to see what shape I’m in. 2)Win. 3)1st Master.
Results: 4th oa. 1st master. 1:30:50. SVT. Not sure what shape I’m in.
Website: http://www.rrrtrail.com/

General Summary:
There were several unknowns for me (besides obviously not knowing the course or competition):

1)I don’t what kind of race shape I’m in. We had a baby last Jan. She and the family was my main focus in 2008. I did run, but it was purposely not focused, nothing really long (>2hrs), and no speed work, until a few weeks ago. I did some small races, but nothing I targeted, and nothing longer than 63 min. Planning to do Boston in 2010 (I’ll be 50), and want a qualifying time in 1st corral, probably low-mid 2:50s, on this spring (May 3, possibly Ft. Collins, possibly sea level).

2)I was sick two of the prior three weeks. I didn’t run at all the 3rd week prior, and only got in one run the week prior. I still had a runny nose and was coughing up some plugs on race morning.

3)Hard to judge effort level at sea level.

4)Supra-Ventricular Tachycardia (SVT)

SVT is caused by a secondary electrical pathway in the heart that causes the heart to beat prematurely. This causes the heart to beat extra fast, typically 30-50 beats higher when I’m running; my HR might be in the 180s-200s, instead of 140s-160s. When this happens, the chambers don’t have time to fill before the blood is ejected into the body, so I’m pumping less volume with each stroke. My heart is also working a lot harder.

It was diagnosed in Oct, 2007. Although, I’ve probably had it for a number of years. All those times I thought I was getting bad HR readings was really SVT. I don’t notice it when it happens (most people feel a throbbing in their neck or chest, and light headed), but it does definitely affect my performance.

Thus, my plan was to go out conservatively for the first few miles, I guessed at about 6:30 pace, then see how I felt.

Two guys went off the front in the first 600m, and were quickly out of sight on the twisty, tree lined trails. I might have chased if I hadn’t been getting over a cold. Instead, I settled into the 2nd pack, maybe 8-10 of us. It was conservative enough that there were a few conversations going on. It felt a lot more like the start of a marathon or 50km, then a 1/2-marathon pace, which was fine with me.

About 5 or 6 min in, I moved to the front of the pack. I prefer to see the trail, and to set my own pace. I assumed everyone else stayed with me, but I didn’t look back. Went through 2mi (missed 1mi marker) in 13:00, and 3mi in 19:30; right on my estimate, if the miles were accurate.

Just past 3mi, two guys pushed their way through the pack. They asked if anyone else was in front. They were surprised to hear about the other two. I didn’t know whether they had been sitting on the pack or started late. They started to open a gap. I started to go with them, but my legs felt flat. I don’t know whether it was the cold or SVT. My HR was about 190 everytime I looked at it. I didn’t want to start pushing the pace that early with SVT.

The course opens up about 5km. We weave, accordion-like, through an open field, for the next 1.5mi. I was able to see that the two leaders were about 2min ahead. My only hope of catching them was that my SVT would subside, and that they would fade. By the end of that 1.5mi section, the next two guys had put 25-30 sec on me. One of them had gray hair, so I assumed that the top master spot was gone too (he was “only” 39). I entered the forest with just one other guy on my heels; the rest of the pack had splintered.

The next 7+ mi are tight single track. The first couple or fairly straight. Occasionally, we’d run up the side of a burm, then drop back into the forest. After a while, I noticed that the guy on my heels would drop back whenever we did this. There aren’t that many real trails in FL, so there aren’t that many great trail runners. I decided to pick it up ever so slightly. I’m not sure I actually increased the pace. Rather, I made sure I didn’t scrub off any speed whenever the trail turned, dropped, or otherwise got technical. By the 1/2-way relay exchange, I had opened up a gap.

The next couple of miles were more twisty, and in denser forest. Even I had to duck a few times (sometimes it pays to be short). I was still in SVT, so not ready to push too hard, but did pick it up just a bit, and made sure I kept my momentum through all of the twists and turns. I really focused on keeping my turnover high. That was in lieu of pushing the effort too hard, and helped keep my balance and speed through the trees.

At about 8.5mi, there’s almost 2mi of fairly technical trail. It continued to be very dense and very twisty — some of the turns were >180º; I even used my had to swing around some trees. In this section, we also repeatedly ran up and down the side of a small ridge. These dips and climbs were very short, but steep, off-camber, sharply bottomed out. It was very hard to maintain any momentum through this. I clocked mile 9 at 9:00. I was fairly certain this was long (1.225 on my foot pod, which I only saw after). I hadn’t scrubbed off that much speed, only half of which had the ups and downs. I caught one of the two guys who pulled away at 5km. I started to think about catching up to the other, who I thought was the first master. Mile 10 in 8:10; could’ve been right.

Towards the end of the section, I caught site of the guy who entered the forest on my heels, in a weave through a slight clearing. I think I only had about 20 sec on him. With <5km to go, I decided to start pushing, SVT be dammed. I wanted to make sure that he didn’t have another chance to see me, or get close enough to race me to the finish. I knew I had the technical advantage. I didn’t know about raw speed in the open, or how I would hold up with SVT. I pushed through the last few sets of twists, and across some rickety foot bridges. By the time I came out of the dense forest, and through a long, straight, open stretch, I couldn’t see him behind me.

The last ~1.75 are fairly open and good footing. I tried to get time gaps to the guy ahead of me, but didn’t get anything consistent. Still, I raced as if it were a 5km, with the hopes of running him down. My SVT had finally ended. I was pushing the mid-high 160s. I did mile 12 in 5:15 (yeah right, that was way short). I never saw him, nor the guy behind (not that I was looking back). I finished 50 sec ahead of 5th, 1:19 behind 3rd, 4+ out of 2nd, and 5+ out of 1st.

I’m still not really sure what kind of race shape I’m in. I ran fairly hard the last ~2.5mi. That was after being fairly conservative for the first 10.5 or so. I know I have some work to do before my marathon.

I was in SVT for 1:04:30 straight (185-196, ave 190) of the 1:30:50. I’m not upset about it. It’s just something I have to deal with (at least for a while. Tried ablation. Couldn’t trigger SVT, so couldn’t ablate).

I’m not sure the best way of handling SVT in a race, or whether it’s better to know or not. I’ve raced hard through it, and struggled. At GoG, in 2007, I was in SVT for 36 min straight, ran hard the whole way, and lost ~40 sec/mi, the last 4+ mi, over the people I had been running with. At another sea level race in Dec ‘07, I again held back early on while in SVT, then ran some people down over the last few miles. I’m sure being at sea level offsets some of the SVT affects. However, there was a sea level mountain race I did, where I lost ground on the downhill (my strength) after pushing the uphill in SVT.

Another option is to stop, and let my HR reset. There are some things you can do to help this. I thought about it, but wasn’t willing to give up my position at this race. I’ve done it on some training runs, but at lower effort levels, and often the SVT would resume once I started running again (perhaps stopping later). I can only do this if I know it’s happening, which I only know by looking at my HR watch (for much of this race, I put it on a view that didn’t show HR).

I think I need to do another couple of shorter races to test my fitness (so I know how to pace myself at my marathon), and to play around with different approaches to SVT.

Things Done Right:
After traveling all day on Saturday, spent time helping to take care of our baby, and spending time and eating dinner with niece, nephew and in-laws, rather than going out for a pre-race run. Priorities.

Bought NB790. Tried them once before race. Fit like gloves. Lightweight, 8oz. Traction. Good lateral stability.

Things Done Wrong:
Have a daughter? Have SVT? Right.

Any Other Stuff:
It was a very fun course for sea level. Like I said earlier, not a lot of very good trail runners. A lot of triathletes there. There was quite a bit of carnage (bloody shins and foreheads, twisted ankles, bruised and muddy shoulders) at the finish. Good food. Nice prizes. Great aid stations.

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Disney World Goofy Race and a Half Challenge — Disney World (DUH!) — 01/11/2009

Chris Grove reports:
Distance: 13.1 (Saturday) + 26.2 (Sunday)
Goal: To finish
Results: 2:15 / 4:09

General Summary:
The week between Las Vegas and Florida, I took easy. I ran once on Wednesday and took the dog for a few short hikes. That’s it.

My strategy for past Goofy’s was to take the 1/2 very easy and race the full. Its worked well for 2/3 weekends. In 2008, I was dead tired from stress at work and was in no condition to race a 1/2 marathon much less a full. I walked a lot. This year, I was going to take both easy.

Saturday morning was a little cool for standing around in shorts. I wished I had brought a trash bag to keep warm. Everything was fine once I started running. I set an easy pace and walked 30 seconds every mile. Inside Magic Kingdom, I *waited* in a line to have my picture with Jack Sparrow on the pirate ship. Around mile 10, my big toes bruised from the previous weekend began to hurt but it was bearable. I finished up in 2:15 and my legs felt fantastic. My average HR was 140 for the run. You can’t ask for an easier 13 miles.

Sunday morning was warmer than Saturday. I had kept my thermal blanket from the previous day so I was toasty while I waited for the race to start. As I waited in the coral, I saw the ClifBar Pace Team arrive. I saw the 4 Hour Pacer and remember last year’s death march. I formulated a new plan: I would run with the 4 hour team and when my HR hit 160, I would slow down and would run with the 4:15 team. Within minutes, the plan was bust. There were too many people and I could not stay with the pacer. I decided to keep the balloons in sight and not waste effort trying to catch the pacer. That worked great until I stopped to use a port-o-port around mile 8. I eventually caught sight of the balloons again after Magic Kingdom. I slowly gained ground until I was a about a minute from the balloons. Then I needed to use the bathroom again (a long visit). I never saw the balloons again. I think that worked out at I doubt I could have maintained the 9:05 pace the final 11 miles and I did not need to watch the balloons slowly escape my view.

One benefit to running Disney World 3 previous times, I know the section between Animal Kingdom (mile 18 and Hollywood Studio (mile 22) sucks bad. It’s always boring and usually hot. I decided to keep it easy and conserve energy for the final 4 miles. I dropped my pace by about 1 minute/mile. I didn’t really stress because I only had to finish. Once I reached Hollywood Studios, the shade and crowds returned and I kicked it up a notch. I was back to my original pace and finished off the marathon strong. My final time was 4:09. 10 minutes faster than my previous best.

It is a shame I don’t have a time machine so I could run the marathon again without the 50 miler the previous weekend. I am curious if I would have broken 4 hours without it. But I don’t regret it because I got 2 PRs in two weekends in a row!

Things Done Right:
- For the marathon, I was popping gels every hour like I did the previous weekend.
- I realized my legs felt great Sunday morning and decided to run the marathon instead of just finishing it.
- I did not push hard to keep up with the pacer.
- I rested instead of running between Vegas and Florida.

Things Done Wrong:
Run a 50 miler the weekend before!

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Avalon 50 mile run — Catalina Island, CA — 01/17/09

Anita Bower reports:
Distance: 50 miles
Goal: sub 10 hours
Results: 9:53:52
Website: http://www.avalon50.com

General Summary:
This has been either my fourth or fifth time running this race, and is one of my favorites in the country. Well worth the hassle of getting to Long Beach, taking the Catalina Express over to Catalina Island.

Things Done Right:
Had fun. Used it as a training run, instead of competing, which was hard for me to do. Ran with some of my Badwater Double crew, and had a great time. Fuels right, hydrated well, and came under 10 hours as planned so I could catch the earlier boat to Long Beach for the 2 hour drive to Barstow for the 50km the next day. Avoided the huge heard of buffalo that was six miles from the finish.

Things Done Wrong:
Kind of wish I would have been more competitive. The slower I go, the more things hurt. it’s true! Matt’s right! “When it hurts, speed up!” Had too much fun rehashing the gory details of last years Badwater.

Any Other Stuff:
Very rolling, lots of climbing, and the last three miles are bone crunching downhill torture.

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Calico Trail Run 50km — Calico Ghost Town, near Barstow, CA — 01/18/09

Anita Bower reports:
Distance: 50km
Goal: finish
Results: 7:28:56
Website: http://www.calicotrailrun.org

General Summary:
Very unique race, set in a little historic ghost town of Southern CA. Extremely difficult. If you’re looking for a PR 50km, this isn’t your race. Technical, intense, but lovely desert views. Where else but CA can you run on a Pacific Island one day, then in the middle of the Mojave Desert the next!

Things Done Right:
Ate as soon as possible after running Avalon 50 the day before. Took my Recover Ease tablets too. That really helped. These too long back to back runs were merely training runs for some upcoming 100’s later this year, so I wasn’t out to make any records. I didn’t.Took in lots of calories, hydrated well, and didn’t run into any major traffic getting back to the airport after a slower than anticipated time.

Things Done Wrong:
Was so cautious with my knee, which throbbed the entire time. Just didn’t have it in me, but gritted it out.

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PF Changs Rock And Roll Half Marathon — Phoenix, AZ — 01/18/2009

Douglas Smith reports:
Distance: Half Marathon
Goal: 1:39:00
Results: 1:41:22
Website: http://www.rnraz.com/home.html

General Summary:
Ran this race for the third consecutive year. Beautiful weather, almost 50 degrees at start, with mid 60’s at the finish. There was a pretty good headwind in the last 5 miles, but enjoyed the wind for the most part, as it really did help the cool down the overdressed. Seemed like every band was playing Ritchie Valen’s “La Bamba” along the course, but there were two bands that were playing music you could actually pace on.

Things Done Right:
I had hoped to PR at this race, and was trying to run 7:30 miles from the start versus my normal kill the first 3 miles and struggle in the rest of the race. I managed to do this almost exactly for the first 7 miles, but then faltered. So pacing is getting slighly better. I beat my time from the past two years, so I guess that’s a positive (but barely, 20 seconds over last year).

Things Done Wrong:
The normal stuff, not enough sleep, overdressed, and didn’t hydrate enough during the race.

Any Other Stuff:
Steve Scott, the legendary U.S. Miler, and founder of “Speed Golf” (what?) was the 1:39 pacer. His wife was running with him, and was apparently the keeper of the Garmin 305, as he was strongly “instructed” by her to slow down for about every mile I was able to keep up with them. I wisely hung back so I wouldn’t get caught in the cross fire! Good to see that it’s not just us weekend hacks that get yelled at by their wives. FWIW, I think he ended up finishing at 1:39:33, so he got close...

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Houston Marathon — Houston, Texas — 01/18/2009

Mike Sandlin reports:
Distance: 26.2 Miles
Goal: Under 3 hours
Results: 2:52:10

General Summary:
Starting temperature was 52 degrees and was 70 degrees by the finish — a little warmer than our Sunday Incline Runs! The course is flat, except for 60 feet climb (overpass) at mile 14 — I ran the whole thing! Thanks to my Sunday runs on Long Ranch Road!

Things Done Right:
Even pass thoughout the race.

Things Done Wrong:
Should have been running up Barr trail with my fellow ICERS!

Any Other Stuff:
About the time I hit the “big hill” at mile 14, I thought about our club beginning their first Barr Camp run — boy did I miss everyone!!!! Writing this report just to get a * (I know it’s a little sick).

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Charles Scheibe reports:
Distance: 26.2 miles
Goal: sub-4:30
Results: 4:35:47
Website: http://www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com/Marathon.htm

General Summary:
Flat, single-loop course through the streets (mostly concrete) of the 4th largest city in US, starting and finishing downtown.

Things Done Right:
Visited with family and friends before, during, and after race. Escaped the pounding ordeal on the concrete without any residual damage. Completed my 21st Houston Marathon, including a current streak of 10.

Things Done Wrong:
Under-prepared ... what’s new?

Any Other Stuff:
Very well-organized race, plenty of aid stations and port-a-potties. Post-race breakfast, 2 shirts — entrant and finisher, medal and mug.

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Austin Half Marathon — Austin, Texas — 01/25/2009

Mike Sandlin reports:
Distance: 13.1 miles
Goal: finish
Results: 1:19:26

General Summary:
This is one of the fastest half marathons around. The course drops approximately 500 feet from the start to the finish. The temp. was 31 degrees at the start with sunshine and no wind. There were plenty of runners to pace with and the organization was super. If you are ever in the Austin area during this time, it would be worth putting this race on your plans.

Things Done Right:
Even pace. I ran the Houston marathon a week ago and I was still a little tired from it. Because the course was so fast, I could maintain just a little over a six minute pace for most of the race, with a little “kick” during the last two miles.

Things Done Wrong:
I should have been with my fellow ICERS doing the waldo/long ranch road double!

Any Other Stuff:
Again, the only reason to report this race was to get a “R” on my report — it’s sick, but I think there might be something wrong with all of us to get out and do the things we do. See everyone in March!

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Carlsbad Half Marathon — Carlsbad, Ca — 01/26/09

Andrea Cichosz reports:
Distance: 13.1
Goal: 2:00
Results: 2:02:33
Website: http://www.carlsbadmarathon.com/Half_Marathon/new_half_infoc38c.htm

General Summary:
Kate and I selected this race strictly by the attributes of the course. The half marathon starts at a shopping mall (California), goes directly towards the coast and more than half with a Pacific Ocean view, very beautiful. The hard thing was to figure out how the temperature was going to be. It was in the high 60s, but really humid. We brought fleece pants (ha ha) and ended up running in short sleeves. We selected a hotel that was literally on the race route, in the morning, they had closed the road and we had to be let out by the police.

Things Done Right:
Trained with a great partner, Kate Raphael! Was more aggressive in the beginning. Ran with my elbows out to the side in a 90 degree angle to keep others at bay. That works, I have to keep it in mind for the future. Hydrated well, took some nutrition on, even though I am not sure yet if that one doesn’t go into the “Things done wrong “category, see below. Kept a good pace. Overall I am very happy. I took 15 minutes of my best time. I must have done a few things not mentioned here right.

Things Done Wrong:
I used Hammer Gels and Hammer Heed. I had used the gels before but it has been a few years and the Heed I used in one of my last long runs and did fine with it. I took the first gel at the halfway point and my stomach started to feel not so good. I looked for a porta potty but there was a line so I decided to keep running. I was very close to making my goal to be under 2 hours until about 2.5 miles to the finish, when I just didn’t feel that great. The queasy feeling stayed with me; as a matter of fact it stayed with me and never went away until now that I am writing this report. That leads me to believe that it may not have been the gels or the Heed at all, but the stomach flu that is going around. I will just have to try again and see what happens.

Any Other Stuff:
A lot of people who I had talked to prior, mentioned that they had seen this race and were interested in it. It is a Marathon and a Half Marathon. From what I saw I would strongly recommend doing the Half Marathon and looking for a different Marathon somewhere else. As gorgeous as the Half portion is, the other half of the marathon goes into an area with a local airport and a lot of commercial buildings. That part of the course seemed really unattractive. Just a personal opinion.

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Sedona Marathon — Sedona, AZ — February 7, 2009

Anita Bower reports:
Distance: 26.2 miles
Goal: Top 3 women
Results: Overall female winner 3:35;52
Website: http://www.sedonamarathon.com

General Summary:
I went into this race not sure what to expect. I really wanted to run it under 3:30, but I soon learned that a sub 3:30 marathon is a lot harder than it sounds, especially for a runner like myself who trains predominately for ultramarathons, where speed is often compromised. it was a hilly course, at an altitude close to Albuquerque, where I am currently gritting my teeth, I mean residing, until I permanently moce back to Manitou later this year.60% on pavement, 40% dirt roads.

Things Done Right:
Ate very little the day before, sub 1100 calories, my normal daily intake, (unless I am running a 50 or 100, then lots more the week of and during the race), being around 1200, sometimes less. Less food in the intestines to battle with race morning, and indeed this worked out well for me.No time lost to making brownies in the bushes during the race! Lost three pounds for this race. I wanted this to be my fastest marathon, even though a 3:35 marathon isn’t exactly fast. I had ran a 50 miler and 50km in CA back to back just two weeks earlier, ( been too busy to send in RR yet) as training runs for an upcoming 100. It was an out and back course, and I paid close attention to where the hill were, so I could really fuel properly for the return trip, which is where I usually end up snagging the people who went out too hard, and didn’t drink or fuel enough early on. Quickly realizing that the last 5 miles were mostly uphill, I figured I could come in top 3, given I saw no fast ICer’s on the entrants list. (I won’t mention any names, Connilee!) On the turnaround, I saw I was in third as planned, but caught up with the second place female who was 13 years younger than me around mile 17. Her and I leap frogged each other, but she failed to take in enough calories or enough fluid for the steep climbs at the finish. The course officials laid out boards over the numerous cattle grates, and I could hear her once powerful one-step thunk over the wooden board turn to two within a mile. I knew I was creating a bigger gap between us and she was tiring. So this meant I was in second. As I’ve always thought, there is something crappy about being number 2,(pun intended) unless there is a descent prize or money for consolation. I had learned at the start of the race that they were giving a prize of $1400 in airfare for the first place male and female, plus $300 in gift certificates. And being that there is a 100km in April in Washington I want to do, I began to think it might be a good idea to try and win those tickets, instead of lap dancing for them (JUST KIDDING!). But upon the turnaround I could see that the first place female was about a mile ahead of my, and being “paced” by an ultrarunner who had beat me at the Run With An Angel 50 in January by 8 minutes. I knew I would have to go out of my comfort zone, both physically and mentally, and kick it in. But I had no way of knowing how close or far I was to her, seven miles out from the finish. I downed a few gels, some of my “ultra-crack” and some e-caps, and some fluid, for I knew if I had any chance of snagging her, it would be on the hills on the way back. My strategy had worked. I saw two runners side by side going around a turn. The runner on the left turned her head to look for traffic, and I caught a glimpse of a pony tail. But she saw me too, and later I learned, her friend had been pushing her, wanting her to win. She wasn’t going down without a fight, but I could see her looking back for me. I knew she was scared.Then her “friend” kept looking back, and once he figured out I was going to overtake her in the last few hundred feet, finish line in sight, he took off, to beat me. Turns out with the chip timing I later learned I beat him too by one second.But last years female winner won it in 3:09, so I have some work ahead of me. I was at least a decade older than the 2nd and 3rd place females, which is encouraging. Maybe with enough Botox, Juvederm, silicone and marathon and ultra wins, this approaching 40 thing won’t bug me as much!

Things Done Wrong:
I got a long way to go as far as conditioning goes if I want to break 3:30, or in my dreams, a 3:15 marathon. With some speed work, my finish would not have been as agonizing. I was panting like a dog those last hundred feet. I wore a bit much, but couldn’t have a crew to take my stuff for me, and I didn’t want to risk losing seconds at this race, which proved to be a wise choice, given I beat her only by 28 seconds. but I got my plane tickets for the 100km in April, and am hoping to qualify for another ultra marathon. And NO, not Badwater next year, given that this years entry fee went up to $800. Seriously. $800. Besides, I did it “twice” last year.

Any Other Stuff:
Very well organized, safe course, great volunteers and aid stations, and if your into kooky astrological, energy vortexes, and other metaphysical things like me, then Sedona is a great place!

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Surfside Marathon — Surfside, Texas — 02/14/2009

Mike Sandlin reports:
Distance: 26.2 miles
Goal: sub 3 hours
Results: 2:57:15

General Summary:
This is one of only a few marathons in the country that is totally on the beach. The sand is packed, which makes this run very runner “friendly” on the body. Total course elevation is approximately 10 feet (ok — stop laughing).

Things Done Right:
Ran even pace throughout the race.

Things Done Wrong:
Should have been running up to Barr Camp with my fellow ICERS!

Any Other Stuff:
The things we will do for a *!

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Austin Marathon — Austin Texas — 02/15/09

Gordon Barnett reports:
Distance: 26.2
Goal: 3:45:59
Results: 3:46:09
Website: http://youraustinmarathon.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1

General Summary:
4051 Finishers — 2456 M / 1595 F
Distance MAR
Clock Time 3:49:18
Chip Time 3:46:09
Overall Place 817 / 4051
Gender Place 660 / 2456
Division Place 39 / 201
3M Rank 953
3M Time 25:32
10M Rank 1013
10M Time 1:25:29
13 1M Rank 701
13 1M Time 1:52:01
20M Rank 779
20M Time 2:51:19
Mar Fin Rank 696
Mar Fin Time 3:46:09

Things Done Right:
Ran with the 3:45 pace crew.
Enjoyed Austin, the bands, and the crowds.

Things Done Wrong:
Fell off pace in the last mile.

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Jon Teisher reports:
Distance: 26.2 miles
Goal: 3:10:59.9
Results: 3:04:10

General Summary:
Went back to my old stomping grounds to qualify for Boston.

Things Done Right:
Qualified. The altitude advantage was huge down at sea level. Most of my training had been between nine and ten minutes per mile in Manitou. In Austin I had no problem hanging with the 3:10 pace group before dropping them after 12 miles.

Things Done Wrong:
Should have stayed at the Mean Eyed Cat for longer on Saturday night to enjoy another bottle of Boone’s.

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Iron Horse 100 — Florahome, FL — 02/21/09

Anita Bower reports:
Distance: 100 miles
Goal: 20 hours
Results: DNF’d at 75 miles
Website: http://ironhorse100kmclub.com/

General Summary:
Note to self: NO MORE RACES IN FLORIDA. EVER. Sorry if I’ve offended any Floridians. I actually have relatives in FL, that I have seen once in the past 20 years. I thought this was going to be my PR 100. It was advertised as flat, a unimproved rails to trails path. Nice and wide.

Things Done Right:
Came prepared. Had no crew or pacers, so put everything in pockets of different vests so I could just put on on each time I went past my car. brought my own water, ( more on that later) and found the start before the race.Brought lots of extra warm cloths...which came in handy.The temperature plunged at least 35 degrees at night, and next to a swamp, it got very cold.

Things Done Wrong:
Found out that the water they used was well water, which did not agree with me. My projected 8 hour 50 mile split turned into a 9:50 hour split due to numerous trips to the bushes.Despite paying a volunteer to buy me some water at a nearby gas station, the after affects took their toll. This made me slightly depleted, and slowed my pace, making it difficult to stay warm at night. The warm and sunny conditions changed at night. I had no idea FL could get so cold. Even the tree frogs grew silent! Also, there were a lot of roots and vines on parts of the trail, and if you tripped on one, you would land in a pile of glass in some places, where broken windshields and God knows what else lie. I didn’t feel like risking a fall on glass to jeoporidize my 2009 and 2010 plans, so I pulled my self at 75 miles.

Any Other Stuff:
Great race director, nice volunteers, but you can’t win them all.Very flat course, lots of sharp rocks.

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Wild and Crazy Half-marathon — Houston, TX — 2/22/2009

Mike Sandlin reports:
Distance: 13.1 miles
Goal: Sub 1:30
Results: 1:28:21

General Summary:
This was a race in downtown Houston, which included three laps around a little less than 4.5 mile loop. It was interesting because it sure made you think about stopping after the first loop! Mentally, I was challenged during the first loop, but after it was finished, it seemed to get easier knowing you did not stop!

Things Done Right:
Ran even pace throughout the run.

Things Done Wrong:
My legs were still tired from doing a marathon the week earlier (Austin).

Any Other Stuff:
I have been doing longer races the past few weeks, just because most of my training is just me and I miss the Sunday runs with my fellow ICERS. Can’t wait to be back going up Barr Trail with the club in two weeks (but who is counting)!

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Run The Republic — Denver — 2/22/2009

Fred Baxter reports:
Distance: 1098 steps 56 Floors
Goal: 7:20 1st place team
Results: 7;23 !st place team
Website: http://RunTheRepublic.com

General Summary:
This Race is for the American Lung Association about 1500 ran this year runners take off every 10 seconds starting at 8:00am till 2:00pm up the tallest Building in Denver?

Things Done Right:
Spent alot of time on the INCLINE 3 weeks before the race with Shawn and Ed alot of 22s 21s for Shawn WOW slowed down after the 20th floor then picked it up on the 46th floor? Got Cindy O’Neill to join our team 1st place over all female not bad for 1st time running it??

Things Done Wrong:
Went out to hard at the start

Any Other Stuff:
Very hot in the stair wells

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Michael Everson reports:
Distance: 1098 Steps up!
Goal: Finish
Results: Finished
Website: http://www.lungcolorado.org/RunTheRepublic/

General Summary:
This is a race up the Republic Plaza Building in Denver (the tallest building in the city) for the American Lung Association of Colorado.
The Baxters roped me in to this race, and I really enjoyed it.
The temprerature at the beginning of the race was a balmy 69 degrees in the basement level of the building. There was no wind to speak of until the 23 and 43rd floors where the AC was blasting. The end of the race had temps in the high 60s.

Things Done Right:
Signed up for the race, raised the necessary $53.00 in donations, and showed up to run.
Practiced running stairs once before the race.
Did the Incline all fall and winter.
Ate some candy 5 minutes before start.
Took a good dump 1/2 hour before start.
Wore a heart rate monitor.
Ran with the BEST TEAM IN THE STATE!!!

Things Done Wrong:
Didn’t sleep enough the night before.
Got passed by 4 people on the way up.

Any Other Stuff:
I’m trying to raise $300 or more for ALOC. If you want to sponsor me, just copy and paste this web address
https://www.mrsnv.com/evt/e01/part.jsp?id=2304&acct=0503054764&rid=0
It will take you to my page and you can contribute on my behalf. Any help is appreciated!!

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Eddie Baxter reports:
Distance: 1098 steps
Goal: 7.30 minutes team win
Results: 7.28 1st team
Website: http://www.runtherepublic.com

General Summary:
runners start every 10 seconds, which is a good thing.
close to 1500 runners and a 41/2 feet wide stair well, thats alot of elbows flying around.

Things Done Right:
incline training

Things Done Wrong:
?

Any Other Stuff:
not sure why. but running inside an enclosed stairwell like that just smokes my lungs. lack of fresh air?

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Shawn Erchinger reports:
Distance: Unknown
Goal: Run 5:59
Results: Ran 6:20
Website: http://www.runtherepublic.com

General Summary:
The race is held in Denver’s tallest building and you race up to the 53rd floor of the 56 story building as fast as you can. Runners/Walkers are allowed to start in 8 second intervals.

Our team “The Colorado Springs Incline Fanatics” raced last year for the first time and placed second in the team competition. We had hoped to win the team competition last year but lost by several minutes to some young guys. This year we “recruited” some of our fellow ICers and with the increase in numbers we won the team competition handily. We even managed to smoke the winning time from last year also.

Things Done Right:
I ran a good pace for me and didn’t “bonk” until after the 40th floor so I was able to struggle on to the finish.

Training with Eddie and Fred Baxter and climbing the Incline about 100 times per year really helped me.

We also recruited some fast women:)... (Thanks Cindy and Jill...you ladies ROCK!)... and some very fast masters runners. 3 of our winning team members were over 55!

Things Done Wrong:
I didn’t prepare properly for a stair climb. By only “running” stairs one time two days before the race for less then 10 minutes I wasn’t as prepared to “run” 53 flights of stairs and decided to just power hike like I do when I’m on the Incline.

Any Other Stuff:
It was awesome getting to race against Rickey Gates. Not quite as awesome as getting to train regularly with Eddie and Fred Baxter and all my Incline buddies but it was nice to meet one of America’s best mountain runners none the less.

Rickey set a new course record and made the climb up 1,098 steps in 5:50 seconds. It made my 6:20 effort seem a bit slow:)

It’s really a fun race and being part of the winning team makes it even funner.

Cindy O’Neill won the overall women’s race in a course record time of 8:04 or 8:05.

I plan to run the race next year with the goal to run a sub 6 minute race and hopefully get the chance to actually “race” Rickey Gates or at least race against his course record and set a new PR.

MAYBE MATT WILL JOIN OUR TEAM AND BECOME THE ONLY PERSON IN HISTORY EVER TO RUN THE COURSE IN UNDER 5 MINUTES:) Pretty please Matt? Eddie and Fred will buy you all the Pizza you can eat after the race!

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Waco Marathon — Waco, Texas — 3/1/2009

Mike Sandlin reports:
Distance: 26.2 miles
Goal: Sub-three hours
Results: 3:02:41

General Summary:
One of the best marathons in Texas! This is a low-key race that is well organized with lots of aid stations. The couse is flat for the first 14 miles; however, the last 12 miles have many short, but steep climbs (for Texas).

Things Done Right:
Finished feeling strong considering all the races that I have done during the past three weeks.

Things Done Wrong:
Went out too slow and tried to make-up the time during the second half of the race; however, could not do it. Most importantly, I enjoyed the run and did not feel bad at the finish.

Any Other Stuff:
Looking forward to being back with my fellow ICERS next Sunday!

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Gasparilla Marathon — Tampa, Fl — 03/01/2009

Greg Stock reports:
Distance: 26.2 miles
Goal: 3:40
Results: 3:38:47
Website: http://wwww.tampabayrun.com

General Summary:
Overall, a good race. There were about 1300 finishers in the marathon. The course was completely flat, but the weather was not good — chilly, rainy, and very windy (20-30 mph). Jennifer (my wife) and I had planned to run this one last year but got sick a week before the race, so this was a “make-up” race for us. With good weather, this could be a very fast race.

Things Done Right:
Got to the starting line on time.
Didn’t start out too fast, and didn’t try to fight the wind too much.
Finished strong.
Negative split — 1:52 first half, 1:46 second half.

Things Done Wrong:
Not much.
Should have trained on pavement more. My back seized up at about mile 19, which I think was caused by the hard surface.

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Jennifer Stock reports:
Distance: 26.2 miles
Goal: 3:45
Results: 3:48

General Summary:
Flat road race. The first half consists of a couple of loops, the first of which runs out onto Davis Island. The second half is an out and back along the bay. Lots of nice houses along the course. Generally there is some wind because of the coastline, but this year a storm came in about an hour after we started, making wind a bigger issue than normal.

Things Done Right:
I did not run out too fast which so many people around me seemed to do. Due to the high wind, I had decided to just try and run a steady pace and try to keep it as even as I could with the strong wind, which I was able to accomplish.

Things Done Wrong:
Did not run enough miles on my long runs. However, I think training on serious uphills compensated a bit because my legs felt relatively strong the entire race.

Any Other Stuff:
Training here is very different from the flat lands of Illinois from which I moved last year. I had no idea how I would do in a flat marathon since my pace has slowed down considerably running up mountains. This race was a good gauge of where I am in my adapting/training out here. I felt good and recovered quickly, and my time is right about where I should be for a race that I ran at an easy pace.
This marathon is usually run in early February, but because the Super Bowl was held in Tampa this year, the marathon was pushed to the beginning of March. It could have been too hot, so fortunately the rain kept things cool.

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Carl Touchstone 50 miler — Laurel MS — 03/07/09

Anita Bower reports:
Distance: 50 miles
Goal: sub 8 1/2 hours
Results: 8:57:17 6th woman/13th overall
Website: http://www.ms50.com

General Summary:
Long, hot humid day. Temperatures in the mid 80’s and humidity to match made this a lot harder than when I ran it in 07. The course had a lot of mud bogs to trudge through, and numerous stream crossings and was harder than years before, due to a course change. Hopefully am one R ahead of Mike Sandlin now.

Things Done Right:
Took in lots of electrolytes. About a third of the folks who planned on running the 50km switched to the 50km option. I soon realized that my goal of breaking 8 1/2 hours wasn’t going to happen, so I quickly lowered my standards, I mean “adjusted” my goal for a sub 9 hour race. Hydrated well, and ran the last two laps consistently.

Things Done Wrong:
Not enough sleep the night before. An early 6 am flight screwed up my sleep, which impacts my races. My legs still felt tired and heavy from my FL debacle two weeks earlier. It’s always nerve wracking starting another race after a failure, and this was no exception.

Any Other Stuff:
The course was changed due to a controlled forest burn, so no pretty green or flowers to look at like in 07. Still love the way those southern boys talk, and learned a new “word": hootananny. Or something like that.

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Spectrum 10k — Ivins Utah — 03/14/2009

J. Turd’L Miller reports:
Distance: 10 Kilometers
Goal: under an hour
Results: 51:30

General Summary:
A beautiful, scenic run through Snow Canyon State Park. This course includes three miles in Snow Canyon State Park, continuing on through city neighborhoods into the finish line in Ivins Utah.

Things Done Right:
First of all, I haven’t run a race since the 2007 PP Ascent/ Marathon Double. During preparation to re-run the squaw peak 50 miler (DNF’d in 2007) I talked to a college buddy (Yogi) who was running this race with his son. The race takes place within five miles of my house so I decided to join them. I’ve run it before and because it’s almost all down hill I had my best race EVER when I ran it. I had 18 miles scheduled that day so I decided to run it in the middle of my day’s schedule. I parked at the finish line and ran it backwards to get in the uphill training I needed, met Yogi and his son and talked to them for a while we waited for the start. I’ve always been a middle-rear of the pack runner so as the start approached, I moved to the rear of the start group in anticipation of the starting gun.

The first few miles I took advantage of the down hill and stretched out and ran hard. I passed quite a few people but I was really looking forward to the small section of uphill (less than half a mile in length) about 2 miles into it. I planned on pushing that section hard to drop some people. Problem was, the mid pack runners I hadn’t yet passed were side by side taking up the whole running trail. I did what I could to pass but there was no room to stretch out and pound up the hill like I’d planned. Aggravation helped me pound out a good pace for the next couple of miles and before I knew it I was at the 1 mile to go marker. I looked a couple of hundred yards ahead of me and picked out a runner that I wanted to pass and pushed. 50 yards from the finish line I passed him.

Things Done Wrong:
I convinced myself I was a slow runner at the start so I didn’t run up near the front with the runners that would have pushed me rather than getting in my way.

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Catalina Marathon — Catalina Island, CA — 03/14/2009

Michael Shafai reports:
Distance: 26.2 Mi
Goal: 3:20 and try to win age group
Results: 3:20:52, won age group
Website: http://www.pacificsportsllc.com

General Summary:
5,000 feet of climbing and descending across the beautiful Catalina Island backcountry. Ran it with friends and fellow IC-ers (John Gardner, Tim Steffens). We also met John Cassidy’s sister out there who was sporting an Incline Club running shirt.

Things Done Right:
Trained well... Incorporated many of Mike Hagen’s great workouts, but alternated between hill intervals and track workouts on a weekly basis. I also wore my bright orange shoes since I heard that orange shoes make you run faster.

Things Done Wrong:
Overrehydrated post-race with Oktoberfest Amber Ale and ended up singing a well-known Sir-Mix-A-Lot tune at the karaoke bar sometime between 11PM and midnight. It’s all a bit hazy, but I’m pretty sure the audience suffered more than I did (at the time).

Any Other Stuff:
I highly recommend this race to anyone, but especially to the IC group. The type of running we do is well-suited to this course.

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Tim Steffens reports:
Distance: 26.2
Goal: 3:45
Results: 3:45:19
Website: http://www.pacificsportsllc.com/CatalinaMarathon/athlete.htm

General Summary:
My third year on this course and I finally ran under 4 hours. The weather and course conditions couldn’t have been better. This was my 5th marathon and all of the training this year enabled me to run comfortably and gain a new PR for this course. I couldn’t have been happier with my time.

Things Done Right:
Lots of training and cross-training. I never want to see the spin bike at the downtown Y again! Hills, speed work, etc.....

Things Done Wrong:
Ate way too much fiber the night before the race.

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Salida to Turret Marathon/Run Through Time — Salida Colorado — 03/14/2009

Andy Wooten reports:
Distance: 26.2 miles.
Goal: Complete in under 5 hours.
Results: 4:55:29
Website: http://www.salidarec.com/ccrc/index.htm

General Summary:
The race is sort of an out and back from Salida to the old mining town of Turret. There is a half marathon option and a full marathon option.

Things Done Right:
Tapering before the race was adequate. Fueling and hydration before during and after the marathon was spot on.

Things Done Wrong:
Carried too much “stuff” in my running pack as usual. Went out a little too fast the first ten miles or so.

Any Other Stuff:
I’ve been training for the race pretty much since the end of November. Doing research and reading accounts on this race posted by other runners made the course seem as if it would be challenging. That being said I did not go into this expecting to have an easy day.

The weather was great and the course was 99.9% clear. The first 8 miles or so of the course was uphill. The next four or so generally downhill until the turnaround in the town of Turret. Of course that made the next four miles or so uphill after the turnaround. After that the course was a consistent trade off of uphill and downhill until mile 20 or so then it was all downhill literally to return to Salida.

It was a fun race.

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Jon Teisher reports:
Distance: 26.2 miles
Goal: sub-4
Results: 3:53:47

General Summary:
4th annual Run Through Time marathon. Very low key, very hard course.

Things Done Right:
Finally broke four hours on this course. I had tried for that time the past three years, but bad weather and very poor route following on my part kept me well above that, my previous best being 4:28.

Things Done Wrong:
Started a little bit too slow.

Any Other Stuff:
Probably the best course conditions I’ll ever see at this race. No snow at all.

Kudos to the Chaffee County Road Runners, who do a great job with this race every year.

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Run to the Sun — Haleakala, Maui — 03/14/2009

Chris Grove reports:
Distance: 36 miles
Goal: Less than 8 hours
Results: 7:39
Website: http://www.virr.com/races/run2sun/

General Summary:
This race starts on the coast then heads up the top of Haleakala (10,023 feet) over 36 miles. The course was shortened by 2 miles due to weather conditions at the top.

My legs were sluggish for the first 18 miles. Even great views with rainbows couldn’t energize me. Reaching Crater Road, my legs turned. I had several runners ask if I was on a relay team. The views got more amazing as I climbed higher. At some places, I could see both coasts on Maui. 4-5 miles up Crater Road, it got super windy. The road is twisty so the wind hit me from all directions. It was strong enough, it was more efficient to walk in the headwinds. The wind disappeared a mile from the main park.

At the park entrance aid station, a volunteer said I had 7 miles left. The race finish was 10 miles away. I guess math is hard.

About 3 miles into the park, the wind returned with a vengeance. I kept the same strategy (run everything but the headwinds). I heard from another runner the finish had been moved as the conditions at the summit were too nasty. I guess math isn’t that hard.

The clouds moved in and there was a light sprinkle. Water + 35+ MPH wind = BAD. I kept expecting to be pulled from the course.

The finish was about 2 miles from the summit. My time was good enough to place 3rd in my age group (Female, 30-somethings).

Things Done Right:
1) I ran lots of hills for training. I hate running up hills. Why did I register for this race?
2) I power hiked the steep hills before Crater Road. I passed several folks who continued to run.
3) I walked the head winds to save energy.
4) I live in Colorado. 8000 feet elevation feels normal.

Things Done Wrong:
I forgot my hand-held bottle at the hotel. I used a 20oz soda bottle. The aid station volunteers _loved_ me.

Any Other Stuff:
Pictures! http://www.flickr.com/photos/34943013@N03/sets/72157615306223576/

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Little Rock Marathon — Little Rock, Arkansas — 03/15/09

Dan Burstein reports:
Distance: 26.2
Goal: Break 4:09 PR ( Ultimately to break 4:00 “barrier”)
Results: 4:04:30
Website: http://www.littlerockmarathon.com/

General Summary:
Great course,and aid stations. They had plenty of gels, bananas, oranges,and drinks even for slow guys like me.
Flat until mile 14. Then a few nice climbs and very nice descent to mile 18. One more hill at mile 24.5. Aid station at mile 25.5 was a fantastic beacon for the finish!!

Things Done Right:
Enjoyed the downtown area the day before and had the best burrito at Flying Brothers for dinner.
Wore a Nathans Hydration race vest. Did not go out too fast. Never stopped running even when others were falling back. Never wanted to stop and puke!! Passed up guy wearing uni-tard and choke chain at top of hill at mile 25!!

Things Done Wrong:
Since it was a PR for me it is hard to think of a thing done wrong. Can always say “should have trained harder.” Of course the challenge is what keeps us all going back for more (44 marathons, and 2 ultras and I am still learning).

Any Other Stuff:
Weather was perfect. Overcast,not too warm, light breeze.
Oh yeah, finishers medal is huge!! Plenty of spectators, nice downtown to walk around.

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The Better Half Marathon & Five — Gateway, Colorado — 03/21/2009

Fred R Wright reports:
Distance: 13.1 miles
Goal: To better last year’s time (2.17)
Results: Just beat it (2.16) !
Website: http://www.gatewaycanyons.com — go to ‘Activities’

General Summary:
Gateway Resort, at Gateway, CO., is a work in progress but still a terrific place to spend a long week end and run a race. The scenery is to die for, and the weather has been great the past two years. About 45 oF at the 10 a.m. start, 65 — 70 oF at noon.

Things Done Right:
Following the Sunday run on 03/15/09, my left A/tendon was sore, so I backed off all week. Not the best way to go into a race, but I got through it without worsening it. Could not not go as the kids love the place sooo much.

Things Done Wrong:
Not enough rest, same-old-same-old !

Any Other Stuff:
The course is one way, running down a canyon road (Hwy 141), paved, in good shape, and beautiful. The road is not closed to traffic, but is patrolled by motorcycle police. Runners are required to stay on the left side. The course has an elevation drop of 150 ft., start to finish, with a few gentle underlations. 2008 was the first year the race was held. The number entered this year, 2009, was more than double the 2008 field, leading the organizers to consider a cap on the field for 2010. Their preference is not to have a mega type race field.

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Big Island Marathon — Hilo, Hawaii — 3/22/09

Doug Laufer reports:
Distance: marathon
Goal: See below
Results: 3:59:07
Website: http://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2009/03/23/results-2009-big-island-international-marathon/

General Summary:
Goals met: Complete marathon in state #49, complete marathon #98 (do not count round trip as marathon), complete at least one marathon for 31st year in a row, break 4:00.

Goals missed: Run a Boston qualifying time (3:45), move up from BA to B bib for BB10K (needed 3:26:17).

Conditions: mid 70’s, very humid, rain a bit during run (not enough). Never really got in flow, prefer running in August in snow storms.

Things Done Right:
Went to Hawaii for spring break; swam with sea turtles. Two days of snorkeling. I got some new Hawaiian shirts. Pre race dinner at Cafe Concerto — wonderful little spot, made me feel like I was in Italy.

Oh yes running related: Enjoyed the training phase. Nice blend of long runs and speed work. Had time to build up then taper.

Things Done Wrong:
No training runs in steam bath.

Had considered extending stay a couple of days, but instead headed home, amazingly made it to DIA, then epic trip home in the blizzard (from temperature in the 80’s and swimming with sea turtles to blizzard in less than 12 hours).

Any Other Stuff:
Course: first half BEAUTIFUL! Hilly, run along coast, through rain forests. Second half in Hilo, basically flat; ran though industrial area and around airport. Nice finish along side the ocean.

Organization: nice, low keyed event, good support and organization. Finisher shirt, medal, bag of locally produced drugs (coffee)and shell necklaces. Lots of fresh fruit, bread from local bakery at finish.

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Waco Half-marathon — Waco, Texas — 03/28/2009

Mike Sandlin reports:
Distance: 13.1 miles
Goal: Finish!
Results: 1:24:03

General Summary:
The temperature at the start was 34 degrees with winds steady at 20 mph. This caused the wind chill to be 24 degrees, which is really cold for Texas this time of the year. Strong head winds for the first part of the race, which meant there were a good number of runners drafting off the big kid (me!). There were a series of big hills (relative to Texas) between miles 5 and 10.

Things Done Right:
Even pace throughout the run.

Things Done Wrong:
Should have been running with my fellow ICERS up to Barr Camp!

Any Other Stuff:
We started an informal running club on campus (Texas A&M) comprised mainly of students. We meet on Monday and Wednesday afternoons and do a variety of workouts. We had 7 students who race this race and it was their first half marathon. They all finished and are beginning to catch the running “fever"!

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Bataan Death March Memorial Marathon — White Sands Misslie Range, NM — 03/29/09

Anita Bower reports:
Distance: 26.2 miles
Goal: sub 4 hours
Results: 3:58:57 unofficial
Website: http://www.bataanmarch.com

General Summary:
My second time running it, I was hoping to finish under 4 hours, after just missing that goal last year by 4 minutes. I did, however, results are still unofficial due to complications and delays caused by cheating of several runners. Hard to believe that anyone would cheat on a race commemorating the Bataan Death March Survivors of WWII. I hope they post who those runners are so that should I ever be an RD again, I will know to send their entry back. ANYWAY, always a humbling event on many levels.

Things Done Right:
Knew what to expect, having run it. There was a team of guys whose shirts said “WON’T BE BEAT BY GIRLS.” Beat everyone of them, as did the women I coached.Wore gaiters, to prepare for the “kitty litter” section. Towards the end of the race, there is a section about a mile long that is called the sand pit. My “coachees’ and I trained course specific, and it paid off. We passed a lot of people in the ankle deep, kitty litter like sand pit. Went in rested, with another 100 miler looming on the horizon. Finished before the desert winds really began to howl. Brought my own water bottle, which saved time on the aid stations.

Things Done Wrong:
Despite coming in my fastest time, I was only tenth woman. Last year despite a slower time, I was fourth.

Any Other Stuff:
If you are looking for a unique marathon, then this is a great venue. There are all sorts of ceremonies at the start, including hearing the bugle played role call that the survivors rose to each morning to see who was still alive. Then there is a jet fly over. The amuputees from our current wars start out first. That was hard, especially seeing some of the burn victims. Not many dry eyes at the start. The remaining Bataan survivors were at both the start and finish, and my husband and I got to talk to one of them who could actually talk about it. You could see in his eyes that when he talked about it, it was like he was reliving it. It was hard hearing what he had to say about his experience and the atrocities he witnessed, but still a story that needs to be told and remembered. It was an honor to listen to him and be in his presence. Each year, there are fewer and fewer of the survivors at this race. A very emotionally charged event, and difficult race course compared to many of the other marathons I’ve done.

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Brandon Dosch reports:
Distance: 26.2
Goal: Break 6:00:00
Results: 6:29:04
Website: http://www.bataanmarch.com

General Summary:
I competed in the Military Heavy division which required me to wear boots, my uniform and carry at least a 35lb rucksack. This was my first ever marathon with or without a ruck. The course was well maintained and was a nice mix of road, dirt, and lose sand. The aid stations were well equipped with water, Gatorade, and plenty of fruit to go around.

The weather was sunny with a starting temperature of 45 degrees and an afternoon temperature of 76. In the afternoon the wind picked up to a steady 20-30 mph with 50 mph gusts at times.

Things Done Right:
Event organization was top notch. Meeting the survivors of the actual Bataan Death march at the start line and throughout the course was an inspiration. I started off at the pace I was training for and kept well hydrated by drinking water and Gatorade at each station.

Things Done Wrong:
Cheap boot inserts were not productive for prolonged running in boots. I also forgot to bring both pairs of my special rucking socks!

Any Other Stuff:
There were tons of scheduled events prior to the march such as a meet and greet with the survivors of Bataan, big pasta buffet, educational seminar on Bataan, and a free movie showing events based on the rescue of Bataan POW’s.

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Melissa Marr reports:
Distance: 26.2
Goal: Crew for husband and finish faster than previous year and no injuries.
Results: Completed faster than last year but both feet complete blistered mess!

General Summary:
Typical race start: cool and dark out. After the opening ceremonies and flyby, we began our journey into the desert. Ian, who is active duty Air Force, entered the military heavy division again. He decided to lighten the ruck this year and carried ONLY 40lbs instead of last years whopper of 53lbs. Smart move! I followed for the first seven miles and then took my post for the coming supplement/nourishment requirements and foot checks.

Things Done Right:
I trained for the race, planning on participating again myself, but was sidelined the night before with a stomach bug. Decided to crew instead and participate that way. Had plenty of endurolytes, heed and perpetuem for Ian to finish well hydrated. The beer cooler was full, so the post race recovery was good as far as hewas concerned. Soaking his feet in an ice bath was a little painful, but the beer seemed to lessen it.

Things Done Wrong:
Ian waited until 2 days before the race to break in his boots. Bad idea! When we parted at mile 7, he had already stopped twice to fix his feet. By the time he finished, both of his feet were just huge blisters. Some were torn and some were very colorful.

Any Other Stuff:
Very windy! Last year was windy, but this year the gusts were intense, especially at the midway point where people were trying to keep close to the ground to avoid being blown away. The support on course was great as usual.

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32nd Annual Capitol 10,000 — Austin, Texas — 03/29/2009

Charles Scheibe reports:
Distance: 10K
Goal: sub 56:00 — beat last year
Results: 53:05
Website: http://www.statesman.com/sports/content/cap10k/index.html

General Summary:
The largest 10K in Texas and the 5th largest in the US. Course runs through downtown Austin, around the Capitol building, and finishes on the shores of Town Lake. Several hills in the first 3 miles then relatively flat to the finish line.

Things Done Right:
Paced well! Used the first mile, uphill, to warm up. Completed my 32nd straight Capitol 10K ... all of them!

Things Done Wrong:
Participated in overnight relay on Friday ... didn’t run hard but didn’t sleep much either!

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Platte River Trail 1/2 Marathon — Denver — 4/5/09

Julie O’Neill reports:
Distance: 13.1 miles
Goal: ~1:50
Results: 1:52
Website: http://www.platteriverhalf.com/

General Summary:
Run on paved bike trails from Littleton to downtown Denver. Race morning was cool, but sunny with some snow/slush/slick spots along the trail.

Things Done Right:
-Race was part of a “marathon” training plan with the main race 5 weeks away. Was able to play with pace a bit because the course was paved and very flat (relatively).
-Ate right, drank right pre-race and during the run.

Things Done Wrong:
-Came down with a sinus infection a few days prior to the race and training levels were low for the week.
-Played with pace a little too much and went out too fast.

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Daiva Cooper reports:
Distance: half marathon
Goal: under 2:30
Results: 2:22

General Summary:
The Platte River half marathon is run on a paved bike path from Littleton to Denver. The weather was sunny and in the high 20s. The race was a bit too “urban” for me, and on too much pavement. However, the race shirt is really cool and the post-race bbq was yummy.
My only goal was to finish under 2:30 so I could have a PPA qualifying time for the next couple of years. This was a low-priority event on my calendar, more of race to run just for the fun of running.

Things Done Right:
1. Kept an even pace for the entire race.
2. Started the race injury-free
3. Kept well-hydrated and fueled (Hammer Gels, Hammer Heed, and water)

Things Done Wrong:
1. Ran the race with a sinus cold, which I am sure added some time onto the event.
2. Really did not train for the distance, which is why I am so sore today.

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Charles Scheibe reports:
Distance: 13.1 miles
Goal: sub 2:05
Results: 2:07:41
Website: http://www.platteriverhalf.com/

General Summary:
Ran 2 miles through downtown Littleton, then 10 miles along the paved Platte River Trail, and finished in Lincoln Park, just south of downtown Denver.

Things Done Right:
Careful on the snowy, slushy pavement ... a few slips but no falls! Dressed appropriately ... comfortable most of the way! Ran steady the first 10 miles, then tapered off the last 3.

Things Done Wrong:
Neglected long runs the past few weeks! Ran in well-worn shoes with little traction!

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Umstead 50 Mile Trail Run — Raleigh, NC — 04/04/2009

Anita Bower reports:
Distance: 50 or 100 miles
Goal: sub 24 hour 100
Results: 9:54:43 for the 50. Dropped at 75 miles
Website: http://www.umstead100.org

General Summary:
A perfect day, compared to the non-stop rain of last year. A perfect day for what should have been a PR for a 100 mile race. Great volunteers, super aid stations, still not sure why I quit.

Things Done Right:
Ate well before the race. Still wasn’t at my ideal running weight though. Actually got my husband to come out and crew for me, and pace me a loop. Hydrated well and fueled well the first half.

Things Done Wrong:
Arrived at the start burned out and anxiety ridden. Didn’t know how to manage that, and let the burn out, depression, and anxiety get to me. After talking about it with my mentor after my demise, she explained to me that it is common for competitive runners to feel this was before and ultra, and to just suck it up and learn how to manage it. A perfect race is rare. I was hoping I would go under 9 hours my first 50, but was almost an hour behind, which really bothered me. After taking a nap in the nice warm car, my husband and I decided it best I pull myself from the race and save myself for an upcoming 100km in Washington later this month. Went back to the motel, had a throbbing headache, and threw up all night. At least I am closer to my ideal running weight now.Have learned to accept that you aren’t going to PR every race, but it is still important to finish what you start, and I need to manage the funks I get in, if I am to successfully run across the country when I am 40.

Any Other Stuff:
Great first time 100 or 50. Lots of flowering dogwood tress, and other flowers to enjoy. Just one of the most beautiful places to run in.

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Desert RATS 25 — Fruita, CO — 04/18/2009

Lori Hawkins reports:
Distance: 25 mi
Goal: 6 hrs
Results: 6:15
Website: http://www.geminiadventures.com/DesertRATSfestival.html

General Summary:
Tough race, made tougher by the travel conditions the day before. Snowy, icy roads limited the competition and even the event staff traveling from the Front Range. 25 & 50 mile races on Saturday, 5 and 10 mile races on Sunday.

Things Done Right:
Declined the normal I-25 & I-70 travel corridor, in favor of the longer (not in distance) hwy 50 & Monarch Pass. Since the pass closed just after I drove over it, I made the right choice at the right time. Training, check. Equipment, check. Hydration, check. Clothing choices, check. Attitude, check.

Things Done Wrong:
Didn’t lose the 10-15 lbs over the winter that would have really helped my endurance. With all the ups, downs and concentration required, I would have been happy with a 1/2-marathon option. But there wasn’t one!

Any Other Stuff:
Course was very technical, rocky, rolling with pointy slate that could stab through a thin shoe. Great race organization, aid stations, and competitors. It was mind-blowing to be in the same race as some of the top trailrunners of today. Beautiful scenery!

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Desert RATS 50 miler — Fruita, CO — 04/18/2009

Jon Teisher reports:
Distance: 50 miles
Goal: sub ten
Results: 10:33

General Summary:
Two loops over lots of rocky singletrack out in Fruita.

Things Done Right:
Started slow and tapered off. Found Mike the Headless Chicken and Grrrreta after the race.

Things Done Wrong:
Ran my first Grand Canyon R2R2R the week before. Tried to drive a 2WD vehicle up and over Freemont Pass in the storm of the year.

Any Other Stuff:
Definitely check out the Hot Tomato Cafe in Fruita after a run there. Great pizza and Fat Tire.

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Granite Grinder — Conyers Georgia — 04/18/2009

Dan Burstein reports:
Distance: 13.1
Goal: Run as Hard as I could without bonking or dieing
Results: Ran Hard 1:58
Website: http://www.goodrunproductions.com/graniteGrinder/

General Summary:
Nice local off road half marathon close to Atlanta, GA.
Weather could not have been much better.

Things Done Right:
Started out at good pace.
Blasted down hills.
Kept up good pace up the hills.
Had fun.
Did not trip on rocks, roots, ruts, other runners or giant Granite out crop you run across.

Things Done Wrong:
Should have looked tuffer for photos:)

Any Other Stuff:
Great off road course.
Really helped that each mile was marked along course.
Nice number of climbs ( would seem very flat for all you CO Icers)

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Race Track Half-Marathon — Houston, Texas — 04/19/2009

Mike Sandlin reports:
Distance: 13.1 miles
Goal: Sub 1:30
Results: 1:25:15

General Summary:
One of the flatest half-marathons ever! The course consisted on four 5K loops with the final milage running into Sam Houston Race Track (horse racing track).

Things Done Right:
Even pace throughout the run. We had a strong head winds for half of the distance; however, felt stong enough to maintain the pace.

Things Done Wrong:
Should have be running the Waldo/Longranch Loop with my fellow ICERS — 3 more weeks before returning for the summer — but who’s counting?!?!?!?

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Vienna City Marathon — Vienna, Austria — 04/19/2009

Steve Bremner reports:
Distance: 26.2
Goal: 3ish
Results: 3:04
Website: http://www.vienna-marathon.com/

General Summary:
The race started at 9 am and the weather forecast was for sunny and warm. I didn’t get into any kind of groove in the first miles and decided this would not be a fast race for me. The first ten miles were a struggle... normally I breeze through these early miles. I kept trying to slow down and pace myself. The hated Garmin watch (405) went into its compass mode and no longer knew my time after the first hour. Just as well. I now could simply run how I felt without regard to time. I set a goal of running to kilometer 29 (18 miles) with no pain, meaning I would have to pace myself accordingly. Goal achieved! Next goal... run to kilometer 35 with no pain, then drift to kilometer 37, then I only have five kilos to go... I can do five kilos in my sleep! Problem is when I finally reach 35 kilometers there is pain... I knew that was in the cards... No way out... five more kilometers of pain and slow suffering... I should know the routine by now... This was my 93rd marathon!!!!

Things Done Right:
Paced myself

Things Done Wrong:
Didn’t tape my little toe well enough... It still is hurting...

Any Other Stuff:
Vienna! Beautiful city... Great museums....

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WSU 100km — Palouse, WA — 04/19/2009

Anita Bower reports:
Distance: 62.2 miles
Goal: sub 10:30:00
Results: 10:35:15 (d*#*m it!) 1st place woman, 2nd overall
Website: http://www.palouseroadrunners.org

General Summary:
Also run as a relay, this very hilly course was my first official 100km. My goal was to go under 10 1/2 hours, as it is one of the qualifications to get into the Spartathlon. Although I qualify with Badwater, the Spartathlon is fast, with a runner needing the ability to run over 153 miles in just 36 hours. As I quickly found out, the race strategy of a 100km is much different than that of a 50 or 100 mile run.

Things Done Right:
Lost weight. Was 119 at the start. Felt great. Stayed with friends of Tim’s who have kids, and they were great kids! Now I want some.(after I run the Spartathlon and across the USA)Perfect weather, nice race director. Small crowd of solo runners, was in fourth, until I happily “chicked” two guys. Enjoyed the scenery (cool pictures on my blog), as I had never run a race in WA before. The cows there are huge! Some are bigger than the horses.

Things Done Wrong:
Lost time one this one flat 16 mile section. Palouse is rolling farmland, which is great if you are good at climbing, and since it was on paved and gravel roads, I could hammer the downhill. I fell apart on the flat section with a strong headwind, and didn’t drink enough. Paid for it later, missing my goal by less than 6 minutes.

Any Other Stuff:
Having the relay runners was fun, as they were all so nice and encouraging. Very beautiful course, lots of red barns with horse, sheep, cows, chickens, like a whole other era. Got to see Grizzly bears that they keep on the WSU Campus. (caged, of course)

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TriColumbia Howard Life Festival Blossoms of Hope Half Marathon — Columbia, MD — 04/26/2009

Douglas Smith reports:
Distance: 13.1 Miles
Goal: 1:40:00
Results: 1:41:11
Website: http://www.tricolumbia.org/

General Summary:
Was back on the East Coast for my niece’s wedding, and decided to run this thing as my Sunday long run at the last minute. It was a somewhat hilly out and back course, with the highlight that the route was lined with flowering Cherry Trees. Weather was beautiful (60-65 degrees). Many of the runners warned me that it was an extremely hilly course, but it really was not bad, one long steep hill at mile 6.

Things Done Right:
Was second in my age group, and received an award for the first time since I started running a couple of years ago. Met alot of really nice runners.

Things Done Wrong:
Missed first in my age group by 10 seconds, cause I kept chatting with other runners instead of really bearing down.

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Collegiate Peaks 25 Mile Trail Run — Buena Vista Colorado — 05/02/2009

Phil Goulding reports:
Distance: 25 miles
Goal: 4:10 with a negative split
Results: 4:31
Website: http://www.collegiatepeakstrailrun.org/Page.aspx?PageID=3419

General Summary:
This was a beautiful rolling course through the foothills east of Buena Vista. Most of the course is on gravel roads with some single track and about 3 miles of pavement at the beginning. There are two long climbs, the second steeper but shorter than the first. The final 5 miles is downhill or flat with just some very short uphill sections.

Things Done Right:
I ran all those LRR doubles so my strength was good. I trained hard and that is shown in my recovery. I ate right before the race and drank plenty of fluids during the race. I decided at the last minute to carry my water pack when I saw the aid stations were 5 or so miles apart.

Things Done Wrong:
I’m not sure what caused my leg cramps about a mile into the last downhill section at mile 20 or so. At times I had to walk sideways down steep sections. I only took Heed at the last station hoping that would help the cramps. They didn’t really stop until I finished. I’ve never had cramps like this before so I wasn’t sure what to do. I kept running but research shows I should have stopped, massaged and stretched, and started up again. Experience is a good teacher.

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Larry Rosenkranz reports:
Distance: 25 miles
Goal: To Finish
Results: 4:07:54
Website: http://www.collegiatepeakstrailrun.org

General Summary:
Very challenging course with lots of steep hills and a varied mixture of single track, double track, dirt roads, sandy sections, and a few miles on pavement. Nice scenery along the route through BLM recreation area and views of the Collegiate Peaks even popped out of the clouds towards the end. Overcast, damp, and low 40’s at the start. After 15 miles the sun started to break out of the clouds and temps warmed into the 50’s. No precipitation fell from the sky during the race.

Things Done Right:
Wore my Dirty Girl Gaiters which kept the abundant amount of rocks, gravel, pebbles, and sand out of my running shoes.

Things Done Wrong:
I broke the cardinal rule of experimenting with something new on race day! I drank Heed at all the aid stations which I have never had before. I think it was a combination of this and eating too much at the pasta dinner the night before that forced me to duck behind a boulder at mile 13 and relieve myself.

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Big Willie reports:
Distance: 50 miles
Goal: 10:00.00
Results: 10:48.48
Website: http://www.collegiatepeakstrailrun.org

General Summary:
Loop trail run, the first being CW, the 2nd being CCW; Mostly jeep trails.

Things Done Right:
Ran the 1st 25 with Jonathan Veteto- kept me pre-occupied shooting the bull; Was able to stay motivated at mile 50.05; Dressed appropriately- shorts, a long sleeve, & a jacket; Stayed hydrated & salted.

Things Done Wrong:
Stayed at Johnsons Beach the night before and listened to trucks come down off Trout Creek Pass all night; did not lose 20 pounds before the race; Did not get my long run mileage up high enough; Still haven’t mastered the pre-race diet.

Any Other Stuff:
Weather could not have been any better!

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Tim Virgo reports:
Distance: 25 miles
Goal: Finish
Results: 5:10:46
Website: http://www.collegiatepeakstrailrun.org

General Summary:
Beautiful 25m loop through rolling hills, looked like Narnia. A few tedious sandy stretches (but considerably easier than LRR in the snow). Weather just right: overcast and cool.


Things Done Right:
Consistent IC Sunday runs. Stuck to hydration and eating plan. Minimized fiddling about at aid stations.

Things Done Wrong:
Not running full Waldo/LRR’s in preparation. Popping off a perfectly healthy toenail in a midnight bathroom door incident 2 days before the race. Not finding the start line early enough - 3 minutes is not enough, duh. Too fast first 12 miles - 2nd duh.

Any Other Stuff:
As a swine-flu precaution the race organizers required us to use hand-sanitizer before touching anything at the aid stations; and I definitely saw one runner actually hand-sanitizing.

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Val Snider reports:
Distance: 25 miles
Goal: Do a fun run and compare to the Back to the Future Marathon on 3/14(6:08) Fell painfully short.
Results: 6:16

General Summary:
Good weather and temperature at race start. Overcast, though no wind and no rain………weather had rain at 50%. First hour or so of run I could tell the legs were saying………this will not be fun for you. Legs were not lying. Noticed my heart rate was about 10 beats per minute higher for what I perceived was a comfortable level of effort as I started on the course. After 2 hours my legs felt like I’d finished a marathon………not a good sign. Legs hurt as I ran………they felt dead and rebelled if I pushed it………how do you push walking? I’d say I walked/speed walked at least 75% of the time. It seemed at the 4:30 point I had just been forever climbing hills…………probably because I had. Splendid scenery which I could soak up and rationalized this as I walked. One interesting aspect, which is probably a portend of things to come for races: At all aid stations, they wanted you to use hand sanitizer before you entered the aid area. They did not want germy hands dipping into the snacks. Not a real big deal………unless your hands were already cold……nothing like applying cooling alcohol based hand sanitizer onto your already cold hands. I skipped the first two aid stations except for water……no sanitizing needed to grab a cup of water. At aid station 3, (about the 15 mile point) I gave in………figured my legs needed something besides my Power Bars. Rubbed the hand sanitizer on my hands, then grabbed a handful of potato chips. OMG…………were they good. Surely something that taste this good, your body must need………right? Nothing like a handful of Lays garnished with a hint of hand sanitizer. Pigged out at this aid station, as well as at the next two. Now I need to figure out how to get potato chips in my fanny pack for future long runs.

Things Done Right:
Did not overtrain

Things Done Wrong:
Training since last marathon on March 14 was not focused. Race week prep, especially meals, was hit and miss………due to circumstances that were totally within my control.

Any Other Stuff:
At aid station 5, since I had already given in to potato chips, I went for the M&Ms. OMG. I need a bigger fanny pack.

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Tracey Anderson reports:
Distance: 25 mi
Goal: Mainly to finish respectably, but secretly to come in around 4:20
Results: 4:26
Website: http://www.collegiatepeakstrailrun.org/

General Summary:
An infuriatingly vague weather forecast of “50/50 rain/snow showers” made me pack just about every stitch of running clothing I own, but dawned a perfect-for-running 38 degrees and overcast. One less thing to worry about since this was the first time I had ever run this far, much less raced it.

The course starts with a couple of miles of pavement until you veer onto some nice singletrack that reminded me of the white sand and limestone of Ute Valley and Palmer Park. This gave way to quite a bit of soft dirt jeep trail. The course rolls a lot, but rarely does any one thing for very long, which is good for ADHD types such as myself. It does, however, take a bit out of you switching gears so often. Having said that, there was also a good chunk of flat or gentle downhill that I did not expect. The turnover I needed for these sections beat my legs up pretty good.

After much consternation, I had decided to take my Nathan backpack rather than refill bottles, so had not planned to stop at the aid stations. They were 4-6 miles apart, so carrying some liquid is necessary for most folks. Pity the 50-milers who needed to eat, because thanks to the H1N1 flu, it was requested that runners pretty please use the provided hand sanitizer before plunging said germ-infested mitts into the pretzel bowl. I have to believe this came from the sponsoring Optimist Club members, who appeared not be runners, (or optimistic, for that matter), because I can’t imagine even a pandemic virus surviving on the hands of most snot-blowing, salty-sweating, mucous-hawking, pee-thru-my-pant-leg trail runners. Lucky me, I did not have to test my theory.

I did probably the best job I have to date of running an even effort. This was likely done more out of fear than any speck of smarts or skill, but that’s okay. It wasn’t until about mile 16 where I felt some tiredness in my legs. Coincidentally, this occurs right in the middle of a 3.5 mile long hatefully gentle hill. It’s runnable. It’s smooth. It’s like Rampart Range Road minus the rocks and gunfire, but it is also like watching a wind-up toy slowwwwllly wind down and stop in mid-walk. I was about to feel sorry for myself when I decided it was time to ask myself the one question that would put things back in their proper perspective---Is this worse than The Double?---uh, no. Hell, no!

Up and over past mile 18 I made it and unexpectedly, got a little second wind. Even more unexpectedly, I started passing people. Just as I was feeling like I was one awesome middle-aged Broad, I fell headlong into, what I am quite positive, was a bowl of lime Jell-o. Okay, this must be The Infamous Wall. Weird, but still not as bad as The Double.

These final couple of miles I put myself on auto-pilot GIT ER DONE mode when I thought I heard someone call my name. There were people up ahead yelling at me. By the time I realized they were my IC buds, I was about past them. Their cheers were enough to get me through that next part until my son saw me and ran with me to the finish line.

Now that I see how long this report ended up, I hope reading it wasn’t as bad as The Double either.

Things Done Right:
Dressed right for a change. Fueled and hydrated right. Ran an even effort. Ran the %!@$ Double in training.

Things Done Wrong:
I wore the wrong shoes for this type of course, but not a big deal.

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Paul Doyle reports:
Distance: 25 mile
Goal: < 5hrs
Results: 3:41:18
Website: http://www.collegiatepeakstrailrun.org/Page.aspx?PageID=3419

General Summary:
Great trail conditions, not many rocks, nice cool temps and overcast sky. Fun and challenging course. Had some good mini races with other comparable racers that lasted for a while at times. Fun!

Things Done Right:
(1)Ate enough in early a.m. (2)Ran my butt off once I knew I’d past last high point.

Things Done Wrong:
(1)Looked up too much for last few miles wondering where was the end?! (2)Sprinted the “last” many miles like they were the last mile...makes for good time but ouch!

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Collegiate Peaks 50 Mile Trail Run — Buena Vista, CO — 05/02/09

Anita Bower reports:
Distance: 50 miles
Goal: finish
Results: 11:17;45
Website: http://www.collegiatepeaks.org

General Summary:
Each year it seems this race gets hillier and more beautiful. I knew I wasn’t going to set any records after running a 100km less than two weeks ago, ironically faster than this 50. My main purpose was to mentally and physically push myself when I was tired from running, traveling , work, etc, even if it meant chasing cutoffs.

Things Done Right:
Went right back out after completing the first 25 miles when I didn’t want to. I figured there will be many times when I run across the USA next year that I will want to stop, but will need to go on no matter what my mood or level of fatigue, so I did. With just minutes ahead of the turnaround cut-off, i sucked it up, and went back out. Those hills seemed to grow more on the last 25, especially when the wind picked up. I also brought ALL my winter gear, given the weather forecast, and did not wash my car, so it wouldn’t rain. All those who ran the 25 or 50 can thank me for not washing my car and overdressing, as it just sprinkled a few minutes on the second loop, after which the clouds gave way to the beautiful Collegiate Peaks.

Things Done Wrong:
Living at 5500 feet makes it hard to run at 9000 feet or higher. I had to walk most of the uphills, but actually found myself running the downhills. The altitude just hammered me.

Any Other Stuff:
Lots of blue birds everywhere.

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Colorado Marathon — Ft. Collins — 05/03/2009

Lori Hawkins reports:
Distance: 26.2 mi
Goal: 4:30
Results: 5:04
Website: http://www.thecoloradomarathon.com

General Summary:
Point-to-point road race down the Poudre River Canyon (first 16 miles). Also 1/2 marathon, 10k & 5k. Slight downhill through the canyon adds speed, river beside the road adds beauty, esp. with the early 6:00am start. Water and Heed drink at every aid station, sometimes gels. Great video on website.

Things Done Right:
Aimed to have fun, and did until the last 3 miles that I ended up walking. Ran with Elvis for awhile, what a blast. Ate right the morning of, walked and hydrated at each stop. Patched some blisters as they appeared, before they got bad. Wore tried and true clothes, not too much, not too little.

Things Done Wrong:
Not enough training, esp. on roads--too many other things going on in life, and I knew that going into it. Went out too fast--planned for 10 or 10:30min/miles, first 5 were at 9:15. Whew! I’ll save those times for a 10k.

Any Other Stuff:
Only other road marathon was twenty-sumthin’ yrs ago, when I was 22. Curious to how I would do--now I know. This distance is a whole ‘nother ball game! Think I’ll stick to long trails, and 1/2 marathon roads.

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Steve Bremner reports:
Distance: 26.2 miles
Goal: 3ish
Results: 2:57:54
Website: http://ftcollinsmarathon.com

General Summary:
The course drops steadily over 18 miles as it winds down the scenic Poudre Canyon. I settled in to a good pace with the first mile in 6:20. The second mile was also the same, so I decided to just roll with this pace though it was quicker than I normally run now at my advanced age (54). A lead pack of about ten runners moved ahead and I found myself mostly isolated the entire race, moving up and passing some runners while getting passed by a couple here and there. When the downhill ended around 18 miles I talked myself into maintaining a “metronome” pace, steady and strong until mile 23 when I would allow myself to reassess. Though the miles got longer and painful after 23 I maintained a steady clip when I realized I had a good shot at an “over 50 PR.”

Things Done Right:
Fastest marathon since 2005 (five seconds faster than my Juneau Marathon of last year).

Things Done Wrong:
Not much, except didn’t tape up one of my toes that wound up bloody and rubbed raw.

Any Other Stuff:
Marathoners are bused early in the morning to the starting line high up Poudre Canyon. The race drops 1800 feet of elevation over 18 miles as it winds down the canyon and concludes the last 8 miles on mostly flat terrain finishing in downtown Fort Collins.

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Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon — Holdingford to St. Joseph, MN — 05/09/09

Tom Huberty reports:
Distance: 26.2 miles
Goal: Under 5 hours
Results: 4:49:19
Website: http://scrr.org/Wobegon/Wobegon.htm

General Summary:
Tom Huberty writes:
Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon Holdingford (MN) to St. Joseph (MN) 26.2 Miles
(certified)

The course is an abandoned railroad bed through the mythical Minnesota countryside popularized by Garrison Keillor on the Prairie Home Companion Show. The race had about 175 entries


Things Done Right:
I trained at altitude with the IC on the trails around here and through Garden of the Gods. I also put speed work into my training routine for a flatland race. This was my first time under 5 hours in over 5 years. I improved on last year’s time by over 20 minutes.

Things Done Wrong:
I am still haulin’ too many groceries to the finish line; I have to lose 15-20 pounds if I want to stumble up those Golden Stairs in August!

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Julie O’Neill reports:
Distance: 26.2 miles
Goal: ~4 hours
Results: 4:04
Website: http://www.scrr.org/Wobegon/Wobegon.htm

General Summary:
A VERY flat run on new paved bike/running trails that have been developed from old railroad track grade. Scenic, rural and residential course with good support/aid stations/etc. New racce, 2009 is only the 2nd year of event.

Things Done Right:
Trained well, did several longer training runs (17-20 milers) on pavement, ate right, tapered enough. Paced well during race (mile 1 and 26 splits were within ~10 seconds of each other), ate and drank at the right times.

Things Done Wrong:
Trained on lots of hills at 7000 feet in Monument for a very FLAT race. By miles 15-16 of the race the repetitive motion on the flats was taking a toll on hips, knees, ankles!

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Greenland 25K — Greenland Open Space, CO — 5/09/2009

Charles Scheibe reports:
Distance: 25 K
Goal: 2:30
Results: 2:36
Website: http://www.greenland50k.com/

General Summary:
The course passes through native grasslands, by ponds, through rolling Gamble oak hills and skirts ponderosa pine forests allowing for outstanding views of Pikes Peak and the surrounding buttes.

Things Done Right:
Successfully fought through wind with a consistent effort. Dressed appropriately for the surprisingly cold weather.

Things Done Wrong:
As always, could have been better prepared but all things considered, ran as well as I could.

Any Other Stuff:
The entire course is run on dirt trails. With wide, smooth double track trails, the Greenland Trail 50K is a very fast course and also very beginner friendly. There will be an aid station at mile 3.5 and 7.5 of each loop.

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Elizabeth Helland reports:
Distance: 25K
Goal: 2:07
Results: 2:10
Website: http://www.greenland50k.com/Results.html

General Summary:
Course was fairly flat, very windy on the way out on both loops

Things Done Right:
Signed up for my first race of the season to convince myself to get back into Spring/Summer shape :)

Things Done Wrong:
Went out a little too fast for the windy conditions, did a hard run too close to race day so legs felt sluggish

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Pablo Najera reports:
Distance: 25K
Goal: 2:00
Results: 2;06

General Summary:
It was sunny but cold and very windy, especially on the way out.

Things Done Right:
Lost some weight.

Things Done Wrong:
Almost miss the start because of a last minute run to the pp.

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Greenland 50K — Greenland Open Space, CO — 05/09/2009

Anita Bower reports:
Distance: 50Km
Goal: finish
Results: 5:48:45
Website: http://www.greenland50k.com

General Summary:
Used this as a training run for Leadville. Very windy day, but since I had brought all my rain gear, self heating hand warmers, hats, etc, it was bright and sunny.

Things Done Right:
Finished, despite it being my slowest time ever on this course, and not really being in the mood to run. I figured I would feel that way at 60 miles into the LT100, so I might as well get used to that feeling. I had finished the Collegiate Peaks 50 miler the previous weekend, and went in with tired legs.

Things Done Wrong:
There weren’t nearly enough bathrooms at the start, and there are few trees on the course in which to hide, and got caught in the huge crowd of runners at the start, walking the first five minutes or so. I wish the people running the eight mile race could start five minutes early, so to help reduce the horrible congestion at the start of what otherwise is a great race.

Any Other Stuff:
Great volunteers and sponsors as usual!

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Greg Stock reports:
Distance: 50K
Goal: 5:00:00 (really just to finish)
Results: 5:03:12
Website: http://www.greenland50k.com

General Summary:
The 50K race was four loops on the Greenland Open Space trail. Eight mile and 25K races were also run at the same time, which made for a little crowding at the start, but it thinned out after two or three miles. It was my first ultra, so I didn’t know what to expect once I got past 26 miles. I probably would have ended better if there hadn’t been a 20 mph wind. Except for the wind, the weather was nice. Probably the next one will be better.

Things Done Right:
Pretty even pacing for the first three loops.

Things Done Wrong:
Didn’t leave enough time for the porta-potty line, although one would think 30 minutes would be enough, which left me three minutes to get rid of my sweats and finish dressing. In the rush, I forgot my GPS. Jennifer got it for me and gave it to me at the end of the first loop. I probably ran a little too fast the first three loops, which led to the big slowdown on the last loop. I chalk that up to inexperience. Next time will be better. I also don’t think I ran enough long runs in training. I would probably like to run at least two or three runs of 23-25 miles for the next time.

Any Other Stuff:
Lots of other ICers were there, which was nice to see.

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Melissa Marr reports:
Distance: 50K
Goal: Finish ahead of husband
Results: Finished-6:46 and change-hubby dropped out

General Summary:
I had done this race last year, so I was familiar with the course. It was pretty windy to start, but seemed to taper off as the day passed. I kept thinking about Matt saying “run a smart race,” so when my husband ran past me on the first leg, I let him go. He was easy to catch since he didn’t train much and had a cold. First lap I was feeling good and ahead by about 5 minutes. That went out the window at the turnaround. My support crew, my 17yr old daughter, was at the wrong turnaround for the first lap. This allowed hubby to catch up with me. He decided to follow me. Listening to his ragged breath behind me, I sped up a bit to put some space between us. Second lap was great. I was about 1/2 a mile ahead at this point when I saw him coming down the hill looking like he’d seen better days. He gave me the sign that he was done. Well, now I just had to finish. The third and fourth laps were painful. My lower back decided to cramp up. I had never had problems with it before, so my “smart race” was now one of just surviving. I stretched out at each aid station and heard it from the guys at the 3.5 station to ‘get going’. Okay, I did as they said. I finished within 5 minutes of last year’s time, so not too bad considering.

Things Done Right:
Trained for the long run unlike my hubby. Dressed appropriately and fueled properly.

Things Done Wrong:
Should have walked daughter to the correct turnaround before the race.

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Great Wall of China Marathon — China — 05/16/2009

Dan Burstein reports:
Distance: 26.2
Goal: Finish with all limbs intact!
Results: 6 painful hours!
Website: http://www.great-wall-marathon.com

General Summary:
Wonderful country. People are friendly and hospitable.
Race is hard, steps are never ending, spectators are all Chinese and very enthusiastic!

Things Done Right:
Visited Wall 2 days before race for the “mandatory” Wall inspection tour. This is a great opportunity to appreciate the grandeur of the Wall and take loads of photos (not race day).
Ran with Nathans hydration pack so had plenty of Heed to supplement the bottled water on the course. Trained on lots and lots of stairs. Enjoyed the locals cheering us on and high fiveing one and all.

Things Done Wrong:
My inner mountain goat propelled me to “attack” the first 5 miles of climbing (2.5K of road up to the Wall, 2 miles of Wall steps). I paid for my arrogant exuberance for the next painful 21 miles. I knew I was cooked when the lady in the red tutu passed me up at mile 10 (along with everyone else I passed earlier). I thought I had learned that lesson about not going out to hard and fast in some of my prior marathons but apparently I had a bout of marathon amnesia (again)!

Any Other Stuff:
Ate post race Scorpians on a stick.
Used Kathy Lopers Tour group. They were fantastic.
Enjoyed China, the culture, the people, and the rustic bathrooms!

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Sky Mesa Pass Marathon, Colfax Marathon — Gateway and Denver — 05/16/2009

Steve Bremner reports:
Distance: 26.2 miles
Goal: Win
Results: 2nd
Website: http://skymesapasstrailmarathon.shutterfly.com/

General Summary:
Ran one of the most difficult marathons of my 97 marathon running career today in Denver, following a great trail marathon yesterday. First time I’ve ever done back to back marathons. 3:53. The very first mile felt like the last miles of a marathon and it got worse from there. Yesterday in Gateway I ran great with a 3:57 2nd place finish on a difficult course (4000’ ele gain/loss). John Courtney ran 4:27 yesterday and 4:02 today. He’s moving up on me!

Marathon numbers 4 and 5 in Colorado for John and I. Four marathons in 14 days. We get a three week respite now before another back-to-back weekend.

Things Done Right:
Started out fast and sped up.

Things Done Wrong:
hubris

Any Other Stuff:
I cannot recommend the Sky Mesa Pass Trail Marathon in Gateway Colorado high enough. It is a wonderful course through Wingate sandstone canyons. It climbs from desert up 4000’ to the mesa and cool pine forests before dropping back down to Gateway. Great resort facilities in Gateway. What a treat. I will likely run it again next year.

Colfax? Better than expected. Easy course though Colfax portion is tedious. Very well organized with lots of aid stations and nice features such as live music and Mexican folk dancers.

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Jemez Mountain — Los Alamos, NM — 05/16/2009

Jon Teisher reports:
Distance: 50 miles
Goal: 11:09
Results: 13:37:58
Website: http://www.highaltitudeathletics.org/JemezMt.htm

General Summary:
50 miles of rugged trails up and over lots of New Mexico mountains. But NM mountains are weak, only topping out at 12,000 feet.

Things Done Right:
Finished.

Things Done Wrong:
Lost a contact right before the race, causing me some depth perception issues over the next 13.5 hours.

Any Other Stuff:
Very beautiful course, well worth the five hour drive from Manitou. They also have a 50K and 20K option. Several runners were greeted by a bear on the out and back to Caballo mountain.

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Sweet Water 50k Trail Race — Atlanta, GA — 05/30/09

Dan Burstein reports:
Distance: 50K
Goal: Finish without feeling like death warmed over
Results: 7:35.. Felt Good
Website: http://www.sweeth20races.com/

General Summary:
A great morning to run in the woods and hills of this wonderful park right outside Atlanta. While we don’t have the altitude and mountainous Colorado grandeur we do have heat and humidity and a great community of Ultra runners. One such ultra fiend even ran 28 miles to get to the start of the race then ran the darn thing!! Way to go Tony!

Things Done Right:
Went slow and steady through out the race..repeating my mantra.. don’t want to feel like crap... Had fun meeting and talking with fellow runners.. Did not drown on rope assisted river crossing.. Did not have my soul crushed during second loop over the “apocalyptic” climbs of the power lines. Drank about 3 litters of Heed and Mountain Dew!

Things Done Wrong:
Should have eaten more early on in race.
Wish legs were a bit fresher after China Great Wall Marathon 2 weeks prior. Should have been born with better mitochondria

Any Other Stuff:
Course is hard but very fun. Aid stations were fully loaded and volunteers were enthusiastic.

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Vail Pass 1/2 / Spring Runoff 10K — Vail, CO — 6/6-7/09

Matt Carpenter reports:
Distance: 1/2 Mar / 10K
Goal: Originally win the 10K, morphed into win them both
Results: 2nd in the 1/2, 1st in the 10K
Website: http://www.tevamountaingames.com

General Summary:
The Spring Runoff 10K is perhaps one of my favorite races. There are gentle ups, steep ups and very steep ups. There are gradual downs, steep downs and very steep downs. There are straight sections and insanely twisty sections. You are never doing anything for more than a few minutes at a time and you don’t really do anything more than once. Add to this that some of the course is on asphalt bike path, some on dirt service roads, some on smooth single track, some on technical single track with roots and/or rocks and some just running over the side of a mountain with no trail whatsoever and you end up with a race where the time just flies by. Exciting to say the least and far from the typical “get into a rhythm and grind away” of many races.

All that said, I almost didn’t do it. Leading up to the race there was talk of a new road 1/2 marathon that the organizers had added as part of the Teva Mountain Games. At first, I paid this little attention as I did not think many would be doing it [which turned out to be true] and the 10K would remain the competitive event as it was the prize money event. But about 2 weeks out they made the interesting move of putting up the same $5,000 prize purse for the 1/2 as the 10K. Almost immediately I heard that the top runners were starting to split between the two races with some talking about doing both. That is a bummer as there are already enough races out there that don’t seem to look at a calendar for conflicts with other races when they pick their dates. For a race to double book itself on the same weekend just seems insane.

However, I did not want to be put in the situation that if I did “just” the 10K and did well it would be said that it was because I was fresh. As such, I Doubled Down as well and to be perfectly honest went into race week with one of the most pissy attitudes that I can remember. Indeed, even two days before the race I was seriously thinking of just blowing the whole thing off and staying home! I had the GOG10M to direct the following week and that was already enough pressure.

In the end, I went into the 1/2 half heartedly and paid for it. I just ran along with everyone during the 3-4 mile “flatter” section to get to the bottom of Vail Pass. The road felt hard, literally, and I was glad it finally turned in the direction of up as I was getting a little beat up. After a mile or so of up Joseph Gray, from sea level no less, and Rickey Gates started pushing each other. I actually started thinking of the 10K and decided to let them work on each other while I saved some for the next day. I was sure I could run them down after they beat each other up as there were still 5-6 miles to go. Big mistake! Working together, or perhaps working against each other, they gapped me pretty good. I managed to bring back Gray after the altitude finally got to him but ended up losing by 23 seconds to Gates. What can I say other than he ran this race like it was the race which was very smart and as such he earned and deserved the win.

After the race I got that strange feeling that I was an octogenarian as both Gates and Gray were saying things to me that basically amounted to “I have been watching you run since I was in diapers.” Gee thanks! I told Gates how well he had run and told Gray how well he had done for coming from sea level. Indeed, I would rate him as performer of the weekend. But while I tried to play the part of a gracious loser on the outside, on the inside I was fuming mad. And as the Hulk might say, “you won’t like me when I am mad!” It was at the awards ceremony where Gates not only picked up $1,000 (to my $750) but a $400 watch (to my silver medal) that I became determined to get some revenge.

I played down my chances to anyone who asked but in all honestly since 6 of the top 7 from the 1/2, including the top 5, were Doubling Down we would all pretty much be in the same boat so I was fairly optimistic. This was after all the race I had been focusing on. And did I mention I was mad? The only unknown would be the fresh runners on day two of which there were several with rather good credentials that with all things being equal might not amount to much but with them being fresh could spell serious trouble.

One minute into the 10K and it became apparent that while the fresh runners may have been fresh they were not fast. Then, as soon as we turned off the bike path and turned uphill it was if everyone hit the brakes. At 4-5 minutes into the race I took the lead and that was that. Soon, I had a huge gap and got to relax a little and not take as big as chances on some of the downhills that I had feared as both Gates and Gray are known as insane downhillers. It was another 40+ er, Simon Gutierrez, who was actually running second for a while which had me wondering about the strength that comes with age. Alas, Gates and Gray gobbled him up on the first technical downhill. Then, as they were pushing each other they were actually closing pretty good on me on the next up but I was using it as recovery for the next flatter section. This played off perfectly and the next time I looked back Gates had fallen off the pace and I had gained a little more on Gray. I used the same strategy for the final up, which is the steepest
and has a couple of sections with steps like the Inline, and was able to pull away again on the next flat. I pushed the final gentle downhill and then got to cruise the 1/2 mile or so on the bike path back to the finish, the win and my own Swiss Army Convoy watch and my own $1K check. The top 5 from the day before ended up being the top 6 in the 10K with just a few swaps. Gray and I had each moved up one with Gates slipping to 3rd and Simon holding onto a his second 4th. A fresh runner bumped the previous day’s 5th to 6th. All and all a great showing for those of us Doubling Down and if I were one of the fresh runners I think I would not be feeling so hot right now.

I came away from the weekend with mixed emotions. I am really upset that I got schooled in the 1/2. I deeply respect that Gates and Gray duked it out and in the process one of them kicked my butt. On the other hand, I am extremely pleased that I pulled off the win in the race I had come to run. But it is just my way that I tend to dwell on the losses more than the wins and I will focus on that in order to do better next time. But this weekend has also firmly brought home the point that as much as I am in denial about it, the age factor is slowly starting to play its hand. There is just no more denying the fact that kids in their 20s like these two are going to start getting the confidence to run with or even away from me. Unfortunately for them, I am not ready to accept that fact yet and I shall train with even more focus. Unfortunately for me, and as much as it pains me to admit it, father time catches us all. But for now I will try to win that race as well.

Things Done Right:
Day one — not much (little warm-up, little focus, terrible attitude), day two — mostly everything (I learn fast:-)

Things Done Wrong:
Day one — mostly everything (see above), day two — not much (see above).

Any Other Stuff:
Because I was doing two races I stayed in Vail for the weekend instead of the usual drive up at o’dark thirty only to leave immediately after the awards. As such, I got to see the amazing amount of construction that has gone on, and is currently going on, since I lived there in the late ‘80s/early 90’s. I must say I don’t like some of it! The size of some of the new buildings just dwarfs everything around them and I did not even recognize Lionshead anymore and getting through the place felt like an exercise in jigsawology. On the other hand, during some of my easy/recovery runs and just milling about before/after the awards ceremonies I bumped into some of the folks I used to run with while living there. It was fun to catch up and swap stories.

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Squaw Peak 50 Mile Run — Orem Utah — 06/06/09

Anita Bower reports:
Distance: 50 Miles
Goal: finish
Results: 15:49:28
Website: http://www.squawpeak50.com

General Summary:
My 8th time finishing this run, it never fails to challenge me. This year’s race was complete with mountain lions and moose to help motivate one to keep moving.

Things Done Right:
Wrapped the Camel Bladder I borrowed from a friend with a trash bag. My bladder ended up leaking, but fortunately most of the water that leaked around the openings edges was captured and saved in the trashbag. Although this required me to stop and drink out of the trashbag, which slowed me down a lot, I still had a fun time out in the mountains. A late evening storm added to the fun. (full moons in Saggitarius are known to produce rapidly changing weather). Met a cool pacer guy who told me about this great ultrarunning book, Born to Run. Great book, which resonated with my belief, after running 292 miles in the mountains and desert at one strech last year, that cheap, minimalist shoes are best.

Things Done Wrong:
Borrowed a friends bladder. All mine were still packed up, with what will be the 30th move in my life.

Any Other Stuff:
Beautiful course, great aid stations, and volunteers. Windy Pass never fails to kick my little debbie.

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Turkey Track Trail Half Marathon — Pagosa Springs, CO — 06/06/2009

Jennifer Stock reports:
Distance: half marathon
Goal: top third of women
Results: 8th out of 21; time of 2:15.11
Website: http://www.joingecko.org

General Summary:
There are two races, a marathon and a half marathon. The courses run together for roughly the first 6 miles, then the full turns off and rejoins the half course a few more times. The last couple of miles are the same course.

It’s not too hilly, although the trail is very rocky for much of the race. The course runs through a forest which contains several meadows filled with wildflowers.

Things Done Right:
When I passed the “mile to go” marker, the boyfriend of another competitor was on the side of the trail waiting to see her. I was surprised to see him bike past me on his mountain bike much sooner than I expected and thought “ack! she’s right behind me--pick it up, this is a race after all!” I did pick it up that last mile and no one got past me. I held off the girlfriend as well as another woman.
Other than the exciting finish, I tried to control my pace early on, and not go out too fast.

Things Done Wrong:
I had no idea how much the rocky trail would beat up my legs. While I tried to not run too fast at the start, my legs are not used to race pace and they felt pretty tired half way through the race. The energy drink provided at the last two aid stations did help. I need to work in more miles at a faster pace in during the week.

Any Other Stuff:
Fantastic awards ceremony/post race party at a local brewpub a few hours after the race ended. Finisher awards and age group awards were made by local school kids and were cute. I won my age group, which only goes to show what a small race this was.

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Turkey Track Trail Marathon — Pagosa Springs, CO — 06/06/2009

Greg Stock reports:
Distance: 26.2 miles (approximate)
Goal: Finish
Results: 4:17:47
Website: http://www.joingecko.org

General Summary:
This was a great trail race. The course was beautiful, there were only about 90 runners for both the full and half marathons, and the race was very well organized with lots of great volunteers. The weather was perfect also. The course didn’t have any significant elevation gain, but it was hilly and rocky. The post-race party and awards ceremony was at the Pagosa Brewing Company later that afternoon. I highly recommend this race — either the full or the half.

Things Done Right:
Finished. Eighth place overall.

Things Done Wrong:
Didn’t finish very strongly. I was cooked by about mile 21 or 22, which probably means my first half was a little too fast.

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Steve Bremner reports:
Distance: 26.2 miles
Goal: Win
Results: Win, 3:50
Website: http://www.joingecko.org/folders.asp?uid=13

General Summary:
The second of four back-to-back marathon weekends on my quest to run all 18 Colorado marathons in 2009 began Saturday in Pagosa Springs. The race is all dirt with about 75% single track and 25% graded road, with no significant altitude gain but it is technical in spots. I fell twice. At about 11 miles, when we broke with the half marathoners is when I first realized I was leading the marathon. I could see Harsha Nagaraj about 150 yards back and another runner about 150 yards behind Harsha. I used the next three miles to open a gap and never saw anyone behind for the rest of the race.

Things Done Right:
Hardly ran at all in the three weeks in between back-to-back marathon weekends.

Things Done Wrong:
Fell twice. Ouch!

Any Other Stuff:
First time run for this trail marathon. I would highly recommend it. The course was well marked for the most part. I never got off course, but Harsha did once.

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Steamboat Marathon — Steamboat Springs — 06/07/2009

Steve Bremner reports:
Distance: 26.2 miles
Goal: Finish
Results: 2:26
Website: http://steamboatmarathon.com

General Summary:
Following Saturday’s trail marathon in Pagosa Springs, ran second marathon in two days at Steamboat Springs in 3 hours 26 min (7:52/mil pace). Legs felt sore but they would move. I ran the first mile in an easy 8:45 then settled in to a comfortable pace. The legs actually felt better the farther into the race I got and I just kept accelerating. “That which does not kill you will make you stronger.”

Things Done Right:
Eased into it.

Things Done Wrong:
Nothing. Perfect race.

Any Other Stuff:
The course is rolling. Don’t be deceived by the net elevation loss.

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Charles Scheibe reports:
Distance: 26.2 miles
Goal: sub-4:30; beat last year
Results: 4:16:53
Website: http://www.steamboat-chamber.com/info/events/sbcccalendarevent.marathon_09.item.asp?

General Summary:
Selected by Runner’s World as one of the “10 Most Scenic Marathons of the Year” (February 1996). Named in the November/December 2006 issue of Colorado Runner Magazine as the Best Marathon of the Year for 2006! The USATF Certified Course begins at historic Hahns Peak Village, follows a paved country road down the Elk River Valley, and finishes at the courthouse in downtown Steamboat Springs. Starting elevation is 8,128’ and the finish elevation is 6,728’.

Things Done Right:
Started race with training partners but stuck to personal pacing plan, leaving partners after first mile. Dressed appropriately for the cold, rain, sleet and wind.

Things Done Wrong:
Did not warm-up (literally) or stretch before race, choosing to huddle under shelter and stay dry (at least partially!). Did not find rhythm until 7-8 miles into run.

Any Other Stuff:
The course is more challenging than the net 1,400 foot decrease would indicate.

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Joe Colton 15 Mile Run — Rollinsville, CO — 06/13/09

Anita Bower reports:
Distance: 15 Miles
Goal: faster than last year
Results: 2:13:56 (not sure) 6th woman
Website: http://www.joecoltonadventure.org

General Summary:
I used this as a training run for the fast approaching LT100. High altitude, very runnable for faster leg turnover compared to last week’s slow 50 mile death march in UT. Great, simple out and back course, climbing almost all 7.5 miles of the outbound.

Things Done Right:
Had fun, didn’t carry too much stuff, brought all my rain gear, so it didn’t rain. Went out harder than last year, and felt great. Ran the last half 15 minutes faster than the first half.

Things Done Wrong:
Got caught by the train on the inbound, just like last year. This always happens right before mile 10, and I, amongst several other runners, lost about three minutes, It was agonizing seeing the slow moving train, no end in sight, coming towards the tracks we would have to cross. Need to pick up my pace by about three minutes next year.

Any Other Stuff:
Simple, runnable course on dirt roads, with great views of the mountains, with folk bands playing along the way, and a band at the finish too. The course goes along a stream, so you get to hear that too. The whole race is a treat for the senses. The people who put the race on do it in memory of their little boy who passed away at a very young age. his favorite thing to do was play in the creek, and explore all the great things nature has to offer. The love and effort the RD’s put into this race was apparent from start to finish. great food at the end, and a raffle at the end of the race was nice too.

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Garden of the Gods 10 Mile Run — Manitou Springs, CO — 06/14/2009

Dan Cockrell reports:
Distance: 10 Mile
Goal: 1:15:00
Results: 1:12:35
Website: http://www.gardentenmile.com

General Summary:
Absolutely Awesome experience! Thanks to everyone who works to put this event on. First “Race” in 12 years.

Things Done Right:
Trained with the IC’ers, tapered well, paced the run perfectly.

Things Done Wrong:
Nothing

Any Other Stuff:
Beautiful course, great organization. Thanks to Manitou and Colorado Springs for a fantastic event.

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Michael Ronald Puig reports:
Distance: 10 Miles
Goal: 1:45:00
Results: 1:37:46

General Summary:
First leg of the Triple Crown — I really need to train more.

Things Done Right:
Kept pushing

Things Done Wrong:
Not enough preparation, too much distraction

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Phil Goulding reports:
Distance: 10 miles
Goal: 1:20
Results: 1:18:54

General Summary:
A great day for a race. The course goes up mostly, then down, mostly in what has to be one of the most beautiful racing venues anywhere. The weather was perfect for me.

Things Done Right:
I trained well for the race running with the Incline club regularly. I got up early so I could eat and drink a little to avoid dehydration. Picked up water at all the aid stations. I beat my goal and was 6+ minutes faster than last year and had a negative split.

Things Done Wrong:
Need to keep working on speed work.

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Andy Wooten reports:
Distance: 10 miles
Goal: Have a fun run.
Results: 1:37:05
Website: http://www.gardentenmile.com/index.htm

General Summary:
A ten mile race through the Garden of the Gods.

Things Done Right:
Kept a nice comfortable sane pace.

Things Done Wrong:
I registered the morning of the race as an afterthought. I had ran my long run the day before on Saturday so I wasn’t as fresh as I could be. Since my goal was to have fun though it really didn’t matter.

Any Other Stuff:
The last time I ran this was in 1996 and I was 28. :)

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Eddie Baxter reports:
Distance: 10 Miles
Goal: 70 minutes
Results: 1:09:47

General Summary:
Cutting it close, But got it.

Things Done Right:
Training

Things Done Wrong:
?

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Michael Everson reports:
Distance: 10M
Goal: PR
Results: PR

General Summary:
Nice cool morning. Race is well organized and run on asphalt and cement. Not my favorite running surface, but definitely a great venue.
Easy to get in to the race. No DOUBLE CLICKING speed records necessary. I avoided computer entirely by driving to CRC after Thursday IC run. Only skill needed was with pen, paper, and checkbook.

Things Done Right:
Drank when I needed to. Ran based on heart rate instead of pace. This made for a much better run (even effort!!!). Let friends con me in to running and glad I did.

Things Done Wrong:
Didn’t do a proper taper. I didn’t think I was going to run this race until Tuesday before. So I was still in training mode through the weekend of 6/6-6/7. On Saturday, the 6th, I ran from Memorial Park to Incline, did the Incline, then continued to the first switchback after Bottomless Pit Sign. On Sunday the 7th, I took it a little easier running about 6.75 Miles in the Garden. This was my precursor to consider this run. Since I didn’t really taper until Thursday, I may have blown some time. So I kinda sucked from Mile 8 to 9, but recovered and finished strong.
Planned a huge Birthday Party for Wife’s 40th on the same day as the race. It’s hard to cook and prepare for a shindig like this (it was pretty big--hired a band!!!) after running in the morning, but I did it and people had fun. Wifey helped a lot :-)

Any Other Stuff:
Course well marked and aided. Volunteers are awesome as always. Kudos to staff and volunteers for making this race enjoyable.
Amazing to think that I’m running the best I ever have and have the winners 2 miles in front of me at mile 4. I’ll keep selling insurance because I don’t think I can manage 5 minute pace for one flat mile, let alone 10 hilly ones.

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John O’Donnell reports:
Distance: 10 miles
Goal: 1:30-1:35
Results: 1:40
Website: http://www.gardentenmile.com

General Summary:
Good day for a race cool and no wind.

Things Done Right:
Good rehydration, gels.

Things Done Wrong:
When out to eat with family and didn’t eat regular pre race meal.

Any Other Stuff:
Too much congestion maybe think about timing chips next year.

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James Armenta reports:
Distance: 10 Miles
Goal: 1:29:59
Results: 1:23:25

General Summary:
This is the first time I have run a race over 10k. I trained hard for this race because my goal was to get into Wave 1 of the PPA. I got a hip flexor injury 2 weeks prior to the race. The injury hurt to the point I couldn’t walk without a limp. As much as it pained me to take time off I did. I was stressed out thinking that not running (as much) was going to erase all the training I had done. On race day I didn’t know what to expect. I was just hoping that my hip didn’t blow up so I could finish and at least get into Wave 2 of the PPA. To make a long story short, I was pleasantly surprised on race day as I finished in 1:23:25, which is better than I was expecting.

Things Done Right:
1. Practiced in the GOG on Tues and Thurs.
2. Did two rehearsal runs prior to race weekend.
3. Ran a consistent, vigorous pace.
4. Drank water at every station for the first 4 stations and then every other mile thereafter.
5. Ran strong on the hills.
6. Tapered due to injury.

Things Done Wrong:
1. Did not practice drinking from cup while running prior to race, which just about killed me during the race. I inhaled water a few times while gasping for air. I definitely prefer my Camelback for this task.

Any Other Stuff:
The race staff rocked! The weather was perfect. I couldn’t have hoped for better.

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Jennifer Stock reports:
Distance: 10 miles
Goal: 1:30
Results: 1:28.00

General Summary:
Everyone knows this course. Beautiful run through the red rocks of the Garden.

Things Done Right:
Did not go out too fast. Kept a nice, even effort the entire time. Although I was tired towards the end I never had that “I just want to stop” feeling. I managed to run every section of the course exactly as I had planned--now if I can just do that in August.

Things Done Wrong:
Noting-how often does that happen?

Any Other Stuff:
Lots of fun seeing the leaders go by when I was around mile 3.5-that’s the fun of a course that doubles back on itself. Watching runners at that level go by is just so exciting.

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Nathan Nipper reports:
Distance: 10-Mile
Goal: 1:40
Results: 1:28:57
Website: http://www.gardentenmile.com

General Summary:
What a cool race! I moved to CO from FL last October, so this was only my 2nd high-altitude distance race. GoG is an awesome place to run. The race was well-organized and I loved the theme-style aid stations. I would highly recommend it.

Things Done Right:
1. Wore my HR Monitor — I’ve never worn it during a race before. It really helped me take it easy on the uphills, and even helped me push it a little harder on the downhills.
2. Didn’t let my ego take over when a lot of folks were flying by me on the first downhill.
3. Parked at SSP — plenty of spots & no bathroom lines
4. Finished well under my goal — I guess my training is starting to pay off!

Things Done Wrong:
1. I’m beginning to question my coffee+powerbar+water pre-race meal. I had bad stomach cramps for a few hours after the race. Fortunately, I felt good during the race. Next time I’m going with liquids only & no caffeine...and light on the post-race snacks.
2. I’ve been struggling with mild Plantar Faciitis for the last two months — so I’ve cut way back on my training. This race may not have helped, but I’ve been wanting to run this one ever since I decided I was moving out here.

Any Other Stuff:
Thanks to all who worked to make this race great!

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Matt Hopper reports:
Distance: 10 Miles
Goal: Improve on last year, try for sub 1:30
Results: Took off almost 4.5 minutes from last year, with a 1:33:52

General Summary:
Good race. Great people. Very good organization. I keep improving every year, so I guess I’m training right and enjoying the race.

Things Done Right:
Had a good night’s sleep and fueled properly.

Things Done Wrong:
Started to wear out at about mile 8, and I know if I had some longer training runs under my belt, that probably would not have happened.

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Estes Park Marathon — Estes Park — 06/14/2009

Steve Bremner reports:
Distance: 26.2 miles
Goal: 3:10
Results: 3:26, 4th overall
Website: http://epmarathon.org

General Summary:
100th lifetime marathon and ninth marathon for 2009 (eight in Colorado). The last miles of these marathons are getting easier and easier. Maybe I’ll eventually get accustomed to this distance.

Things Done Right:
Started off slowly. Let the race come to me.

Things Done Wrong:
Might have pushed the downhill a little too hard...

Any Other Stuff:
Highest paved marathon in the world, Estes Park Marathon is a challenging course. There is a serious climb for about two miles at mile eight. Then you lose the elevation in the next mile plus.

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Anita Bower reports:
Distance: 26.2 miles
Goal: sub-4 hours
Results: 3:54:48 3rd place woman overall
Website: http://www.epmarathon.org

General Summary:
A 26.2 mile cat fight between the four leading ladies. I decided to run this race competitively, if only to go under 4 hours. This is a more challenging marathon, with long climbs throughout the race, and high altitude.

Things Done Right:
Went out hard. Was in fourth the first five miles, then took over for third going up a long hill around mile 5 or 6. I could see I was gaining on the 2nd and third place women, and managed to pass the 2nd place woman at mile 10. First place was just two minutes ahead of me, and I had her locked into sight. Apparently she heard that I was on her tail from the cyclist that accompanied her the nearly the whole time I had her in sight, as she stayed in first the whole race, although the woman who passed me at mile 17 cranked it in, and closed the gap between the two of them considerably. At mile 21 my husband yelled out to me that fourth place woman, (tall, blond, thin, in her 20’s, HAD to be beat)that she was only a minute and 5 seconds behind me. At mile 23 she was 55 seconds. My legs were feeling the 50 miler from 7 days ago, and yesterdays hard 15 mile run, by I wasn’t about to let a woman nearly half my age beat me with just a few miles to go. She must have read my mind, because as a made a turn to go up to
the track she was still less than a minute behind me with less than a mile to go. We ended up on the track together, with less than 300 yard between us. Given I’ve been known to make up over 45 seconds in the final mile and half of other marathons to come in first, I left nothing to chance, and kicked it in, praying I wouldn’t throw up as I crossed the finish line. She came in about 48 seconds later. The first 4 women all came within about 3 minutes of each other, which I thought was pretty cool. Also brought my rain gear, so it didn’t rain.

Things Done Wrong:
Ran a 50 miler 7 days earlier, and ran a 15 mile race the day before. My legs were still a little tired, and lacked the zip that might have cost me first. Who knows.

Any Other Stuff:
Challenging course, but well organized, and the police did a great job of traffic control. Volunteers were very friendly and helpful too.

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Tom Huberty reports:
Distance: 26.2 miles
Goal: Finish under 6 hours at altitude
Results: 5:46
Website: http://www.epmarathon.org/

General Summary:
Late Race Report: I, too, was up at the Estes Park Marathon, hosting two friends from Minnesota. I finished in 5:46. I was just out for a long training run at altitude with my guys; they took 2nd and 3rd place over 60.

Things Done Right:
Kept moving forward

Things Done Wrong:
I didn’t use enough sunscreen

Any Other Stuff:
I won a door prize, recovering my entry fee.

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The 99th Annual Dipsea Race — Mill Valley to Stinson Beach, Marin County, CA — 06/14/2009

Wes Thurman reports:
Distance: 7 miles
Goal: 750th place
Results: 681st
Website: http://www.dipsea.org

General Summary:
The Dipsea is an age/gender handicapped trail race. I started in 1,297th place and was given the task to pass 500+ runners to qualify for the invitational section for the 100th Dipsea next year. The course is point to point, starting just above sea level in downtown Mill Valley, peaking at 1,360’ and finishing by the ocean in Stinson Beach. The first mile includes climbing 671 steps. I maintained a steady effort the whole way with an avg heart rate of 178bpm. I knew from the split at the peak that I was in good shape to hit my goal, so I was able to relax some on the descent.

Things Done Right:
Did not panic at early bottlenecks on course
Training on steps and hills paid off
Training at 7,000+ feet altitude

Things Done Wrong:
Not enough downhill training- quads were hurting on the descent and were very sore the next day.

Any Other Stuff:
Beautiful course, well organized. Awesome community of trail runners, age group wonders.
Capped field of 1,416 runners was just about right for trail and given the staggered start -ie if I raced the course alone, my time would have only been marginally faster. If anything, the congestion on the steps at the beginning saves people from themselves.
Not enough porta potties — 21 for 1416 anxious runners didn’t cut it.
Chip timed with one split at peak.
Race summary- http://www.marinij.com/dipsea/ci_12590385
Would recommend race to anyone.

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Mt. Evans Ascent — Idaho Springs, CO — 06/20/2009

Elizabeth Helland reports:
Distance: 14.5 mi
Goal: 2:40
Results: 2:22
Website: http://www.racingunderground.com/mtevans/

General Summary:
Nice gradual incline up the mountain with a few flat spots along the way. Weather was cloudy and cool at the start and got cold and windy on the way up (typical mountain running :).

Things Done Right:
Not knowing the course, started out slow and waited until they made the weather call at mile 6 to start moving up. Dressed about perfect for the weather conditions.

Things Done Wrong:
Should have drafted some on the super windy stretches, instead I moved really slowly!

Any Other Stuff:
The course was really pretty, just a little cloudy the last 4 miles so you couldn’t see much other than the person ahead of you.

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Doug Smith reports:
Distance: 14.5 Miles
Goal: 3:00
Results: 2:54:47
Website: http://www.racingunderground.com/mtevans/

General Summary:
Most people know of this race already, so I’ll spare the details of the course, and focus on the weather. It was a pretty cool overcast morning — at the start, the Race Director reported that fog was so thick at the top (think he said 6 feet or less ????), that they were contemplating shortening the race to 9 miles. There would be a sign at the 6 mile aid station instructing runners where the finish would (the summit or 9 mile).

I started at the back of the pack, and slowly worked up, running 10 minute miles for the first two miles at around the 3 mile mark, which is around tree line, my heart rate started to soar, and I found myself starting to walk. The temperature then dropped to probably around 30 degrees with some pretty heavy head winds. I finally cajoled my body into a mostly run and some walk strategy, and after eating some GU’s, started to feel slightly better. At the 6 mile mark, the sign they had told us about instructed us to finish at the summit. I had mixed feelings about it, as I was just having one of the uncooperative body days, but figured since I had paid for the whole experience, I could always power walk to the top. I kept to the run/walk deal, picking out snow poles as targets for walk breaks. Using this tactic, I only got passed by 10-12 runners, and actually caught a few folks running when I was just walking fast (John Garner Style!). Around the 7 mile mark, I was able to run almost two miles without stop ping and caught a few folks (mile 8-9 is mostly downhill). My 10 minute/mile goal had pretty much dissolved at this point, and I was more like on a 11-12 minute pace. Man plans, God laughs....

The last 5.5 miles were very cold and the clouds were spitting snow. I heard somebody say the summit temperature was around 20 degrees, with winds gusting to 25MPH (which a few times sent me careening a foot or two sideways). Around the 13 mile mark, I came upon a woman who was having problems with very cold hands — all she had on was a long sleeve shirt, with light cotton gloves with holes (no wind shell). I gave her my second pair — had to help her put them on as her hands were numb by then. A couple of times above the 13 mile mark, the road became sheltered from the wind, and you could actually make forward progress. At one point the road actually leveled out, so I thought I could finally make some time up. Wrong — it also turned into the wind again, and that’s probably the spot where I had the heaviest winds in my face. Visibility from the 12 mile mark on was really limited, guessing around 30 feet or so, so you had to be careful of traffic.

The poor visibility was in some ways a blessing, in that like at Pikes, the fog kept you from seeing the summit, and potentially dealing with the disappointment of no seeming progress. Very much like the 2006 Pikes Peak Ascent, but very unlike that race, as this weather was more like the 2009 Marathon (but higher wind, less snow).

I finally crossed the finish line at 2:54 and change. I was pretty cold, but looked for the lady who had used my gloves. I never did find her, but later saw in the results that she had finished a minute behind me, so the fact that I was probably standing at the finish when she crossed the line is a tribute to the hypoxia which sets in at 14K. I was too cold at that point to really care about getting my gloves back, and hopped in one of the warm shuttle vans, and got back to the finish line in about 35 minutes. I saw a lot of runners on the way down struggling up the road, and as some of them were out in the conditions upwards of 4 hours, really admired their tenacity.

Anyway, I’m glad I did it, as it’s a good warm up for Pikes Peak. I really didn’t know what a good finishing time for a person with my level of abilities was going into the race, I had been guessing that I might do a 2:48 based on looking at last years runs, and noticing names of runners whom I generally finish around, but that was not to be the case. Just strong evidence that lack of altitude training really shows when you get above tree line.

Things Done Right:
Brought the right clothes, and actually used them. Also, forced myself to drink and eat GU’s.

Things Done Wrong:
Got hardly any sleep the night before, no training at altitude (but really couldn’t due to the snow around Pikes).

Any Other Stuff:
I like the way they run this race, it’s a smaller race, but they really do a nice job with aid stations. I wasn’t real impressed with the finisher sweat shirt though, kinda weird looking.

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Fred Baxter reports:
Distance: 14.5 miles
Goal: 2:20
Results: 2:28:03
Website: http://WWW.RACINGUNDERGROUND.COM

General Summary:
America’s Highest Road Race, 4000’ climb to about 14,200 feet

Things Done Right:
even pace for most of race, used all aid stations water and Heed the Heed tasted like Mountain Goat PPeeeeeee?

Things Done Wrong:
Ran alot of miles training but must not be pushing myself? or spending to much time on Incline? will see

Any Other Stuff:
Stomach cramps at mile 10 that lasted 2 miles GELS I think? Made Eddie buy Shawn and I breakfast with his $100.00 winnings! Cold and windy, heavy fog temps in the 20s

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Melissa Marr reports:
Distance: 14.3
Goal: finish-altitude training
Results: finished despite winds and snow

General Summary:
Nice at the bottom, but the top was covered in clouds. The director warned us that at mile 6 we may be told that the race would finish at mile 9 or be lucky to finish at the top due to poor visibility. Turnout was less than last year, but did see a few ICers like the Baxter Boys. Waved to them while they rode the van down and I finished running the last 2 miles.

Things Done Right:
Camped at the base campground starting Thursday. Great idea! Just rolled out of bed (stayed in a camper) and walked to the line. Had my own bathroom! Fueled properly, ate well, and no stress from my teen since cell phone service was non-existent!

Things Done Wrong:
Told my husband I’d stay with him. Boy was he slow! Left him at Summit lake because the winds picked up and my legs were numb. (survival of the fittest!)

Any Other Stuff:
Vans took us all the way down the mountain instead of dropping off at Summit lake and waiting on buses to fill.

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Tim Virgo reports:
Distance: 14.5 miles
Goal: Finish
Results: 3:11:11 (9th in age group)
Website: http://www.racingunderground.com/mtevans/

General Summary:
14.5 mile road race to summit of Mt. Evans. Starts at 10,600’ ends at 14,200.

Things Done Right:
Preparation: IC Sunday runs, plus, since the last race in May, much more volume and intensity of training during the week.
Race: Had a plan. Stuck to it. Slow the first three miles, then constant pulse rate at medium tempo for the middle bit, and push the last 3 miles. This worked: I was passing people for the last 3 miles.

Things Done Wrong:
Did not learn the turns in the last 3 miles well enough — could have pushed harder if I knew more exactly where I was.
At 10,600’ tied my summit bag with a clever knot, assuming that my IQ and dexterity would be the same at the summit...not so. I ended up ripping it open with stupid freezing fingers.

Any Other Stuff:
Weather overcast down low, changing to cold, wind, and mist on the higher section.

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Eddie Baxter reports:
Distance: 14.5 miles
Goal: 2:10
Results: 2:14:33

General Summary:
Mostly uphill, paved road. Nice weather first half, cold windy last half.

Things Done Right:
Tried to maintain even effort throughout.

Things Done Wrong:
Need to force myself to drink more water or whatever.

Any Other Stuff:
Nice high altitude run.

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Wulfman CDT 14K — Homestake Pass, Montana — 06/20/2009

Gary Hellenga reports:
Distance: 14K
Goal: Something close to predicted 1:20 time
Results: 1:20:16
Website: http://www.buttespissandmoanrunners.com/Butte%20Races/CDT-14K/cdt_14k.htm

General Summary:
Trail race on Continental Divide Trail (CDT in the name), between Pipestone Pass and Homestake Pass, near Butte, MT. Race direction alternates by year — this year it was South-to-North. Course is mostly rolling — rarely flat, but climbs and descents are not very steep, and overall gain/loss is pretty mild.

Race day was cool (upper 40’s) and light to steady rain. Runners hung out on the bus pretty much until the last minute before heading to the start line (about 3/4 mile from bus drop-off point). Conditions were good on trail, with only a few spots where mud caused footing issues.

Things Done Right:
Ran easily, ran within current state of conditioning. Dressed right for weather — avoided temptation to wear my old PPRR Tyvek jacket over my shirt to keep rain off. Brought lots of warm, dry clothes to put on after the race.

Things Done Wrong:
Not much, aside from lack of training, but that’s not something that can be addressed on race day, is it?

Any Other Stuff:
Good post-race party/cookout at Homestake Lodge (new XC ski area about 3 miles east of the Pass). But quite chilly; felt sorry for those who had nothing but shorts to wear! At least they had a big party tent to stay dry under (it rained all day). Just missed Closest Time Prediction (someone was 3 seconds closer).

Passed someone on the trail with a PPRR Tyvek jacket on — told them, “Hey, I’ve got one of those!” (it was tied around my waist — would have been too muggy to actually put it on).

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Big Horn Mountain Wild & Scenic Trail Run — Dayton, WY — 06/20/2009

Larry Rosenkranz reports:
Distance: 50K
Goal: 6 hours
Results: 5 hours, 48 minutes, 59 seconds
Website: http://www.bighorntrailrun.com/

General Summary:
This is a very well organized race in the Big Horn Mountains of WY with 4 distances to choose from: 30K, 50K, 50 mile, and 100 mile. The race has lots of steep hills and is on a combination of 4wd roads, dirt roads, single track, and double track. The aid stations are superb with the usual stuff and also some unsual fare such as freshly cooked bacon, salt potatoes, shrimp, and cool down mist stations at the last 2 aid stations. The scenery was spectacular. I decided this was my first and last 50K since it is just too long for my legs. I would like to return some time and race the 30K.

Things Done Right:
Trained well for this race and it paid off when I placed 3rd in my age group.

Things Done Wrong:
Lost the trail around mile 8 due to poor trail markings and ended up running an extra 1/2 to 3/4 mile. I would have come in 2nd in my age group if I had not made this mistake.

Any Other Stuff:
Did not like the fact that the 30K runners started 2 hours after the 50K and I had to pass all of the slower 30K back of the pack runners. There were many walkers in the 30K, but most of them were great about stepping off the trail to let me by. There were a few clueless 30K walkers wearing ipods who had no idea I was coming up behind them.

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Durango Off-Road Mountain Marathon — Durango Mountain Resort — 06/21/2009

Steve Bremner reports:
Distance: Marathon
Goal: Top 3
Results: 4th
Website: http://www.gravityplay.com/adventureracing/durango.html

General Summary:
The race starts at Durango Mountain Resort and immediately climbs 1000’ in 2.3 miles on the World’s Mountain Bike Course, followed by six miles downhill on graded roads, before popping onto the single track Hermosa Creek Trail, which we followed for 18 miles to the finish.

Ninth Colorado Marathon in 2009 for John Courtney and me. Nine to go.

Things Done Right:
Ran lots of marathons in preparation.

Things Done Wrong:
Fell once.

Any Other Stuff:
Lots of prize money, but I finished just out of the money. First — $500, Second — $400, Third — $300.

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The San Juan Solstice 50 Mile Run — Lake City, Colorado — 06/21/2009

Andy Wooten reports:
Distance: 50 Miles
Goal: Finish in less than the 16 hour cutoff.
Results: 15:44:46
Website: http://www.lakecity50.com/index.htm

General Summary:
This is a fifty mile course through the San Juan mountains. This was also my first Ultra event ever. The race starts at 5:00 a.m. and the cut off time is 9:00 p.m. A lot of the course is at high altitude along the continental divide. Supposed to be a beautiful course but I could not see anything with all of the snow.

Things Done Right:
Spot on in regards to loading my three drop bags. I had everything exactly where and when I needed it. This came in handy with the all of the snow and winter conditions above the Carson Aid Station and along the Divide Trail. (Lessons learned from the ‘08 Ascent.) My taper was adequate as I felt ready to go when everything started Saturday morning. I was able to finish the course and have fun for the most part.

Things Done Wrong:
Got a blister the day before from a pair of non running shoes that I probably should not have been wearing. Did not pay close enough attention to the elevation profile and course description as I should have in regards to the last 10 miles. The hike up through the aspens on Vicker’s ranch was way tougher than I thought it would be. It would have been nice to have had some higher elevation training going into this event.

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Slacker Half Marathon — Georgetown, CO — 06/27/2009

Matt Hopper reports:
Distance: 13.1 Miles
Goal: Have fun. This is my first Half Marathon, other then the Ascent
Results: 1:45:05
Website: http://Slacker Half Marathon

General Summary:
You meet at Georgetown Lake, get bussed to Loveland Ski Area, start there, and run back to Georgetown. Fun race!! First 5 miles are almost all downhill, on somewhat rocky trails. After that, you transition to roads. Some uphill running, but nothing to severe. The overall profile is a good descent into Georgetown.

Things Done Right:
Got there right on time. I think they had more people show-up than they expected, as they were running out of things, and the race started a little late, as they got all the runners up to Loveland.

Things Done Wrong:
Didn’t research the race enough. Thought it was all downhill, so I went out a little to fast. Suffered on the uphill which started a little after mile 5. Was able to recover, and finished good. Also thought the trail was on more trails and less pavement. Chose wrong shoes, and have several good blisters to show for it.

Any Other Stuff:
Absolutely fun race. Will do it again next year.

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Rita J. Cardin reports:
Distance: 13.1 miles
Goal: To better my previous time of 2:18
Results: Had a 2:16!
Website: http://Slackerhalfmarathon.com

General Summary:
Weather: Beautiful day for a race. Chilly at the start but okay with just shorts/short sleeved top. Mostly sunny with a few clouds and a slight breeze.

Course: Downhill half marathon, beginning at 10,630 ft and ending at 8,400 ft. First 5 miles on a dirt road, next 4.4 miles on a paved road and the rest on a paved bike trail...finishes up in downtown Georgetown complete with otter pops at the finish!

Things Done Right:
Good sleep a couple of nights before, had just the right amount of fuel with me, had the right kind of gear.

Things Done Wrong:
Didn’t stretch enough before the start and ended up feeling like I was wearing lead shoes.

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Mt. Marathon Race — Seward Alaska — 07/04/2009

SHAWN ERCHINGER reports:
Distance: 3.5 MILES
Goal: 47:33 & Win my age group
Results: 52:26 & 4th in my age group
Website: http://www.seward.com

General Summary:
The race begins at roughly 30 feet above sea level. The first 1/2 mile in on paved streets that turn to dirt about 200 meters from Mt. Marathon. This section is slightly uphill. When you arrive at the base of the mountain being in the front of the pack is very important as the bottleneck at the base of the mountain has ruined races for many people.

The “trail” heading up the mountain during the first two minutes of the climb is very steep and dangerous. One misstep and you’ll be glad the hospital is only a block away:) It’s crucial to get up the first two minutes quickly in order to get on the main trail which is a single track with some wider parts throughout the first half of the climb.
Establishing good position here is vital since it’s very difficult to pass on the narrow trail.

During the race I didn’t “run” a single step of the climbing part of the race. I had planned to put in some running spurts but due to the 85 degree temps I chose to use caution in order to see how the race would unfold. It turned out to be a good decision since the leader of the pack collapsed with about 1 block left before the finish line. Total dehydration took it’s toll on two athletes who train to compete on the U.S. Olympic Cross Country Ski Team. The top woman and the top man to come off Mt. Marathon didn’t reach the finish line as they had hoped. The top lady just limped right into the emergency room and got some fluids through an IV. She later walked out and finished the race so she could run next year. The top man fell to the pavement and began to crawl toward the finish line before rolling onto his back and passing out. He was taken to the hospital and recovered but the last I heard he had taken 5 bags of fluid through his IV.

Things Done Right:
I was prepared for the uphill portion by training with Eddie and Fred Baxter on the Incline throughout the year. We discussed race strategies and I chose to focus on the ascent to the summit and trained specifically to this end. I got a good start and when I felt the pack trying to swallow me up with 200 meters left before we hit the mountain I sped up and increased my stride considerably over those last 200 meters and hit the mountain in 4th position.

Perhaps the most important thing Eddie and I did besides training was we were thoroughly hydrated. Eddie was insistent that we watch our weight very closely the month before the race and that we make hydration a top priority starting three days before the race. It turned out to be a very wise decision.
Thanks Eddie! (the diet part sucked though but was well worth the sacrifices)

I climbed the uphill portion almost to perfection and managed to get to the summit of 3,022’ Mt. Marathon in 5th position on a perfect cloudless day which took a serious toll on many racers. The runner who hit the summit just in front of me finished in 3rd position and was about 47 seconds behind the winner. With this said I can’t help to feel that I ran a good race strategically but just couldn’t bring it home because I hadn’t expected to have any issues with my downhill.

I finished side by side with Eddie which should make for a good photo at the finish line. Pictures will be available for viewing at www.seward.com by going to the news and events link and clicking on Mt. Marathon. Eddie started the race wearing bib #22 and I was bib #8 due to our finishing positions in the 2008 race.

I did wear a Colorado Running Company hat with a wet rag on top of my head which helped keep me cool. In addition the amphipod I picked up at CRC allowed me to pack a 6 or 8 ounce bottle of water on one side and Gatorade on the other. I drank the Gatorade when I started getting cotton mouth and it was heavenly on the hot dusty trail. I used the water to pour over my head throughout the race. It also was heavenly.

I also wore my Incline Club T-shirt although I would have preferred to ditch it on the mountain...but that would have meant another trip up to retrieve it or spend another $25 for a new one and I’m just to cheap for that. Shame on Eddie for removing his and carrying it to the summit and NOT putting it on for our finish line photo!

Lastly, I lived to run another day and after seeing the foot doctor today I’ll be back running in another week:) The Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon are approaching and I’ll be able to participate since I didn’t permanently injure myself. Thank God!

Things Done Wrong:
I didn’t give enough attention to the downhill portion of the race. We had decided the downhill would take care of itself. My downhill portion of the race lasted maybe 2 minutes and I was done. My heels were taking a beating as were the front of the bottom of my feet and I would have ended up seriously injured if I had continued to race to the finish line.

Coming off the summit of Mt. Marathon is very steep. I fell once on the bedrock and was thankful I had worn leather gloves. They saved my hands as I slid feet first down a 10-15’ section and came to a complete stop before beginning again to descend.

Immediately my feet began to heat up and within seconds it felt like I had submerged my feet in gasoline and then they ignited. I literally felt like my heels were either on fire or that they were getting ripped off the bottom of my feet.

I had a decision to make. Clint McCool who is in my age group was in front of me. I could see that the gap could be closed but chose to simply throw in the towel at this point. I knew I was hurt badly already and still had at least 8 or 9 minutes left to descend before the 1/2 mile run down city streets.

I’ve learned that one mistake I’ve made often in this race is not giving myself enough credit regarding my ability to compete. Eddie seemed to know that I could climb with a 6 time race winner who happened to be in my age group and he encouraged me to make beating him to the summit one of my main goals. With that goal accomplished I will look forward to the 2010 race with renewed confidence and as Eddie put it now they will think of trying to beat me to the summit in 2010 instead of me having to worry about if I can keep up with them or not.

Any Other Stuff:
I finished the Mt. Marathon Race in 1986 in 47:34. In 2008 I had my first sub 50 race in a long time and finished in around 49:30. This year I had prepared myself to attempt to run faster at 41 years old then I ran when I was 18 but the downhill didn’t make that possible. You can see some great footage on the 2008 race at youtube.com by putting in Mt. Marathon Top 5 clip 1 of 3 in the search box.

It would be AWESOME to see Matt Carpenter show up in Seward someday and blitz the field but this race is very difficult to get into. Racers from the previous year have “priority” status and take up most of the 350 available spots. There is a lottery for any leftover positions and an auction the night before the race. In 2005 Eddie shelled out around $660 for his race bib and now most bibs in the men’s auction go for over $1,000. Since Eddie has run the race 5 times now his “investment” is proving to have been a good one.

For anyone who has climbed or trains regularly on the Incline, the trail up Mt. Marathon is as steep as the steepest part of the Incline for the first 20+ minutes before the slope high above treeline changes to a less severe degree. By this time most racers legs are toast. Parts of the trail are way steeper then the steepest part of the Incline. The downtrail is crazy steep.

You can read the articles about the Mt. Marathon Race by going to www.adn.com which is the site for the Anchorage Daily News. The pictures of people racing down don’t do justice to how steep this mountain really is. Enjoy.

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Eddie Baxter reports:
Distance: 3.5 miles
Goal: 49:59
Results: 52:27

General Summary:
One tough climb up the mountain, then an insane decent back into the town of Seward. Average grade on this climb/ run is 38 degrees, steepest grade I think is 68 degrees. It’s kinda like the Incline but longer and on loose scree/shale. Also has 2 small waterfalls and a cliff to navigate.

Things Done Right:
Lots of Incline training. Fueled/ hydrated.

Things Done Wrong:
Needed to go faster.

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Summer Roundup Trail Run 12K — Bear Creek Park, Colo Spgs, CO — 07/05/2009

Daniel Cockrell reports:
Distance: 12 K
Goal: Under 1 hr
Results: 1:01:42
Website: http://www.summerroundup.com/

General Summary:
Overall a decent race for me. Great weather, good trail and aid stations. Thanks to all the volunteers. This race was in dire need of more porta potties.

Things Done Right:
Not much, but I finished.

Things Done Wrong:
Never visited the course for familiarity. Went out way too hard, underestimated the climb near turn around. Had to deal with IT band issues all week. Let visiting family dictate too much of my diet and sleep wake cycles. Late night watching fireworks at the AF Academy. Dinner was Spare ribs and cheese potatoes? Since when does this work as a pre-race meal?

Any Other Stuff:
Need more porta potties! Many racers were running to the line after we took off.

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Phil Goulding reports:
Distance: 12 K
Goal: 1:04 but mostly beat last year’s time
Results: 1:04:11 and was 2:12 faster than last year
Website: http://www.summerroundup.com/

General Summary:
This course starts with a short downhill with a transition to uphill. It rolls for the next couple miles and then goes up to the turnaround. It is mostly downhill in the second half with two significant uphill sections. The weather was near perfect. For all the rain we’ve had the trail was in reasonable condition. It packed down well so the ball bearing gravel was not an issue with just a couple very muddy spots.

Things Done Right:
Mostly everything. Training is going well, took appropriate water at all the aid stations and maintained a good steady effort. I passed quite a few runners on the uphill sections and only a few people passed me either uphill or down. I’ve changed to trail shoes for most of my running and the 904s really have helped my stability and balance.

Things Done Wrong:
I’ve got to figure out how to tie the laces on the 904s. Even with a double knot they are too long and I ended up needing to tie them at the turnaround. Lost quite a few seconds and would have made both my goals had I not had to stop. I need to remember to pick up my pace/effort when I hit the flatter sections.

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James Armenta reports:
Distance: 7/5/09
Goal: 1:05:00
Results: 1:08:18
Website: http://www.summerroundup.com/

General Summary:
This was my first trail race and I thought it rocked! The race hurt so good. Even though my time sucked I loved the race.

Things Done Right:
None that I can think of.

Things Done Wrong:
1. Started out WAY too fast!
2. Got passed by too many runners!
3. Finished way too slow!

I overcompensated in the beginning because I thought the narrow, muddy trails would play a major factor in the race. I was sorely disappointed when I realized my strategy was way wrong. Oh well! I learned a lot from this particular race. I value the experience.


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John O’Donnell reports:
Distance: 7.44
Goal: 1:10
Results: 1:17
Website: http://www.summerroundup.com/

General Summary:
Good day for a race. Trail was in excellent shape from all the rain ,no wind and cool.

Things Done Right:
Good carb load and rehydrate.

Things Done Wrong:
Not getting warmed up enough.

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Melissa Marr reports:
Distance: 12k
Goal: use as training run for Barr
Results: Beat Captain America
Website: http://www.summerroundup.com/

General Summary:
great weather for a run. Good turnout and the volunteers were very friendly, as usual!

Things Done Right:
showed up with a training run in mind

Things Done Wrong:
carried a water bottle. No need for that!

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Fred Baxter reports:
Distance: 12K
Goal: 58:50
Results: 100:54
Website: http://www.summerroundup.com/

General Summary:
Nice up and down trail race mostly on dirt

Things Done Right:
Hydrated well wore nice new shoes 904s

Things Done Wrong:
Got a bad start towards the back of pack bad mistake first mile 9:38 then went out to hard to make up time last mile had zipooo left But had Fun Great Race

Any Other Stuff:
Thanks John G for all the nice Pics on these races

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Nathan Nipper reports:
Distance: 12K
Goal: 1:10:00
Results: 1:12:33
Website: http://www.summerroundup.com/

General Summary:
A very cool out-and-back 12K basically split into three parts:
1. A rolling hill section with sidewalk-width trail
2. Pretty curvy single-track trail
3. Long climb uphill on a combo of paved/dirt roads
...then you do it all in reverse on the way back.

Things Done Right:
1. Did a good job not getting ‘caught up with the herd’ on the first third of the out course.
2. Did not quite make my goal — but I felt it was a solid effort and good training for the BTMR and Ascent.
3. No pre-race caffeine, and went moderate on the post-race snacks.

Things Done Wrong:
1. Probably could have pushed harder on the downhill/flat sections of the course. Still learning how to run downhills...
2. Should have run out there at least once before the race
3. Forgot my heart monitor in the car — next time I need a checklist.

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Caitlin Jones reports:
Distance: 12K
Goal: Training Run
Results: 1:07:57
Website: http://www.summerroundup.com/

General Summary:
As always, very well organized and a wonderful, challenging course.

Things Done Right:
Managed to not go out too hard and avoided re-injury of a ligament. Was familiar with the course. Utilized aid stations.

Things Done Wrong:
This was my second run since coming off a 6 week injury. Only had 2 hours of sleep the night before. Also was not mentally prepared for the fact that I was not in racing shape.

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Rita J. Cardin reports:
Distance: 12 K
Goal: beat last year’s time
Results: by 45 seconds! : )
Website: http://www.summerroundup.com/

General Summary:
Another good day for a race. Temps were in the 60’s-70’s and there were a few nice puddles from previous rain showers. They were excellent to stomp through!

Things Done Right:
Stayed hydrated, brought my Honey Stinger chews with me and just kept running.

Things Done Wrong:
Need to work on training consistently.

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Tracey Anderson reports:
Distance: 12K
Goal: improve over last year’s time
Results: 50 seconds slower
Website: http://www.summerroundup.com/

General Summary:
Evil little race in Bear Creek Park.

Things Done Right:
Paced myself pretty well.

Things Done Wrong:
Downhill form stunk, giving me some very sore quads the next day.

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Thomas McKernan reports:
Distance: 12 K
Goal: Under 1:30
Results: 1:30:05

General Summary:
Just wanted to do a tuneup for the Barr Trail Mountain Race the following weekend.

Things Done Right:
Nice easy pace, no injuries.

Things Done Wrong:
Not running 5 seconds faster.

Any Other Stuff:
Need the race credit for the Incline Club!

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Hardrock 100 — Silverton, CO — 07/10/2009

Jon Teisher reports:
Distance: 100 miles
Goal: smash Kyle’s record of 23:23!
Results: 36:35
Website: http://www.hardrock100.com

General Summary:
Nice little jog through the mountains connecting Silverton, Lake City, Ouray, and Telluride.

Things Done Right:
Finished 6.5 hours faster than the previous year. If I continue to improve at that rate it’ll only take me three more years to get that elusive course record.

Things Done Wrong:
Said I’d go back next year.

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Leadville Trail Heavy Half Marathon — Leadville, CO — 07/11/2009

Kelly Jackson reports:
Distance: 15 miles
Goal: 3 hours
Results: 3:39
Website: http://www.leadvilletrail100.com/

General Summary:
Best aid stations of any race I’ve run.

Things Done Right:
Did lots of prep on the Barr Trail, hired a endurance trainer and ran with some friends.

Things Done Wrong:
Should have scouted and run the race course ahead of time.

Any Other Stuff:
The top 3 miles were tough running on boulders with no secure footing. Cost me a lot of time on the way down. It felt very stressful and once I was on terra firma again, I felt the tension leave my body. Beautiful day.

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Leadville Trail Marathon — Leadville, CO — 07/11/2009

Andy Wooten reports:
Distance: 26.2 miles.
Goal: Under 5:50
Results: 5:36:11
Website: http://www.leadvilletrail100.com

General Summary:
From the website: 26.2 miles of breathtaking, Leadville Rocky Mountain trails, summiting notorious 13,188 ft. Mosquito Pass. Seven well-supplied aid stations. (8 ½ hour total time limit)


Things Done Right:
Went light and didn’t carry extra stuff.

Things Done Wrong:
Not necessarily wrong but risky. I switched from one energy gel to another one made by a different company in order to get less sugar. Anyway, I ran the race with the new gel packs untested. Didn’t much care for the flavor (orange) and will have to find one I like but they did seem to work better for me.

Any Other Stuff:
Tough course. The first hour was spent thinking, “dang it’s hot” followed by “dang this is steep.” A nice rain shower came later on and cooled things off a bit but once the sun came out again it was hot and muggy. Probably one of the most beautiful courses I have ever been on.

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Anita Bower reports:
Distance: 26.2 miles
Goal: sub 6 1/2 hours
Results: 6:27:47
Website: http://www.leadvilletrail100.com

General Summary:
Up and down Mosquito Pass, this great out and back course goes up to about 13,000 feet. Typical Leadville weather. Not a cloud in sight at the 8 am start, but 3 1/2 hours into the race, the thunderstorms started, which helped me pick up the pace. This was a training run for the Leadville Trail 100; racing to train, not training to race, and so I was about 30 minutes slower than in 2006.

Things Done Right:
Went strong on the uphills, had no altitude issues, and kept things simple.

Things Done Wrong:
Tempted fate by not bringing a raincoat. The last three races I did, they called for rain, hail, thunderstorms.....so I brought gor-tex, rain coats, yak-trax, everything, and not a nary drop of rain. In a fit of stupidity and hubris, I decided to leave my rain gear in my car, with the clear, warm morning. Of course it soon rained. So for the Pikes Peak Ascent and Leadville Trail 100, I am bringing four umbrellas, two gore-tex jackets, yak-traxs, ice-cleats, kitty litter in case my crew’s car gets stuck in snow, snow shovels, a portable fire pit, a water proof tarp for my crew and pacers to hold over my head for the last 50 miles, and ski poles. That way you can all thank me for perfect blue sunny skies at both races.

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Barr Trail Mountain Race — Manitou Springs, CO — 07/12/2009

Rita J. Cardin reports:
Distance: 12.575 miles
Goal: 3 hours
Results: 3:17
Website: http://www.runpikespeak.com/

General Summary:
Beautiful blue Colorado skies, temps in the 60s at the start. Warmed up quite a bit on the trip down...seemed that way to me anyway! Start at the Cog Depot, turn around at Barr Camp, and finish up on that lovely hill called Hydro Street.

Things Done Right:
Brought enough stuff to keep me going and actually used it instead of being a pack mule for it! I also repeated the mantra “drink early and drink often” and followed that advice.

Things Done Wrong:
Just need to keep training on the trail.

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Phil Goulding reports:
Distance: 12 miles
Goal: Under 1:30 up, 2:20 total, under 50 down
Results: 2:18:43
Website: http://www.runpikespeak.com/

General Summary:
The day started out with near perfect conditions but once the clouds cleared it warmed up quite a bit. I started the race at a good effort but had a hard time maintaining it. I hoped to do the race without walking but wasn’t able to do so. I met all my goals but one; I fell, but only once this year. I’ll have to wait to get my splits to see how I did on the individual sections.

Things Done Right:
All those Hydro repeats on Thursdays paid off at the end of the race. I was running side by side with another member of my age group and when we hit Hydro I just pretended it was just another repeat and took off up the hill and he didn’t. All the trips up and down to Barr Camp helped my overall conditioning.

Things Done Wrong:
I don’t think I ran enough long runs in the last couple of weeks. I tapered too early and think that hurt my overall speed up the mountain. Although I forgot my electrolyte pills at home and though I don’t think it made much difference I was hoping to test out whether or not they helped in preparation for the Ascent.

Any Other Stuff:
This is a well organized race with great support from the community, the high school aid stations and the other volunteers. Search and Rescue do a great job of cleaning up our torn and tattered bodies. The food is excellent and the watermelon can’t be beat for an after-race treat.

Wish I’d gotten the number of the runner who stopped to help me get back on my feet. If you read this, thanks.

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Michael Puig reports:
Distance: 12.575 miles
Goal: 2:30
Results: 3:17:43
Website: http://www.runpikespeak.com/

General Summary:
I really like to run Barr Trail and this was my third BTMR (2004, 2006). It always is a great community event.

Things Done Right:
I only fell once on the way down. :)

Things Done Wrong:
Severe cramping throughout the race, did not train as much as I should. :(

Any Other Stuff:
The aid and water stations, spotters, race staff and all of the high school teams once again put on world-class support and motivation. Still my favorite race ! :) :) :)

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Daniel Cockrell reports:
Distance: 12.5
Goal: 1:15:00 or better
Results: 1:22:50 (Yikes!)
Website: http://www.runpikespeak.com/

General Summary:
Fantastic run/race from the Cog railway station to Barr Camp and back to Hydro st. Conditions were great, cooler than expected, trail was firm from recent rain and a nice breeze helped a lot. Still didn’t keep me from blowing up. The time splits were more in line with Sunday training runs than Race day efforts. Oh well, still a great run and an awesome event for the city.

Things Done Right:
I didn’t fall and I finished!

Things Done Wrong:
Got T-boned the day before and totaled the car so my mind was elsewhere for parts of the race. Didn’t drink the water on my own back, didn’t use the gels in my own pocket, didn’t sleep well in my own bed (car wreck stress) and didn’t run a smart/paced race. Basically broke all my own rules regarding prepping for, and running in, a race. I have run faster on training runs, so it sucked to be out of the game mentally on race day.

Any Other Stuff:
As bad as I feel I did, I still had an awesome time and experienced a race that is organized well and put on for a great city by great people who love the sport. Aid Station themes were fantastic, Thanks to all the volunteers for the brief interruptions in misery.

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Brenda Cowell reports:
Distance: 13
Goal: volunteer
Results: volunteered
Website: http://www.runpikespeak.com/

General Summary:
volunteer

Things Done Right:
volunteer

Things Done Wrong:
no sleep

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John O’Donnell reports:
Distance: 12 Miles
Goal: Under 3 hours
Results: 2:54
Website: http://www.runpikespeak.com/

General Summary:
Nice day to start, got hot as usual. Felt good taking on the hills — all the extrea speed and hill work is paying off.

Things Done Right:
Good carb load and fluids. Plenty of rest later in the week for a change.

Things Done Wrong:
Should of been more aggressive coming in the w’s.

Any Other Stuff:
Alot of hikes on the trail.

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Yvonne Carpenter reports:
Distance: 12.5 miles
Goal: under 3h....hopefully closer to 2:45 please?
Results: 2:23:18
Website: http://www.runpikespeak.com/

General Summary:
I wanted a BTMR tech shirt this year and figured the only way to guarantee that would be to run the race. Besides, last time I ran the BTMR was the FIRST one, 9 years ago so it was time to do the evil downhill again....

Things Done Right:
I had absolutely no expectations except to finish within the cutoff — hopefully under 3 hours.
I did not have planned splits.
I wanted to go up conservatively, but still keep in mind this is a race and not a training run!
I ran up solely based on effort and not “hope for time x at BC".
Had gloves on for the downhill.
Ran my race regardless of who was behind or ahead of me.

Things Done Wrong:
Could have pushed more on the downhill — once I was happy with my BC time, I lost motivation to inflict more pain on myself!
I ran as usual thru the aid stations — I do not think I can get enough fluids that way....
Was too worried about falling down on the downhill on the days preceeding the race — I need to type for a living and was afraid of chewing up my hands in case of a fall....I think that made me shut down the engines too soon on the downhill section.

Any Other Stuff:
I was very surprised with my BC time (~ 1:34h) given that my fastest training run time to BC was 1:57h this season — yes, you need to take away the ~13 min that it takes to get to the COG, but that is still 10 min faster than in training! Not sure how I pulled that off....I guess I don’t “race” my workouts! The round trip was only 7 min slower than in 2000 BK (BK=Before Kyla!)so it was not bad for an old fart.... I actually forgot how much fun the downhill was! I had a great time seeing all the ICers busting lungs and legs to set the “pecking order” !!!!! Too cool! Might have to do it again next year...or maybe wait until the 20th ! Every 10 years seems to be the charm!

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Matt Hopper reports:
Distance: 12.5
Goal: Improve from last year’s 2:39:19, try for sub 2:30
Results: 2:35:54
Website: http://www.runpikespeak.com/

General Summary:
Ran a good race, felt great. Stopped to help two fallen runners — 1 from out of state, one fellow I.C.er, so didn’t make my sub 2:30 goal, but still beat last years time. I’m happy with results.

Things Done Right:
Just about everything, other than hydration (see below).

Things Done Wrong:
Didn’t hydrate enough. Started cramping on way down at No Name. Other then that, it was all good...

Any Other Stuff:
Fantastic race!

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Michael Everson reports:
Distance: 12 miler (maybe more)
Goal: PR
Results: PR
Website: http://www.runpikespeak.com/

General Summary:
This is the 4th time I’ve run this race. It seems to get better every year. Weather was a little hot, but better than last year.

Things Done Right:
Got there on time. Ate well before the race. Ran the race. Drank water during race. Said thanks to hikers who moved as I ran by. Didn’t fall down. Finished. PR. Gave away a watch. Had a great time.

Things Done Wrong:
Should have eaten one more gel on the run. I thought I could make it on one (and I did), but I think I was out of gas before I finished and coasted the last 1/2 mile. I thought I could make it to Barr in 2-3 minutes less time.

Any Other Stuff:
I don’t have splits yet, but I am pretty confident my splits were similar to my 07 PR. I ran just a tad faster this year than in 07, hence PR!
I don’t know what blood type Pikes Peak is, but plenty of people seemed to line up to donate another pint to the mountain again this year. Let’s hope all blood given was by those who could afford to lose it!!

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Andrea Cichosz reports:
Distance: 12.5 miles
Goal: under 3 hours
Results: 2:58
Website: http://www.runpikespeak.com/

General Summary:
You all know, steep steep steep, hot, hot, hot.

Things Done Right:
Started training for the race in January. Got very familiar with the course. Hydrated well. Had a good time.

Things Done Wrong:
Should have not officiated a swim meet for 4 hours in a hot indoor pool. Maybe should have skipped my brother in laws party, would probably have gotten more sleep. Oh well, got to live too.

Any Other Stuff:
There have always been hikers on the course during 6 times I ran this race, but this year there seemed to have been a lot more and a lot more unconsidered folks. A number of them were running down did not stop or get out of the way. A few with dogs on leashes!!! With the Incline becoming legalized and more traffic on the first section of the trail, it may be worth looking into being able to close the trail at least for an hour.

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Larry Rosenkranz reports:
Distance: About 12.5 miles
Goal: Match my previous time from 2002 (2:08:50)
Results: 2:13:49
Website: http://www.runpikespeak.com/

General Summary:
I won’t bore you with the details since you all know the race.

Things Done Right:
Lots of high altitude training and hill prep work.

Things Done Wrong:
Can’t think of anything.

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Mike Cotter reports:
Distance: 12.5 miles(ish)
Goal: under 2:30
Results: 2:49
Website: http://www.runpikespeak.com/

General Summary:
Third year and the plan was to keep my calves from freezing up on the way down. Weather was beautiful but warm so I changed my race strategy at the last moment, decided to walk a little more of the uphill. It helped in the end.

Things Done Right:
Did not freak out when I was way past my goal to get to no name creek. I saw Matt going downhill at the same place as last year so I was not that far off on my uphill time. Calves were okay going down.

Things Done Wrong:
Way to little time on the trail this year and I could have pushed myself a little more going downhill.

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Caitlin Jones reports:
Distance: 12.5 miles
Goal: 2:15
Results: 2:23:14
Website: http://www.runpikespeak.com/

General Summary:
A well organized race on a spectacular course.

Things Done Right:
Was well hydrated, carried water, and was well rested. Had been training with IC when not injured.

Things Done Wrong:
Where to begin...
I was in my second week of running after being off for 6 weeks, and was physically unprepared. I did a 13 mile trail run on Tuesday of that week and ran the race course on Thursday (3 days before the race) in a desperate attempt to make up for all the time off. I had heel sized blisters from my Thursday run that all the duct tape in the world couldn’t fix, and was sore and stiff from a nasty fall on Tuesday. I tried to make up for my slow ascent time by bombing the downhill. I was happy with my decent time, but had no skin left on my heels. I definitely limped away from this race with a very disappointing time.

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Randy Lindsey reports:
Distance: There and back again
Goal: Finish without falling
Results: 2:22:39 and complete set of skin
Website: http://www.runpikespeak.com/

General Summary:
Fun to see so many IC friends as I usually do my workouts on other trails these days (closer to home, and with dog). Palmer HS aid station at No Name was awesomely enthusiastic, and the girls were really cute in togas ;-) Wonderfully organized race — thanks everybody!

Things Done Right:
Didn’t fall. Didn’t get in Matt’s way. Kept up a good steady pace both ways. My walk is as fast as many people’s run on the uphills. Ran a minute faster than last year.

Things Done Wrong:
Caught a light case of Swine Flu from my wife a couple weeks before the race. Need more practice with racing downhill, and solving stomach troubles. Lost 3 places in my age group from last year despite running a minute faster. What’s up with that?

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Fred Baxter reports:
Distance: 12 Miles
Goal: 2:08
Results: 2:10:19
Website: http://www.runpikespeak.com/

General Summary:
Run to Barr camp and then back down

Things Done Right:
Kept running even though I felt like Crap

Things Done Wrong:
??? did not run fast enough to get Mike Sandlin Good job Mike

Any Other Stuff:
Barr Trail was in good shape?? What a Great Race The Best. The T-shirts are very nice The awards are the best. I think Matt and his crew do a very good job putting this race on.

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Melissa Marr reports:
Distance: 12ish
Goal: Beat last year’s time
Results: added 7 minutes. OUCH!
Website: http://www.runpikespeak.com/

General Summary:
Nice day, but then it got hot. Suffered from miserable stomach cramps.

Things Done Right:
Trained with group. Did track work and hill work.

Things Done Wrong:
Guess I need to work on electrolytes! Cramped 1/2 way up the trail and by the time I was coming down, my entire stomach was a big cramp! Brought tears (not of joy) to my eyes.

Any Other Stuff:
Gotta figure out this electrolyte issue before next month’s big race.

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Tracey Anderson reports:
Distance: 12.6 mi
Goal: improve over last year’s time
Results: 5 minutes faster
Website: http://www.runpikespeak.com/

General Summary:
We all know the drill inside and out--halfway up the Peak to camp and back down. A little hotter than last year.

Things Done Right:
Kept a consistent effort both up and down. Hydrated at every aid station.

Things Done Wrong:
I can’t complain. For a change.

Any Other Stuff:
How can you not love this race? The course gives runners challenges, rewards and fun by the barrel load and in turn gives it all back to the community in cash.

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Andy Cole reports:
Distance: 12.575 miles
Goal: Finish ahead of 3:30 cut-off
Results: Finished/ 3:06
Website: http://www.runpikespeak.com/

General Summary:
My first time doing a race on Barr Trail. Great race — not as crowded as I thought it would be. I did much better than I thought I would.

Things Done Right:
Pushed steadily up — made it to Barr Camp faster by 12 minutes than I had before. Pushed myself harder than normal on the initial down after Barr Camp — covered several miles before I really started to get tired. Helped me mentally.

Things Done Wrong:
Nothing I can think of — good race for me.

Any Other Stuff:
Great race — great aid stations — loved the water misters.

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Thomas J McKernan reports:
Distance: 12.5 miles
Goal: 3:25
Results: 3:20:54
Website: http://www.runpikespeak.com/

General Summary:
Finally joined my fellow IC’ers to run this race. Well run!

Things Done Right:
Trained well. I came close to my predicted time.

Things Done Wrong:
Sprinting up Hydra Street to the finish line with no one on my tail. Didn’t realize I had so little left in my tank since it took me 20 mins to recover from those 50 uphill yards! It was NOT just another Incline Club Thursday evening Hydra Street repeat!

Any Other Stuff:
It was bound to happen...first race I ever finished last in my age group!

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Melissa Eichers “M” reports:
Distance: 12.575
Goal: A;2:15min B;2:16 min or C; Beat last years time
Results: 2:15:15

General Summary:
Always a fun race and great after party

Things Done Right:
Trained with the incline club: Brought my own small bottle to fill at the aid stations with water and sip on the way instead of the paper cup gulp/spill alternative. It took no more time to fill and run than just grabbing a cup of water.

Things Done Wrong:
I should have built and kept better endurance base leading up to the addition of the tue speed and thurs hill repeats. I felt too tired during most of the training season.

Any Other Stuff:
love the single track course. Great to have Neil and Theresa cheering us on as well as other icer members. Thought it was hotter this year at the end than last year.

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Vail Half Marathon — Vail, CO — 07/19/2009

Eddie Baxter reports:
Distance: 14.5 miles
Goal: 1st age group
Results: 1st age group
Website: http://vailrec.com

General Summary:
First time running this race. Set a good pace to the top. Was able to pass a few runners on the way up. then push the last up and down 4 and a half miles to finish 11th overall.

Things Done Right:
Train, drink, eat and sleep.

Things Done Wrong:
?

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Gold Rush Gold Rush — Victor, CO — 7/19/09

Kelly Simshauser reports:
Distance: 9 miles
Goal: training run
Results: Excellent!!! I was the 10th runner to cross the finish and the overall women’s winner.

General Summary:
This was the first annual and overall it was a great race. They need a little work with registration the day of, the finish line needs to be a real finish line. The course was well marked and really challenging. I do hope they continue this one it could be a good one. They gave real gold from the mine as prizes. Well worth the effort.

Things Done Right:
Started out slow and gradually sped up. Stayed better hydrated. Ate a good pasta dinner the night before.

Things Done Wrong:
Still need to learn to get more sleep the night before. Other then that nothing.

Any Other Stuff:
Course had good altitude climb and excellent weather. If you had time to look lots of neat stuff to see along the way. Could turn out to be a great race on the lists, with a little more work. Super good people to work with.

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Leadville Silver Rush — Leadville CO — 07/26/2009
Leadville Silver Rush — Leadville CO — 07/26/2009

David Hendrix reports:
Distance: 50 miles.
Goal: To finish.
Results: 10 hours 40 min.

General Summary:
A good training run for the Leadville 100.

Things Done Right:
I was able to run well on the downhill after the turn-aronnd. I remembered to bring the electrolytes and salt tablets so I did not cramp in the legs. Having a hotel room and a hot shower immediately after the race because it was raining a lot and I was soaked and freezing at the finish.

Things Done Wrong:
I don’t feel that I made any major mistakes.

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Anita Bower reports:
Distance: 50 miles
Goal: sub 11 hours
Results: 12:15;34
Website: http://www.leadvilletrail100.com

General Summary:
Another training run for the Leadville Trail 100. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I had hear lots of good things about this year from last year.

Things Done Right:
Brought everything. Hydrated and fueled well, (when my hands weren’t frozen.).

Things Done Wrong:
Wore old shoes. Really old, ratty shoes, which I have proudly owned since 2005. Since they still had less than 600 miles on them, I figured, “what’s another 50 ?” I wasn’t in the mood to try new shoes, so I wore them to the rainy, stormy start, which I was told by the lady at the Kum and Go at 5 am, would last all day. Seriously, the lady at the Leadville Kum and Go knows what the weather will be, so don’t stay up all night watching the weather channel. The weather channel doesn’t live in there. Just ask her. Anyway, old shoes, rainy start, but I made my way to the start as I downed my second 24 ounce cup of coffee. A few miles into the race, I had to take off my shoes, and re-lace them, because the laces wouldn’t stay put, driving me nuts. I had to redo them at least a dozen times, which cost me lots of time. About an hour into the race, the sun came out, so I stopped to peel off my raincoat and wrap it around my waist. But before I could think of something smart to say to the Kum and Go weather lady, it began to rain again. Hard. Then it stopped. Then it started up again and soon turned to hail. With Ozzy Osbourne’s “Hell Raiser” blaring in my headphones, thunder booming, and lightening everywhere, I found out that even I can run downhill fast given the proper motivation. That was my favorite part of the race. You couldn’t help but feel so alive with all that nature going on. Soon I was down lower in elevation, and the hail turned to rain, which turned everything all muddy, and really got my shoes dirty. But soon I was greeted by some wonderful, tough, hardy volunteers, who lifted my spirits in true Leadville fashion. The last 13 miles were the toughest. There was a relentless climb at mile 37, into the wind, and it started to rain even harder. My legs went numb, and despite being prepared, and wearing five layers of shirts and rain gear, I began to wonder if I was going to get hypothermic as my pace slowed, if silicone froze, and if that dress I wanted at the Poppy Seed in Manitou was still there. Finally I arrived at the last aid station, with the help of some really nice guys, who helped me open my gels, because my hands were too cold and shaky. That’s one of the things I love about ultra running. You never know what is going to happen, and who you’ll meet. Tim was there with yet another Gore-Tex jacket for me, which kept me warm, but made me look fat. Would the problems never end?! No. Finally it really, honestly stopped raining this time, along with the wind, and I was wearing all this heavy, wet stuff. I have no doubt I wasted at least an hour with “stuff.”

Any Other Stuff:
Beautiful course, that takes you past lots of the mines in Leadville that you normally don’t see as a runner. The aid stations were great, the volunteers enthusiastic and helpful, the finisher’s medal very nice, and each finisher got a unique silver commemorative bracelet once they crossed the finish line.

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Andy Wooten reports:
Distance: 50 Miles
Goal: Under 11 hours. 11:10 or under. Finish.
Results: 11:13:08
Website: http://www.leadvilletrail100.com/

General Summary:
Tough course. All but 14 miles or so are above 11K. It rained A LOT. We had rain, some clear weather, thunder and lightning, some hail and heck of a lot more rain. The only thing we did not have was heat and according to another runner I was talking too locusts.

Things Done Right:
Brought plenty of stuff for any weather condition and ended up using dang near everything. Instead of sticking to my regular fueling routine (which my stomach was NOT liking) I broke out of it and found other things that worked like Cola and sandwiches (after mile 18) at each aid station and carried lots of water.

Things Done Wrong:
Oh... so many things here. Did not get a good night sleep because my hotel room was on the the third floor, didn’t have AC and even with the window wide open was really stuff. For any run over 2 hours packing Sport Shield (and using it) is now mandatory. My stomach wasn’t working so well for the better part of the first half and finally gave myself permission to purge at mile 17.29. I won’t wait that long again. Should have carried an second extra pair of dry socks.

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Leadville Trail 100 — Leadville, CO — 08/22/2009

Andy Wooten reports:
Distance: 100 Miles
Goal: Finish
Results: DNF mile 48 or so.
Website: http://www.leadvilletrail100.com

General Summary:
This was my first attempt at a 100 mile race. The heat got to me which caused other issues I think. Things went well until Fish Hatchery but then slowly deteriorated for me from there to Twin Lakes. Bounced back after Twin Lakes and had a great climb up Hope Pass. Just after starting down Hope Pass my ITB flared up and I was done for the day. Long,long, unhappy trip down to the road where my bracelet was then cut from my arm. My first DNF.

Things Done Right:
A lot of things really. I learned a lot with this attempt. Things that went well included, rest before the race, and my hydration/fueling plan worked great too. I was about as relaxed as anyone can be before starting a 100 mile race. Nervous but it was manageable.

Things Done Wrong:
“Might” have gone out too fast but not 100% on that. Suspect I may have been going to fast up Sugarloaf Pass after looking back on it over some time. Carried too much “gear” on my trip up Hope pass. Weight I could have done without as the weather stayed stable, but what are you going do about that one? Mental game was hard to keep in check once the race got underway. Often started thinking of the entire course as opposed to just getting to the next aid station. Got some bad blisters which I hadn’t dealt with all summer, possibly due to the heat? Really taking more time off and being serious about that before the event may have been a good idea too.

Any Other Stuff:
I did a complete post mortem after this attempt and really looking back more good came out of it than bad. For starters just training for this event put me in races that I would have never done before. I had my best running year ever most likely. This race has been a goal of mine for 16 years or more and just finally attempting it last year was significant. I plan to return in 2010 to do it again and use everything that I learned this year.

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Mark Nagel reports:
Distance: 100 mi
Goal: Finish
Results: 28hrs 22min
Website: http://www.leadvilletrail100.com

General Summary:
Came into race week with all my ducks in an order. Only had some of the so called ducks go wild that week but able to pull everything together in the end and finish the race. The weather was great-was able to run the entire time in just basic running gear.

Things Done Right:
Three words “Train very hard.” Ran with the club for most of the training season but the last several before the race trained in Leadville. This was my third attempt at finishing this race. The last times I’d forgotten headlamps (hard to run in the dark), or still exhausted from a previous week’s event.

Things Done Wrong:
Nothing

Any Other Stuff:
I knew I was doing good when I came in to the half way point a full hour ahead of schedule. Of note, it was so warm I’d lost nine pounds by the halfway point but was able to regain seven pounds by finish.

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