Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Catalina Island, TransRockies and Mount Elden

What do these have in common?  Well, not too much except for the fact that we'll touch on them all in this blog.

Catalina Island 100K, February 1999

I recently rediscovered this old ESPN video footage of Baz Hawley's Catalina Island 100K.  It was a pretty sweet time in my running career.  I was in the right spot at the right time for this one!  Here's the grainy video and the dusty race results.

Gore-Tex TransRockies Run

I had the pleasure of running TransRockies in 2011.  It was an incredible experience, one that I'd recommend and repeat.  If you already haven't, you can read about my experience here.  I also had the opportunity to design TransRockies specific training schedules for several participants.  This year that trend continues as I'm currently working with The Running Martins to ensure that they are adequately prepared for their big Colorado adventure.  I'd like to share Carey and David's amblings here.  They are chronicling each day's training on You Tube for all to see.  It's really an interesting, fun way to see them out there making it happen.

Here's one of my favorite entries.  I challenged them, they meet the challenge well, but not without issue.

Here's their latest entry from Arches National Park in southeast Utah.

Mount Elden

Once the winter snow falls in Flagstaff your running options become limited.  You can always escape to snow-free Sedona which is about 45 minutes to our south for hundreds of miles of single track in the 50+ degree desert weather.  However, if you can't afford the time for the drive one of my favorite gnarly winter runs here in town is the Mount Elden Lookout Road.  This 11-mile round trip mountain climb puts hair on the chests of even the fairest of us all!

Your Moment of Zen

Zoroaster makes the Angry Birds even angrier on Christmas morning. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The 2011 JFK 50 Mile

The 49th running of the JFK 50 Mile brought me across the country from my high altitude Arizona home to Maryland, the state in which I was born and raised.  It's a pilgrimage I've taken part in since I ran JFK in 1994.   No matter where I happen to be in life, physically and mentally, JFK is that one beacon that solidifies my plans each year in mid-November.  Hard to believe that I've been at attendance for this event for nearly half my life.

Results for all 864 finishers can be found here.

I'd like to thank Derek Schultz for the photos you're about to witness.

The 2011 edition of JFK underway through the streets of Boonsboro, Maryland.

My training partner and Flagstaff, AZ resident Brian Tinder comes off the trails on his way to the Canal.

Eric Clifton ran a 5:46:22 at JFK in 1994, a course record that stood for 17 years.  He is crewed here by his wife Noni Nierenberg.

The final, rocky steps of the Appalachian Trail.

Cincinnati's David Riddle on his way to the win and a new JFK course record:  5:40:45.

Prolific marathon and ultra -stud Michael Wardian fought Riddle all day only to fall short by a few minutes.

Covering the miles on the C&O Canal.

On the women's side, Meghan Arbogast put her vast ultra and marathon experience to work and gave chase all day...

...but Wisconsin's Cassie Scallon proved herself a worthy opponent by finishing 4 minutes ahead of Arbogast in 6:31:22.

Running with good company (Emily Harrison and Derek Schultz) over the last few miles of road.

Running into Downsville (4 miles to go).

Finally, the finish chute:  7:24:15.

A warm congratulations from Race Director Mike Spinnler.

Celebratory hugs from Emily Harrison.

Team "Waiting for the Train":  Brian Tinder, Eric Clifton & Ian Torrence

My 17th JFK finish in the books!

Special thanks to Derek and Emily for adding the giddy-up to my step, Mike Spinnler for keeping this event alive and well, and to the hundreds of volunteers that keep the oldest and largest ultramarathon in the country running smoothly.  I'm looking forward to JFK's 50th anniversary next year!

Your Moment of Zen

After four days of driving across the country and crewing a 50 mile race this is all I'd want to do too.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Inaugural Bootlegger 50K

Thanks to all who came out and participated in the first running of the Bootlegger 50K trail race.  We are already looking forward to 2012.  Full results can be found here.

Many, many, many photos were taken on the course (special thanks to Tarl and Carrie Norman for their time out on the course).  Follow the links below to view photos:

We'd also like to thank those who raised donations for Miles for the Wild.

Here are some of my favorite shots of the day:

The gang's all here and ready to go.

From one side of the course you can see the prominent Las Vegas Strip...

...and from the other side the desert mountains stretch on forever across southern Nevada and into Arizona and California.

James Bonnett (Scottsdale, AZ) leads David James (also from Scottsdale) and Jesse Haynes (Vista, CA) over the first tight switchbacks.  Bonnett would keep his lead and go on to win in 4:09.  Haynes would finish second in 4:19.

Looking down on Jamil Coury (Tempe, AZ) as he leads Flagstaff runners James Willis and Eric Bohn up the first climb.

Joe Baumgarte from North Las Vegas heads uphill.

Paulette Zillmer, of Scottsdale, AZ, took home $500 after winning the women's race in 5:02 and finishing 9th overall.

Reid Swan leads fellow Flagstaffian Matthew Hintzman and North Las Vegas runner Jared Wicks over rolling terrain.

Flagstaff, AZ's Chris Purslow won the women's master's division.

Steven Smith, of Fort Mohave, AZ and in the white, won the men's master's division.  He's followed here by Matt Koppenheffer of Henderson, NV.

16-year old Alek Dales from Henderson, NV completed the course in 7:25.

Duane Griff (60-years young) from Gainesville, MO tackled the course in 7:40.

Ultra legends Steve Burgess from Madison, MS and Rob Apple (Bootlegger was Rob's 601st ultra finish!) from Murfreesboro, TN stuck together the entire way.

Ultra newbies no more:  Dana Clark follows her Henderson, NV training partner Paula Raimondi to their first ultra finish!

Flagstaff also welcomes another hometown ultra finisher to its ranks:  Joel Axler finishes his first ultra in 5:32.

Gotta like seeing high fives between competitors.

I became efficient at pointing out where the kegs were.  Dan Wachlaczenko finishes and gets great directions to the beer pavilion.

Co-RD Shad Mickelberry handles the timing system.

Stacey and Jason Brimhall volunteer at the POW Aid Station (miles 13 and 28).  A special thanks to all our volunteers!!!

Race sponsor Tenaya Creek Brewery brought the beer for all participating.

Special thanks to Shad Mickleberry (middle), Casey Harney (right) and Red Rock Running Company's owner, race sponsor and impetus for the Bootlegger, Josh Brimhall (not shown).   We'd also like to thank Pearl Izumi for supplying us with participant jackets and prizes.

Your Moments of Zen
or "How is Bootlegger better than the Tour de France?"
(note:  no one was injured in the following photographs...except for the penguin)

At the Tour de France you get kissed by the ladies when you win.  At Bootlegger you meet the lips of a furry canine.

At the Tour de France you have to dodge crazy roadside fanatics.  At Bootlegger you have to dodge crazy trailside fur-balls.  Like here...

...and here.

When you finish the Tour de France you get to pop a bottle of Champaign.  At Bootlegger you are required to play tug-of-war with a deflated penguin.

And like after any ultra, we can agree that the handicapped spot suits us well.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New Digs

Change is good and I've done my fair share of that over the years.  I'd imagine the US Post Office has a huge file on me that contains nothing but change of address cards.  Recently I've made one of the biggest commitments in my life, becoming a home owner.  I've decided that Flagstaff is the place and now is the time:  A new base for adventure!  Here's a little tour of my new abode and why it's special to me.

A half-mile of running through residential streets brings you to the Arizona Trail.  The Peaks (on the left) and Mount Elden (to the right) await exploration, as does the border with Utah some 200 miles beyond.

A two minute walk from the house and you're on the Sunset Trail, part of the Flagstaff Urban Trail System.

Formidable terrain just minutes from the new home.

Observatory Mesa and a setting sun seen from across Switzer Canyon.

The snow covered San Francisco Peaks from McMillan Mesa.

Woody Mountain peaks out from above Switzer Mesa.

Psyched on new digs!

How much single track can you fit on a twentieth of an acre?

Peering over the back fence and down into Switzer Canyon.

Zoroaster enjoys a good chew and the new backyard.

Your Moment of Zen

Penguins are a rare and endangered species but a penguin in Flagstaff is even more of a oddity.  Zoroaster caught this one and I'm afraid things made a turn for the worst...

I have it on good authority that the Fish and Wildlife Service has now bumped my dog to the head of their top ten wanted list.