Saturday, April 23, 2011

Zane Grey 50 Mile - a story told in words

My last post told the story in pictures.  Click on Team USA Arizona website link below to hear more about my Zane Grey story in words...


Sunday, April 17, 2011

DNF...the 2011 Zane Grey 50 Mile

Definitely Not Fun...

Believe me, the real meaning of DNF (Did Not Finish) entered my mind at roughly every mile on the mile at this year's Zane Grey 50 Mile Endurance Run.  However, in gutting it out I experienced enough inspiration along the way to keep me going.  Fellow runners, crew and aid station volunteers made my finish happen.  So, thanks to all of you!  Next year I go round number ten with Zane!  

Congratulations to Geoff Roes, Hal Koerner and Bret Sarnquist for their podium finishes at this year's Zane.

Special thanks to Larry Hutton for all the photos you're about to witness.

Bedding down the night before Zane...dreaming of not getting lost.

A morning shot says it all.  (from right to left) Bret Sarnquist: "Where's the start line?", Brian Tinder: "Where's my straight jacket?", Neko: "Where's my dog food?", Torrence: "Where's my bed?"  Perhaps the music that was playing at that time had something to do with it?

Seconds before the 5am start, near Pine, AZ.

Flagstaff's James Willis (orange visor), Bret Sarnquist (yellow shirt) and Brian Tinder (back 'n black) await the "go" word.

And they're off.

Sunrise through the tall ponderosa pines in the Tonto National Forest.

Washington Park (mile 17)...trying to collect myself.  Evan Reimondo made that possible.  Thanks man!

The falls at Washington Park.

Bret Sarnquist started conservatively but finished a strong third by the day's end.

Women's winner Andi Felton ran solid all day long.

The Flagstaff Conga line:  (left to right) 50-mile newbies Reid Swan and Evan Reimondo follow my foot-steps temporarily.

Jason Wolfe came out to pace Tinder for a spell.

James Willis rebounded well after experiencing a bad patch mid-race.

Portland's Amy Sproston made the trip only to be stymied by a recent calf injury.

A lot of walking this day.

Last year it was Karl Meltzer's arm...this year it was Sean Andrish's thumb.

Brian and Shea, his expectant wife, enjoy time together on the course.

The weekend's group: (r to l) Brian Tinder (holding Petzl), Shea Tinder, Amy Sproston, Evan Reimondo, Bret Sarnquist, Larry Hutton (holding Neko), the author.

Your Moment of Zen

Not all pacers are this creative & motivational.  

Monday, April 4, 2011

Zane Grey 50 Mile Course Marking

This weekend, Brian Tinder and I headed south from Flagstaff to Payson, AZ to meet with Honey Albrecht, Zane Grey 50 Miler's lead course marking official.  We were charged with helping mark the miles between 17 and 33 on the race course.  The trail is rocky as ever, but not as overgrown as years past.  We didn't have to crawl over a single downed tree.  This was due to the hard work of Chris Thornley and the work he has been doing over the past weeks.  He's cleared some big trees!  Other work parties have also been out on other sections of the trail.  Folks running this race in less than two weeks should remember that no matter how bad they think the trail is on race day, it's nothing near like it could have been.  Thanks to the volunteers that put in the work to improve what must be one of the roughest recognized trails in the country.

Tinder and I started marking at Washington Park, mile 17 on the Zane Grey course.  It is here that the Arizona Trail crosses the Zane Grey Highline National Trail.

The sign does not lie.

Typical trail for Zane.  Washed out gullies.  But awesome, sweeping views.

Some of the best tread you'll see until the final miles.

Yup, Tinder and Z run up the "trail."  A four-foot gullied rut.

Here's more trail.  The grass hummocks will be your favorite after you have 20 miles on your legs.  They are slick as ice and hide all the ankle twisting rocks.

More of the course.  Get ready for some memorable cuts, bruises and gashes on those bare legs of yours.

The trail through the manzanita.  Notice the erosion control device in the foreground that has long since lost its function.

This trail marking crew consisted of Brian Tinder and Zoroaster.  Siesta time!

Looking out across Zane Grey territory and the Mogollon Rim.

Looking back to where the first 20 miles of course stretch from.

Tinder climbs up through rocks, grass clumps and manzanita.

More panoramic Zane Grey views.

Water was plentiful two weeks before race day (This made Zoroaster very happy).  Here water cascades over a natural slide in Dude Creek, mile 19 on the Zane Grey course.

Oh joyous trail.

Fire scars the Zane Grey landscape.

Your Moment of Zen

At least someone is having fun on the Zane Grey course.