Sunday, May 12, 2013

Your Ultra-Training Bag of Tricks: Using Races to Prepare for Your Goal Event

My next training installment on  Using Races to Prepare for Your Goal Event

The concept of using shorter ultra races as training runs for a longer goal event has been embraced — with mixed results — by ultrarunners for decades. Ultrarunners can use these events wisely to peak perfectly for their “big race” or find themselves over-raced on game day. Read on to find out how to race yourself into shape in a smart, healthy, and effective the rest here.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The 2013 Zane Grey 50 Mile: Remote, Barren, and Brutal

Zane Grey grows rocks...Yup, this is the right way.

Thirty miles, as the crow flies, from the finish line of the Zane Grey 50 Mile lies Young, Arizona:  The heart of the true, real, and unforgiving west.  In the late 1880's the biggest family feud in US history took place there.  The Hatfield-McCoy feud seems to always take front and center and make the story line for a Kevin Coster series.  However, the Tewksbury-Graham feud was a much bloodier and more graphic affair.  During shoot outs between these families, they allowed each of the other's fallen family members to be devoured by hogs, all while continuing to fire on the other family.  The battle between lineages would wage on for more than a decade as family demolished family.  Depending on the historians you check with, between 12 and 36 people have been killed during this fighting.  What's more, the feud may or may not be over today.

However, for all of its rocks...this course definitely has its equal share of beauty.

The 50-mile long Highline Trail, which the Zane Grey course traverses, had a front row seat to much of this mayhem.  Had there been a Starbucks and Whole Foods on every corner at that time, things would have been much different.  The hatred ran deeper than just cow verses sheep herder.  This was a hard, unforgiving land.  A wild land.  Survival depended on your ability to get from point A to point B without losing your horse, life, or loved one.  Dehydration and starvation were consistent possibilities.  The Mogollon Rim territory, through where the Zane Grey ultramarathon passes, still remains like it did 130 years ago.  Remote, barren, and brutal.  That is why this race will always be the toughest in America.

Every year dudes and dudettes challenge its miles.  Ask them all...and they'll tell you it sucked and was one of the hardest races they've ever run.  So why return?  I'm not sure, but I'm willing to blame it on great race management, awesome volunteers, best friends, the Arizona weather, killer terrain, and a beat down that I'll never forget.  Photos came from Justin Lutick, Aravaiph Running, Emily Harrison, Kristin Wilson, MAP photography, and others.  Thank you!

Friends converge just before the start.

Smiles at the start at Pine Trailhead.

Still grooving at Washington Park (mile 17).

Things more difficult at Fish Hatchery (mile 33).

Oh, it feels like the weight of the world is on my shoulders at See Canyon (mile 44).

Is that a smile?

5.5 miles to go...does anyone have a fork...I'm done!  Toasted strudel!

Some of the many other characters at this year's Zane (in no particular order).

She's there every year!  Diana Finkel rocks another Zane!  This year she takes second.

Dom Grossman comes to play at Zane and gets a timeout at Hatchery.  I have a feeling he'll be back now that he knows what it's all about.

Chris Thornley, a 2013 Zane finisher, (and many others) spend an inordinate amount of time each year before race day clearing the trails.  Thanks ya'll!

adiUltra Teammate James Bonnet rips to a Zane Grey victory!  Nice work brother!

Bonnett at See Canyon.  Making it look easy peasy!

Jamil "Jam Jam" Coury takes board shorts to a whole new level!  This year's third place dude.

Jay Donosky warms up, literally, for his Grand Slam attempt.

Mogollon Monster 100 Mile race director Jeremy Dougherty finished a strong Zane!  

It's a true story:  adiUltra Team member, Emily Harrison, did get to run a few steps as she paced the ever -walking Torrence.

Your 2013 Zane Grey winner:  James Bonnett focuses on focusing.

Salomon sponsored athlete, Kerrie Bruxvoort, your 2013 Zane Grey women's winner, is paced by adiUltra Team member Brian Tinder.

Always consistent and always in front...Michael Carson.

I'm honored to have finally met the elusive Montanan Mike Foote.  This year's second place finisher.

Pre-race dinner at Gusippee's, no, Heraldo's, no, Ronald's...ah, heck, that place just down the road on the right!

FUC'er Scott Bajer has a solid day at Zane!  But still exclaims "Holy crap!" upon finishing.

Nice chops and 'stach Bonnett!  Looks...familiar.

Silverton, Colorado, resident, Anthony Culpepper, overcomes the heat to finish a rough and tough Zane.

Bret Sarnquist...this guy keeps rolling and improvin'.  A new Zane PR!

Pearl Izumi's captain, Scott Jaime, rolls on in!

Your Moment of Zen

Justin Lutick claims we'll both be sub-10 hours in 2014.
We encourage you to come find out next year at the 25th running of the Zane Grey 50 Mile.