Sunday, April 26, 2015

The 2015 Running of the Zane Grey 50 Mile

This year Zane Grey 50 Mile Race director Joe Galope assigned me bib #12.  A significant number.  If I finished I'd pull even with Steve Olson with most Zane Grey finishes.  Olson collected his finishes between 1999 and 2010.  I could bring nothing less than my "A" game this year.  Zane is not a race for the faint of heart or unprepared.  With roughly 10,000' of gain, rocks that are better described as broken roller skates and manzanita that both want to shred clothes and draw blood the course can simply be described as a relentless haunted house of horrors.  See what I mean below...

Zane was also a stepping stone to this year's Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run in which I'll be participating.  To finish Zane in good standing and feeling good would build confidence as I closed in on the final two months of Western training.  In order to accomplish this I did five significant things:

1) It all starts with intelligent training.  I employed the help of McMillan Running Ultra Coach Emily Harrison to develop the plan.
2) Improve running-specific strength.  I work once a week with Dr. AJ Gregg of HYPO2 Sport here in Flagstaff.
3) Along with the coaching, Emily would also serve as my dialed-in and efficient crew.
4) Host a training weekend on the Zane Grey course.  I covered the 50-mile route in two days to refresh my memory and temper the legs and mind to the "house of horrors."
5) Work with Meredith Terranova in developing a bonk-proof and nausea-free race-day nutrition plan.

A snapshot of the past few weeks of training, punctuated with quality workouts and long runs.

 Strength work at HYPO2 Sport under the watchful eye of Dr. AJ Gregg.

Coach and crew - Emily Harrison

A two-day training run on the course with fellow Zaner's Justin Lutick and Chris Rennaker.

 The perfected race-day nutrition plan provided by Meredith Terranova.  
Thanks also to Carbo Pro.


Nothing more to say than it was a great day.  For the spectator it was cold, but for the runner the weather was perfect.  Sprinkles, overcast, and high's in the upper-50's (though I did miss the hail, wind and thunder in the evening that nailed some of the runners).  Energy, legs, and motivation held together all day.  I finished my 12th Zane Grey, crossed the line in 10:12 (my 2nd fastest time in ten years), and took home the Master's trophy.  On to the photos...

 Pre-race smiles (Brian Tinder, me, Lutick, Rennaker)

 Zane Grey's familiar start line assemblage.

 Arriving at Geronimo, the first aid station at 7.5 miles.

 Down the hill to Washington Park (mile 18).

 Low clouds obscure the Mogollon Rim at Washington Park.

 Fellow adiUltra teammate Brian Tinder leaves Fish Hatchery (mile 33).

 adiUltra runner Jason Wolfe is joined by his awaiting pacer, Rob Krar, at Fish Hatchery.

 Cool photo of two cool guys (Krar and Wolfe).


 Sharing quality blanket time with adiUltra speedster Josh Brimhall who finished 4th in 8:49.  
Lady adiUltra runner Paulette Stevenson would also compete, but would end the day early. She said this about the day, "Well baby having to Zane isn't exactly the smartest idea. Made it to mile 33 with some postpartum issues (aka completely undertrained having nearly taken a year away from trails due to injury and child birth). No regrets, though! It was a fun day catching up with old friends. The day would not have happened without the amazing support of the best of friends Sabrina & Jamil . These two are some of the best people out there. So thankful!"

Post-race cheers and beers!!!  Thanks New Belgium!

The equipment and the trophy.  Thanks Nathan and adidas!