Congratulations to Team Inov-8's DeWayne Satterfield after just a few weeks coming off an impressive 4th place finish at Pinhoti 100mile. Satterfield blazed through the hilly Monte Sano State Park located in Huntsville, AL (DeWayne's backyard of sorts)to take home the victory in the Dizzy 50km in a time of 3:52. The course traverses through various parts of the infamous Mt. Mist trail race. Give this man cranberries and stuffing! Way to go DeWayne!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
A sincere congratulations to Inov-8's Mark Lundblad who finished off an impressive year by winning his 4th ultra of the year at none other than the historic JFK 50miler. After battling through injury after White River, Mark redeemed himself at the oldest and largest ultra in the country, which has drawn some of the best competition out there. This year, runners faced bitterly cold conditions. Mark's attrition caught the best of South Africa's Johan Oosthuizen just after the towpath. Mark never looked back and put the hammer down to greet his wife Anne at the finish (two-time winner). Mark has had some strong finishes in his last 4 attempts at this race including one that resulted in the demise of "the train". You can read the rest of the race report below and check out the video here too. JFK50
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Two Yogaslackers are heading to Guadeloupe Islands this weekend to race in a 6 day staged adventure race. The event IGWA is a unique race involving many sports such as trekking, canyoneering, surfing, golf, etc and cultural events such as cooking, flavour hunting, dancing, etc. Right now Daniel and Lina are training in Santa Barbara getting ready for the majestic and beautiful Carribean.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Can youth and hubris conquer all at Nationals? Read on to find out how Checkpoint Zero / Inov-8 fared at the USARA Adventure Racing National Championship.
As I pumped Bad Religion and Soundgarden on my way to Blue Ridge, I considered what was left in the tank. In six weeks I'd been in a 3-day expedition race, a 50k trail run, and a 30hr, the Upstate AR culminating less than two weeks prior. In the latter I had pushed it way into the red on the final trek to the finish, pulling my teammates up the third class climb in order to pass DART- NUUN and gamble for the win. We crested the hill physically and emotionally drained, hypoxic and choking on incoherent words. Our hand was called after coming up a checkpoint short, but a loss was never more euphoric: I had burned like a Roman Candle all the way home and hit the ground as an empty shell. It was all I had ever asked of a race.
The ongoing saga of finalizing a team roster for Nationals had damaged my enthusiasm for the event, regardless of competing on the home field. Ten days out, I was chosen to fill in on the squad, which consisted of my Upstate teammates Peter Jolles and Jennifer Rinderle. I shrugged off the fact that my taper had been gauged towards Upstate- I could float through on the season's momentum to kidney punch the tops teams in the country.
When the maps and instructions were finally dispersed the night before Nationals, we felt pretty confident in our local knowledge. A restful night's sleep was had by most in our crew and the dawn saw us preparing for battle. After driving to the gazebo in downtown Blue Ridge for our 5:45am assembly, the field of over seventy teams boarded the Blue Ridge Railroad for terra incognita. Lurching into the frigid, inky morning, the turbulence inside the cars muted the mountain winds outside. The shuffling in and out of tiny lavatories, adjusting of Samurai-like kayak paddles protruding from a few packs, and situating of maps repeated in every car ad nauseam. After a thirty-minute ride north into Tennessee, we streamed off the train and crossed a bridge above the Toccoa River. A short rogaine on foot would warm us before launching onto the river for a 12-14 mile paddle. The field would take-out and portage near the Brush Creek bike trails just east of the Ocoee Whitewater Center and then run a few miles to where we had dropped our bikes the night before.
A shotgun blast announced the start and began over 24 hours of unabridged suffering. We made quick work of the prologue, chasing the leaders through draws, over hills, and across the river like a pack of hounds. Once in the canoe, I set the cadence as we strained to find the perfect lines. Having been graciously relieved of our swing seat by race management, Jenn swapped between balancing on the exceedingly comfortable thwart and kneeling on the hull when it seemed as though we might go for a swim. Aside from hanging up on few rocks and nearly running a four-foot spillover, we surprised ourselves at only losing a few positions on the leg. A stout cadence and little food or water for three hours aided my retardation in missing the punch at the takeout, thus meriting a short, merry return to the river for said checkpoint. Shouts of encouragement by friends on shore faded quickly as Peter and I blindly carried the boat uphill; more creative expletives have never been uttered during a portage.
Four hours into it, we were still battling at the forefront but could feel the wave of competition swelling above our heads. Stiff-legged and fading, we ran along the Ocoee River to our bike drop at the Thunderock Campground. While inhaling as many calories as one might attempt without suicidal effects, I managed to shred my sexy legs on briars and scare the bejeezus out of a female jogger. We shared a moment of bewilderment as I crashed out of the woods and onto the trail, shades of Eric Rudolph clouding her thoughts.
At the bike drop we were all business. Peter's hydration bladder had detonated after Jenn had accidentally knelt on it in the canoe- an omen we wouldn't understand until after the race- but we gathered as much water as possible under a growing rain and began spinning up the Thunderock Express. My lower back killed from a pack swollen like an engorged tick. The expedition format required us to carry pounds of food, water, and equipment. If we were really smart, we would have called it quits right there. We missed a key turn at our next junction and ended up backtracking a few miles. Swapping back and forth with several teams, we snaked up and down the roads and trails south of the Ocoee. One subsequent descent set the tone for the rest of my race.
In what can only be considered a moment of pure genius, I had decided to leave my sunglasses behind at the rental cabin. While screaming down the Forest Service roads at Mach speed, a constant flow of mud and rocks found its way onto my face and into my eyes. It took one lucky speck of sand under my left contact to put me in the same boat as Achilles. I must have rubbed the contact out in my frustration, because I could only see out of my right eye. Bellowing in the downpour for Peter and Jenn to hold-up, I begrudgingly rode on like a grimacing pirate. Without spare contacts or glasses, this was going to be awesome. Pete and Jenn shrugged the news with positive reinforcement, the kind used when friends knows you're screwed but don't want to say it for fear of making the situation worse. We pedaled on and found the Tumbling Lead Horse Trail, the segment that would lead us to the next TA. The faint path became more eroded with each passing team power sliding down the 30-degree slopes. I flatted at the top of one climb and added the delay to my growing list of accolades.
The TA at the bottom of the horse trail found us farther behind the leaders and left us even more frustrated. The rain had turned the trails and hillsides into "slip 'n bleeds", thanks to rotting leaves carpeting the ground. A several hour trek took us straight up Mule Top peak and then screaming down into the misty valley below. Darkness came quickly and Jenn became my eyes, guiding me through the minefield of loose rocks and stump holes. As I became more burdensome, Peter put me on tow. I shamefully clipped in. This was the first time in four years of racing that I'd ever been towed. We slogged up FS 22 to our bikes wondering if Peter's nav had bought us some time. At the miserable outpost of a transition area, we discovered that some of our southern brethren were either still there or out on the trek. Teaming up with the CPZero Master's squad, we mounted our steeds and bombed into the night. I fought off epilepsy as my double vision transformed all of the flashing LED's into the most miserable rave to date.
Checkpoint Zero Master's Captain Jon Barker led our procession to Jack's River Campground, his exposed right butt cheek lighting the way. Apparently Jon had not been so lucky on the descent from Mule Top. Familiar faces and a fire greeted us at the campground. I was feeling better after woofing some food on the moderate ride and took the opportunity to check on Peter and Jenn. The fire drew the muddy, shivering racers to it like the Sirens' call, but I knew better. Hustling Jenn and Peter out of the TA, we realized that the weather and terrain were slowing most of the field and that we were slowly climbing back into a top five position. The sky cleared and the mercury dropped as we ran along the South Fork Trail on the edge of the Cohutta Wilderness. The first few points came easily and after gambling on some unmarked roads and trails, we popped out in front of both WEDALI teams and joined forces on the last few points of the trek. We were back in the game.
Our transition took slightly longer than hoped, but we were low on water again and knew that there would be few options for filling-up until late in the race. Peter had been drinking straight from creeks through a ghetto-rigged filtration straw but it was never enough. We saddled up and soldiered on. The ride up to Flattop reminded me of the endless climbs in Moab. Enveloped in the tiny world our headlamps created, we rode out of reality and into our minds, each turn and switchback bringing us closer to becoming victims in an Escher painting. After grapping the CP on Flattop, the wheels came off. Literally. We buzzed along a ridgeline and counted the mini peaks we rolled over. Three was the magic number that would bring us to a recently blocked trail, a trail that would elude us until morning. When the trail didn't magically appear after the third peak, we dismounted and decided we were at a great juncture for a bike-whack. Peter's dehydration, my status as "damaged goods", and Jen's fatigue prevented any argument on the matter. We stepped into oblivion. The raping by rhododendron would be long and painful.
The next four hours were some of the most miserable of my life. Bikes were thrown. Tempers flared. The adventure racing gods defecated on our spirits. Having no recollection of looking at the map to offer advice, I had no idea where we were or where we were going. The climax was a "death huddle" for warmth on a remote boulder. I desperately wanted to get out my emergency blanket and play Survivorman until the sun warmed us. Eventually we got up and carried our bikes uphill to find a road and the cusp of dawn. A team in the vicinity helped us find the hidden trail we had originally sought. The sunrise was extraordinarily beautiful. All I wanted was to enjoy it with some coffee, but we rode on. At least we wouldn't die on some godforsaken hill like the more fortunate members of the Donner Party.
Riding east towards Blue Ridge, we found more company while combining FS roads, single-track, and deteriorating tracks in the final push home. From goofy to downright cranky, I felt like our competitive edge had been compromised by the bike-whack. Jenn's sunny outlook and Peter's fortitude made up for my shortcomings. We decided to pick-up all but two of the remaining points in an effort to avoid missing the 30-hour cut off. At long last we roared onto pavement. More people than we'd seen in the preceding twelve hours cheered us on. Our epic was almost complete when it was relayed to me that we were required to ride the train tracks back into town.
The railroad ties shook us like a British nanny. There was no novelty in what we were doing. For the few miles we rattled down the tracks, cranking the big ring to maintain speed, I wanted nothing more than to challenge the race director to a cage match. Normally one is swelled with joy at being this close to the finish line, but my arse argued differently. When our route mercifully pulled back onto the road, we could finally let go. Friends and family came into view. An invisible force pushed us into their arms, praise, and beers. The three of us smiled at the culmination of a brutal race and season. A few hours later, we would learn that pure stubbornness had brought us into a respectable tenth place. I had come to Blue Ridge with visions of grandeur. Unfortunately, my vision was blurred.
Checkpoint Zero / Inov-8
Good luck this weekend to Mark Lundblad. Mark will be taking on the historic JFK 50mile in Washington County, Maryland. The first section of the course traverses on part of the Appalachian trail, followed by roughly 26 miles of rails/trail towpath before hitting the homestretch on the city streets. Mark has had great success in the past at this race with a collection of top finishes. Don't get caught by the train and have fun(:
Mark Lundblad JFK 50
Type rest of the post here
Monday, November 17, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
In this edition of 50/50 I head west to a state where a good portion of the landscape consists of scaly desert, and blaring sun, coupled with some of the harshest weather conditions on earth. However, don’t be fooled by this disguise; peal back the sun burnt skin of the desert and you shall find diverse landscape, picturesque scenery, and bodacious trails! I’m referring to the state of Nevada.
Typically when one thinks of Nevada, the thought of lights, entertainment, casinos, and endless buffet lines come to mind; Las Vegas that is! However just 20 miles outside the city limits sits a sweet cache of trails and natural areas to explore called the Red Rock Canyons. Head north by northwest through the sun parched land that resonates like a convection oven and you will discover another prime oasis that I can assure you is not a mirage. This oasis is so primo that it deserved the recognition of being “Best of Trail” for the state of Nevada; The Tahoe Rim Trail! You won’t find fear and loathing after reading this! Read More…
Nevada's Tahoe Rim Trail
by: Wynn Davis
The Tahoe Rim Trail is a scenic 165 mile loop trail (predominantly single-track) around beautiful Lake Tahoe. The trail is well marked with triangular blue blazes and the landscape is as equally diverse as the variety of athletic mediums the area has to offer. The Tahoe Rim Trail is epic grounds for runners, mtn. bikers, climbers, hikers, skiers, and paddlers. Heck, even off trail you’ll find exceptional road running and biking. From novice to elite, this is world class terrain.
The Tahoe Lake Basin was formed by geologic block faulting nearly 2-3 million years ago. Uplifted rock created the Carson Range on the east and the Sierra Nevada on the west. Down-dropped rock created Lake Tahoe in between some of Tahoe’s highest peaks, one which includes; Freel Peak at roughly 10,891 ft. Lake Tahoe is nestled on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in an area called the Truckee Meadows. The TRT is also comprised of both El Dorado National Forest and Tahoe National Forest which share the state of California.
Lake Tahoe Quick Facts:
•2nd deepest lake in the United States/10th in the world.
•Max depth of 1,465 ft.
•22 miles N-S/ 12 miles E-W.
•Other sizeable lakes in the area (Spooner Lake & Marlete Lake) and smaller alpine lakes.
Reno: Dubbed as the “Biggest Little City in the World.” Reno has a plethora of attractions before setting out on your TRT sojourn. Reno is one of the largest cities in Nevada and will have all of the amenities you may need. A little bird told me that Reno has the loosest slots in the state! Ayyyoooh. Reno is the biggest of the cities mentioned.
Carson City: The Capitol of Nevada carries many folklores, such as the Ferris wheel invention, the Capitol fence myth, and the stagecoach robbery, which legend has it there is $60,000 in gold bullion buried somewhere in the city limits. Gonzalez purported that he could see the booty location outside his prison window. You’ll have visit Carson to find out the truth at the White House Hotel. There are also unique trails within Carson that are quite close to the TRT. The Carson River loop takes intermediate riders 10.5 miles along a scenic portion of Carson River. Hikers can opt to shorten that distance, and still enjoy the environment. The truly adventurous will brave the 15-mile Brunswick Canyon climb along old mining sites and encampments. Good eats are plentiful in Carson. Eclectic offerings include some top notch Southwest-Mex cuisine. Carson is an intimate town where you will find much more resolve and less ballyhoo.
Truckee: This quaint California town could be the setting of a Ken Kesey novel.
This town lives and breaths the outdoors and the arts. Take in a number of the curious events that take place in Truckee all year long. After a long day on the trails in July, take in the Tahoe Music Festival and sample some of the local food at the street vendors. I here it’s cherse! If the mood strikes and you’re looking to fill your gills, I suggest taking the short romp down to Chico, CA and stop at the Sierra Nevada Brewery. They make a cherse I.P.A. and I their seasonal grog is mighty fine too. Even better when it’s draft!
Inov-8’s very own Emma Garrard, who is not only a pro XTERRA athlete, but is also a resident of Truckee, and she was kind enough to share some of her favorite dives. Wild Cherries serves a tasty breakfast/lunch before hitting the trail. Pick up the focaccia bread, cup of joe and a smoothy. Also, the Java Hut in Kings Beach is a local favorite and has the best espresso around. Another favorite dive of Emma’s is the Treat Box, which serves up some mighty fine donuts. For the herbivores there is a spot called Burger Me, a tasty joint that has made-to-order veggie burgers and sweet potato fries. Finally, Emma recommends T’s Rotisserie, which she describes as a, “Must go!” in Incline Village. Order the tri-tip, chicken burrito, or the tostada.
North and East Shore Trails: Mt. Rose (10,778 ft.) is one of the highest peaks on the trail providing stellar views of the lake, surrounding area and the city of Reno from afar. Through this section of trail you will find a mature forest interspersed with a marriage of mule ears and sage brush. In early spring, a dense meadow on your ascent up to Mt. Rose is riddled with native lupine, Indian paintbrush, and lark spur. On your final push to the summit, follow the twisting switchbacks along the ridgeline, and voila~!
South Shore Trail: Glen Alpine Trail: Multiple hikes can be taken from this trailhead. This section of trail will reward you with a variety of pristine lakes (i.e. Glass, Aloha, and Half-moon). Near Lake Aloha you will be greeted by a weeping waterfall, placid meadow, and a trio of alpine lakes before tackling the climb up to Mt. Tallac.
West Shore Trails: Rubicon Trail: This roller-coaster section will take you along the shoreline of Lake Tahoe, while offering some of the most scenic views of the lake. A perfect local for taking a cool dip after a long day. Picnic areas are plentiful to enjoy some grub and a bottle of suds.
Meiss County Trails: Big Meadow Trail to Dardanelles: Meiss Lake is one of the warmest lakes in Tahoe, which is perfect for a swim. This serene section is studded with aspen and alder trees, which are particularly vibrant during the fall months revealing their visceral washes of color. The trail winds through hill & dale past weeping willows before crossing multiple streams. Keep your eyes peeled for the giant seven foot in diameter juniper along the way. A short climb will lead you up to Dardanelles Lake, splashed by Ansel Adams”esque” granite cliffs.
Trail Conservation: TRT Association appreciates feedback on the conditions of the trail, so that maintenance can be scheduled. Check out the volunteer opportunities and/or one of the TRT Associations Back Country work camps. They are a great way to have a fun family experience on the trail while giving back to all the trail offers. Furthermore, in the town of Truckee there is an annual thru-hike event that kicks off downtown Truckee in mid-July that also sounds very fun and laid back. Contact TRT
Flora: Forest vegetation consists mainly of chaparral, conifer, fir, and subalpine trees.
Time of Year: The Tahoe area is a perennial super star when it comes to outdoor adventure; Mother Nature’s gift that keeps on giving. If you’re a multi-sport enthusiast than anytime is a good time to visit TRT. The TRT is open when the snow has dispersed from the trail during summer, typically mid-June to mid-September. Early spring will greet you with a robust bouquet of wildflowers, while autumn brings exceptional peak colors.
Events: Tahoe Rim Trail100mile/ 50mile/ 50km trail races
Tahoe 72mile road race
XTERRA races and National Championships
Tour de Nez bike race
Lake Tahoe Marathon Events Week
It’s obvious to see that Nevada’s Tahoe Rim Trail is an outdoor enthusiast’s delight, offering a cornucopia of activities for individuals and families alike. This is one spot where you have the house beat!
What trail and state is next on the list??? You'll have to wait and see. In the meantime please contact me if you have some sweet destinations in your state that deserve conservation recognition. I've had some great requests since the Superior Hiking Trail post. Contact me via email at Wynn.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Scott Dunlap is our lone wolf (that I know of) who is racing this weekend. He will be racing the Stinson Beach 50k at Stinson Beach Park in California on Saturday. Looks to be a beautiful course. Good luck Scott! Also check out Scott's popular blog as he has an excellent review of the X-talon 212 (click Scott's name below to get to his blog). These shoes have been a big hit thus far!
Scott Dunlap - Stinson Beach 50k
Monday, November 10, 2008
Blue Ridge Georgia saw the gathering of the top 81 Adventure racing teams in the nation this past weekend. Among the field were 5 teams associated strongly with Inov-8.
Team YogaSlackers, Checkpoint Zero/Inov-8 I, Checkpoint Zero Inov-8 II, CheckPoint Zero/ Inov-8 Masters, and Blackdome/Inov-8.
It was a strong field of racers, and it was really great to see so many Inov-8 "friends" there. It is also nice to have a little in house competition too. I've had the pleasure of racing against the Checkpoint Zero/Inov-8 teams before, and know that they are strong and fast!
I'll let someone else talk about the details, but all in all it was a great race, with all of the Inov-8 teams doing well.
YogaSlackers came in 7th, follow by CPZero/Inov-8 II in 8th, and CPZero Inov-8 I in 10th.
CP Zero/Inov-8 masters came in 2nd in the masters division and 14th overall!
BlackDome/Inov-8 in 22nd! So essentially all the Inov-8 teams were in the top 25% of the field!
Not a bad record for the National Championships!
On an equipment note, I used the 285's (best shoe ever!) and the Racepro 12 pack (a bit small for an unsuppoerte 30 hr, but I am a minimalist, and just accepted the fact that I was going to be cold and wet with no dry clothes....makes me go faster!)
Congrats to all the teams!!!!
I'm still waiting on some of the past weekend's results. However a big congrats goes out to Devon Crosby-Helms and DeWayne Satterfield. Devon ran a strong 10th overall (8:01) placing for the women at the World Cup 100k in Italy. The entire women's team did an awesome job led by Kami Semick's silver medal performance of 7:33, arguably the women's ultra performance of the year. We had 3 women in the top ten with Meghan Arbogast finishing 6th OA as well.
DeWayne ran a stellar 22:24 at The Pinhoti 100 mile race in Alabama. He took 4th OA and first masters. The lack of daylight this time of year really makes it a long haul over technical single track. Great job to both Devon And DeWayne.
Congratulations to Inov-8's Ben Nephew! Ben had an interesting weekend at the inaugural New England Ultras. The NE ultras are yet another collection of incredibly challenging yet beautiful courses set amongst the backdrop of the Vermont countryside in Pittsfield. RD's Sherpa John and Andy Weinberg's network of races will test the mettle of any seasoned runner.
Ben took on the grueling Funeral 50miler and put the proverbial nail in the coffin! But not without a fair share of challenges along the way. Ben describes his account in his race report. Read More...
Pittsfield VT Funeral Run 50 Miler (with Bonus 20 Miles!)
My initial goal race for the end of my season was going to be the Stonecat 50 miler. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to commit to the race before registration closed due to my work schedule. As I started to look around for other races, I got an email from Sherpa John that the Pittsfield VT 100 and 200 mile races were going to include a 50 mile JV race. The timing worked out for me, and I quickly decided to run the rugged 50 miler on 11/2. John sent out a course map and elevation profile, and it almost changed my mind. I had run 13 miles of the snowshoe marathon that he helped to organize this past winter, and ended up stopping there. That course was stupid hard for a snowshoe race, and when it started raining hard, I couldn’t think of a single reason to keep running. The 50 mile course included some the same terrain as the ss race, so I knew it was going to be a very long 50 miles with almost 14,000 ft of climbing. Most of the uphills and downhills were over 10% grade, and the thick leaf cover made the downhills extra challenging. However, it didn’t seem as bad when I realized people were signed up to do eight 12.5 mile loops for the 100 mile, and keep going for another 100 on a road loop for the 200 miler!
I can’t really start the race story on Sunday, since I started running on Saturday night. When I got to the race site to camp out the night before, I realized that one of the 200 milers, John Bridges, might want a pacer. After I grabbed some dinner at the Pittsfield General Store and set up my tent, I threw on some running clothes (a lot of clothes, it was 20 degrees!), and hit the road with John, whom I had never met. I’ve actually never paced anyone, much less someone 140 miles into a 200 mile race! Although the 10 mile loop was considerably easier than the 12.5 mile trail loop of his first 100 miles, it still involved a 1600 ft climb over 2 miles. This section was walked, but we ran the rest of the loop. John and I talked the entire first loop, and I was amazed at how well he was doing. Although he tried to scare me off of a second loop, I told him I was either going to run with him, or freeze in my tent. We didn’t talk as much on the second loop, but John was still running very well. It was a clear sky, and with the lack of any light pollution in Central VT, the stars were incredible. Despite walking the 2 mile hill, we ran those 20 miles at about 12 minute pace. According to Sherpa John, the penultimate 10 mile loop was John’s fastest of the race. At the end of the (last) day, John Bridges ran 200 miles with about 43,000 ft of climbing in under 70 hours. Unreal.
After that literal warm-up, I jumped into my tent for 4 hours of sleep. Some of the 50 milers had started early to get back to Toronto, so I took my time in getting all my supplies in order. The race staff gave me a hard time about this, but it worked out great. I waited long enough to start the race without a headlamp! My biggest mistake of the race was getting some sort of preconceived time stuck in my head, which ended up being 2 hour loops. The first loop felt pretty easy, and I ran 2:03. The view from the top of the first climb was fantastic, and I hope someone took some pictures at some point over the weekend. With only a handful of racers, it was a pretty lonely 12.5 miles, especially when some of the other runners had headphones on. As with the snowshoe course, the trail was well marked. There were some pretty muddy sections, but most weren’t very long.
On the second loop, I started to slow. Although it felt like my time would be similar to the first tour, I ran 2:11. I tried to eat and drink more at my halfway stop prior to the third loop, but the cold temperature (20-30’s) was killing my appetite. I drank as much of my ice tea and Gatorade mixture that I could, and brought my coffee cake muffin with me out on the trail. Despite my efforts to keep up the calorie intake, I started to fade on this loop. I walked sections I had been running, and started to feel light headed. I ended up somewhere around 2:21, and I took some more time at the start/finish area to ensure that the last loop would not be a death march.
I’m not sure it was the Coke or not, but the last loop felt much better. I had decided to hold off on drinking Coke until the final 12.5 miles, but maybe I should have tried it on that third loop. Although it was only about 3-4 minutes faster, it seemed quicker. However, my quads did start to cramp about an hour into the loop, possibly due to low electrolytes from a lack of Gatorade. I ended up backing off a bit, and my muscles settled down. Towards the end of the race, I passed one of the Toronto runners for the second time, and one of them almost hit me with a stick when I told him how fast my first loop was. We both laughed, but for a moment, I thought he was serious! With my three refueling stops, my final time was 8:56, which I am pretty pleased with given the difficult course and my bonus 20 miles the night before. As with any ultra, you don’t need a large race field to make a difficult race, and this will have to go down as my most difficult ultra race.
While my race fueling could have been better, my shoe selection was perfect. I wore the 318 GTX the entire race, my feet never got wet in any of the mud holes, and no blisters. The crazy thing is, I’ve had this pair for about 2 years, and they have received a ton of abuse over the winter and spring as my snowshoe and mud sneakers. I would expect that the Gore-tex would have failed somewhere after a while, but I can still stand in a stream and come out with dry feet.
I’d like to thank Sherpa John and rest of the Pittsfield race staff for the incredible effort it took to support such long races. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a race where the staff to runner ratio is 2:1!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I forgot to mention that inov-8's web master/computer guru Thomas Mikkelsen will be racing The Mother Road 100 in Oklahoma from Elk City to El Reno, a point to point course, basically the entire Western part of the state along historic Route 66. It starts near the Texas state line finishing near Oklahmoa City. Wife and inov-8 president Lisa Mikkelsen will have crew and pacing duties. My quads ache just thinking about the pounding. Good luck Thomas!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
This is the big weekend for Adventure Racing Teams. The USARA Adventure Racing National Championship is on the line. Co-ed teams of 3 competed throughout 2008 in 45 USARA regional qualifiers to do battle this weekend for the top prize. The race is held in Blue Ridge, GA starting this Friday, November 7th. We are well represented having three Checkpoint Zero/Inov-8 teams, Team BlackDome/Inov-8, Yogaslackers and Chad Denning from Team EMS.
Devon Crosby-Helms will be representing the USA at the World Cup 100k in Tuscania, Italy this Sunday, November 8th. She qualified with 5 other women for the US team along with a team of 6 men. DeWayne Satterfield will stay closer to home and race in the inaugural Pinhoti 100 mile race in Sylacauga, Alabama. This is a point to point course on mostly singletrack through the Talladega National Forest. Good luck to everyone!
Checkpoint Zero/Inov-8 - USARA AR National Championship
Team Blackdome/Inov-8 - USARA AR National Championship
Yogaslackers - USARA AR National Championship
Chad Denning - USARA AR National Championship
Devon Crosby-Helms - World Cup 100k
DeWayne Satterfield - Pinhoti 100 mile
Monday, November 3, 2008
Congratulations to our band of runners this weekend who took on some tough races in the east. Pictured above is Rebekah Trittipoe on a fine finish at MMTR (photo courtesy of Seth Trittipoe). Over at the Shut-In Ridge Trail Race, Shiloh Mielke nearly cracked his previous course record, breaking the tape first in a time of 2:17+
followed by Mark Lundblad's strong 5th place in 2:35, and Anne running to a solid 2:58 and 2nd OA women's finish. Shiloh wore the new X-talons and loved them! These performance last shoes are ideal for shorter trail races on rugged terrain.
Type rest of the post here
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Conditions were hot as usual for XTERRA World Championships in Maui last weekend. I handled it as well as I could coming from 70-degree temperature change in Truckee.
Always open to new ideas on how to handle heat, my experiment this time was freezing fuel belt bottles and tucking them in my racing suit, worked pretty well.
I placed 13th overall with a 13-min improvement from last year (almost 5 min on the run.) It was a close race on the women's side, a minute faster would have put me in the top 10--can't wait for that new bike next year.
Relieved to finish my 28-race season in Hawaii and have a few days of down time on the beach.
See complete results here.
Type rest of the post here