- Put some time in the bank by pushing the pace on the first half of the course, knowing that the trails would be mostly dry and very runnable.
- Take away the advantage of the competition who were strong at downhill running by being very aggressive on the down hills.
- Make up time on the field by hammering the climbs without sacrificing recovery at the peaks.
- Run through the aid stations making a bottle exchange with my crew and saving critical time.
- Hold on in the last 10km through McKay Hollow.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
The 16th Mountain Mist 50K promised the usual rocks and gnarly single track, but as an added bonus this year, the mud made an abundant appearance. In the past I have worn the Roclite 295s and the Flyroc 310s in this event, with both performing flawlessly. This year I obtained a pair of X-Talon 212s. While I knew they were more known for shorter XC and mountain races, I was pleasantly surprised by their comfort and support on a couple of long trail runs. I decided the mud fest of this year’s Mountain Mist 50K would be a great time to utilize their perfectly spaced lugs for traction and the sticky rubber for the numerous rocks. The lugs are further apart that many shoes and I found this to be extremely helpful in keeping the mud from lodging within them, yet the traction was still awesome…and believe me, I would have noticed during this mud fest. The 2nd half of Mountain Mist has a plethora of various rocks, from small knife edges that “massage” your feet to boulders which threaten to throw you from side to side. For me, the X-Talons not only protected my feet from the small rocks, but the sticky outsole allowed me to grip the big rocks with confidence.
The X-Talon has surprising support for their extreme light weight. The shoes seemed molded specifically for my foot…they felt natural and I ran with confidence across a wide variety of terrain. I had no issues with my feet during the 50K and the “trail racing flats”, as I call them, performed higher than my expectations. I thought my feet might show the effects of racing 31 miles over harsh terrain in such light weight shoes, but they amazed me with their protection. The x-talon is definitely in my rotation whatever the race distance.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Type your summary here
I thought I’d provide some brief reports on the start of the snowshoe season up here in New England. Snowshoeing has exploded in popularity this year, and it’s very exciting for many of us who have been racing in the snow for a while. At this point, it may end up being more popular than trail racing on a runner per race basis. Crazy.
I Love (the slush at) Woodford 5k 12/27
The family pulled into a very wet parking lot at the Woodford start, but luckily the rain had mostly stopped just in time for the race. I thought I got a good warm-up running around a little with Steph and Gavin, but it was clear it was not really enough as soon as we started.
My legs felt too heavy on the first soggy climb, and while I was trying let Jim Johnson, Tim Van Orden, and Josh Ferenc go and ease into the race, I had already done some damage. I held my own in third for a while, but never really felt comfortable. On a short steep hill about halfway in, Brian Rusiecki tried to pass, and I reflexively picked up the pace. I should have just let him pass, but I guess some part of me thought that I could handle a faster pace. I let him by on the next hill, and Dave Dunham followed soon after. I tried to keep them close, but couldn’t get any momentum going in the soft heavy snow that covered the entire course (well, there were puddles). With about a mile left, I passed Josh, who was hurting from a major fall onto some snow covered rocks. I thought he was going to rally as he chased me for a while, but I pulled away on a technical section. I spotted Dave as we exited the singletrack for the last 400m to the finish, but he was well out of reach.
Despite not seeing JJ, TiVo, and Brian for much of the race, they weren’t as far ahead as I had feared, but it still wasn’t a great race. However, you always work harder when you are having a bad day, and it was definitely a good workout. Steph and Gavin had fun cheering everyone in, and Gavin appreciated some of the racers thanking him for the support as they ran by. I ran in my 212’s, which fit my Dion snowshoes well and are lighter and more flexible than the 230’s.
Salem Greens Snowshoe Classic 3 mile 1/9
Despite being a first time event, this race was an instant classic. The big attraction for was that it was about 90 minutes closer to home than the race in Western MA, which allowed for another family race trip. We got to the race with plenty of time for warm-up, but were surprised to see so many cars at a new race. Eileen Dunn and the rest of the race organization acted like old pros despite an unexpectedly large field. While I was expecting a somewhat boring golf course route, the majority of the race was on winding singletrack around the 9 holes course. Besides Jim Pawlicki and Dan Verrington, I wasn’t all that familiar with anyone else at the race.
Everyone seemed to let me take the lead at the start, and Geoff Cunningham tucked right behind me. My goal was to focus on having a consistent race, with a strong last mile. Most of the first mile was pretty flat, but there was one long downhill where I pulled a few steps from Geoff. This was followed by a tough open fairway of deep snow, and I pushed a little harder through this section leading to the first mile. The second mile was all singletrack, and had a few surprising steep hills. They were very small, but they would kill your legs if you didn’t back off the pace a bit. I couldn’t see Geoff, but it was hard to see more a few meters in back of you at any time. The numerous sharp turns forced me to focus on my own race, and I was actually glad to get back out onto the fairways in the last half mile. There were a couple more small rolling hills leading to nasty little climb right at finish chute. My time was 22:41, with Geoff about 45 seconds back, and my CMS teams Dan Verrington and Jim Pawlicki were 4th and 7th. I wore my 230’s for this race, and the extra stability felt more comfortable than last week in the 212’s.
Although the Salem race was not part of the MA or NH snowshoe series, it almost broke a record for the largest snowshoe race on the east coast with 191 finishers. The race organizers and Bob Dion, who provided a pile of loaner shoes, were pretty happy with the turnout. Steph and Gavin decided to follow the course in the Chariot (with skis and handlebar; snowshoes and harness = whiplash!), and had a good time weaving through the singletrack with the help of some of the walkers on the steep downhills. I met up with them in the last mile and took over mushing duties. After some hot coco, we made the enjoyably short trip home.
Feel Good Farm 4 mile 1/16
Not much feeling good during this one. This was the toughest short snowshoe course I’ve ever raced. From Jim Pawlicki’s GPS data, it looks like we had about 1400 feet of climbing over 4 hills in 4 miles. My quads are telling me that sounds about right, but that’s only half the story. Two other factors that upped the difficultly level were the lack of snow (as in dirt), and ridiculously steep downhills. The last time I ran such steep downhills was in Lake Tahoe.
I drove up to the race with Steph and Kevin Tilton, who were both nervous about racing. Kevin had raced since last November, and Steph hadn’t raced for about 3-4 years due to a recurring hamstring injury and motherhood. Kevin and I took a warm-up run to check out the first climb, and were pretty impressed. After reminding Steph that the goal was to have a safe race and be healthy by the end (in spite of an innate competitiveness), the race got off to a quick start. Charles Theriault and Geoff Cunningham started blasting up the first climb, and Kevin and I hung a few steps back. They seemed to tire towards the top and Kevin quickly went from 4th to 1st. I knew that there was much more climbing to be done, so I hung back.
Kevin started to stretch his lead over the first summit of Moose Mountain, and I worried that would get stuck behind Charles and Geoff if they couldn’t stick with Kevin on the downhill. The first section of that downhill was described as suicidal by the RD, and I pretty much killed my race on it. As I went to pass Geoff, I tripped on something barely buried by the snow, and slammed into the snow so fast I barely had time to get my hands up. I quickly got up, but it took me a while to shake off the fall. I worked my way past Charles, and got to within 10 seconds of Geoff as we started the second climb of the first loop. Kevin and Geoff climbed strong, and put some time on me as we started the second loop. In most snowshoe races, you can relax a bit on the downhills, and they are pretty easy on your legs with all the cushioning from the snowshoe. Not so at Feel Good Farm! We were constantly slamming into tight downhill turns on little more than dirt, trying not to trip on the exposed rocks and roots.
While the footing was easier in the second loop due to the other hundred racers, all our legs were pretty beat up by the up and downhills of the second loop. Besides my initial fall, my 230’s and Dion snowshoes kept me upright the rest of the race. I kept Geoff in sight until the last downhill, but must have slowed down in the last mile down to the finish. Kevin won in 37:19, with Geoff and me at 37:46 and 38:40. Kevin and I headed back on the course to see how Steph was doing, and soon spotted her weaving down the last descent. Kevin and I were pretty beat, and had a hard time trying to follow her to the finish! She ended up as the 5th female, and 3rd in her age group. I told her that she was far more efficient with her training compared to me. I train 7 days a week and get 3rd, where she trains 2-3 days a week and places 5th! It was a pretty tough race to start back on, and the rest of the snowshoe season should seem pretty easy. It was good to see Steph racing again, definitely the highlight of the weekend. Although I told Kevin he had to walk home if he beat me, I settled for lunch at Panera on the way home on his dime.
The weekend ended with Kevin and I doing a long run in the Blue Hills on Skyline Trail in Kahtoola microspikes. If we had tried to run that with regular trainers, we would have cracked our skulls open. The 340’s would have been perfect, but neither of us had a pair. The Kahtoola’s worked great on the rocky, icy, hilly singletrack; we were actually looked for ice to get the best traction! It was strange to be running such a technical singletrack while holding a conversation, and we got some pretty funny looks from the hikers sliding down the trail. I was wearing my trusty 318’s, and Kevin had his 295’s. While the Gore-Tex in the 318’s is always appreciated in the winter, they also provide a nice firm base for the microspikes.
Type rest of the post here
Monday, January 18, 2010
1) Primary sport (s):
Mountain/Trail running...but I do like to hit the roads to keep some speed.
2) Team member since: 2009 was my first year on Team Inov 8
3) City/state of residence:
Fresh transplant to Massachusetts! Previously resided in Colorado.
4) Occupation: Customer Service/Marketing Assistant for Inov-8 llc.
5) Goals for 2010: Make the National Mountain/Trail Team and represent the USA in Sloveina. Top 3 finish in both the National Mountain Champs and National Trail Champs.
6) Notable achievements/memories/PR’s in your sport: 5th place at the 2009 National Mountain Championships, 3rd place at the 2009 National Trail Championships. A fun race memory would be winning the 2009 A Race Through Time 1/2 Marathon in Salida, CO. The course climbed to 9,000 feet...which I did not see coming...it was also pretty neat coming in 5th overall.
7) Favorite inov-8 gear: Tough call! 212 Talons (a must!)...Love the F-Lite 220's for the roads. Roc-lite 320's are sweet for long runs where you might want a bit more support and cushion.
8) List one thing others may not know about you: I love to spend 2-3 hours in bookstores...looking for a "bright & shiny" book.
9) Favorite energy drink/food: Amazing foods = Peanut butter, Blueberry Kefir, Honey Stinger, NUUN, and Naked: Superfood.
10) Your favorite race and why? Hmmmm...I haven't run too many of the same course/same race...but I love the "biggie" competitions. National Championships always get me pumped up and ready to roll :)
11) Advice to other athletes: Remember that no matter how serious or how "important" an event or competition is to you...DON'T lose the ability to have FUN! You won't succeed at anything if you are not enjoying it!
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
This is the 16th year that the Huntsville Track Club and Race Director Dink Taylor have held this great race. What started with fewer than 50 runners has grown to 350 pre-registered runners and now ranks in the top 10 largest 50km races in the country. This year it took just 12 days back in October for this race to reach max capacity.
Runners begin to meet at first light on Saturday and Sunday mornings starting in late December and alternate running the first and second halves of the course on successive days.
The two halves of the course are drastically different from each other. The first 10km is relatively easy running from the Monte Sano Lodge out toward O’Shaugnessy Point on Chestnutt and Mountain Mist Trails. There is a very fast ride down War Path Ridge after that and out onto the power lines before the first major climb of the race up K2. Then onto Goat Trail toward Three Benches and a loop around Keith and Logan Trails before making way through the infamous Stone Cuts where you run through a stone tunnel and navigate your way back down toward Three Benches again. Finally, it is Mountain Mist trail back out to Fearn Road for another aid station and the end of the first half of the course (actually mile 17.25 but time wise, about half way). This half plays to the strengths of fast and long striders as it is not overly technical.
The second, and much more difficult half of the course, starts from Aid Station #3 and makes its way down onto the Huntsville Land Trust trails. The next 4 miles along Tollgate trail onto Bluffline and to the Land Trust Parking Lot along High Trail are mostly downhill and despite some technical sections are still very runnable. Railroad Bed Trail is a button hook section where the railroad used to switch back up the mountain and is more rock than trail; most footfalls strike small jagged rocks and runners often feel like they are moving backward on this trail. Despite the technical terrain of Rail Road Bed and then Alms House, the course continues to navigate downhill. At Three Caves (famous from the a Kansas video) is the second major climb of the race. Waterline is a straight ¾ mile climb where the last 800’ requires some hand climbs as you pass Dry Falls. Runners are rewarded at the top of Waterline with another short climb and barren stretch through a tree grave yard. From Trough Springs, the final 10km begins and features a very technical, yet fast decent into McKay Hollow. After a relatively flat mile through the Hollow, the final climb up Rest Shelter Hill typically brings most runners to their knees. The last aid station is at the top of hill and from there it is a fast 1.75 miles back to the Lodge.
Over the years there have been some great performances on this course, including several by local runners. DeWayne Satterfield has won this race 9 times times and run as fast as 4:03 on the modern course. Dave Mackey set the course record in 2007, shattering the old mark when he ran 3:46:19. Yet the most anticipated running is this year, where local phenom and Rocket City Marathon winner David Riddle is set to run The Mist for the first time. Recently David cruised to a 3:21 50km at Dizzy 50’s, breaking the course record by 23 minutes and notching the 10th fastest 50km time in the nation in 2009, according to Real Endurance. Everyone is in for something special when David begins to attack the second half and make a push to break Mackey’s record.
Personally, this race holds a special place in my heart after the 2009 race. Before last year, I was mostly running road races and had only seldom ventured into the ultra marathon realm. I was in excellent shape, having come off of a 2:54 PR at Rocket City Marathon six weeks prior and the weather was cool, just to my liking. I got stronger as the day progressed, and with a late push after the last aid station, managed a 6th place overall finish in a personal record time of 4:32:15. My mantra on that day was that at each check point, everyone was surprised that I was running so well, and I used that to bolster my mental drive. It was this race that launched my passion for ultras as I went on to run 10 more in 2009.
This is a great picture from 2009 where 5 of the top 6 runners are side by side. From left to right, David Rindt, Eric Charette, Jeremy Ramsey, DeWayne Satterfield and Jamie Dial.
As for this year, Mountain Mist is the first major race on my calendar. I finished out last year with a respectable 3:53:15 at Dizzy in November, finishing 2nd only to David’s 3:21. In December I began a few week span where I cut back my mileage to gain some spring back in my legs after a 3900 mile season. I ran a few miles at the Fat Ass 50km on New Years Eve as a training run, but shut it down after 16 miles with some nagging pain in my hip; something that had started brewing at MMTR in November and plagued me at the marathon in early December.
After running every day in 2009, I started 2010 with a rest day and began to train slightly smarter than in the past. I have since integrated more rest and been very focused on quality running. I have had quite a few training sessions on the mountain where I have felt very strong and with some stretching and physical therapy, I have been able to keep the hip pain at bay as I continue to get stronger. I have been working specifically on my downhill technical running, as this course favors that type of runner. My hill climbing has been very outstanding lately, which is no surprise as that is where I usually make up most of my time on the trails.
If we can get another decent weather day this year, I really think that I can roll in under 4:30 for sure, with my ‘A’ goal mark at sub 4:20. A top 10 finish is equally as important as the time goal. In addition to David and DeWayne, 2008 winner David Rindt, recent 2:45 marathoner Tim Vinson and the the re-emerging Rob Youngren should all be ready to run under 4:20. At initial glance, there could be as many as 22 people under 5 hours, which is typically the measure of success on this course.
For equipment, I will be wearing the inov-8 Roclite 305 on my feet, mostly for the technical nature of the second half of the course. The stability in the 305 is slightly better than my alternate and second favorite trail shoe, the inov-8 Roclite 295. It seems like the 305 has gained popularity lately in Huntsville amongst top runners as David and myself will both be wearing it.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Amber Moran will be testing her speed at the Houston Half-Marathon also serving as the USA Half-Marathon Championship this Sunday morning. Yassine Diboun will be racing at the Capital Peaks Mega-Fat Ass 34 miler this Saturday in Olympia, WA. In addition we have more snowshoe action this weekend in New England so hopefully we will here how that goes next week.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Ultrarunning Magazine announced it's 2009 Runners of the Year this past Monday. Team Inov-8 ultrarunner Dave James was 4th OA, Todd Braje was 9th OA and Sean Andrish was 10th OA in the voting. Amy Lane, Mark Lundblad and Ben Nephew received some votes as well for their strong accomplishments in 2009. Dave James also got votes for Performance of the Year with his blazing 100 mile split at the North Coast 24 hour race and Javelina 100 mile. Todd Braje recieved votes for his speedy Jed Smith 50 mile. Congrats everyone!
Here is Aliza's report from her amazing win and CR 10:33:18 this past weekend at the Bandera 100k.
I have never traveled out of New England to race and had never raced past November, although when the opportunity to run the Bandera 100k in Texas arose I was apprehensive but excited to run new terrain in warmer temperatures. My mileage significantly decreased when winter hit, but I had turned to cross training and core work. I wasn't sure how competitive I would ultimately be but hoped to make the best of the experience and have fun. It was a two lap course and my friend Meredith and her husband were doing the 50k and they planned on crewing and pacing me after they finished. Due to the distance and the rocky terrain I decided to wear my roclite 320’s and dressed in many layers.
The temperature at the start was 16 degrees with a projected high in the 40's. I debated between wearing my hydration pack and using a handheld. I decided to wear my hydration pack, thus avoiding the need to pull into many aid stations. The race director counted down and we were off. After I reached the top of the first climb I went to take a sip out of my pack. No such luck, frozen. I continued to run without much worry and started to descend. Within ten feet of descending I caught my foot on a rock and I went down hard. I immediately popped back up and tried to ignore the pain. So far not a good start and mentally I began to question whether flying all that way was a mistake. I encouraged myself to make it to the first aid station and then reevaluate. At this point three females were about a quarter mile in front of me. When I arrived at the aid station I grabbed a cup of water and took off running with it. I drank it down and tried to get my head back in the race.
I slowly closed in on two of the females and eventually passed Annette Bednosky. I then started running off the back shoulder of the next female named Melanie who was from the area. I noticed that once she sensed my presence she picked up her pace. I let her continue to lead the way and was hoping she may tire herself out early. Speaking of tired, I again tried to drink from my pack but still frozen. I knew I needed some sort of energy so I grabbed for a gu. It too was cold so I had to chew it to get it down. Fortunately before I knew it we spotted the second aid station and Melanie stopped. At this point I traded the option of water for the chance to move up one place.
Things seemed to be a little better, but before I knew it I was on the ground again. Trying to stay ahead of the two females that were close behind I picked myself up and continued to move forward. I was now alone with a few males in sight. I was getting thirsty and all I could hear was the slush sloshing around in my pack and I couldn't even bend the hose. I knew I needed to do something before I dug myself such a hole that I couldn't get out. I tucked the hose down my shirt and checked it every 10-15 minutes. Finally 2.5 hours into the race I was able to sneak a few small sips. That alone brought a lot of relief.
By the time I approached the third aid station my hose was unthawed so I didn't stop. This allowed me to over take the first female Jill Perry. I ran alone and just tried to stay mentally focused. Eventually Jill caught me and we had a great time getting to know each other. We conversed and even strategized a bit since we both felt we were running the first lap too fast. We pulled into the start/finish area just around the five hour mark and we both refueled and headed out. For a majority of the time Jill let me lead the way and my trend continued as I took another spill on a rocky downhill. I wanted to scream and I didn’t know how much more my body could take. I focused on trying to keep decent form despite my sore hip and swelling knee. About 42 miles into the race Jill and I parted ways after she stopped at an aid station. I knew that I would be seeing her again. As I plugged away I was now throwing up and couldn’t figure out exactly why. I tried to run a consistent pace and tried to keep in mind there were still a lot of miles to cover. As I pulled into the next aid station Meredith gave me a bottle with water and told me her husband Paul would meet me at the next aid station and pace me for six miles and then she would run me in the remainder. All I could think about was get to Paul, don’t lose too much time. I did just that and was eager to have some company and to gain some insight in how things were shaping up behind me. Turns out I was losing my lead to the three closest females behind me. Paul and I chatted and as soon as we began to climb I felt a sharp cramp in my left calf. I had never felt anything like it before, it was like my whole calf just locked up. A succeed tablet immediately helped remedy that and I forced myself to walk the big ups since it wasn’t any faster to try and run them.
My six miles with Paul was over and Meredith and I were now off and running. Meredith reminded me about the importance of being smart and focusing. She was also great at pushing the fluids and electrolytes. With still ten miles to go I wasn’t ready to push the pace and risk getting seriously hurt. It was great having Meredith with me not only for the company and advice but because she knew the course so well, she could tell me exactly what was coming up next. With each step forward I began getting more and more paranoid about what lurked behind me. I couldn’t hear or see her but I knew Jill was getting closer. I knew I just needed to focus on me and then of course as luck would have it I went down. Before I could even open my eyes Meredith was saying “get up, get up, lets go.” I got up and tried to run but it was more like a hobble. We weren’t even going to talk about how much it hurt because that wasn’t going to help anything. As we approached the last major climb of the course Meredith told me to walk but I knew that I still had the legs to power up the hill. I ran the whole up without worry and then knew it was just a descent and then a quarter of a mile of easy terrain to the finish. After making the left hand turn off the technical downhill I turned around to see Jill and a local named Chris. I said something like “hey girl, I knew I would see you again”. Jill and Chris blew by Meredith and I. Meredith gave me “the look” and I caught up to Jill and got next to her. I turned to her and said in a jokingly way “Do you want to duke it out?” To my surprise she said yes and took off in a sprint. It took me a second to process her response and then I was on the chase. I caught up next to her about thirty feet from the finish and she slowed down so I patted her on the back and said “come on Jill lets bring it in.” Again it turned into an all out sprint and we ended up in a tie and at the same time set a new course record in 10:33:18.
It wasn’t the most comfortable race I have run but I learned a lot about overcoming the ups and downs. Mentally it was a difficult day for me due to the falls and the focus that the terrain required. I couldn’t have faired as well as I did if it wasn’t for Meredith and her husband Paul crewing and pacing me. The course, aid stations and organization was fantastic and I hope to run in Texas again soon.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
The Salem Lake Frosty 50k is a flat course, making it conducive to fast times. It consists of two out and backs, passing through the start finish line at the halfway point. There are about 6 miles of pavement and 25 miles of rolling dirt/gravel surface as it meanders in and out of coves around the lake. Starting temp was 14 degrees with calm winds. The last time I ran this race, in 2007, it was much warmer, enough to make me puke at the finish line, a first for me. So this time I wore full-length tights (another first for me in a race), a 2XU long sleeve and jacket, gloves and stocking cap. It was more than I wanted to wear but turned out to be the perfect choice.
I looked around at the start line, not recognizing anyone I knew to be fast but except for one young guy that looked the part. As it turned out he was the real deal this day. We took off and the two of us hung together for a few miles out front. I noticed, however, that whenever I let up he would begin to gap me and soon I knew he was going to be more than I could handle. I needed to let him do his thing as we were keeping a faster pace than I knew I could hold for 31 miles. I had gone out too hard and for some reason I just kept plugging away at 6:15 pace when I knew 6:30 pace was what I needed to for a PR. Prior to the start I had had a discussion with a friend about how male ultra runners seem to always go out too fast and that females are smarter about pacing. Maybe I should have listened better to that conversation. I made it to the halfway point 2 minutes faster than in 2007 and was already down 5 minutes to Boy Wonder.
At that point the wind had started to pick up and this was pretty frustrating as I was losing ground quickly and ended up chugging along alone. I had backed off from my prior pace, as I did not want the finish to become a death march. I made the turn for the final 8 miles back to the finish and was a good 12 minutes down now, ugh, but my goal of getting a 50k PR was still reachable. The last few miles I quit looking at splits, as I knew I was slowing down each mile. The wind felt like it was 20mph into my face. It was in fact closer to 10mph but at this stage in an ultra everything becomes magnified. My feet were about the only things that did not hurt at this point. The shoes were simply awesome and I never thought once about my feet, which is a good thing. Instead, I focused on the lactic acid creeping up my legs to my spine. I managed a second place finish in 3:24:21 (a nice 4+ minute 50k PR). As I took off my tear tag, I learned that my super human competitor had ran a course record 3:08. My 3:24 seemed pretty puny after hearing that but a PR is a PR. I’m very happy with my race especially after all the Christmas cookies I consumed recently along with a few holiday ales. When the RD asked if was going to puke again at the finish, I realized that my previous visit to the Frosty Fifty had been a memorable experience for him as well.
The new Roclite 295 is just as good if not better than the older model. There is a minor change in the upper, as the fabric features a tighter weave, making the shoe feel a touch narrower. However, it is still roomy and it still has that great sticky rubber on the outsole. The look is what really sets this shoe apart as the new black color with the Inov-8 logo really gives it a nice pop. I had several folks comment and ask about the shoe. The thing I like most about the Roclite models is the versatility of the outsole. It provides great traction on most every type of trail but still performs well on the roads. It feels so comfy on all surfaces and I’m sure it will be my go-to shoe for most of my ultra races once again. The women’s version is the Roclite 268.
Report/review by: Mark Lundblad
Friday, January 8, 2010
1) Primary sport(s): mountain/trail
2) Team member since: 2005
3) City/state of residence: North Conway, NH
4) Occupation: Licensed Land Surveyor
5) Goals for 2010: Top 6 at Mt. Washington, be as fast as I used to be, have fun
6) Notable achievements/memories/PR’s in your sport: 1:03:42 5th place at 2005 Mt. Washington Road Race, 2-time member of US Mountain Running Team
7) Favorite inov-8 gear: X-Talon 212. An awesome shoe for almost any race. The RocLite 295 is a great shoe for training.
8) List one thing others may not know about you: I was a two-time state jump roping champion in elementary school.
9) Favorite energy drink/food: Sour patch kids. Great pick-me-up with a sour flavor after sucking down gels during long runs or races
10) Your favorite race and why? Mt. Washington. 7.6 miles of flat-out, straight-up mountain running. If you run well here you can run well anywhere.
11) Advice to other athletes: Keep it fun. If you’re training isn’t something you enjoy, you’ll never truly reach your goals.
1) Primary sport (s): My primary sport is mountain running, peppered with road running, snow shoeing, maybe some track running (maybe!), cross country and other uncategorized types of running that include running through streams and up roped slopes, but primarily, mountain running.
2) Team member since: A newbie, 2010.
3) City/state of residence: Currently, Manitou Springs, CO, right at the base of Pikes Peak.
4) Occupation: Forever changing. I am currently a valet at a really fancy-pants hotel which I cannot state the name of because of a contractual agreement, but the first part is the opposite of "narrow" and the last part is the opposite of "less". I also am a running coach, which is a great pleasure having people who really want to improve and advance themselves and work hard towards their goals. I am sure one day I will utilize my master's degree and get a "real job", but until then, bring on the luxurious cars!
5) Goals for 2010: My first one is to read 20 books this year, I have really been lagging in the reading area--maybe even a Russian novel! I mainly want to be healthy. It has been four long years that I have been dealing with a terrible and debilitating ailment called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and I truly believed that I would never get back to competitive running ever again. Being able to get up in the morning without a headache, run and train again has been a huge sigh of relief. I could state that I will be 1st in this race and top 5 in that race and make such and such team but the future is yet to come and I will let the results dictate the answer to this question. In the preview, I will train and race as hard as I am capable to achieve this and that result.
6) Notable achievements/memories/PR’s in your sport: I was a member of the 2005 record setting Central Mass Striders team that won the team race at Mt. Washington (record still stands, Inov-8 team members Paul Low and Kevin Tilton were a part of that team). I was also selected as the alternate for the 2005 US Mountain Running Team that traveled to New Zealand. I have a memory of peering out a hotel window at the World Mountain Running Trophy race in Bursa, Turkey and watching as Paul Low and Simon Gutierrez were out running and almost trampled by a wild stallion. It was funny at the time.
7) Favorite inov-8 gear: Not sure yet, I am waiting to test a few more out before answering that question.
8) List one thing others may not know about you: I am an award winning homebrewer and love beer: making it, tasting it, talking about it. Most people know this about me because I talk about it all the time, but for those of you who don't know me, now you know.
9) Favorite energy drink/food: Anything Nora makes me! If she is not available, then PowerBars do the trick, especially since they have done away with the High Fructose Corn Syrup in the Performance bars. Manitou spring water is my drink of choice, I get my supply of lithium from it!
10) Your favorite race and why? My favorite race would have to be the Mt. Baldy Run-to-the-Top in the San Bernadino Mountains in Southern California. It's 8 miles of uphill pain with a section dubbed "The Devil's Backbone", a narrow, single-track ridge with 1,000ft drop offs on either side. An interesting section when you are oxygen deprived and light headed. Making it memorable is that is where I first began my mountain running career when I was a junior in College and, after 4 years of trying, I finally took the win.
11) Advice to other athletes: My best advice would be to have fun, life is short. Enjoy the people and scenery around you. Don't let a bad day get you down, there is always the next race. Before you know it, you'll be reminiscing about the the good old days...enjoy them while they are here!
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Another cold weekend of racing on tap for Inov-8 athletes. Up in New England we have the 2010 WMAC Snowshoe Racing Series taking place over the next several weekends at various locations. Last weekend at the Woodford Race we had new team member Jim Johnson finishing 1st OA and Ben Nephew 5th OA. For the ladies we had new team member and 2009 defending WMAC champ, Abby Mahoney take the women's win and Amy Lane grabbing 2nd OA who is new the team as well this year . This weekend the series is at Turner Trail in Pittsfield, MA for a 5 mile race with Abby Mahoney confirmed to be racing.
Down in Bandera, TX we have Aliza Lapierre taking on the Bandera 100k. In NC, Mark Lundblad will be racing the Salem Lake Frosty 50k in Winston Salem.
1) Primary sport (s): Trail running, ultrarunning
2) Team member since: 2006
3) City/state of residence: Woodside, CA
4) Occupation: CEO of NearbyNow, Inc. (iPhone technology)
5) Goals for 2010: I’m running everything from the mile to the 100-mile, with hopes on placing Top 3 at the USATF Trail Marathon, 50k, 50m, and 100m Championships.
6) Notable achievements/memories/PR’s in your sport: 2009 XTerra Trail Running National and World Age Group Champion, 2004 Trail Runner Magazine Trophy Series Overall Winner, and lots of great new friends in between.
7) Favorite inov-8 gear: xTalon 212’s, Roclite 315’s
8) List one thing others may not know about you: My blog, A Trail Runner’s Blog, gets more visitors each year than all running magazines combined. It’s a growing sport!
9) Favorite energy drink/food: Powerbar Double Latte gels, Vespa, and good ‘ole PB&J
10) Your favorite race and why? It’s usually the one I just finished. But I also have a soft spot for any race on the Western States trail.
11) Advice to other athletes: Get mad knowledge of self. That means spending some time alone on the trail, with no ipod/gps/hr monitor/etc, and feel that natural rhythm between you and nature. When your toughest moments come in a race, it’s this natural flow that will get you to the finish.
1) Primary sport (s): Mountain/Trail Running, Track, Road, XC
2) Team member since: 2009
3) City/state of residence: Lakewood, WA
4) Occupation: A few jobs in the mix at once!
5) Goals for 2010: Get some new PR's and try a few new races this year
6) Notable achievements/memories/PR’s in your sport: Going into the final lap of the National Mountain Running Championship knowing that I felt great and that I would be able to hangout for my first National Title.
7) Favorite inov-8 gear: X Talon 212
8) List one thing others may not know about you: I love trying new recipes especially if its an Italian dish or dessert.
9) Favorite energy drink/food: HoneyStinger bars
10) Your favorite race and why? Cranmore will always have a special place in my heart!
11) Advice to other athletes: Running is simple, try not to make it complicated.
Monday, January 4, 2010
2) Team member since: just signed for 2010!
3) City/state of residence: University of Medicine and Health Science in St. Kitts
4) Occupation: Medical Student
5) Goals for 2010: To balance my studies while improving my overall fitness and winning some more ultra and setting some more course records! Maybe a fast marathon and 100K.
6) Notable achievements/memories/PR’s in your sport: Smiling for the entire time in route to a 13:06:52 100 mile split in Cleveland, setting a new course record at Javelina and being able to shut it down for the last few miles and jog it in knowing that I did the work early to get to where I was. Pocatello 50’s scenery and sliding down the snowfields like a kid with an empty water bottle making snowcones with gels. Running in Patagonia with Devy and the great friends I made with Andes Adventures. The Costal Challenge in Costa Rica and running and getting advice from Scott. Solo R2R2R’s at the Grand Canyon, winning my two attempts at the 100 mile distances in Florida in 2008 and at Umstead in North Carolina this past March.
So many great memories since that first ultra I ran when my finacee was sick and dying bed ridden at home. I had never contemplated running a ultra but when we were unable to travel and I found a 50K close to our home and her mother came over to take care of her for the morning I decided to give it a go. I did not run competitively that day but realized that after 26 miles I felt good and when my sister called Jennifer and she encouraged me to finish strong, I felt great and did just that. When she passed away a few months later from the breast cancer that had spread to her lungs and brain I was so lost and distraught that I ran because I could not function without the biochemical boost that it gave my brain each day. When I decided to see what would happen if I gave 100 percent to running with a competitive purpose I was shocked that I found myself winning and racing ultras alongside guys that I have read about for years!
7) Favorite inov-8 gear: Looking forward to the racing flats and trail shoes, but I love the Roc Lite 295s that Mark sent me to test out a few months back! Big and bulky and perfect for a slow jog or recovery run for me but fast enough and stable enough to attack even the most technical surfaces like JFK’s AT section!
8) List one thing others may not know about you: When I was 21 less than 10 years about and started to run I could not go a mile without stopping to walk. I was 270 pounds and out of shape, a heavy drinker, and ate fast food daily. If I was able to turn my life around with running anyone can and should! A healthy life is a blessing!
9) Favorite energy drink/food: Anything and everything when I am racing hard is fuel but GENr8’s Vitargo works best in training although sometimes pizza, cookies, bananas, melons, oranges, burritos, p,b,+ j’s, coke, and burgers do the job just the same on race day as comfort food when the nerves kick in.
10) Your favorite race and why? Any race that I win or have a good fun day at and know that in retrospect I gave it 100 percent of my effort. Racing to me is more about the experience with other runners but Turkey Swamp, Pocatello, Umstead, Ancient Oaks, the Costal Challenge, and Javelina have all been very great positive experiences for me. I hope to return to all of them someday and finish a bunch of other races that have taken me out.
11) Advice to other athletes: Enjoy running or athletics when you feel good, but to improve there is no substitution for old fashion hard work and suffering in training. Focus on how good you feel after a hard grueling workout before the pain and soreness sets it and let that drive you to reach your goals. Set big goals and go for them, breakthroughs do occur but you have to believe in yourself and surround yourself with positivity. Don’t live life with a single “what-if!” Go for it! What have you really got to lose? Nothing in life is guaranteed. What doesn’t kill you will eventually make you stronger! Pain is weakness leaving the body! Run through it in training. Trust others that want you to achieve your goals and let them help you. Sometimes on race day no matter how hard you train or how great you felt leading up to the race, you will get to know your body so well someday that you will just know that you don’t have “it.” Lace up your sneakers, toe the line and run until you break down, it will make you stronger in the long run mentally. Running for money and prizes is nice and fun for a while but if you have the joy and love hold on to it, if you don’t go out and find it again, it will return.
1) Primary sport (s): Trail Ultra running
2) Team member since: 2010
3) City/state of residence: Allentown, Pennsylvania
4) Occupation: High School Teacher
5) Goals for 2010: Compete competitively in the following events: Bull Run 50 Miler, Massanutten 100, Hardrock 100, Cheat Mountain Moonshine Madness 50 Miler, Grindstone 100, MMTR 50 Miler, Hellgate 100k
6) Notable achievements/memories/PR’s in your sport: One of my best memories in trail running would have to be on Grindstone Mountain during both the 2008 & 2009 editions of Grindstone 100 Miler. This is an out-n-back course and at about 35 miles into the race, you climb Grindstone Mountain. The climb is long and goes on forever. But, on the way back, you get to descend the mountain. Both years I really started to feel a lot better on my descent – my body came alive with the rising sun as I tore down the mountain on the beautiful single-track trail.
In terms of achievements, I am probably most proud of my racing that occurred during the fall of 2009. I ran CMMM 50, Grindstone 100, MMTR 50, and Hellgate 100k in the span of 3.5 months and performed well in all. I hope to be able to continue building on this experience in 2010.
7) Favorite inov-8 gear: Roclite 318 GTX
8) List one thing others may not know about you: I am a metal-head at heart.
9) Favorite energy drink/food: Nuun, Clif Gels, Turkey & Cheese Wraps, Sliced Pears, Sri Lankan Food (recovery)
10) Your favorite race and why? MMTR – This is the race that got me hooked on ultrarunning four years ago. The entire race weekend is fun and it’s a good race for spectators. I enjoy the varied terrain and the last 10 miles of the course is just awesome – lots of downed fall leaves on rolling mountain trails.
11) Advice to other athletes: Make certain to get enjoyment out of every event in which you participate. It is easy to get consumed with competitive goals, whether they be finishing time or finishing position. Also, do not underestimate the effect that good diet, sleep, and positive self-talk can have on your performance. Eat whole foods, get as much sleep as possible, and don’t beat yourself up too much if things aren’t going as planned – just re-adjust and move on.