The Ultra Experience

Here's to the adventures of my life which are usually ultra marathon trail running or fly fishing but may include other trips, experiences, thoughts, opinions, or pretty much whatever I want. As co-founder of Altra Footwear my life and adventures seemingly revolve more around developing and promoting the best footwear in the world...and I love it!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Timp Trail Marathon 2013

Quick and late recap from the Timpanogos Trail Marathon.  I signed up late for this race but decided to not take a watch and treat it like a training run.  I was hoping to try and win it using as little energy as possible and hopefully come in under 4 hours.  That was the extent of my race planning....

It was another rainy year which I didn't mind.  I love running in the mud so I was excited.  I did want to go sub-4 hours and the mud would surely slow things down.  I ran the first 6-7 miles with friends Seth Hales and Dan Mitchell.  We chatted and watched 2 young guys take out the race fast.  It was good catching up with those guys.

I quickened the pace on the way down into Battlecreek and was 1 minute back from the leader at Grove Canyon aid station mile 12.  I was feeling good and wanted to take the big climb up the green monster and Grove Canyon easy.  I figured I could catch the leader the last 10 miles...but he pushed hard.  I got to the top with my legs feeling a little heavy.  I trained through Miwok and it was apparent I didn't taper for this race either.  Seth Hales caught me and we ran quickly over the top and over Curly Springs.  I was surprised that the leader wasn't coming back to us as we were moving well.  I surged down into Dry Canyon though the mud but still no glimpse of the leader.

Having decided to do Squaw Peak 50 miler 2 weeks after this, I coasted the last 3-4 miles down the mountain to finish 3rd overall in a time of 4:06:03.  I was 5 1/2 minutes back from the winner.  Fast roady who didn't bonk...good for him!  Young buck Ford Smith passed me with a mile to go.  He was working so hard I let him finish strong while I coasted.  Again, good for him!  17 years old and FAST. 

Overall I finished feeling quite fresh and had a great time!  I run those trails nearly every day but still loved it.  Great race, atmosphere, terrain, people, and rain like usual!  Would have liked to have broken 4 hours which without the mud was a sure thing.  A win would have been nice but 3rd place in a solid effort and feeling great afterwards was worth it. 

Now for Squaw Peak 50...again

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Miwok Race Report

Marin Headlands, Golden Gate Bridge, San Fransisco, Bolinas Ridge, classic/competitive ultra, I was pumped to run the Miwok 100k.  Race morning came very early with a 3:15am alarm.  After getting prep'd and driving to the start, the 400 runners and myself were rather disappointed by the news of a shortened course due to fire danger.  Not an actual fire, just the threat.  I run fast but I don't think I've ever sparked any flames....

So I drove back 30 minutes to the hotel, slept for 1 1/2 hours and headed back for what would now be a 60k race.  I was still excited and most runners were positive.  Big kudo's for Tia and the volunteers to making the best of a less-than-perfect situation.

The race funneled to a singletrack within 200 meters from the start.  It was a tough decision to figure out how fast to go.  I chose wisely.  Not too fast but fast enough to avoid the funnel.  The first climb was long and full of stairs.  Yep, uneven stairs mixed with short stretches of trail for almost 2 miles.  Dense forest shaded and protected us for a stretch from what would be a scorching hot day (no flames though).  Once on top, the views were amazing.  After a few miles I picked up the pace and found myself accelerating.  It felt so natural that I just let it happen.  Within 7-8 miles from the start I was throttling it!  I thought...its only 60k so why not?!

Turns out it was a good move.  I held form and had one of the better races in years!  The views from the exposed ridgelines were amazing, the singletrack firm and fast, and I was having an ON day.  The trail next to Golden Gate bridge was everything it was hyped to be.  A friend who I've barely seen since high-school randomly showed up to run the last 12 miles with me (they we supposed to be miles 49-61 but were 26-38).  The volunteers were awesome and the decent into Muir Beach was as pretty of a trail as I've ever seen. 

Hot...yes but it didn't slow me down as I felt strong the whole day finishing 10th overall in a time of 5:39.45!  The 60k distance was probably better for me than the 100k due to my fitness but I finished feeling like I could have kept going.  I would have needed more salt pills though as I was on the verge of cramping those last 3-4 miles.  It was also great to have my wife Zanna and youngest son Riley there supporting me.  Great day, great race!
Getting ready pre-race

Finishing strong
Happy and hanging with Riley post race
Feeling good 14 miles in...
Me, Zanna, and Riley post race on Fishermans Wharf