Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Cimarron 50K

I wanted to give everyone a quick update about the Cimarron 50K I ran on Sunday. The race starts at the top of Cerro Summit about 15 miles to the east of the town of Montrose. The race is part of the new Ever Run Racing Series. Check out the website at!cimarron-50k/c44d .

My goals for the race were simple: go out, race hard, don’t race too hard, place in the top 3, and run about a 3:45. I drove over the night before and camped out at the start. The earth rotated and sure enough the sun came up. It was time for a nice 31 mile run. There were about 80 racers and some good competition. The race starts out up a slight hill and rolls along. We went out controlled and Justin Ricks and I took the lead. We gradually warmed up and increased the pace until by 3 miles we were rolling along at an up-tempo solid pace. Justin was able to drop me as I tried to maintain pace hoping to run consistently and potentially catch him later. It was not to be.

The views were tremendous. We ran towards the snow covered San Juan’s. Uncompahgre dominated the view. Its stark north sheer face cut straight down into the earth beckoning adventure while mocking any who dared try. Perhaps another day I thought. Today was a day for racing. I ran on consistently hitting near 7 minute miles on the rolling terrain. I reached the half way mark in 1:50:10 only 4 minutes behind Justin. Now was the time to catch him. But it was not to be. I cruised back towards the start/finish line finishing in 2nd in 3:43.

Overall: a solid race. I felt great during the race and did not beat up my body. I raced in the Hoka’s Huaka . I’m rather addicted to this shoe for racing. It provides just the right balance of cushion, grip, and stability. A good thing to because I’ve got such a quick turnaround. I fly out tomorrow for the Canary Islands to go race the Transvulcania. Check it out:

Monday, April 27, 2015

Updated Race Schedule:

I've spent the last few months doing many things: a few of which are eating, sleeping, working, teaching, training, miscellaneous actions and contemplating. The question remains... "contemplating what?" Well, a great many things but I’d like to draw our attention to races. I decided in January to race a lot this year. By a lot I mean double the races from any other year. Here is the list of 20 remaining races:

May 3rd Cimarron 50K, Gunnison, CO
May 9th Transvulcania Canary Islands 73k (45 miles) Spain
May 16 SageBurner 25K, Gunnsion, CO
June 20th Leadville Marathon, Leadville, CO
June 28th Mont Blanc 80K France
July 4th Mount Marathon Race: Seward, AK
July 12th Leadville 50, Leadville, CO
July 18 Kendall Mt Run: Silverton, CO
July 19th Power of 4 50K Aspen, CO   
July 24th Speedgoat Vertical Mile, Sandy, Utah
July 25th Speedgoat 50k, Sandy, Utah
July 26th Speedgoat Quadbanger, Sandy, Utah
August 1st Tushar Sky Marathon 26: Tushar Mountains: Utah
August 15th Pikes Peak Ascent: Colorado Springs, CO 
August 16th Pikes Peak Marathon: Colorado Springs, CO 
September 5th The Rut 25K                 Montana
September 6th The Rut 50k                 Montana                    
September 12th Imogene Pass Run: Telluride, CO                
September 19th Run Rabbit Run 50m            
October 3rd Flagstaff 55k: Flagstaff, AZ                     

It should be interesting. I’m officially entered for all but Imogene (the race does not open until later in the year). If anything I’ll hopefully race myself into shape. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Weird Race: Desert RATS Trail Running Festival: Fruita Marathon

Quick update for everyone: I ran the Desert Rats Trail Running Festival Fruita Marathon yesterday. This is a great spring race which offers the marathon as well as the 50k and the 50miler too. It is run on mostly single track with great desert views of the Colorado River and nearby McInnis Canyons. Unfortunately because of all the rain the organizers had to do a last minute course change to avoid the majority of the single track. We were to run two “A” loops and one short out and back. With the severe weather and the high mountain snow and with highway 70 closed for most of Friday due to the snow the race had a smaller turn out than normal.

I was ready for a good solid effort. I wanted to run fast! The race started and I put in a high tempo out of the gate. Mike Ambrose from Breckinridge hung on for a mile and then backed off. By mile 3.5 at the aid station I was a ¼ of a mile ahead of him and he was another ¼ mile ahead of 3rd place. Now was the time to keep pushing I was racing myself.  

I left and followed the race flagging out onto a 3.6 mile loop (Rustlers). Unbeknownst to me and everyone in the race this was the wrong way. The flagging had not yet been adjusted. I ran the loop and came back to the initial aid station. They said we were all going the wrong way and directed me back to another trail. Was I now in last place? I did not know. As it turns out the majority of the racers followed the flagging and therefore added on the loop.

I got on to the trail. Mike had by this time caught up we ran together for a minute. From high on this trail we could look down and see most other racers on the wrong loop. Well, I guess we ALL had to do the wrong loop. I left Mike and followed the flagging, the wrong flagging once again and after 20 minutes ended up back at the first aid station… AGAIN. They told me once again to follow the loop. I knew that was pointless and I knew we were supposed to end up back at the start so I ran back to the start.

When I got there I showed the race directors where I had run and it was decided that it was more than the “correct course”, therefore I was ok. They sent me back out on course to start my 2nd lap. As I left I saw Mike finishing his 1st lap. Once again I was ¼ mile to ½ mile in front of him. I ran the 2nd loop with little problems. The race crew had put up new signage and taken down the old flagging. I finished and added on the short out and back to finish and win the race. Weird day, but everything worked out in the end! 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Salida Run Through Time Marathon

This Saturday I raced the annual Salida Run Through Time Marathon (SRTTM). This is a fantastic early season race that I run every year. As always it was cold at the start, the numb lung burning cold that you know will disappear once it warms up. A lot of familiar faces were there: Nick Clark, Jason Koop, Justin Ricks, Josh Arthur, Ryan Burch; a practical homecoming. We started off at a controlled casual pace, no one wanted to race this early when the temperature was still hovering below freezing. No one wanted to take off except for a rabbit. The rabbits name Dan Barteletti . The chase pack consisted of Josh, Nick, Justin, myself, and a few others. We weren’t too concerned about Mr. Rabbit. Nick and I talked about how this was his 7th time racing at SRTTM and my 8th time. We decided to compare finishes for the last 7 years and add them up. Note: we did not include my 1st year as a dozen or more racers ended up going the wrong way because someone had moved the flagging on the course. 

Whoever had the lowest score would win. I did this today and put a graph together. Nick won: 16-19     

                            Year:          09,    10,    11,    12,    13,    14,     15                Total:

Timmy Parr         Place:         1,        1,      1,      7,      4,      3,       2              = 19

Nick Clark           Place:         3,        3,      2,      1,      2,      2,       3              = 16                       

Our pack started up S Mountain with Dan’s lead at about 30 seconds. Josh led the chase up S, but overall we just relaxed and cruised up. The next section, a circuitous single track took us rolling north. I took the lead just to help make visibility and footing easier. The pack group chased on until the road. We hit the road at 60 minutes. The pace was good. Once on the road our pack disintegrated as we tried to chase down the rabbit. The road continues up a steep incline for over 4 miles. After fueling up I was ready to participate in the chase. I set an up tempo pace and soon caught up to Dan, he was paying for his early lead, but would manage to recover and still get 4th.  Surprisingly I had dropped everyone but Justin. He and I kept the pace up and reached the turnaround (12.8) in 1:35.

Justin took the lead as I followed trying not to lose any ground. From mile 14 to 17 we hung together as we plodded through either muddy or unsure footing in foot deep rutted out crusty and icy snow. Once through the snow Justin took off and I did not see him again. The snow and icy conditions had slowed us up and although I wanted to run faster it was too much effort in the snow. I ran consistently trying to maintain. I ran in the Hoka Huaka.  They are light weight, yet they offer a traction, durability, and a stable shoe. This became my mantra for the rest of the race. I felt ok but as I raced I could feel my energy slowing waning. I had to maintain. I ran back the last 4 miles trying to stay consistent. I couldn’t see Justin and figured he was long gone. I came through the last mile trying to push it till the end. I ran 3:18:41, good enough for 2nd place.

Next up: 2015 Moab Spring Running Camp, followed by the Fruita Marathon.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Leadville Snowshoe Marathon

Last Wednesday I got a text asking me if I was going to race in the Lewadville Snowshoe Marathon. "Well, gee, I don't know." I thought about and decided it would make a great training run. On Saturday I showed up with few expectations and ready for a solid workout. I was wearing my Huakas by Hoka for their light weight and smaller frame which would be perfect inside my borrowed snowshoes.

The race started with me in the lead followed by a throng. I felt dreadfully slow but no one else wanted to lead. I determined to be consistent for the next hour and see what would come. By mile 5 I ran along in tandem with the eventual 1/2 marathon winner. We talked and enjoyed the brisk morning, however, it was warming up.

Soon I was by myself. I gave myself the goal of breaking 2 hours to the halfway mark. I ended up coming in at 1:55. I knew i wanted to push the pace on the way back. Hopefully negative split. I pushed myself. The snow was getting softer with the rising temperatures. I tripped a few times nearly face planting but kept up the grind. I finished winning in 3:49:40. barely negatively splitting. Solid training run. Solid race. Solid day. Not a bad start to the year.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Imogene Pass Run

This has to be one of my favorite runs in the state. How can it not be… it is run in the beautiful San Juan Mountains starting in downtown Ouray and running on old mining roads, modern jeep roads up and over Imogene pass and then down into Telluride.  At roughly 17 miles the run is long enough to need some major endurance and short enough that you can still enjoy the day when finished. You need both good uphill running coupled with solid downhill skills. This run offers the full package.

I drove over the night before and camped out in Ridgway, asleep within minutes. The next morning we line up and started. I went out with the main pack thinking we were running a tad fast. This would cost us all about 5 minutes later in the race. In addition we missed a turn and ran an extra 50 yards. Oh well, it cost us all. I settled in and settled back allowing the others to push the pace and soon found myself in 5th place with a cohort pushing the pace from behind. As we gained in altitude and miles I found my competitors slowing which slowly I caught one by one until I was in second with 1st place roughly 2 minutes in front. 

I ran hard, which ultimately was a snail pace as I crested the 13,114 foot Imogene pass in 1:46:25 with 3rd place just a minute behind. The views are some of the best in the state however I charged downhill trying to enjoy them while really focusing on difficult footing and trying to hold off 3rd. Kalib Wikinson from Flagstaff charged down after me and had the best downhill race of the day pulling off a second place to Daniel Nally. Meanwhile I ran down and settle for a solid 3rd place. I was quite pleased with this as I ran a decent and consistent race.

Once again I ran in the Hoka Stinson Lite which gave me solid footing coupled with great cushioning.

Race #2:  After the race I decided to race the busses back to Ouray. To do this I would engage in one of my favorite pastimes: Hitch hiking. Hitching went nearly flawlessly as I was picked up by 4 different parties only 1 of which had run the race. For each ride I had to wait no more than 4 minutes. Hitching is rarely this smooth.

Next up Javalina Jundred.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Leadville 100

An update on the Leadville 100 is needed so I thought I’d sit down and write about the Race Across the Sky. The night before the race I lay in bed counting off the minutes until I fell asleep. I tossed and turned but finally fell asleep for at least a semi-restful half night of sleep. I woke, ate some quiche, and left to race. The bank thermometer read 47 degrees at the start of the race. The day and the race would be perfect. The race started smooth enough and I found myself chatting with other runners. Our lead pack was unorganized as runners yo-yoed back and forth from the dark abyss facing us to the caterpillar of headlights meandering on the trail behind. I settled into a comfortable pace aiming to hit an 8 hour half. Once we got to Turquoise Lake, the lead pack slowed as the terrain footing was a tad trickier with numerous roots and rocks. Our lead pack consisted of Rob Krar, Michael Aish, Ian Sharman, Zeke Tiernan, and myself. No one wanted to push the pace… yet… so we chatted and commented how we were at the best place during a 100 mile race. We all felt good and we were all leading the race. This would soon end.

We ran through Mayqueen aid and regrouped going up the Colorado Trail to Hagerman Pass Road. In the early morning as we hit the Hagerman Pass Road the group disintegrated. It was if the group woke up and it was time to race. Krar and Aish took off with Tiernan following close, I was 4th and quickly losing ground which was fine with me. I had already decided not to race until mile 75… or so. Ian had stopped for a quick break and was somewhere right behind us. I race on. Tiernan dropped back once and we talked before he took off again down Sugarloaf. This would be my last company until Winfield. I ran on eating every 20-30 minutes and downing a bottle every 60-80 minutes. Nutrition was perfect.

I soon got to Outward Bound (Mile 24ish). I could still see Tiernan 1 minute up on me, but Aish and Krar were nowhere in sight. At Outward Bound there was a course change that went through a field rather than on the paved road. I found the change to be great. It was nice to be off of the busy paved road and instead on soft dirt and grass smelling the morning dew instead of exhaust. There were a few gopher holes to be avoided but the course change was great! The next 16 miles I jogged and enjoyed the views. I felt great, I ate great, I drank great. Sharman caught up near 2 mile prior to Twin Lakes and passed. I now sat in 5th place… the race unfolded and was underway.

I started up Hope Pass. A mile before the Hopeful Aid Station I ran out of water… not to worry I’d be there in 20 minutes. I got to the Hopeful Aid Station refueled and soon left. Above me I could see Tiernan and Sharman about 3 and 5 minutes ahead. Perfect. “I’m right where I want to be.” I soon crested Hope Pass and ran slowly downhill. Once again I ran out of water and within 5 minutes refueled at a natural spring coming out of the mountain side.

Winfield at last. The time was about 8 hours and 15 minutes into the race. I was still 5th place. Perfect! I started up Hope with Marco Peinado trying to eat a some ‘real’ food: solid burrito. However I could eat very little. I tried to eat some gels and then some other snacks however my stomach rejected everything. Then the downhill pounding ensued and I was unable to drink water. As I slowly jogged downhill I mentally sought a solution. The answer was get to Twin Lakes 60, refuel, and then race… hopefully hit the proverbial mental and stomach restart button.

At Twin I stopped and slowly refueled, watching runner after runner run by. “Patience.” I told myself. Finally after 20+ minutes of resting and refueling I left with Hope behind, hope ahead, and hopes held high. I walked up the hill from Twin with pacer and fellow Leadville teacher Jeff Spencer. I started running and eating however my stomach issues soon returned and I found myself keeled over at the side of the trail viewing the pine needles on my knees first hand. Unfortunately this tale was on repeat for the next 2 hours. Finally Jeff found the right combination of nutrition and water. I slowly cantered into Outward Bound (76) at sunset. I was in 19th place and finally feeling better. I picked up my next pacer Mark Steinbeck and was off. He kept me fueled with Coke and other snacks.

At the top of Sugarloaf we ran through Space Camp. Space Camp was an incredible makeshift aid station set up and run by local Leadville residents. I had heard about preparations for the camp however the energy and participation at the aid station was a huge surprise.  A special thanks to Leadville’s Shack Club and everyone who participated in Space Camp. With moral high we continued through the now thick dark shroud of waning summer night. We soon arrived at Mayqueen 87.

I sat in the warm tent for 5 minutes gobbling candied bacon. I was now hungry and ready to eat. The tent was warm and comfortable but as always, you can’t get too comfortable. My last pacer was Kristin Louderback who jumped in and kept me going with encouraging words and stories for the last few miles. At last I finished. 21 hours 58 minutes and 26th place.

Overall the race… was 100 miles. I had highs and lows, but I got through them. I raced in the incredible Hoka Stinson Lite. I can’t say enough about this shoe. I had incredible cushioning while still maintaining a sturdy and light base. I finished the race with the least damage to my feet I’ve ever had after a 100 mile race.