Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Leadville Mosquito Pass Marathon: 2018

Leadville Mosquito Pass Marathon

The race marked my fifth time toeing that starting line. I felt ok and ready to run decent. Who would show and contend today? I started the race with a controlled up-tempo pace and soon had a small lead over second. I tried to pay no attention to pace and focus instead on maintaining the up-tempo pace. Finally, at mile 4 going up the Burro Trail on a switchback I was able to get my first look and time measurement on my lead. I had about a 1-minute lead and was rolling along, I just had to keep it up.

Soon I quickly rolled through Veneer Aid and started down Bombardier. I still was not pushing the pace, just trying to maintain. Once down to Adelaide Park I was able to get a second reading on my lead. It was about the same. I made the conscious effort to not push the pace. I had to maintain. 2 miles later I started up Mosquito Pass. I felt a little sluggish. The previous month of training had been decent but it also had been recovery from injury. I was strong, but not strong enough yet. I had to power hike a few more times than I would prefer. This slowed me up a bit but my lead was strong and was slowly growing.

At last the trail’s grade gave way to the pass and I summited in about 2:07. I had a few minute lead now over 2nd place: Chris Mocko. I turned around and started the decent. I was unsure on my lead now as I was surrounded by runners from the Heavy Half. I just had to maintain. This was my mantra.

I ran along clicking off the miles then in Adelaide Park I finally was able to check my lead. It had dwindled down to less than a minute. While I had averaged pedestrian 6:30 miles on my decent Chris had lit 5:30 miles and had eroded my lead down to 150 yards. I headed up Bombardier towards Veneer. 1 mile later Chris passed me. I still felt ok and figured we would be in an all-out race to the finish. Instead, Chris took off and I never saw him again. After making it through Veneer I hammered down the Burro Trail thinking maybe I could catch Chris. Instead a lone runner came running up the trail.

A runner had inadvertently taken a wrong turn and was now off course. Being tired at the end of the race I was unable to grasp this simple concept and wrongly thought that maybe I was now in 3rd. What was I thinking? I slowed my pace and started racing the runner. After 5 minutes of this, I realized it was pointless. I was indeed in 2nd. The momentary lapse in judgement had cost me a few minutes of race time. I soon dropped the runner, who I think was starting to realize his dilemma, and raced down the finish in 2nd place in 3:45.

I wore the HOKA ONE ONE Challenger ATRs. They provide the needed support, stability, and cushion that I need. Feet feel great, although the legs are sore from the 6,000 feet of elevation gain/loss.
Training is going well. I’m recovered from the hamstring injury of April and will now be racing a bunch. Stay tuned for some new races!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

1st Place: Salida Run Through Time Marathon

Well this post might be a few weeks late, but here it is:

I've raced the Salida Run Through Time Marathon many times. I've won my fair share of races there, winning in 2008, 2009, & 2010. Since then I've raced and placed as high as 2nd at Salida, but the win has eluded me since 2010. This year would be different.

I went out with the intent of running fast and running to win. I kept an uptempo pace and the front pack slowly dwindled. By mile 2 the group was down to 3 other runners. We started up the first hill and it was time, I took off. I kept a blistering yet controlled pace all the way up to to the turn around at mile 14. Here, I used the out and back section to check my lead over second place: 5 minutes.

I've had success at races but winning is never guaranteed and I can't take it for granted. I knew  I had a good shot of winning the race and tried to keep the pace going. The mile 21 hill came and I crept up the hill at a snail's pace. My early blistering pace was adding up and now slowing me down. I had to finish, and finish soon. Fighting fatigue and getting past cramps I made it down to the finish and won in 3:19. Results are here

The win was rewarding. Hard lengthy training paid off. Don't ever take for granted success. You must put in the time, the miles, the effort, the work. The training will continue.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Tentative 2018 Race Schedule

New year with many opportunities. Right now I'm training and planing out the year. Lots of solid early year training. Just trying to stay consistent with 50 to 70+ mile weeks plus a solid effort long run weekly. As always the races stack up in the summer making for a busy year with about 24 races. Granted races can change. I'll see what will happen. Meantime I'm going to keep it up and run well. Here is the tentative race schedule: 

1. February 17: Red Hot 33k                       
2. March 10: Salida Marathon                    
3. April 14th:  Fruita Desert RATS Marathon:
4. May 5th Collegiate Peaks Marathon         
5. May 12th UROC 
6. May 19th Black Canyon Ascent   
7. June 9th Mt Evans Ascent          
8. June 16th Leadville Mosquito Pass Marathon 
9. June 22nd Leadville Training Camp
10. June 30th Brighton Utah DCS
11. July 8th Leadville Silver Rush 50
12. July 14th Kendall Mountain Run
13. July 20th Speedgoat
14. July 28th Pikes Peak Ultra 30K 
15. August 5th Alyeska Ak
16. August 11th Sun Valley Ut                                            
16. August 11th Aspen race
17. August 18th A Basin  
18. August 19th Pikes Peak Ascent
19. Sep 1st The Rut 28 K          
20. Sep 8th Imogene Pass Run            
21. Sep 16th Crystal Mt Sky Marathon                         
22. Oct 6th Flagstaff Sky Champs       
23. October 27th Sageburner 25/50k                               
24. November 4th Moab ½ Marathon 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Imogene Pass Run 2017: 2nd Place

At last it was time for Imogene, one of my all time favorite races. I got a late start in the afternoon but finally arrived in Ouray at 10:30 at night and slept in my favorite spot near the start. After a great night's sleep I was ready to race!

90 minutes after waking up I towed the line ready for a challenge. I wore the Hoke Challenger ATR: A great shoe with the necessary grip, comfort, support, and strong enough for the rugged terrain. My goal was 2 fold: win and break the age group course record. I knew that potentially I could do both.

At last the race was underway.
I settled into both my rhythm and pacing and by mile 1 found myself in second place right behind David Sinclair of Flagstaff AZ. I stayed on David's tail as he continuously threw in small surges to extend his lead and break the rest of the runners. They were quite effective. For the first 6-7 miles we yo-yoed back and forth yet David slowly increased his lead. I knew my pace was solid and was unsure if David would slow up or not. We had dropped everyone else; I just focused on David and tried to reel him in.

Atlas, it could not be done that day. I kept my pace up but David slowly pulled ahead. At last I topped out on Imogene pass right at an hour and 40 minutes into the race. Solid, but about 4 minutes back from David. I bombed down the back side aiming to break the age record. I crossed the finish line in second place breaking the age record by 14 seconds. Solid effort and my 7th podium finish at Imogene.

Monday, June 19, 2017

2017 Leadville Mosquito Pass Marathon

Well there is a lot to update. For starters I pulled my hamstring in late March and had to take April off. After what seemed like an eternity I was finally able to run consistently again by mid May. I know coming back from an injury is always difficult. Finding the right balance of rest coupled with challenging the body can be difficult. I pushed the boundary for recovery and was able to get back in. But... then on June 2nd, Lynnette and I were told that our youngest daughter Annalise was diagnosed with Leukemia. She is now healed.

The race: How would my body respond? This was to be only my second race of the year and the first back from injury. I knew I was getting fit and would be able to contend. My goal was simple: break 3:40 and win. Going out and up the first hill I knew that this was going to be a tough race. Matt Daniels and I jockeyed for the lead, with neither wanting to relinquish it. We ran mostly together until 3 miles in. Then he took the lead going up the Burro Road and he flew. I did not panic and resigned to let him set the pace until Mosquito Pass. For the next 4 miles we yo-yoed back and forth while I waited. Finally at the base of Mosquito Pass I put in a small surge and caught Matt and then tried to keep the pace going. A long mile later I finally pulled slightly ahead. Around the steep switchbacks of Mosquito Pass I could see I was slowly making headway gaining a few seconds here and there. I kept pushing it only walking 4 times on the steepest sections for about 20 yards per section.

The last mile to the top of the pass I was tossed around like a rag doll as 50 mph winds swept around me. Finally I topped out at the top of the pass with about a 90 second lead. I turned and head down. Conservatively I dropped down from the pass. I wanted to descend in a controlled safe manner. At the bottom of the pass I ran on trying to maintain my lead. I continued to eat even though I definitely did not feel like it. Finally I reached the dreaded hill at mile 21. This hill is wonderful or horrible. I managed to get up to the aid which as always was a welcome sight. I figured my lead was only 2 or 3 minutes. I left and quickly started the long decent to the finish.

I turned onto 6th street, the finish line in sight. I knew I'd win... I just had to run the last 1/2 mile of the course. I ran down the course not pushing the pace. Because of the wind I had dropped my awesome hat earlier in the race (I gave it to a spectating friend). Consequently, I pleasantly surprised the race announcers, who were looking for the hat. I crossed the line... the race was finished. Some notes: During the race I ate about 550 calories and drank about 90 oz of liquid. I wore the Hoka Challenger 3.

Results are here:

I soon found myself resting and contemplating the race.

It had been a tough race: Physically I had to push and dig deep. I had managed to come back from the nasty injury in March, that thankfully is now gone. Mentally, I was overwhelmed: It was my 20th year in a row of winning a race. It was my first race back from injury and the first race run after Annalise had been diagnosed with Leukemia. (

Annalise is getting better every day. She is now 100% healed. Katrina has a hectic whirlwind summer going on. Lynnette takes amazing care of both of them. They inspire me. Next race is the Leadville Silver Rush 50. See you then.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

New Year and Strava Update

Quick update: It is been an interesting start to the New Year. Winter training in Leadville is always challenging. During January, Leadville received copious amounts of snow. Then again it received in the neighborhood of 170% of snowfall. Training was slow going, but I made a go of it. Also I finally was able to sign up for Strava as well and will be updating many of my training runs up to it. I’ve added the link to this running blog. It is a great start to a new year and I look forward to my first race: the Chuckanut 50k in Bellingham, Washington on March 18th

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Run Rabbit Run 50

Steamboat Springs: What better place to go run 50 miles in the back country? The Run Rabbit Run 50 started leisurely with no Rabbits taking the lead. Well only a Timmy Rabbit. I took the lead but kept the pace extremely slow and controlled. By mile 2 all runners were nowhere to be seen. My goal was to run the first half of the race based solely on feel. Trying to go way too slow was the game. I felt fantastic. Half way up Mount Werner I ate a Honey Stiner Waffle to supplement my breakfast. At long last I made it to the Mount Werner aid station in 1:07:30 almost identical to a year ago. Finally, I could start rolling along the high forested alpine terrain. I still held back not wanting to push the pace just yet.
I gobbled down a few Honey Stinger Chews and took off with a package of Grapefruit flavored chews. For the next many miles I methodically ate 1 to 2 chews every 20 minutes. I felt fluid and smooth as I glided over the rolling landscape focusing on enjoying hidden lakes, open glades, the vast views, and mostly trying to ignore the race. I ate and ran on. In a 50 mile race one has to stay focus yet also not expend too much energy early on. It is a fine razor edge balancing act. I kept rolling. Every aid station had a different flavor of Honey Stinger Chews: Orange, Pomegranate Passion Fruit, Cherry Blossom, Fruit Smoothie, and others.

Finally I reached the half way mark in 3:47 which was a solid 10 minute lead from last year. I left Rabbit Ears Peak and raced back down the trail I had arduously come up. I saw 2nd and 3rd place. I had about a 10 minute lead on them. I pushed on staying consistent with the goal of staying consistent and continued running. Last year I had not eaten enough and severely bonked in the second half. This year I was going to eat more and keep my energy up. I ran through the mile 28 aid station fueling up getting liquids, salty chips and more Stinger Chews.

I ran on even racing a pack of 4 mountain bikers that were out enjoying the day. I felt good but still did not push the pace. I had to maintain. I power hiked the steepest uphill sections, but overall kept a strong cadence and mushed on. I did feel solid, but one always wonders how close 2nd and 3rd place where.

Finally I bombed down Mount Werner to the finish line winning by over an hour in 7:26:59. I felt solid and had ran 16 minutes faster than last year. My energy stayed consistent with the constant supply of Honey Stinger Chews and my stomach felt great all day. After the race I realized I was 18 minutes away from the course record. Why had I not gone for it? Sometimes you have to run the time first to realize you can run it. This was one of my best 50 mile races, next time I’m running faster!