Sunday, December 13, 2009

Another Attempt at a Lottery

Not getting my name drawn for Western States, I'm hoping for some luck with the lottery process at Hardrock. If I get in, I'll have to think about Big Horn.

Friday, November 27, 2009

2010 Tentative Race Schedule

Well, never got around to writing a full report for R2R2R. In short, it was a great day on the trail - met some great people, had good weather (although a tad bit chilly on the N. Rim) and most important, I just had fun.

Here is a possible race schedule for next year:

Jan - Capital Peak Fat Ass - 34miler

Feb - Hagg Lake - 50K

March - Chuckanut - 50K

April - Peterson Ridge Rumble -60K

May - Pocatello - 50miler

June - Big Horn 100
July - Hardrock 100

August - Cascade Crest 100
September - Wasatch 100

Monday, November 16, 2009

Quick R2R2R Report......

Well, I did the run (starting and ending at the Bright Angel Trailhead) in 10hrs 16mins. A more lengthy report will be posted....hopefully soon.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

R2R2R Run

Getting my gear ready to run the R2R2R (basically running from the south rim of the Grand Canyon, over to the north rim and back to the south rim) this weekend. Still deciding if I'm wanting to go the Kaibab Trail or Bright Angel Trail upon my return to the south rim. The two previous times I've done this run, I've always opted for Bright Angel. Now that it is mid-November and the temps are looking rather "chilly" (my two previous times running this have always been in May) I may just decide on Kaibab.
I'm running with Nathan Spear, an old friend from high school. He and my twin brother battled for the top x-country spot in the Portland Interscholastic League (PIL) back in the early 90's -- while I was sucking wind as a mid-packer. This will be his first R2R2R. He has ran one other run about this same distance, but any one who has run this knows how challenging the R2R2R can be.
We fly out at 0830 Friday and return 1530 Sunday. I'll let every one know how it goes upon my return. Cheers.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

100 In The Hood

I'm terrible at maintaining this blog.....just seem to never find the time to write -- jungling long hours at work, family, training, etc.

Overall, I had a pretty good race. It was a great course and had perfect conditions the entire day. This is what I remember of the race as I've written this race report over the past several weeks. Sorry for the length....

The first 28 miles (North out & back) went smoothly. Spoke with Yassin (who just moved from the East coast to Portland) for a few miles in the dark....nice guy. Even though I was going faster than I would have liked, I was feeling great. If I remember correctly, I came into the AS at mile 28 in 4hrs 10min. My father-in-law who was crewing me had my gear bag open and ready for me....thanks! I was in and out pretty quick.

I hadn't run the Southern portion of the course and so all of it was new. About 2 miles out of the 28 mile AS, the trail crossed into the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. I was still feeling strong and all systems were a go! I was eating and fueling properly. I had been running for awhile and thought I should have come upon the mile 33 Red Wolf Pass AS....but it never came. I was getting low on liquid and not sure how far I had to the next AS, I dipped one of my handhelds in the Warm Springs River (or Creek).

At about mile 36, Ray Sanchez passed me. We talked briefly. He held a consistent pace no matter the level of terrain and soon he was around the next bend in the trail and was gone. I came upon an AS and sure was the Warm Springs AS at mile 38.5. I filled both handhelds with NUUN, grabbed some licorce and gels and I was gone. My legs were feeling a little sluggish but I wasn't too concerned.

The next 20 miles were a blur. Within 1-1.5hrs out of the Warm Spring AS, I ran out of water. I was expecting to see aid stations at miles 44.4 & 48.5 but they never came. After the minutes flew by and having not arrived at one of the aid stations (or seeing another runner), I became concerned that I was off course (since I was maintaining a consistent pace of about 5 miles/hr). It was around noon that I ran out of water and by 1:00pm, I had slowed to a crawl and hurting badly. It must have been around mile 54ish that Tom Ederer passed me - about 1:30pm. I asked him if he had seen any aid since mile 38.5 and if I recall correctly, he hadn't either. He offered me some S-caps and water......and just about this same time, we came upon a spring. Thank you God!! I downed 2, 16oz bottles of water, 2 salt tabs and 2 or 3 endurolytes. We figured we would come upon the turnoff to Ollalie Meadows CG AS at mile 55 in just a few minutes. I could regroup and pickup my pacer - Angela - who was going to run with me till mile 75. Tom and I chatted just for a few minutes at the spring and he took off. Within 10 minutes or so, I came upon Tom, Yassin!! and previous race director of McDonald Forest 50K - Clem. Clem was a helping out at the Ollalie Lake AS (mile 58.6). Yassin wasn't looking good. He was limping from a bummed knee and, he too was severly dehydrated. None of us saw the turnoff to the AS at mile 55. The 4 of us chatted for a few minutes. Tom then took off. I walked/ran with Yassin for a mile or so. I stepped aside as Yassin's knee felt better by going at a slow, steady pace. He too was gone.

I struggled the last few miles to mile 58.6. I was severly dehydrated, hungry and was mentally at a low point (one of my worst moments). I sat down in a chair and leaned back and thought...."What the hell am I doing here!?" The volunteers at this AS were great. Tia - who was from Corvallis - was awesome. She continually asked me to eat and drink. I ate a range of foods and drinks. I wasn't certain how Orval, Brian and Angela were going to meet up with me. Justin Angle said as I was leaving the AS, "Keep it together. Continue drinking and eating and you'll bounce back."

I must have looked like crap at Ollalie Lake AS. I was no more than a mile or so out when Tia came bouncing up behind me and said, "Need a pacer?" I was like, "Sure!!" (very surprised). With my state of mind, I would've been crazy to refuse! Running with another ultra maniac, you get to know the other individual pretty quick. It was a pleasure getting to know Tia. She had some stellar races this past year and is eager to get into the 50/100mile ultras. (Tia, you'll do awesome at those distances.....and BTW, I hope you enjoyed those beers waiting for you back at the AS!) At the Breitenbush AS (mile 65), I saw Orval for the first time since mile 28 and the first time seeing Brian and Angela. It was sure good to see familiar faces. I downed a RedBull and few bites of food. I was grateful to Angela for being flexible and changing her plans to pace me from mile 75 to the finish. This would be her first time pacing and her first time "running" in the dark.

At Ollalie Meadows Camp Ground AS (mile 75) - which I pulled in right around 1845 - Angela was ready to go. I downed another RedBull, a few cookies, a Rice Krispie Treat and some drinks. I may have been there for about 10ish minutes. Just before leaving, I gave Tia a big hug, thanked her again, and Angela and I took off for the final stretch.

These last 25 miles went by fast at times.....and at other times painfully slow. However, it truly was nice to have Angela running with me these last miles and great getting to know her.

A pain developed in my left chin that at times became unbearable and would stop me in my tracks. The only food that look palatable during these last miles was Rice Krispie Treats, red licorce and Sharkies (thanks Angela!). I was passed by a number of runners who were flying!! The last 4 miles turned into 6.5. I thought the finish was never going to arrive. It did finally come and I crossed it in 20:57:33. Good enough for 15place. My fastest 100 miler by over 8 hours. Gave all my crew a hug. Gave Olga a hug. I stumbled to the car with the help of Brian -- belt buckle in hand.

Thanks to all the volunteers for their help - especially Tia. Yes, there were some mistakes made in the timing of the Aid Stations getting setup and directions to the Aid Stations for crews. After having time to think about these mistakes the days following the race........I came to realize that we all (racers, crew, volunteers, etc) should expect glitches like these to occur in a race's inaugural year. So congrats to Olga and Mike for putting on a great race. See Olga's blog: . I truly appreciate her honesty.

Thanks to Brian and Orval for crewing me. For Angela running those last miles with me. Couldn't have done it without you 3! And finally to my entire family for supporting me in this endeavor of mine running these long races.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Throwin' in the Name

It's done. The name is in the drawing for a coveted spot at Western States.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Quick Update: 100 In The Hood

A more indepth writing will come, but finished the race in 20hrs 57min. Fastest 100 thus far. Met some great ultrarunners. Nursing some sore feet.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Smokin' the Timberline Trail

I love it when everything goes as planned. This past weekend I ran around Mt. Hood - following the Timberline Trail - #600-which is some 42-44 miles. The weather was perfect. I traveled counter-clockwise starting/ending from Timberline Lodge. Initially the legs felt a little tired but about an hour into the run, they got some life back into them and felt strong. I ran all the downhills/flats and a lot of the uphills. I obviously wasn't moving at a blazing pace but was surprised how good I felt running the hills. My time of 8hrs 45mins was over 3 hours faster than my previous time. Now I'm hoping I can remain healthy and keep the fitness through PCT 100.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

So get out there!

A good article about the benefits of running (from the NY Times).....

Sunday, August 9, 2009

When Things Don't Go as Planned...

Nelson and I completed 60+/- miles of the 106. My ankle acted up about 3 hours east of Timberline Lodge. To avoid doing damage, I decided to forgo the last part of the adventure. It was a great trip - with some light drizzle/thick fog in the night to full-on sunshine in the early morning hours once higher up on the mountain. The trail wasn't in the best of conditions - lots of downed trees, a downclimb/detour of the Eliot River, etc (i.e. getting off course) - so moving wasn't as fast as expected. Thanks to my Dad for picking us up at Timberline Lodge, picking up the drop box at Lolo Pass and taking us to Cascade Locks where our cars were located.

Here are some pics:

A few miles from Cascade Locks
Lolo Pass - the drop box
Early morning hours - SW corner of Hood
many stream crossings - N. side of Hood
many tree crossings
self potrait - NE side
me - N. side

Nelson - N. side

Nelson - NE side

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Tomorrow, Nelson and I head out from Cascade Locks following the PCT and then circumnavigating Mt Hood and returning. This adventure was something we've wanted to do since Nelson thought of it about 3 years ago but we just never got around to doing it. The time has finally arrived. Distance is roughly 106miles. I'm thinking it will take us between 30-32 hours due to the fact of having no aid stations. Should be a great adventure.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

St Helens

Needing to recharge the soul, I headed out for a small adventure by running around Mt. St Helens this past Saturday. I hadn't completed this run in over 2 years. I tried 2 previous times. One attempt I just wasn't motivated to do it but found myself at the trailhead any ways (needless to say, I turned around after maybe 10 miles). The other time I found myself getting way behind schedule after becoming "lost", trying to find my way around 2 canyons that took me off the trail for extended periods of time.

Knowing now that the trail wasn't it great shape, I allotted significant amount of time to be able to complete the run (i.e. telling the wife that it could be an all day adventure). My previous record for the run was 6hrs 10min (it is estimated that the trail is ~50K in length). This was back in 2005 when I hadn't really trained for long runs.

I started from the Climbers Bivouac parking lot having to go ~2 miles to get to the Loowit Trail that circumnavigates the mountain. I again went clockwise around the mountain (for some reason, I've always gone this way). The 2 canyons that had detours were finally marked well enough that I wasn't having to search for the trail. Running through the blaze zone, I meandered a few times, searching for the trail, but having crossed it a few times in the past, it went rather quickly. I met 3 other ultra runners from the Portland area about a mile from Windy Pass. I recognized the "leader's" face - Steve -from other local races. Hope he reads this......would be nice to run have other running partners in the area.

From the top of Windy Pass through the Plains of Abraham, I ran all of the way. I passed 3 mountain bikers just before the trail to Ape Canyon. Looked like they were having a good time. The trail for there to the June Lake Trail juction, I ran much of the way albeit some of the steep canyons and lava fields.

The grunt from June Lake up to Monitor Ridge (where you obtain the trail that gets you to the Climbers Bivouac) was brutal. I was hot and getting a little tired. Once reaching the other trail, I ran the entire way to the Bivouac. Finishing time - 7hrs 48min. A new PR for me starting from the Bivouac and the new, added detours (i.e. mileage).

Sorry. No pics.

Friday, June 26, 2009

2 for 2 - Big Horn 100

After having completed the race a week ago, I've had a chance to think about it. Overall, I'm happy with my results. Having run only 4 times in the 6 weeks leading up to the race, I can't complain.

The course was beautiful - unusual rock formations, wild flowers, green prairies, etc. The aid stations were well spaced and stocked with an incredible selection of goodies. The volunteers were great!....always asking if one needed something. The pancakes at Foot Bridge and the quesadillas at Porcupine were fantastic!!

I definitely felt much better here at Big Horn than I did at Wasatch last year. I was eating and drinking more regularly.

The weather cooperated. It was actually pretty hot (compared to Oregon weather) the last 10 miles - once dropping into the canyon and on the home stretch to Dayton.

Trevor G. ran a good race - finishing in under 27 hours. Mike finished just under 32 hours.

I'm greatful for my father for crewing me again at this hundred. I sure do enjoy having him there for support. His willingness to stay out in the cold and up all night is great! I'm also greatful for Melissa and Mike getting me out the door at Porcupine. My ankle was dreadfully painful but glad they were there to get me refocused.

My blisters are on the mend as well as my ankle. What is up next one may ask? Not sure. The John Muir Trail is still on the calendar. Just not sure if my ankle is up for a 220 mile jaunt through the High Sierra. If not JMT...well there is always Headlands 100, Leadville 100 or just some adventure that I could conjure up in my mind that could be pretty cool (Wonderland Trail? N. Cascades NP trail run? Olympic NP run?....the possibilities are endless here in the NW).

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Big Horn 100

I'm all packed and ready to hit the road early tomorrow to head to Wyoming for the Big Horn 100. My Dad is supporting me again at another 100. He does a great job and it appears he enjoys it (at least I think he does....I trust he would tell me).
I'm lucky that I'm running at all. Thought I had a stress fracture in my ankle...after a number of diagnostic tests, it appears just an overuse injury. Haven't run much in the past 4 weeks -- longest run was 2.5hrs. The ankle didn't bother me too much riding the bike...but cycling isn't the same as trail running.
I'm sure I'll have a post-Big Horn blog. Until next time.......

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Zane Grey

I finally have some time to write about Zane Grey (even before leaving Arizona, I starting preparing for the H1N1 flu virus situation that my colleagues back home were handling - the news of this international flu outbreak became evident during this other life is supervising the Communicable Diseases Program at Washington County Health and Human Services).

In a nut shell, this race was hard. REALLY hard. I had no idea. It truly felt like running a 100 miles. Maybe I wasn't mentally prepared for it. The rocks. Rocks. And more ROCKS. There were stretches of the course that there wasn't a trail. And there were long stretches of "trail" that was basically overgrown grass with rocks underneath. One was lucky not to tweek an ankle or knee. Then the number of downed trees one had to jump over. Did I mention the rocks??
It became evident about half way through the race that I wouldn't be running the R2R2R run the following day.
To be honest, I think I went out way too fast. Also, I wasn't fueling properly. This was partly due to the fact that I ran out of water 10miles from the 33 mile aid station. I had let a volunteer fill my 2liter hydration bladder at the 17mile AS. I know for a fact I didn't suck down 2 liters of water in 1.5 hours. Thankfully Trevor gave me one of his water bottles that had about a cup of water left. Thanks buddy, I owe you one.
Trevor and I remained together up till AS #3. He pulled away and the loneliness settled in. I wouldn't see any one for lengthy stretches. I turned on the I-Pod to pass the time.
The last miles were a blur. I caught up to Trevor. We ran (I should say walked) to AS #4 (mile 44) together. We both had a bad stretch between miles 38-44.
I took off from the mile 44 AS feeling re-energized after downing a number of rice krispie treats (the only thing that seemed appetizing). The last stretch went by relatively quickly - running with some one else always makes the time go quickly.
I crossed the finish line in 16th place at 11hr 28 min. Upon finishing, I had no intent on participating in this race again. However, the pain in the knees and hips have passed, I'm looking forward to running it again. Maybe not next year, but soon.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Am I ready??

Sure hope so! I'm getting the final items packed for this weekend's adventures.....the Zane Grey 50 miler on Saturday followed by the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim run on Sunday. T-Man is meeting me down there - driving from Idaho. I fly out tomorrow at 6am. However, gotta catch the MAX train near my parent's house at 4:20am to get to the airport.

It is the first time I've done back to back 50's. Great training for the Big Horn 100 in June and the John Muir Trail in August.

I'll get pictures posted once I'm rested-up upon my return.


Monday, April 6, 2009


Family, work, playing with the kids, visiting friends, training & racing, is busy. Hence the two and a half month "sabbatical" from blogging. Many people ask - both at work and in my personal life - where I find the time to do everything. I call it being efficient. Others (and I would agree with them) call it ADHD.

I've done two races since my last blog -

Chuckanut 50K where I got a PR

and just this past weekend,

Peterson Ridge Rumble (~55K) also another PR:

Both are really great races, run on great courses and organized by two (of many) of ultrarunning ambassadors - Krissy Moehl and Sean Meissner.

I felt great at both races with much improvement over last year. Not sure why. Am I fueling properly? Am I training better? Do I now know how to suffer more? Yes is probably the right answer to all of these questions.

To be honest, I really don't run all that much. Other than one week in mid-March, I haven't run more than 3x in a week since August. Excluding a week in which a race falls into, on average I run ~5hrs per week. Given this, I'm very pleased with my race results.

My next race is the Zane Grey 50miler: . I'll be running with with my buddy Trevor. Then the following day, we will be running the Grand Canyon - an adventure just the 2 of us will be doing. Others refer to it as the Rim to Rim to Rim run. It is a ~45miles. Good training for Big Horn 100 in June.

Gotta go end this blog a little short.......a sick 5 month old is needing my attention.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hagg Lake 50K

Couldn't sleep so I thought I'd write this.

I'm sitting here, gazing at the computer screen, collecting my thoughts on the race. All I can think of right now are of my aching knees.....which are swollen and in more pain than usual..........................................

OK, back to writing. Here is a very brief summary of the race.
It was a great day for a race - the weather was perfect and I felt great. Having posted a pretty good time at the Capital Peak Mega Fat Ass 50K about a month ago, I was hoping to do the same at Hagg. Last years race ended in disaster (for me). I hardly slept the night before, having returned late that evening from a week-long work related trip in Atlanta. I really wasn't in the mood for to race, but did so anyways and it ended with me not finishing the 50K.

This year, the out and back part of the course had my legs aching once hitting the trail around the lake. Seems like my quads always take a beating on sustained, steep downhills (an area of improvement for me). The first loop around the lake went well - even though I took a spill about 5 miles from the start/finish line. Finished the first loop in 2hrs 11min.

As the second loop started, I knew immediately it was going to be a long 14 miles around the lake. I thought I had been taking in plenty of fluids, but had only polished off one water bottle. My legs were beginning to cramp so I ate one Luna Bar and downed my entire water bottle as I strolled into the 1st aid station - about 5 miles into the loop. It seemed to help a little but for the most part I settled into my own world of pain. I was wishing I had my I-Pod.

Crossing one of the many bridges on the course, I took another spill. I layed there for a brief moment, laughing at myself.

The several hundred 25K participants had done their loop and it showed in the trail conditions. The trail was far more muddy this time around than the first.

At the last aid station, I again refilled my water bottle and ate a few slices of oranges and bananas. I was now walking up the steep inclines and had to walk part of a road section. It was good to see the "1 mile to go" sign. I picked up the pace and stumbled into the finish line in 4hrs 23min. It was good enough for 10th overall. Results here:

Sunday, January 18, 2009

PR at Capital Peak Mega Fat Ass

Trevor rolled into Hillsboro late Friday night after having been bumped from 2 flights in Seattle. We were headed up to Washington State to run the Capital Peak Mega Fat Ass 50K. It is a low-key event with no entry fee but a donation to support a good cause. I haven't been running much (maybe 20-30 miles tops per week) over the past few months due to my IT band. I wasn't sure how I would do over the 30+/- miles.
To cut to the chase.....the race/course were great. It consisted of two loops of ~15 miles. All of it was runnable...and most of it single track!! Even though we ran in mud (and water) for some of the course, it was fast! The first loop took 2hrs 3min. The 2nd loop took 2hrs 13 min (we were at the only aid station between the 1st/2nd loops for ~5 minutes).
I was extremely happy with my overall time of 4hrs 20min -- a PR at this distance by 25 minutes! Not bad for very little running. It was great running with Trev again. He too finished in the same time. It's nice running with a good friend with equal running speed.
My IT band and quads are a little sore today. Went to the gym early this morning to remove the kinks and rode the stationary bike for 1hr. Felt great.

Next race - Hagg Lake 50K - mid February.