Monday, December 13, 2004

Scott Dunlap Wins Trophy Series (Redwood Trails newsletter)

Eric C. Gould Redwood Trails
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* Bizz Johnson Fees *
Please remember the fees for Bizz Johnson Marathon and 1/2 Marathon go up at the end of the year. To save money registrar before 12/31/04. Race is limited to just the first 1,000 people who sign-up.
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* Trail Triathlon Series *
Registration for our Trail Triathlon Series will open 1/2/05. All events are likely to sellout quickly. We will send out a special email with details before the end of the year.
* Scott Dunlap Wins Trophy Series *
Congratulations to Redwood Trails' runner Scott Dunlap on winning the Overall Champion title for the Trail Runner Magazine Trophy Series Marathon-and-Under Division. Please find the story of his journey - in his own words below.
A Retrospective on a Championship Trail Running Season
By Scott Dunlap
Seventeen races in six states. 231 miles of trails. 60,000 feet of climb. One Overall Champion.
What is it? It's the Trail Runner Magazine Trophy Series Marathon-and-Under Division.
Was it fun?
You bet-aside from losing a few toenails. And the biggest surprise was the trail-running scene in the Bay Area.
In Anacortes, Washington, it's wet and windy 11 months of the year. In Buena Vista, Colorado, every race starts at 11,000 feet, and goes up. (You can run 40 miles on rock without seeing dirt.)
After the Trophy Series, a reporter asked me to describe my favorite trails. I talked about exposed cliffs, redwoods, rushing creeks, and views to the beach. He asked which four races I was talking about. I said, That's Redwood Trails' Castle Rock race-before the half way point.
If your idea of a great Saturday morning is waking up at o-dark-thirty to get sweaty, dirty, and get blisters, get lost, and get ticks and poison oak-you're made for the trail.
But trail running in the Bay Area is special. There's a camaraderie among the trailies here that I've rarely found in other races. I've taken my fair share of face plants (usually after spending a little too long gazing at the view). But the Bay Area is the only place where the entire lead pack stopped to make sure I was okay. I'm not slamming other locations, but let's just say, the closer you get to LA, the less likely it is that that'll happen.
I'm spoiled. I've grown used to Redwood Trails' obsessive over-marking of trails, and too many aid stations, and volunteers at every turn.
I remember a trail race in Hood River, Oregon where ALL the racers were lost within the first mile. They'd marked the course AT NIGHT, with the same color ribbon the Forest Service uses to mark dead trees! There were markers everywhere, sending us scattering into the hills.
There were no maps, no volunteers, and I ran a solid 6 miles off course before some friendly backpackers turned me around. They said, Unless you plan to run to the top of Mt. Hood, you're going the wrong way.
I staggered in hungry, dehydrated and cold. Twenty runners were still lost; the organizers were on the point of sending out search parties. That was the last time I ever complained that the bananas weren't fresh at an aid station.
2004 will be remembered fondly, not just for the award but for the chance to run with thousands of other people across the US who love doing what we do - creating our own adventures, reconnecting with nature, and making new friends.
Nobody does it like the Bay Area. Thank you all, for making this such a great place to race.
* Is trail running better - your stories *
Please tell us your stories and "words of wisdom" on what makes trail running different from road races and what is needed to get more people off the road and onto the trails. Email to:
Clif Bar and Hammer Gel have donated product to all Redwood Trails 2004 events.

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