Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The HURT 100 (Guest Blogger, Beverly Anderson-Abbs)

(Bev gives her first hand report of Hawaii's HURT 100 - thanks, Bev!)

“The course is very runnable, just be careful and don’t get caught up in the first 2 laps. A 4:15 to 4:30 first lap is good for guys, then about a 4:30 to 4:45, then 5:00 hours. If you do that, the last two laps should be around 6 to 6:30.”

I don’t honestly know who said that in the early morning hours prior to the start of HURT 100, 2006. I don’t even know if it was one person, or a composite that I put together in my mind. All I know is that I didn’t pay any attention to it!

(The HURT 100 trail, photo courtesy of 3x HURT finisher Daren Sefcik)

When the race started at 6am, there was a mass of lights bouncing up the dark trail, feet picking carefully through the roots and rocks of the first hill climb. I started fast hiking/jogging to get up toward the front and see who was where in the field, finally pulling up beside Jim Kerby and Karl Meltzer. Alan (Abbs) was right behind me and a young man named Corey was there with us. The five of us set a fairly stiff pace, me pulling up the hills, then falling back a bit on the technical descents. For most of lap 1, I was with Karl, James, Corey, and Alan just following their footsteps through the technical areas where I am not good. Lap 1 was FAST....I didn't see anything except the feet in front of me or the ground when they put me out in front. Going into Paradise Park aid station, we passed a waterfall and I had no idea it was there until we came back from the aid station and there was this 300' fall right in front of me... talk about focused. Coming out the first aid station, I noticed Darcy Africa coming in to it about 5 minutes or so after. I kept following the feet, scrambling over rocks and picking through masses of roots. We finished lap 1 in 3 hours 52 minutes, much to my surprise.

Lap 2 was still fast...a little slower though, 4:13. I stayed more or less with Jim for lap 2 while Karl kept up that ungodly pace the entire race (he could have completed another lap by the time I finished). I took the time to change socks at Paradise Park, knowing how bad my feet can get if they stay wet. Darcy was staying pretty close, making up some time on me on when I changed socks.

(Bev makes her way through the tricky trails of HURT)

After lap 2, I slowed a bit to look around on lap 3, I was still pretty close to James and enjoyed that contact, and I started to see what I was running in (don’t look down though, the ground is a mass of treacherous roots and rocky sections waiting to catch toes and turn ankles). The forest was quite spectacular, I often saw little critters running across the trail and thought I heard a pig once. I even saw a little orange feral kitten. This lap could have been brutal if it had been really hot. As it was the weather to this point was perfect, no rain, sun dappled through the leaves. Warm enough to take off shirts, but not so warm that you were sweating profusely. I took the time to really look at the waterfall coming out of Paradise Park, but still recognized that the next woman was only minutes behind me. I picked up a head light at Paradise, just in case I didn’t make it to Jackass Ginger before dark. Jim was coming out of Jackass Ginger as I was going in. He had picked up a pacer, a luxury I did not have (nor did I have crew). Once the darkness set in and I was alone, it was hard to keep any kind of decent pace going. I was a little worried about hurting myself or going the wrong way, fortunately Cindy, an angel had shown up at the main intersection to direct traffic. The ground in some areas was just a mass of roots, the downhills were treacherously steep with boulders in some areas you had to crawl over, the climbs were just steep, and everything was slippery and muddy and getting worse as more and more feet passed through.

(A root-lined section of trail, photo courtesy of Daren Sefcik)

I had a bright headlight, but not my waist light (it is at the S/F). Big mistake, and not good enough lighting to really make any speed on technical areas and I no longer have the guys to follow foot placement. I got back to the Start/Finish aid station in about 5:13 and looked up to see Darcy coming in about 3 minutes or so behind me. She came over to her bin, next to mine and said "you know I'm only doing the 100k don't you?" I tried to be nonchalant, thanked her, wished her good luck and continued to eat and deal with my stuff while she took off on her final 2 mile loop to finish the 100k. Darcy went on to set the Women’s course record for the 100K.

Laps 4 and 5...ok its dark. These laps were much slower, mostly at a walk. It was carnage out there...it looked like the night of the living dead...at the intersection you could see lights coming from all directions, people looked half catatonic, lights bobbing around through the trees. Very surreal! I finally finished that fourth lap and figured I could run at least some of the next one...

(View of the valley, photo courtesy of Daren Sefcik)

Overall, the race is very well organized and the aid station people were great. On lap 5, I decided to change socks one last time at Jackass Ginger and Greg washed my feet, put powder on them and helps me with my socks while someone else got a cup of soup for me. The trails were great the first couple of laps, until they started to get chewed up by all the feet going over them. A crew and pacer are a must if you want to shoot for a fast time, but the race is easily doable with neither.

I’d like to extend a special thank you to Sunsweet Growers Inc out of California for their incredible support of Alan’s and my racing over the last several years. Not only have they provided us with unlimited quantities of dried fruit (the best food you can eat for endurance events), the members have been personally supportive in many ways. I’d also like to thank Montrail and Petzl for providing great products, without which running an event like HURT would be impossible, and Scott Kremer Chiropractic care (Red Bluff, CA) and Carol Borror massage therapist and friend (Red Bluff, CA). And thanks also to everyone who has followed our adventure racing and running and cheered us on over the years.

- Bev

[Note: Bev went on to crush the HURT 100 course in 27:18, the first female and third overall; on top of HURT and Western States this year, Bev and Alan are organizing a Trail Running Festival in Oakridge, OR in July, 2006]

Monday, January 30, 2006

Huddart Park Makes the Grade (SF Chronicle)

Tom Siestra, the Outdoor Journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle, did an article on my home park, Huddart Park. I'm glad to see my neighboring deers and squirrels came out to say 'hi'!

(Photo for purchase from the amazing Don Charles Lundell)

Here are some snippets:

"Huddart is above Woodside, spanning to Skyline Ridge on the west face of Kings Mountain, where the canyons and ridges are filled with cathedral redwoods and small creeks, the sun-faced slopes with tanoak and madrone."

...the final count for the day says it all: 9 deer, 1 hiker, 1 squirrel and 1 amazed runner from Montana."

You can read the full article here. Tom is right - we have it great here in the Bay Area!

- SD

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

SCOOP - Montrail to be acquired

The big buzz among online trail runners today was that Montrail is being acquired by one of the billion dollar shoe brands. Montrail has been one of the pioneering brands of trail and ultra running and has stuck close to the low-key essence of the sport, so it’s no surprise that runners are worried that an acquisition will “corporatize” the company they have come to love. Can you imagine what glitzy Phil Knight from Nike would do to an ultra running brand?!? It’s enough to make you chunk your breakfast.

That being said, my guess is that it isn’t Nike. It’s probably New Balance. Here’s my theory:

Adidas-Salomon and Reebok merged, combining the #2 and #3 players to finally building a solid contender to Nike. Adidas is a marketing powerhouse (and has the adventure-friendly Salomon brand as well), and focusing that energy on expanding Reeboks style brand is going to take 105% of their energy. Big mergers are tough – probably not the best idea to tack on another brand.

Nike’s stock price is stagnant, and they recent canned their CEO. Adidas is whomping their ass in Europe and Japan, two high-growth markets where Nike's swoosh has traditionally dominated. Usually in periods of transition and core market erosion, you don’t take on an acquisition like this. Besides, Nike is doing well with the trail running line, and has a solid cost structure from hiring slaves in third world countries (ha, ha).

But what about New Balance? Great company, great products, but they just became a seriously small #3 to Adidas/Reebok and Nike. They need to bulk up and build out their brands. From a cultural perspective, who better to acquire Montrail? New Balance has their whole “For Love or Money” campaign – if any company is going to fit into the ultra world, it would be these guys.

I can only hope that whomever the acquirer is, they appreciate the time and effort Montrail puts into their race series, their ultra teams, and their support of the trail running community. It would be a massive loss to have this thrown to the wayside in the name of profits.

I’m sure we’ll here more in the next couple of days. My apologies for getting all MBA on you guys, but I found the prospect fascinating. And if I’m right, you heard it hear first!!!!

- SD

[See comments below - it was confirmed late on 1/25/06 that Montrail was being bought, but my guess on acquirer was...DEAD WRONG!!! I'm such a rookie. ;-) It turned out to be Columbia Sportswear, home of Columbia, Mountain Hardwear, Sorel, and more. You can find the press release here.]

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Inov-8 To Release New Gore-Tex Shoes

Inov-8 is giving some hints to the new product announcements expected at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market next week. Gore-Tex, gaiters, and Roclites, oh my!

Just in time for Rucky Chucky in March, where warm and dry were hard to come by last year.


Inov-8® Off Road Footwear Granted GORE-TEX® License

Inov-8®, GORE-TEX® XCR® line of shoes to Premier at Outdoor
Retailer Winter Market Booth 5046

Framingham, MA, January 24, 2006

Inov-8 will launch their new GORE-TEX® XCR® shoes and Advanced Gaiter System at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. Inov-8 will incorporate the GORE-TEX® XCR® waterproof
membrane into three upcoming shoe designs, which will enhance the
effectiveness of Inov-8 shoes in wet, off road conditions. Utilizing
GORE-TEX® XCR®, Inov-8 has also developed a fully integrated detachable
gaiter system providing the runner or walker with a fully waterproof and
breathable system above the ankle joint.

(The new RocLite 285, now with Gore-Tex!)

The combination of Inov-8’s high performance, light-weight, sticky sole
technology and GORE-TEX® waterproof technology will raise the bar for
performance in off-road running shoes. GORE-TEX® XCR® will be featured
in the new Roclite 295 GTX, Roclite 320 GTX and Flyroc 360 GTX and
Advanced Gaiter System (AGS), to premier at Outdoor Retailer Winter
Market January 28 – 31, 2006 in Salt Lake City, UT. “This new GTX
product gives the runner a fully waterproof option in our trail running
line,” said Wayne Edy, founder of Inov-8. “To be granted a GORE-TEX®
license is a testament to the exceptional quality of Inov-8 products and
GORE-TEX® confidence in the Inov-8 brand.”

About Inov-8

Based in "England’s last Wilderness", the North Pennines, Inov-8 is a
British company that is passionate about the specialist off-road running
products we make. Since our launch in 2003, we have become the fastest
growing off-road running brand in the United Kingdom. The Inov-8 design
philosophy is to design footwear around the natural function of the
foot. The Inov-8 range of off road shoes follows the precision shape of
the foot providing the wearer with a secure and precise fit that’s
almost like running barefoot. World Mountain running champions
throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the USA wear our shoes. We
are committed to providing high quality, functional, lightweight
products that will enhance performance and enjoyment. All of our
products are extensively tested by enthusiasts and elite international
athletes. We continually strive to make high performance, lightweight
and flexible off road running product. Inov-8® is a registered trademark
of INOVEIGHT LTD. All rights reserved. For more information, please
visit www.inov-8.com.


GORE-TEX^® Footwear offers shoes suited for all conditions. The climate
comfort system and durable waterproof protection are the key elements of
all GORE-TEX® shoes. For more than 20 years Gore has been continually
developing membrane technology, shoe components and construction
techniques offered to its brand partners. GORE-TEX® Footwear consists of
two ranges; GORE-TEX® shoes and GORE-TEX® XCR® shoes. GORE-TEX® shoes
are designed to provide ideal climate comfort for all kinds of outdoor
activities even in adverse weather conditions. GORE-TEX® XCR® shoes,
(XCR stands for e*_X_*tended *_C_*omfort *_R_*ange), provides day long
optimum climate comfort in warm temperatures - for the great indoors as
well as the great outdoors.

Shoes designed with the GORE-TEX® lining offer a unique combination of
durable waterproof protection, high breathability and carry Gore’s
unique GORE-TEX® footwear GUARANTEED TO KEEP YOU DRY® promise GORE-TEX®,
are trademarks of W.L. Gore & Associates.

For media inquiries regarding GORE-TEX® please contact Sally
Ryder-Taylor at Ruse Communications, Gore Footwear UK Press Office via
sally@rusecomm.co.uk or tel. 07793815026.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Marcy Schwam - One of the Original Ultra Legends

The Marblehead Reporter (MA) recently interviewed Marcy Schwam, one of the pioneer woman ultrarunners. Marcy set numerous world records in the 70's and 80's, including the 100k (as the first woman to break 8 hours), 100-mile (15:44), 24- and 48-hour races. She was also the first woman to break 6 hours in a 50-mile, complete a 6-day race, and many more.

The article does a good job of going over her European and US triumphs, her head-to-head competition with Sue Ellen Trapp, and Marcys fond recollection of charting new ground.

Last year, Marcy was inducted in the two-year old Ultra-running Hall of Fame (selected by the American Ultrarunning Association). I didn't even know that existed, but there you go.

(Photo of Marcy Schwam with the trophy she won for being the first woman to finish the Cleavland Marathon, courtesy of Marblehead Reporter staff photographer, Robert Branch - be sure to click here for the full story)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Mark your calendar - June 3rd is National Trails Day

Over 120,000 people hit the trails to celebrate National Trails Day this June 3rd. You can check out http://www.americanhiking.org/events/ntd/index.html for a list of events in your area (and if you know of a race that weekend, be sure to add it to their list!). Press release is below.


14th Annual National Trails Day
American Hiking Society Event, June 3
by American Hiking Society
January 16th, 2006

Silver Spring, MD—All across the country, people are getting ready to celebrate the great outdoors at this year's National Trails Day—America's largest annual single-day trails and outdoor celebration. Organized by American Hiking Society, the national nonprofit organization serving as the national voice for America's hikers, the 14th annual National Trails Day is set to kick off on Saturday, June 3. Hundreds of thousands of trail enthusiasts are expected to participate in a wide variety of activities on public trails at more than one thousand nationally sanctioned events across the land. National Trails Day, American Hiking Society's signature trail awareness program, encompasses activities for all interests and abilities, in an inclusive, family-friendly manner. Events will include: hikes; paddles; horse and bike rides; outdoor festivals; trail openings and dedications; volunteer trail building and maintenance projects; educational programs; and much more. Besides allowing people to discover, learn about and celebrate our country's public trails system, it also provides Americans a chance to thank the volunteers, land-managing organizations and civic-minded businesses that maintain this irreplaceable national asset. "Our nation's trails offer Americans from all walks of life boundless opportunities to enjoy nature, renew themselves, and establish a lifetime of fitness," notes Gregory Miller, President of American Hiking Society. "From city dwellers and suburban families to rural and country residents, children to senior citizens, recent immigrants to people with deep roots here, trails offer every American a healthy, enjoyable way to spend time outside." Trail events in 2006 will embody this year's theme, "Experience Your Outdoors."

"The 'Experience Your Outdoors' theme personalizes National Trails Day for all Americans, and is meant to encourage everyone to get outside, get active and experience the myriad opportunities for outdoor recreation that trails afford. We hope that attending a National Trails Day event will expose people to the wonders of their community trails, and the variety of ways they can be enjoyed," says Miller.

National Trails Day events are hosted by local and statewide trail clubs, city, state and federal public land and health agencies, community groups and other nonprofit organizations, and outdoor-minded businesses. People interested in attending a local event should visit American Hiking's National Trails Day web site, www.NationalTrailsDay.org. The site includes a map allowing users to search for registered events in their local community and across the country. The web site also includes detailed information on how you or your organization can "Experience Your Outdoors" and host your own National Trails Day activity or get involved with planned events in your area. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, almost 160 million Americans age 16 or older, or two-thirds of the population, participate in trail-oriented outdoor recreational sports, including hiking, backpacking, trail running and cross-country skiing. "The significant increases we've seen in National Trails Day participation each year, coupled with the growing number of Americans who enjoy outdoor recreational activities, indicate the importance of and need for local trails, parks and open spaces. We salute the countless volunteers at clubs nationwide and our valued network of government, corporate and non-profit partners who make our country's outstanding trail network possible. We urge Americans to support this cooperative effort to expand, sustain and preserve our trails and natural areas," says Miller.

Since its debut back in 1993, National Trails Day has grown from 100 registered events attended by 10,000 people, to more than a thousand events attended by an estimated 125,000 outdoor recreationists last year. All 50 states, as well as Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, Canada and the Virgin Islands have participated in events.

To learn more about National Trails Day 2006, please visit www.NationalTrailsDay.org or contact Ivan Levin, Trail Programs Manager, at 301-565-6704, extension 208.

About American Hiking Society

Founded in 1976, American Hiking Society is the only national conservation-based recreation organization dedicated to establishing, protecting and maintaining the nation's footpaths and promoting the hiking experience. With a strong membership base of individual hikers and hiking clubs, American Hiking represents more than half a million outdoors people and serves as the national voice of the American hiker. To learn more about hiking, the Society and its programs including National Trails Day, please visit www.AmericanHiking.org or call 301-565-6704.

National Trails Day is made possible in part by the generous support of the following business and government leaders. National Sponsors: Adventure Medical Kits, Backpacker magazine, Eastern Mountain Sports, Merrell, REI, Royal Robbins and Thorlos; and Federal Agency Partners: Bureau of Land Management, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Federal Highway Administration, National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Metzler, Abbs, and Scholz set new records at the HURT 100

Great course conditions at the HURT 100 yielded new course records by Karl Metzler (1st, 22:16), Beverly Anderson-Abbs (1st female, 3rd overall, 27:28), and Monica Scholz (6-time finisher). Alan Abbs finished a strong 5th. Here's a snippet from the HURT blog:

"Utah's Karl Meltzer continued his recent dominace of many of the tough mountain 100's by winning the HURT 100 Trail Endurance Run in the record-breaking time of 22:16. Karl, known for his intense, focused running style and quick aid station transitions, was relaxed, smiling, and even cracked an occasional witty one-liner on the way to being the only person to break the 24 hour barrier. Jim Kirby proved his toughness by running a great race and took the 2nd spot. Excellent trail conditions, beautiful weather and a strong field of 86 talented runners from all over the world produced the most finishers ever, 23 (26%).

The women's race record was also shattered by a gutsy performance from Beverly Anderson-Abbs, who spent much of the race with the front-running men. Local favorite Marian Yasuda surprised everyone, including herself, by taking second place (and was the first Hawaii finisher, overall) and the amazing Monica Scholz became the only runner to officially finish all 6 HURT 100 races. A large crowd of locals gathered at the finish line and went wild as Cheryl Loomis crossed the finish line. A party ensued, with a big tub of ice water being poured over Cheryl's head (ala football) and a champagne toast, The day was filled with many emotional moments watching so many tough competitors show so much determination and the ability to handle pain."

Photos will be posted soon.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

SPIT and SNOT – How you handle them may be more important than you think (guest blogger Dr. Larry Dunlap, MD)

One of the joys of trail running is that body fluids can be discarded almost anywhere. Most of us have perfected our nostril and loogie ejections (ie, snot and spit) to the point it is a subconscious endeavor. But do we leave behind anything that we should be personally recycling to our own bodies? As disgusting as it sounds, would it be better for hydration and electrolyte balance to swallow rather than eject?

Every runner occasionally experiences times when thick saliva seems to build up in the throat or when the nostrils partially block with mucous. It takes little extra physical effort to propel that spittle to the trailside or, by occluding one nostril at a time with the index finger, expel nasal secretions to first one side then the other (as my son, Scott, calls it, the “snot cannon”). We feel better afterwards and air seems to flow more readily into our lungs. Mother Nature absorbs and repossesses our effluents so efficiently that most of us leave little trace in the wilderness. This is exactly as it should be. But I had always wondered if helping Mother Nature hydrate might be at the expense of our own hydration.

(Proper mucus ejection technique!)

A quick tour of the nasal and oral system will help enlighten our internal capabilities. Mucous membranes line the nasal and oral cavities. The amount of mucous production can vary greatly among individuals and is highly influenced by allergies, air-born irritants, and infection. We know from our worst colds that maximum mucous production can be remarkably high. Thanks to pollen, dusts, and other allergies we also know that a thinner, clearer mucous can also be produced in impressive amounts. Mucus membranes work tirelessly, even as we sleep. Ordinarily everything is politely recycled by swallowing, except for the small portion that ends up in handkerchiefs, Kleenexes, or trailside. So here comes the question posed by this article: are we losing anything important when we return spit and snot to the earth instead of to our own stomachs?

Mucous and saliva are composed of protein, water, and electrolytes. Particularly important are the concentrations of potassium (about 30 meq/liter) and bicarbonate (50-70 meq/liters) which run approximately 6 and 3 times their respective concentrations in plasma. Sodium concentration is about l5 meq/liter. Bicarbonate loss increases the work of the kidney to reabsorb and re-form this compound, which is needed to buffer the lactic acidosis resulting from endurance exercise. The importance of maintaining general fluid and electrolyte balance is a well-documented essential for all cramp-free muscle performance, and it appears that there are high concentrations in the mucous and saliva we leave on the trailside. So we just have to figure out if the volume is significant.

The amount of saliva in each expectoration averages between 4cc. and 20cc (it wasn’t much fun but I’ve actually researched and measured this stuff – all in the name of science!). Likewise, when the nose is cleared, approximately 2-6cc. can emanate from each nostril. So the next time you go out running count the number of times you clear your nose or throat back to mother earth. The average sniff and spitter generates about 10cc of fluid with each episode. Clearing the nose or throat every quarter hour during a four-hour trail marathon places some 160cc of product along the race course. You might argue that 500 runners crossing Death Valley were a boon to adjacent plant life with this output! Truth is that, volume-wise, it’s not much. 160cc constitutes less than 6 ounces or the rough equivalent of an old fashioned, non-Starbucks cup of coffee. It would require only 6oz. of Gatoraid to replace the sodium, potassium, and water while the bicarbonate and protein loss is relatively minimal. Is this significant? Not very, at least not for most of us who pay close attention to estimating and replacing our losses during distance events. Yet when it comes to endurance running the less we have to remember to replace the better our outcome is likely to be. Unlike replacement drinks, our spit and snot is “us”. We don’t have to figure out those losses if we don’t loose them in the first place.

So the bottom line is that it is not just good etiquette to avoid spitting and clearing our noses while running, it is also a sound physiological act to swallow those vital body fluids and retain as much personal water, protein, and electrolyte as possible. If it feels better to externally clear your system, be sure to pull in a few extra ounces of fluid to account for it. But if you find it annoying, and there is someone in your training group that annoys you with their constant spitting or nose clearing, send them this article.

(Author Dr. Larry Dunlap is a runner and Emergency Medicine physician; he also happens to be my dad!)

Sunday, January 08, 2006

How to Get On the 2006 Teva US Mountain Running Team

For all you speed demons out there looking to qualify for the Teva US Mountain Running Team, check out the press release below. This year's world championship race is in Turkey, and will literally be "all uphill". Perhaps the next Simon Gutierrez is out there ready to take on the world(s)!


2006 Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team Selection Process

The Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team will compete in the 22nd World Mountain Running Trophy in Bursa, Tureky on Sunday, September 10. This year’s Trophy races are uphill events (as opposed to odd-numbered years when the events are held on up/down courses) with the senior men running 12km, the senior women and junior men running 8.5km, and the junior women running 3.4km.

The women’s team includes four athletes with the top three finishers scoring for the team. Six athletes will represent the men’s team with the top four finishers scoring. The junior men’s team includes a maximum of four with top three scoring while the junior women’s team is a maximum of three with the top two scoring. Team leader Richard Bolt, Nashua, New Hampshire, junior team manager Dave Dunham, Bradford, MA, and women’s team manager Ellen Miller, Vail, CO will accompany the team to Turkey.

At the USATF annual convention in Jacksonville, FL in December 2005, the Mountain Ultra Trail (MUT) Council chose three races from which automatic qualifiers to the U.S. team will be selected. The USA Mountain Running Championships will be hosted by Mt. Washington slated for June 17 in Gorham, NH. The top three U.S. men and the top U.S. women finisher at Mt. Washington will receive automatic berths on the team. The Loon Mountain Race, a 10Km, on June 24 in Lincoln, NH will serve as the second selection race where the top U.S. man will receive an automatic berth. Traveling to the Rockies on July 9 competitors will enjoy the third and final selection race, the Vail Mountain Trophy Race in Vail, CO. In Vail the top U.S. male and top U.S. female finisher will receive an automatic team berth.

The remaining members of the squad, (one male, one female), will be selected by the Mountain Ultra Trail Council with input from the team staff based on results at the selection races, past World Trophy events, national and international racing experience including mountain, road, cross country, and track. Athletes MUST run a selection race in order to be considered for the team. To be considered for the team all team members MUST be current USATF members prior to running a selection race. Interested athletes should submit running resumes to:

Richard Bolt (r_boltski@yahoo.com) and Nancy Hobbs (trlrunner@aol.com)
The team will be selected based on the following criteria (Note: Must be current USATF members prior to the selection race):

* The top three U.S. males and the top two U.S. female finishers at the USA Mountain Running Championships (June 17) receive automatic berths.
* The top U.S. male finisher at the Loon Mountain Race (June 24) receives automatic berth.
* The top U.S. male and top US. woman finisher at the Vail Mountain Trophy Race (July 9) receive automatic berths.

The remaining team members will be selected by the 24-member Mountain Ultra Trail Council with input from the team staff based on:

Ø Results in the above named races.

Ø Prior World Mountain Running Trophy performances.

Ø International mountain results.

Ø National mountain results.

Ø Regional mountain results.

Ø Trail and road results.

Juniors Team Selection – 2006 Teva US Mountain Running Team

For team consideration, the junior athlete:

· Must have posted a 16:45 or better (junior men) and 19:30 or better (junior women) in a 5K road or cross country event. (Equivalent times – from an alternate race distance that translate to the aforementioned time criteria – will be considered for distances other than 5Km.)

· Must have experience running (in training and preferably racing) on courses similar to the event.

· Must be mature, motivated, with a positive attitude to proudly represent the United States and sponsors internationally, under the rules of USATF and the event governing bodies.

· A letter of recommendation from a coach, parent, or mentor-runner must accompany the athlete resume.

Resumes (including road, trail, track, and cross country results and current training info) will be accepted through July 15. Late breaking information and results can be added until July 31. Team members will be announced by August 1, 2006.

For additional information visit the websites listed below:

USA Mountain Running Championships

Loon Mountain Race

Vail Mountain Trophy Race

World Mountain Running Association

USA Track & Field

World Mountain Trophy 2006

All American Trail Running Association


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Friday, January 06, 2006

Doing the Double - Sunmart 50m and Dallas White Rock Marathon in One Weekend

I know Texans are tough, but this is crazy. The Dallas Morning News reports that ~20 runners followed up the Sunmart 50-miler with the Dallas White Rock Marathon the very next day. Here are results of some of the Doublers (quoted from the Dallas Morning News - good article to if you don't mind signing up for a free subscription):

"19 people completed the Sunmart 50-miler (first seven) or 50K race (final 12) and the White Rock Marathon on consecutive days Dec. 10-11. The list with their times in each event:

Runner Age Hometown Sunmart White Rock
Ryan Loehding 33 Carrollton 7:11:02 3:32:35
Stephen Hudgens 50 Fort Worth 8:46:49 3:42:51
Ken Ashby 53 Dallas 9:59:37 5:07:36
Jeff Dalton 30 Fort Worth 10:44:02 5:14:16
Vicki Chazan 32 Sunset Valley 10:35:59 5:41:18
Rene Villalobos 46 Fort Worth 8:56:23 6:04:25
Fran Cox 44 Fort Worth 11:35:45 6:12:34
Bret Sholar 39 Oklahoma City 5:00:58 3:49:58
Michael Pentland 43 Houston 5:17:19 4:28:03
Christopher Horsak 28 Crosby 5:36:01 4:22:14
Mike Smith 48 Fishers, Ind. 5:09:57 4:56:55
John Bozung 52 Orem, Utah 5:57:55 4:17:37
Kent Fish 52 San Angelo 5:47:49 4:46:04
Thomas Okazaki 48 Plano 5:23:56 5:16:11
Andy McCartney 42 Aledo 6:24:50 4:28:22
Kimberlie Budzik 45 Friendswood 6:17:21 5:13:20
Frank Bartucci 58 Rochester, Minn. 6:48:52 5:46:18
Charlie Alewine 60 Diamond Bar, Calif. 7:06:21 5:43:17
Lisa Hogan 38 Irving 8:03:54 6:23:02"

Great work, you guys!


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Planning My 2006 Race Season

One of my favorite parts of the New Years Day weekend is sketching out a race season for the year (this is about as close as I get to ). Although all the schedules haven't been posted yet, I thought I would pick a few new types of races that I've been dying to try and put them on the calendar now.

(This is the "cross-training" I've been doing so far this year,
skiing at Diamond Peak, Lake Tahoe, NV)

Death Valley Marathon, Death Valley, CA - Run through Titus Canyon? Oh, yeah! I think this one will be great for pics. It's a good warm up for the ultra season too.

Rucky Chucky 50k, Foresthill, CA - I did this one last year as my first 50k, and thought I would do it again to benchmark my performance. Plus it's a gorgeous area of the Sierras.

Pony Express 100k, Cameron Park, CA - I've never done a lap course, so I thought I would try one. I've heard that a lap course makes the experience much more social, since you see people over and over again. It's a safe place for my first 100k as well.

Miwok 100k or Nevada Passage - Assuming all goes well at Pony Express, the Miwok 100k would be my first point-to-point 100k. I've spoken with so many runners who just gush about this race, particularly the coastal views, I thought it would be a good anchor race. There is another race this weekend that could be fun too - The Nevada Passage, a four event stage race (mountain bike, kayak, trail run, ATV) that was a week-long reality TV show in 2005, but will be open to the public in 2006. I would really love to try it (and I would REALLY love to do the show), but will have to wait until registration opens up to get the details. Since Miwok fills quickly, I've signed up for it.

Trans-Sierra Crossing, Lake Tahoe, NV - A two event race comprising an 18-mile trail run and 61 mile road bike, going up the incredibly steep Rubicon Trail in Lake Tahoe, and down 5,000 vertical feet throughout the bike course. Sounds steep, fast, and fun! I thought it would be fun to work in some biking this year, so this is a good one (as would an Xterra race, which I would love to do someday). This is one stage of the four stage "RACE Across California" that I'm hoping will return to fame in 2007. Envirosports is doing two of the four stages in 2006.

Sunsweet Trail Festival, Oakridge, OR - A new weekend event with a wide range of distances (5k to 50k, plus a mountain bike event) for individuals and teams. It's put on by the Abbs, so it's going to be super fun. I'm trying to convince my dad to join in on the action.

Tahoe Triple, Lake Tahoe, NV - Three road marathons in three days, all the way around Lake Tahoe. I've always wanted to try a multi-day race, and this one will earn me some props from the locals. ;-) Not a trail run, yes, but one I've been dying to try.

As you can probably see, I'm mixing up my season a bit with some new distances (100k), new trails, new types of events (bike/run, lap courses, multi-day runs, etc.), and brand new events (Sunsweet Festival). All in all, my 2006 goal is to have fun, enjoy nature, push my limits, and meet cool people. I'm still contemplating competing in one of the Series, and will check on that once their race schedules are firmed up. I'm not sure if I'm going to target a 100-miler this year or not, but if so, I thought Rio del Lago, Angeles Crest, and the LeanHorse 100 all looked pretty good for a first timer. My work travel schedule hasn't been defined yet, and that might open up some opportunities. Last year, I was able to add six races.

I got a kick out of looking at my first blog entry in 2004 (at the bottom of the page), where I griped about my tendency to sign up for way too many races before I even dusted off my gear. Hopefully I'm getting better!

I hope y'all are having a great new year so far, and are getting excited for the 2006 season! Let me know if any of you are heading to these races.