04 November 2011

Daily Doodle

The block of five days not running post Pony Express (92 miles) and easing back into short runs has paid off.  My knee (tendon) still gave sharp pain even with the 30 mins of easy jogging but has improved daily.  November has become my down time, recovery, whatever it is other than racing.  I'll run every day this month but never more than 60 mins a day.  It works for me.  It keeps my base fitness filled and yet allows for physical and mental recovery/rejuvenation.  The fun of planning next year's race schedule is beginning. Of course, I have the added task of scheduling around PCTR's schedule.  Thankfully, PCTR's owner, Sarah, is a long distance running nut too, so she understands and weekends like Hardrock are left open (for now) in the PCTR schedule.  She knows the need for balance (if there is such a thing in ultrarunning) and we've already talked about a couple of the very important races I'd like to do next year.

Goodbye Redcliff Desert Reserve.  Photo: Craig Young
I've been immersed the last few days researching for a story I'm working on.  The exact angle from which I want to write it isn't clear yet, but close.  Should be a fun story once it's laid out.  The work on it will also have to be put on hold for the next couple of days while I pack my meager belongings into my car and make my way west on Monday.  I've grown from getting acquainted with the high desert and red cliff trails to forming a relationship with them.  Unlike Boulder where I bounce into and trip over 40 people on a weekend trail run, I have never seen another trail runner and nearly no other trail users here.  I feel welcomed and absorbed into the landscape and will miss the views, colors, and warmth of the now familiar reserve trails.

02 November 2011

USATF MUT Awards

"Hey, look, he's trying to bury that post about Leadville, 'cause he knew he'd get a can of whoop-ass opened on him for having the nerve to ask why people think it's so popular.  Lucky him.  I was about ready to go off on that punk."  


Naw, the Leadville post is still there and I still have the same feelings about it but I find the USATF MUT awards more interesting.  See, I kind of took the time to write my nomination for Nick Pedatella in the Open Ultrarunning award.  I also persuaded the humble runner to purchase the quite useful USATF membership (thankfully, they had a close-out special going for only $10).  Sorry you had to waste your money, Nick.  I guess your outstanding year, including four 100s (two wins, one 2nd, and the most impressive - the 13th at UTMB) didn't hold much weight for the committee.  You showed consistency, modesty, fortitude, and ability.  You made this American proud with your performance at UTMB.  Congratulations on an inspirational year of racing, Nick.


Of course, Michael Wardian won the annual award, again, and is obviously deserving of it.  We wrote a bit about the differences with the USATF ultra award here, specifically, the disinterest in the 100 mile distance.  Ironic that the headpiece distance in American ultrarunning isn't given a lot of credit with the USATF folks.


Here are this year's recipients of the MUT awards:
Mountain men open: Max King, 31, Bend, OR
Mountain men master: Tim Van Orden, 43, Bennington, VT
Mountain women open: Kasie Enman, 32, Huntington, VT
Mountain women master: Jacqueline Shakar, 51, Sutton, MA

Ultra men open – Ted Corbitt Memorial USATF Ultra Runner of the Year: Michael Wardian, 37, Arlington, VA
Ultra men master: Co-Recipients Chad Ricklefs, 44, Boulder, CO, and Mark Godale, 41, Aurora, OH
Ultra women open – The Ruth Anderson Ultrarunner of the Year Award: Meghan Arbogast, 50, Corvallis, OR
Ultra women master: Connie Gardner, 47, Medina, OH

New category awards for 2011 included:
Trail men open: Max King
Trail men master: Tim Van Orden
Trail women open: Marci Klimek, 24, Phoenix, OR
Trail women master: Jacqueline Shakar

01 November 2011

Leadville 100. Wow-wee

My buckle from 2011 (and my dime)
With the opening of the Leadville 100 registration, there is a lot of buzz everywhere from first timers to veterans in an obvious rut.

One time was enough for me, for now.  It was an enjoyable day but I would rank it 5th out of the 5 100s I completed this year (note: would've still been 5th, just edging out Pony Express had I covered the last 8 miles of it to completion).

Pros:
The double climb of Hope Pass
The big belt buckle

Cons:
The course is a bit boring
The race is too crowded
It's fairly easy (comparatively)

There are so many cool 100s in the US, both established old timers and newbies, that draw me in much more than repeating an event like Leadville.  Look at something like Grand Mesa 100.  The course humbles you from head to toe, mentally and physically.  Runners are given a fair amount to complete the race but not coddled.

Obviously, there are 800-1,000 participants at Leadville who may not agree with me and this is just my opinion sparked by all the talk, especially from repeat Leadville runners who are jabbering ad nauseum about the August race.  Personally, I'm stretching my boundaries and hoping to be in Chamonix for UTMB during that timeframe and if not, then heading to a different and more challenging run.

Leadville lovers unite and tell me why you love Leadville so much.