The Barkley Documentary Creators

hurtJoin us today as (broken bones) Tim Long and Gary David welcome Annika Iltis and Timothy Kane, the filmmakers behind the Barkley Marathons documentary www.barkleymovie.com. They’ve spent the last three years at the race and have some incredible stories revolving around what is arguably the toughest foot race in the world. Join us as we delve into the price and pain of play.

Download mp3 https://elevationtrail.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/barkley-documentary.mp3

Advertisements

MTB Yard Sale with Event Director Dave Grossman

gjoffroadWelcome to our new show here on Elevation Trail called MTB Yard Sale.  For our first installment, I wanted to bring on Dave Grossman, the event director of Epic Rides’ Grand Junction Off Road MTB race event.  We discuss the trails in the Grand Valley, the great format of Epic Rides events, why the sport has faltered in the US, and what goes into making an event truly EPIC.  Hope you enjoy the show as much as I did putting it together!

Related links:

http://www.epicrides.com/index.php?contentCat=9 – Grand Junction Off Road
http://www.kafmradio.org/Listen-LIVE – Dave’s radio show that I’ll be on 3/12/14 at noon mountain time (podcast recording also available.

Download .mp3 episode here (if you don’t use iTunes): Yard Sale March 11 Dave Grossman

FM Show – Buying Results

sr50mtb medal

Footfeathers after the Silver Rush 50 mile MTB race. The joy is obvious.

Welcome back to Elevation Trail and the FM Show with Gary David and Footfeathers.  Today we cover a variety of topics, including older athletes dominating at Hardrock, the diversity of ultra events this week (Hardrock, Badwater, Self Transcendence, Vol State), PEDs and buying speed/results in sports whether through products or substances, and some other stuff we hope you’ll find entertaining.

We would love to hear from listeners on their opinions regarding some of these topics, so please leave a comment!

FM Show – Banned Products

Hellgate 100k Race Profile

Best Blood award from 2010 Hellgate. Photo: Keith Knipling

“*Be prepared for this section!!  It is long and tough.”

“*Be aware:  This is the second toughest section of the race.”

“*** This section will seem like it goes on forever.”

These are footnotes within the course description written by David Horton.  When Horton says something is tough and long, you best be listening and heed the advice.

This is the 9th running of the Hellgate 100k.  The race starts Friday night, er, Saturday morning at 12:01AM, so everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the frozen ground, chilly water crossings, and 20 degree temps all while navigating through the pitch blackness, save for the ghostly hue from the full moon (given there are clear skies, that is).  Good for you if you’re fortunate enough to get some sleep Friday evening before the race.  For most, it will be a long time between rest from Friday morning until they finish sometime Saturday afternoon and into another evening for many.

The course is a monster point to point starting near Big Hellgate Creek in Rockbridge County, VA and traverses through the Jefferson National Forest, drunkenly following the Blueridge Parkway for 66 miles to the finish at Camp Bethel in (heh, heh) Wise, VA.  13,500 feet of gain and roughly the same amount of descent ensures you’ll have fond physical memories for days after the race.

Hellgate elevation profile. Credit: Keith Knipling.

For the men this year, watch for Frank Gonzales, Aaron Schwartzbard, and Jeremy Ramsey.  For the ladies, Amy Sproston makes the trip back East and should run uncontested.

Quad Dipsea – Stairway to Heaven

How do you improve the oldest trail race in America?  You run it four times, of course!

The Dipsea trail race began in 1905 and is still going strong after 106 years (missing only four years due to economy and war).  It starts in Mill Valley, CA and finishes at Stinson Beach.  With 671 steps leading up the side of Mt. Tamalpais to the highest point of Cardiac Hill, the course is challenging, to say the least.  A unique aspect of the race is the ability to choose from a variety of connecting paths to reach the finish, so familiarity with the area trails pays off. Lovers of the event were likely sitting around in November pining for June to roll around and the popular event to take place, so they came up with the Quad Dipsea in 1983, held initially as a fun run in ’83 and ’84.  The race is directed by UltraRunning Magazine publisher, John Medinger.

The Quad Dipsea, 28.4 miles, runs the Dipsea course in an out and back fashion, beginning in Mill Valley.  If you can believe it, there are 9,276 feet of climb packed into the bloated marathon-ish length course.  Imagine bounding down wet, wooden stairs after 4 hours of climbs and descents with your quads humming with fatigue.  Three men have run under four hours: Carl Anderson (four times), Erik Skaggs (twice), and just last year Leor Pantilat. Leor’s time of 3:54:29 was good enough to be the fourth fastest time in the event’s history, which has seen big named runners compete throughout the years.  Caren Spore, from Davis CA, broke the women’s record in 4:38:33 last year, a year that saw the additional challenges of a muddy, slick course.

A few of the 2,684 total steps in the race with Leor Pantilat. Photo: http://pantilat.wordpress.com/

This Saturday’s race will see both Leor and Caren returning to defend.  Last year’s 2nd place finisher, Gary Gellin, will again be in the mix, likely gunning to strip away the 2 mins 32 secs from last year’s finish to reach the coveted sub four hour time.  Consistently fast Leigh Schmitt should keep it interesting but the structure (CLIMB) of the course doesn’t play into his normal strength of fast, rolling courses.  Rumor has it that Leigh will pass up Quad Dipsea to be fresh for the North Face 50 the following weekend.

Unlike her “runaway” race last year, Caren Spore should be challenged by fellow Californian, Jennifer Pfeifer, and by midwesterner, Kim Holak, as long as Kim is healthy and fit.  She hasn’t raced much this year but is a fierce competitor when she does.

Happy Thanksgiving from Inside Trail to our American readers.  I’m thankful my resting month is almost over and I can begin training and racing again!  Have a great weekend on the trails.

 

JFK 50 Race Preview

Photo from Running Times 2003 article

49 years.  Other than some participants, not much is older in our sport of ultrarunning than the JFK 50 miler.  The event began as part of a series of challenges created by JFK to… well, you can read the brief history here.  The history of this race is remarkable, right down to the legends who loyally return most years for this classic, including Eric Clifton, Ed Ayres (In the 1977 photo left in the back with green singlet and 70 yrs old this year), and Ian Torrence.

Over 1,100 runners will be pounding the pavement, gravel toe path, and Appalachian Trail, starting in Boonsboro and finishing in Williamsport.  Weather in Maryland this time of year is unpredictable, at best.  Forecast  for race morning is a comfortably cool 50 degrees with partly cloudy skies, near perfect conditions for a fast race.  Race-addicted Michael Wardian returns this year presumably focused on redeeming himself for last year’s 6th place finish in 6:12.  Coming off two quick marathons run within seven days (2:26 and 2:22, both 2nd places), Wardian will toe yet another start line with a self-inflicted handicap, which must scrub at least some of his raw speed off his performance.  Poised to take advantage of the situation is last year’s 2nd place JFK finisher, David Riddle.  Riddle finished one minute off the win in 5:53, one of only two instances when he’s finished with anything lower than a win in his ultra career.  Of course, David will have to contend with several other speedy dudes, including Andrew Henshaw, who handed David his only other 2nd place finish earlier this year at Mad City 100k.

For the ladies, let’s ride the wave of Meghan Arbogast’s impressive season.  She’ll have her hands full in the rematch with the Blue Ridge Mountain runner, Annette Bednosky.  They did America proud at the 100k world champs, coming in 5th and 6th respectively.  The last time they raced JFK in 2009 they duked it out for 2nd and 3rd (behind Devon Crosby-Helms).  With the bulk number of participants, there’s always openings for new “unknowns” to break out.  One of my dark horse picks is Cassie Scallon.  Not an unknown by any stretch, but faded off the scene a bit this year until just last month with her win (overall) at Glacial Trail 50k.

Gook luck to all the runners at this classic!

Javelina Jundred 100 Mile Race Preview with Liza Howard

Photo: Event website

Finally!  Another 100 we can sink our teeth into.  With 384 participants, the Javelina Jundred has a solid depth of talent.  It’s been two years since Dave James blistered the six-loop course in his course record 14:20.  Last year saw Jamie Donaldson set the women’s course record of 17:11, nabbing 2nd overall in the process.  I’m not certain about Dave’s record but I feel good about Jamie’s record being eclipsed this year.  We’ll get to that in a moment.

Javelina gets under way at 6AM on Saturday November 12th in Fountain Hills, Arizona at the McDowell Mountain Regional Park.  The loop course is 15.4 miles, repeated six times reversing directions each lap.  A 9 mile loop adds up to the 101.4 mile total.  Though the total climb looks to be approximately 4,000 ft, the terrain includes several sandy wash areas, single track, and jeep roads.  The loop course lends itself to great spectating and easy crewing.  Ample food is on the menu with sub sandwiches, pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, along with all the staple ultra-fare.  Temperatures should remain comfortably between 75 for a high and 50 for a low.

The terrain. Photo: Sue Norwood

The event website is well laid out, comprehensive, and fun (even if the red on black layout cause your eyes to start twitching).  The only thing I noticed that could use some fixing is the outdated “blog/news” page.  It’s always a pleasure to be able to obtain all the information you may need directly from the website.  I’m always struck by the many event sites that omit important information.  It just increases work for the organizers by having to answer email questions.  Anyway, the JJ site is good, right down to providing the entrants list, which brings us to a very special treat here at Inside Trail.  Liza Howard, if you’ve forgotten about her after her early season injury, is returning to the race scene at the JJ100 and she is healthy, trained, and eager.  Bad for the other ladies.  Good for us fans!  Liza took the time (after some minor pleading on my part) to write up a preview on the women’s race.  My only regret is, like I told her, that her writing is so graceful, thorough, and humorous that it’ll be like Lenny (Of Mice and Men) trying to dance with Paula Abdul when I try to match her with my men’s preview.  I’ll get that out of the way quickly, so you can enjoy her take on the race.

Men:

Hal Koerner – Ashland, OR.  Hal has shown both speed (Rocky Racoon) and fortitude (UTMB) this year.  Watch for him to show us some speed again to cap off his year with a win.

Jay Aldous – Brighton, UT.  Jay is 50 years old.  Jay is faster than people half his age.  Jay just ran 15:06 at the Pony Express 100 two weeks ago.  If he hadn’t just raced the PE, I would pick him for the win here with a 14:45-ish time.  I mean, he did just come in a scant 18 mins (2nd place) behind Dave James (JJ course record holder) at the Burning River 100.

Jay Smithberger – Granville, OH.  This Jay has some speed too and, like Hal, has had a “character building” run this year as well (his 28:30 Wasatch).  He also ran 14:53 at Umstead 100.  He knows what he’s doing and could pounce for the win late in the race if Hal and Jay A. aren’t on their games.

Guillermo Medina – Santa Maria, CA.  To say Guillermo is a veteran ultrarunner is like saying U2 has played a few concerts.  Guillermo has had a prolific ultra career over the last 13 years, approaching 100 ultra races.  He’s only 37 years old.  I lined up with him (and Leigh Schmitt) in my first 50 mile race in 2007.  I bounded along with those two, leading the race for the first 20 miles before I realized that they planned to run that pace for the whole 50 miles.  I bonked and finished an hour behind Guillermo.  Since then I’ve been a fan of his as he methodically bangs out great races, including winning the Javelina 100 last year.  His consistency will pay off again.

Now please welcome Liza Howard, coming on board here at Inside Trail with her preview of the ladies’ race.  Note that she is too humble to say that she will win.  She’s my obvious pick, anyway.  Enjoy.

Javelina Jundred’s Women, Ladies, and Chicks

Liza Howard earlier this year en route to her win at Rocky Raccoon 100. Photo: Lynn Balard

Tim asked if I would write a short Who’s Who piece about the women who are running well in ultras right now. I agreed in a moment of insanity and then realized it was too big a task for an uneducated sportsperson such as myself. I told him I’d be happy to write something other than “And as for the women running, I have no idea” for any upcoming races he’d like instead. I sent along this Javelina Jundred preview because it was the first race that came to mind – as I’m running it.

So in case you weren’t in Fountain Hills, AZ last year, or following on Twitter, or you haven’t read all the females’ race reports, you should know that Javelina was a pretty darn exciting 100-mile race in 2010. And it looks like it’ll be the same this year. Jamie Donaldson broke the course record in 17:11, and while she won’t be there this year, the next four ladies will be. Take a look at their finishing times.

2. Brenda Carawan, 33, Virginia Beach, VA, 19:56:44


3. Ronda Sundermeier, 43, Tigard, OR, 20:07:14


4. Brenda Corona, 48, Escondido, CA, 20:20:41


5. Katherine Metzger, 30, Phoenix, AZ, 20:30:40

I asked RD Nick Coury about it and he said everyone was biting their nails when the Brendas, Ronda and Katherine left so close together on the last loop. (Javelina’s a 7 loop course. Six 15.4-mile loops and one 9-mile loop. Yes, that’s 101.4 miles.)

It was Brenda Carawan’s first time on the Javelina course and Nick said she started at a moderate pace and was able to maintain it until the end. She actually finished the last loop faster than Jaime did. Brenda wrote afterwards how coach Amanda McIntosh kept her on track for a finishing time of 19:56:44, 2nd place female overall, and 9th runner overall. You can read her race report here if you haven’t already. http://www.brendacarawan.com/race-reports.html

Since JJ, Brenda’s run a the Seashore Nature Trail 50k, the Rocky Raccoon 100 (2nd in 22:31) and her dream race, Badwater.

Ronda Sundermeier came in third and was “never too far behind Brenda” according to Nick. Ronda’s race report begins, “Beating my own expectations doesn’t happen often but Javelina 100M was so much more than I could have imagined… Racing a 100M is often the next step for many beyond just finishing. The word “racing” also has many meanings. It could mean winning, it could mean going for a PR or just simply putting your head down and focusing. That’s what endurance activities have to offer. An array of meaning for each individual and most of the time that personal meaning is respected among peers.” You should read her race report and her blog in general.

http://roosterruns.blogspot.com/2010/10/javelina-100m.html

Ronda’s been busy becoming a Leadwoman since Javelina. (That’s where you finish five of the following events: Leadville Marathon, Silver Rush 50 bike or run, Leadville Trail 100 run, the Leadville Trail 100 MTB and the 10K run.) Oh, and Ronda also did the Grand Slam back in 2007. Bring your autograph book.

2011 will be Brenda Corona’s fifth Javelina and her times have gotten faster each year. Nick says she “could be going for a sub 20 hour finish this year which would put her in the top ten all time for the race.” Brenda’s run three 50ks and the San Diego 100 (26:38) since Javelina.

And Katherine Metzger, who came in fifth, is a local runner who Nick says has been “training for the race while preparing and taking her medical boards.” (Now I feel like a slacker.) “Javelina was her first 100 last year and she kicked hard on the last loop to catch 25 minutes on 4th place, so look for her to be a competitor.” Since Javelina Katherine’s run two 50-milers and a 50km. She won the Deadman Peaks Trail Run 50-miler in New Mexico on Oct. 22nd in 11:25.

Nick also says Alexa Dickerson has great potential to do well this year. It’s her 3rd time at Javelina and she won the Mohican 100 in June in Ohio. She’s a lot younger than the rest of us, but maybe that won’t be too much of a handicap.

Brenda Carawan adds that Badwater runners Jess Mullen and Cheryl Zwarkowski are both very strong competitors. And Brittany Klimowicz, who also ran Badwater, just won The Gibbet 50-miler going sub-10. AND Jen Vogel is “on fire this year” according to Brenda. She set a new course record for the Double Ironman in March, placed 2nd female at Badwater, and won the Great Floridian last weekend. “Vogel could very easily sweep the field at Javelina.

As for me, I’ve had a broken foot most of the summer, but I’ve been healthy and on the trails since August. I haven’t run 100 miles since February at Rocky Raccoon, but I think I still remember how. And I’ve got all that running in the Texas heat going for me…

I’m thinking floppy-eared rabbit for my costume. Carrot-shaped water bottle? Maybe I’ll just stick to getting these ladies’ autographs.

Please comment if you think I’ve left off anyone. A friend will be tweeting the women’s race at lizahoward1 if you want to see who’s chicking whom on November 12th. 😉  

Enjoy more of Liza’s writing about running and daily life at her site, www.lizahoward.com