Life, Motivation,& Sports


Elevation Trail Studios World Headquarters

After a six month vacation from producing a show, Gary and Tim return to Elevation Trail with an update on things and delve a bit into what motivates people to do or not do activities in their lives. Really, it’s just another conversation about life in general.

Direct link:

Blake Wood Interview

Blake at Island Lake - Hardrock 100 course 2014

Blake at Island Lake – Hardrock 100 course 2014

Wow, what a full show. Going for 20th finish at Hardrock this year, former Hardrock winner, Nolans 14, second finisher ever of Barkley (with scandal!), tinkering with nuclear weapons, and so much more. Join us today as we chat with Blake Wood from his bedroom closet.

Blake Wood Interview mp3

Guest Co-Host Julie “The Nordic Walker Lady”


Julie showing that enjoying the trail is not always about speed.

Join us for a special edition of Elevation Trail as we welcome guest co-host, Julie Gayheart (Gary is flying to the First Satanic Church headquarters to stop this bloodshed nonsense). Julie is a master with the poles, err, uh, whatever. I’ve known her for the last ten years and we chat about running, the evolution of the trail running community in North Carolina, lotteries, and the Appalachian Trail. Oh, and we talk a bit about my job at the funeral home when I was in high school.

And, the top ten list this week is… Top 10 ways to get kicked out of the “sport” of ultrarunning. Hope you enjoy!

Direct .mp3: Julie Gayheart Ultra Hiking


The “real” Charlotte running scene. The Sharksbite Road Runners!



Lotteries, Hardrock 100, and Elves

elfJoin us today on Elevation Trail for our discussion about the Hardrock and Western States lotteries, Gary’s first DNF, and his fear of Elves working for the government.  Hope you enjoy the show.






Hardrock Qualifications

Recording the show from the laundromat wifi...

Recording the show from the laundromat wifi…

Hardrock announced big changes with its qualification standards yesterday.  On today’s show we chat with long time Hardrock board member, Andrea Feucht about the changes, which also include a slap on the wrist and omission of the Leadville 100…  Hope you enjoy today’s show.

Andrea Feucht, Hardrock, Grand Slamming, and More


Graphic by Andrea (attorneys may contact her)

Welcome back to Elevation Trail where today we have a great conversation with Andrea Feucht, who has been on the Hardrock 100 board for 14 years.  She provides terrific insight into maintaining the core values of the event while the sport and outside pressures grow.

We also discuss the newly announced Ultra-Trail World Tour and the silliness surrounding the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning and hope we don’t get sued for mentioning the name.  Download and enjoy this awesome show on your next run or long drive (or at work – just don’t let The Man catch you).  Hope you enjoy it!

Tim Grand Slam Long

Elevation Trail – The Grand Slam of Podcasting

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

Giddy Up, Bronco Billy! Jeff Browning Interview

San Diego 100 Race.

Jeff Browning gets a well deserved low five from a litt girl after winning San Diego 100 again. Photo: Jeff Johnson

Welcome to the Footfeathers Show here on Elevation Trail.  I’ve been following this guest since I ran my first ultra.  He’s tough, he’s fast, he’s competitive, and he’s a super nice guy.  It’s a pleasure to have Jeff Browning on the show.  We have a great conversation, in which he talks about how to run 100 miles with some entertaining and valuable insights.  I hope you enjoy it because I sure did.

Jeff Browning – June 26 2013

Western States 100 Questionnaire

On the eve of the WS100 entry application, we thought it would be interesting to gage runners’ interest, thoughts, and general view of the race, so an informal comment-style questionnaire follows along with my answers. (just copy questions and write over my answers).

1) Do you want to run Western States?

-yes and no.  It’s like spoiled milk in the fridge; you know it’s not what you want to do but you sniff it anyway just to see what it’s like.

2) Why/why not?

-Yes, because then I can comment on it with base knowledge and experience and not just sound like some windbag armchair WS basher.

3) Are you entering the lottery?

-Yes. (not holding my breath on getting in)

4) What do you like or dislike about WS100?

-Like – history and challenge.  I’ve heard it’s amazing and I’ve heard it’s over-hyped and not that interesting.  Dislike – Entry fee.  Old boys network.  The event’s general exclusive attitude and feel.

5) Should the WS board allow (invite!) Karl Meltzer to the race?  Why/why not?

-Hell yes.  The man is a legend.  How can you have such a “wonderful” event and not have a legend run it?

6) Anyone else think it’s odd that the qualifying events (Montrail Cup) are not representational of racing 100 miles?

-I sure do.  As Karl pointed out today on irunfar’s employee, AJW’s post today, a 100 is like three 50s.  It’s like using a 10k to qualify for Boston.

7) What is the most annoying thing about the event?  Hype (like this post)? Elitism? Entry fee?  Smoke and mirrors of the entry/lottery process?

-All the above. 

8) Here’s a fun one… Will the US get crushed again this year in the race?

-I’ll say no because Salomon probably will move on and find something else to dominate.  Business is done there.

9) What are some other 100s you believe are better and why?  Terrain?  Entry?  Direction?  Lack of or more competition?  Nicer schwag?

-Having not done WS, I can only say which 100s in my small experience I like:  HARDROCK, Grand Mesa was a tough bastard too.

10) What are you going to do when you don’t get selected in the lottery?  Grumble online?  Sigh and have a beer?  Write a constructive letter to the WS board outlining the unethical and unfair entry process and what they should do about it?  Run another 100 in June?

-Hopefully be focused on Hardrock. (probably grumble online a bit too).

Have a good weekend, follow along at Javelina 100.  The field is deep with talent and they’ll be enduring some nasty weather this weekend.

Hardrock: What will YOU Do When You Get In?

On Oscars. Photo: JT

“You will feel the worst when you are high on the passes so get off of them quickly, your condition will return to good quickly.  I know this.  I have sat there on the passes with death coming soon but just know it will be a matter of minutes before you feel better if you get down.”

This is just one of many pieces of good advice I received from Scott Jaime, multiple-time finisher and a 2nd place overall in 2009 at the Hardrock 100.  More fun quotes from friends may be found on my race report here.

The lottery drawing is near.  The entry form states “on or around December 1st” entrants will be selected.  Last year I applied and casually followed the lottery with faint hope I’d be among the chosen few (the proud, the brave, the insane?).  The starters emerged via Twitter updates one by one, groups of five, through to the final one.  My name didn’t appear but there was still the wait list.  I ended up in the cruel position of 29th on the wait list.  Of the 500 people I asked, some said I had very little chance of getting in, some assured me not to worry – that I had a good shot at it.  Most of them simply said I was “on the bubble” and may not know until race morning; the most difficult answer to swallow, in my opinion.  With that mix of advice, I was partly excited, fairly scared, but mostly just assumed I wouldn’t be on the start line in Silverton in July.  In that state of mind I never trained specifically for Hardrock but rather relied on my race schedule and regular training in between.  I did end up getting into Hardrock just two days before the race, finished, barely, and am now consumed with the event, just like veterans warned I would be.  Put it this way, in a sport where runners’ cars seem littered with race and product stickers, I have one sticker on my car, the “Wild & Tough Hardrock Endurance Run”.

This year will certainly be different if I get in.  My entire year of running and training will have the singular focus of July 13th.  In that focus lies the inevitable need for structure, so even though I normally shy away from structure, this year I say bring it on.

Descent to Chapman. Photo: JT

Several friends, who are Hardrock vets, offered their insight into training they did for the race.  What will you do if you get into Hardrock?  If this is your first time applying, what are you most concerned with about the race?  I ask because those concerns usually provide the answer to structuring training.  If you’ve run Hardrock before, what is it that draws you back?  What will you do for specific training to be ready?  Does your location/state provide you with ample terrain?  If not, how do you adapt to get ready?  How does Billy Simpson, six-time finisher of Hardrock, train at the low altitude and in the mellow hills of Tennessee?  Head to the Smokey Mountains twice a week?

What are your thoughts on Hardrock?  Do you have interest in running it?  Ever?  If you do and you get in, what will you do to ensure you kiss the rock?