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Pass Mountain 50k, Mesa AZ

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Mesa, Arizona-November 10 2012-Pass Mountain 50k
Approaching mile 29, I was chasing a six hour finish, the trail was weaving in and out of washes and I found myself being approached by two riders on horseback.They yielded to me so I pushed hard up the little hill were they waiting for me to pass. As I reached the top, muscle cramps in both my calves involuntarily collapsed me to my butt.My first instinct was to grab at my right calf, which was knotted up. I could not flex either of my feet without pain.The two riders looked down at me concerned, and asked if I was okay; I knew eventually the muscle cramps would pass, but for the time being I was lying on the ground embarrassed.They stayed with me until I was able to get up and hobble off to complete the last two miles of the race.
The Start of the Race:

It was chilly and breezy out, thick clouds covered the mountain tops, and the sun was slowly making an appearance as we were minutes away from the start of the race. I started a little …

For the love of it

The last few days I’ve had this hunger and desire for running I have not felt in a long time. It’s exciting and nerve racking at the same time. I have to stop the urge to sign up for every race. Financially I would go broke and physically I’d be in pain and ailing from every over use injury possible. Nonetheless, I am focused on a few races for sure.

This Saturday I’m participating in the Aravaipa’s Pass Mountain 50k Endurance run. I want to run it hard and leave it all out on the trail. I have some fears of doing that, yet I have nothing to lose. All I know, I never want to DNF again. That may or may not be possible, but I hope to find the strength I had during my first 50k - in September of 2011 - in all my future races. The Noble Canyon run lived up to everything I had read and heard about ultra running.

I started this blog just before I ran Noble Canyon. In all honesty, I have always had the desire to be noticed and in the lime light and alas was the wrong reason to sta…

A Humbling Experience... Flagstaff 50 Mile Endurance Run

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Course Info!
Elevation  of race was between 7,000 and 9,000 feet. The course featured five significant climbs on Upper Oldham (1850+ ft), Lower Weatherford (1750+ ft), Friedlein Prairie Road (1100+ ft), Little Gnarly/Brookbank (1400+ ft), and Heart Trail (1900+ ft).


To celebrate my year anniversary of ultra running I decidedto give the Flagstaff 50 Mile Endurance Run a shot.I knew this would not be an easy run, but felt like I needed to challenge myself with a run that scared the hell out of me.A few days removed from the event, I have mixed emotions, but know I have gained a ton of knowledge from this experience. This morning I got a text from my buddy that said, “Lots of fun W/good people over shadowed a sucky run….”That text really hit the nail on what this weekend was about.Yes we went up to Flagstaff for a race, but we also went to enjoy the fellowship we share as runners out on the trail.

5 minutes until the start of the race I walked to the startline.Buffalo Park brings back many m…

Whiskey Row Marathon 2012, Prescott AZ

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Finally my first official road marathon (26.2 Miles) is on the books. I don’t think I could have picked a better race to achieve this goal. The Whiskey Row Marathon starts at 5,280 feet, with the elevation increasing to 7,000 feet over the first seven miles. I knew it would be tough and was ready and willing for the challenge.Prescott has a special place in my heart because I spent many summer breaks there as a kid.Last year I ran the half marathon and vowed to be back to run the full.  http://www.whiskeyrowmarathon.com/
Going into this race I had competed in 4 Ultra Marathons, completing 3 of them.Yet there was new nervousness and excitement.I wanted to do well and had my eyes on finishing in 4 hours. My official finishing time was 4:07:50.Nearly 8 minutes over my goal time but I have no regrets or what ifs.
I wish I could do this race more justice with this blog.Besides how I felt during the run not sure many words can truly capture the beauty of this race.For most of the race you r…

Cedro Peak Ultra Marathon 45k Race Report

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The Cedro Peak Ultra Marathon 45 · Saturday April 7, 2012 in Tijeras, New Mexico.

The car’s temperature gauge read 37 degrees and it felt like it. I turned in my drop bag, checked into the race, and retreated back to the car with my buddies. We decided to wait until five minutes to the start of the race to head to the starting line.

The race was set to start to at 6 a.m. There was an EZ UP with Christmas lights directly behind the starting line. The majority of the runners huddled together under it making last minute adjustments to their watches, headlamps, and gear. As the race director thanked his wife and the volunteers, the clock ticked away to zero. With the sound of watches being started we slowly made our way down a congested narrow path. It was slow going; some runners weaved in and out of the traffic jam. A few even hurdled over a log to jockey for position.

After crossing the parking lot and heading into the forest, you could see the beams from headlamps and hear the c…

Grandpa Jim's 50K Race Recap

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Can you imagine running Camelback Mountain, Piestewa Peak, North Mountain, and Shaw Butte all in one day?  On Saturday, February 18th,  I attempted this along with 30 plus ultra runners in hopes of completing Grandpa Jim’s 50K (Arizona’s Toughest 50K).

We got to the North Mountain Visitor’s Center a little after 5 a.m.  The visitor center would play host to the finish line and the mile 23 aid station.  It was also where we would park and be shuttled to the start of the race.  We piled into the 3 vans and headed to the starting line. I knew this was going to be one very demanding journey through the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. The starting line for the race was at intersection of Cholla and Inverngordon.   When we got to the intersection, got out of the vans, and gathered awaiting the start. Some stretched, others ducked into the bushes for a last minute potty break, and I nervously fiddled with my watch hoping it would sync before the race started.  I was relieved when it finally did. 

Aravaipa Coldwater Rumble 50K Race Report

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The night before the race as normal I was anxious and a bit absent minded. I laid out all my gels and tried to picture in my head how many I would need to maintain 200 to 300 calories an hour. I had an idea of what I wanted to wear taking into consideration that it would be chilly at the start.
My buddy Giles told me he would be picking me up between 5:30 and 5:45 a.m.I set my alarm for 4:45 but snoozed until about 5:00 a.m.Once I got up time seemed to fly.I got dressed, drank half a cup of coffee and ate a peanut butter and Nutella sandwich. Giles picked me up and headed to Estrella Mounting Regional Park.
We pulled into the parking lot of the Rodeo Arena, where the start and finish of the race would be. We had about 40 minutes until the start.After picking up are race bibs we walked back to the truck to prep for the race and stay warm.I pinned my race bib, #19 to my shorts.I was curious about the live web cast.So using my I-phone I went on the “Aravaipa” web site and clicked on the we…

Cold Water Rumble Four Days Away

4 days until my second ultra marathon.  I really have not been too nervous about this race up until today.  Also taking into consideration in little over for weeks from now I will be running my third.  I got quite the line up.  I really feel like it is possible for me to run and finish these races. I am feeling confident in my training.  I wish could say my nutrition, I am eating more, but not so much the most efficient foods I could be.

A friend of mine asked me the other day if I run these races to win or place.  I kind of laughed and said no I mostly run to challenge myself, beat my own time and survive the challenge.  Truth be told, I do day dream of winning a race or being an elite, but I realize my limitations and I am completely satisfied with them.

I really enjoyed watching the coverage of the US Marathon Olympic Team Trials.  It made me curious about refocusing my mind from ultra trail running to marathon road races. Honestly right now I know I have just barley peeked into th…

A new year, 2012

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Keeping up with this blog is a bit more challenging then I imagined.But I still enjoy it and hope to do it on a more regular basis.I have had quite a few running experiences since my last post.As I write/edit this I am counting down the minutes to the US Marathon team trials being aired on NBC.Pretty exciting!I was happy to see that some ultra trail runners qualified to run in the trials.A few names include Jenn Shelton and Max King.I am routing for Kara Goucher on the women’s side.Don’t tell my wife I said this, but she is a babe!
Last Sunday, February 8, I ran the Xterra White Tanks 20K trail race.I was really excited for it.I had it in mind to treat it as a training run for the Cold Water Rumble 50K coming up on February 21st at Estrella Mountain in Goodyear, Arizona.I still wanted to push myself to the limit and get a good time at the race.I feel like I accomplished that.I gave it all I had.
It was also exciting to have some good buddies running the race Shon, Patrick (Shon’s Son), …