Thursday, December 10, 2009

Larry the Legend

Typical Larry Olsen leaving nothing on the road at some steamy NE Road Race

Like many are doing this week, I am writing about Larry Olsen, Larry the Legend....or just Larry as we knew him here in the New England racing scene.

Larry passed away this past Sunday doing what he loved, running with friends in his Tri Valley area of Milford, Ma. You can read the whole story here in a fitting memorial article by Mario Fraioli, who just wrote a profile piece on him in that same magazine, Running Times.

Here is the Boston Globe obituary

...and a discussion on Letsrun with respects from some great runners like Amby Burfoot and Bob Hodge.

Larry is one of those who you just expected to always be there....always be toeing the line. I met Larry back in the 80's when one of my training partners was one of his rivals. Bob and I were at the Newburyport 10 miler in the early 80's and I asked Bob, (who was one of the top masters in the area) what he though about his upcoming race....his answer was almost always "Larry's here". Which most times meant he was not going to win his age group.

Larry was 5 years older than me and I never, repeat...never finished in front of him. And I was a pretty good runner myself back then, having run 33 minute 10K's and 16 minute 5K's...Larry was not only a good runner, he was a really tough competitor, which is what usually pushed him ahead of whoever he was running with.

Deb even has a connection to Larry. When she began running in the late 90's while living in the Tri Valley area, she ran for the Tri Valley Frontrunners of which Larry was the creator and coach. Larry guided Deb to her first Boston marathon finish in the late 90's. She told me that she bought her first pair of running shoes from Larry at his running shoe store, the FrontRunner in Milford, Ma.

Larry, hope the races are as good up there as they are down here....run on in peace.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ramblings....

It's been awhile since I've written here, so here's what's been going on...after reading Bryon Powell's IRUNFAR blog post this morning on road running, it inspired me to write this post.



First and foremost, I said all year I would do something about my knee ache, which is really the Patella Tendinitis I have had since my fast road days with the Cambridge Sports Union back in the 80's and early 90's. I trained and raced my way to this debilitating injury that got much better when I walked away from the roads in 1997 and started to run trails, which I had strictly done from then until about 2 years ago. My last road race back then was the 1997 Stu's 30K, which I ran in around 2 hours. One month later I ran the first DRB 50K instead of the Boston Marathon and tied for first place...I was hooked on trails.

After deciding to enter a 5k race on a whim when I was living in New Mexico, after having not run a road race in 10 years, I entered the world of injury again. The faster pounding on the roads started the ache all over again that had all but left me since I left the roads...but I felt alive again! Running fast on the roads amongst others was a thrill that I missed and when Deb and I moved back to NH, I decided to work on getting back to "some" road racing. That first Fall back I entered the Applefest Half Marathon after running several local 5k's. I ran 1:42, which wasn't too bad considering my age of 56...but my best was 1:16 back in 1981 and I wanted to try to get as close to that time as I could (what I didn't realize was that I got old and slow)....but what happened instead was the old PT coming back. I entered the Manchester Marathon not long after the half and ran a very frustrating 3:45, barely qualifying for Boston. I knew I had slowed down, but that much? My best was 2:49, run back in 1979...I figured I should at least run a 3:30 and that without much effort. Was I wrong! Plus the training for it brought my knee to it's knees.

The knee has been a constant aggravation since then and just wouldn't go away and a lot of that was partly because I refused to surrender like I did before. Then my 58th birthday came....and with it a gift that Deb gave me. The book Born To Run, by Christopher McDougall.


During this past Summer I had decided to try this minimalist thing to see if it could help, so I took my La Sportivas and took out the midsole and ran lower to the ground. This helped "some", but every now and then the knee would throb after running...after reading the book, I decided to run once or twice a week in my racing flats and try to mimic the barefoot style of running. I was a little familiar with this from attempting ChiRunning last year (which didn't help do to my not doing it correctly and not wearing the right shoes).

I got excited about this....and started running with this barefoot/ChiRunning/Pose style of faster cadence, landing under the center of gravity with a midfoot/forefoot landing...and it started to work! I am now up to running near 50 mpw again at a quicker pace than before, almost all on roads and my knee is doing fine! All I do is when I feel a little knee ache, I adjust my running form and it immediately goes away and I then know I'm using the correct form. I am hoping this will lead to faster times all around for 2010...

Deb and I also started adding Chia seeds to our food, which we also read about in the book as being a regular food used by the Raramuri to increase endurance, and we are trying to switch yet again to being vegetarians. With these additions as well as the faster tempo running, my weight is down to my old racing weight of 155 and I'm feeling better than ever.

My next pair of shoes will be the ever skimpy LaSportiva Skylites, the lightest trail racing flat they make and I'm hoping to make these my every day trainers, as I switch back and forth between trails and roads. I will wear these on my road runs as well as the trails.
Goals for 2010...

Here is what I want for Christmas...

My house sells so that I can move back to the Jemez in New Mexico and live at altitude so I can run the following...

San Juan Solstice 50 miler, my favorite ultra race on the planet. Think Hardrock without the night.

Hardrock 100....maybe I'll get in this year? Maybe we'll BOTH get in this year?

Leadville 100...I've been wanting to run this for years and never did, if I'm living at altitude, this will be the year. I have a sortof long range goal of running under 25 hours there at age 60 (2012) and would like to use the next 2 years to learn how to best run the course.

The Bear 100...I have unfinished business there ;-) But in actuality, what I found at the Bear was a nice small low key 100 miler, very enjoyable. This may be an annual.

I'll also run a road marathon somewhere....wherever it fits in best, along with many shorter road races to maintain speed.

So those are the big ones...but all depends on where we're living. I can't afford to acclimate for Hardrock AND Leadville if we're still living here in NH.

Another thing....if you haven't seen the movie Food, Inc. I highly recommend it. It's not as bad as some people told me it was regarding the animal slaughter houses. Yes there are things in there you don't want to see, but you SHOULD see these things. It's also not just about the animals, but grains, dairy and everything we consume on a daily basis. Your body will thank you for it.


I also would like to thank the Wasatch Speedgoat Mountain Racing team for including Deb and I on the team the past three years. It's a great bunch of people who love doing what we love to do. The team has changed up a bit over the years, but we now have three married ultra couples on the team with the addition of Rob Youngren's wife, Kathy. Scott Mason's done a great job with the team and we are now getting noticed around the country!

Up next is the Fells Trail race (well, after a 5K on Thanksgiving day)...I haven't decided what distance to run, but most likely will be at least 50K and if I'm feeling OK will do one more loop to complete the 40 miler. The Fells is always fun to return to because when I lived in Medford, Ma. just outside of Boston, this is where I trained every weekend. These trails are where I first started trail running!

See some of you there! Deb won't be there, but will be showing some of her art at an art show she is part of in Peterborough, NH.

See you on the trails....or roads ;-)
Steve

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

SMUT 50


View from the top of Bird Knob

This past weekend we traveled down to Virginia for a fat ass style 50 miler that is called the SMUT 50. It is run on the Southern Massanutten (Ultra) Trails and is how it's name came about....it has nothing to do with TWOT, which is another run put on by Dennis Herr a week earlier.
Do you think there's something going on with these naming conventions??? One can only imagine what the VHTRC might come up with in future runs...and I won't go there.

Deb and I decided that even though we had just returned from the Bear 100, we wanted one more run with our friends of the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club to end the year just in case our house did sell and we weren't coming back down to VHTRC land. I always bring something down with me to share and this time it made perfect sense to bring some SMUTtynose beer, brewed in Portsmouth, NH. It was enjoyed by those who stayed at Kerry's Portobello house in Front Royal.

For our return to VHTRC land one last time this year, I immediately thought of TWOT (The Wild Oak Trail 25, 50, 75 and 100), but this new run was announced and it gave us more recovery time after the Bear! It was actually Vicki Kendall's fault we came, she talked me into it in an email ;-)

SMUT 50 is (and we found this out the morning of the run) actually 54 miles of some of the toughest trails in the Massanutten Mountains. Lots of climb, more rocks that move than you can imagine, leaves covering those rocks, rain to make the leaves and rocks like ice and a cold biting wind up high in the 40 degree temps. It was wonderful!

We started on Saturday morning at 7AM...Deb and I had decided beforehand to not run together and she had decided to bring Tucker along to keep her company, not that she needs it.
Tucker had run 39 miles with us in Maine which was his longest run/hike so far. So with the weather being cool and there being plenty of water, he went along. Deb also knew she could leave him at one of the aid stations if he wasn't having fun and pick him up on the way back because this was sortof like an out and back, even though you were rarely on the same trail twice, just small sections of them.

Keith in the dark giving us our final battle instructions

So at 7 o'dark in the morning, Keith Knipling sent us off after a short trail briefing. I took it out a little harder than usual just to get ahead of the crowd of runners. Initially we had 40 entrants, but only 27 hardy runners and many volunteers showed up. As a matter of fact, the aid station tables and volunteers at this "unofficial" event was better than most official events I've run!

Once we got going up the trail to the Wildflower trail to the Bird Knob Trail, I settled in with Marlin Yoder, who seemed to be running a pace I was comfortable with. Tucker joined us for a bit, but not liking the pace, dropped back with Deb.

Marlin Yoder and Steve Pero at the Catherine Furnace aid station

Marlin and I stayed together until the Fridley Gap aid station with the nice creek running alongside the trail. Marlin had to stop for a minute as we came down into the aid station and I left shortly before he got in. He then hooked up with Jamie Groff and that was the end of that! I would see them in the aid stations, but could no longer and didn't care to stay on the pace they were running...plus I found out that they were only going part of the way, so I "should' back off. My plans were to finish.

Marlin and Jamie go by on the steep climb out of the Fridley Gap aid station

Just before going up the road to the Vista aid station, I ran into Dennis Herr, who was there helping out and ridding his bike around. It was great to see Dennis and I followed him up the steep road to the Vista aid station, which was run by Sophie and her daughter, Virginia.

Dennis, Quatro, Sophie, Marlin, Gary and Jamie at the Vista aid station

Somewhere after the Vista aid station my stomach started to do it's usual thing, so I immediately ate a gel, which can sometimes make it not feel as bad and it worked. The trail after the Vista to the next aid station was really a nice one, even though it was cold and windy up there. I had to put my gloves on for the first time today.

Coming into the next aid (2nd to last) I again ran into Marlin and Jamie standing there eating. Jamie knew Marlin was leaving to go home soon and was planning on hooking up with me, but I was beginning to get tired and had no desire to push the pace anymore...it's time to enjoy myself, so I held back a bit taking pictures while they "ran" up the road. I walked....fast mind you, but I did walk that long uphill.

Next up was the purple trail, which after a steep climb, showed some great views of the Shenandoah Valley that Keith mentioned to me while he was running down the road. So when I reached the top of the climb I turned around and saw this.

The Shenandoah Valley as viewed from the top of the purple blazed trail

Then it was time to run down the Purple to the Fridley Gap aid station again, the purple trail seemed to go on longer than I expected, but I was getting tired and that is to be expected. When I got in to the aid station, I drank another Ensure (actually the maltodextrin based Glucerna) and headed out. I was ready to get this thing done!

Wendy and Pam at the Fridley Gap aid station
(thanks for the pickles)

Up and then down the Massanutten (Orange) trail to the Bird Knob Road, then to Catherine's aid station, which is the last one. But just as I reach the road at the foot of the Massanutten trail, I slipped on some mud and went down on my back, hitting my head on a boulder. I was seeing stars! Then when I got up and started running, my bottle was splashing all over my back from the cap partially popping off, so after fixing that I headed down the road, running as much of it as I felt like, which was almost the whole thing. My stomach was really not feeling well now after the fall and didn't feel like being nauseous for the last 11 miles. Thinking of what I could do about that, I remembered I stashed some of the Zombie ginger chews I got with our last order. Let me say up front that I absolutely despise the taste of raw ginger and when I put it in my mouth to me it tasted like a piece of soap. Not something you'd want in your mouth....but I went with it, running down the road, letting the ginger melt slowly. And you know what? It worked! By the time I reached the aid station, my stomach was feeling better, but I still didn't want to put anything in my stomach, much to Gary's insisting. "You can't make it on no carbs, Steve!" I told him I finished the last 25 miles of Hardrock on fat fuel alone just by slowing the pace down and that was my plan here. I didn't want to puke up any food I took in. Mike Bur (fellow Hardrocker) agreed and off I went...

After reaching the top of the Purple trail and down the other side, this is a left turn we couldn't miss

So off I went, 9.2 miles to go, Gary telling me to be sure to not miss the pink trail near the top of the climb. So I watched for the pink trail with intent and got on it. Here it started to rain and soon it got dark, so out with the light. Dave had told me back at the aid station that the pink trail was a "sweet" trail. Well maybe when you haven't run 45 miles....and it wasn't dark....and wasn't raining...and your feet didn't hurt....and your stomach felt like puking. Oh yeah, that was back, too. but I knew it wasn't too far, so I plugged along and when I reached the top of that climb I ran and ran the best I could. I wanted to finish under 14 hours (9PM) and according to my watch, I had plenty of time to do that!

The last shot I took before it began to rain hard and got dark
Yes, this is the trail...

Next up to look for is the Orange blazed Massanutten trail again...I ran down, down, slipped on the steep parts, in the mud. Every now and then there was a real rocky section, so I'd walk those. Then I came to a road, I heard cars, I saw lights. I kept going....Sonny's Place? WTF! I looked at my map and it sure looked like at the bottom of the pink trail you came to a road and then took a right on the Orange trail, so I walked back up and saw an orange blaze to my right and one ahead of me , so I took the right turn thinking it was the way to the Rte 211 parking area and finish. I went up this trail, folowing the orange blazes when all of a sudden they turned white! So I turned around again until I saw Orange and saw that it went up to the right...and I know we don't go uphill that much to the finish, so I looked at the map and saw the mention of the Wildflower white blazed trail and in my tired head thought that meant to follow that, so I did....all the way to the Visitor's center. NOW I know where I am, I recognize this from the 100!! Oh, crap!

The Massanutten Visitor Center
No, I didn't take this photo, it was too dark, all MMT100 vets will recognize this

So I turned around, knowing now that sub 14 is gone and people are coming in while I stumble around in the dark and cold and rain. I then decided that the only thing to do is to go all the way back to the pink trail. That's what we as trailrunners know is the thing to do if you lose your way, go back to where you still knew you were going right....so I did. And there it was! The Orange blaze on the left (as I was coming up the wrong way on the pink trail), but it was hidden on the other side of the tree from the way we were coming. I should have known to look more intently on anything that looked like a trail. My stupid....

I went down the trail and ended up in the thick woods....missed a turn again. This is getting frustrating. I see the trail dropping down into the woods and follow that and end up off trail again. This trail is hard to follow on a good day in the light when it's marked, I remember that from marking it for the 100 last May, so I marked it extra special for the last runners.

I finally make it to the finish to find that I had lost at least 40 minutes, maybe more and was lucky in that only 4 runners had come in while I was wandering up near the Visitor's center.
Well, I know I had a good day running and it would have been somewhere under 14 hours in 4th place. I can't complain about that....and besides, this wasn't a race, right? It was a fat Ass ;-)

A worried Gary Knipling welcoming me back home
(Quatro Hubbard photo)

That's it, we're done for the year....time to recover, rest for Hardrock training which begins after Jan 1st with some easy and shorter training runs. I'll finish up by saying that this course is without a doubt "the" hardest 50 mile course I have ever run. I always thought that San Juan Solstice 50 in Colorado was it, but that took me 13:20...the Wapack 50 in NH last Summer took me 13:15, the Pittsfield Peaks 53 in Vermont last Summer took me 12:55. Even the MMD 50K in the White Mountains in NH took me over 13 hours! SMUT 50 took me 14:35!!!! Even if I had come in when I thought it would have been around 13:55!!!! nuff said!

Deb and Tucker (yes, he ran the full distance, too) stayed together all day and finished feeling strong all day long. This was a distance record for the boy...

Deb and Tucker leaving the Vista aid station

You can view the rest of my pictures here...

The race link and eventual results you can view here...

Here are the unofficial results:
29 starters, 17 finishers.

Brad Hinton 11:23
Vince Bowman 11:24
Karsten Brown 12:04
David Snipes 14:23
Jim Daniels 14:24
Michele Harmon 14:30 (1st female)
Joe Clapper 14:30
Steve Pero 14:35
John Nelson 14:57
Steve Boutilier 15:41
Beth Weisenborn 15:41
Alan Gowen 15:41
Tucker Pero 15:43 (1st dog)
Debra Pero 15:44
Paul Sherlock 15:50
Barbara Isom 16:16
Vicki Kendall 16:16
Gary Lukacs 16:16

So that's it....I'll be writing a small year end report before starting next year's posts.
Until then, have a great Fall!
Steve, Deb and Tucker

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bear 100

The Bear 100 finish line banner
GROOOOWWWWLLL!

For starters let me say that the Bear is a fantastic 100 mile trail race. The trail is challenging with around 22,000 feet of climb, most single track, but does have some nice dirt road sections just when you want them. Leland Barker, RD...along with Errol Jones and Phil Lowry put on this classic in the northern Wasatch mountains. Aid stations did a great job this year. I would have liked to have seen more soup out there - it was mentioned in the pre-race briefing, but only one aid station had any when we arrived. That was disappointing, as soup is one thing both Deb and I count on during a run like this.

I didn't get to see the whole course, unfortunately. It turned out to be a very warm day, which my stomach never has liked. The one mistake I made was not to bring my maltodextrin, which I use as my fuel. Flying to races I always bring less and thought I could get by on water and Ensure, but it didn't work out. When it's hot, everything has to go right for me to finish.
As race week approached while still in New Hampshire, the weather forecast was for upper 60's in the mountains during the day and low 40's/upper 30's at night, which is perfect! When we watched the news wed night in our hotel (more on that later), the talk was of a return to summer! Now mid 80's during the day were predicted....and some told me it got near 90 degrees in the middle of the day. See how pathetic I am in the heat.....

video
Steve's not having a very good day

Back to the hotel....and I am only mentioning this as a warning to future Bear runners. Before making reservations, I asked a fellow Wasatch Speedgoat Mountain Running teammate where they would recommend and he said he stayed at the Econolodge and it was fine. The morning of the race as we were packing the car to drive to the start, a runner who I don't know came by me with a small cup in his hand screaming about bedbugs and blood all over his sheets! Deb went up in our room and saw nothing anywhere, but we only had about 2 min. to check, and the bad infestation in that one room leads to the very possible infestation in other rooms as well. We are being safe rather than sorry, and she's now in the process of washing everything in our bags in hot water with extra soap and drying in high heat in the dryer. We're also fumigating the luggage and the car. Since a call to the hotel produced no response, we called the Board of Health.
So remember this if you go next year....Don't stay at the Econolodge in Logan, Utah!

On to the race...The race began right on time at 6AM in front of the Hyrum Gibbons State Park where we all left our vehicles to return to on Saturday night. As I have started to do since losing my speed to older age, I start by walking, letting the field run away from me. Deb and Robert Andrulis joined me. It's such a nice relaxing way to begin. After maybe a mile on local neighborhood roads, we hit the trail. It started flat, but soon was climbing....up, up for about 3 miles. It was fun running along with Ed Furtaw and Rick Valentine talking about races we had been at. We were in the middle of a long congo line of runners with no chance of passing on the narrow trail, so the speed was set. The turn at the top put us on the Syncline Trail, which wandered up and down around and about and eventually at the top we reached a nice runnable jeep road which brought us to the first aid station at around mile 10.

Congo line and Deb reaching the top of the first climb

We were having fun still and joined Barb Sorrell out of the aid station, but soon the sun came up and with it the beginning of the end for me. There was one really fantastic bit of runnable trail in here somewhere where we went downhill for 10 miles....10 miles! It was on a beautiful single track trail with hardly a boulder or root to trip on. Deb and I both ran this a little too aggressively and felt a need to take a small break at aid #2, about 20 miles. The 2nd and 3rd aid stations came quickly and we were still doing OK, going back and forth with Ed Furtaw but by the 3rd aid station, it was flat out sunny and hot. From #2 to #3 was only a 3 mile slightly uphill road and I walked and jogged from shade patch to shade patch. Here I was really beginning to come undone...and the next stretch was a long uphill, 5 miles if I remember right, so we both loaded up with Cokes and Ensure and started the hike up.

Barb Sorrell coming into aid station #3, about mile 25

Much of the rest of it was a struggle for me and I think Deb knew it...saying things like "How are you doing, you're getting quiet". I actually tend to do better when I'm alone and is why we usually don't stay together in these things, but we were hoping to finish together as we neared our 8th anniversary.
A lot of this section I was with Deb and Robert Andrulis, both who were doing fine, so I try to move a little quicker as to not hold them back. Last year at Hardrock, I did my own thing and after Ouray around mile 50 I was flying up the trail. Here, trying to stay with others, Deb because that was the plan and Robert because he's a good friend made me move quicker, overheat more and stupidly drink less because I was getting overheated, along with the slight nausea that always comes with running in the heat. At Hardrock, Robert was the first runner I went by in the dark heading up to Engineer's. Hardrock was also cooler last year.

Deb obviously feeling great and having fun

At the next aid station, which I think was around mile 30 it was now brutally hot for me. I filled my bottles with water, but scowled at the Ensure Deb was wanting me to take. Robert's crew gave me some ice to put under my hat and away we went. Robert eventually pulled away as I was really slowing down now, dragging Deb back with me. By the time we reached the miles 38 aid, I was really a mess. Sick, feeling weak and I just walked over to the river and sat in it until I started to shiver. I then told Deb to go and I would catch her later after it cools down.

So after some convincing, Deb moved on to catch up with our teammate, Beth Simpson Hall...but not before taking care of me. She brought me some Coke and a cup of Alka Seltzer, which I gagged down and got some more Coke before leaving. I was still a little woozy when I left, but needed to keep moving even if just slow walking. I left the aid station, knowing I shouldn't just yet and started up the hill. I struggled up even the smallest climb as the body was just too overheated and I had only taken in a small amount of calories the past several hours in the form of Coke and even that was only a few small cups. The one bad thing about not taking in calories is your don't think straight...if I had been thinking wisely I would have stayed at the aid station until my stomach was better and my head clear.

Some beautiful section of the Bear 100

This next section to the 45 mile aid station was not a good one. I saw no runners until we reached a road and had taken no calories with me, so I'm basically a sinking ship. I was trying my hardest to sip my water, but even that was causing me to gag....not good. I reached a road, which was actually a pleasure in the waning sunlight. It was cooling down, the sun was going behind the ridge and an aid station with hopefully some much needed soup would be coming up soon. Along here at the bottom of the road I caught up to Chuck Wilson, who was out of water and having his own problems. I offered him some of my water because I was having trouble getting it down anyway and he took a half bottle of warm water. I mentioned that the river looked mighty fine and he later told me he took my advice and drank from the river, which helped him recover.

The sun is going down around mile 43

In to the aid station I go, feeling like the world wanted to come out of my stomach and the as it did it was also spinning. I was in trouble and knew it, but I have a knack of being able to hide it, which isn't always good. I walked up to the table to see if they had some soup and a smiling Karl Meltzer said "Steve, how about some soup?" Oh, man do I ever want that! This is like a dream come true for me...it's cooling down, it's dusk and I now have soup! And it's my favorite....Campbell's chicken noodle! I sat down in front of Karl's table and as soon as I emptied the cup, would hand it back to Karl, who's fill it up for me. I think I had four little mini cups, sat for maybe 20 minutes, filled my bottles with water and headed out with Robert Andrulis and Chuck Wilson and his pacer. Something I was forgetting to do is to dump some electrolytes into my bottles, but figured the soup would take care of it, but I still should have dumped the caps in the bottle because I was so far behind.
The sun is gone, coolness is setting in...

Hiking up the steep 3 miles was a real struggle and until the soup kicked in, it would be. Chuck pulled away, then Barb went by and before you know it, it happened. My stomach reeled and up came all the soup and any water I had in my stomach. Not good...

From here on in it was just an awful struggle, but one thing did happen that took my mind off of it.

Just after I stepped across a small creek, I heard a noise in the woods to the right. I ignored it, then heard a branch crack and some snorting. WTF! I turned my light, a wonderfully bright Fenix LED light over my shoulder and saw 2 eyes at eye level with me about maybe 50 yards or so. The eyes were walking towards me at a steady clip and with each step I heard a snort, like real heavy breathing. All I could think of that might be that large on all fours was a grizzly bear. My heart raced and I turned my light away from the beast and started to hike up the hill as fast as I could.(stupid, if it was a bear, but who's thinking straight at that point?) It was pitch dark and all I could see was what my light was shining on. I had visions of being mauled on the side of the trail and no one finding me until the next morning... and then the beast spoke ........mmmmmoooOOOOOOO!
It was some free range cow that was not very happy that these bright lights were going by. She may have been as scared as I was! The good news was, I was going to live. The bad news was,
I was going to live.....

But of course, then it brought me back to the race and the climb and how I was feeling and then BARF! It happened again....walk take a sip of water and BARF! This continued all the way up and then back down this 8800 foot climb. I also had a splitting headache and at this time realized that it is not my day....yeah if I was thinking right, I probably would have talked myself into sitting for a bit and going on, but all I wanted was relief from the stomach reeling and retching. On the way up and down the hill I had to sit down on the side of the trail many times as many runners went by, all stopping to make sure I was alright. What a fantastic sport this is...it's a stupid sport, but the best people in any sport are ultrarunners. I walked into the aid station after getting a little confused going through a camp ground and stepped up to the table and told the timer I was not going on.

So the next day I asked Deb....so what did I miss? Her words were that the views were much nicer, but it also got even hotter and the climbs were steeper and higher. She hooked up with Beth Simpson-Hall and together they made their way into the morning and to Deb's first 100 mile finish since 2003 Hardrock.

A smiling and happy Beth and Deb after their finish

The finishing touch of the Bear is enjoying Leland's trout on the grill, along with some shrimp on the barbie, veggie burgers and veggie soup.

Thanks to Leland, Phil, Errol and the many volunteers working the aid stations and timers calling in the times all day long. The Bear is one fine and unique 100 mile race and I highly recommend it. I hope that I get in next year because this race is becoming so popular that I see a lottery in it's future. Hope not...


Deb's Race Report
(Steve had the camera, so I have no photos, just song lyrics )

Life is Good
Life is good, the grass is green
The good Lord smilin' on you and me
Gonna knock on wood
Sweet sunshine everywhere I look

You love me like no one could
Life is good

For the first 38 miles, I had the pleasure of Steve's company. We had no goal but to finish, so were not pushing the pace, just enjoying being together in those mountains. The morning was cool, scenery was great, legs were fresh, life was good.

Stuck in the Middle With You....
I don't know why I came here tonight,
I got the feeling that something ain't right...
Okay, this is just plain dumb. I made a pit stop along the way while Steve waited on the road.
Ducking behind some weeds, I suddenly realized they weren't weeds... they were some kind of burr - and they had attached themselves all over the inside and outside of the little spanky pants that I wear under my skirt. You guys, never mind. It's a girl thing. well, seeing as these little buggers are the inspiration for the guy who invented velcro, they weren't just attached, they were STUCK. I had to pluck them off one by one by one... I think there must have been near 100 of them. Steve is out on the road calling, "Deb, are you okay in there?" I don't think I ever got all of them, because I sure did feel them the rest of the race.

You Say Goodbye, and I say Hello.
I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello..

Once Steve got sick, and insisted I go on without him, I sadly left the aid station alone, but learned that fellow Nanny Beth Simpson-Hall wasn't long gone from the aid station, so I set out hoping I might catch her, thinking it'd be way fun to run with a fellow goat. I did finally see her on a trail across the draw, and caught up eventually.

Running on Empty
Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
I don't know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels
I look around for the friends that I used to turn to, to pull me through
Looking into their eyes I see them running too

Running on, running on empty
Running on, running blind
Running on, running into the sun
But I'm running behind
Beth had a pacer for the night section, a friend of fellow goat Corey (who was working an aid station at mile 62). Jim McGregor was just the nicest guy, and he just took me under his pacing wing too... and was like a crew at the aid stations, helping both of us and staying positive and upbeat and steady. We picked up another newbie hundred miler, Barry, along the trail, but Beth led the parade the whole way. She is strong and steady, that gal! Running with Beth and gang made my race.
We travelled well at night, a good long section of downhill running and we hiked strong on the ups. We hop scotched with several runners, Duane Nelson and gang, Matt, David, and several others, and at one point passed Chuck Wilson barfing on the trail and Tim Seminoff pausing to put on some extra layers in the nightime chill. We knew that seeing Tim meant he was not having a good day, but he was pretty quiet so we travelled on.

Here Comes the Sun
Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it's all right

Barry, doing his first 100, was having a low point during the night and talked of dropping out at the next aid. Jim wisely counseled him to wait for the morning, as those "witching hours" before dawn see us all having doubts . "Nobody is allowed to drop at night. You'll feel 100% better when the sun comes up", he said. It's just always true, isn't it? Barry hung in there, and did indeed make a comeback.. Yay, Barry!

Love or Confusion?
O-oh, my mind is so messed up -uh, goin' round and round
Must there be all the colors - uh,
Without names, without sound, baby?
My heart burns with feeling, but, uh
Woe, but my mind, its cold and reeling
Is this love, baby, or uh-huh, or is it confusion?

Leaving the aid station at the ski lodge, we simply could not find the trail out, and the directions were confusing too. It was morning, the glow sticks were not glowing, and we couldn't find markers. After about 15 minutes of frustration, we finally got on track. Maddening!

Here Comes the Sun... with a Vengeance...
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...

Man, did it get hot quick that second day! The last 20 miles got nasty hot, often exposed on those ridges. There was no soup at the aid station, and I was barely able to get down any calories by this point. Not drinking much either. I have figured that I only drank about 1 bottle every three hours on average. Yes, I was dehydrated. These last miles would be a grind.

Cowboys Like Us
Cowboys like us sure do have fun
Racin' the wind, chasin' the sun
Take the long way around back to square one
Today we're just outlaws out on the run
There'll be no regrets, no worries and such
For cowboys like us
At one point, I was briefly ahead of Beth and gang, and met a cowboy on horseback, who offered to give me a ride up to the top of the hill. Maybe I looked extra pathetic. But that would have been cheating, wouldn't it?

Lost Without You
I'm lost without you
Can't help myself
Okay, this was plain maddening. On that last downhill, just a few miles to the finish, I had to make yet another pitstop! (I think there were dozens). I had no toilet paper. But, I did have a glove. Don't ask.

Happy Trails!
Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin' until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we're together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you, 'till we meet again.

Some trails are happy ones,
Others are blue.
It's the way you ride the trail that counts,
Here's a happy one for you.
Is that corny enough for you? I was very happy to get to that park. It's been 5 years since I have gotten to the end of a 100, and I was beginning to think I just didn't have it in me anymore. I needed this finish. I was glad to have shared the trail with friends new and old, glad to have witnessed the Bear, glad to hang out in the sunshine and finally SIT DOWN, and especially glad to throw away that glove....


To view all the photos & videos I took go here...

To see the results go here...

For the equipment, I started in my LaSportiva Fireblades, knowing that I'd be running more in the first half (little did i know I wouldn't be) and had planned on switching into the softer and more comfortable LaSportiva Wildcats. Deb did switch to her Wildcats at mile 51 and said the shoes were great.
We both went with our Nathan Elite 2V bottle packs instead of the Nathan HPL #020 hydration packs because of the amount of good aid stations. I also don't like the backpack when it's hot, so it was a good choice.
For fuel, we chose a variety of things....Glucerna meal replacement drink, Gu Crumbles and First Endurance Liquid Shot...none of those things worked after awhile. I usually use plain maltodextrin, but didn't bring it. Big mistake.

In three weeks we're running a 50 mile race in the Massanutten Mountains in Virginia and it will be nice to be down there with our VHTRC friends one more before the winter sets in.

Until then, have a great fall!
Steve & Deb

Monday, September 7, 2009

Adirondacks!


Trail and profile of the loop we did

This past weekend (Labor Day weekend), Deb and I decided to do one last tough long run/hike for the Bear 100, which is three weeks from this past Friday. The plan was to do the Great Traverse, which is a 26 mile loop in the Adirondack Mountains in upper New York...but we had Tucker with us so....

Let's start with the campsite, which was fantastic. We camped at Sharp's Bridge, which was about 15 minutes from the trailhead. We chose our campsite online so had no idea what we were getting, so picked one that looked as remote as possible and it turned out to be a good choice. We were down on the far side of a hill, near a small river and away from all the other campers. The other campsites were pretty close to one another with hardly any trees between, we had a great site. We went into town and had a great burger and a beer at the Ausible Inn, sitting outside on the deck taking in the small town of Keene Valley.

The next morning we were up around 5:30 and after getting our things together, went into town to grab a cup of coffee and an egg sandwich. Yumm! We then drove down to the trailhead to begin, which was the Roostercomb trailhead. The day felt broken up to us, so I will break up the report into sections.

Deb ready and rarin' to go

Section one - Parking area to the south side of Armstrong

The day was going to be a good one, sunny clear skies and 70's...we started the day by slowly hiking up the trail towards Roostercomb, which at the base was 2.5 miles. We then had a 1 mile out and back to the summit and also a small one tenth of a mile out and back to see Keene Valley from that outlook. So back at the trail after climbing Roostercomb we were 4.7 miles into the day. After some steep climbs we reached Hedgehog, then Lower Wolfjaw, which was another 2.5 miles in from the base of Roostercomb. Lower Wolfjaw was at 4165' (7.2 miles) and up next was Upper Wolfjaw, 1.5 miles ahead. But first we had to descend down into a valley between the Wolfjaws, then climb back up to the summit of Upper Wolfjaw at 4175' (8.7 miles). Our next hill is Armstrong, but we never get to see it! As we climbed and as we were nearing the summit, we came upon a ladder that was a good 30 feet up. We couldn't see a way to get Tucker up...he's too big to carry and he's not a circus dog able to walk ladders. There was one possibility in a small ledge that was perpendicular to the ladder and an animal trail that led to the small ledge. I climbed the ladder to entice Tucker to come with me, then Deb led him to the small ledge, but he looked at that skinny ledge and the 20 foot drop alongside and he just didn't feel good about it, so turned around. One of our rules is to trust the dog's instincts, so we turned around and headed for a small side trail we saw between the Wolfjaws. We stopped on top of Upper Wolfjaw for lunch, which was a nice sandwich and a Coke that we carried. We both got a fuel kick from that!

We guessed we maybe went a half mile to the ladder and back, so we're now at about 10 miles at the trail head. The trail went 2.5 miles to John's Brook Lodge, where we would hike up to Mount Marcy, the high summit of the Adirondacks. So at John's Brook Lodge we were approx 12.5 miles.

Section 2 - John's Brook Lodge to Mt Marcy at 5300' (5.5 miles)

The climb up to Mount Marcy was uneventful...it was a nicer trail than the other side in that there was plenty of water for Tucker, it was single track and the climb was manageable until we neared the top. Along the way we met several hikers coming down (it was getting later in the day) and one in particular was a couple hiking with their daughter. The man was leading and nodded as he went by, then the woman and daughter (maybe in her 20's) stopped to chat a bit. When all of a sudden the daughter said "Daddy, he has a 100 mile shirt on!" I had my Hardrock shirt on and the guy perked up and asked how many finishes we had and what other 100's we had done. We asked why he asked and he said he had done Western States and was planning on running another soon. He was easily in his 70's...he then asked us if we knew Jeff Washburn (who is a good friend of ours) and we realized what a small word it is. Here we are hundreds of miles away from home on a strange trail and we bump into a fellow ultrarunner. So if you ever run into Bob Faulk, tell him we said hi!

We continued on up and soon reached the trail intersection with the trail that comes up from Marcy Dam and there were now many hikers. Before this, we rarely saw anyone. Soon we were on the summit of Mount Marcy, 5300', 18 miles , getting yelled at by a ranger for not having Tucker on a leash in the Alpine Zone ;-) It was chilly up here, time to move on....

Deb and Tucker on Mt Marcy Summit

Section 3 - Onto to Haystack

The hike to Haystack was not very long, maybe a couple of miles, but you had to go down, down, down to the trailhead up to Haystack. Then it was a mile up to the summit. When we reached the intersection it was 5PM, now 10 hours into our day. Deb wasn't sure we should attempt it that late in the day (we were getting tired, it was going to be getting dark earlier). But I said it was only one mile and we only had to climb 900 feet, how long could it take? It was a steep and rocky climb up the trails, legs were beginning to burn and quiver from all the climbing we had done already so far. I was watching my altimeter and as it was nearing the summit height of around
4900', I yelled back to Deb that we must not be very far. We then came to a clearing with a great view of Haystack and little Haystack in the distance. We also saw the trail go down into the depths of the forest and hikers climbing up out of the forest on the other side of the valley and my interest in continuing onto the summit waned. I told Deb that it is now 5:30, we have about 9+ miles back to the car and it would be getting dark around 7. We asked a hiker about the trail ahead to Haystack and he said yeah, that it went way down, then back up. So we turned around back to the trail intersection at the bottom of Haystack, maybe around 21 miles.

Section 4 - Haystack trail intersection to the car

The trail down was nice, somewhat rocky at the top, but leveled into a dirt/slight rock trail along John's Brook. Along the way, we spotted something large and brown move into the woods and Tucker did, too and chased after it. Up there it could be anything, even a Bear...and when he came out he had lost his pack and the new filter bottle we just bought. So between the two of those things, easily 100 bucks. I went in looking for it, while Deb stayed on the trail yelling out so I wouldn't get turned around. I looked all over and never saw it....but I did see a fresh pile of Moose poop, so now knew what it was he chased.

On we go, nothing we could do about the pack and bottle....we now lost a half hour looking for it and the sun was going down behind the ridge. We ran as much as we could, soon reaching John Brook Lodge again ( 24 miles). We didn't stop, even though the food coming out of the windows smelled great! We had another 5.5 miles to the car!

We got out our headlamps and started to run, but it was just too dark and we were tripping on the rocks, so changed to a fast hike. It was not worth getting hurt now with less than three weeks to go to the Bear. It was typical night moving when you think you are going faster than you are. We passed several lean-to's with the inhabitants yelling out a greeting while cooking their dinner in the dark. Next up we saw what looked like many lights and could not figure out what they were! It was a parking lot at the trailhead and the lights were the car and truck reflector lights. But we may be at the trailhead, but the main road where our car is, is still a couple of miles down a road. So we jog down, now not worried about tripping on anything and soon reach the road, then walk the half mile or so to the Roostercomb parking area and our car. 9PM...about 30 miles give or take and close to 10,000' of climb give or take several feet.

We were hungry, tired, dirty, it was late but we didn't care. We drove to the campsite and washed up in front of a roaring fire and Deb cooked a nice meal of beans and rice which we washed down with a few beers while watching the fire lick at the air under what appeared to be a full moon with owls hooting in the distance.
It was a magical evening that topped off a magical day.


Up next, the Bear 100 on September 25th!
Steve and Deb

Monday, August 17, 2009

MMD 50K


The MMD 50K is possibly the most difficult 50K trail race in the country with a total 34.2 miles with 14,855' gain. Karl Meltzer claims his Speedgoat 50K is, so I guess I'll have to run that someday to see and we'll see if we can get Karl out here for MMD some year ;-)

My adventure began with a 5K road race I "had" to run on Thursday evening, the night before the midnight start of MMD. This Cigna 5K is a huge race in Manchester, NH with 5000 runners. It is a corporate cup and I was entered for my company's team, Farm. The race went well, even though it hurt a lot. I ran 20:56 with an age graded time of 17:17, finishing 10th overall in my age group and first on my company's team. That just set my legs up for some painful running the next day in the White Mountains.
This will be my hopeful 5th MMD50k finish and if so, I will be the first person to do that. I missed 2007 because Deb and I were living in New Mexico and last year some severe storms (lightening and hail) stopped us on the summit of Mount Washington.

After dropping Tucker, the incredible escaping dog off at yet another new kennel, this one in Conway, we headed up to Dolly Copp campground where the weekend's festivities will be held, but not without fist stopping at Moat's and having a great lunch, a pint of some micro brewed pale ale and buying a growler of it to share with my fellow racers after we finish on Saturday.

We got there when only a few had arrived and picked a nice spot to park our truck/tent...and after awhile all of the racers arrived, some not until just before we began and one after we had begun! The afternoon was spent relaxing and hydrating (with water this time) as the race was planned to begin at midnight. We napped in the back of the truck for a few hours early evening, but didn't get much sleep.

Laurel Valley, Frank Giglio, Craig Wilson and Bob Najar just before Midnight

At just before midnight, we all gathered in the dark to begin....some grizzled ultra racers were there for another go at the Whites. There were many Hardrock 100 finishers standing there, as well as Barkley fun run finishers. Standing on one side of me was John Dewalt, the 73 year old who had just finished his 14th Hardrock and on the other side of me was Craig Wilson, many time Hardrocker and Barkley fun run finisher. Looking across the circle I see Laurel valley, who just ran 23 hours at the Vermont 100 and Ryan Welts, who just set a new Pemi Loop speed record of 7:04! Missing was our friends Andrew Thompson and Mike Dobies, who couldn't make it this year.

Rick Kerby got us going by driving the pace truck down to the trail head of the Imp trail. We had to run about 1.5 miles down to it and I can just imagine what the cars driving by thought of all the headlamps running up the road. Garry Harrington, Tom Parent, Jeff List, Stanislav Trufanov (I called him Santa Claus because I was having trouble remembering his name) and I took it out hard, running down the road at what felt like marathon pace....but I felt fit and ready this year to push the pace as hard as I could for as long as I could, this being most likely my last MMD.

When we reached the trailhead, we turned left and headed into the mountains for a half day or more...up it went, steep and long up to the Carter Ridge. Most everyone from our small group had run off ahead, while Jeff list and I paced ourselves for the long journey ahead. I was climbing strong, so Jeff backed off a bit, but when I reached Mount Hight I saw his light coming up the hill behind me. I had some trouble finding the trail, but soon did and got going. The running up on that ridge was spectacular....a clear bright sky full of stars with the glow of lights from the surrounding small New Hampshire towns. Running on the ridge was good, too....some small climbs, but for the most part flat, dirt with some small boardwalks in the muddy stretches.

On the Carter Dome summit someone had pitched their tent in the middle of the trail, which caused some discussion among us the following day. This guy was snoring when I ran by, but by the time some of the other runners went be he was irritated and yelling. Serves him right for camping where he shouldn't be. The rule is 200 yards off the trail.

As we summited each climb on that ridge...Imp, Hight, Carter Dome and Wildcat...the legs grew more and more weary. I really struggled going up the final one on that side, Wildcat, but pushed as best I could to keep ahead of Jeff. I even skipped going to the Carter Hut for water after telling him I was planning to do that. Funny thing was later on we talked about it and I skipped the hut to gain some time on him and he also skipped it, thinking I was there and he was getting ahead of me.

The ski trails on Wildcat Mountain

Soon we reached the top of Wildcat and had to run down the ski slope....I had remembered from our strategy discussion the day before that Jeff said that he thought that the best slope to go down would be Catapult, which turned out to be correct. It was pretty fast running with some spots very steep. The growth on the slope was about ankle to waist deep, but you could almost always find an easy path. My feet were soaked from the run down on the grassy slope, so upon entering the only aid station in the race at 15.5 miles, I decided to change my socks. While doing this, Jeff came running in...The goal was to reach the aid station by 6am and I left at 5:30am with Jeff following close behind. We had one person in front of us now as Garry had to drop out due to an injury he got from a fall a week earlier and Tom Parent had gone off course a bit and fell behind. Off to catch Santa Claus!

Upon reaching and beginning to run on the Crew Cut trail, Jeff caught me and we would be trail companions for most of the rest of the day. Our goal was to summit Mount Washington by 8AM, which was not going to be easy because the most difficult climb was coming up...Huntington Ravine. We took turns setting the pace, and while climbing made sure we were drinking and taking in calories. At this point with the heat of the day coming, I was drinking water with electrolytes in it and First Endurance EFS Liquid Shot. I don't like eating much solid food at all, especially when it's going to be hot. Calories are calories and between the Liquid shot and several packages of Clif Shot Blocks, I never had any bonking issues. I would take a drink of the EFS, then a little while later east a block every 15 minutes to keep the calories up all the time. If I keep it steady, my stomach stays happy.

There are so many things you have to regulate when trying to keep the stomach, legs and head happy...but I think the most important thing is to keep those calories up. If you get into a bonking situation, you don't think well and start to make poor decisions. Then your stomach goes and you can no longer drink and worst of all, you don't drink anything! When that happens your race can be over if you don't recognize the symptoms....so I prefer to just keep the calories coming in, and drink as much as I can. Even with that in this heat I didn't drink enough. I didn't pee once all day long.

Up the Tuckerman Ravine trail we go and while climbing, behind us comes Tom Parent, who was gaining on us, yet said he wasn't feeling too well and based on his training was going to stop.

Jeff coming up behind me on the Huntington Ravine Trail

Soon we reached the Huntington Ravine Trail, which is a large slab of rock mostly at a 45 degree angle which you have to find handholds to put your fingers and toes....there are also some places where you need to do some rock climbing to get up and over a cliff edge. Last year we had to do this in the middle of a hail storm, but this year it was just getting hot. At least the rocks were dry...occasionally we would catch a glimpse of Stanislav, but he was easily 20 minutes ahead of us.

Jeff attempting to make one of the more difficult sections

It took us 3 hours to reach the summit of Mount Washington, so we missed our 8am goal, but did get there at 8:30, beating the bike race that was being held that day. After going in to get some water, and going up to touch the summit we headed down the trail to the Gulfside trail, which would eventually take us to the final trail down to the camp, but not for 4 hours later...

The "true" Mount Washington summit
Some of my New Mexico friends would laugh at this sign

The sun was now out and even though it was early in the morning, it was getting hot. Luckily occasionally we'd get some cloud cover when a cloud passed overhead, but mostly it was full sun. We headed East towards Mount Clay, our first bump to go over. Here Jeff was having some stomach cramping troubles, so stopped to take care of that while I continued on, saying I'd be going slow due to the heat and he'll be catching me soon. I have had so much trouble in the heat at races, that I am overly cautious, so I slow down, drink lots and try to eat some calories... I got up and over Clay and headed towards Mount Jefferson, the next loop. This was one a tough long climb, so I was preparing by taking my last long drink of the EFS Liquid Shot, probably giving me a good 200 calories. After drinking that my stomach felt a little queasy, so I slowed down some more and even stopped on top of Jefferson to take in the view and take a picture. Not seeing Jeff coming just yet, I started down and headed to Mt Adams. The Lowe's Path up to Mount Adams wasn't that bad a climb, but I was starting to cramp up in the legs. I've been taking in more than enough electrolytes and had plenty of fuel, so maybe not drinking enough...I pushed in the fluids and again stopped on top of Adams to take a short break and that's when Jeff caught up to me. His words were "I got my mojo back!" And I reminded him what I had been saying all day long "Keep pushing the pace, because you just never know what might happen up front!" He pushed down, while I told him I was going to stop at the Madison Hut for some lemonade...and this time I meant it!

Inside the Madison Hut where I got my lemonade

The Star Lake Trail off of mount Adams sucked...plain and simple, or maybe it was just a reflection on how I now felt. The rocks were large, pointy and slippery and the trail was steep. I wanted to keep pushing as best I could to prevent from losing my 3rd place...so in order to not waste time, I went into the hut and filled my bottle with lemonade and threw 4 bucks in the cup. I got out in a jiffy and headed up the Osgood Trail to the Mount Madison Summit, the last climb of the day. It was now really getting hot and my legs wanted to cramp if I moved the wrong way. The lemonade was absolutely delicious and I emptied my bottle at the top, took a picture, looked East, saw the cairns and started down.

Here I had to be careful to not miss the left turn onto the Daniel Webster Scout trail. The day before everyone said it was an easy one to miss...so as I went down, down through the rocks I came upon Laurel valley's boyfriend who showed me the turn right ahead. he said the first guy missed the turn and continued down the Osgood trail and the 2nd guy flew down the right trail. OK, Jeff, see....ANYTHING can happen!

Final trail back to Camp and the finish...
...3.5 miles to camp, 1 +more mile to the finish from there!

I started down the Daniel Webster trail, but the legs were in rough shape. I would get the start of a cramp and would have to stop until it subsided. The trail above treeline was nothing more than a jumble of large boulders and the sun was getting hot with it also reflecting back off the rocks into your face...hitting treeline was so nice. Shade and the start of seeing some dirt, the further down you went, the shadier and softer the trail got. A couple of times down lower we crossed a small stream where I'd stop to soak my head to cool off and it felt nice. The trail seems far longer than I expected, but if you have been running trails for as long as I have you begin to recognize what Deb and I call the return to the civilized world. The trees start looking different and the trail is more heavily used. I crossed over a dirt road and was hopeful that this was the road we take a left on, but dammit, I saw a blue blaze across the road heading down in the woods. On and on I go, 3.5 miles that feels like 10....getting hotter and hotter, thirstier and thirstier. Every now and then I thought I saw a tent, but it would turn out to be a dense maple tree....I was seeing things move out of my peripheral vision, the mind now playing tricks after missing a night's sleep and being on the trail all this time. Finally I pass a couple of hikers who said the road was just ahead. I heard voices, a little girl calling her daddy....yes! The campground!

I stepped off the trail onto the road and ran as best I could...slightly uphill meant some walking, nothing left in the legs, just how you like to end a race....nothing left. I see the road to Barnes Field, take another left and run (well, walk) up the hill into campsite #11. Done....3rd place, 13.5 hours, nothing left. 5 finishes, that loincloth is mine! Complete success...

Minutes after I finished, sitting with the other two finishers and those that weren't so lucky.

Nothing much more to add but all the fun of post MMD....sitting around drinking beer and eating all the great food that Jonathan cooked for us, anywhere from chicken to steak, corn, beans, pies...you name it, it was there somewhere on that table. And yes, as usual, plenty of beer!
Thanks goes to Jonathan Whitehead, RD...Rick Kerby, C0-RD...Julie Kerby, MMD mom...Anke Roth, painting the finisher awards rocks and anyone else I may have forgotten.

This is how we all felt Saturday evening, modeled by Lance Whitehead, Mini RD

Unofficial results would be something like this:

1. Jeff List 13:06 hours
2. Stanislav Trufanov 13:21
3. Steve Pero 13:30
4. Eva Pastalkova 14:30 (she started late so unsure) 1st female
5. Laurel Valley 2nd female 16 hours approx
5. Rich Collins, tied for 5th
5. Bob Najar, tied for 5th
6. Bob Combs 16:15 approx
7. Deb Pero 17 hours approx, 3rd female
7. Pat Wheatley 17 hours approx
8. John Dewalt 24.5 hours
8. Craig Wilson 24.5 hours
8. Kevin Zelechoski 24.5 hours

This is from memory, so I may be completely wrong. I seem to remember hearing there were 15 finishers, so I missed someone. Also starting but not finishing were Garry (last year's winner) Harrington , Ryan (new Pemi Loop record holder) Welts, Tom (I'm not a) Parent, Noah Duarte and Frank (rawfoodfrank) Giglio.

Equipment used...
Golite sleeveless shirt and jacket (tied around my waist all day)


This will be our last post for several weeks...time to recover a bit from this past month's adventures that I've been writing about. Next up should be a Great Traverse (26 miles, 10,000' of climb) in the Adirondacks on Labor Day weekend, then it's taper time for the Bear 100!

Steve and Deb