Monday, December 29, 2008


While preparing Christmas eve dinner, the hound from hell (our terrier) crossed under my feet. In an effort to avoid squashing him like a bug (not sure I still support that decision) I caught my toe on the cabinet door. CRACK! So, now just coming off my calf injury and with some really challenging events planned, I am hobbled with a broken toe and bruised foot. Oh well, got to tape it up and hit the roads and trails.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


I just learned that I have been unlucky enough to have been selected for the 2009 edition of the Barkley marathons. This is a 100 mile running event that is considered the hardest event of that distance. It takes place in Frozen Head state park in Tennessee. From Matt Mahoney's website:

The Barkley is considered one of the toughest 100 mile races in the world. It has 52,900 feet of climb (and 52,900 feet of descent), more than any other 100 mile race, more than the 33,000 ft. of climb at Hardrock, and more than the 45,000 ft. at Nolan's 14. Since the race began in 1986, only 7 runners out of about 650 have finished within the 60 hour cutoff. The race consists of 5 20-mile loops with no aid except for water at two points. The cutoffs for the 100 mile race are 12 hours per loop. The 60 mile "fun run" has a cutoff of 40 hours, or 13:20 per loop. To prove you completed each loop, you must find 9 to 11 books (varies) at various points along the course and return a page from each book.

Click here for an interesting Washington Post article.

Well, I guess I need to start training! Below is my predicted race photo somewhere within the first 2 loops:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


A bunch of us Ultraholics tend to "tag" each others blogs with a list of questions. Since we are nearing the end of 2008, I thought I'd get the game started. The questions I posed to each Ultraholic is listed below, along with my answers. I am tagging Rajeev Patel, Michael Kanning, Peter Lubbers, Chihping Fu, Clara and Lisa Bliss (even though she hasn't joined our Ultraholics group.....yet).

1. What was your 2008 running highlight and running low?
For me, my highlight had to be my Badwater 135 run. Keys 100 was a close second as it was my P.R. 100 and I was first male overall (small race so don't be impressed), but Badwater was just perfect. The challenge, my crew, the support, the race, the other runners, everything. Hands down, my lowest running moment in 2008 (and all years) was my first and only DNF ever at mile 80 of Rocky Raccoon 100 thanks to piriformis.

2. What race are you secretly planning on doing (or contemplating) for 2009 but haven't made it known to the public....until now.
For me, that would be the Barkley. I always saw that as a never-will-I-do-that event. But that was exactly the way I felt about Badwater. I am definitely going to try and enter that baby for 2009.

3. Where would you like create and direct an ultra that (to your knowledge) none exists?
My choice would probably be the Markleville Death Ride course. I have semi-joked that I would run this bike ride in 2009. The climbs, the scenery, the altitude and the miles (200km) all add up to a heck of a challenge and event.

4. What is your "primary" race for 2009?
I want to go back to Badwater and try to run it as fast and as hard as I can.

5. What is the most exciting thing about your upcoming race schedule?
Well, if I get into Barkley or Spartathlon or, of course, Badwater I would be stoked. But for me it is the fact my fiance Cori has stated that she will be doing her first ever ultra in 2009!!!!

6. List your planned races for 2009:
Me: H.U.R.T 100 (but because my injury slowed my training will probably give a waitlister a gift and instead do Rocky Raccoon 100); Old Pueblo 50; (here I would add Ruth Anderson 100km - but think I will be honeymooning in Italy at the time - sorry Raj); Keys 100; Badwater 135; Spartathlon; Vineman Triathlon; Cactus Rose 100; Fear & Loathing 100km; Sunmart 50.

OK - tag!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


This is outside my office (I shot it through my window so images aren't great). Shows a feeding frenzy of cormorants, pelicans and some egrets feasting on a school of anchovie.


The movie that really got me interested in doing Badwater was Running on the Sun. After watching it the first time I said "Never will I do that race." Well, I did end up doing it this year.

Now there is a new movie out about Badwater. This is The Distance of Truth. It centers mostly on the race of Canadian ultrarunner Ferg Hawke. Overall, I really enjoyed the movie. The starting scene was very powerful and kind of set the tone for the movie (Death Valley is a very hot place). At times it was a bit melodramatic, but not to the point it bothered me.

The race, like Running on the Sun, centered mostly on two runners. Here it was Ferg and ultrarunning legend Scott Jurek. However, Running on the Sun had more elements of the women's race and non-elites in it.

This movie shows Badwater as the race exists today (multiple waves, smaller crews, etc.) It does seem to really drive home the fact that people can die - but it has never happened at Badwater, so there's that bit of melodrama.

Anyway, great ultra flick. Check it out!