01 December 2019

pacing Lucca at the Seattle Marathon

I am so proud of Lucca! 2019 was the eighth time we have run the Seattle Marathon together and this year she got within 59 seconds of her marathon PR. Wow!

Here's to these types of family traditions.

26 October 2019

Javelina Jundred 100 km

For someone that professes to be an ultra "runner", actually running for extended periods of time is one of my weaknesses. #irony

I'm used to (and my body prefers) ultras that include hiking, technical trails, and perhaps just a slower average speed? Well, the Javelina Jundred is NOT one of those "slower" races. For the 100 km event, you gain a total of just 3,900' and only 5,000' for the 100 mile! So why is the finishing rate consistently around 50%?! Because there is a lot more than vert to an ultra.

Here I am about 10 minutes prior to the start. Things are looking up!

13 October 2019

Dawg Dash 10k

Gosh, I think the Alaska Airlines Dawg Dash is my first 10k ever and other than a 5k I ran years ago in Seward Park, it's my shortest race in a very, very long time. And you know what? Short is fun but it's also not easy. :)

This was my first hard effort after dropping out of the Whistler Alpine Meadows 100 mile race (mostly) due to Plantar Fasciitis three weeks ago and it was so awesome to be able to push the pace again. And just to run!

20 September 2019

Whistler Alpine Meadows 100 mile - my first DNF

I was super psyched for the Whistler Alpine Meadows 100 mile race! For so many reasons.
  • It's in freaking Whistler!
  • Gary Robbins is the promotor.
  • It's the same distance and elevation gain as UTMB (legit!) and a qualifying race.
  • It would be my biggest challenge to date.
In truth, considering what I was up against on race day I should be very proud of how long I lasted which was 60 km. But it took me a few days to go from super disappointed to proud... understandable I guess when this is your "A" race for the year. :)

Here I am after calling it quits.

Let's walk (pun intended) through the race and the days leading up to it, shall we?

24 August 2019

Ragnar Trail Rainier Black Loop

The Ragnar Trail Rainier Black Loop was my first ever running stage race. Unlike the regular Ragnar format which is a relay race, the Black Loop format is just like TransRockies where teams consist of two people and you need to finish each stage together since the clock stops when the second person in your team crosses the line. My partner was Martin de Vrieze who I have been running with for several years and even raced with at events like the Eiger Ultra Trail 101k.

[Photo credit Heather de Vrieze.]

Martin and I are super compatible. Depending on the event, one of us will be a little faster but we're usually close to each other. On this weekend we both had good days and incredibly won every stage and the overall. I'm still in disbelief.

17 August 2019

pacing Lucca at the Waldo 100k

I have never started a race with the intention of running with a pacer but I have lucked out on several occasions and ended up connecting with some excellent ones (most notably here and here). Ever since the first time I have realized how helpful they can be. I have also paced several friends and run with Lucca at the Seattle Marathon many times and at the Sun Mountain 50k once and so when I heard she was going to run the Waldo 100k I jumped at the opportunity to help her out again.

Lucca had a GREAT run and I had an awesome time.

Here's to many more shared experiences.

27 July 2019

Section J of the Pacific Crest Trail (Stevens Pass to Snoqualmie Pass)

We have amazing trails in the Pacific Northwest. The big daddy is the Pacific Crest Trail that runs from Canada all the way to the Baja California border. This trail is divided into sections and section "J" covers the stretch between Stevens Pass and Snoqualmie Pass. I'm sure other sections are just as fabulous but being close to home, this specific section has additional appeal. I ran it for the first time last year and this year I had some friends that wanted to give it a go so I jumped at the opportunity to experience it again.

Let the adventure begin!

25 July 2019

RAMROD (Ride Around Mt Rainier One Day)

I. Love. This. Ride.

RAMROD is perhaps the most scenic, iconic, and challenging recreational ride in the Pacific Northwest. Over the years I have ridden it loads of times and although some years have been harder than others, it's always been an awesome experience. This year I rode it with my good friends John Phillips and John Ospina and a friend of John Ospina's Mark. These guys drug me around the mountain without complaining and waited for me at rest stops. Good friends are great to have.

22 June 2019

Broken Arrow Skyrace 52k

I love this picture!

I'm jumping to ring the cowbell at the finish of the Broken Arrow Skyrace 52k in Squaw Valley while holding my phone so I could film my run to the finish. I'm not crying, I am tired, and I'm very happy.

21 June 2019

Broken Arrow Skyrace VK (Vertical Kilometer)

A Vertical Kilometer never fails to impress, and the Broken Arrow Skyrace edition didn't disappoint. Per Skyrunning rules, these events gain 1,000 meters in no more than 5k, must be above 2,000 meters and the incline has to exceed 30%. #vertisreal

If you go to any high alpine ski area that has a peak above treeline and find the most direct route from the base to the top, you get the idea. Most of the time you are not on a trail.

18 May 2019

Sun Mountain 50k

I had a big dose of self-doubt going into this race which is kind of funny as I have raced quite a few times in my "career" so you'd think that nerves would be a thing of the past. Well, nothing like setting an aggressive time goal to bring that back in a hurry. :)

Luckily it was a perfect day for the Rainshadow Running Sun Mountain 50k. It had rained the day before so there was no dust and it had dried up enough before the start that there was no mud. Just loads of awesome singletrack. It was about 48 degrees when we took off and in the upper 60s at the finish.

Did I mention that my sister Lucca was there running too and that I ended up running almost the entire event with my friends Aaron Ostrovsky and Simeon Ashworth? Complainers had zero ammunition in other words.

27 April 2019

REVEL Mt Charleston Marathon

REVEL Mt Charleston Marathon baby!

Oh man, some people sure do LOVE their marathons... and apparently a ton of people also love downhill marathons since qualifying for prestigious events like Boston or New York is such a big deal. Hence the REVEL series where every single event seems to lose elevation. This particular event loses FIVE THOUSAND FEET. I know, right? #mindblown

I signed up for this not to go PR hunting, rather I figured a long, downhill run would be great training for big trail races. Turns out it was. And I did get a marathon PR...

Also, just a few weeks ago I said I had run my first road race in years, now I have run two in the same year!

24 March 2019

Mercer Island Half Marathon

I couldn't have picked a better day for a road race. It wasn't too hot, it wasn't too cold, it was dry, I had tons of friends and clubmates running in the Mercer Island Half Marathon, and there were even friends by the side of the course cheering us on. Nice!

16 February 2019

Moab Red Hot 55k

The Moab Red Hot 55k is entirely on a jeep road. There are occasions where said "road" is incredibly steep and/or technical (because that's what jeepers love), and about 25% of this course is on sandstone. If your raison d'etre is twisty, turny, woodsy singletrack, you might want to pass this one by. That said, sections of this course are stunning! There's nothing quite like running on top of a sandstone shelf that drops off into space on one side. Or running on the Slickrock Trail. I think the main reason I continue to race ultras is just to see new places that I would otherwise never explore so this was a welcome change of scenery.

Here I am after finishing, still practicing keeping my eyes open when someone takes my picture. Obviously, 55 years of practice is not enough.

02 February 2019

Orcas Island 50k

4th time's the charm!

I have been knocking on the door of six hours at the Rainshadow Running Orcas Island 50k for some time and finally managed to get there. I was not the fittest I have ever been but we had a super day and my pacing definitely is much better than it used to be so today really was a case of (my more) experience(d) (self) triumphing over (my more) youth(ful) (self).