Just a few pics below (all of the front guys, sorry), but yesterday was a pivotal day in the sport of MUT running.
- As I see it, the discussion is over whether fast road marathoners can compete in ultra trail races. With a relatively short transition period, runners like Alex Varner and Emily Harrison have made the move with great success (4th and 1st yesterday, respectively.)
- The course-specific training theory was also tested. Listen to how Zach trains…it ain’t on trails.
- Speaking of Zach…he’s a beast. I saw him at each aid station, and he looked fantastic. Great attitude, strong, peppy legs, and an obvious desire to win. And at the finish, the dude came in spent. I asked him if he’d left anything out there and he said nope, that was everything he had. We also talked about getting chased by Sage and Rob, and he said he had no idea where they were, as he never saw them or heard from them. The only problem he had was “I dunno man, I had a little side stitch for awhile!” Now at some point, he’ll get caught, and the real test will come with how responds, but for now, “the freight train” is on his own.
- You want to envy him some more? The job he’s taking in Colorado has him teaching engineering to school kids using LEGOs. He’ll be getting payed to play with damn LEGOs.
- I was crewing for Chris Vargo, and when he DNFed at mile 38, Alycia Shay (his other crew, and a Wyoming native) had some very direct, but supportive words to him: “You got bucked off. Gotta get on again.” That stuck with me.
- Rob told me he’d never been in a darker place than he was in the final 12 miles. And he still passed Sage with 1/2 mile to go. Rob’s a tough dude.
- Giant cut-out heads either make people smile or freak out.
- Nike is here to stay. A company of that size could have easily thrown a stack of money at MUT running and poached the best contracted runners out there. Instead, they carefully chose some fast guys and gals (Ghelfi, Varner, Vargo, McRae, etc) who weren’t signed, and took a big gamble on this wacky kid on a cruise boat. Well done. Although only a few months old, Nike Trail Elite snagged 6 of the top 10 spots at LS.
- RDs from other races should really use Lake Sonoma as a training camp. That’s how you organize a race. Now sure, John donates the money and seems to have a bit more to spend than other RDs, but there’s nothing fancy about this race. Nice course, great volunteers (those aid stations were awesome), no Coldplay blasting at the finish, and no fuss.
- Billy Yang was with Alycia and I all day and he’s making a short video about the front pack. This is his film from Sean O’Brien 50 from earlier this year. Can’t wait to see this one!
- Ann Trason called me a “loser” for not sticking around to see the entire field come through the aid station she was working. And she meant it.
Here are some pics. If you want one, email me and I’ll get you an HD copy.