Ultramarathon Daily News, Mon, Dec 5

Ultramarathon Daily News

The dos and don’ts of wildlife encounters on the trail.

I’m frequently asked about my beer holder, so here it is on Amazon Prime. (Affiliate Link.)  Perfect gift for the outdoor beverage fan in your life.  Useful, inexpensive, and unique. 

Twenty awesome outdoor bumper sticker slogans. What are they missing…ahem…besides >26.2.

ultramarathon alphorn rickey gates
Guest alphorn player at Cardiac. Guess who?

Here’s a great story about a team of volunteers who are helping complete a 932 mile trail from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea in Eastern Europe. The scenery looks stunning and the physical, social, and political effort has been monumental…anyone fancy a trip to the Caucasus for some trail work?

Quick Thoughts from The North Face: 

  • From Tennessee Valley at mile 10 where Hayden came though with Zach maybe 10 seconds back, it was clear the race was on.  Most people I spoke with assumed those two would push each other to a breaking point, then this and fourth place would pick up the carnage.  We were wrong.
  • Hayden’s aid station hand-off at TV was spectacular.  He came flying in at low-5 minute pace, handed bottles to family, grabbed two new ones, and didn’t miss a beat. Incredible.
  • Coree Woltering came tearing through the aid station in a crop top and speedo.  Totally cool to do that when you’re running well, but when he started to blow up (tough race season for past few months including a 5:25 at Tunnel Creek a few weeks ago), it was a wise move to take a DNF then wander around in his underwear.   Anxious to see his next race.
  • The weather couldn’t have been more perfect.  The Headlands can be cloudy one day, then clear the next morning, then raining that afternoon, the windy at night.  We had perfect weather from morning until sunset.  Sixty degrees, clear, no wind, and perfect views of the Pacific, Golden Gate Bridge, and the SF cityscape.
  • A part-time statistician, amateur cartographer, and relentless masters competitor from the bay pointed this out: Zach’s mile 29.4 split of 3hr14min (with 5000ft climbed) was a 6:36 mpm pace.  Pretty much on par with Varner and Vargos 2014 Way Too Cool, only TNF had more climbing…and 18 more miles still to go.  Incredible.
  • PanToll/Cardiac aid station was cool. Most runners in good spirits with a fun cheering crowd to set the tone. The soothing obnoxious sounds of the alphorn beckoned runners from afar…
  • Cardiac is also where the women’s race really picked up. Ida Nilsson wasn’t giving up and Magda was strong and positive on her own turf.
  • It was pretty awesome seeing Diane Van Deren out there.  If you aren’t familiar with her incredible story, check it out here
  • Again nearing Tennessee Valley on the way back (mile 42), Zach was running down Fox Trail in a way that only he can.  He was in tremendous physical pain and anguish, spit flying, grunting, face grimacing, but at the same time pushing hard downhill.  That ability is not learned…he was born with that and it’ll take an equally strong competitor to beat him.
  • The North Face and Publicis Hawkeye (race organizers) really put on a solid event. It’s big, it’s commercial, but it’s run well, has a great vibe, and continually draws top talent.  Bravo!
  • Lots of talk about team rosters for next year. Who’s going where, when so-and-so’s contract is up, and what it all means. More news after January 1.
  • Lessons were learned. Cody Reed pushed it hard and had his first real bonk of his ultra career. Anxious to see how he comes back and what he’ll do differently.
  • So much talk was on the Jim/Sage/Zach/Hayden (potential) shootout that somehow many of us overlooked David Laney.  Perfect race for him and he executed well to a strong third place.
  • The LetsRun Idiot Squad comes after Zach Miller and Sage (and others) come to his defense.
  • Not as much attention was paid to the 50k, but Cole Watson certainly made an impact by winning the race–which had plenty of talent–by over 20 minutes.   He’s a Trails and Tarmac runner who ran his first ultramarathon on Saturday. Dang.
  • iRunFar has a rundown of all the results and details right this way.
  • I interviewed couch-to-50 guy Steven Wiseman last week and haven’t spoken to him since, but the official data doesn’t show anything past mile 9.8.  Hope he’s good.
Coree Woltering looking strong and confident.  Pic by Nate Dunn.
Coree Woltering looking strong and confident. Pic by Nate Dunn.

A lot happened at the North Face, but I’d  be remiss to not mention Jacob Puzey’s 4:57 50 miler on a treadmill at The Running Event in Orlando.  New World Record! What sounds like an otherwise lackluster tradeshow, this must’ve been a highlight for most to see.  Mike Wardian, your move…

Ever had your VO2 max tested? Should you?

jorge maravilla ultramarathon
Jorge Maravilla coming thru Pan Toll to an eventual 4th place finish.

And on the other side of the country, Xterra World Championships took place in Hawaii over the weekend. This was Ryan Hall’s real trail debut (especially since taking up weight lifting and bulking up), and he came in 18th. (Full results here.) Yep, he got chicked, which I assume hasn’t ever happened to him in a competitive event.  Hopefully it lit a fire in him and we’ll see him on the trails more. Imagine a 2:04 dude running Sonoma…

…and on the other side of the world, Kawauchi battled injuries to finish strong at the always competitive Fukuoka Marathon.  Great report right here.

ida nilsson ultramarathon
Ida Nilsson. Pic by Nate Dunn.

Why the USATF election for president matters.

How’d Western States Endurance Run and Hardrock 100 lotteries pan out for you?

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