31 March 2010

Leor Pantilat and His Encore Performance in Utah!

Usually the fastest runner in a race gets the victory. This was not so for the 2010 Antelope Island Buffalo Run. As we saw two weeks ago, Geoff Roes missed a turn at Way Too Cool and Leor Pantilat took advantage of the blunder and received the "win."
This past Saturday I played the role of Leor while Scott Jaime played the role of Geoff.

Going into the race my goals were to set a new 50M PR and go after Pedatella's 6:43 course record. The race started leisurely as Scott, Erik, and a few others caught up with each other. I was waiting for a rabbit to take off to start the racing but it didn't happen so I steadily increased the pace to get a little separation. Scott followed and I figured we'd be dueling it out all day with Storheim not far back. Scott and I were within seconds through the first 18M. Around mile 10 my right shoe lace came untied; I chose not to stop and tie because the way we were racing those seconds could have proved crucial late in the race. A few miles later I could feel the inevitable crap on deck. I absolutely hate having bowel movements during a race and it was not subsiding. Luckily, a few miles later there was a port o john on the course. Scott ran through while I heartily downloaded the remaining 6" of my footlong sub from the previous evenings feed. I exited the throne and began chasing down Scott when I saw him looking back at me with hands in the air. There was no signage but we were apparently supposed to turn around once we got to the toilet. We both lost around 5 minutes with Scott running an extra mile or so looking for clues.

Once the mistake was corrected we got back on the trail and had to focus once again at the task at hand. Scott opened up a 30-60 second lead for the remainding 99% of the race. At the 44M AS I felt nauseous and thought I would be dealing with yet another type of bodily fluid voiding. Thankfully Mr. Upchuck said,"I just wanna chill!" I then drank two cups of Coke, walked about 20 steps and prepared for the final 6M. At 47 I got a visual of Scott after losing it during my time at the AS. At this point the trail became technical and I was having a blast dancing through the rocky trail. During the dance party I noticed that the gap was shrinking between Scott and I. I gave it my all and knew I was running out of real estate. With less than .5 mile to go Scott ran past the flour arrows that led to the finish and headed towards the coned arrows which directed the mornings parking. He then looked back as I pointed and turned down the correct path. From here I ran like a 5th grade boy who just stole some candy from the supermarket. It was fun to find the extra gear at the very end of the race. I then crossed the finish line like Leor with Scott about 1 min. back. It was amazing that we ran within a minute of each other for the whole race!
It is not the way I want to win a race and this is the second time it has happened to me. Overall I accomplished both of my goals: 6:31 New 50M PR and a new course record. I honestly felt bad for Scott- it had to be heartbreaking! It was great to chat with him after the race and he graciously gave me a "coke." I feel indebted to him because of my thievery and will present him with some "cokes from Gunnison" when we see each other at Lake City- it should be epic!

After the awards ceremony I made it a full day ultra: Run 6.5 hours, drive 7.5 hours home- arriving to my wife, friends, a shower, and my own bed, PRICELESS! I kept the trend going the next morning and cooked up the Famous Burch Waffle Breakfast for the four of us. Needless to say the recovery was rather quick because of the flatter course. Jim Skaggs puts on a great event: the race was well organized and the Buffalo Stew is a tasty postrace feed. Now I have 3 weeks until I do it all over again at Fruita! Running is fun!

20 March 2010

Grand Mesa 100!

After a few weeks of going back and forth on what July race(s) to run I've finally come to a decision. Many of you won't believe it but I am once again going to run a 100 miler. I am getting psyched to run the 1st Annual Grand Mesa 100 out of Cedaredge, CO. What prompted me to go for this race: 1. The course is 76.5 miles of trail, 20 miles of FS Road, and a scant 3.5 of pavement. 2. I have yet to explore this area of CO up close and personal- I am excited to run all around the Grand Mesa!
3. The average elevation of the course is 9,200 ft. with roughly 85% being above 10K and a high pt. of 11,200. 4. Compared to Hard Rock or Leadville this can be the course you can set a PR on a challenging CO mountainous 100 Miler. 5. 14 Aid Stations
6. Complimenting the 100 miler are the 50 and 37 mile options. Great for friends and family who want to join in on the festivities! 7. The race is held July 24-25, a beautiful time in the CO mtns. 8. Generous 33 hour cutoff. 9. As a grassroots race the early entry costs only $120.00! Only $150. after April 10th- it would be hard to find a better deal for 100 miles. 10. A new course=running blind-always great to run brand new terrain! So, if you still need to plan out July races- give this one a go!

In other news...Next Saturday I'm heading out to Utah for the Antelope Island Buffalo Run 50 Miler. This will be a new 50 for me. One of the goals is to set a new 50 mile PR and go for Pedatella's CR. Look for Scott Jaime and Erik Storheim to be running up front-should be a good one, it will signal the beginning of many 50 milers for me in the next 3 months...On your mark...get set...go!

15 March 2010

Salida 2010...Ain't Nuthin' but a Hounddog!

Wow, it is good to be racing healthy once again! First I need to give credit where it is due- strong work by Parr, Henshaw, and Clark- it was fun watching the battle for second as I ever so slightly gained ground on third. Well done gentlemen!
The drive to the race was peaceful. The frost on the trees glimmered in the early morning sun as twinkling diamonds while Meg and I cruised through the meandering and 3 degree cold sections of Hwy 50. I remember telling her that today I get to do my favorite thing- running hard through the mountains in a variety of terrain and conditions with a lot of fun people. I am so grateful for this; we shared some time for Jenna and had her close to our hearts on this day. Remember what you have...
The check in brought a lot of smiles seeing friends from the running community- Bill Dooper the best fan of ultrarunning greeted Meg and I with a huge hug! As I prepared for the race my action suit for the day made me chuckle. A few weeks ago Brooks sent me the 2010 Race Uniform which included a neon green singlet and black shorts with neon green sides. I held the shorts up in the air, "These are short shorts!" You guessed it- I had to give them a try-I felt like the total roadie with the side split shorts and too much man thigh...So the benefits-1. Light as a feather, felt like I was running in nuthin'! 2. They had the vital hip pockets for storing GU's. 3. "What is that guy wearing?! obnoxious factor. Cons- holy cow did my upper leg get sunburned! The sunburn pattern is awesome with all the unburned speckles where the mud hit the back of the legs...ok too much info- onto the race.
The race started fast...I settled into a comfortable pace with Marco P as the rabbits ran for their lives. It took me awhile to start feeling the flow- the first 45 minutes consisted of a lot of spitting, farmer blowing, clearing the throat, productive coughing, and other upper respiratory delights as I recovered from some early week sinus fun. After passing through the half marathon turn around aid station the volunteers let me know I was in 6th. Thus beginning my run as the hungry hound. I was like a locomotive all day-gaining momentum as the race chugged along. At the turn in Turret I was 6th with 5th entering the aid 10 sec. ahead of me. I quickly filled the bottle, downed a GU and set off for rabbit #5. I could see that rabbit #5 was fading as I passed him on the opening climb out of Turret. On the crest of this hill I witnessed Marco P take a HARD fall on the ice-with adrenaline in his voice he said he was good...unfortunately the fall had some adverse affects and he wisely called it a day. A few miles down the road Kate L told me that the guy in front of me (Andy) was walking. Extra motivation to hunt rabbit #4. At the 17.2 turn I got a visual of Nick and Dan V ascending the snow packed road with Andy about a minute behind. It was going to be a race! From the turn I began to consistently gain ground on rabbits 2-4. Around mile 20 I saw a flash of red through the trees. Unexpectedly rabbit #4 had changed from Andy to Dan V. I moved passed knowing that 4th was secure and giving it my best to track down rabbits #3 and #2. With about 4 miles to go I caught some more visuals in and out of the trees as I descended. They were pushing each other so hard for the 2 spot that the ground I was gaining felt only like a few seconds on each minute. As I came out of the technical and onto the "groomed" trail above Tenderfoot I saw that Andy had made a small gap on Nick. In the last few miles I pushed the downs trying to remotely see if I could give Nick a scare. Once we hit the flat by the railroad tracks I knew Nick the Quick would safely make it to the comfort of his rabbit hole. Nonetheless I charged in to keep the margin of his victory small- somewhere between 30-40 seconds (the official results are off). Saturday the hound went home hungry...Overall I felt strong throughout the race, gaining steam with each mile. The strength is there- time to fine tune it with some structured speed/hard effort sessions. A beautiful day to race- lots of sun, mud, snow, and fun!

1. Tim Parr 3:13:xx
2. Andy Henshaw 3:18:xx
3. Nick Clark 3:19:xx
4. RWB 3:19:36 (my watch)

Another solid outing; Gunnison runners took 3 of the top 6 spots with Keri Nelson winning the women's division.
2010 Tale of the Tape Race Series: Nick the Quick wins Round 1 by a hare! It's shaping up to be a good one! Nick, I'll round up and spot you 1 minute for your win in our margin of victory times.
Ryan's Excuse: "I did a VO2 max on Tuesday and I know that the effort cost me at LEAST two minutes on race day!"

In other news: On Tuesday I met with Dr. Scott Drum of Western State to do my first of a few VO2 max tests in the High Altitude Performance Lab at Western. I learned that it takes approx. 4-8 months to fully acclimate to 7700 ft. Gunnison altitude also decreases VO2 by 10-15% compared to sea level and decreases max heart rate and many other factors.
Results: 58.7 VO2 max- Parr has one of the highest tested at this facility at 69 ml/kg/min!
Max HR: 180
HR at Rest: 43
Wt: 143.5
Ht: 5'8''
Later this year we are also going to test lactate threshold and economy. These 3 factors along with genetics play a huge part in ones running ability. It is fun to be a lab rat for these tests! BTW the weather in Gunnison is awesome today- above 40-heat wave! Get out and run!

08 March 2010

Ode to Salida

Alright ladies and gents, the 5th Annual Run Through Time Marathon is this Saturday! This is also my 5th year at this race. I have some Salida ties and it has become a tradition with the run and celebrating St. Patty's Day with fam and friends. Let's take a quick look at who will be charging for a podium spot:

Tim Parr- last year's champ, 'nuf said.
Me- last year's runner up and '08 champ in the snow when Tim, Duncan, and Pedatella missed the crucial turn...I broke trail and left half the blood from my shins in the crusty snow so everyone else would know where to go...
Nick the Quick Clark- bronze medal last year, looking to improve so the smack talk can begin :)
Nick the Genius Pedatella- 4th last year, consistent, watch for a late surge!
Marco Peinado- the darkhorse this year. Met him after a debut bronze at the Steamboat 50- he may thrive on the shorter distance, I think he ran at Metro State.
Doug C. Newton- his downhill is improving, look out for him if there is mega snow/slop conditions!
Since there is no runners list- this is what I could compile from out in computer land. Hopefully there will be some surprise entries that spice it up!

In the half: A shout out to the ladies- watch out for Carly, Kir, and Meg as the trifecta are working together for Carly's first half! Jeremy R is using the half as a tune up before the Grand Traverse! Let's get it done!!!

03 March 2010


A few weeks ago my friend from across the pond thought that him and I should add a little spice to our 2010 races by instituting our own race series. In an attempt to fuel his ultra competitive spirit I humorously agreed. Ladies and gentlemen I would now like to present the 2010 Tale of the Tape Race Series: FLYIN' RYAN B VS. NICK THE QUICK C

The Challenger

Spotlight on Nick the Quick C

Height: 5'9''
Weight: 140-150
Age: 35
Birthplace: Canterbury, United Kingdom
Bicep Circumference: Large
Shoe Size: 9.5
Preferred Shoe: Pearl Izumi Peak XC
Running Strength: And I quote, "Leaving Burch in my dust!"
In his corner: Dazzling Dana and Muhammad Ali-stair


26.2- 2:43 (Dublin, 09)
50K- 6:02 (HMI, 07)
50M- 7:03 (CP, 09)
100M- 21:30 (Bighorn, 09)

The Champ

Spotlight on Flyin' Ryan B

Height: 5'8''
Weight: 145
Age: 30
Birthplace: Colorado Springs, CO USA
Bicep Circumference: 13'' (Larger than Nick's)
Shoe Size: 10
Preferred Shoe: Brooks Cascadia
Running Strength: Technical downhill
In his corner: Merciless Megan and Studley Dudley


26.2- 2:44 (Colorado, 09)
50K- 4:05 (Bluesky, 09)
50M- 7:00 (Silver Rush, 09)
100M- 20:51 (LT, 09)

Now for our racing history...

2007 Leadville 26.2- Nick=4:16, Ryan=4:31, Margin of victory=Nick+15 min.
Ryan's Excuse: "We didn't even know each other then!"

2008 Steamboat 50- Ryan=8:31, Nick=8:42, Margin of victory=Ryan+11 min.
Nick's Excuse: "It was my first 50 miler!"

2008 Bluesky 26.2- Ryan=3:30, Nick=3:47, Margin of victory=Ryan+17 min.
Nick's Excuse: "I was still recovering from the Steamboat 50!"

2009 Salida 26.2- Ryan=3:11, Nick=3:24, Margin of victory=Ryan+13 min.
Nick's Excuse: "I slept in my car and froze all night, the body finally warmed up after I finished!"

2009 Pilot Hill 25K Classic- Nick=1:45, Ryan=1:47, Margin of victory=Nick+2 min.
Ryan's Excuse: "I decided to do this race less than 24 hours before it started, and it was so short!

Totals: Ryan=3 wins, Nick=2 wins. Total Margin of Victory (all races combined)- Ryan=+24 min.

Now for the 2010 Head to Head Schedule...

1. Salida 26.2
2. Fruita 50M
3. Jemez 50M
4. *Speedgoat 50K- Ryan still needs to figure out his July race schedule*
5. Pikes Peak 26.2

The winner of the Tale of the Tape 2010 Race Series will receive an all expense paid dinner for him and his spouse graciously paid by the runner-up. In the event that Ryan does not run Speedgoat and there is a 2-2 tie the winner will be crowned following the next head to head race.

And now America, cast your vote by typing "1" for Ryan or "2" for Nick at either Ryan's or Nick's blog: http:www.irunmountains.blogspot.com

Let the games (and talk) begin!

Studley Dudley the English Bulldog