Sunday, April 5, 2009

American River 50

Here is the very quick and dirty from me.
What a rough day out there.
1) It helps to train on the black stuff if you want to perform on the black stuff.
2) Not good to race in 7 oz Mizunos on black stuff if you got them 1 week before the race.
3) Ibuprofen. I should have carried some as it completely rejuvenated my trashed quads at mile 40.
4) They added 2+ miles to the course this year, maybe with more and with more technical/rocky single track than last year according those who have run it in the past, hence the slower overall times.
5) Max King ran strong considering he was 30-something place at the World XC race ...last weekend!
6) The NorCal ultra running scene is excellent and I would recommend running out there when you get the chance. I'll be running more out there for sure as my little brood is moving out there this summer!
I'll try to post something more this week..results are at..


  1. You're in Western States, so great job. The possible extra distance explains a lot. I was surprized that the times were slower. You might have just ended up injuring yourself if you trained too much on the roads anyway.

    Great race and congratulations on the WS qualification. How about that Omine fella? I'm not sure he's done too much over the last couple years, so it's an eye opener to see him run so strongly.

    7oz Mizunos? My knees and hips hurt just thinking about it.

  2. Hey Captain- Yeah those Mizunos will be excellent for a 10k or marathon!
    Omine went out too fast and I guess he is know for doing so. Luckily the tylenol I finally took at manhattan bar kicked in at mile 45 or so because he caught me just asI got my second wind! If he runs conservatively he will run well at WS.
    I was already qualified for WS through the Miwok race last year, which carried over with everyone else, so I didn't get a special entry comp for this year and didn't need to place at AR. I kind of feel bad about that as I think Matt Lonergan wanted to get into WS. He was soooo close to Omine and I at the end. Good effort on his part!

  3. Thanks for clearing up the ws qualification. I was wondering how that worked and thought that you would have to qualify AND register and pay to enter last year for it to carry over. Way to put the hammer down on the kid at the end!

  4. Dave- I don't know how you do it? You've obviously got a lot of talent, and you train hard, but I think you must have something extraordinary in your soul that allows you to race the way you do. It was good to see Tim Parr do well after you and he dueled it out in Moab. AJW might not agree, but I've got my money on you for Western States. You've got that rare combination of speed and endurance. But keep training hard! A FEW others have it as well. Are you still going to race Miwok now? I'd love to see you go up against Geoff Roes (one of the few speed/endurance guys). P.S. Good choice on the Mizunos:) Jenn Shelton runs in those same shoes. Stay motivated!!

  5. Dave- Thanks for the words. You and Omine ran tough. I thought I had Omine at 42 miles but he came to life. I was doing all I could up the final climb to close the gap. No dice! WS was the goal, but I thought the stars would have to align for it to happen. I could not believe it almost did. Don't know if I can recover for Miwok in time. We'll see. See you out there.

  6. First off, Dave, as usual, great race at AR. Pretty amazing to see you on 30 miles of pavement.

    And Kamm, not sure where you got your data from, but I don't recall suggesting a winner for this year's WS. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, I have pointed several times not only to Dave's 16:30 in 2004 but also to his descent at the 2007 Pike's Peak race (in which he gained 5 mins on Matt) and his incredible performance at the Incline Challenge at the 2007 OR show during which his heart rate hit 198 while mine was pegged, on the redline, at 175, as strong indicators of his potential for success at WS. I have alos noted, I think, that Dave told me once he didn't like heat that much (but I could be wrong). Anyway, I know I tend to favor the experienced guys and I count Dave among those. Furthermore, knowing Dave is focused on this event makes me think you could never count him out, and I mean, never.

    Sorry if I led you to believe otherwise.

  7. Nice work Dave, I had a lot of fun hanging out on our trip despite not meeting my race expectations. If you ever take in the haunting trails of ther Superior Hiking Trail let me know. Some great trail and great races of all distances. I recommend
    but there are many more.
    keep in touch and see you on the trails. Good luck with the move and all else. Nice work on Saturday.


  8. Has WS ever thought about giving top 3 people that ACCEPT a spot? In other words, if someone is in the top 3 at AR50 that is already in or declines to accept, that the invite would continue down the finishers' list?

  9. Thanks for the nice comments.
    Great to hang with you guys, Wynn and Caleb. Having lived up on the no shore of lake superior, Wynn, I can appreciate those trails and would like to race there some day. Maybe I can get to your race next summer.
    Kamm- Thanks for the vote of confidence and nice words! As the band Cake says: "Satan is my motor." :)
    I think Geoff Roes raced at Miwok last year, if I am not mistaken.
    Matt, if I'd known you at all and knew you were so close and gunning for a WS entry, I seriously may have stopped and let you get third! To make up for it, drop me a line if you want any Miwok advice and I will offer what I can. I won't be racing there this year. Recovery; ice the legs in a stream this week as much as you can. NO long runs for training; all recovery fand ocus on some quality speed in 2 weeks but no endurance runs. At the race, don't go out too fast and don't run the downhills hard; this will kill the uphills. I can help you figure out splits to that race to guarantee a spot at WS.

  10. "Thanks for clearing up the ws qualification. I was wondering how that worked and thought that you would have to qualify AND register and pay to enter last year for it to carry over"

    being in the same situation (qualified but not registered for last year's WS) i have been told that I will need to qualify again to run WS this year. I guess i'm lucky you're not running miwok, Dave so at least I don't go into already knowing that at least one person's going to kick my ass. one thing i will say about WS is they sure do a good job of making sure that who actually gets to race it is almost as exciting to follow as the race itself.

  11. The Western States entry system is ridiculous. Why do they even pretend to have rules and standards? It's obvious that they just do whatever they want.

    Dave, you absolutely deserve to be at states. But there's no way your Miwok result from last year should count, given that you didn't enter WS last year, especially if they're not going to count Geoff's result as well.

    FWIW, I picked you as my WS favorite months ago. Hope the rest of your training goes well.

    And, welcome to the bay area!


  12. Brett, I agree that the MUC entry should work this way. Give it to the top three in the race that accept a slot or are not duplicates. Go on down the list until you have the three as long as they are with in the qualifying time. Like they do for the Olympic Trials. And get rid of the 50k.How many spots go unused every year by duplicates and those not accepting a spot? At least half, it seems.
    Jasper, I think it is obvious to everyone there are no real "rules & standards". At this point it has been debated so much, it's like whipping a dead horse. Perhaps they should choose some other words. Rules & standards appear to misleading. Maybe something like, "If you have enough money...". -gvan.

  13. Grae,

    Maybe the horse is dying, but I think it still has a pulse as long as no one from the WS board will actually get up and explain what they're up to. Come on, folks, I know you're out there paying attention! Stop ignoring us!

    I can tell you that if I were Geoff, I'd be making a hell of a fuss right now. And I think it would be justified.


  14. Just to clarify..I did enter WS last year after I won the entry by winning Miwok. After it was cancelled, my entry carried over and I went ahead and paid to enter for 2010 before the Sept 30th deadline.
    Agreed that the entry should bump down to the next runner who will take it, in this case for guys it would have been Matt Lonergan at AR50.
    I noticed Kami Semick is running Miwok. Maybe she will stop at the finish (because obviously she will win if she wants to) and let the next three girls go ahead of her? Who am I to say anything though...

  15. Dave,

    If you say that's the way it happened, that's the way it happened. I am moderately surprised, though, that I never saw your name on the start list, or saw your name discussed last year before the race. I would have thought people would have noticed you were in the race. Did you enter at a very late date?


  16. Jasper,
    I'm not too worried about it. I really want to run Western States this year (because it might be the best competition that any of us ever get a chance to run against in a 100 mile race), but if I don't finish top 3 at Miwok I would probably have a hard time finishing top 15 at WS. That's not to say top 3 at Miwok will be easy (or top 15 at WS), but I am certainly going to Marin next month with every intention of doing anything and everything, i can to qualify. Then again (knock on wood) I could get sick or injured at Miwok which would totally suck.

  17. Geoff, why take the chance of illness, injury, or not getting in to the top three at Miwok, when you don't have to? Your sponsor is the title sponsor of WS. In their rules & reg's, they specifically state that race sponsors get to designate specific runners for entry. Do you not think that Sunsweet, Moeben, etc., do not do this? Aren't there several spots "unused" at this point from the MUC 09' results from runners that are already in WS or are not interested in running? I believe there are. Why shouldn't you get one of those slots?
    Just one call from Montrail to the WS Board would do it. And why would you think that you could not be in the top 15 at States? Statistics? Peoples "opinions"? If any of these meant anything, they wouldn't have to run the race, would they? Besides, opinions are like assholes, everyone's got one! We need to get you a couple cups of confidence. And pick up that phone and make some calls on your behalf. No one is going to do it for you! Good luck.

  18. Geoff, Don't even mention 'getting sick or injured' as last time I read that in your blog, the same thing happened to me!

  19. Grae, what you say is true, i probably could be more proactive about "begging" myself into WS, but i'm actually looking very forward to running Miwok again and in the end it's all going to work out one way or the other. if i don't end up in WS then I will put my focus into Hardrock, not exactly a bad consolation prize, and a race which suits my strengths much more than WS does. I know I could be top 15 at WS but if i'm not top 3 at Miwok a similar effort on June 27th would likely allow 15 or more guys to finish ahead of me. the point being that WS is just so stacked with quality runners that for every runner who could beat me at Miwok there are at least 3 that could beat me at WS. my plan is to run my ass off at Miwok and if that earns me the right to run WS then i'll be yet another guy at the starting line on june 27th who is used to more often than not winning focus races. by my estimation there are at least a dozen guys running WS who have won more than 50% of their career 100 milers. it doesn't get any more exciting than that.

    dave, sorry for these comments completely off on a tangent from the original post. great run last weekend and i look forward to racing with you in June.

  20. Geoff I hope you get top 3 and even win at Miwok. I think Jesper's suggestion is a good one to ask the board if you can be accepted into WS, but if you ask before Miwok they will say to try to qualify there first. Just go for it and see what happens.
    Here's a bit of advice for Miwok; last year there were 6 of us running together the first paved section and 4 of us to the top of the Miwok trail before dropping down to Tennessee valley aid station. All but me (Hal K, Lewis T and someone else) bombed down the hill to the TV aid and put a minute on me just on that downhill. Think I made it that time up? Easily! Save all your energy for the climbs and flats.
    Splits are easy to figure out and then stick to them. If you want to run 8:20 there, which you easily can, take that time (500 minutes) and split it evenly over the distance (62.4 miles I think). This gives you 8 minutes/mile. You can run this roughly the whole race. Plan on 9 minute/mile for the uphills and 7min/mile for the downhills, which are easy to see on the course map. If you fuel right you can do the same splits on the way out as on the way back at this pace, and by Bolinas ridge or sooner you will be reeling in the rabbits who will finish in 8:40-9:10.
    Last year I may have run the first half too fast overall by 5 minutes and it cost me 10 minutes in the second half I would guess. Look at Lon Freeman's splits too, as he ran a pretty even race when he ran 8:09.
    Memorize the course so you don't get lost like I did a few years ago as there's a chance that flags will be moved by hikers
    Have fun and soak your legs in the ocean right after the race!

  21. awesome string to read. good luck geoff at miwok. you'll get that entry to ws.