Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rickey Gates takes Mount Washington Hill Climb

International mountain running superstar won the Mt Washington Hill Climb today in a time of 59:58. Congrats Rickey!

Overall results are here

Rickey is one of my running heros. His ability to perform at the international mountain running level is astounding. He races back to back days and weekends all summer, taking the time to enjoy bike touring, a bit of wine, and occasional videography.

Other top 10 runners for the women include Lisa Goldsmith for the women and my UNH college buddy Tara Breed was right up there too. Congrats ladies. Many Coloradans like Goerge Zack and John Tribbia ran as well.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Boulder Peaks Mountain Time Trials

The past three weeks I have been organizing, with Jeff Valliere and George Zack, a small series of time trials up the local 8000 + foot peaks. First it was Green Mt, then Bear Peak, and the South Boulder peak. Above is the pre-run gathering, with a pretty darn good turnout! Buzz B and I were reminiscing about the old days when we used to hammer So Bo Peak with a pretty regular gang of dudes (and an occasional lady runner); those days are now known as the Boulder Trail Runner's Tuesday Tempo.
I won't go into too many details as I am getting crunched for time these days and nights as we get ready to move and I finish my last class. Green Mt was the starter with about 12 folks showing their faces (and remarkably muscular thighs, as you can see from the So Bo TT photo above). Rickey Gates crushed it and ran an FKT (Fastest Known Time) of roughly 28:38. I ran 31:28.
Below is Jeff Valliere's write up about Bear Peak. I made the silly mistake of fighting sleep deprivation by downing a Diet Mt Dew right before the run, thinking carbonated caffeine is the way to get all ready to run hard; I am re-evaluating that position as my stomach knotted up hard and I suffered for it.
JV's words:
"We had another great turnout for the Bear Peak TT, the second installment of the TT series Dave and I conjured up a few weeks ago.Since Dave kicked my butt on Green last week, I insisted that he take pole position after offering it to me. It felt like a somewhat controlled start and I was tempted at first to make conversation, but soon I was breathing hard enough that it was not an option. TT and conversation just do not mix. We made the Cragmoor/Shanahan junction ahead of PR pace and I was able to stay on Dave's heels to the doggy pond junction, but he slowly started to pull away. I could have dug a bit more and stuck with him, but that would have meant impending doom, as I was trying not to completely blow it too soon and save some energy for the upper sections.I was surprised to keep Dave in sight for the most part, I was sure that he would be steadily putting time into me. As we ascended Fern Canyon, I could see that I was slowly gaining and was quite surprised by this. I was nearly a minute ahead of PR by the saddle and was confident I could keep up the effort to the top and set a PR. I reeled Dave in about half way from the saddle to the summit and was reluctant to pass as I feared that I might be biting off more than I could chew. I could tell Dave was not having his best day, otherwise I doubt I would be passing him.This uppermost section was mostly a hands on the knees powerhike, but I was able to muster something vaguely resembling a run in a few spots.I passed the summit post 6 seconds slower than PR and then made my way to the true summit. Dave was about 15 or so seconds back and I was surprised that I held him off (I later found out he had a bad cramp which explained my stroke of luck ;).Scott Elliott finished next (stopping at the post), followed by Stefan Gabriel, Tara Breed, Bill Wright, Charlie Nuttleman, Homie Prater, Christian Griffith and Heather Swallow (I think in that order). Please correct me if I left anyone out or screwed up the order.My splits were:Cragmoor connector/Shanahan 2:25Dog Pond Jct. 4:00Mesa Trail 8:54Slab (where trail crests) 13:03Saddle 24:34? (could be off by a few seconds, I was preoccupied with the prospect of catching Dave)Post near summit 37:31 (previous PR is 37:25)True summit 38:13Dave was about 15 seconds back, Scott was 39:?? at the post. After that others times are fuzzy. "
Here's my post from the So Bo Peak TT last week:
"For the last run in the 8000 foot peak series, South Boulder Peak, we had an excellent turnout with about 20 hearty souls attending under perfect running conditions. Dave Mackey (44:46) managed to hold off Jeff Valliere (46:..) to take the men's title (Jeff 2nd overall in the series), while Heather Swallow took the women's race and series (1:03), with Tara Breed 2nd overall. If you like, send your times and our trained statisticans will compile the final standings, graphs and charts. That was a fun time and maybe these series can be a regular event. It is motivating to do runs like this. Feel free to post as you like for similar trainings, hill repeats, speed work. "
Overall, I can't believe I ran 44:46 on So Bo peak. For this I am thrilled with my fitness and how I ran smart by pacign off JV. I have been time trialing So Bo for years and couldn't break 46 minutes, and many fast mt guys have run 45 and change, but this 44 minutes is out of the blue. This is somewhat worrying b/c WS 100 is in <>
The other reason I may have PR'ed on So Bo Peak is that I have been trainig extensively with Charle's Corfield "Rocket Fuel" mix. This is a simple suspension of amylopectin (waxy maize) and maltodextrin. In the past I have been erratic in my fueling training, just winging it on race days, but this spring is different as I run with the RF every day and feel it treats my tummy right.
The other difference in my training is that I now weigh less than 160 lbs. which I havent been at since I graduated from college. The lack of rock climbing and upper body has finally trimmed me up. I was 164 when I toed the line at WS 5 years ago; 5 lbs is a big difference of roughly 2 percent. I can see how I could shave 4 percent off my SoBo peak time now that I carry less to get up there. It'd be nice to hit the WS scales in Squaw Valley at a nice 158, so I better stop hitting the raw cookie dough at night I reckon.
Anyway, this little series was motivating, for myself and from other runners have said and written, it was motivating for them as well.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Jonny Copp

Sadly, Jonny Copp was found dead in China, probably due to an avalanche. He was such an excellent all-around person who exuded positive energy every time I interacted with him. He contributed to his community, to his friends, and to climbing in countless ways. Jonny wasn't a close friend of mine, but we knew each other for many years and always had a nice chat when we crossed paths.

Searchers are looking for his climbing mates, Micah Dash and Wade Johnson. Please consider donating to this search effort at this link to the Adventure Film site.

Local article;

See you around Jonny!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Western State(s) Course

How many "States" does the WS race cover? One, I thought..

This past weekend I flew out to California for 48 + hours to spend a bit of time training on the WS course, but also to spend a day looking for a place for the brood to live for the next few years.

I flew in around 11 am Saturday, and proceeded to grab a rental car. (don't use Payless Cars: they're like the sore tooth you just can't not keep touching. Ouch. I should have learned my lesson last time I was out there.) Headed right up through the city, stopped in the Mission to grab a tuna sandwich to go, almost was run over on 19th st, then across the Golden Gate bridge. I had a about 30 minutes to kill I reckoned, so I did what I'd always dreamed of; I stopped on the other side of the bridge in the packed tourist lot, changed stealthily into my running clothes in the rental, and ran back across the GG bridge. Dodging many tourists of many nationalities, I made it across in the thick fog, turned around at the tolls and came back. I'm glad I finally did it! It took about 30 minutes RT and felt somewhat like a christening in the fog coming to our new home.

Popped back in the car and headed up to San Rafael, saw one potential rental, then on to Novato, where I saw about 6 places, then on to American Canyon and Vallejo to see some more and drive through campus. We are still deciding what town to live in, as Vallejo is where school is, but Marin rules all trail-creation (besides Colorado, of course), so the Marin towns of Novato and San Rafael are in the housing lead for us.

Being very sleep deprived in the afternoon, I kept going East on I-80 ("the 80" they call it out there for some reason; how cute) past Auburn and parked at the famed Hwy 49 crossing on the State trail. Having made plans with Mark Richtman to pick me up in Auburn, I ran the final 7 miles of the Western State course to meet him at Robie Pt.. It was very nice that the run was flagged already for the race 1 month ahead of time. Anywhere else, especially in Boulder, those flags would have been pulled down faster than you can say OSMP. I had a good tempo run on those 7 miles mostly in the dark and refamiliarized myself with the course. I sure don't plan on running that section, or any section for that matter, in the dark during the race.

Mark Richtman, my pacer, who is a a fantastic runner and great guy, met me at Robie Pt and followed me up the mile hill to the Auburn track, where I proceeded to run a 45 second lap...well, 2/3 lap.. of the track in the dark. He shuttled me down to my car, then we drove up to Driver's flat, which is 3 miles walk above the Rucky chucky rapids (mile 82 of the WS course), where we bivied for the night in the grass.

Next AM, we hooked up with Erik Skaden and Mark Lantz and shuttled a car up to Michigan Bluff (after coffee in Foresthill (mile 62), and started running. It was nice and cool at first in the morning, and these awesome tour guides showed me the course that I hadn't seen in 5 years. We had a fun time getting to Foresthill, and could feel the temps rising as we got there in about 1 hour (7 miles).

Topping off our bottles at the car we'd left there, we headed down the hill into what I see as the crux of the course; Cal Street. 5 years ago, I had hard time after Foresthill, given the heat I wasn't ready for and the wrong diet of high protein and fat. I lost an hour to Jurek on that section and don't want to make that mistke this year. My race fuel is completely different this year, and I hope I can heat-train these coming weeks.

So, we had an excellent time running the 16 miles down to the river. It is so cruiser on that section, with enough hills to make it interesting and break up the muscle groups a bit when your downhill muscles get tired of the repetitiveness.

After a 15 minute soak in the river, we walked up. Richtman had disappeared, ahead of us we thought, but after 15 minutes of walking up driver's flat, make comes by in a tourist SUV car going up. Sandbagger!

Anyway, a fun weekend and I think the first place I found in San Rafael will work well for us. I don't care where we live as long as there are trails!