Sunday, December 12, 2010

TNF Endurance Challenge 50 Follow-Up, Photos

Beware the future.. here comes 20 year old Dakota Jones.

Here are some pics I pirated from a few sources, most notably Rick Gaston, and from Andy Skurka and Justin Mock. There isnt too much original on this post that you can't find elsewhere on Running Times, irunfar, or facebook.

With Jonathan Wyatt, the best ever to run mountains (in my opinion), 2x Olympian, many timesWorld Mt Running Champ, etc. I gather that next year will be more competitive than this year's TNF Champs, as he will be running it.

Steep Ravine ladder. Previous to this year, the race descended this, which is harder than going up at race pace. Headlands 50K uses this ladder on it's course too. (Headlands 50K is back this year in August with Tim and Diana Fitzpatrick as RDs)

Young Michael Owen; fast collegiate runner.

Lizzy Hawker (2nd Place)

Uli.. this guy will be hungry next year.

Vive la France et Nouveau Zealand!

Chris Lundstrom.. 3rd last year, hungry next year

Erik Skaggs.. thought this guy was going to hunt us down later in the race.

Brit Jez Bragg; glad he made the trip

New Marin denizen, schoolteacher, father Leigh Schmidt

Joelle Vaught.. she and I and Travis Macy raced adventure races together, most recently in Mexico. She is an awesome teammate, great on her feet, good at biking and paddling, and a pleasure to spend multiple days with while racing.

Unidentified, unknown overly-happy runner
listening to Justin Bieber.. Nice sideways bib number, pal.

Podium glamour shot; Heras, Roes, me

Andy Skurka. He was the 2007 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. Andy just finished an epic 6000 mile trek around Alaska, solo, unsupported. Amazing. I saw him in the food tent after the race, and he was chatting with some folks who had no idea how accomplished Andy is, and I tried to enlighten them that Andy does things well beyond (and above, in many ways) the scope of ultrarunning. I don't think they got it though. With a few more speed workouts next year Andy will fare better than 20th place.

I ran yesterday with Tony, Geoff, and Bob Africa. In the Chataqua parking lot, a young couple from New Jersey came up and said, "Hey are you Tony? Man, I love your blog!" They took a photo, then I told them that they were also in the company of Geoff Roes, to which they said, "Man I read you blog too! I read all your blogs!"
It was funny because it is so easy to recognize some characters in the sport of ultrarunning, particularly Karnazes and Tony, due to their unique visages; oiled and waxed vs hairy and grungy. Geoff (2009 and soon-to-be 2010 Ultrarunner of the Year) is less noticable because he keeps a lower profile and has the less distinct looks, but in many races is better than Tony, and is light-years faster than Karnazes. Tony mentioned was that at TNF 50 he'd heard that Geoff was talking with Dean, when two cute girls came up and asked for a photo with ..Dean, of course. Guess who the girls asked to actually click the photo of them with Dean.. Geoff! Funny how it all works..
(Note that I don't mean to rail on Dean at all as I respect him a ton and he has won some ultras. I have mentioned him recently just because given his many achievements he is a tangible, known yardstick by which to measure. Vive la Dean.)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

North Face 50 Race Report

Got some time on the flight to back to Denver so here’s the North Face race report. I will post some photos in a couple days. Check out Jim Vernon's excellent footage here from

Building up to the NF 50 Champs, I’d had just enough time to dedicate to training. There was ample inspiration calling from the mountain trails above Boulder, with a cast of newer and older Boulder running denizens to match the trails. I’d been training mostly solo, as usual, but got out about twice per week with Geoff Roes, when he came down from Nederland, and with a few others. In the weeks before the the NF 50, all the buzz ended up being justified, as this turned out to be the toughest ultra race of my trail running career.

On the way out, Dakota Jones happened to be on my Thursday flight, so we shared a car to head directly out of the airport over to Marin and previewed the 5 mile loop with Bryon Powell. Friday, I previewed the new Boot Jack section, then the Sun Trail, then some of Redwood Creek/Santos Meadow area to dial in my footwear. I also walked around Muir Beach for a half hour and tried just to soak in the unnamable, yet present, vibe of Marin, something I rarely do in the rush before racing. In the end I am sure this helped my overall result.

In many ways, this race played out just like a road bike race, and even the winner himself bred directly from elite cycling lineage. The race starts with ¾ mile of flat pavement, then begins the 4 mile loop, then onto the Miwok trail. The loop peloton was a large pack of 30 guys, most being pretty quiet overall, and nothing too exciting going on except casual banter. Last year there was also a large group all the way to Muir Beach, and then things dispersed from there. Like last year, this pack would dwindle, as was most were not running at a sustainable pace. For me, my thoughts in these first miles are questions of, Am I eating enough? Are my quads staying loose? Is this pace really sustainable for 50 miles? Do my feet feel good in these new shoes? All to the affirmative, I was happy with the race’s first miles.

On the loop's 500 'drop I decided to go to the front to have a safer headlamp descent in the dark and not get caught in the pedals and handlebars (feet and arms) of the nervous peloton and take a tumble. Last year I forgot my light in the car, which relegated me to sucking off other’s lights, which is dangerous and easily could have ended my race early with an ankle roll. At the loop end, the somewhat short (500’ vert)Miwok trail grind up the grade was still a pack of 20 guys, and as the hill climbed it was a good time to suss out the competition. Roes, Skaggs, 2 French (Malarde et Lorblanchet) and 1 Spanish (Miguel Heras), Uli, Dakota, Lundstrom, Leigh Schmidt, and many others were still in this pack, with no signs of struggle. I knew there were many other red flags (potential podium contenders) still lurking who have outstanding race resumes, but didn’t know who was who. This didn’t really matter much, as I mostly run my own race regardless of how others are running, unless there is a small strategic move at a critical point in the race.

I came into Tennesse Valley (TV) at the front of the pack again. My crew of running legends Mark Richtman and Galen Burrell were somehow found in the aid station maelstrom, I traded my one bottle for another oen plus 1 banana and gels, and I was off. The run down TV to the climb to Muir was uneventful, and the pack headed over to Muir was now about 15. This is a fun single track section on the coastal trail to Muir Beach, and as the daylight arrived I was psyched to see the ocean and trail below near Pirate’s Cove. I have such good memories of racing the Miwok 100K and Headlands 50K on this section, from years when I felt awesome to times I had completely cramped up and subsequently dropped out. I’ve found the steep wooden steps off the first drop to Pirates as the true quadriceps litmus test, as I can cramp easily in some races. I came off these steps feeling only slight cramping, and from this knew I would have a relatively solid 52 mile race.

Into Muir Beach aid, onto the pavement and the pleasantly flat Redwood trail, we then started the Heather cutoff up to Boot Jack Aid station. Last year I had started to fade on this 1400 foot climb, but this year felt very comfortable, and somewhat itchy to push the pace; there was a small group of 3 guys who I didn’t recognize, and then a pack of 7 of us, only 30 seconds back; 3 Euros, Lundstrom, Roes, Dakota, and me. Just behind was Skaggs and a couple others, but notably absent was Uli Steidl, which turned out to be having one of his few off years. As we got to Pan Toll, I decided once again to lead down the purely lovely 0.4 mile Alpine trail descent, which was added this year to link up the new Boot Jack aid station. The fun of running this section twice, as well as more Matt Davis trail, in the race justifies an additional of 2 miles to the normally 50 mile race.

In and out of the Boot Jack aid in seconds, I kept on and now only 6 of us remained to the contouring run all the way to McKenna Gulch aid, about 5 miles away. I led the pack to McKenna, not on design but just because I got out of Boot Jack first. This section is unprotected, higher and exposed, and the refreshing wind and light rain made for stellar singletrack contouring in and out of tree groves, with occasional log jumps and technical footing. Geoff was right behind me, with young Dakota, Heras, and one of the French guys, and one other guys I didn’t know. Geoff said there was a gap at the last aid station to the next guys back, but I still wasn’t counting out Uli erupting from nowhere.

After McKenna, I was happy to step back and let Geoff or someone else pull (a biking term: meaning lead the pack) into the wind and rain on the return across the coastal trail before the drop down Matt Davis to Stinson. Before the race Geoff and I had talked about this scenario, because we knew the guy in front would have to be the first to encounter runners coming the other way, which isn’t always pleasant as they are usually caught off guard. Anyway, no one stepped up so I jumped in and “pulled” again. On this section, we could check out the competition going back and there were some gaps appearing, and it looked like the women were having a good duel of it too.

The downhill to Stinson on Matt Davis is another highlight of this race. It was slick on the wet rocks and roots and the 1400’ disappeared quickly. Lundstrom had peeled off the back, we three Yanks and 2 Euros remained. Into Stinson aid station and onto the Dipsea, I hit my one and only low point. (I think my superlight 7 oz shoes were not the best of choices for the day; better traction and cushion would possibly have paid off, especially on the click mud to come on Coyote ridge.) Dakota and Geoff seemed to feel good on the climb back to Boot Jack and built a 30 second gap; Heras and I ran close but then he peeled back, not to be seen again until his blitzkrieg over the last 10 miles of the race. Coming into Boot Jack 2 I started to feel better and rocketed the downhill to catch Geoff and Dakota before the 700 ft climb back up to the Sun Trail. I caught them right at the beautiful log bridge at Lost Trail over Fern Creek, but my climbing muscles were shot so they gapped me again on the 700 ft climb. I wondered if I was going to pull out of this funk, so took a few more ibuprofen and gels than usual and stumbled onto the Sun Trail traverse over to Dipsea tral. This was my chance to rally the troops underneath me, and had a good descent to Muir Woods aid station. Mark was there and told me they had 90 seconds on me and Heras was 2 minutes back. Darn! I felt decent at this point, but knew I needed something different so I took the extra seconds to scan the aid station spread, finally eyeing delicious looking orange slices. I took a handful and in a few minutes of eating them felt light years better (potassium perhaps??).

The Redwood Trail flats felt awesome through the woods to Muir Beach; so good I face planted into the slick mud nearing Santos Meadow. Into Muir I could see Geoff and Dakota just starting their climb, with a small gap between them that showed maybe Dakota lagging a bit. I asked the aid station for oranges, but for some reason they said they didn’t have them out yet, and unfortunately I couldn’t wait for them. Given Heras’ proximity and Dakotas looks, I decided to really hurt myself on the 1000’vert over Coyote. According to Galen, who was running this section, I was catching Dakota in the first few hundred vert, and maybe making a bit of time on Geoff. Suddenly Heras comes out of nowhere and superhumanly blows by me. His traction was clearly better than mine on the slick mud and he’d found some turbo somewhere. Gone, I wrote him down for a W or 2nd to Geoff.

I passed Dakota just before the drop to TV, hit the handoff from Mark and Galen and started the hammerfest last hill on the Marincello trail. This is an easy climbing grade to run fast when rested, but this was mile 48 and I was numb, but decided to not walk a step and sacrifice a podium finish. I still had fears of Uli, Skaggs, or Lundstrom coming out of nowhere, and wanted to pay the piper then rather than later when my foes might rear their heads.

There is a view to the top of Alta trail, and I’d seen Geoff way off and a guy in white (Heras) just ahead of him. I imagined if I had a good run of it at that point I could catch Geoff if he had a bad finish. Off the last Alta aid station (mile 50) Geoff was a couple minutes up so I used my downhill skills to my advantage to see what would happen. It wasn’t to be though, as the Rodeo Valley trail flattened out, looking back I saw no one. It was actually pleasurable run to the finish on the pavement to have some leg turnover as I couldnt feel my legs really, and came into the crowded finish in a respectable 3rd podium finish.

Overall, now that I am almost home, I know this will be a race to remember. There could have been a couple more elite runners (American and from abroad) present to safely call this a "50 mile world championships", but this was as close as it may ever come to being so. Given the unprecedented attendance I am pleased with my performance, and hope I can race it again next year.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Highlands Ranch Backcountry Wilderness Half Marathon
Clip from the Boulder Running Company, Greenwood Village
On a whim last week I decided to race the Highlands Ranch "Backcountry Wilderness"Half Marathon. I wanted to race something before the North Face 50, and I reckoned a half would be the perfect distance to get the legs tuned up a bit before starting a slow taper for TNF in 3 weeks. I am definitely one to choose quality over quantity what with the number of miles in my legs over the years.
I had no expectation as to the course and didnt , check out course map online and was actually looking forward to surprises along the way to keep it adventurous. I also knew nothing about the race series except that my pal Mark Bockmann at Racerite would be taking over the timing from my other pals, Darrin and Jill Eismann at Racingunderground.
The title of the race is a mild oxymoron, but nevertheless I came away pleasantly surprised at the high quality trails and race series they have down there, wedged between Denver and the Springs surrounded by thousands of homes. The course was a combo double and single track, and about 2 miles concrete path, with a sneaky 1800 total climb over the course. The race started out at a quick sub six minute pace, and my goal was to stick in about 6th through 10th place and then just wait and see how things unfolded and how my body reponded to speed. I felt comfortable on the inital mile and was in 7th place, and as the rollers hit one guy in green, Danny Mooch, pulled ahead. I picked guys off and Danny pulled about 30 seconds ahead, knowing that if he kept extending the lead I wouldn't even bother and battle it out for second. His lead stayed at thirty seconds until we got through some sweet single/double track around mile 6 that let my imagination play games to forget the pain and pictured being on my mountain bike on the nice, man-made dirt rollers every 10-100 feet apart. As things got more rolly and technical, I started reeling in Danny before the short turnaround section. I never lulled in my pace as Danny flagged a bit and I was able to out a couple minutes on him before the finish. (Turns out he had made the unfortunate mistake of running Green mt with Tony K the day before)
Overall, loved the race (not just because of winning) and found new respect for the suburban trails hidden just south of Denver. The HRRA puts on a fine tight, race, well-marked and race schwag, and good homey vibe. I was pleased with my performance given a lack of summer racing and training. I am hoping that I am near some sort of "peak" given this fact. Good to catch up with Scott Jaime, JT (Brownie), Kevin Dieghan (met him at the Italian SkyGames in 2000, and Scott Swaney (my old adventure race teammate).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Basic Boulder Mountain Marathon, fatigue, and the North Face 50

Emily Baer, me, Peter Bakwin, and Galen Burrell..BBMM 2003.. a snow year. Note the mud on my leg due to wiping out a dozen times in my tennis sneakers

BBMM 2003.. me on the top of SoBO Peak (Buzz Burrell photos)

The BBMM in 2003.. Big Gulps are excellent fuel

The past few weeks have been full of peaks and valleys in training, what with our (my family and I) temporary return to Boulder and the fine running and running partners it has to offer. There is a planetary alignment right now with the men's mountain ultra running elites making Boulder their home. Geoff Roes, Tony K, Scott Jurek, and Joe Grant have moved here relatively recently, and I am happy to get out with them regularly to keep the vibe going. Just north of Boulder the youthful Dakota Jones and ex-pat Nick Clark are also residing. Visitors come into town all the time to train, as Krissy Moehl was just here and Frenchy Nico Mermoud is here this week. These are just a couple of the guys who live here, and there are dozens of others I could mention including 20 women. Two weeks ago , the annual Basic Boulder Mountain Marathon was hosted, and what coul have been a bloodbath of competition, as it sometimes was the case 10 years ago, turned out to be a nice social run, with Tony pushing the pace at the top of each peak. As mentioned, the BBMM used to be somewhat of a "race" in the "2000's", with various individuals attempting to oust each other and take the coveted BBMM title. I "won" it once or twice and even was able to claim a podium performance bonus from a sponsor for it. Galen Burrell, Travis Macy, Dan Brillon, Geoff Williamson, Emily Baer, Buzz Burrell, Kurt Blumberg, Christian Griffith, George Zack, Jeff Valliere, Adam Chase, Bill Wright, Kraig Koski, Darcy and Bob Africa, Steph Ehret and Peter Bakwin.. (and others.. the list goes on) all these folks would gun for the W to varying degrees. All the while, the OSMP mountain rangers would post sentries along the course and try to take names, record on video, try to intimidate, etc and dissuade from our efforts to go out and have a good time being competitive in the lovely Boulder Mountain Parks. As we all know, competitive races aren't allowed in Boulder Mountains; the one sanctioned race was the Cardiac Arete in October of 2003, which I and other runners thought was a fantastic success in mixing competition and giving back to the the OSMP by volunteerism; the conservative OSMP Board of trustees would heartily disagree (of course) and base this race on grounds for no more competitions.

Which brings us back to the BBMM last week..
This BBMM, even though stacked with talent, was so fun and low key, with some little pushes on the uphills and one screaming downhill by individuals just to test selves on various sections but not to defeat the others. It was a run to remember. (Man, am I getting melancholy? Signs of aging..) The "hosts"of the run (located at an address not to be specified but between 807 and 809 10th st), put on a nice gathering of folks afterwards, which allowed an awesome time to catch up with the mountain running denizens and legends.
So now, the weather has finally turned crappy today (I just got back to Boulder two weeks ago but heard it's been indian summer) which is fine because I am dog-tired of running hills and only ran 30 minutes today. I have been experimenting in footwear and somehow trashed my legs yesterday on a 3 hour run, so that is probably why I am sore . I am a believer in the day in/day out running style of few days off, and it has caught up with me the past few weeks. Maybe I am not recovered from my last race, or it could be that on Sunday I had the best 2 hour tempo run of my life in my Newtons and I am not recovered yet. Anyway, I am locked into running the North Face 50 Endurance Challenge in December, which will be the "most competitive 50 miler"ever... I am not kidding, no race has even come close to this one. Last year my NF 50 performance sucked %@# for various excuses I could mention but won't, so this year things are going to be different for me and I think I will have a good race Dec 4th. This may not matter because there are 10 other guys who can also have killer days and what happens won't be in my control. The one thing I do have going for me is that I have history of excellent runs in the Bay Area and Marin has become a second home to me, especially since we currently live there for grad school. We'll see though.. man I am excited about it!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Firetrails 50 Race Report

Just after the turnaround.. mile 28 or so. Jean Pommier photo.
Since I had such a great time running at Firetrails I decided to write a report up. A bit late but hope you get your read on.
Last year I ran Firetrails with no expectations as to finishing well, as I'd raced a 50K two weeks before and knew I wasnt recovered. I still ran a fast time though in 6:30, but dragged ass on the last few miles around Lake Chabot reservoir and missed the CR. This year, I hadnt been training nearly as much, and basically crammed all the training for the race into the previous 2 months, but luckily some of it in Colorado. It was a fun experiment this year to see how quickly I could recover with only about 75 miles per week over those 2 months, with only two long runs of 5 hours and 4.5 hours one month before. I like the "low mileage" though as it keeps things fresh and fun.

I have had such an insane semester at school with unprecedented levels of stress and non-running focus, I didn't think I would have a good day. Turned out that stress was a key factor in success this year, which is unusual. Ellen and the kids weren't here this year, which was also bummer. I even sat in car, 10 minutes before the start thinking about school, and basically flipped a coin as to whether to start running. Luckily, I won the toss, so I ran.
The race started out pretty chill. Just like last year, guys go out way too fast at a pace that would put them under 6 hours at the finish. This happens at every ultra though and it always amazes me how ultrarunners, at least the male ultrarunners, are the worst at pacing themselves. For the first few miles, I sat back at what I thought was about 6:30 finishing time and just focused on easy effort over the first 5 miles. As the daylight came up, I saw that Chikara Omine, who was a rabbit last year, was just ahead of me and I was impressed at his patience.

My only real goal this year was to run the entire course, which I did, and on the hills after the first aid station, I caught up with Chikara, Leigh Schmidt, and Gary Gellin. Gary said we were five minutes faster than last year's time, which I didnt believe at the time. We all chatted a bit, and as the first real downhill started Leigh and I ran together and talked a good part of the way until Skyline aid station. I thought I would see how I felt after the turnaround on the climb up (1800') at the half way point to determine my efforts back to the finish.

After Skyline I left Leigh and kept feeling better and better. This was one of those races where it just kind of "happens"and I never felt like I was killing myself to keep going. It was hot in the sun, so I made sure I drank plenty of fluid the whole race, especially early when it was cool. I knew the heat (well, "hot" for me is about 75 degrees) would take a toll and luckily this awesome course is in the treed shade for the most part.

On the way down to the turnaround the Golden Hills Marathners were coming up, and it seemed that I passed Leor Pantilat earlier than last year. I didn't even keep splits last year and this year, and didn't really care to, but I guessed that Gary was correct that we were fast this year. At the turnaround I grabbed a bottle from John Medinger that Vicki Richtman had left for me, and put my nose to the grindstone to run the whole way back up the hill. At the top, I still felt good, but prophylactically I gobbled 4 ibuprofens at the aid station and stuffed a handful of electrolytes in my pocket. I'd been taking E's along the way, and the whole race I only carried oen bottle, a couple gels, and the E's in my pocket.

The rest of the race was a blur more or less, but I had an awesome time just keeping pace, passing people coming toward me in the 50 and passing marathoners going my way. The 50 mile runners coming towards me would step aside on the single track, and I had no problem giving way to them as well.

80 percent of marathoners stepped which is real nice to let me pass, but many of them had headphones on and didnt hear me saying "on your left" two or three times until I was right behind them. A bit annoying, but if this were a close race I'd have been a bit more tweaked. I am on the fence about whether headphone should be allowed in singletrack races like Firetrails.

The rest of the run was real fun and I had my eye on my time coming into the last two aid stations knowing I had to run sub 7 minute miles to finish close to 6:20 overall. After one big climb, the last 7 miles are pretty flat and fun. Last year I cratered here and had to steal a gel from Wim Van Damme to finish. This year was way easier to cruise around the reservoir, and even with an extra gel in my pocket. I tried to push a bit more to go under 6:20, and in hindsight could have cut another two minutes off my time if I'd had to over the last few miles of the race. I was thrilled to finish in 6:19:39, just under legendary Carl Anderson's 17 year old 6:26.

Surprisingly, Chikara came in only 4 minutes after me! I had no idea he was even that close, as I had no clue how close anyone was except on the halfway turnaround. Chikara said he was making time on me on the flats, but I'd pull away on the hills, so no net loss of time. He was also under Carl's old CR of 6:26 as well.

Ultra trail races, especially singletrack, are so fun. I've missed running them the past two years. The BBQ was excellent, good folks all around, tons of volunteers giving their day to others (which I need to do ALOT more of). Anne and Carl do an awesome job at Firetrails. The race entry is steep for a fifty miler, but the BBQ rocks. Over the years Firetrails has not been a National race, but I think this will change in the near future. My CR will go down in the next year or two I bet.

Post race thoughts: I need to volunteer more at races. Thanks to Tamalpa Runners of Marin for having me on board their team, paying my USATF fees, and for the singlet, hat, and shorts. Ran in my old Pearl Izumi Peak XC, that are almost years old; I still love em. Ate about 6-7 gels, 3 Clif Bloks, 3 bananas and other fruit, 10 E's, 4 Ibu, aid station drink and water. Leor Pantilat won the Golden Hills Marathon in CR time as well; that guy keeps getting faster and faster. Mark Richtman turned in another elite time as well in third place.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Ava and 2 month old Connor having a ball this weekend

I don't post that often as I have pretty much decided to take this year off from racing. I have been thoroughly engrossed with PA school and my little family for the time being. To everything turn turn turn and all that.. and I plan on racing next year a bit or maybe at the end of the year. I start my clinical rotations this coming January, which will be intense and time consuming, but I may be able to train properly if the planets align. This year off from racing has given me a new perspective on the sport and why I run ultras. I guess I've realized much of why I race has simply to do with being a competitor and trying to be the best runner I can be out there. I'll be the first to acknowledge that the ego is what drives some (if not all?) runners to try to win or set course records. But I also know it is simply the pure joy being outside in beautiful places, giving an all out effort and pushing limits, and having a healthy goal outside of regular life things. The people in the sport are really special too; I miss that scene!

So I can't wait to race again and check some races out.. As it is now though I run about 5-6 days a week on the local American Canyon trails or on Mare Island-Vallejo, where my school (Touro University) is located. Half a dozen of my classmates and I run together at lunch, just long enough to get the muscles recharged between 5 hour blocks of class or to destress after exams and study sessions. The Mare Island 5K ( is in November, so at the very least I need to be in shape to defend my PA student title against the med school (Osteopath.. D.O.) students. (I think they were pissed that an ultrarunner won it last year.. oops, sorry guys!)

Man, sitting here at home watching the checking in on the coverage of the fabled Miwok 100k.. Looks like Tony finished with a blazing time of 8:02:53. This time is easily the fastest rookie time, and if Tony comes back he will run around 7:30 one day; it takes a few tries at that race, or at least it did for me. Tony is way more talented and committed (and far younger!) than I am, so he will redefine that course record (unless of course Roes does it first) I am sure.
Looking forward to connecting with some ultra-folk in the near future. For now though, life is good for Ellen and I with Connor and little Ava...and Tanker the dog.

Ava loves nice single track above American Canyon, and chuck-it too.