Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Old Goats Report

It was a good weekend.

And we're off!
photo by Elissa Price
photo by Lynne Cao

Got to intermittently yell up at Dom and run with Jesse for the first 20 miles.  These guys are both good friends and I don't think I've ever spent this many miles racing with a buddy so close, good times.

Jesse & I running together... like the Solomon guys.
photo by Ivan Buznik

I wasn't feeling too hot the first 20 miles.  Probably had to do with Dom going out faster than I felt comfortable running, my legs felt heavy, and I just felt kind of sleepy.  I told Jesse, I'm just gonna hibernate until mile 25 or so.  After running through Blue Jay Campground around mile 21 I woke up a little bit and got moving.

photo by Gary Wang

Legs felt better and for the first time all day I wanted to go run Dom down.  I passed him just before the Trabucco Aid Station.  Filled up my bottle and headed down the fun, rocky single track towards Holy Jim AS.  Ran into Jon Clark out snapping pictures and encouraging all of us in the race.  Great seeing you out there Jon!

Pushed it pretty hard up the 7 mile climb to Santiago Peak.  Could have used an extra water bottle as I used up all my water.  Felt faint and dry heaved a bit near the top, but felt a lot better after turning around for a couple miles of easy decent.  Passed by Jesse and then Dom on this out and back section and calculated that I had about 15 minutes on them.  Sweet.

I was a little too comfortable with my lead and didn't push it quite as hard as I could have.  I didn't want to cramp, or fall, or do anything to jeopardize my lead, so I ran the last 13 conservatively.  Still slid in a couple minutes quicker than I did last year.  My Wolfpack brethren finished in 2nd place, then the Unicorn.

photo by Chandra Farnham

Once again, Steve Harvey put on a flawless event.  Great aid stations, and tons of them, packed with awesome volunteers dishing out all kinds of aid station fare.  Not only does he, his wife Ann and other family and friends put on a solid event, he's a good guy.  Thanks for everything Steve!  Love the swag this year: hat, shirt, coffee mug, winners gift certificate for a hand made leather belt, and Vanessa Run's new book.

Post race I got to put my feet up, drink soda, beer, eat hamburgers right off the grill, hang with a bunch of good friends on a warm sunny day up in the mountains.  Does it get any better?

The day after I got to help Katie (above far right) celebrate the big 3-0, by taking a short hike with a bunch of friends up to skull rock in the Santa Monica Mtns. to watch the sun set as we looked down on Santa Monica and the Pacific Ocean.   I'm lucky to have a bunch of awesome friends =)

Next up:


Monday, March 18, 2013


Inspired by friends at LA Marathon

Nice kick Ruperto.
photo by Dom Grossman
Sometimes I badmouth road running.  It's not that I don't appreciate it, I have run a handful of road races and it's fun to push yourself really hard and run faster than you can in a typical trail race.  However, I prefer to train out in the dirt, out in the mountains - away from cars and traffic and buildings.  Having to stop repeatedly at traffic signals, or running circles around a track just doesn't do it for me.

After watching the LA Marathon I must admit I was pretty inspired.  Friends achieving goals, not quite reaching goals but keeping their heads high, friends appreciating their health and ability to run 26 miles for fun.  Kate Martini-Freeman running sub 3hrs for 10th woman overall?  Wow.  49 year old Ruperto Romero (pictured above) running a PR of 2:47, dannnnnnng.  Loved how the local news interviewed him afterwards as he stood there in his Angeles Crest 100 t-shirt as he professed his goal of winning it this year.  I got to know him a little better last year during our day of trail work before the race.  What a nice, hardworking, cool guy.  He has been on the podium in each of the last three years at AC and he seems to be the Benjamin Buttons of running.  Watch out Jorge & Dominic =)


Men:  Winning Time 7:00's to 7:10's (yes that'll be a new CR)

1)  Jorge Pachecho - after recently running with him up around Mt. Wilson, and not being able to keep up with him on the climbs on the Mt. Disappointment 50k course, I've got to give him the nod for the W.  Last year at this race he wasn't his normal chivo loco self.  This year he's bringing his A game and will dominate.

2-4) Jesse Haynes, Dominic Grossman and myself - Jesse recently recovered from an injury and is fresher and healthier than he's been in a long time.  He was sandbagging a bit when we were hanging out last, but you can't fool me Muppet!

Jesse sporting his new aviator sunglasses.
With his loving handler.

Dom has been looking pretty spry out on some recent training runs, but his taper was a little shorter than optimal IMHO (but what do I know?).  He was out on the LAM course running people towards the finish, snapping pictures, getting all inspired 'n' stuff.  I have no doubt he will have his best Old Goats performance ever this year.

As for me... I dunno.  I don't feel great, have a couple minor issues I'm dealing with.  I don't feel horrible either.  I'm going to attempt to shave my facial hair like Jesse's in attempt to synergize our Wolfpack souls.  Maybe looking similar, like the Solomon guys, will help us run up front together and win, like the Solomon guys.

I'm not going to wear white spandex though, gotta draw the line somewhere.

5-8) Chris Zurbuch, Elan Lieber, Evgeniy Sklaynskiy, Peter Cross - Chris & Elan both ran well at the Bandit 50k in February.  Evgeniy ran well at Ray Miller 50k last month as well, especially considering that he went crashing  into the bushes at mile 3 and ran the rest of the race with a busted and bloody nose.  Peter 'frosty fingers' Cross has been putting in a lot of training on the snowy days, post-holing is good for ya, he's gonna do well this year.

**Unfortunately, Fabrice Hardel and James Walsh have dropped out of the race.  Both of them would definitely be pushing the pace and running FTW.  Sad to see them pulling out, heal quickly fellas.

Women:  Winning Time: 8:45 (yes another CR)

1&2) Keira Henninger (handler pictured above) and Margaret Nelson - Margaret has definitely proven how speedy she is lately in a handful of races - including winning Baz's 21k and the Bandit 50k on CONSECUTIVE DAYS .  Keira is known for doing well on mountainous courses, the more elevation gain the better and she has really been working on increasing her speed lately.  I've seen firsthand that she's faster than she's been in a long time... maybe ever?  She knows this course as good as anyone.  She knows how to pace herself.  Gonna be close.

2-)Maggie Beach - always runs solidly.

4-8) Nicole Matera, Liz Onufor, Cory Hoffman, Susan Rice.

I haven't run down in these parts as much as I did last year, so I haven't seen my OC & SD ultrarunning families enough lately.  Really looking forward to seeing a bunch of familiar faces and hanging out at the finish of another one of Steve Harvey's well run events.

Looks like low temperature will be around 50 and high 80.  I think this means it will likely be a little warmer than last year... can anyone confirm or refute this?