Monday, October 13, 2014

Whoo's in El Moro 50k - Race Report

It had been a couple months or so since my last race, so it was fun to meet up with a bunch of friends, make a couple new ones and run around for 4 hours.

photo by Kevin Patterson

I have not been running enough recently to race at my potential.  A backpacking trip with Chamoun and a camping/fishing/hunting trip with my wife and father-in-law were both awesome, but kept me from training.  But I wouldn't take back those trips for the world.  I needed a little respite from running and spending quality time with a close friend and family out in the mountains... does it get any better than that?  These trips kept me fit, but my running muscles kind of disappeared.  I knew going into the race that I wasn't as prepared as I normally am, so I focused on a healthy diet a week out, including no beer, to keep my weight down and keep me feeling fresh - it worked.  I felt fairly fresh and I enjoyed seeing what I was capable of "off the couch" so to speak.

photo by Billy Yang
My legs felt surprisingly good for about 20 miles yesterday.  Then they started to cramp up a bit on the ascents.  I was in 6th place, about 3-5 minutes behind my friend Jon Clark, and this 5th place spot won a cash prize.  I really wanted to try and real him in and bring home some cash money, but he was on point today and I wasn't.  Igor Campos also ran well.  I passed him around mile 18 but he passed me three miles from the finish.  It would have been really fun to race him down the long descent to the finish line, but my legs just wouldn't allow it.  I ended up in 7th with a time of 4:03.

The RD, Molly, put on a smooth event with a huge cash purse.  It was no surprise that someone like Tim Tollefson, a 2:18 marathoner, showed up and claimed the $1,600 first place prize.  Caroline Boller won the woman's field and finished 8th overall.

My Hoka Clifton's worked perfectly.  They're light, responsive, stable on the rocky stuff, and have plenty of cushion for running down steep hard fire roads.  Great all around shoes.

Jesse spending his cash prize for finishing 4th on pulled pork nachos for us at Hapa J's.  Thanks Jesse!
Strava Data

So what's next?  It was fun jumping into a fast race like this one, even if smooth and fast races aren't my forte.  But the big mountains are calling.  I think I'll slip into my Rapa Nui's, throw my backpack on and go play around in the Sierra's before the snow flies (Hardrock is only 278 days away)!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Which Hoka's are right for me?

I enjoy responding to friends frequently asking me about Hoka's.  I have loved running in them and working in them for years.  Being a Hoka athlete allows me to try out most if not all of the current models and here is a little bit of insight into my thoughts on the models I wear the most.


The Clifton's are very light (7.7oz) and have the perfect amount of drop for me (5mm).

Hoka has come a long way in the last couple years in terms of making lighter shoes that still have the Hoka feel that makes running feel smooth, easy and fun, as if you were skiing or riding a mountain bike downhill.

While these are road shoes, they handle extremely well on technical trails.  Looking at the outsole here you can see why they maintain traction in many conditions.  They are amazing all around shoes.  I plan to race in them at Whoo's in El Moro this Sunday.


These guys are similar to the Clifton's in that they are light (8.9oz) and have little drop (only 2mm), but they have a different feel.  These seem to be Sage Canaday's go to shoe for the road and trail.  Like the Clifton's, they are road shoes but they handle technical trails just fine.  For those looking for minimal drop these are the Hoka's for you.


The first thing I think about when I look at these shoes is, if I get into Hardrock next year I'll use these (like 2nd place finisher, Julien Chorier did this year).  They are well suited for big technical mountains - very stable, cushioned well for long steep descents and have aggressive outsoles.  I love bombing down nasty loose/rocky ridges in these puppies.


I wore these at Western States this year, the older version of them en route to my CR at Bishop 100k this year and at Hardrock and Zane Grey last year.  I chose them for the long descents, great traction and comfort over many miles.  They also feel wider in the toe box, which my feet like.


Durable is the word that comes to mind with these shoes.  I recently wore them while fastpacking a section of the Sierra High Route, which is half trail/half cross country and goes up an over many rocky passes with plenty of talus fields.  I wear these when I'm going out to do some class 3 scrambling, and/or am traveling over a bunch of granite that likes to chew up shoes.  

Leor Pantilat was wearing these in most of the pictures from his John Muir Trail FKT recently.  I think I saw a picture or two of him in the Huaka's as well.