An old legend back on track!

June 10 2009, 7:37 am

When I started Ultrarunning, I had two guys I wanted to race…..One was Eric Clifton.  Eric was so fast I had to go test myself against him to see if I had what it takes to succeed in this silly sport.  I beat Eric the first time I raced against him at the Crown King 50 mile….only to be beaten at the finish by Dennis Poolheco. 

A few months ago I noticed a guy named Ben Hian had run a race in California.  I don’t remember if he won, but he ran fast and it reminded me of my first ever 50 mile race at the Leona Divide 50 in 1999.  I won that race edging out Tom Nielsen by a scant 1:25.  I didn’t go there to race Tom.  I went there to race Ben Hian.  At the time this guy was the fastest and seemingly unstoppable.  He didn’t have his best day and ended up 4th…….soon thereafter, Ben dropped off the radar and pursued other interests.

Well….he’s back!! 10 years later.  He recently won the San Diego 100 in a tight race with guess who?  Tom Nielsen.  His time was 18:15.  The record of 17:40 (mine) hung in there, but I think it’s time to pay attention to Ben as his form is returning.  And we all know being 40 years old doesn’t mean squat in a 100 mile race.  We don’t have to run fast, we just have to run all day.  Congrats to an old (not age old) legend!!!!  It’s great to see his return. 

This past weekend I had the pleasure to run an aid station at mile 29 at the Squaw Peak 50 mile.  I only saw a little carnage, nothing major, but entertaining to say the least.  The race had it’s highest finish rate ever.  95% of the runners finished the tough course in perfect weather conditions.  The only real carnage was Scott Mason’s vehicle.  A dead limb about 15 feet long fell on Scott’s car the evening before while we were camping at the aid station.  Good thing he had the “hard shell” tent. 

The Speedgoat 50k is coming soon as we only have 26 days to register and 5+ weeks till the start. Registration is still open.  If it would only stop snowing here!….yah, that’s right, snow on the peak again this morning.  I’ve never seen Utah this green.  It’s melting fast but expect to see some snow in Little Cloud Bowl on the final climb and descent.   We still need some course marshalls to help keep runners on track.  If anyone out there is interested in helping out, contact me at for more info.  It is certainly an entertaining day! 

The Bighorn 100 is coming June 19th, I’ll be looking for a good run there.  I’ve been a little erratic in how I feel, I think I’ll blame it on the weather.  The rain continues and the joints hurt a little every morning waking up to 50 degrees.  It seems like early spring around here.  The “boxers fracture” I recieved running 6 weeks ago is now healed, so my days off can now consist of a round of golf to prepare myself for the senior tour…….I better get on it.  My legs feel recovered, but as usual it’s always a mystery on how the race will go when I stack alot of 100s together.  Hopefully I can find that “autopilot” gear and just run it like the rest of em’.  It may just take me 6 hours or so to warm up…….silly how it works that way. 

If recovery from injury is an issue for anyone out there, consider getting those bikes and their parts from or  These guys have all high quality bike gear to keep you going when running is not the option. 

Other gear reviews can be found at my user profile page at  The leader in gear AND gear knowledge.  If anyone needs any gear, check it out as every item has multiple reviews from people who actually use the gear.  It’s pretty cool. 

The next few weeks have me trying to figure out some odds for the Western States 100.  We all know the field is sick there and will be one hell of a race to say the least.  AJW has posted his poll, check this out.  We’ll use his poll as the “mass voting”.  I’ll do my “Speedgoat Odds” for this one, in a week or two.  First I’ll do Bighorn.  Not sure who the favorite is at Bighorn, the field is still growing.  It’s amazing this field is not full.  It is easily one of the nicest courses in town. 

Now go run!