My year in review

December 20 2011, 10:43 am

This year has been quite interesting.  It was going pretty well until the deluge in Ojai, California at the C2M 100.  But let’s start at the beginning.  Warning, this may be a long read….I ran a total of 10 races, one of them being a short marathon in the foothills of SLC, two 50’s and 7 100 milers.  During mid season, I managed to hurt my Lumbo Sacral Ligament at Hardrock, taking me off the radar, which is where I feel I’ve been all season.  Am I too old…nope! So here it goes:

Rocky Raccoon 100, early February.  14:27  4th place.  This race was on 5 weeks of running about 50 miles a week after creating my masterpiece…the Speedgoat Luge.  I went into this race with hopes of running around 16 hours.  The field was stacked with Tony K, Ian Sharman, Mike Wolfe, Scott Jurek, Hal Koerner, Zach Gingerich and myself.  The other fast guys I can’t remember, all I remember is that it was quite fast.  After hanging close to Tony K and Hal K after 4 laps, Sharman was long gone, (Jurek dropped, Gingerich dropped) I slowed to a pedestrian lap of 3:45.  I had the chance to break 14…so I’m gonna go back this year and try to do just that. If I don’t, not a biggie, it’s just a nice 100 mile singletrack run in the woods.  I had a great run,  and at halfway I was 6:20, 39 minutes better than my previous 50mile PR (Vermont 50).  Chalk this race up to a good start to 2011.

Coyote Two Moon 100, mid March.  This course is awesome, 27k of climb near Ojai, CA.  It’s really just a party 100 with bowling costumes and good times.  The good times didn’t last too long as on the first climb, I managed to get stuck by a Yucca plant.  This stabbed me right in the IT band on my right leg.  It hurt like hell and the rest of the run was a painful one.  Jeff Browning and Justin Angle got out in front because of my “issue”.  It did subside after about 6 hours, but the damage was done….until the deluge stopped all the fun.  The race was cancelled due to 50mph winds, 10″ of rain, and simply dangerous conditions.  I made it 78 miles with 23k of climb, essentially for nothing.  The drive home…that hurt too.

Antelope Island 100, 6 days after the Coyote Two Moon Deluge.  2nd place 16:06.  Ok, so I came home and decided to challenge myself and see if I can do another 100 on hammered legs.  Here we go again! It was snowing sideways as I rolled out of my truck at the start line.  However, the snow stopped and we were off.  It took about 200 yards for my legs to feel dead.  Yup, this one was gonna hurt.  I did actually feel ok once the snow stopped and we got the ball rolling. Running through 50 miles in about 7:20.  Dan Vega, on fresh legs, managed to stay out in front all day, and I never caught him, but I ran a smooth 16:06.  Hard to complain about that 6 days after C2M.  A pretty successful race, once again, no complaints.

BOSHO Marathon, SLC, late April.  1st place 3:56 ish.  This is a fat ass race here in SLC, boasting a total climb of 6400′.  This is a tough marathon, all singletrack and great terrain. Christian Johnson and I duked it out.  Christian pretty much led the entire race and pushed me hard to finish in 3:56.  Christian had a goal to be the only other person to break 4 hours on this route, (only I have broken 4 hrs a few times).  Christian was right behind me at the finish.  It was a great tune-up for me a few weeks before the Massannutten 100 in mid May.

Massannutten 100, mid May.  1st place  18:18 (thats a fast time there).  This race I was on my own, no crew, camping at the start/finish.  I like running races like this once in a while, and having run this one 4 times previously, I know the course well.  I had about 10 minutes of total downtime on my own.  Neal Gorman chased me all day and was still in the race at 50 miles, but slowly faded from there.  I knew I was long gone after hearing a report that I had a 40 minute lead at 60 miles. This was my third MMT win, and my 30th 100 mile win.  My big goal was to win at least one 100 in 2011, so I now have won at least one 100 in 12 consecutive years.  Mission accomplished….next-

San Juan Solstice 50, mid June.  5th place, 9:45.  This was strictly a training run.  I had no intention of running hard, I just wanted to see the course…which ended up being changed due to high snowpack.  It was still epic as always.  I wanted to run a good solid even race, and run strong to the finish.  I really feel I was just getting warmed up around mile 40, had it been 100….hmmmm, I might have eventually caught Joe Grant, who won about 25 minutes ahead, the same lead he had at halfway.  

Hardrock 100, early July.  DNF due to injury.  This is where the season went down the wrong path.  I felt some pain in my back about 40 miles into the race, after summitting Handies. I really was just getting the ball rolling and started to gain ground on the guys around me.  I wasn’t gaining on Julien, Nick, Dakota or Joe, but I was now  holding my own and moving forward.  My back was slowly getting worse though, and I knew I would really have to get lucky to make it back to Silverton in one piece.  Although I was moving ok, it wasn’t right, and I slowly became a little sideways.  Not so good with 35 miles to go.  When I reached Telluride at mile 75 ish, I sat down and contemplated to myself what I was gonna do.  I chowed some much needed calories, and decided to leave Telluride and get to Chapman to see what happens when I get there.  The ibuprofen was at a high when I left Telluride, and I was going uphill, so the pain wasn’t so bad.  However, going down Oscars Pass was another story.  It wasn’t pretty.  I stopped at Chapman took a nap, then hobbled to the car.   I was done, but it was the smartest decision I could make.  Sucks to drop out of any race, especially Hardrock for me, but it was the right thing.  I am now officially off the radar.

The Speedgoat 50k,  July 30.  I’m the RD, so I had to mark and set the course.  Got it done, but it wasn’t pretty. 🙂

After the Speedgoat 50k week, my back started to hurt more again.  I took the needle of cortisone, took 4 more days off, then started hiking around with poles to help stabilize myself.  For two weeks I was walking slow, leaning on those poles.  Around August 25th, I was able to start jogging, then slowly running.  I covered about 50k of climb in the past two weeks, so my fitness, although slow wasn’t so bad.  So…..

Wasatch 100, early September.  3rd place, 20:59.  This was my second Wasatch “off the couch” as I like to say (the other was in 2000 after having a bulging disc in June)  I had no real expectations of being close to the front, but my back didn’t hurt, so I turned on the “autopilot” button and off I went.  I came close to Evan Honeyfield (eventual winner in 19:31) at halfway.  I was only 14 minutes back.  But he dream of winning off the couch for a second time didn’t happen as Evan was just stronger from that point. I really had a great run, but could identify the fact that my fitness was not top notch as my splits were a little off at each aid station. I know this course so well, I know exactly where I”m at at all time.  I felt fast, but it wasn’t that fast. 🙂  Luke passed me above Desolation Lake, and ran strong to the end, and I was able to hold off Troy Howard for a strong podium finish…if there was a podium.

After Wasatch,  yup, my back started to hurt again, so two weeks off with nothing.  My wife Cheryl was running the Bear.  I went and crewed her there. For that story hit this link.

My first “jog” was at the Bear while crewing.  I jogged slow for 4 miles. It actually felt ok, and I thought maybe I’ll have one more race in me, then call it a season.  Well, maybe two races….

Pinhoti 100, early November.  1st place, CR  16:42.  Ok, so I’m back, my back felt great, I was on fire early and knew it would be tough for anyone to even come close to me at the end.  There wasn’t much competition here, but my time was stout, taking down my previous CR there by 30 minutes.  No back pain after this one, and still none to date.

North Face 50, early December.  13th place  7:01.47.  I went to this race with the intention to run strong. I know I can’t compete with the boys up front, but just running strong would be satisfying.  I was very satisfied. Although I did get chicked, it’s not so bad being chicked by Anna Frost.  She’s pretty fast.  During the race I was in about 40th place at mile 8.7, then continued to move all the way to 13th, with only Anna passing me after mile 9.  She passed me at about 40 ish.  The lead pack was 15 minutes ahead of me at mile 22 ish.  So in reality, I didn’t lose too much ground the rest of the race, other than Wolfeman and Dakota.  I guess I am a 100 mile runner, and if this one had another 50, I really think at least top 5 was in me.  But it wasn’t 100 miles. 

Now I sit here waiting for it to snow so I can build that luge run..send me some snow please!

Don’t forget, the Speedgoat 50k registration goes online January 1.  Dont miss out!

Speedgoatkarl’s 100 mile blend” available now for all you coffee freaks..