Monday, December 3, 2012

The Second Annual Burlington VT Santa 5K


Hanging out with the SBHS XC Rebel Girls!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The second annual Santa 5K in Burlington, VT is in the books with a record number of Santa runners.  This is now I believe the second largest running event in the state of VT, only behind the Key Bank Vermont City Marathon.  Amazing!  The rainy forecast luckily didn't happen and warm but windy temps made for a great run.  Nearly 2000 Santa runners lined Church Street for the start.

Nearly 2000 Santas on Church Street
Even with the record number of runners the start went off smoothly.  It was a little slow going until we spread out a bit and then it was onto Main Street.  Down hill we went picking up momentum when suddenly a crazed Elf came darting out into the runners.  It was Buddy The Elf.

He was yelling" Santa, I know you" and sounded just like Will Ferrell.  It was hard not to laugh even as he cut off the runners.  Shortly thereafter a few other bad elves joined in for the run.  We came around the bottom of Main Street and as we turned onto Battery Street at full speed I was trying to pass some runner with a dog on a leash.  Not good, the dog cut me off and I had to jump on the curb to prevent a disaster.  Then it was the long haul up Battery.  The wind was at our back but still seemed to be swirling around.  I was better prepared with my Santa suit this year and had pinned up the pants so they wouldn't fall off but I forgot to tighten up the top.  As we hit So. Willard, the wind was howling in our faces and the top was like a parachute catching the wind.  I kept trying to tuck it in but it wasn't working.  Luckily it wasn't far to go until we ran down Howard to So. Union with the wind at our back again.

Overall just a fun race, times were slow but running in a Santa suit on a windy day makes it a challenge to run fast.  And it was a great day to see friends to kickoff the Holidays!

Full results can be found here:  5K Results

And click here for the BFP Video


My week leading up to the Santa 5K had been sort of crazy. I'm trying to look at it as a glass half full instead of half empty. I was in some kind of funk all week, maybe something to do with the moon??  The week started with the Monday noon time run at Redrocks in Burlington.  Awesome day and ran multiple perimeter loops.  Tuesday it was bikram yoga with a run before and after and I didn't bonk in class which is always a good thing!  I was in town for the Thursday night run group a bit early for some extra miles.  I started off in shorts which was fine until I arrived on the south end of Burlington and as soon as I headed north, the winds kicked in along with the pelting snow.  Legs were fine but the eyes were sore.  I changed up to some warmer clothes and then ran more with the group which was fun especially running along Church Street with snow and the Christmas lights.

Church Street

But then while going to the after run festivities at the VT Pub and Brewery, I got hit by a car while crossing Main Street.  It was sort of freaky.  I had the green light to walk and didn't even think of it as I went across.  Next thing I knew I was being spun around and had my elbow smashed.  I stood in the middle of the road trying to figure out what just happened.   Some Jeep was stopped in front of me, apparently a bit shocked as well as he attempted a left turn and never saw  me.  What the heck!!  I went up to the driver. He was complaining about not being able to see with the snow on his windshield and some bed on his roof??  I think he was more freaked out than me.  I told him I was fine and to have a good night.  I was ok, just bruised.   More shocked than anything. The way I look at it, it's all about fate.  When people are concerned about some of my adventures whether it be jumping out of planes or running through lightning storms or solo adventures who knows where, I usually refer to the fate thing.  When your number comes up at the deli, it's your time, until then enjoy life to it's fullest!  So I guess it's good I did't get squished. One second faster on that street crossing and I could have been a hood ornament, but I wasn't.  I guess my number hasn't been called yet :)
Friday night I had a great run in the fresh snow in the Charlotte Park and Wildlife Refuge.  On the way back along Greenbush Road I saw an unfamiliar hound crossing the street.  I hesitated at first but saw this canine heading into some trees on the other side of the road.  Usually the only dog on this section is a German Shepard chained up but this dog had a square head.  I could see his legs under the trees and quietly advanced along Greenbush Road hoping he didn't see me.  As soon as I was even with him, I could see him preparing for he kill.  Do I retreat or do the mad sprint was going through my mind.  I kept moving forward.  I saw him come around from the trees and work me into his plan.  He came out of the trees from behind me, a big Rottweiler  and I could hear his nails digging into the road on hot pursuit.  Speed work!!  Let's go!!

I put it into high gear and so did he.  I could hear his nails digging into the pavement and increasing in speed as I was.  I was eyeing for protection and saw some driveway markers I might be able to pull out of the frozen ground, that was option one.  Then I ran by a neighbor and was thinking I could use him as a block but screamed to him, "Do you know this dog"?  Apparently he did and he started to yell for the dog.  I could still hear those nails digging in and not letting up as I sprinted at max speed.  He yelled again and finally the dog slowed.  I yelled thank you as I kept moving forward.  So I guess it was all good as I didn't get bit. Never a dull moment on my runs :)

Saturday I began my seasonal Elf duties at Dakin and am starting to feel a bit overwhelmed with Elf time and training for the next few weeks.  But I'll get'r done somehow as usual.

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. 
To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.” 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012



Fall has been great for training this year and in Northern VT we were lucky enough to miss Super-Storm Sandy and the Nor'easter.  Trails have been mostly dry but temps are finally starting to dip and the day light hours are getting shorter each day.  It's still been a mix of shorts and tights but more often now it's the tights and a headlamp so winter is fast approaching.  And talk of screw shoes is becoming a reality again.  The joys of winter running!

I had an awesome time helping to coach the So. Burlington girls cross country team this fall.  Definitely one of the highlights of my year working with the girls and Coach Jess!!  But it also gave me time to back off on my own race schedule which was a much needed break and just time to run for fun.  Once that was over in early November, I suddenly realized it was time to get my butt in gear and start training especially with some races set for mid January 2013!

I've been slowing ramping up the miles again but trying to keep it fun.  I hit the mountains once a week for some good long hill runs.  Here are some of the adventures I've had recently:

Mansfield Loop, Fall edition:  Always a challenge on this 26 mile loop and fall is an exceptional time to run this.  Leaves are down, temps are cooler and the views can be spectacular.

The Chin on Mt. Mansfield

The Loop starts and finishes at the end of Stevensville Rd. in Underhill peaking out at the highest point in VT, the Chin on Mount Mansfield.  On the way to the Chin there are many sites to see.

Waterfall heading toward the Trout Club

Stowe Premier Property

Some of the loop includes a short section of dead end dirt roads with prime real estate in the Stowe Area.  For only $1.6 million, you can own this fine home.

The Sound of Music at Trapps

Or if you prefer more civilized living, Trapps offers wonderful accommodations with spectacular views.  Just beware of the trail police as you run through the trails at Trapps.

Part of the ascent up to the Chin is along the Toll Road and you may be thirsty and out of water but DON'T drink the water from this pipe!

Bad Water Source

As it's source is from this muck hole just above containing who knows what dead organisms.  Not convinced?  Ask Aliza :)

Sandy approaching as seen from the Summit

The Chin on this day was quite eerie looking with Sandy approaching from the south.

The descent along the Long Trail is always interesting with many Chutes and Ladders and rock faces.

All in all, it was a spectacular day.  I took the time to relax and have fun with the run.  I made it out just at sunset but was even prepared this time as I had a headlamp in my pack.  But I did run out of water like usual, but only a couple of miles before the end.

Camels Hump, another great training run:  The Hump offers many different options for routes and distances depending on time and weather.  The summer certainly is the most popular but winter runs may be the quickest on packed out snow with spikes as the snow fills in the gaps between the rocks.  For fall, you face the challenges of mud, ice and snow all rolled into one day.

The Summit on Camel's Hump

This particular day on the Burrows Trail started out with mud, then scattered snow followed by the intermittent ice flows in the thicker woods and then back to snow with ice near the summit.  Not quite enough ice and snow for the spikes ( I left them in the car any way), although they would have been nice at times.  But certainly enough ice to make it a more challenging day to say the least.

Ice Flow heading up to the Hump

More Ice

I always think if I take the Forest City Trail down it will be better.  Never is, just more ice on the descent.

Overall it was a great day on the Hump.  I was amazed I stayed upright the entire day.  I have a hard time doing that in even good conditions.

Appalachian Trail:  While visiting in CT over Thanksgiving I discovered some amazing trails that were all new to me and it included part of the Appalachian Trail.

I found this section while searching on my smart phone which I usually refer to as my dumb phone, or maybe it's because I haven't figured out all the features and I'm not the smart one :)  The trail started in Kent, CT and I did an out and back into Cornwall Bridge or somewhere near there.  Not really sure where I was.

The start of the trail

The trail starts out climbing over a fence before running through some open fields, then the fun starts with some great hills.

The Ledges steep descent

One of the more fun sections was an area called St. John's Ledges.  Here's the description:

Although it may look daunting, 90 stone steps installed by Appalachian Mountain Club volunteers and a professional trail crew make the descent manageable but hands may be needed for balance and leverage every so often.  After this knee-jarring descent you might reconsider the difficulty when witnessing rock climbers ascending the adjacent sheer rock face from the bottom up.

This was actually a really fun section except for the bottomless leaf hole I fell in causing me to descend a bit faster than expected and while picking up speed hitting rocks I had to do a self arrest much like in the snow.  I didn't see any visible blood flowing not that I really looked for it but just kept moving or it would have hurt a lot more.

Part of the journey included some really nice single track along the Housatonic River.

Caleb's Peak

Other peaks offered pleasant views of the valley below.

All in all a great day and another adventure.  Not so unusual, I had to ration food and water.  Not knowing where I was or where I was going and not having a pack to carry enough supplies was just typical for me and always a learning lesson.  I sort of forgot to pack any kind of hydration equipment or backpack on this journey to CT.  So I ran for 4 1/2 hours on 22 oz. of water and 3 GU gels.  I did carry $2 with me but never saw a store so it was useless.  The last hour I was running on fumes and the vision was deteriorating from lack of calories and fluids.  I did roughly calculate when I might finish up and wanted to make it out before sunset as I did have a headlamp... but left it in the car since I had no way to carry it.  Luckily I got out of the woods by 4 PM as it was getting dark in the thick of the woods towards the end.

The training continues.  Along with the running I keep going to bikram yoga once a week whenever I have a free moment.  Still a major challenge to successfully make it through without bonking.  And the core work has been increasing.  Not at a gym but cutting and hauling firewood.  The lottery Gods in the next couple of weeks will be deciding the rest of the season for 2013.  Will it be the Gram Slam, Hardrock or maybe Tour de Giants??  Time will tell!

"It's very hard in the beginning to understand that the 
whole idea is not 
to beat the other runners.

Eventually you learn that the competition is

against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit."

Friday, November 16, 2012



This is totally an event and not a race but also a test of endurance for many who try to run for up to 6 hours on a 1.25 mile course through the woods.  More importantly it's a fundraiser for the Winooski Food Shelf at a time of year when donations are desperately needed.  You can donate food for each lap you run or if you want to run for 6 hours, bring a whole turkey!  And anything in between including cash donations.  There's no entry fee and the entire event is run by volunteers with the help of donations from local and not so local businesses.  One aid station is fully stocked with various food and drink, again supplied by local businesses.  The only variable is the weather and this year it couldn't have been any nicer.  Temps in the low 40's, dry and some later day sun!

The event this year on it's 3rd anniversary was directed by Jen Sorrell who took over the reigns from Greg Veltkamp who happened to move to Alaska.  Jen had the enthusiastic help of Scott Barras to make this year's event the most successful ever.

The Start Line

At the start there were nearly 170 runners/walkers/trail strollers lined up on a chilly morning in the upper 30's with a brisk breeze.  At 9:00 am we were off and running.  Immediately you climb the biggest hill of the course but within 20 seconds you're at the peak and onto mostly flat single track.  The rest of the course is on mostly gently rolling trails with enough room on most to push a stroller equipped with fatter wheels.  Good enough for Todd and his coach Henry to negotiate.

I started off running with Joe and Mike and quickly warmed up, enough to get rid of a wind shell after lap  one.  The nice part of doing laps is being able to hit the aid stations frequently if needed.  And each time you ran through they counted your laps.

Soon Pablo joined up and we ran quite a few laps together.  With most of the leaves down much of the trail was covered so you couldn't see all the roots but Scott went out prior to the start to rake away any bad areas.  Still, I managed to find a few obstacles and crashed hard twice doing my tuck and roll to keep on pace.

Pablo and Jack

The sun was shining and it was just a great day to run with friends in the woods.

The Legend Joe Carrara

Paul up and running

At one point I came around a corner and found Paul down on the ground after just crashing on a root.  After a little chat we were able to get him back up and running again.  He's tough!


The famous ultra runner Clem also took some hard diggers but kept going as always.

Felicity and Dad on the big hill

Kyle's dog taking him for a run

After about 4 hours and 20 or so laps, I started to feel like a hamster on a treadmill in a cage.  Once an hour I would stop at the aid station and refuel.  Sometimes I would run backwards or sideways to make it interesting and ran on and off with different friends and dogs throughout the day.  But I was also starting to feel a bit dehydrated and was getting some cramping twinges in my calves.  I made the mistake of going to bikram yoga the afternoon before, not even thinking.  Typically it takes me a good 24 hours to get back on track with hydration after a sweat-fest in bikram and I never do it the day before a race.  I managed to swallow a few electrolyte pills without gagging too much but the last one almost set off the pukes.  So for the last hour I took it easy and just kept doing easy laps.  At the end I finished with 32 laps or about 40 miles (Garmin miles whatever they are).  There were a number of other runners that completed the full 6 hours which was impressive including Pablo who also got in 32 laps.

RD Jen with Felicity
In the end a lot of food was donated to help make Thanksgiving a little nicer for many families so thanks to all the runners who participated.  And thanks to Jen, Scott, Kristin and all the volunteers and sponsors who made this a great event.  Looking forward to next year!  For more information click here:  RYCO

Friday, November 9, 2012


Sometimes it's the simple things in life that make you happy.  After freezing my butt off for the last 3 winters I decided to invest in some HEAT!  94 degrees last night, had to open the windows and get rid of the down comforter.  12 hours later, the stove was still warm.  Have to work on the temps a bit but totally enjoying it :)  This could be great for heat training.  I could even host a bikram yoga session here!

New Stove!

Looking forward to winter :)

And don't forget "Run Your Can Off" on Saturday November 10th to benefit the Winooski Food Shelf:

At one point in your life you either have the things you want or the reasons why you don't

Saturday, October 6, 2012


It’s been about 7 weeks since I returned from the running of Where’s Waldo 100K in Oregon and finally found some time to sit down to recall my adventures in the Cascade Mountain Range.


Willamette Pass Oregon, August 18, 2012

Wed morning before the race, up at 3:00 am to catch the 5:18 am flight, leg one to DC.  I dropped the car off at Thrifty airport parking.  No one was at the office so I put the keys in the drop box.  This meant no shuttle so I had to walk about a ½ mile with luggage to the airport at 4:00 am.  Good thing for wheels on luggage.  Boarded plane on time and on we go… almost.  I have yet to take off on time from BTV when we are the first plane to leave that day.  This time we taxied out for take-off but got a message from the captain saying there was a computer glitch and would have to try a control/alt/delete.  So we sat in the middle of the runway and had to turn the plane completely off, sit in darkness as they “rebooted” the plane to see if it would solve the “issue”.  After 5 seconds in total darkness they turned the power back on.  Apparently it worked or we hoped it worked and soon we were off to Dulles, in DC.  Amazing but I think we even arrived on time, it was 7:15 am at Dulles.  Walking into the terminal my phone rang and was notified that I had an email message.  No one calls me at that hour, except….United.  Sure enough my 9 AM flight, the next leg to San Francisco was cancelled.  Instead I was rebooked on a flight to Denver leaving at 3:55 PM with final arrival time in Eugene near 9PM.  I tried my luck at customer service but no go.  So now what to do and how would I get in my run today?  I’ve been stuck in this airport before.  I figured I would make the most of my time in DC and jumped on the bus to the Aerospace Museum only 15 minutes away.  I knew they had lockers to store my bags and I could get a run in there.  I did that last year on my way to UTMB.
Space Shuttle at the museum

The grounds at the museum are surrounded by barbed wire so you can’t go far but I created a perimeter loop and did that a couple of times to get in 45 minutes of run time.  Back at the airport I visited customer service again only to find out my next flight was also delayed but they found another flight leaving in 15 minutes so I quickly jumped on that.   I arrived in Denver with about a 2 hour layover until another delay on the flight to Eugene.  I finally arrived in Eugene at around 9:30 PM.

First thing I saw when I got off the plane,
a pic of legend Steve Prefontaine

Immediately the phone buzzes to notify me that I have an email.  It was from the race director letting us know that there was a fire in the middle of the race course and that the race was now in jeopardy.  Great!!  After another hour they found my luggage which had arrived earlier but was lost in house.  I got my rental car which was way smaller than I had reserved, no way to car camp in it.  And then found out the road I needed to drive on closed at 8 PM due to construction.  Here I was stuck in Eugene after an 8 hour delay, late at night and had no idea where I was or where I was going.  Luckily the guys at the United desk in Eugene were awesome and finally after another hour I had a place to stay in Eugene compliments of United :)  I arrived at the hotel after midnight, after being up for 25 hours, totally exhausted but I made it!

Thursday morning after a great sleep at the River Hotel I got some breakfast and was off on the next leg to Willamette Pass.  The drive from Eugene to Willamette Pass was very enjoyable.  Not much traffic to deal with along this scenic one lane highway surrounded by huge trees.  I had to stop at the tunnel for a while as it only allowed one lane through during the day due to construction.  Shortly after that I arrived at Willamette Pass Ski Area, which was the start and finish area as well as the camping spot for the Where’s Waldo 100K Race.  It was pretty quiet on this Thursday but I did run into one local runner from Eugene.  He gave me the low down on the area and told me of a better spot to camp for the night.  So I headed to Gold Lake, just a couple of miles down the road off the beaten path.

Gold Lake is a small self-serve campsite of 20 or so sites.  I found an awesome site overlooking Gold Lake and set up my tent.  Afterwards I returned to Willamette Pass to get in a quick run before having dinner.  While there I met up with another local, Doug McCarty from Eugene who was also running Where’s Waldo.  He gave more info about the race and the general area.  After a while, I departed for my run and headed up the mountain on what would be the start of the race.
Fires at Bobby Lake
It was an uphill climb right from the start to near the summit of Willamette Pass and then would continue into the woods.  But instead of going into the woods I decided to go directly to the summit to get a good look at the views.  On top the views were spectacular although a little hazy from the fires.  I could see below the Bobby Lake fires in the middle of the race course.  After enjoying the views, it was time to depart and I found some great single track mountain bike trails to descend.  Back to Gold Lake for a wonderful dinner and a good night’s sleep!

Dinner of champions at Gold Lake

Friday morning I awoke to the smell of smoke.  Over night the smoke had sunk down low and surrounded the area.  As I looked across Gold Lake I could see the smoke billowing over head.  After a little breakfast I packed up and returned to Willamette Pass where I would set up camp for the next 2 nights.  It was more convenient to be there for the race start and finish.  I met up with friend and assistant RD, Meghan Arbogast and was filled in on the latest fire update.  They just got approval for a new course that would bypass the fire area so the race was on!!

Smoke over Gold Lake

The new course would add some distance to make it more like 66 miles.  I decided to get in a little run and followed the finish of the race which was on the Pacific Crest Trail.  The trail was surrounded by tall pine trees and the surface was a layer of soft dirt and pine needles.  Not the usual rock and roots like at home.  Wow, was this nice!  I just ran up about 2 miles and decided to build a number of small rock pagodas alongside the trail.  This way I would know when I was about 2 miles from the finish.  After the run it was time for a swim.  The north end of Odell Lake was only minutes away and I found another small campsite which had a trail leading to the lakeshore.  It was a great swim and nice to be clean again!  Back at camp it was time to get the drop bags organized.  The aid stations were fully stocked with GU Brew drink, GU gels and S-caps, all my usual so I didn’t need much for drop bags.  Still I packed two bags with spare shoes, socks, clothes, Body Glide, emergency S-caps, an extra water bottle and a few other odds and ends.  They offered a great pre-pasta dinner which I enjoyed and then it was the pre-race meeting before retiring for the evening.

Race Start at Waldo

Saturday morning, 4:00 AM, time to get up.  Race start was at 5:00 AM so being up an hour earlier was good to get a little food in and a hot cup of tea.  It was already warm, near 60 degrees with the day forecasting to be around 80 or so with sunshine.  The start of the race went off and up we went on what was more of a service road.  The course was so dry that the dust was flying.  It was more of a fast power hike up.  Already the lead pack of Tim Olsen, Jacob Rydman and some others took off.  I ran in another group that included Yassine Diboun, a friend who I met years ago at the Finger Lakes.  Yassine knew the course so I figured I would hang with him initially.  The uphill certainly warmed things up.  Just before we reached the summit the trail veered off into the woods.  And downhill we went.  Yassine took off on the downhill with his long legs and I would never see him again until the finish.  I was in a pack of about eight runners going at a good clip all the way down to Gold Lake.  The trail was excellent, soft and not too technical and led to the Gold Lake aid station.  I arrived right on schedule at this 7.4 mile stop.  This was the elevation low point of the race at 6600 feet.  With the re-route we would return here again at mile 50.  I quickly got rid of my headlamp, refueled and headed up towards Fugi Mtn.  Luckily the skies were overcast with a light drizzle, way better than the forecasted hot sun.  At this point it was time to run my own race and I knew there was a good uphill coming and many more to come so I backed off a bit.  Fugi Mtn. was one of my favorite parts of the race with really nice single track trails winding through the woods.  It had a short out and back to the summit at 7144’ which had some fun rocks to run on, more like back home.  And it gave you a chance to see where everyone else was.  Jacob and Tim went cruising by well ahead of the rest of the field.  I was running in about 10th place.
Yassine crushing the downhills

The downhill all the way to the Mt. Ray aid station was fun.  Great footing, dry and fast single track.  From there it was on to The Twins and part of the re-route due to the fires around Bobby Lake.  The trail just sort of meandered about, nothing too technical and then a short segment on the road before heading back into the woods.  The next part of the race to Charlton Lake I was feeling like I was losing steam.  I was running by myself and was just feeling tired.  My legs never had the usual energy right from the start but sometimes it just takes a bit to get warmed up.  Not today, just not happening.  While running on this fabulous section of fun single track I thought back of all the races I’ve done this year and have been going non-stop since last December.  Hmm, maybe it was time to take a break and rest up the body.  Well first I needed to finish Waldo, and then it would be break time.  I figured if I could just maintain I’d be fine, I only had about 36 miles to go.  Soon I heard some soft footsteps behind me, it was Denise Bourassa.  She was running strong and steady.  I let her go by and she pulled me along which was what I needed.  We got to Charlton Lake, quickly refueled and off again.  I slowed up a bit after that and Denise was shortly out of sight.

Jack following Denise
at Charlton Lake

Next up was the 4290 aid station.  The sun had come out and it was starting to get warm, especially in the sun.  My nutrition and hydration had been good so far.  I had been successful in opening up my s-caps and dumping them in my water bottle instead of swallowing them which recently has caused some major GI distress.  And at 4290 I picked up a second water bottle from my drop bag figuring it would be getting warm at this point.  But after 4290 I was really starting to feel the heat and backed it down some more. I figured I could make up some time later on when it cooled down.  There was some good climbing heading up and around The Twins which are just over 7000 ft.  The course then descended to The Twins aid station again and this time I sat and ate for a while   I needed something to get me going.  And they had popsicles!!  My new favorite race day treat.  Next stop, Gold Lake aid station.  The section to Gold Lake was slow but steady.  I was maintaining with some surges of energy from time to time and then loss of energy.  I arrived at Gold Lake and knew it would be an 8 mile uphill to Maiden Peak.  This was part of the re-route of the course.  Gold Lake was the lowest elevation of the course at 6600’ and Maiden Peak was the highest elevation at 7818’.  Usually I enjoy these climbs and can maintain a good steady pace but today would be another story.  I got some good food in and refueled the water bottle and off I went looking forward to summiting Maiden Peak.  About 50 feet from the aid station I took a sip from my water bottle.  The s-cap I poured in the drink must have been sitting on top of the ice cubes and I got a full mouthful of that.  Within seconds my stomach turned and I was on the side of the trail puking out all the food I just ate and then some.  It hurt and more to come too.  As soon as I could stand up straight I moved ahead slowly.  Not good.  This has become an all too familiar pattern.  So onward I went, slow and unsteady.  I couldn’t drink either as that made me nauseous too.  My pace really slowed down.  After about 4 or 5 miles there was a small aid station before the final ascent to the summit and I tried to suck on some jelly beans, not happening.  The final ascent was steep and at one point I had to sit down on a log as I was starting to get dizzy from lack of food and water.  When I did get to the summit I looked for a place to lie down and wanted to take a nap but it was too rocky so I just sat for a while and re-grouped.  The views were awesome so I took advantage of the situation.  I chatted with some other folks and hung out for probably 10 minutes.  From the summit it would be an 8 mile downhill to the finish.  Coming off the summit was the Leap of Faith, a steep technical downhill that normally I would love.  I was like a snail.
Heading down the
Leap of Faith

Between the final ascent and the downhill, numerous runners were going by.  I arrived at the final aid station, Maiden Lakes and tried again to eat.  I grabbed some food and a coke.  After one bite, I was on the side of the trail again purging what was left in me.  The volunteers at the aid station were wonderful, bringing me a wet rag and wanted to help more.  I sat down on a log for a while and regrouped once again.  Unlike Tahoe, I wasn't going to quit today.  I had plenty of time to finish and was going to finish.  The downhill to the finish took me about twice as long as it should have.  I even got passed by the guy who swam in all 6 lakes to win the Wet Waldo award but I must have passed him during his last swim.  With about 2 miles to go I saw my rock pagodas, a happy sight!  I finally finished with a time of 13:43:13 and in 25th place overall.  Not a pretty picture but I got’r done :)  Afterwards I went back to the tent and crashed for a couple of hours and then returned to eat.  All was fine.

Jack and Meghan at the Finish

The Gear:  Pearl Izumi Trail II shoes were awesome as usual as were the Drymax socks.  If only the rest of my body felt as good as my feet.  And the Headsweats Ultra Race Cap kept the hot sun off my head.  Thanks!


I woke the next day and thanks to some local traveling advice from Doug, I was on my way to Bend, Oregon, a place I've wanted to visit for years and was even thinking this could be a place to relocate to.

Devil's Lake

The road to Bend along the scenic highway went from forest land to old volcanic fields to more desert like conditions.

Mt. Bachelor

Snow still on Mt. Bachelor.

Arriving in Bend I was able to get in a run through downtown and along the Deschutes River, a popular spot for tubing.

Deschutes River

Nightlife in Bend includes numerous local breweries which I had a chance to visit a few.

Downtown Bend

Back to Eugene the next day.  More incredible views along the way.

Three Sisters and Broken Top

I drove another scenic highway and was amazed at the lava fields.  This road cut right through the Sea of Lava which was miles and miles of old volcanic activity.

Sea of Lava

Soon I was back in Eugene and had a couple of places to visit on my list.  The legendary Pre's Trail was a must see.  I had enough time before flying out to get in a run.

Pre's Trail in Eugene

And then I had to see Hayward Field, another historic site.  From Pre's Trail I found my way to historic Hayward Field.  It was an awesome site.  I felt the need to go run on it, even being a trail guy.  When I got to the entrance it was locked shut.

Hayward Field Entrance
With my adventurous ways I decided to run around and eventually found the "back door".  I had the whole track to myself.  I did a warm up lap and then ran a mile just because I felt the need.  Even after just running a 100K plus I was inspired enough to put in a sub 7 minute mile.

And so goes Oregon.... another adventure in the books.


A couple of weeks after returning home from Oregon I was on another journey to the Superior Sawtooth 100 Mile Run in Minnesota but his time crewing and pacing for Ryan Welts and Kristina Folcik.  I also dragged Serena along to help pace Kristina.  Ryan had an incredible race finishing 3rd overall and posting the 6th fastest time on that course.  Kristina had a come from behind win for the ladies and set a new course record.  Congrats to Ryan and Kristina!!!


Now I get my well deserved break from my own racing and can focus on another adventure.  This fall I'm the assistant XC coach at South Burlington High School for the women's cross country team working with 20+ talented ladies.  Go Rebels!

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
Steve Prefontaine

You have to wonder at times what you're doing out there. Over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. 
It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.
Steve Prefontaine