Posts By: David Laney

Last weekend Trails and Tarmac coaches Camelia Mayfield and Cole Watson raced the California International Marathon, both punched tickets to the 2020 Marathon Olympic Trials.  Camelia finished in 2:42:38 and Cole in 2:18:05. We got the chance to ask them a few questions about their training, the race, and their new plans for 2019 and 2020!

Wildfire and wildfire smoke seem to be the biggest reason races are cancelled in the Western US right now. Smoke used to roll through the small towns bordering wild lands, now smoke blankets major metropolitan areas for weeks cancelling events from 5k’s to ultramarathons. A cancelled race pales in comparison to the devastation experienced by people and land that suffer directly from these huge fires. It is still a big bummer to have apocalyptic conditions become the norm, and have something you worked hard and trained for, cancelled. This has been a reality for me every summer since 2013 when smoke over took the Rogue Valley for weeks. Events were cancelled and running moved indoors to the dreaded treadmill. This week the North Face Endurance Challenge events, for very good reason, were cancelled, leaving many runners wondering what to do. Zach Miller wisely advises runners on twitter to make lemonade out of lemons! I could not agree more, so lets dive a little deeper into what your options are, and how to make the best out of possible future cancellations.

It’s been a little over a month since Alex Nichols set the Nolans 14 supported fastest known time (FKT). For those unfamiliar with Nolans 14, it’s basically 100 miles that links 14 Peaks all over 14,000, much of it is off trail and very rugged. This record is a mountain of a feat, in fact it is 14 of them. We also thought Alex Nichols and the Nolans 14 would be a great band name… but I digress, Here is our quick interview with Alex.

PC: David Hedges

 

I’ve been asked a thousand times why I run, or how I started running. I’ve probably answered this question a thousand different ways but it always comes back around to me waiting on the porch for my Dad to get back from his morning run, so I could join him for a few laps around the block. My Dad never really pushed me to run, if anything it was quite the opposite.  Seeing as my Dad is 70 and still running strong I thought folks might be interested in his perspective on running.

The Tour du Mont Blanc is the most beautiful trail I have ever run…or so people tell me. Most of this rugged ribbon of singletrack I have only seen at night, while deep in a gel fueled haze while racing the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc. I’ve seen hallucinations on the trail and seen others vomit, I’ve felt the intense spirit of sport, but I’ve never seen much of the grander this place has to offer. I dream of someday doing the TMB the slow down and sip the espresso way. I’d love to soak in the afternoon sun at Refuge Bonatti, or grab a Coke at Champex-Lac, I’d love to chat with the caretakers at the refuges, or take time to just sit quietly and breathe in the alpine inspiration of the high country.

Honestly, I’m as guilty as the next person. The gun goes off, the race plan goes out the window. Any coherent logic of starting at a casual pace, or drinking calories early, or taking it easy on the first climb evaporates like the ice cubes in your hat in that last hot ultra.

About a week ago we launched a little contest, basically the contest read,

“Some of you have great years of running, and some of you may have had brutal seasons. @trailsandtarmac wants to hear those stories. If you have a friend, running buddy, family member or coworker who really crushed it this year working hard toward achieving their personal goals you can nominate them for a gnar-boss of the year award! If you had a rough year, maybe a few DNF’s, some major blowups or Injuries we want to hear those stories, and what you learned too! You can win the Epic Manure award!!! Nominate a friend for the Gnar-boss award or nominate yourself (because hopefully your friends wouldn’t do that!) for the Epic Manure award! So, to nominate email a brief paragraph or two with a photo to info@trailsandtarmac.com.”

Well the response was pretty awesome.  We learned a TON by reading the responses, and we also realize there was no way we could choose just one for either the Gnar Boss Award or the Epic Manure Award.  By far the biggest thing we learned was there was hardly any difference between the GNAR boss Award and the Epic Manure Award! Both awards highlighted these runners individual trials and how they dealt with major discouragement and never quit in the face of adversity.

Mile 107: Nothing left.

The Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc lottery is done. If you got in, Congrats! If you did not, there are some great (maybe more fun) opportunities in the Alps for you.

In 2016, 2555 runners started the UTMB and 1468 finished (http://utmb.livetrail.net/stats.php). Over the course of 105 rugged miles there are unforeseeable events and challenges, but with a little more information I think more runners can finish the UTMB and swing these stats in the right direction.

There are 1000’s of articles written on how to get ready for your big race. There is a mass of valuable information on how to eat, how to train, how to recover and what gear you will need.  These are very valuable topics, but there is very little dedicated to dealing with the time everything falls apart, and at some point, at some race, it will.