Gorge Waterfalls 100k

Photo Credit: James Varner

Photo Credit: James Varner

And Peter asked Jesus “how many times must I forgive my brother” How about 7, that seems like enough right? Jesus’ answer was not 7. How about 70 times 7. That’s how many. I ask how many races will I run trying to get into the Western States 100? Maybe for me it’s more on the 70 times 7 side of things.

The Reviewer:  My name is Brett Hornig and I have been running for 12 years.  As well as being a Trails and Tarmac coach, I work at Rogue Valley Runners in Ashland, Oregon.  Ever since I started running, I have always been fascinated with what makes shoes so vastly different, and have continuously been on the hunt for that perfect shoe.  I’m very excited to be writing my first ever shoe review for the Vazee Summit, as it was a blast to run in and test out.  Perfect Shoe? Almost, and here’s why.
One thing to keep in mind when reading this review, is that I am 5’8″, 130lb, and have a size US9 foot that is slightly on the narrow side (C width).  I am a neutral, midfoot striking runner, so some things I describe about this shoe may need to be tweaked slightly depending on who you are and how you run.
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Way Too Cool 50k March 2016

 

Every runner in history has heard, “well you ought to listen to your body” without a real explanation of how one truly listens to a body, and why it matters. We often hear that we should have been listening to our body after an injury or poor performance has already occurred. We listen for a few weeks, take care of ourselves, recover and then as soon as we are able to resume training, our resolution to listen to our body dissolves and we put the metaphorical headphones back on.

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Trails and Tarmac runners, Cole Watson and Eric Ghelfi, post Rock and Roll Phoenix.

“For the last 10 years I feel like I’ve been falling short of goals, goals I’ve set for myself and lofty goals other people have set for me.  Today it was… Yeah, it was awesome. In my first race over 8 miles I was happy to be able to PR at 8k and 10k its hard to get one PR.  Its awesome to get PR’s at every distance en route to a half marathon.” -Cole Watson

It’s a Beautiful Day in Chicago

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So many guys had great races in 2015, I’m really honored to be named the 2015 UltraRunner of the Year.

The fact is ultrarunnning isn’t about times, awards, buckles, trail selfies or the newest gear.  For most of us trail running is about overcoming obstacles and working towards the goals we have set for ourselves.

Imagine you’re planning your next 100 mile race, you’re writing the training, planning the long runs, figuring weekly mileage, detailing the specifics of the taper and deciding if any shorter tune up races would benefit you. The process is a lot like cooking Thanksgiving dinner–there is a lot to think about, and everything has to be timed perfectly. If you forget something the result will leave a bad taste in your mouth and might make your friends not want to come over again (OK hopefully not). Speed is the salt of any training program. You do not need much, but a little will make a big difference.

TNF 50 Mile 2015

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As the sun rose to the East and the Pacific broke to the West, I was caught in between running up the ridge dividing these two worlds.

Every year for the last four I have raced The North Face 50 mile in the Marin Headlands, CA. It has become an ultrarunning proving ground for me, and a lot of other guys and gals. The course is somewhat smooth, but consistently hilly making the race tough enough to be considered a solid trail race, at least by American standards. The trend of younger runners trying their hand at the 50 mile distance at TNF was more true in 2015 than ever. It’s the norm for 21-24 year olds to be out in force.

The Trails and Tarmac Story

Trails and Tarmac was an idea born five years ago during our time at Southern Oregon University. As captains of the cross country team our job was to get the best out of ourselves, and our teammates. Our ability to do this culminated with a national cross country title in 2010. Between all the running we actually spent some time in the classroom. For our senior capstone projects we wrote business plans that mirrored our role as runners and leaders. We hoped to one day have the resources and experience to execute those plans. Today we do, and that business is Trails and Tarmac.

After graduating college and escaping the endless cycle of 5k’s and 10k’s every weekend we were let loose. The freedom to run and race whenever, wherever, and as far as we wanted was too much to resist.

Laney:

I immediately packed my car and headed to Michigan to join the Hansons Brooks Olympic Development Project in hopes of nailing a fall marathon. Ryan headed into the alpine, running trails, guiding climbers on Mount Shasta, and winning his first 50 miler. Hearing all about the mountains being explored out west I had to get home. A few weeks after returning to Ashland, Ghelfi with his unbridled enthusiasm talked me into running the Lithia Loop Trail Marathon. The race hosted by Rogue Valley Runners, the  shop where we were both working. That November morning we lined up for our first trail race together.

Ghelfi:

I spent the winter of 2013 backcountry ski guiding in Eastern Oregon, still running, on icy roads after long days in the mountains. I came back to Ashland and that summer flew to the US Mountain Running Championships in New Hampshire with David. There we realized that 12k was pretty short and we both immediately signed up for 100k trail races. David won and set the course record at the Waldo 100k. I spent a month living out of my car, training at altitude in Colorado. It paid off with a 5th place finish at the Sky Running World Final.

With consistent performances under our belts both David and I were signed to the new Nike Trail Team in the winter of 2014. That spring we went a bit overboard. David got 2nd and I got 4th at the Chuckanut 50k. One month later I was 6th at the Lake Sonoma 50 miler one minute behind David in 5th. One more month and we flew, boated, bused and hitched our way to Transvulcania in the Canary Islands of Spain. Excessive racing had taken its toll and we both blew up. But we’d gotten our first taste of big stage European mountain competition. It was a different world.

David ran his first Western States 100 mile that summer, fizzling to 20th place. I was there to crew and pace. It was a learning experience for us both. At the end of that summer I finished my first 100 miler at Run Rabbit Run with lots of highs and lows, 4th place at the end.

Fall is a glorious time in Ashland. David made good use of it in 2014 training for the California International Marathon. There he punched his Olympic Trials Qualifier in 2:17:02! I was on hand to see a lifes’ dream accomplished.

Laney:

Our overzealous attitudes in previous years taught us some great lessons.  While we both raced a good amount in 2015 we prioritized our year and made the Ultra Trail Du Mount Blanc a central focus. After placing 8th at Western States I prepared by living in my car and finding the biggest mountains on the West coast to mimic the UTMB course. Ryan prepared by guiding on Mount Shasta, guiding trail running trips, and training harder and smarter than ever. After two weeks of great preparation in Chamonix we were both ready for battle. At mile 76 Ghelfi was forced out of the race with a knee injury. I went on to place 3rd. The roles could have easily been reversed.

Since college we each spent time working with other runners. I coached cross country at Southern Oregon University and Newport high school. Ryan taught a trail running class for the outdoor adventure leadership department at Southern Oregon University and coached many runners looking to run their first ultra or trail race. We both worked at Rogue Valley Runners and had the opportunity to help runners with more than just footwear.

We are starting this business because we love what we do and we want to share our excitement. Our excitement is not only about times, places, and adventures but about helping you get the best out of yourself now and in the long run.

Can you crush an M&M with your bare hands?

David seems to have had a tough time with that one. #LLM went off in Ashland this morning. Good times were had by all. #RVR