Posts Categorized: Race Reports

Mile 106: I’m pretty sleepy, sitting in a metal chair in the doping control office, cotton ball taped to my arm, losing my ability to focus, the smell of blood mixed with alcohol wipes is overwhelming, every sound is amplified to a roar, I mutter something about needing a garbage can, I’m gonna throw up all over the floor. I already feel bad because I know my odor is less than ideal and I can’t focus enough to answer the officials basic health questions.  Everything gets uncontrollably loud and immediately peaceful. I wake up on the floor and have no idea where I am, someone is asking me questions and talking hurriedly into a cell phone, I don’t bother to answer. I put my head back down and immediately go to sleep.

We are writing this as we drive across the desert of the American West. We are very tired, as we just raced 6 times in 6 days. 4 hours of interrupted Motel 6 sleep didn’t really do the trick. We just won the Transrockies stage race in Colorado. For the team competition you have to stay with your partner the whole time and each run the entire course. The winners are crowned by their cumulative time for all 6 stages

Mount Shasta is a peak that dominates the landscape of an entire region. From the central valley California to Southern Oregon views of Mount Shasta’s summit are unavoidable. It is freakin’ massive! The peak stands 10,000 feet above the valley below and over 5,000 feet higher than any other mountain in the vicinity. As a young kid growing up in Redding 60 miles to the south I had a deep desire to climb this mountain. “But it is too dangerous” is what my parents told me. So I never got to climb in my youth, I could only look on in awe from the slopes below. If any mountain has a mystic pull this is one of them.

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.

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.