Monday, November 16, 2015

Pass Mt Ultra 50k Trail Race

After training hard for the R2R2R I decided to keep the running momentum going by registering for the Pass Mt 50k trail run for November 14th at Usery Regional Park outside of Phoenix.

With a proper taper from the Grand Canyon double I still went into the race a bit nervous. I'm not an ultra runner by nature and 50k (31 miles) is a bunch of miles on the feet. But I have grit and the mental capacity to suffer through the hard moments when most people would mentally crack and scamper off for a DNF. Not me. 

The race started off with a hot pace and I backed it off knowing there were two loops with nearly 4000 feet of climbing. I came into the start/finish at 2 hours and 44 minutes knowing that was a great time for me but knew I would be slower on the second loop. The course was a mix of flattish trail and some rocky climbing. A great mix to keep it interesting for the most part.  It was getting warm and I knew I had to stay on my fluids and keep trying to eat some solid food as well. Running seems so much harder than bike racing. My legs were tight but I still never had any cramping issues. I managed to catch a couple people on the second loop and held onto a 10th place overall finish and 2nd in my age group (40-49) with a time of 5 hours and 56 minutes. That was tough but yet fun. I'm definitely hooked on the ultra running. Its nice to mix it up with the biking. I'm debating my next 50k on December 5th or a 60 mile bike race in the same area at McDowell Park near Fountain Hills, AZ. Decisions, decisions.........1st world problems. Ha!

Results here:

My Strava link with lap times:

Gear used:
Altra Olympus 1.5 trail running shoes
Nathan Vapor Air running pack

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Saving Lives

Thanks grandpa. Miss you much and you a true hero. My short stint in the Air Force doesn't come close to what you did for our country and fellow servicemen.

Saving Lives in World War II (army medic interview with Judson Hemperley) - Doug Larson (director and editor)

Saturday, October 31, 2015

It's All About Me.........

Random thoughts tonight on October 31st 2015:

This may seem egotistical............ OK yes it is. I grew up pretty good with a caring mom. I wrestled in school...I was pissed, angry. All I cared about was to letter in varsity wrestling. Fuck the jacket bullshit just get the letter. I did. Fuck yeah!  I was a motivated athlete and it drives me to this day. I thrive on those days. My mom was supportive...caring and awesome. I think my dad cared but was into his own stuff. I'm in that's a learned behavior. My dad was selfish and into his horses etc.  And still is......And that is me to this day.....have an ego....arrogant....but I like to have fun and share my fun and passion for what I do........and what I do is awesome.....yes life with an active lifestyle.

I'm writing this right now because it is what it is my head right now. I fight this fight everyday....I have a great life. I have a fabulous wife. We support each other but I am a burden at times. She loves me and puts up with my shit. I have my own racing kits: El Freako Racing. I should be really content. NOT. I put myself into this situation because I am obsessed with pushing myself beyond normal mortal capabilities. OCD. I'll figure it out in time. Maybe not. I get so wrapped up into my stuff I want to accomplish I lose sight of what is important in life and that is my life partner.... My wife. She gets lost in the washing machine that's in my my head. And as I get older the obsessions seem to get worse. I am always inpatient. Angst and anxiety. I need constant motion. Move. Move. Move. WTF!

Even though I am not like others who go beyond what I do, I respect what others do. It is so awesome.

My biggest accomplishments are what follows:

Colorado Trail Race 2013
Arizona Trail Race 300 2014
Grand Canyon Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim 2015 (running)

There is so much more out there to keeps my mind turning and I think this is why I am so fucked up and always thinking of what to do next as in terms of physical accomplishments. I measure life in physical accomplishments. I don't know why,. I don't know................................

Keep moving. That's my rant.

El Freako

Why I Cuss.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

R2R2R....... Finished!!

Wow what a fucking run the R2R2R was! Everything I expected and a little bit more with a great group of runners. And I mean real ultra runners. Badass all around. All but two finishing the total route from South Kaibab to North Kaibab and back up Bright Angel. My goal was 14 hours but I ended up finishing in 12 hours and 56 minutes. 44.8 miles. Check out the route below on my Strava link. Truly epic run. I'm hooked on the ultra running now.

My good friend of many years Keevin Blue organized this trip. When he mentioned this run through the canyon I didn't hesitate to say yes. I had planned on a bike packing race event the weekend before the R2R2R but scratched that off of the schedule as this seemed like a lifetime chance to do this run with my buddy Keevin.

So with this run on the schedule I started training with serious miles early on in the summer. The biking took a back seat to a degree as this run is a serious run if you want to make it out of the canyon in one day. It was as hard as I expected and some.

The morning came for the run and laura dropped all of us off at the South Kaibab TH.  It was myself, Keevin, Dan, Jeff, Brian and Brian, Wayne, Ryan and Amber, Barry and two others I can't recall their names. They opted for a shorter run. Smart move. Lol.

We started our run at 5:08 am. I was nervous to say the least running along with some true ultra trail runners. We made quick work of the descent down the South Kaibab trail crossing the first bridge well under two hours and with 7 miles covered. The trail was muddy and slick from the rain on Friday.

The views were amazing and I was realizing the enormity of the canyon. Once we all arrived at Phantom Ranch the group started to splinter. I ran with Keevin along the next section until we arrived at Cottonwood campground where there was water. I filled up and quickly got back on the trail. I was only 13 ish miles into the run. From hereon I was pretty much by myself to the top of the North Kaibab trail. I arrived at the North rim a little after 11am. Pretty good time in my eyes. I was fortunate enough to get a peanut butter and jelly sandwich from a sag support crew for some other runners. Very awesome. I hustled oo down the trail seeing some others from our group. I saw Keevin coming up and told him I would wait at the pumphouse 2 miles down the trail for him. The trail conditions up on the north side were a bit muddy but not as bad as I thought they would be with all of the rain from Friday. Lots of donkey crap mixed in the mud.

Keevin and I teamed up for the run down and Bsrry caught up as well. With some of the crew in front of us and some behind us I was feeling good. The descent down the North rim was steep. The legs were taking a beating. After another 7 miles of a good tempo we arrived back at Cottonwood campground at 1.20 pm. I was able to run with a guy out of Boulder for a few miles as well going back down. I watered up and headed back out quickly while Barry, Keevin, Amber and Ryan were still refueling etc. I was alone until I caught two more runners from our group and I came into Phantom Ranch somewhere around 3pm. The rain had been coming down fairly hard and I was soaked. I didn't bother putting my rain jacket on either. It was warm enough. I found the other front runners in our group taking shelter and drinking some beverages. I stopped for a minute and ran out wanting to get to the south rim before dark. Some of the others caught up and we crossed the bridge over the mighty Colorado river. It was raging.

Only 9ish miles to the top of Bright Angel TH. I was thinking 3 hours would be good to cover this section. I was with Brian Blair for the first few miles going up but his pace was crushing me even though we were mostly fast hiking but his stride is longer than mine. Dan Lehnberg caught back up and him and Brian pushed on. I was by myself again for a few more miles coming into Indian Gardens with roughly 4 miles to go. I caught sight of Dan and Brian and this kept me motivated to keep on the gas. I caught up to Brian as he and some others helped a hiker that was in bad shape. He actually helped carry the guy the last two miles to the top. I pushed on topping out at 6.04 pm at the Bright Angel TH. Outstanding! What a fucking day that was!

Gear used: Altra Olympus running shoes. Osprey Rev pack.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


This weekend......October's happening. Running from the Grand Canyon South Rim to the North Rim and back to the South Rim. It will be an experience I will never forget. I usually bike big events but your feet can bring you far as well,...... not just two wheels. Lets get it! Watch my SPOT tracker for the outcome. The weather is looking crappy but it is what it is.