Saturday, May 28, 2005

Colac web site update

There's finally new information on the web site. Now I know the nuts and bolts of the system - look forward to a lot more info in the coming months.


Ohlone Wilderness 50K photos

Results of the 2nd Isarrun

From the 16th until the 20th May 2005 the 2nd Isarrun was held along the
river Isar in Germany and Austria. The participants had to run some 350 km
in 5 daily stages. You can have a look at their website
( for pictures, results, etc., etc.

Further pictures will also be placed on the following website:

Vienna-Budapest Supermarathon

This might be an intersting event for those, who wish to combine their
visit to 2 interesting European capitals with some serious ultra-running!

Vienna-Budapest Supermarathon

19-10-2005 Vienna - Sopron 93 km
20-10-2005 Sopron - Gyor 116 km
21-10-2005 Gyor - Tata 61 km
22-10-2005 Tata - Budakeszi 60 km
23-10-2005 Budakeszi - Budapest 21 km

In the past the 1st prize used to be a new car and over the years Janos
Bogar won enough cars to start a car-outlet, :-)))))

Contact info:
Becs-Budapest Szupermarathon Szervezobizottsaga
Steindl Imre u. 12
1054 Budapest
Tel./Fax: 00-36/1/312-88-92


Geoff Hain proved that persistence pays as he completed his twelfth finish in this year’s Bananacoast Ultramarathon from Coffs Harbour to Grafton on Sunday. Hainst from the Gold Coast entered this year after taking a break from running during which he twice achieved Centurion status as a Race Walker completing 100 miles in 24 hours on the track. The lure to get both feet off the ground again on what was very familiar territory for him was the fact that only Bananacoast race director, Steel Beveridge, had more finishes in that event. By simply completing the distance Hain would equal that feat. However he trumped that achievement by being the first to finish at Grafton.

Although far from his best time his 10.08.13 was sufficient to hold off his only challenger for the full 83 kms event, Lindsay Phillips. Phillips experienced highs and lows during his 10.31.31 on the back road between Coffs and Grafton but was able to finish with a spring in his step to round out the smallest finishing field in the race’s 23 year history.
However four other runners had set out from Coffs Harbour with at least two having the sole aim of reaching the 58 kms mark at Lanitza, an ultra in its own right. The other two may have harboured grander designs but these came unravelled along the way. John Rose was the first to call a halt at Lanitza, completing his race in 6.42.30. He was coming off a long break in training following a successful debut at the Forster Ironman. Ross Donald at 67 was the oldest entrant and with a 6.57.30 he was well pleased with his morning’s outing. Jenni Williams like Donald had the goal of Lanitza which she achieved in her usual indomitable fashion in 7.52.54, a time which would have allowed her to continue had that been the plan. The cut-off at that point is 2.00p.m. as anyone not reaching there by then would be overtaken by the night before reaching Grafton. Steel Beveridge missed the cut-off by 12 minutes pulling up at 8.12.04 thus leaving the way clear for Hain to equal his finishes’ record for the full distance.
Next year the race will go from Grafton to Coffs Harbour and the battle for a thirteenth finish may be on the cards.
FULL RESULTS (83 kms) Geoff Hain 10.08.13, 1; Lindsay Phillips 10.31.31, 2. (58kms) John Rose 6.42.30, 1; Ross Donald 6.57.30, 2; Jenni Williams 7.52.54, 3; Steel Beveridge 8.12.04.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Courteney to Nanaimo 120K B.C.Canada

This race is run as a relay of 10 legs with about 300 runner, and two Ultra runner!
Ultra Runners:
Two Distances are available, approximately 120 km or 50 km (start at stage 7) No one signed up for the 50K.
Ultra runners compete in this spectacular and scenic run following the coastal road from Courteney to Nanaimo.
Runners must be self sufficient, carry the necessary water and provisions or have a support person. No water stations are provided on the course.

Started the morning in the Thrifty Foods parking lot in Courtenay B.C.I parked my car and watch the birth of an event.
Mat Sessions showed up with 10 mins. to spare, signed his waiver and at 4:00 we were off.
We spent the dark part of the morning running out of town on Cliff, Mat was planning a 12:30 I was hoping for a 13 so we hung together, all the way when he stopped for aide, I walked ahead until I could hear his footsteps, then we would run side by side for the next 6 hours.
Then I took on the challenge of eating 1/2 a sandwich!
Unless you've tried it, you wouldn't believe how hard it is to swallow. When your body has programed itself to run and breath, swallowing is a tough thing and slow, I mean slow going.I walked as I ate, Mat ran so that was it for my partner!
I didn't see him again till the stadium. He and I were both well aware of what we had just done.
I will remember coming into the stadium as one of those "Olympic" type moments, I was tearing up and I could head the theme from "Chariots of Fire" playing in my head. It was a surreal moment, hearing the whole stadium cheer and getting a standing "O" from the beer tent was that 15 minute of fame you hear about, mind you it took me 13 hours to earn that buzz!
Mat and I both shattered the C.R. me by about two hour him by three.
A good day's work for both of us. Thanks to Kerry, (Mats Support) and thanks to the marshalls!
Were they all the same guy? I could have sworn I saw the same guy at least four times throughout the day, maybe I was seeing things, mind you, I get more punchy at the E/B Ultras, than I did during this race.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Interesting Ultra Story!

Ultra-marathons to the Untrained’s Eye

About two months ago, I made up my mind to participate in this year’s
Strolling Jim 40. Not only did I plan on entering the race, I intended
to complete it without doing a single day of training to prepare. Prior
to this decision, the last time I had so much as run one mile was
sometime in October of last year. The last time I ran 1 mile more than
once in a single month was over a full year ago. The most I had ever run
was the 2.5 miles home from the worksite of the now torn-down rock wall
at the first fork in the Jim. However, I cannot lay claim to finishing
without training. Just a fortnight before the race, I chose to avoid
discussing the finer points of cows by jogging 1.5 miles home from a
nearby tract of land that my dad had stopped to inspect after (of
course) a long day of stone stacking.

My only true preparation for the race involved figuring out what
supplies I should carry in my pack for the run. I loathed the idea of
carrying a pack with me, so, as my dad informed many people, I
considered taping some small things to my body for the run. In actuality
I was only going to do that if it was going to be something small, like
a pack of gum, which I could tape to my shoulder or bicep. I decided
wisely against this, because without a handler I had way too much stuff
to carry without using a pack.

Before the day of the race, my strategy to finish was to run controlled
but hard for as long as possible, especially on the downhill parts,
coasting on my long strides. My only goal, which I’m sure many people
have heard by now, was to beat my father (Gary). I felt that I needed to
put some good distance between us at the start of the race, while I was
still going to be fresh. I knew that I would be hard-pressed to win if
he was anywhere near me after the 20 mile mark due to his training and
experience. I also knew that the longer it took me to get to the halfway
point, the more
difficult it would be to convince myself to continue
racing on.
Most of the runners I met the day before the race at the registration,
course tour, and pre-race dinner, seemed to think I was dead meat. I
think they mistook my zeal as foolish optimism, instead of the
masochistic ego-driven determination that only the son of the Idiot can
have. I grew up around ultra-marathons, and I’ve watched a lot of Jims.
I knew I wasn’t going to run it fast. I knew that extreme pain was a
requirement that I would have to deal with in order to finish, and I’ve
battled through extreme pain in many sports situations. I played summer
HS basketball games on a foot which was diagnosed with a hairline
fracture. I played a baseball game with a thumb that had been so torn up
from an accident in the previous game that it required surgery to remove
a bone chip and re-attach the tendon. I just needed to call upon this
same drive for a solid 10 to 12 hours. I suppose I was being optimistic
to believe that I could, but I was never absolutely sure until I got to
the home stretch.

At 5:00am I began my race day with the “trekker trash”. It was a
bitterly cold morning, and I jogged/walked the first mile among the
front runners of the trekkers. It was during this mile that I became
painfully aware that my pack could not be tightened enough to stop it
from bouncing pretty hard when I would run. I had tried it on before,
but I suppose the weight of a full water bottle and a little time
stretched it ever so slightly past the circumference of my waist. After
the first mile, I started to jog away from the trekkers at a leisurely
pace, while fiddling with my pack. After the first water drop, I got
some friendly advice from a couple of handlers who were rooting heartily
for me to beat my dad: “Don’t forget to cover your nipples, or they’ll
be rubbed raw”. Being no stranger to the sport, I immediately remembered
this was true, but still couldn’t help laughing. After they drove away,
I pulled two band-aids from my pack and took care of my exposed nipples.
>From that point until the 5 mile mark, I slowly extended my lead while
battling my loose pack and cold-cramps in my legs. Every few thousand
feet I had to stop for a bit to stretch my legs to make sure I did not
tighten up too badly and pull a muscle. At around 7 miles I got
completely fed up with my pack and found a rock to jam between the two
straps at the middle buckle, reducing the looseness enough that I was
able to ignore it for a while.

After that, I set my mind to worrying about whether I had been slowed
down too much by the annoyance. I decided that I needed to get to the 10
mile mark in less than 2 hours to have a comfortable lead on my dad.
When I got to Normandy, I checked my watched and was surprised to see
that it had only been 97 minutes. I still felt extremely good, and
reveled in my first personal triumph of the day by eating a stick of
jerky as I walked/jogged up the first real hill towards the 10 mile
mark. I reached 10 miles in 1:57, still feeling good enough that for the
first time in over a week, I let the idea of finishing in under 9 hours
creep into my head. At this point I had not strained myself yet, and had
not been running at a very fast pace, so I thought I would be able to
keep it up for quite a while longer. How wrong I was. Shortly before
crossing highway 41-A the first of the trekkers passed me. I could see
him in the distance over my shoulder for the longest time, and he left
me behind rather quickly after catching me. Now my left foot was
beginning to develop a dull pain in the ball of my foot that I am very
familiar with from playing basketball. At 15 miles, I was caught by a
very nice female trekker on her first Jim, who was worried about getting
lost on the gravel road where there are not tens of arrows painted on
road. She slowed to my pace for a bit but I encouraged her to ditch me
because I am the last person you want to pace yourself with! Having been
around the course many times (in a car!), I assured her that there was
only one more place she could possibly go wrong, where the road curves
right and forks, but that the cardboard sign should keep her on track.
With that, she slowly left me, and became another face I would not be
seeing again.

In the next few miles, I was passed by most of the trekkers, and
garnered information about the whereabouts of my dad from Rob Apple in
exchange for info about the three who were still ahead of us. I was told
he was at least an hour behind, and I felt good for an extremely short
amount of time. At roughly mile 17, I had to take what would be the
start of a long series of breaks to adjust my left shoe and sock in an
attempt to minimize the discomfort of landing on it. I gave very serious
thought to dragging a branch from the woods to use as a walking stick to
hobble my way to the end, but pressed on. A helpful trainer informed me
(mistakenly I think, when I hear my dad’s story) that Gary was under 30
minutes behind me, less than a mile away. I gaped in a sort of disbelief
that he had made up that much ground that fast, and began to worry that
I might not even be able to hold him off as far as the marathon. Very
soon after that the real race leader, Dink Taylor I believe, passed me
on the way up hill #2. When I finally reached the top of the hill, and
mile 20 at ~4:30, I collapsed near the aid station and pulled off my
shoe to inspect my foot. It was now completely killing me, making every
step an agonizingly brutal event. On the plus side, it made my sore legs
an afterthought. But I was ready to quit. I felt beat, and at the time I
thought my father was only minutes behind.

Then Kim Morton came running up, and I stood to defy her pre-race
prediction that I would quit at 15 miles. She yelled something about
eating her hat, or crow, or some other strange metaphor, and that I
might actually be able to beat my dad, so I took off with her down the
hill. I ran with her until the downhill ended and then wished her luck
and continued plodding along. I took two Tylenol around here and gritted
my teeth to drop into a routine of walking a mile or two then sitting
for five minutes. I reached the 25 mile mark around 6:00, and the
marathon mark at almost 6:25. I became worried that I might not even be
able to finish in 12 to 13 hours, and resolved to quit if I could not
reach 35 miles before 11 hours passed. From the marathon up to The Walls
was more of the same grueling pains. I was startled at some point by a
woman’s voice yelling at me from behind, and I whipped around to see
what I had done wrong. The woman looked just as startled, and said she
thought I was Gary. This was momentarily upsetting for many reasons…
first I wondered how the hell he could have passed me without me even
seeing him, since I had not gone farther than 10 feet off the course
even on my breaks. Second I pondered how horrible my gait must look from
behind for me to be mistaken for someone 3 inches shorter and 50lbs
heavier. They told me that they had already passed him, so I figured
they’d either been in the sun too long or took a really long detour off
the course.

Next came The Walls. I arrived at the turn around 7:30, and for the
first time in a long time I didn’t stop at the aid cars I saw parked
there. Many runners caught me at the beginning of the walls, but the
soft gravel, sharp uphill and downhill stretches, and my 2 hours of
extra time to go the same distance finally gave me an advantage. For
once, I began to catch and even pass other runners who had passed me
near the turn onto Cathey Road. The gravel made my foot pains much more
bearable, and the other runners being slowed gave me someone to run with
and helped to keep my pace up. I ran my best 5 miles since the opening
10, and as I came back onto Whiteside Hill Road I was joined by another
runner who actually thought my tempo was (at the time) sufficient to
stay and run with me. I told him I almost certainly wouldn’t be able to
keep up with him, and I was correct. With no more steep downhills for me
to coast on, he slowly pulled away from me as we approached highway 41-A
for the second time. By this point I knew that all I needed to do was
finish and I would beat my dad. I’ve heard about The Walls putting some
hurt on a lot of runners, and although I did have an abysmally slow time
along with an earlier and cooler start, I was very proud to know that I
ran The Walls with some actual ultra runners.

This newfound confidence got me past 35 miles before 9 hours, although
now I was again left with no one to run with and intense pain building
in my foot and legs yet again. Almost everyone still running at this
point was way ahead and going too fast for me to ever catch up. My
mother came by with a bottle of Gatorade for me, and I was very thankful
to get to drink cold fluids again. By this time, all the water left on
the road had been heated to room temp by the sun. After hearing that I
was ok to finish, she drove past to find my dad. When it took her nearly
20 minutes to get back to me, I was finally dead certain that I was
about to win. I only remember seeing 2 more runners on the course after
that point. One was badly cramped up and sitting in the shade on the
roadside waiting for an aid car. The other would catch and pass me
effortlessly near the highway.

With about 3 miles left and a solid 1.5 hour lead, I felt I deserved to
take a break to ease my foot pains for the last stretch but I caught a
glimpse of a figure in the distance. Half a mile later found me sitting
under a shaded tree pouring my Gatorade into my bottles and watching
Spyder Tynes jogging up the road towards me. I put on my shoe and hit
the road again, managing to keep her in sight up until 2 miles left at
the turn onto Highway 64, where my time was just over 10 hours. Here I
took my final break and prayed to random ant mounds that I would have
the determination left to break 11 hours. I walked and jogged up 64
towards Wartrace, feeling both the best and worst I’d felt all day. My
knees were aching now too, along with a sharp pain on the top of my
right foot to complement my left foot’s woes. With less than a mile left
to run, I was caught by a post-race stretching Kim Morton & trainer, who
queried me as to my physical condition and cajoled me into jogging at a
fair pace with them for a good bit of the way back to the finish. Same
story as all day however, and I eventually let them jog themselves into
the distance with the finish line almost in sight. One last comment by
Kim sent me sprinting into the finishing tape at a speed that I think
shocked everyone, including myself, and I had finally finished my first
ultra-marathon in the slow time of 10:49:27.

As I write this, I thank mainly my youth for allowing me to recover as
quickly as I have. I was able to climb the 2 flights of stairs up and
down to my basement dwelling without too much trouble, and the soreness
in my legs is already fading away. My knees and ankles are also in good
shape. My left foot is still sore, and probably will be until I get a
pad for my shoe, but that has been a recurring problem for a long time
and was only exaggerated by the run. Now I am considering running the
Jim again next year, with training. Do it once without training and it
might be mistaken for toughness, do it again and it will definitely be
recognized as stupidity. And at the very least, I gave myself an easier
time to beat on my second attempt.

American Walking article