Saturday, March 11, 2006

Ironman Web Girl

Anna works each summer in Death Valley to produce the Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon webcast. She also helps remotely with the 508 webcast each October, plus does much to update our websites throughout the year. Last year she tackled her first Ironman Triathlon. She had an EPIC experience full of rookie mistakes, amazing thrills and chills (well, whatever the heat version of chills is), and, ultimately, tasted triumph like only a rookie can enjoy. For an amazing story about this wonderful gal and athlete, click here:

Badwater/Adventure Corps event

AdventureCORPS event of 2006, the Spring Death Valley Century and Double Century on March 4. All the results are now online, along with links to SIX slideshows of the ride at this link:

Six foot Track Ultra - early results

1st place Kaspar Solberger in 3:27:00.
Third fastest time ever.

2nd Dan Green in 3:34:00

3rd Johnathan Blake(Jo blake) in 3:37:00

4th and first female Emma Murray in 3:37:xx(broke her own record by 7mins). Awesome [Big Grin]

5th Trevor Jacobs in 3:38:00

Friday, March 10, 2006

2 Fat Ass Runs

We have two runs coming up the the Spring fat ass version of the YUT-C 50K on March 25 more info on forum page and the more official Fall version which will be held on Sept 23 check The FA is free of course and would be a good intro to the course for someone who has never run it. The Fall version has a lot to offer and only costs $35 if entry is received by Sept 5th $45 after. Last year was the first and we had 63 starters and 53 finishers. I did report the results to UR 3 times, but we never did make it onto print. I consider this a more low key run, but since we do keep results I suppose it is a race. John Reynolds won for the men and Connie Gardner won for the women. We had great support from our sponsors last year and that will continue again this year. We are a not for profit event all proceeds go to support a local environmental organization.

Race info

Eliza Weston and Sam Baucom have agreed to direct Crowders Mountain on 04/29/06. The link for the application has been posted at: www.claudesinclair.comWe need a good turnout from RFH runners and all guest are welcome.


Old Pueblo 50 mile

Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon

Mt Mee Classic

50 km, 25 km, 10 km. Road Runs from Mt Mee
Contact: Phil Hungerford (07) 3354 3425


The first of the European classics has been held for 2006. The course was a 2.6 km lap in the French town of Charly. As usual, the cream of the French ultra community competed and David Regy and Anne Marie Mesmoudi won out against the class fields. We will soon see the first of the 200 km events and you can expect to see more great times.
1. REGY David Neuilly Plaisance 7:56:20 78,391
2. BELLOIR Gilles U.L.A.Quimper Cornouaille 7:59:02 78,391
3. MOREL Philippe A.C.C.T. 7:49:06 75,810
4. TERRAZ Denis R.C. de France 7:53:06 73,229
5. DIEN Daniel GS CL Paris 7:56:00 73,229
6. BUNEL Pascal Neuilly/Marne 7:57:39 73,229
7. HEINRICH Thierry G.A.S.M. Ligny 8:00:23 73,229
8. FRECHENGUES Bernard S.C.B.A. 7:45:41 70,648
9. BIEBUYCK Pascal UA FlobecqAth Licence belge 7:46:53 70,648
10.COLLINET Marc R.F.C. Liège Licence en cours 7:51:34 70,648
11.GEORGELIN Serge A.S.C. Rennes 7:52:31 70,648
12. PENKALLA Patrick A.S.P.T.T. Bar 7:58:42 70,648
13.HARBULOT Francis C.M. Dijon 7:58:50 70,648
14.GIRAUDEAU Denis PLM Conflans 7:59:58 70,648
15. PELLERIN Alain A.M. Bazancourt 8:00:45 70,648
16.GICQUEL Bernard PLM Conflans 7:47:32 68,067
17.MARECHAL Pascal A.C.C.T. 7:48:37 68,067
18.VAN DER GULIK Frank SV de LAT Amsterdam 7:53:05 68,067
19.COULOMBEL Pierre C.M. Roubaix 7:59:25 68,067
20. LEIJTENS Frans R.W.V. Rotterdam Ned 7:45:17 65,486
21.MICHELOT RémI E.S Thaon 7:46:00 65,486
22. PAYEN Louison A.C.C.T. 7:55:01 65,486

News on Fred Brooks and Stan Miskin

From the Australian Centurions Newsletter

Tim, Stan and myself have had or going to have a busy week. Stan walked in the Sri Chinmoy 5km on Sunday, walked a fair distance Monday training, on Tuesday we both pushed a wheelchair for the Wheelchair Foundation from Hallam to Endevour Hills, we are possibly doing a bit of training today and tomorrow and then Stan has got to speak and walk at the Relay for Life on Friday at Berwick.

Myself trained Saturday Sunday and Monday about 16km each day, Tuesday out at
5.30am trained 17km, took the dog for a walk about three km, then Lil and I went to a strength exercice class 1 and a half hours, then drove Lil to Dandenong. walked from Dandenong to Hallam for the start of the Wheelchair Walk from Hallam to Endeavour Hills, walked from Endeavour Hills back to Dandenong to pick up Lil - total day about 11 Hours and walked
about 50km. Tomorrow the Baton. I am trying to raise $3600 for two teenagers with learning difficulties who have been chosen to represent Victoria at The Australian Special Olympics. Wrote to 30 would be sponsors. So who said life gets easier
when you retire!

Mottram smashes record

Mottram smashes record

Good to see – bring on the Kenyans!

Lundblad wins 50km USA Road championship

Lundblad wins 50km USA Road Championship

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Jack Lewis - Australian Ultra Walking Champ

Thanks to Tim Erikson and the Australian Centurions newsletter

There had been very few formal opportunities for walkers to attempt truly long distances in the early years of the twentieth century. Jim McDonald's 50 mile walks in 1896 and 1904 stood alone as the only two on record andMcDonald's 1904 time of 9:43:02 stood as the Australasian record.

When the N.S.W. Amateur Athletic Association and the N.S.W. Walking and Field Games Club pooled their resourcesto host a Fifty Miles Amateur Road Walking Championship in September 1926 in Sydney, it was the first race longer than 25 miles since 1904. Both Victoria and NSW had for some years held their own respective 25 Mile Walk championships but this was twice that distance and a daunting prospect for the walkers of the period.

The entry list of 26 walkers included the cream of Australia and amongst them was Victorian Jack Lewis. Lewis was a Warburton based forest ranger, a former Victorian 25 Mile champion (1922) and a former Victorian marathon champion. He was known as 'the Grecian marathon runner' and, in fact, showed Greece as this country of representation in his various races.
A newspaper of the time described him as follows “He is a fine type of athlete, bronzed like a statue. He lives a healthy life in the Warburton district where he is one of the local rangers. Walking to him is a pleasure and 50 miles in the mountains is regarded as nothing
more than part of his daily exercise. In the pre-war days, as a mere lad, he made a name for himself as a Marathon runner. Since then he has developed into an endurance athlete.”
Lewis did not disappoint his Victorian backers, finishing first, ahead of NSW walker Gordon Smith and easily beating McDonald's 50 mile time with 9:20:24.

His record time did not last very long – in the very next edition of the NSW event the following year, Gordon Smith improved to win in a new best time of 9:17:32. This was the first of a string of 50 mile wins for Smith, culminating in his successful 100 mile walks in 1937 and 1938. There were 11 starters of whom 10 were from NSW.

The Victorians now felt the need to schedule their own long distance walks and, when the Victorian Amateur Walkers' Club drew up its winter racing fixture for 1928, two new events were included on the progam – a 50 Mile roadwalk from Melbourne to Frankston and Return on 25 August and a 24 Hour Test event at the Amateur Sports Ground in Melbourne on 8 September.

As it turned out, the scheduling of 2 such events proved overly optimistic and the calendar was eventually amended toshow one ultra distance walking event for the year, a 10 Hour Race at the Motor Drome. This led to the following pressrelease in Queensland where there was at least one disappointed walker!

Tom Byrnes, the Queensland endurance athlete, is down in the dumps. He intended to compete in the Victorian 12 hours' endurance event for walkers. Now 'tis said that the event may not be held. Byrnes is a regularcompetitor in such events and thinks nothing of journeying 1000 miles or so to take part. There was some talk originally of a 24-hours' test and this event interested Byrnes most. “Twenty five miles would be no test at all,” he writes. “It is a mere sprint, and one hardly gets warmed up. But in regard to a 24 hours' test I would willingly walk to Melbourne for the privilege to taking part.”

Byrne is well over 40 years of age, is more than 6 feet tall and weights 12.0 in hard condition. Tom and his friend Harold Parcell, a former marathon champion, train all the year round, and go on long jaunts together.
On returning from a 20-mile walk, they don the gloves and set to for a few rounds. Parcell, Byrnes informs me, boxes very well.

So, after a break of 24 years, Victoria finally scheduled a long distance walk, over a compromise 10 hours. The venue was the Melbourne 'Motor Drome'. This was a sloping concrete track used for cycling and other sports that had been erected around the outside of the Olympic Park grass track in the 1920's. Lewis, the favourite, started slowly but came home strongly through the field to easily win with a distance of 53 miles 350 yards. His 50 mile time of 9:24:04 was a
new Victorian best, some 18 minutes better than Jimmy McDonald’s 1904 time. However, the motor drome was not regarded as a proper track so McDonald's Victorian Track Record stood.
The press reported as follows on the second half of the race Pretty, in third place, was only 50 yards behind Cavell and had created the greatest surprise of the day, for previous to this event, he had restricted his activities to short distance events. In the next 2 hours, Lewis
covered a little less than 10 miles. Pretty began to accelerate and passed Cavell. At 40 miles, Lewis had been walking for 7h 25mins and had 112mins in which to break G Smith's Australian record for 50 miles. It meant cutting off a full minute from his average time per mile at this stage and, although he quickened and beat Smith's time for the event of this year by 13 secs, he failed to beat the record by 6 mins. However, the effort seemed to freshen him for in his last 5 miles, the times became faster as he went on. His times for the last 5 miles were 11.50, 11.49, 11.44, 11.08 and 10.55.

Jack Lewis leads Frank Scully in the Motor Drome 50 mile event in 1928
The next year, the Victorian Amateur Walkers' Club committee, although acknowledging the success of the 10 Hour walk, decided to revert to their original plan and scheduled a 50 mile event from St Kilda to Frankston and Return. This was the first of a number of 50 Mile walk events held in Victoria, alongside the NSW ones and Jack Lewis continued his
dominance with convincing wins in both 1929 and 1930. His 1929 winning time was 9:24:31 and he won by 28 minutes.

The 1930 event was even faster. Although Lewis was the obvious favourite, Ted Winstanley was considered by many as a serious threat. He was a proven distance walker who had taken a surprise 2nd place in the 1923 Victorian 25 Mile Championship as a 19 year old novice walker (with a time of 4:25:27). Since then, he had gone on to win the 1925 and
1926 Victorian 25 Mile titles. Marrying in 1926, he had retired from walking and had only returned to racing early in 1930 and had done well enough to win the Victorian 50 km title that year. At 6.45 am, the signal was given and the 7 contestants set out from the south gate of St Kilda Town Hall. Lewis stood out, dressed in black knickers and a white woolen sweater which showed his admirable physique to good effect. As the title holder, he was the centre of attention.

Winstanley surged through the 25 mile turn-around in a very fast time of 4:22:10 and was leading by about 150 yards from Robinson who was about 400 yards ahead of Lewis. Alas, he soon tired, Robinson retired and Lewis came over the top and won by nearly 10 minutes. But there was no doubting that it was Winstanley's game efforts that had led to the
new record.

With his time of 8:58:07, Lewis become the first Australasian walker to beat the 9 hour mark and his performance set new road standards for all distances and marks from 32 miles onwards.
“I thought that I would win today,” Lewis said after his finished his long walk. The record breaker said that he regarded Winstanley and Robinson as his most dangerous opponents, but that all the same he was content to play a waiting game, as he had set himself a schedule to break the record for the course which he established last year.
Lewis said that he was very surprised, however, to find that he had also broken the Australasian record for the distance. He paid a tribute to his opponents for their sportsmanship along the road. He was sorry that Wilson,the South Australian, had been forced to retire but said that, in his opinion, Wilson made too much use of his arms for long-distance walking , thus unnecessarily tiring himself.

The winner had only a short preparation for today's big test, but during the last few days has regularly walked 50 or more miles each day around the hills at Warburton, where he is employed as a forest ranger. “If people walked more, even if only for pleasure, they would be far healthier and have less doctors' bills to pay,” Lewis said with a smile

Lewis's last big walk took place a year later in October 1931. The annual Victorian 50 Mile Walk championshp had been scheduled on the Melbourne Showgrounds track to allow him to attack his various State records. Winstanley was also in the field and expected to provide stiff opposition. No one gave much credance to young Jim Gaylor who had been talked into participating simply to help Lewis in the early stages of the event. But it was Gaylor who took the lead at the 9 mile mark, held off several strong challenges by Winstanley and eventually won, setting new Victorian records for all distances from 15 miles to 50 miles. As usual, Lewis came through the field in the second half but the gap to Gaylor was just too big to bridge. Gaylor's time was 8:49:33 and Lewis's time in second place was 9:01:55.

This ended Lewis's racing career. He had never specifically trained as a walker and simply relied on his endurance base, built up from his years as a ranger. It was now time for a new generation of walkers to take over the mantle. He retired while still a champion and returned to his beloved Warburton forest. His job was open ended – spotting and fighting bush fires, finding lost hikers, helping those in difficulties, maintaining the various hiking huts or simply walking the
length and breadth of the mountains. This area is now known as the Yarra Ranges National Park and amongst the sites along the Cumberland Walk is a particularly large Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis) planted by him in the 1940s.

He was responsible in later years for many articles and I am lucky enough to have one which he wrote in the Melbourne Herald in 1933. Some quotes from this article go a long way towards profiling this unique figure and his rough outdoors life.
In the summer months, I carry a ground sheet with me when I set out on the track. This is usually ample. But in winter, I like a blanket as well for we get it cold up in the ranges – and wet too, at times! But my pack never weighs more than 45lb., whjich is a big enough load for a long day's tramp over rough country. And in my pack you will always find such valuable things as iodine, ointment, bandages and needle and some surgical thread.
One never knows what may happen in the way of mishaps, and out there amid the thick bush, one seems very far from medical aid. A slip on a slippery log or in a bog may mean trouble. At the present moment I have one stitch in my wrist from a cut and on several occasions, I have had to stitch wounds when I have been many miles from the nearest doctor. Lonely? Yes, it is, but that is part of the charm of a ranger's life, which he would never adopt if he did not know and love the forests and the solitude of the wild country. Food, of course, is an important problem on these forest patrols, and one has to make sure of it. Actually I have
food supplies stored in many hollow logs throughout the bush – logs which I can find again easily enough, though they might evade the man who is a stranger to the bush. And when I am setting out on a long trip that may necessitate recourse to “iron rations,” I carry such food as boiled wheat and dried fruit which are sustaining and filling.

The ranger needs nothing elaborate in the way of shelter or comfort – bivouaking, so to speak, becomes second nature. Dry grass makes a good bed for a tired man after a day in the forests, and when the bad weather blows up, as it will sometimes, the hollow inside of some dead tree that is still standing gives you adequate portection.
In cold weather I light a fire several feet away from a rock, and sleep in the space between – and that is a good tip for the novice, for the heat of the fire warms up the rock – and so I am kept warm on both sides, however chilly the wind that roars through the trees overhead.
The bark from a fallen forest plant makes a good roof too, when half peeled off, and in this simple shelter, I can sleep as snugly as people in their comfortable beds far off in the big noisy cities. By the way, I wear the same quantity of clothing in winter and summer and never catch cold. There is no need for an alarm clock either; indeed, I carry no watch, but just sleep from twilight to daylight, and then up again ready to resume the patrol, when the birds and bush life are waking. And that very early morning in the bush is a wonderful time of the day.
Sometimes people will ask whether I ever get lost in the bush. Well, a city man in the big timber can easily lose his bearings; whereas I can easily lose mine in the city! I say to myself, “If you don't come out today, you will come out tomorrow – and if you never come out, you will die amongst your friends, the trees. Fear only helps danger and the fatalities caused by both snake-bite and being lost in the bush can be reduced by courage.

An unlikely walking champion, Jack Lewis nevertheless stands as one of the great figures in Australian ultra distance walking in the 1920's. He has left an indelible footprint that we can still trace after all these years.

Iditarod Trail Invitational

Paula Radcliffe withdraws injured

Paula injury

This is a shame for the athletics program and the English team. She seems to be having more than her fair share of bad luck.

Canceled Run

Sadly, Run On The Sly (ROTS) will not be held this year. For the past 12 years this has been a fall staple for many runners inthe Sierra Nevada range in Northern California. Right now, we have a number of volunteers who have stepped up to theline to offer their time and services to coordinate certain aspects ofthe event - but we do not have a Race Director. And as anyone who hasput on an event like this well knows, you've got to have a Gal in Charge- or a Guy in Charge - or both! We would like to thank everyone who has ever run ROTS for theirparticipation and support. We hope to be back at full strength for 2007.And of course, if anyone out there wants to volunteer their services asRD for 2007, please contact us at or to let us know and we will give you a ton ofsupport!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Six Foot Track Ultra - This weekend!

World Rogaining Championships -2006

World Rogaining Championship Warrumbungles Australia 2006
The Commonwealth Games is not the only international sporting event coming to Australia this year. In October, enthusiasts will gather in north-western New South Wales for the 7th World Rogaining Championships.This unique endurance and bush navigation sport was home grown in Australia in 1976 and exported across the globe. The first world championships were held in Victoria in 1992, and rogaining has become popular in New Zealand, the USA, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Ireland, Canada and Russia.Rogaining is a sport for teams of two to five people, travelling on foot and navigating with map and compass to control points of various values, scoring points at each control point. Each team develops their own strategy and visits as many control points as they can in a set time period, in the order of their choice. At the finish teams are ranked according to their score and finish time.The World Championships are being organised by the NSW Rogaining Association, under the auspices of the International Rogaining Federation. A spectacular location has been selected - in and around the Warrumbungle National Park near the town of Coonabarabran, about 6 hours by road from Sydney. The course will be set by the current Australian champion Mike Hotchkis and is bound to be challenging and interesting.The top teams might travel more than 100 km during the 24 hour event, but all comers are welcome to what must be the most inclusive world champs around. Team categories include male, female, mixed, open, junior, veterans, super veterans and family. The clock starts at high noon on Friday 13 October and finishes at noon on Saturday 14 October, 2006.Entries opening the week beginning the 6th of March 2006. For full details see the 7WRC 2006 website at

Race Report-Pueblo 50

Old Pueblo 50 Miler Report
Saturday, March 4, 2006
By Deborah Sexton

The first half of this report will focus on things you'd be interestedin knowing if you are considering this race. The second half will talkabout my personal experience. Old Pueblo 50 miler is held in the very small town of Sonoita, Ariz. Youland in Tucson, rent a car, and drive about 45-60 minutes to get there.This is not a town with fast food restaurants and cheap motels. It'shorse and cattle country so there are some country store/conveniencetype stores and the hotels are mostly bed and breakfasts. I stayed inthe Sonoita Inn, which is a converted barn. Very cozy and homey withbare wood floors and Navajo rugs. A big fireplace in the lobby and a bigdining room table for guests to enjoy breakfast in the morning.Breakfast doesn't start until 8 a.m. but there is a sideboard where youcould help yourself to coffee or hot water and muffins, sweet rolls, hotchocolate, oatmeal, etc. There is also a horse endurance race this sameweekend so it's advisable to book a book six to nine months before therace. Otherwise, you will probably have to find a place farther away.

The race itself is headquartered in an old mining camp called KentuckyCamp. There is a pretty nice outdoor no flush potty, but no sink withwater to wash your hands. There is a small house there that serves asrace headquarters. You have to park in a designated area and then walkabout a quarter mile down a steep path to the headquarters. This is fineon Friday but on Saturday night after the race, this is an effort. When we got there to check in, which is from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday,the race awards were display. Wow. These were unusual and really nice.The overall men's and women's silver buckles were huge affairs studdedwith turquoise. The finisher's bucket also is very nice. A littlesmaller silver buckle with gold inlay with the race logo. There wereawards for the first three men's and first three women's winners andthese were hand-carved wooden statues of a cactus. Really nice. In the race bag, you got a Kentucky Camp coffee mug, a white organiccotton race T-shirt with Old Pueblo on the front and some local artworkon the back, and your race bib was made of white fabric edged with afloral fabric border. Very unique. I had never seen this. The nice thingabout the fabric was it draped better. It didn't crunch up like theTyvek ones do. Very cool. You also get a travel size packet of Kleenexstored in a ziplock bag. You are requested to use this as toilet paperand pack it out with you.There is no race dinner but runners were invited to come to The VelvetElvis in Patagonia, a small town very nearby between 5 and 8 p.m. Yousat down and ordered and paid for your own dinner but could socializewith other runners. The food was mostly unusual pizzas as well as thetraditional choose your own toppings, a list of salads, and a page ofentrees such as chicken, meatballs, and pork chops. It was good. Youcould get a salad and a huge slice of pizza for under $10 or you couldbuy this very unique pizza that had to be ordered a day ahead that cost$35. The race starts at 6 a.m. The temp was about 40 at the top of theparking area but after walking down to Kentucky Camp it dropped to the30s. In the valleys, it was significantly colder. However, there is adrop bag aid station at 7 miles that make it convenient to drop offjackets or extra shirts that you put on at the start that now made you too warm.
During the day it got up to high 60s and overcast so it wasperfect weather. The year before was much colder with rain and even somehail according to past participants so you come prepared for anything. The area is experiencing a drought so all the overruns were completelydry. A native Arizona runner explained to me that there are no "rivers."Just overruns that have water when it's rained. Most of the time, theyare dried up. You cross about 7 places where you might have to get yourshoes wet if it's rained recently. We escaped all of those. The courseitself has a number of significant climbs and with equally challengingdescents, some of which are annoying steep with lots of the super funloose rock and scree that try to make you land on your butt. There is anice long stretch of very sandy road that also sucks the life out ofyour legs. There's also lots of single track trail, some of which isvery rocky, some smooth and very runnable. You also run a lot of dirtservice roads that vary in rockiness.

Some have an annoying washboardpattern with rocks, others are very smooth. So you have a lot of varietythat makes it easy to mix up walking and running. At the top of eachclimb you are rewarded with unbelievably beautiful views of mountainsand desert landscape. Really worth it. The race info suggests bringing two water bottles. I did not, but I willsay that there were two stretches during the race where I ran out ofwater and regretted that. The other stations were close enough togetherso it was sufficient. Several aid stations were 4 miles apart, a few sixmiles, and one was 7 miles. Not having run in a desert climate before,you may not realize that the lack of humidity sucks moisture out of youso you will need to drink more than usual. The Gatorade was tangerine,which I really liked. All workers at the aid stations were very friendlyand attentive to runners. I never had to fill my own bottles and waspressed at each stop to eat. It seems to be mostly staffed byexperienced ultra runners and I recognized runners from other races. There are two short climbs in the last four miles but most of it ispretty runnable which was nice. A few single track trails with rocks,but you have a good stretch through a grassy field that is nice flattrail. So you can kick it in at the end if you have anything left. Allfinishers were treated to clapping, shouts of encouragement, and generalcelebration at the end. Even the back of the packers. Duane Arter wasthere personally to hand you your buckle and there was a post race feastof hamburgers, chili, cookies, etc. It was getting cold again by 8 and 9p.m. but you could go into the nice warm house to eat your food. My dropbags were waiting for me when I finished and Julie Arter repeatedly waschecking and asking runners if they had received their drop bags. If you decide you want to run this, it fills up in a week. You will needto e-mail the race director to request an application and probably haveto mail it back the same day. I thought it was an awesome race andeveryone raved about it also. My personal raceI flew out with Jay Freeman, Letha Cruthirds, and Tom Crull. Tom renteda car and we drove to Sonoita. Tom and Jay were at the Sonoita Inn(highly recommended but pricey at $119 a night). Letha had booked inSept, but the Sonoita Inn was full so she got a room around the block atthe Rainbow Bed and Breakfast. We could not figure out where thecheck-in was. We finally went into a house we thought might be it but noone was there. So we decided to check in later. As were pulled out tothe road, we saw a pick-up truck with Rainbow Bed and Breakfast on thedoor so we pulled back in. The very nice lady embarrassing told us thatshe had Letha's deposit but she had forgotten to reserve a room for herand there were no rooms left. There also was a horse endurance run that weekend so there were no otherrooms in town. Letha walked out to the car to talk to Tom and Jay and weended up rooming with Jay Freeman. Tom was rooming with Tyler Curiel. SoI would not recommend the Rainbow Bed and Breakfast. There was a nice country store next door to the Sonoita Inn so we wereover there to grab a snack since we'd missed lunch. We checked in ourrooms. They put out wine and cheese at four in the common area in thelobby and close to five we drove to the Velvet Elvis to eat. We were oneof the first to arrive and later Kelly Ridgeway and her boyfriend MattSmith joined us as well as Melody and her boyfriend Steve. (Friends ofTom) Letha also had two non-running friends who joined us along with onehusband. So it was a nice dinner. Jay Freeman told a funny story about how every time someone would askhim where he was from and he said Texas, that person would ask if heknew Tom Crull. His running partner Cindy had run in a race with Jay andthe person asked Cindy where she was from and when she said Texas, thisperson asked if she knew Tom Crull. So Jay was validated. This proved tobe very true at this race. Tom could barely eat as he was talking to allof his friends coming in. We got back to the hotel and Tyler had arrived so we all visited withhim for awhile and then headed to bed. Race morning, I was up at 3 a.m.,Jay got up at 3:45, and Letha got up around 4. It was cold. We parkedand did final preparations to start the race. I went into this race a little apprehensive about whether I could makethe cutoff. Some runners who were slightly faster than me had justbarely made it last year and since Bandera 100K in January, I had nottrained as much as I would have liked and really did not feel preparedfor the climbs I knew I would have to do. I really considered this racea training run for Western States but I knew if I couldn't make thiscutoff, I'd never make the cutoffs at Western. So the pressure was on. My game plan was to stick with Tom Crull, who was running it for hisfifth time. After trouncing me at Tyler 25K by about 30 minutes abouttwo weeks before, I had concerns about keeping up with him also. Youstart off with a mild climb, but I was immediately huffing and puffing.There is some altitude in this race, although it is not extreme. Ididn't feel it affected me in terms of sickness but I'm sure it affectedme in terms of speed. So I immediately started to panic a little bit. Mybreathing was loud and labored and we were not going fast at all. SammyVoltaggio (this is the guy who cooks all that fantastic food at RockyRaccoon 100 and Bandera) caught up to us. We had missed seeing him atthe Velvet Elvis the night before. He gave me a hug as he explained thathe had a senior moment when he booked his flight. He thought he hadbooked a flight for 7 a.m. but when he got to the airport, he found outhe had booked a flight for 7 p.m. Ooops. So he didn't land until 11 p.m.We passed the first aid station at mile 3 (Granite Mountain. This isalso the aid station at 33 miles as you do a loop and come back in thisway. Nobody stopped. It was still pretty crowded at this point and Tomwas busy saying hellos and chatting with people. I didn't have enoughair to spare for talking so I just listened and focused on keeping upwith him. We got to the mile 7 aid station (California Gulch) and I shedmy jacket and pants. Kurt Coonrad was working this aid station. He hadbeen the aid station captain at Hardrock's Cunningham station where Ihad worked this past summer. He said he got in this year. Shortly after leaving California Gulch, you have this really longstretch of sandy road. I can't remember if it's before or after WaspCanyon at 13 miles. Ugh. I labored through it and really couldn't keepup with Tom. I also was talking with Matt Smith, who was doing his first50, so when Tom made a pit stop, I ran on with Matt knowing Tom wouldcatch up. Tom apparently made several stops because he finally caught upwith me descending down Gunshot Pass which was the steepest, longestclimb with the steepest most difficult descent. I saw him below me onthe switch backs and then he caught and passed me going back down. Icould not negotiate the slippery steep rocky terrain as fast. I alsolost Matt. From Helvetia (19 miles) to Box Canyon (25 miles) I ran alone. I feltgood. Actually I felt much better than earlier because I was now runningmy own pace and had warmed up. But I was disappointed that I couldn'tkeep up with Tom. I had several people pass me so I knew I was slowingdown. There was a 7 hour cutoff at Box Canyon so I was pushing to makethat. About halfway to Box Canyon, two guys caught up with me. Mike andJoe. I ran with them for a bit but then had another pit stop and lostthem. When I got back on the road, they were still in sight but prettyfar off. By running up the hills when they walked, I was able to catchthem. I was trashed but I was happy to have someone to run with.Mike and I finished the race together. He was a law professor at theUniversity at Tucson and also was the director of the law library. So hewas very interesting to talk to and thank goodness, he was talkative. Hehad three kids, a boy and two girls and his son, the middle child, wasthe same age as my Shea and they turned out to be somewhat alike. So weenjoyed each other's company talking about family and running, and etc.He was primarily a road runner, but this race was in his backyard, helived in Tucson, so he decided to try his first 50 miler. We were very close in pace so I was comfortable running with him. Wemade it to Box Canyon in six hours exactly so I was very happy that Iwas ahead of the cutoff and in good shape to finish under 15 hours. Mostof the rest of race was uneventful. From Box Canyon we ran to GraniteMountain (33 miles), then Cave Canyon at 40 miles. This was the longeststretch. It was mostly road and very runnable but I ran out of water. Ifinally accepted Mike's offer to drain some of him Camelback water intomy bottle. When we reached Cave Canyon, I was trashed. The climbs were making mefeel sick and I was seeing stars at one point. I did not feel good atall. Altitude may have had something to do with this or my lack of hilltraining. About this time, I also started to have some cramping in mygroin area which was making it hard to run. As I came into the aidstation, I asked the workers if they had received the rock removalmachine I had requested and cleared the rest of the course of rocks.They were very kind and laughed. Celtic music was playing and a pointperson was standing about 100 yards ahead of the station and calling inyour race number so workers could grab your drop bag. I chatted with himasking his name and it turns out Bob had been at Hardrock the yearbefore which is why I recognized him. He told me he got something Ican't pronounce during the race and ended up in the emergency room. Buthe got in again this year so he was very happy about getting a secondchance to kill himself. I sat down and drank a Red Bull for the first time. I was sick of eatingfood and not hungry but I knew I had to refuel. I contemplated a Boostbut then the aid station worker said she had turkey and cheese rollups,which no one had earlier so I ate a couple of those. A nice change. Wespent between 5-7 minutes at that station, which was too long, but Ineeded the time to regroup. Shortly after coming out of there, the Red Bull kicked in and I feltmuch better. Mike was in the lead and was keeping a strong steady pace.I could keep up with him but was making an effort. So it was a goodthing because he kept me moving faster that I would have alone. Plus,just knowing we had hit 40 miles was wonderful psychologically. I knew Ionly had 10 miles to go and I would definitely finish. We did the mathand knew we had plenty of time to make the cutoff. At Cave Canyon wealso put on some extra clothes and made sure we had our flashlights. It was six miles to the last aid station Gardner Canyon. I wasdetermined to make this one before dark and we did. So that was great.So only 4 miles in the dark. Woo Hoo. The cramping was happening moreoften and I was dragging. Mike was stronger and could have run it in,but very graciously stayed with me. I ran and walked until the crampingmade it impossible. Walked until the cramp subsided and ran again. Thissection had two climbs in it which were not bad except for how trashedwe were. It also had a few rocky single trail areas but the rest wasvery runnable. I felt able to run except for the darn cramping and I wasfrustrated at not being able to run more. We had a chance at breaking 14hours and I pushed as hard as I could, but we missed it. My time was 14hours 4 minutes.There were all kinds of people shouting and congratulating us as we camein. I told Mike to go and run it in, I was walking. Someone yelled, "Youhave to run into the finish (it was uphill) and I said 'I am running!'"When I reached the top I ran in the rest of the way. Duane Arter handedme my hard-earned buckle in a little velvet bag. And I thought, well,you'll need to get a little faster on those hills, but maybe I can makethe 30 hour cut off at Western.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Nathan Deakes Interview

The video link from "The Age" below is an interview with Nathan Deakes.

# Over the next few weeks, I will run some stories about the Commonwealth Games that are being held in Melbourne, Australia. It’s not ultra related, but it is helping to share this Event with the World. (Editor)

Winter Trails 50 miles

On February 25th we had our 2nd "Winter Trails 50 Miles" south of Denver/CO.
It's a '"Fast-Hike" - 50 miles in 15 hours on mostly single track trails, staying together as a group.
Weather and trail conditions were perfect.
7 starters - 7 finishers. It was a very tough group with 6 who already participated in the "Hardrock 100" and the 7th who just came in 4th woman at the US 100 mile Trail Championship.
All details about this event, including 70 photos, are on our webpage
See you on the trails,

Martin Fryer - Taiwan 24hr Report

Just got back to Oz late yesterday and would like to thank all CRs, ACTrunners, Orienteers and of course my family for their encouragement and congratulations. Thanks to AURA, IAU and ACT Sport & Rec for helping with funding, and to Ian Cornelius for his hard work at coordinating the team and getting smart team uniforms together at pretty short notice.It was certainly an experience of a lifetime.

I am proud of my own and my team mates efforts - we all gave it our absolute best on the day in what were very demanding conditions. We all had a number of horror patches but I just had less than the others.The course was a real killer - a 987.7 metre loop with about 650m of white CONCRETE path, 350m bitumen, a short sharp hill, lots of sharp turns, narrow convergence channels in sections where we ran parallel with another race (Open), large concrete bollards in the centre of the path at a few points, slippery wooden boards over some potholes, all sorts of gutters and foot obstacles. The park itself was in the northern part of Taipei city and was next to a big soccer stadium, one of the subway stations, and the domestic airport. The latter meant that we regularly had large aircraft performing their final descent only a few hundred metres above us and flying directly up the middle of the running course!

Weather at the start was humid with the sun threatening to break out for the first time since we had been in Taipei- not sure of the temp but felt like about low 20s. It rained fairly consistently for most of the second half of the race and was quite heavy in the last few hours, with quite a few puddles on the course later on. Wind was variable ranging from quite light to quite strong at different times throughout the race. As expected, the pace was ridiculous at the start of the race but I just did my own thing and tried to run steady 11s (K/h) for the first 6 hours to settle in. I had lower back/glute spasm issues for quite a lot of the race (had a few long breaks to get pressure point massage) and my hammies and achilles were sore for long sections as well. I was pleased that I was able to stay close to my pace plan up to half way (121K at 12h) and then run a good second half without too much fade (112K for second half).

Once I had a taste of getting into the top 20 the adrenalin kicked in and I raced my butt off for the last few hours, targeting the next place getters one by one. With an hour to go I was 13th and quickly picked up another few spots to get into 11th.Now I could see top ten was possible and set the Russian and Korean as targets. After a big surge I passed the Russian with 25 min to go but he passed me when I walked the hill. Now with 20 min left I knew I had to forget the luxury of a walk break (despite my body screaming for relief) and tried to stay with the Russian. The strategy was to either sit on him and pass him right at the end if I could, or pass him early and hold the lead. I chose the latter - I passed him with another big surge with about 18 min to go and tried to break his spirit by going as hard as I could.

The last 15 min went on forever as large crowds of people yelled and screamed around the start/finish area and all the crews were egging on their runners for one final push. All of a sudden, people who were in death marches were all running like maniacs that had been given the Frankenstein serum. At this point my body wanted to collapse so I tried to con myself mentally into thinking I was running a short cross country race - my lapsplits in this last half hour were suddenly going well under 5 mins and 230+ was a definite if I could stay on pace and just hang on.With 10 min to go I was thinking just 2 laps to go and decided I could sustain one last super surge. This turned out to be a mistake as with 5 min to go I experienced the worst lactate bear in the legs and lower back and was right on the edge of getting the wobbles. I backed off the pace hoping for the lactate to clear and hoped that I had enough lead up on the Russian (I didn't look back).

It was down to 5 min to go - one lap and neither the physical bear or the Russian bear would get off my back. I ran past the team aid stations for the last time and Diane from our crew was screaming at me to hold on. I was at the point of muscle seizure in the legs and back and felt some spasticity coming on. With 2 min to go Diane had cut across the course and was going ballistic so I knew it was going to be close.

When I turned into the start/finish chute where the lapscorers were the crowd were going absolutely berserk with a countdown of about 20s to go as I crossed the timing mats. At the end of this chute was a sharp 90 degree right turn. I rounded this turn and immediately ran into slower runner traffic- one of them stepped out in front of me as I tried to pass and during my attempt to avoid them my back and legs completely seized up and I did a spectacular face plant into the concrete path. I quickly tried to get myself up, hoping that I hadn't been passed- 4s left- another half dozen steps or so with my upper torso bent at 90 degrees from the waist and then another seizure and complete face-plant into the footpath in front of the medical tent when the gun went off to end the race. I think at that moment I permanently left part of my soul on that little piece of footpath in YuanShan Park in Taipei.Unfortunately the Russian passed me during these falls and I missed out on a top ten finish by less than 200m (with 9th place only another 200m in front of that).

People were all rushing to me- they put me in a chair and dutifully marked my finishing spot. As I started to lose colour vision I remember hearing Diane's voice asking me if I was OK and in the background hearing some locals yelling out Ozzie, Ozzie Ozzie! I was quickly moved to the Medical tent where half a dozen or so Taiwanese in white coats converged on me and took my vital signs while trying to force me to drink a few warm cans of the local electrolyte drink (aptly named Pocari Sweat). IV drips were placed in both arms, with the left one being painful as the student doctor missed the vein for the first 2 attempts and left some horrid bruising. My blood pressure had recovered and I felt much better after an hour or so. I had pretty bad blistering on both feet as I had not stopped to treat the multiple hot spots that had come on with about 4 h to go. Both achilles were blue/black and my quads were pretty seized up.

Now, 4 days later I can walk reasonably well but the left achilles is still quite bad and both achilles and feet are still a bit swollen. Paul, Mick and Simon were probably all a bit disappointed with their performances but they all battled hard and will no doubt bounce back with some big totals in the future. They will probably post their stories later on but here is what I can recall....Mick got bad gastro distress fairly early on and lapsed in and out of good form throughout the race - I had never seen him run before - he has a smooth and consistent ultra style which would beat all of us on a good day. I can see why he has a 245 and a 250 to his name as well as many others over 200.Paul had various issues including back spasms and fatigue and seemed to be either moving very well and fluidly at around 9K/h or walking in a slow type of stupor. He had quite a few stops for massage work but, as usual, seemed to arise from the grave and suddenly crank out very consistent laps. He was confidently heading for 200+ at about the 16h mark but things seemed to go pear-shaped for him in the last 4h or so.

Paul was a great team captain and had to deal with ridiculously long team briefing meetings the day before the race. Paul's words of wisdom to the team before the start of the race were "It's just like a party- just eat, drink and have fun". Simon's first 24h race would have been disappointing for him as he started really well. He was a few laps up on me up until about 12 hours and he was moving effortlessly. Unfortunately his ITB went south not too long after halfway and he bravely walked (slowly) the rest of the race chatting up various women of Scandinavian origin- he's a good listener! No doubt in my mind that Simon has 240+ in him in the future.

Our superb crew Val, Diane and Hillary were simply awesome and were dead tired themselves after a long night - they fed, treated, massaged and motivated us through a very long night. Great job girls! Well, in my current bruised and battered state I will leave it at that- at this stage I really can't be sure if I will even make the start of 6 foot - if I do it will probably have to be in easy mode as I am wary of these achilles at the moment. I look forward to catching up with everyone at future events. I would strongly encourage anyone that has the dream of running 24 hour races to just train hard and do it.

The results will come if you train hard and you are patient. It would be nice to see a stack of 200K+ runners available in Australia in 2006/2007 as people come out of the woodwork and give it a go. While like many others I prefer trail running, I have to say that this type of running is still very satisfying and provides enough challenges to satisfy even the most hardened masochist.

Martin Fryer

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Special incentive for Gold Coast 24hr

McNaughton 100 Mile Trail Race

Hi!  The McNaughton trail races are just 6 short weeks
away and, though I am recovering from last weekend's
Houston Ultra 24 hour event, I went out and got about
9 miles on the trails.  The trail is slick in spots,
due to the earth unfreezing.

I took my digital camera and got some shots of the
trail and placed them along with the trail description

Note that Andy, the race director, has gone soft on us
and is putting in a HUGE bridge at what used to be
stream crossing number two.  The 13 uphills per loop
are still there though.

If any local (central Illinois) types would be up for
a night run this coming Friday (10 March) starting
between 6 and 7 pm works for me.  I could be talked
into doing either the full 10 mile race loop or
perhaps the 7.5 miles that are part of the red trail.

Speaking of the Houston race, I've compiled several
personal race reports at the following link.  Most of
the stories are of the 24 hour walkers, but I've also
included a link to a runner who ran a sub 7 hour 100
km (that is 10 sub-42 minute 10K's, back to back!)  If
any  who get this have a Houston Ultra report to tell
and want it either placed in this page or linked to
from this page, let me know.

It is amazing how much extra time one has on their
hands when one skips their usual long workout...:-)


ollie nanyes
peoria, Illinois

Common ground - Volunteers

Common ground - volunteers

Hey all,

    Seem to have a lappup rather than a laptop or lap dancer now.
Sojourn and these posts remind me of how especial volunteers
are for ultras. You don't abuse a pup and you don't abuse a
volunteer. You tell them over and over how special they are. You
listen when they chew on your finger or  bend your ear. You give
them the best.
    One thing I've found about volunteers, especially the new ones,
is that they enjoy being out there seeing and helping the runners.
They seem to not suffer if the conditions are less than ideal; instead
they are fascinated by some of the runners who take time to say
thanks and talk. Maybe I'm lucky to find a few people who enjoy
being out there. They don't owe me anything, but are there in
friendship and enjoying being part. They enjoy giving and always
seem to have fond stories to tell about how the runners were so
kind and fun...

* The best volunteers are the ones who enjoy being there.
* The best way to thank a volunteer is to make them feel special.
* Explain to them that ultrarunning is different and fun.
* The volunteers will enjoy if they get to meet the runners who are so
* Make sure they have everything so the day doesn't suck.
* Simply don't allow any runner to abuse a volunteer.
* Volunteering more make them more likely to run more.
* They do have their lives, and are sacrificing their time. Make sure
you acknowledge that and work with them to not use them. You owe
them, and not vice versa.
* If you want to show gratitude and respect to the volunteers, then
give them your complete support, listen to them, and make them
know your "Thank you" is sincere.
* At a supported run, there isn't anything more important than the

Herb Hedgecock

Haw Ridge 50k Trail Run

Haw Ridge 50k Trail Run, April 22, 2006 (Knoxville, Tennessee)

Haw Ridge 50k
April 22, 2006, Run starts at 8am
No fee, No Shirt, No Awards, Just Fun

Four 8 mile loops around Haw Ridge Park. Haw Ridge Park is situated on the edge of Melton Hill Lake of the Clinch River, three miles from Oak Ridge, TN. The running is all single track trails except for a 1/4 mile of road (Old Edgemore). No wet crossings, but with a lot or rain it can be muddy in places. The trail is very scenic, very isolated, but easily accessed for emergencies. Mostly flat with some up and down, nearly 100% runnable, very good footing.

In recognition of the difficulty in running long miles on trail, we are now offering a reduced loop option. Runners who want to run fewer than four loops still need to complete a liability release, as well as provide their own aid and participate in the gift exchange. Of course, if you decide to do all four loops, more power to you

Practice Run to be held on April 8th at 8am. We will meet at the end of Old Edgemore. If the weather is bad, an alternate date and time will be announced via e-mail. To receive e-mail notification of changes and updates, send an e-mail to

The only aid station will be located at the start/finish where all runners will have their vehicles parked. Runners should be prepared to carry water and other supplies for the 90-120 minute loops. Most runners will do fine with a two bottle (32 oz) water pack or similar hydration system. We may shuttle some water into the backside of the loop, but please do not count on aid in the middle of the loop.

White elephant gift exchange at finish: Bring a wrapped, outdoor related product costing no more that $10-15. At the end of the run, each runner will pick a wrapped present from those left by other runners. It can be something homemade or store bought. Let your imagination move you ;)

Potluck Aid Station: We will have a potluck aid station located at the parking area; runners will pass the aid station once at the end of each loop. We will have water and toileting facilities at the parking area. Each runner should bring their own food and drinks as well as something special to share with your fellow runners. I'd suggest fruit, PB sandwiches, salty crackers, cookies, etc...

Registration: There is a $10 donation to Friends of Haw Ridge required to register for this event. All runners must complete a liability release in order to be registered for the run.

Complete information and liability release can be viewed and printed from the website:

If you have any questions, please contact Ben Kadas at 865-483-8735 or or 417 East Drive, Oak Ridge, TN 37830