Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Montrail Canada Keeps Winning Form

This weekend was the inaugural Summer Solstice Marathon and Half Marathon presented by North Shore Athletics.
The route was a tough mountain course mainly through Grouse and Seymour in North Vancouver. The field was not huge, maybe partly because it was held on Father's Day. Not something I would have considered being an issue before I was...well a father.

So what happened:
1-Lisa Polizzi won the overall marathon quite easily
2-Cheryl Beatty won the Half Marathon after taking some ibuprophen to help get her through her injury
3-Aaron Pitt ran hard placing 2nd overall (1st was Simon Driver) and proved: he can wipe out but has the most ripped legs of anyone on the North Shore. I am jealous.

I think all the athletes kicked it in their Montrail Masochist!

Western Predictions

Here is a cool site
You can enter the contest by making your top 8 predicitons for Men and Women

Here are mine:


Master Mens
Master Womens
Gardner (Assuming 40 is masters????)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Prelim Western Calls from Meltzer (Not Melcher)

I have been watching Meltzer's blog for a week waiting for some prelim calls. His Official odds come out on Monday. Here are his Men's picks.
1. Scott Jurek. He has to be the favorite, he’s won the thing 7 times.
2. Dave Mackey. Hot on Scott’s heels, and with unfinished business at Western he’s my pick to win….even though I have him second here.
3. Hal Koerner. He likes to go out quickly, and if he holds it, he’ll be right there at the Auburn track at 930pm.
4. Eric Grossman. I should probably give him some more love here. He’s been stellar all year and this is his chance to shine. Definately the best on the east coast. The darkhorse (sort of) to win it.
5. Erik Skaden. He’s proven he can run fast at Western, and although he hasn’t shown big stuff this spring, I’m sure he’s focused on being another darkhorse to win.
5. The mens race is so tight it’s a tough call, but here’s another bunch of guys that will be in it at Robinson Flat…..at least. These are in the order I think they’ll finish.
Jasper Halekas, Zach Miller, Kubaragi from Japan, Todd Braje, John Olsen (if he runs), Josh Brimhall, Graham Cooper, Dave James, Dan Olmstead, Brian Morrison, Hiroki Ishikawa, Lon Freeman, Marco Olmo (he wins the over 60 category too), Laval Benoit, Mike Wolfe, AJW, Chikara Omine.

I think top 22 is enough for now. The real odds come out Monday
I would have to say it's hard to bet against those top 5 picks. Of course, I think one of our own Canadian team mates could run well and place well. This is a DEEEEEP Field. Jurek has to be the top pick, and if you don't think so.....well, I'm not sure what you are thinking (sorry Meltzer). I am not saying it is a sure thing but if I had to bet, I could not bet against the King of Western.

I would definitely put Robbins in that list of top 22. Anyone of these guys could press or blow up. All I know is it is going to be an epic battle out there....

More to come soon.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mountain Hardwear /Montrail Contest

Check out the Go to Girl contest!

Mountain Hardwear and Montrail join forces to celebrate the inspiration and motivation women provide each other to climb, bike, hike, swim, surf, trail run, and paddle. We want to know who that Go-to-Girl is that motivates you! Give us 300 characters on who motivates you and include a photo. Let’s go!

Summer is here!

Yes, I'm going to say it. Summer is here in Vancouver and North Vancouver trails are the best trails to run in North America....I truly believe that!

Sure, sometimes I say "I wish we had more trails to run" but then I go somewhere else....My unconfirmed estimate is that we probably have 1000 km of mountain trails in North Vancouver, probably more actually.

So, there is no excuse for not running. I will finally hit about 14 hours of running this week. Not huge but getting respectable I think. Am I fast, no, but am I loving the summer dryness and our epic trails-yes!! I generally see a few people running while I am out, but often I don't see a soul and I like that. I like getting to high places and looking over the ocean to the south and white cap mountains to the north.

I am not running Western States, Trans Rockies or any other epic race this year and I think I am happy about that. No pressure just running!

Monday, June 8, 2009


After the Iron Knee last weekend, I knew it was time to get in some long runs. I figure I have 4 weekends to do so. I joined up with fellow team mates Aaron Pitt and Ryne Melcher. They were kind enough to slow up for me.

We started our run with a 3500 foot steep climb hidden on one of my secret trails west of the Grouse Grind. We then proceeded to run through base camp Grouse and down the 13 km Montain Hiway. I truly love running down here as it is so different than any where else on the shore. We found an additional 30 minutes then headed back along the Baden Powell. 4 hours. Does not sound long, and used to be a piece of cake for me....not so much. I got home, and literally laid down in my hallway. My 9 month old looking at me and wondering what I was doing and my wife asking if I needed an ambulance...I was so tired. I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I crawled into bed and complained for 3 hours before falling to sleep.

But, it was my first real challenge. I give myself a 5.5 out of 10. I have a long road to climb but with 2010 as my goal race season, I am happy. I'm not sure if I am going to run KK50 yet, but I will train as if I am.

Still need to lose 10 pounds, still need to stay running at least 5 days a week, and need to get more sleep. Not sure how the sleep part will happen with a lot on the go. I did have moments of remembering what it felt like to be an ultra runner a couple of years ago....and it felt good. Watch out Pitt and Melcher...I'm coming.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Road to Western States 100

I have been an active participant of watching local Montrail team mate Gary Robbins get prepared for this years Western States 100 Mile Endurance Race.

To say I have been impressed is an understatement. I have trained and raced for WS100, so I know what it takes to get ready. 15-25 hours a week of training. I have been there, done it, lived it...but I guess I forgot. Now that I am not in that form, I am amazed of the dedication it takes. I think what I am impressed by the most is that Gary's first ultra was just a couple years ago and last year was when he really decided to get serious about training. In case you have not heard, he is KILLING it!!!

Now, Western States has brought many giants to their knees. Literally, unless your name starts with Scott and ends with Juerk you have probably been slayed. A couple years ago Brian Morrison collapsed on in the last 100 meters and the win was taken away. I remember seeing Dink Taylor on all 4's crawling down the trail (seriously).

Gary is logging huge miles, training and recovering very well from his training. This next 3 weeks is as important as the first 6 months. It is time to taper. The worst part is the taper!!!!! It's when your mileage cuts back huge, you feel crappy, start stressing about training.

To get a taste of the Race-Check out a couple of these: Vimeo and Running Madness id you can find the trailer on line.

Make sure to tune in on Race day to the WS100 website and follow the webcast. No matter how Gary does, our small community of ultra runners up here will be watching and supporting.

Iron Knee

Our team took up another race this past weekend. A short haul of 25km, called the Iron Knee.
This was actually my first race in a while after taking last year off. It was also a little pre run before Knee Knacker. One thing I learned-must do long runs before KK50. I have been running consistently but need t get a few 5 hour runs in....

The conditions were amazing, 27 degrees, not a cloud in the sky and the trails were bone dry! Summer is here. I don't know the elevation of this race, but the course generally starts with a long gradual climb to about 6 km in. I thin overall the course may lose elevation which when you have some extra weight to roll out like I do, gravity is your friend.

Not only did I toe up, Lisa Polizzi, Cheryl Beatty also did. Of course they are both running well and finished 2nd and 4th respectively. Gary, Aaron, Aaron, Ryne and Ellie decided to sit this one out but were there for the support at the end.

Thanks to North Shore Athletics for a great event. Their events continue to be be the best organized around!