UTMB: Early Results and a Few Pictures

photo credit: iRunFar

photo credit: iRunFar

Top Men

1) Francois D’Haene 20:11:44 (course record)
2) Iker Karrera 20:55:46
2) Tofol Castanyer 20:55:46
4) Jason Schlarb
5) Gediminas Grinius
6) Andrew Tuckey
7) Sondre Amdahl
8) Carlos Sa
9) Bertrand Collomb-Patton
10) Stephane Brogniart

Full results are available here.

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Top Women

1) Rory Bosio 23:23:20
2) Nuria Picas 24:54:20
3) Nathalie Mauclair 25:47:35
4) Fernanda Maciel
5) Uxue Fraile
6) Ildiko Wermescher
7) Andrea Huser
8) Ester Alves
9) Emily Richards-Chisolm
10) Shona Stephenson

Full results are available here.

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Top American Men

1) Jason Schlarb
2) Brian Rusiecki
3) Tony Krupicka
4) Neal Gorman
5) Wes Thurman

Francois D' Haene Takes The Win (Course Record) photo credit: iRunFar

Francois D’ Haene Takes The Win (Course Record)
photo credit: iRunFar

Top American Women

1) Rory Bosio
2) Emily Richards-Chisholm
3) Leila Degrave
4) Dana Kracaw
5) Sydney Pitt

Iker Karrera and Tofol Castanyer Tie For Second

Iker Karrera and Tofol Castanyer Tie For Second

Notable Drops

Hal Koerner
Timothy Olson
Mike Foote
Fabien Antolinos
Luis Alberto Hernando
Yeray Duran
Dakota Jones
Ashley Arnold
Meghan Arbogast

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UTMB: A Quick Preview

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UTMB starts this morning at 11:30 EST. I know I waited until the last minute on this one so I’m only going to preview the American runners. Cringe! I hope my international followers can forgive me!

The American Men

Tony Krupicka: Tony was running near the front of last year’s race before being forced to drop because of an injury. He hasn’t raced a lot lately, but he has picked up some good wins this year (Jemez Mountain 50-Miler and The North Face Lavaredo Ultra Trail). If he is healthy, he will definitely be in contention.

Timothy Olson: Timothy placed fourth last yeat at UTMB. At the time, he said it was the hardest race he’d ever done. I’m guessing that has changed after Hardrock. Regardless, look for Timothy to start conservatively and move up throughout the race. The only question is, how far up will he be able to make it? Could this be his redemption?

Mike Foote: Mike finished fifth last year at UTMB. In a way, I’m hoping he wins just so I can see the confused look on all of the Europeans’ faces when he raises the flag of Montana.

Dakota Jones: Dakota is a little unpredictable. He dropped out of Hardrock with a sprained ankle. He is only 23 years old but he has shown the ability to run well and win on every type of course. He’s been hanging out with Kilian lately – perhaps getting some pointers?

Hal Koerner: The great ultrarunner and author is looking to improve on his 38:55:39 finish from 2011. That should not be a problem. He looks like he’s in great shape – perhaps he is looking to win back more than his pride.

Brian Rusiecki: In the last five months, Brian has raced five 50-milers and two 100-milers. That is a ton of racing! He’s obviously in great shape but is he burnt out? I doubt it. However, while he has won on some challenging courses (Cascade Crest, Mountain Masochist), it hasn’t been anything like UTMB. Nevertheless, he is my dark horse to slip into the top ten.

Mike Wardian: Mike didn’t get a mention on iRunFar but I think he’s another dark horse to make the top ten. The quirky Virginian is as much a constant in the sport as anyone, and I wouldn’t put it past him to drop a great race.

The American Women

Rory Bosio: Last year, Rory finished 7th overall. If she runs like that again, she will win again. Last year, she was less than an hour behind Timothy Olson (4th place). How high up the ladder can Rory go?

Meghan Arbogast: Meghan was 13th last year at UTMB. She probably won’t be in contention for the win, but a top-ten finish is definitely a possibility. She seems like a great lady and I really hope she can get it done.

Ashley Arnold: Ashley has not raced well over the last year. However, when she is good, she’s very good. At UTMB, a great day will place her in the top three. Let’s see if she can make it happen.
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Here are a few short videos from The North Face – they are pretty entertaining:

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Full coverage of UTMB is available here and here.

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Leadville: The Controversy That Wasn’t

Rob Krar Leading Early at Leadville photo credit: Glen Delman

Rob Krar in the Lead Early at Leadville
photo credit: Glen Delman

Rob Krar won Leadville in 16:09:31. It was the second fastest winning time ever and he won the race by nearly 30 minutes. Once he took the lead, the race was never in doubt.

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However… shortly after the race, a runner/blogger named Brandon Fuller called into question Rob’s GPS data. Now, let’s not go crazy here. This is not Rosie Ruiz. Basically, Brandon just pointed out that Rob’s GPS data did not match the course on Strava. In fact, as Brandon pointed out, Rob ran an extra mile and the section he did was more difficult than the official course. Post-race, Rob admitted to missing a turn – he actually ran the 2012 course.

Ultrarunner (and diplomat?) Ian Sharman, who was not far behind Rob at the time, stated:

“Rob Krar took a wrong turn due to what must have been trail sabotage, costing him around six mins so he was perhaps 10 mins back from Mike. I would have gone the wrong way too but saw Rob heading back up the turn I’d have missed. That got re-marked in time for the next competitors but meant that Zeke caught up to me.”

Rob Did Not Finish In 15:XX But His Watch Battery Did

Rob Did Not Finish In 15:48 But His Watch Battery Did

Apparently, Brandon’s post gained a little traction because the Leadville Race Series issued a response. They stated:

“Upon review, the event management team has determined that the announced 2014 Leadville Trail 100 Run winner, Rob Krar, encountered inadequate race course markings during his outbound travels to the Winfield Aid Station. Krar chose the more defined Continental Divide Trail, which sent him on a longer course into Winfield, adding more than one mile of distance, along with significant elevation gain. As such, this course deviation did not provide Krar with any advantage whatsoever in completing the event relative to other competitors. Therefore, the race result stands and we congratulate Rob Krar for his impressive victory.”

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I think Leadville handled the situation perfectly. Of course, the facts favored an easy resolution. Rob ran extra on a more difficult course and he won by nearly thirty minutes.

However, the facts won’t always be this favorable. Next up for Rob is Run Rabbit Run. There is a $50,000 prize purse that includes $12,000 for 1st place and $4,000 for second place. Let’s just hope everyone stays on course so tough decisions don’t have to be made.

What do you think about this situation? Would you have resolved it differently?

Have you ever gone off-course in a trail (or road) race?

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A Speedy Recovery

As you know, I ran a 50K four days ago and I am running a 50-miler in less than four weeks.

Normally, after a race, I like to relax and embrace my gluttonous side for a week or so. Think chips. Think milkshakes. Think more chips. However, with another race right around the corner, this was not an option.

I’ve heard about guys like Nick Clark and Ian Sharman who will go out and run a day or two after a hundred miler. I can’t really comprehend it. With that being said, I’ve been reading up on recovery and there was a great article in the August issue of UltraRunning written by registered sports dietician/nutritionist Sarah Koszyk.

Here’s a highlight from the article:

“Glucose and sucrose are twice as effective as fructose in restoring muscle glycogen after exercise, because fructose is first converted to liver glycogen, whereas glucose skips going to the liver and goes directly to the muscles. Whether the carbs are simple or complex doesn’t really matter. You can increase your muscle glycogen with both types of carbs. The main goal is to have the carbs contain glucose and/or sucrose so they bypass the liver and go straight to your muscles for optimal recovery. Also, the faster you start to increase your muscle glycogen by making some more, the better recovery you will have. You’ll feel less muscle soreness. Your legs won’t quiver every time you sit down…

You want to focus on high glycemic carb sources because higher glycemic carbs will be easily digested in the body and rapidly assimilated. Lower glycemic carbs tend to take longer to get absorbed and are not ideal for efficient restoration of muscle glycogen. According to the Journal of Sports Science, after the race, you want to consumer 1.0 to 1.2 grams of carbs per kilogram of body weight within the first 15 to 30 minutes.”

I’m going to be honest – I’ve always been skeptical of stuff like this. I mean, not science in general – just quick fix recovery plans.

Regardless, I figured I would give it a try after the 50K. Right near the finish line, I set aside a Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator (90 calories, 20g of carbs, 4g of protein, vegan) and a ProBar Base (290 calories, 32g of carbs, 21g of protein, vegan). I realize this is 53g of carbs while the Journal of Sports Science suggests I should be closer to 70g – baby steps. Baby steps.

My stomach was not in a good place, but I somehow managed to get it all down within twenty minutes of finishing the race.

And then I woke up the next day…

Whoa. I could stand. I could walk. I probably could have gone for a run!! I erred on the side of caution and took off Sunday and Monday. However, on Tuesday, I threw on my shoes and went out for a five-mile jog. No problemo!

This could be life-changing. Sure, I won’t always want to get right back out there and go for a run! But there is something to be said for walking down stairs and not tearing up when you want to stand up.

The next time you do a longer race (or workout), give it a try! Stash some nutritious drinks/snacks near the finish and see what happens!

In the meantime, happy running!!

How do you usually recover from a hard workout or race?

Do you believe in science?

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Adidas Duramo Cross X GTX Review

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This is the first pair of Adidas shoes that I have reviewed. Similar to the Nikes, they were pretty much what I expected.

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These shoes were very snug in the forefoot. Not only was there pressure on the sides, there was also pressure on the top of my foot.

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These had a big sole but it was very basic. Not only that, I felt it provided very mediocre traction. In general, the shoe felt a little clunky. It reminded me of the Skechers Go Run Ultra.

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These have a 10mm drop and the size 10 weighed in at 12.2 ounces on my scale.

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The shoes have GoreTex, which is always a nice feature, but it felt different than the GoreTex on my Salomons/Inov-8s. I can’t really explain that and I didn’t have the opportunity to take them out in the rain. I’m assuming they’re waterproof but I’ll let you be the judge of that.

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Finally, Adidas tried for a no-tie lacing system… and failed. I really like the no-tie system that HOKA developed and I’m a big fan of the Salomon system – however, Adidas came up short. This is definitely something to improve on with subsequent models.

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Pros:
– waterproof

Cons:
– very snug forefoot
– awkward fit
– mediocre traction
clunky
– expensive

These are available for $125 at Zappos.

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Nike Zoom Wildhorse II Review

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This is the first Nike shoe that I’ve reviewed and the first Nike shoe that I’ve worn in a long time. I would say it was pretty much what I expected.

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The Zoom Wildhorse II is an okay trail shoe. It has a snug fit and I thought it felt a bit stiff.

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The shoe provides decent traction. I sized up to a 10.5 and I think you would probably want to size up as well. The width of the shoe is average.

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This shoe has a 22mm heel and a 17mm forefoot – a 5mm drop. The size 10.5 weighed 9.7 ounces on my scale.

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This shoe isn’t cheap – it’s $110 at Running Warehouse and Zappos. I’m just not sure what you’re getting for your money. I think there are better options available.

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Pros:
– decent traction
– lightweight for a trail shoe

Cons:
– lacking features
– pricey for a basic shoe
– a little snug

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Next Stop: Virgil Crest

Virgil Crest Ultras - Elevation Profile

Virgil Crest Ultras – Elevation Profile

It’s official! I’m signed up for the Virgil Crest 50-miler. It’s on September 20th – less than four weeks away!

As you can tell by the elevation chart above, it’s a tough one! The 50-mile course is +/- 12,000 feet. Not only that, the race has some tough competition.

The 2012 winner, Jeff Rixe, is already registered. In addition, the 2013 runner up, Andy Vermilyea, is also registered. So far there are 80 entrants in the 50-mile race.

However, things are actually more complicated than that! The race policy is:

If a 100-mile runner drops at the 50-mile mark ahead of the lead 50-mile entrant, the 100-mile runner will be awarded the top 50-mile place.

Normally, this would not be an issue. However, ultra star Sebastien Roulier is registered in the 100. This year alone, he has run 6:22 for 50 miles (1st overall at Salomon Trail Running Festival at Pineland Farms), 8:56 for 100km (1st overall at NJ Trail Festival) and 16:46 for 100 miles (6th overall at Vermont 100). He is the real deal.

I’m definitely looking forward to this race. The course is another Ian Golden creation, so you know it will be tough. Also, I’m considering the 100 for next year (it is a UTMB qualifier) and this will give me a good idea of what I’m up against.

Here’s a pretty cool video of the 100 (although the course has changed):

When is your next race?

What is your favorite fall race?

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