A New Ad – Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

If you’re looking for my Green Lakes Race Report, scroll down or click here.

Udo’s Oil is one of my favorite products. While I generally eat a low-fat diet and suggest others do the same, I’ve had noticeable benefits (faster recovery, less soreness, less joint pain) while taking a daily tablespoon or two.

Anyhow, Udo’s Oil just came out with a new ad:


This has stirred up a little controversy on the web (is anything not controversial on the web?!). While it can be difficult to distinguish troll from human, comments have included:

– Worst Ad Ever. Absolutely Terrible.
– Such a horrible marketing decision.
– Men = Athletes but Women = Sex Objects
– Looking fierce and fabulous!
– If this drink turns three signature heroines of the trail into grumpy, irritated, short-tempered looking shrews, who needs it?
– I’d like to see one of the pictures with your guys smiling.

Here is another Flora ad that has been running (no pun intended) for a bit in several publications:


For what it’s worth, Frosty chimed in on the discussion regarding the new ad:

We decided on this idea/picture. And we all love it! We also love running, but it doesn’t define who we are! We all wear dresses and use Flora products each and everyday because they make us feel good not just in running. We had fun! This ad celebrates the brand’s diversity, as well as feminism, even as runners.

(For what it’s worth, I think she meant femininity, not feminism, although I could be wrong)

What do you think? Sexist ad? Sexist comments? Both? Neither?

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Race Report: Green Lakes 100k

photo credit: Doug Hardy

photo credit: Doug Hardy

On Saturday, I ran the Green Lakes 100k. Green Lakes was my first ultra ever (I did the 50k in 2013) so it seemed like a good place to jump up to 100k.

On Saturday, I got up at 4am and had a little breakfast. I left for the race shortly after 5am and got there with plenty of time to spare. I checked in, and it was great to see so many familiar faces.

The race started right at 6 and we were off! I knew it was going to be a warm day, so I planned on running conservatively. My goal was to run each lap (7.77 miles) in about an hour. The first lap took almost exactly an hour. So did the second and the third and the fourth. I was halfway there in just over four hours…


And then the race really started. It was getting hot and I had 31+ miles in my legs. I started slowing down – a lot more than I would have hoped. I was pretty dehydrated and I was having issues getting rehydrated. On my fifth loop, I started walking some of the steeper uphills. On my sixth loop, I started walking almost all of the uphills. On my seventh loop, I was walking the uphills and some of the downhills. Anyhow, while all this walking was taking place, the fella in second place was started to close the gap on me.

At the halfway mark, I had a 23-minute lead. After five loops, it was 34 minutes. After six loops, it was 41 minutes! Then it started shrinking – fast! After the seventh loop, it was down to 28 minutes. As Tim Hardy, the race director, said to me before I started my final loop – no lollygagging!!

I had something left and I finished my last loop to take the win in 9:23:53. That’s an average of 9:04/mile for 62.2 miles. The heat definitely took its toll, as only 16 people finished the 100k.

Full results of the 100k are available here.

Full results of the 50k are available here.

Extra shout-outs to Tim and Kristen. Tim has run Badwater, do you think he wanted to hear me complain about the heat? He provided positive encouragement the whole way, not just for me, but for every runner. And to Kristen for reminding me that while it was hot, it was still better than Finger Lakes 50s – so true!

Only One Hill Per Loop!

Only One Hill Per Loop!


– I hit 50 miles in 7:15.
– I survived on S!Caps, Hüma gels, water, orange slices, watermelon, some Hammer gel and a little soda – vegan all the way!
– My next race is TBD.
– Big respect for Jeremy Marble who came in 2nd in the 100k, came all the way from Portland, Oregon, and had, without a doubt, the best beard of any participant.


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Race Tomorrow!


The Green Lakes Endurance Runs are tomorrow! I was very torn on whether I should run the 50k or the 100k. After a bit of thought, I decided to sign up for the 100k. I’ve never run that far before, and I thought it would be a nice challenge!

The race is a 7.77 mile loop. The 50k runners do it four times and the 100k runners do it eight times. It’s very scenic. While there are a couple of hills, it is relatively “easy” for a trail ultra. The 50k is about +/- 2000 feet and the 100k is about +/- 4000 feet. The weather has been dry and the trails are in excellent condition!

It’s going to be hot! The temperature is going to climb into the mid-80s, which will definitely add to the challenge. I’m not sure about the humidity – I’m guessing there will be some. The Serengeti will definitely be hot!

This is the race that started it all for me – it was my first ultra a couple of years back. After being my first 50k, it seems fitting that it will also be my first 100k!

The race director, Tim Hardy, does a great job. In addition, some of my friends are running/crewing, so it should be a great day. As an added bonus, it is pretty close to my house, so I get to sleep in my own bed the night before – win!

The race is a little later this year, which is pretty cool because there are so many other great races going on around the area and the world (Twisted Branch, Cascade Crest and UTMB to name a few). It’s a little easier knowing that there are so many other folks out there who are also in the pain cave.

Are you racing this weekend?

Do you have nostalgia about your first race at a given distance?

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Altra The Lone Peak 2.5 Review


Altra has come out with an update to the popular Lone Peak 2.0. I’m going to say it right up front – I prefer the 2.0. Great, now that’s out of the way – let’s get into it.


The 2.5 has a wide toebox – one of Altra’s signatures. However, it’s not quite as wide as I would like. It also has zero drop – Altra’s other signature feature.

The upper is perfect – it’s soft and smooth and you would not have any issues with blisters or hot spots.

The outsole is nice – it’s got some decent lugs and it would be more than adequate for most off-road running.

I don’t have any complaints with the cushioning – in my opinion, it’s quite similar to the 2.0.


The Lone Peak 2.5 weighs 11.2 ounces (size 10). This is an improvement over the 2.0, which weighed 12.6 ounces. However, I think it came at a price, as the shoe is definitely a little narrower in the toebox.

The shoe has a 20mm forefoot and a 20mm heel – zero drop.

Aside from the narrower toebox, I noticed two issues. First, I think it’s a little loose in the heel. For me, it definitely doesn’t fit as well as the 2.0. On a related note, I think the shoe is cut a little low in the back. By that, I mean that your foot could pop out if you were in deep mud, hit some rough terrain or were accidentally stepped on by another runner. This was probably another effort to eliminate weight, but I don’t think the sacrifice was worth it. I’m interested in hearing if other folks noticed this issue.



– wide toebox
– nice cushioning
– nice sole
– decent colors


– toebox could be wider
– loose fitting heel
– low in the back

The Altra Lone Peak 2.5 is $120 at Running Warehouse.

Here is a video review of The Lone Peak 2.5.

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The Kabul Marathon.


The Kabul Marathon was held yesterday. According to Free to Run, this is the first time women have participated in, and completed, a marathon in Afghanistan (just a hunch, I’m guessing this excludes servicewomen from overseas).

Nelofar and Zainab have been documenting some of their adventures on the Free to Run blog. It’s really interesting stuff. Yesterday, Nelofar completed the marathon alongside two men from Skyrunning Afghanistan.

Video highlights of the race can be seen here.

I’m disappointed in the global media coverage of the race. It has been nonexistent. That is not an exaggeration – there is literally nothing except Facebook posts from the marathon itself and Free to Run.

This could be a watershed moment. Consider where women’s running is in the United States now. Deena Kastor. Molly Huddle. Shalane Flanagan. These women are global superstars. Now consider that it was only one generation ago that Katherine Switzer was physically attacked in the Boston Marathon. It was only one generation ago that Joan Benoit used to pretend she was admiring flowers when she was really out for a run.

I’m not asking for much – but I think we could all sacrifice 60 seconds of Donald Trump, Subway Jared and Kim Kardashian for a story that is actually historic and inspiring.

Rant over. As you were.

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Where Have I Been?!

I’ve been nowhere in particular, just slacking on my blogging. With that being said, I’ve picked up on a few interesting tidbits over the last week or so.

Heather Houskeeper

Heather Houskeeper

Heather Houskeeper became the first person to complete the 900-mile Finger Lakes Trail (and six branch trails). This little-known trail has some grueling terrain and I’m curious to see who will follow in Heather’s footsteps.

Eastern States 100 is this weekend. This is a relatively new race, but right from the start, I suspected it would turn into a “major.” I think I was onto something – this year’s race includes Mike Daigeaun, Mike Wardian and Jim Blandford. The full start list is available here.

Thinking about running an ultra? The Santa Clarita Runners have an ultramarathon training schedule generator! You can access it here. It is designed to get you ready for a 50k or 50-mile race by providing an 18-week schedule. It’s a pretty conservative schedule, and while I wouldn’t recommend it for “advanced” runners, it’s perfect for first-time ultra runners!

There’s a pretty cool giveaway going on over at Consume With Love – go check it out!

In other news, Scott Spitz (you may remember him from the cover of Runner’s World) is about to run across the state of Indiana for a very cool charity, and Shaun Evans is running across the entire country for a charity of his own. Check out both of their runs and consider donating a few bucks.

I’m still torn about what distance to race at GLER – it’s two weeks away and I can’t decide between 50k and 100k – halp!

Have a great weekend!

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As you may have heard by now, Nick Symmonds will not be running the 800m at World Championships despite winning the title at US Outdoor Championships. Nick runs for Brooks, and he has demonstrated that loyalty comes before $$$.

The issue between Nick and USATF is the “Statement of Conditions” that all athletes are required to sign. In particular, there is an issue over what constitutes other “official” team functions. However, I think the big problem came with the letter that USATF sent to athletes – it said they should pack “only Team USA, Nike, or non-branded apparel.” In other words, it made it sound as if everything was an official team function.

Here is Nick’s position on the dispute.

Here is the USATF position.

Here is the opinion of an attorney who has experience in sports law.

As I’ve pointed out before, USATF is in bed with Nike. USATF currently receives $10,000,000/year from Nike, and beginning in 2017, it will receive more than $20,000,000/year from Nike. Not only that, the contract beginning in 2017 will run through 2040.

In 2013, USATF had total revenue of just under $20,000,000 – that means that Nike comprised approximately half of the total revenue. In 2017, Nike would comprise as much as 2/3 of total revenue. This has led to some very suspect decisions in the past, and it could lead to a grim future for the sport.

Lolo Jones has offered support to Nick – this isn’t surprising, as she has had uniform controversies of her own in the past (Lolo has worn a Red Bull headband that certain meet organizers did not appreciate).

Some folks have compared Symmonds to another Oregon native – Steve Prefontaine. Steve used to battle regularly with AAU over the meager support given to athletes. While the issues have changed to an extent, and the players are somewhat different, I think it is a valid comparison.

What do you think about Nick’s stance?

If you were sponsored by Brooks, Oiselle, New Balance, etc., how would you feel about being told to leave your sponsor’s apparel at home?

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