Jug End Loop Ultra Race Report

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The Jug End Loop Ultra was on Saturday. Basically, it was a 4.2-mile loop, and you had to run it as many times as possible in 5 hours. Then, you switched over to a .88-mile loop for the final hour (6 hours total). As you can see, the 4.2-mile loop had a pretty decent hill, and the .88-mile loop was a bit flatter.

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It was a sunny day and temps got up into the mid-80s. It wasn’t too bad for the first few hours, but it definitely got a little warm by the end. Over the first three hours, I managed to cover 21.5 miles, and over the final three hours, I managed another 20 miles. I slowed down a little bit but not too badly!

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I managed to take the win with 41.5 miles. Full results are available here. Tim Goric was tough all day, and he managed second with 38 miles. Tim also completed the 4.2-mile loop a total of eight times. The women’s race was close! Ann Alessandrini took the win with Ana Wolf just a little behind her.

Vegan/Vegetarian Group Picture

Vegan/Vegetarian Group Picture

This was the first time I’ve ever run a race based on time as opposed to distance. I liked it! There is something nice about knowing you will be done at a certain time.

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For the win, I got a really nice engraved jug (get it?). I will be using it for flowers… just kidding, I’m going to fill it with beer. I know Ann has already been putting hers to good use!

I highly recommend this race. Great course. Great people. Extremely affordable.

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Product Review: CoffeeBar by New Grounds Food

I was recently given the opportunity to sample some bars from New Grounds Food. The bars are called CoffeeBars, so you know they had my attention right away! If you’ve been following along for a bit, you know that I am a bar connoisseur. A couple of years back, I even did a Sweet 16, where Picky Bars edged out ProBar for the win!

There are lots of bars out there now. There are bars for every type of diet and interest. So what makes bars from New Grounds Food unique? A few things actually:

1) The company that produces the bars was founded by a couple of college students
2) Every bar is infused with a full cup of fair trade coffee
3) Every CoffeeBar is 100% organic
4) Every CoffeeBar is vegan and gluten-free

CoffeeBars come in three flavors:

  • Mocha Latte
  • Coconut Mocha
  • Caramel Macchiato

    Each bar is just under 200 calories, and the first ingredient is organic dates. You can’t go wrong with that!

    I’ve tried all three flavors, and in my opinion, the Mocha Latte is the best, followed closely by the Coconut Mocha (sorry, Caramel Macchiato).

    I am running a six-hour race on Saturday, and I plan on trying a CoffeeBar before the race and during the race. I will let you know how it goes!

    In the meantime, try them out for yourselves. Through the end of August, go to the New Grounds Food website and use promo code fuelyourrace for 50% off a 12-count box of bars.

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    Hoka Speed Instinct Review


    Hoka One One is out with a new trail shoe. It’s a bit different than the other trail shoes offered by Hoka. The main difference is the stack height (more on that later). This shoe has retained some key Hoka features, but it definitely feels like more of a traditional trail shoe.

    I think this is the best trail shoe that Hoka has produced yet. I still prefer a more traditional shoe, and the Speed Instinct might be able to get some new converts over to Hoka.


    Hoka says this shoe has a wider toebox but I disagree. The toebox is quite average. The Speed Instinct wraps the whole foot rather snugly. It’s a little bit firmer in the sole, but it retains some of that Hoka comfort that wearers have come to expect. I normally wear a size 10 and the size 10 fit well – no need to size up or down.


    The shoe has a nice tread that is adequate for most trails, but it wouldn’t get the job done in mud. The shoe has a 25mm heel and a 22mm forefoot – a 3mm drop. That is significantly different than other Hoka models. For example, the Challenger ATR 2 has a 31mm heel and a 26mm forefoot – a bigger drop and a notably bigger stack height.

    The size 10 weighed 10.4 ounces on my scale. That makes it a tiny bit lighter than the Challenger ATR 2, but not significantly so. It’s also a little bit lighter than the Speedgoat.

    To sum up, I’d say it’s a really nice shoe but it’s definitely snug! If you like a snug fit, this is the shoe for you!


    Pros:
    – more of a traditional trail shoe
    – decent weight for racing
    – nice tread
    – decent quality
    – perfect amount of cushioning

    Cons:
    – not wide enough in the toebox
    – a little too snug throughout

    This shoe retails for around $130.00.

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    Green Lakes 50k Race Report

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    The Green Lakes 50k was on Saturday. At 3am on Saturday – just a few hours before the race – a decent storm rolled through. It was definitely enough to wake me up, and I was worried that it would muddy up the course. Fortunately, it has been so dry this summer that just a few hours later, there was no evidence it had rained at all! However, at race time, the humidity was still hovering near 100% (more on that later).

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    The race went off at 6am and Chris Raulli took off at record pace. I knew it was too much for me, so I ran in a chase pack with Stephen Paddock and Louis Ferrone. I knew Louis from previous races, but Stephen was new to me. Both guys looked fit and seemed like they were up for the challenge. Stephen and I finished the first loop in just under 53 minutes. That’s not a bad split; however, it is a problem when a 53-minute loop feels like a 51-minute effort. I realized that the humidity was going to be more than a minor nuisance.

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    Stephen and I stayed pretty close for much of the second lap. I came through in just over 56 minutes. Chris was way out in front, and at this point, the race was for second and third. I slowed pretty dramatically for my third lap (I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one). The weather was actually improving slightly, but I was feeling the effects of sweating buckets for the first two hours of the race. I finished that lap in a little over 1:02… and I saw Chris Raulli. Apparently, in the middle of his third lap, he decided to call it a day. I was now in first place and I only had one loop to go.

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    The weather was actually still improving at this point. It was getting hotter but there was also a light breeze and the humidity was decreasing. I ran the final lap in about 1:03 for a total time of 3:55:09 (7:34/mile).

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    The women’s race was filled with excitement! Neela D’Souza and Kristen Roe battled from the start – they were never separated by more than a couple of minutes. Even when they hit the beach on the final lap (last than a half mile to go), the outcome was still in doubt! Neela hung on for the win in 4:25:16 and Kristen finished just behind her in 4:25:50. In addition, in the 100k, Justyna Wilson was the outright winner in 10:00:18!! I think Justyna had the performance of the day – that’s an incredible time given the conditions on Saturday.

    Full results of the 50k are available here.

    Full results of the 100k are available here.

    My next race is the Jug End Loop Ultra on August 20th.

    When is your next race?

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    Preview: Green Lakes 50k

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    The Green Lakes 50k is tomorrow morning. This was my first ultra back in 2013, and I’ve done it every year since. I consider it my home course, as I’ve run these trails hundreds of times, and there really aren’t any other trail races as close to me.

    The 50k course consists of four loops that are approximately 7.77 miles each. The 100k course is eight loops! As far as trail races go, this course is flat and fast! However, if you are a roadie and this is your first journey to the trails, you’ll be surprised to find a decent climb that you have to complete four times (or eight for the 100k). It’s actually two separate climbs separated by a quarter mile of flat trail, so you do get some recovery and it is manageable.

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    Tim Hardy, the race director, does an excellent job. The course is well-marked and runners get a nice swag bag (shirts, pint glasses, race stickers, etc.). In addition, because it is a loop course, runners will pass each other throughout the day, and it is a great opportunity to lend support to your comrades on the trails.

    This race always attracts some speedy folks. Past runners include Mike Daigeaun (holds course records in the 50k and 100k), Valmir Nunes, Daven Oskvig, Rebecca Harman (100k course record holder), Brian Rusiecki, Amy Rusiecki and Cole Crosby.

    This year’s race also includes some speedy individuals. In particular, keep an eye on Chris Raulli in the men’s 50k and Neela D’Souza in the women’s 50k. I think both 50k course records are vulnerable, as the trails are in excellent condition and the weather should be satisfactory. Speaking of the weather, the 50k will be 72 degrees at the 6am start, and it will climb towards 80 as the first finishers come through. The 100k will be 72 degrees at the start, and it will be in the low 80s as the first finishers cross the line.

    My goal races are later in the year so I haven’t done much of a taper for this one. I’d like to run under 3:40. Ideally, I’ll run faster than 3:37:26, which was my time in 2013.

    Entrant lists for all the races are available here.

    Check back next week for my full report! Have a great weekend!

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    0 SPF Race Report

    The 0 SPF Trail Half Marathon was on Saturday. This race is limited to 140 people, but I suspect they could draw at least twice that many. I made it to Victor around 7:15am for an 8:00am race start. I saw lots of familiar faces, which is one of the great things about trail races! In particular, the Rochester trail running community is amazing!! I warmed up a couple of miles and I definitely felt ready to go!

    I knew that Matt Lipsey and Daven Oskvig were the two to watch. Sure enough, at the start, Matt took off up the first climb. This climb went up about 100 feet in a quarter of a mile or so. It definitely thinned the field right out of the gate. I let him go and staked out second place. This was definitely my type of course. Lots of rolling hills, rocks, roots and a little pavement. There were not long climbs, long descents or mud.

    I was getting a little feedback along the course from Ron, who was also shooting some cool video – more on that later. At the halfway mark, I was about two or three minutes back of the lead, and my gap over Daven was minimal. I had a rough patch coming out of the turnaround and I had to walk up one of the ascents. Then, just like that, it was gone. I started zipping along again, and while I knew I was not going to catch Matt, I was having a blast!

    I was glad I picked the Salomon S-Lab X-Series for the race – they worked out perfectly! I finished second overall in 1:44:46. The race has been held four years and I ran the third fastest time on the course. I’d like to pat myself on the back for that, but I’m pretty sure the conditions were just perfect on Saturday.

    As I mentioned earlier, Ron was shooting some video out on the course. Check it out here! It’s only a minute long and it’s definitely worth checking out.

    You should definitely consider putting this one on your calendar for next year. Great race. I can’t say a single bad thing about it.

    My next race is the Green Lakes 50k on August 6. I’ve heard rumors it’s going to be a stacked field – I can’t wait!

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    Preview: 0 SPF Trail 1/2 Marathon

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    Tomorrow, I’m racing the 0 SPF Trail Half Marathon. The race is in Victor, New York. I’ve never done it before, but it’s a hilly course.

    Here is a look at the course and the elevation profile:

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    It should be a pretty competitive race. The field includes Daven Oskvig and Matt Lipsey. With that being said, I think Kip Tisia’s course record is probably safe (since nobody has come within eight minutes of it).

    I’m guessing the course will be dry (since we are in a drought) and I’ll be going with the Salomon S-Lab X-Series. This has been my go-to shoe for everything of late.

    Check back next week to read my race report!

    Have a great weekend!

    Posted in Races (Before & After) | Tagged , , | 3 Comments