Sunday, July 13, 2014

Issaquah Alps 100 Mile 2014


“Sissy” Issy 100 Mile July 4, 2014

Last year, I was the first person to finish the Issaquah Alps 100 Mile run (37 hours 58 minutes)designed by my good friend and running partner George Orozco. It was a supported run but one of the hardest things I had ever done. I wasn’t planning on running it again, but my other running partner, Jess Mullen, wanted to return to the course to do the whole thing having done most of the 100K + (minus Mailbox peak). Two other people completed the course this year. Ras completed it in March unsupported with lots of snow high up on the peaks (67 hours 1 min) and Jennifer Hughes’ supported run in June tied my time.

This year I dubbed the run “Sissy” Issy because it was going to be supported enough that we would not need to carry a large pack-just a medium pack for most of the run, and at times  we would be able to just carry a hand-held bottle or waist pack. The goal was to get our running packs off our shoulders for a short period of time. Carrying a loaded large pack was a lot of work last year, and I wanted to lighten up this year. Jess was all for it. We lined up people to meet us when we came down from a peak to get real, hot food, and pacers to get us through the challenge. Deb McInally was going to join us for the whole 100 miles and use it as a training run for Tour des Geants 200 mile race with over 78,000 ft elevation gain. George was going to attempt a self-supported 100 mile run. We invited Leni Karr to join us as well for 50K or more. We all looked fresh before the start:

Leni Karr, Deb McInally, me, Tracy Brown, George Orozco, and Jess Mullen

I had bought Sparklers and we lit them for our pre-run pic, but there was too much smoke. My husband Ken, Jess' Mike, Leni's Larry, and Deb's Dave all dropped us off at the start and to exchange drop bags. Tracy was going to crew us the second day and grabbed our bags and coolers. Tracy and Mike (along with their dog Tina), joined us for the hike up Mailbox. They turned around as we were headed down. George took off ahead of us and we saw him coming down from the top as we were making the final push. There was a lot of wildflowers, particularly Bear Grass near the top. It was quite spectacular.
 
Me


Deb
 


Jess, Leni, and Deb on the final push
 
At the top of each climb of the run, we took a summit picture:
 

Summit #1 Mailbox
 
I spent the night before the run fixing a lot of solid food so that I could save the gels for the second half of the run. I did have a gel on the way up, after eating a banana before the start. Then I had half of a BLT sandwich at the top. Didn't have enough time to finish the whole thing. My partners were already heading down.
 
I wished I had brought my Z-poles because the run down Mailbox trashed my quads. I had used my poles at Bryce, but with my asthma and a touch of pulmonary edema, I felt they got in the way more than helped. I packed my poles for after the 100K mark if I needed them, but I was needing them now.
 
We arrived at the base of Mailbox about 10 minutes ahead of last year's schedule. Mike was there with our stuff. We loaded up with food and water for the next 11 miles. So far the trails were not too overgrown until we crossed the Middle Fork Road and hiked the trail up to the CCC road trail. This part was very overgrown. Deb had run it a few weeks back with her husband and he got pretty ill from all the nettle stings. I packed some old scrubs and also let Jess borrow a pair, which fitted well over our shorts and were not too heavy to carry. With my arm warmers, I was pretty protected. Deb had some leg sleeves she put on and Leni followed close behind me. We were happy to have our pants but it was pretty warm. I was wearing a bike shirt that did not breathe well, so I was overheating, even though our pace was slowed by the overgrowth. We finally got to the CCC road and took off our pants. It was refreshing. 
 
 Me, Deb, and Jess
 
We ran down the CCC road trail and arrived at Mt. Teneriffe Trailhead still about 10 minutes ahead of schedule. It was really starting to get warm. Mike was there with our stuff. We had some watermelon and cold coke. I was putting some solid food down like sticky rice and Bockwurst. I was still eating gels on the climbs. We headed up the road for about 2 miles before it turned into the switchbacks on very rocky trail up to the falls. Once we got there, it was straight up to the summit. I was really overheating now and when my face gets really hot, I know I have to slow down or rest to get my heartrate down, or else I will start to cramp. I know this feeling well and I listend to my body by slowing down. Deb let me use her poles so that my legs could get a rest, and that really helped a lot. About halfway up the climb, my legs started to feel better. We stopped at the top to have lunch. I had some chow mein and we took our summit shot:
 

 Summit #2 Mt. Teneriffe
 
We bounced from tree to tree down a steep trail off the summit that leveled out after a short while and then it was a nice rolling trail to the service road. This road is pretty rocky and steep in places and trashed my quads further. But I was still able to run it still. I had some Chocolate Coconut ProBar on the way down. I had stashed some water where we get off the road and take the connector trail to the Talus loop trail toward Mt. Si. I stashed it too well and had to bushwack to get to it. It was nice to get back onto single track. In a short while, we hit Mt. Si. At that point, Deb called her husband to make sure the place that we wanted him to pick up pizza was open. They were closed! So glad we checked. He did find a place that was open and had gluten free pizza also for Jess and Leni. Jess led the way up Mt. Si and we made good time. Not sure how far ahead of last year's schedule we were at that point, but I think we were over 15 minutes ahead. Just as we were going to make it to the base of the Haystack, we saw George. He was as surprised to see us as we were to see him. He said he went out too fast and was cramping. His quads were bothering him too. He said he was eating salt pills like crazy. I knew exactly how he was feeling, but my case was not as severe. At least he had poles to help his legs out. I didn't, but planned on calling Ken to bring me my Leki poles when we saw him at about mile 55. They are not as light as my Z-poles, but they would have to do until I could get to the 100K mark. Here we are on Mt. Si:
 

 Summit #3 Mt. Si
 
We headed down the Big Si-Little Si connector trail. This is a really steep trail and my quads did not like it. I wasn't cramping. I just was weak in my quads and this slowed my pace going down. Once, I slipped and almost tweaked my knee. Scary. I picked my way down, everyone well ahead of me. I tried to eat something. The theme all day was that I was overheating on the descents more than the climbs because I had to work harder in placing my feet to avoid falling on my trashed quads, which trashed them even more. I had stashed water where the Boulder Garden Loop met the Little Si trail and we stopped to reload. The hike up Little Si had pockets of cool air and I was able to cool down. And it was more uphill than flat, which my body didn't mind. We caught George on the final climb up to the summit. I really enjoyed seeing George on the trail. It grounded me having a familiar face. He was hurting though, and I felt bad for him because of that. I can't say I felt a whole lot better but I smiled nonetheless for each summit picture. I finally took off my poorly breathing shirt and didn't experience any chafing for the the 5 miles that I had it off.
 

 Summit #4 Little Si
 



Deb photo bombing George at Little Si
 
We headed down the Little Si trail with thoughts of pizza and coke to come soon. Deb's husband Dave met us about 3/4 miles up the trail and ran us down with their dog. Leni's husband met us there too with more food and night supplies for Leni for her attempt at the 100K. We took about a 20 minute break here eating pizza, stuffing our packs for the leg after we got to Rattlesnake lake, and just carrying very little for the next 6 mile stretch. I had a waist pack. Deb changed her shoes. While we were eating our pizza, George walked through the parking area with his head hung low and said, "Just going to have some more powder." Poor George! We so wanted to offer him some food. He had stashed his own. We were all dreading this next section of flat trail, but the sun was going down and it was cooler. I did better in this section because it allowed me to use different muscles and my quads recovered a little. We saw a bear on this Snoqualmie Valley Trail. Other critters we saw during our run at some point included a frog, a deer, and of course squirrels. We met Dave again about 5.5 miles up and put back on our heavier packs with headlamps. We had just passed George, but he passed us again when we were stopped. We were less than 1/2 mile to the Rattlesnake trailhead at that point and met up with him again. All of us used the Honey buckets there. We put on more bug repellent before we started the hike up. We left George with his lap full of gels, looking unappealing to him. We were at the 40 mile mark.
 
I took the lead now up the trail. Up was definitely easier for me than down. I did enjoy this part. I love it this time of night-dusk. People were hiking down.We still did not need our headlamps. The trail was wide and not too technical. The grade was perfect. Last year, we had to put on our headlamps about a mile up the trail. This year it was not until 3 miles up. That was nice. We were over 30 minutes ahead of last year. We peered over the edge and saw all the fireworks below in the valley. As we ran along, there was a constant boom coming from all directions.
 

Summit #5 Rattlesnake Ridge East Peak
 
Summit #6 Rattlesnake Ridge West Peak-we did take a picture. Where did it go?
 
At this point, Jess had texted Jenn Hughes and let her know we were approaching the Rattlesnake-Tiger interchange. Jenn was a mile up the trail from the parking lot on the Snoqualmie end at where the powerlines intersect the trail. We ran towards each other. Next thing you know, we see her approaching. She said she saw three other people on the trail. One was a guy and the other two were women from MIT. Impressive! Didn't expect other people to be on the trail this late. We had a Stanford gal among us-Leni! We reached the interchange and headed towards Tiger. There is actually a trail here that you bushwack down to the service road but you have to know where to look. George had kindly cleared the overgrowth with his machete and navigating this at night was much easier. I had to have the girls go ahead of me because I stepped wrong and nearly cramped a quad trying to catch myself. Fortunately, I was okay and was able to continue on running once we hit the service road.
 
We arrived at the spot where Jess and I stashed water about 10 days prior to this run. Except, it had been bulldozed over. Out bottles were gone! Fortunately, Jenn had plenty to share. We headed down the trail that starts out as a popular mountain bike trail and took the trail to the left. Down, down, down we went. Pain, pain, pain in my shot quads. This would be a recurring theme on all the steep down hills for the rest of the run. We hit the power line trail and took that towards Hwy 18 and the Raging River. There are river rocks as you approach the river, and once again, I had to be careful not to aggravate my quads. Instead of crossing the river, we climbed up to Hwy 18 (you just have to know where to look for a steep trail that gets you up there and Jess found it). It was about midnight? Still cars on the road. As soon as everyone was on the road, we booked along the side of the road that took us to a pull out off Hwy 18 to the trail that climbs up Tiger. A couple cars passed us as well as a semi. Fortunately, no one got hurt.
 
This next part is tricky because you have to find an unmarked and fairly narrow trail that takes you across a creek. I was able to find that and we got our feet wet for the first time. No way to get around it. Then it's a very steep but relatively short hike up to the service road. Another 1 to 1 1/2 miles on the road before we hit single track again on the NW Timber trail. Jenn led the way and these miles seemed to go by quicker.
 
Ken was going to meet us at Hwy 18 but now also Greg because he was there to pick up Jenn. Jenn had texted Greg to go get us some French Fries and Mango shake at McDonalds. We had planned on instant potatos with bacon and chedder cheese with Ken, but no one seemed to want to take the time to do that. I think I should have had some, but I didn't want to keep the girls there too long, having already slowed them down with my sore quads. Plus, we were trying to get going before anyone got too cold. Actually, it was very hot and humid the entire run, and I only had to put on arm warmers twice during the night when we were stopped. The rest of the time, we were all in shorts and t-shirts and still overheating. Ken did bring coffee that people really liked. He definitely has good taste in coffee. I had some french fries and mango shake-yum. I had asked Ken to bring my Leki poles and they did help me move along better, taking the load off my quads.
 
Next was the climb up East Tiger going on the service road. Last year, it was foggy here and we got cold. Not this time. And usually East Tiger is cold no matter what, but there was no breeze there. We took a comfortable picture in just what we had on and headed down.

 
Summit #7 East Tiger
 

The next section is a little frustrating for those of us who knew the trail before it got longer. You run on the Preston trail back in the direction of East Tiger summit before turning away from it towards the East Tiger Trail. We finally reached the Bootleg trail and headed down. Unfortunately, the next mile was very overgrown. This is one part of the trail that we didn't get to when we came out to clear the trails. It was slow going and Deb's headlamp was fading. Because it was almost getting light out, we didn't change her batteries. Finally we arrived at Dwight's trail, which was nice to look forward to since Jess, me, and George had come out the week before and cleared it. It was only a one mile section, but it was bushwack free.We arrived at the High Point trail and over a mile later, we finally hooked up with Tracy. My watch showed that we were just under 70 miles at this point, but we still call it the 100K mark.
 
Tracy had been up most of the night getting texts from us about our progress. She gave up her entire Saturday to crew us. She brought us each a McDonald's breakfast platter with eggs, sausage, and pancakes. All of us did a major clothing change here, because we were all sticky and smelled badly. I change everything, sports bra, underwear, shorts, shirt, sock, gaiters, and shoes. I switched from my Leki poles to my lighter Z-poles. Robert Lopez and Kim Kuhlmann joined us for the last 34 miles as well as Deb's friend Michelle Maislen and her dog Brutus. After a decent time there, we got going again. We arrived here about 2 hours faster than last year. Leni set a new FKT for the 100K with a time of 23:37. Way to go! You are totally ready for CCC.
 
It was still early in the day, so not so muggy yet, but that changed as the day warmed up. Last year, I was falling asleep during the climb up Tiger 3. Not so this year. Everyone was moving well. I was able to keep up on the climbs.
 

 Summit #8 Tiger 3
 A short jaunt over...
 

Summit #9 Tiger 2
Down the road and up a steep hill...
 


Summit #10 Tiger 1 (with Brutus)
 
The next part is on trails that I have run many times. I was looking forward to it but was aghast to see that it had been logged. It looked so different to me. I kept looking up in wonder. It was sad. At least the Christmas tree was still there. The trail after the tree was totally overgrown but thankfully short. The next part towards to the Paw Print bathrooms was slightly overgrown (better than last year), and then an open area that had been bulldozed over. We made it to the Tiger Mountain Trail. I was feeling spent here and followed Jess. She had dropped water before this point but realized after we passed it and it was too late to turn back. Everyone was doing fine on water. Up and over One View trail next, well known to me. I know where all the hills and slopes are. I was dreading the run down Poo Poo Point trail. This is where I struggled to keep up. On the way down, I texted Tracy and let her know we were approaching in a shorter time than last year. Yikes, she said, better head over. At that exact same moment, George texted me that he was dropping at the 100K because he was peeing blood. I texted him I was sorry and that he should probably see a doctor. I caught up with Michelle and we had a nice talk. We walked the down hill, which was a nice change in pace. Everyone was lounging at the base of the trail when we arrived. A short distance further and we were at the High School trail.
 
We hit pavement, which was painful on the bottoms of our feet heading towards Sycamore Lane, where Tracy was waiting. I switched to a waist pack and let air breathe through my back. It was so dang muggy here. I continued to use my poles and it helped propel me up the climb on the East Ridge trail. I had done a lot of clearing of the trails on this side of Squak and Jess and George cleared the trails on the other side. Last year, I nearly lost my mind when I had to move through this overgrown trail.This year, it was much better. Too bad I couldn't make much time on the down hills.
 
The run down West Side trail took me forever as I expected. We finally got to Tracy and she had popsicles for us. What a treat! I should have had 2! I decided to leave me poles for this next section on Cougar because the trails are mostly rolling and I was doing fine on the uphills, just needed some assistance on the down. Michelle led the first half of this 8.5 mile loop and her pace was perfect. Robert and Kim followed her, then Jess, Deb, and me. I focused on keeping the same distance behind Deb. I never like following too close behind someone. It allows me to adjust my pace comfortably and also so I can see the trail ahead and not trip. Finally, we made it to the Quarry trail, which meant we were on the side of the mountain that would lead us back to Tracy. I had one of Jess' Rice Krispie treats to fuel me on the climb. We took our final picture of the last summit, #11. I thought we would have to show 10 fingers and stick our tongues out but Michelle had a better idea:
 

 Summit #11 Wilderness Peak
 
Usually I really like the run down Wilderness Cliffs trail, but this time, it was basically putting the dagger in my quads. This was the one spot I wished I had my poles, but I didn't want to carry them the rest of the Cougar loop.
 
Tracy had saved me some turkey slices and put them in a baggie for me. I forced them down before heading up Squak. Actually, it was not so bad to eat (moist, not much chewing required) and it was a good source of salt and long lasting energy. A package of ElectroBites was exactly what I needed halfway through this stretch. It gave me 100 calories and was salty. Even though they are dry nuggets, they dissolve immediately with a sip of water. I will for sure have them in my food supply for the next big runs so that I don't have to rely all on gels. I grabbed my poles for the climb up and over Squak again. This went as well as I had hoped for me, that is to say that I moved along, albeit slow. The run down Squak was better than Wilderness with poles.
 
We reached the awful pavement but this signified that we were getting closer.  We walked to Tracy who was waiting for us for a quick exchange for the last 3 miles. I ditched my poles for the last time. Onto the High School Trail, the Brink trail, and then Swamp. Dave, Deb's husband, met us on the Swamp trail with their dog.We got to the final road that connects upper and lower parking. This last half mile is a nice down hill with a little incline in the middle. To make it in 36 flat, we had to run this all out (it felt like 6 min miles but probably was more like 7-7:30 min miles. Surprisingly, my quads were able to handle this. It was nice to finally stop.
 

 New FKT 36 hrs 00 min
 

Everyone went to their husbands and got a big hug, even though we smelled badly. I sat next to Ken and just rested my head on his shoulder. I didn't bother to take off my shoes for 10 minutes. Then I joined the group, had an amazing can of coke (the mini ones are a perfect size for me), and finally took off my shoes. Tracy offered me a Top Pot doughnut, but I couldn't get myself to eat anymore sweets. We sat around in a circle for 10 minutes just staring off into space, or maybe that was just me. Then everyone scattered and headed home.
 
Aftermath:
My quads were my weak link for this run, something I had never experienced before. I had heard of shot quads in races like Western State where there is a net downhill, and now I know what it means. Usually, it's my asthma that is my limiting factor late in the runs. It took me much longer to recover in those muscles than usual. I seemed to have reached a plateau in their recovery one week later and was very worried about that. Then I went on a 14 mile training run that I had promised a friend on the first part of the White River course. I thought I was making things worse because they felt horrible during the run, but afterwards, my legs felt much better. It seems that I just needed to break up some scar tissue/adhesions maybe and get the blood flowing through them again.
 
George recovered and said he was going to get back to on the course to train again.
 
Will I ever return to do it again? Ask me again in a few months, but for sure the answer is a big fat NO right now.
 
Again, just wanted to say that this run would not have been possible without our husbands, Tracy Brown, and our pacers!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Pigtails Challenge 2014

Rob Smith winning the 200!
 
 
First of all, I'd like to acknowlegde Matt Hagen for providing me with most of the pictures in this report. Also, great pictures were taken by Ross Comer, Jerry Missing Link Gamez, and Takao Suzuki.

Matt, wearing his 150 buckle proudly
 
 
Second, I'd like to again thank all the volunteers for giving up their time on a holiday weekend to help often tired and cranky runners meet their goal. This event would not be possible without them!
 
We had a great weekend again this year. Although not everyone's race panned out as planned, it was a great time to hang out with friends. At the end of the race weekend, I decided to put this race on again and just take it year by year. Next year, I will be adding a 100K distance for those not yet ready for the 100 mile or more. It could be a PR course for many, or give those who take a little longer plenty of time to finish. The 100K runners will start with the 100 milers, run the 6 miles out and back, and then complete 6 loops to make the distance 62.4 miles. I'm sure they will have enough energy after finishing to pace whoever is left on the course or stay and volunteer ;)
 
This year, the bathrobe was a big hit. I will bring it back next year for those who don't already have one but still offer another piece of clothing for runners to add to their wardrobe. It was quite fun seeing everyone line up at the start of each race looking like they were heading to the spa!
 

200 Mile (6 finishers/13 starters=46%)



150 Mile (5 finishers/7 starters=71%)



100 Mile (22 finishers/35 starters=63%)

 
Normally, the 150 has the lowest finishing rate but fared best this year. The number of Pigtails finishers continues to grow!

 
As usual, I invested a lot of work into getting this race ready because I am a control freak and can't stand it if I don't do my best. I am, however, doing a better job at asking for help. Jess Mullen once again acted as my Volunteer Coordinator and put together a great group of people. I'm sure she does not want this announced, but I think she will go for the whole enchilada next year and hopefully be one of the few women to finish the 200 mile (just me and Francesca Carmichael so far). The day before the race, Tracy Brown, who took 3rd woman in the 100 this year, and Maylon Hanold, helped me load my U-Haul. It was nice to take a lot less time doing that than in previous years. Tracy and I even had time to go grab Thai food for lunch!
 
 

Tracy is under that hat somewhere



Jess chillin'


 
Race morning started out stressful when I drove to the start and found the gates closed! Alex Swenson had spent the night and said that the Sherriff had no instructions to leave it open, so he locked them. Alex was allowed to stay in the parking lot but everyone else, including my U-Haul truck were stuck outside! I called the Park Ranger (totally nice guy Sam Whitman) and told him the situation. He sent someone over right away and the gate was opened well before the 6 am start. Still, most runners had to scramble getting their canopies set up and had to haul gear a little further than they had planned. By the time of the race start, everyone had finished setting up and moved their cars closer. Robert Lopez, who was scheduled to start the 150 on Friday, came and volunteered at the start, which helped a lot. Ross Comer volunteered Thursday morning as well. AND, he returned Sunday afternoon at the finish. Definitely a great guy to have around.

 
The 200 milers do a short out and back (total 2.6 miles) before completing 21 loops. The weather was perfect-dry and upper 50s. My husband and I left as soon as they started to set up the middle aid station. When I came back, I saw Bob Satko sprinting in after his first full loop, totally energized and clearly running faster than he should have been. You see, Bob was going to run the 200 miles and then run 50 more. Conventional wisdom dictates that one should probably pace oneself. But Bob is not normal, as many of his friends will tell you. He does have a big heart though, and was able to raise over $10,000 towards Fanconi's Anemia research, as his grandson Blake was born with this condition. He had another fast loop then settled down when his pacers were able to rein him in.


Bob in the midst of his 250

 
Jonathan Symmes and Alex Swenson emerged as the leaders after Bob slowed down. But it was getting warmer and warmer. Runners were returning with sweat beaded on their foreheads. I was able to offer them ice and had a bucket of cold water with a sponge. The watermelon was getting eaten as quickly as we could cut it. Each runner had their issues. For Richard Bae, it was reflux. His first half was a bit of a struggle (after a late start getting lost driving to the park). He spent a lot of time trying to eat, sitting, and resting and not feeling better. Finally, he went to the store and bought some Zantac and BAM! his symptoms improved. He was able to eat more, and his second half was speedy! Unfortunately, he lost too much time to catch the leaders but was able to hang on and get his 200 mile finish. I wonder if he might come back next year and try to improve his time....

 
Daro completed the first 50K and was contemplating stopping. I told him he had all weekend to quit, so just rest and get up again. And so he did. He rested for over an hour and decided to start walking. He came back saying that wasn't so bad and did another loop. Then he took another extended break. Then he went back out. Did 6 more loops. That was 106 miles, much more than what he thought he could do the day before. He called it quits and left. But at the rest stop, he kept thinking to himself that he didn't feel so bad and returned to do some more loops. When all was said and done, Daro completed 153 miles. He was running out of time to complete the 200 but said he would be back again next year. So proud of you Daro! In the start picture, Daro is on the far right. You remember him now don't you? I don't have a picture of Richard because he was late to the start but he was the one who looked like a Zen Master-seemingly floating along.

 
Daniel Kuhlmann won the 200 last year and returned to defend his title. The only problem was that he kept getting so sleepy would lay down for a while. His pacers were telling me that he seemed to have dibbs on that bench out on the trail Actually, it sounded like he was sleeping anywhere he could lay down. But he was sneaky in the end and passed Richard in the last mile, finishing one minute before him on 59:22, taking 3rd male.
 


Danny in one of his awake moments

 
Rob Smith ran a smart and consistent race, completing the 200 in 52:32, which was a 5 1/2 hour PR, the third fastest time in the 200, and about 30 minutes faster than my time in 2012. Rob is a great guy and winning couldn't have happened to a nicer person. Congrats Rob!

 
Ras was running the 200 for the 3rd time in 3 years and did not disappoint. Every year, he has to do something challenging beforehand, and this year it was hiking 800 miles of the Arizona Trail with his wife Kathy. They only had 10 days of rest before coming to my race. He was struggling a little until George Orozco paced him. He needed a little more of a sugar boost, and once he did that, he was able to pump out some solid loops. Congrats Ras for being the only runner to complete all 3 editions of the Pigtails 200! But I have to embarrass you and tell the story of your chafing nipple. This had not happened to Ras before so he was not really sure how to manage it. Enter Eric Sach. Eric told Ras that he needed to slather a thick layer of Vaseline on his nipple before applying a Band-aid. Eric took the liberty of putting on the Vaseline, which was a little too close for comfort for him, "Whoa dude!" Ras took over and managed his own chafing. He even went as far as trimming the chest hair around his nipple to that the band-aid would stick better. I called him the One Nippled Pirate.


Aaaaarrgh!

 
Kyle Lemke, who is only 24, came with his family from Ohie and rounded out the 200 milers. You could see the determination in his eyes but also the pain and fatigue. It was very exciting for me to see him get through this. I can see a bright future in his endurance running!


Lots of support for Kyle

 
After a long night, there were 5 less runners. They all seemed to drop at the same time. Alex had been injured prior to the race and did not train as much as he would have liked. Although he had a sizeable lead and had plenty of time to finish, another 70 miles was not appealing to him. He ran an impressive 124.8 miles in 25:31.

 
Jonathan had finished secomd in the 100 mile in 2012 and also second in the 150 in 2013. His goal was to be the first person to own all three buckles. Unfortunately, his race came to an end when severe shin pain was too much to bear. He had to stop after 24 hours and 28 minutes with 115.4 miles. I learned later that x-rays did not show an obvious fracture. I don't know for sure if he had anymore studies to look for a stress fracture. Hope you are doing fine, Jonathan!

 
Both of the gals who started, Rebecca and Sarah, were strong and consistent in the first day.They both had many male admirers. Sarah completed 96.6 miles in 23:29. Once the rain started on the second day, she could not get herself motivated to run another 100. Food did not seem appealing to her either. Rebecca developed a lot of pain in her feet. I had warned the runners before the start that the parks department had laid down new gravel recently, and I expected this would present a problem. After the race, I spoke to the park ranger and he said that they had not laid gravel in 15 years and thought it would be nice for the runners to have a fresh surface. Unfortunately, it was not ideal. Rebecca completed 87.2 miles in 24:45 but then gave her feet the rest that they so desired. It was nice of her to return the next day to visit.

 
Chris Bellevie was having a great race until he developed sudden pain in his hip. It became so painful at times that he could hardly put weight on it, even with the help of hiking sticks. It was difficult for him to throw in the towel.

 
Jason Reatherford held out the longest before stopping. He pushed through until over 38 hours and finished 124.8 miles. His feet too took a beating and would not improve despite shoe changes.


Always smiling

 
Finally, Bob did finish his 250 miles in 74 hours and 29 minutes. On the way, he placed second in the 200 with a time of 57:08, a PR by over 3 hours. He tended to his feet early, had pacers around the clock, and took much needed breaks.

 
So let's get on with the 150 milers. As with my previous blogs, I spend a lot of time talking about the 200 milers, as should be the case, and thenI run out of steam when it is time to talk about the 150 and 100 milers.

 
The 150 milers had wet weather to start their run. The pace was fast initially just like all the distances. Soon the pecking order was established. Ryan McKnight thought the pace was too fast and held back. Being an experienced runner, he was right. Ryan did not finish the 150 last year and had to get that monkey off his back. His girlfriend, Genia Kacey, was running the 100 and her presence I'm sure kept his spirits up in the second day. It was only appropriate that he won the 150 and she win the 100. Now he has finished the 100 and 150. Next up-200.


Genia nd Ryan-Rockstars!

 
Davy Crockett is no stranger to distances of 100 mile or longer. His 100 mile split was impressive (sub 21 hours). He held on to take second. I was so happy to see Reed Glesne finish 3rd in the 150. So amazing for 62! Cassidy Hood finished the 100 last year and came back to finish the 150. He is another candidate for obtaining all three buckles if he runs the 200 next year. Finally, Robert Lopez finished the 150. Just skipped right over the 100 and went for the 150. He was only planning on running 100 and stopping, but it's impossible to stop when there are so many people supporting you. He made it under the cut off with a lot of time to spare.


Totally awesome Robert!

 
Unfortunately, two runners did not finish the 150. Mike Kuhlmann made his second attempt at the 150. He did finish the 100 the first year. I think he signs up for the 150 to support his son Daniel (or give him a hard time!). Lisa Wood was the only woman brave enough to sign up for the 150. She gave it a good try but had to stop because of foot pain. It was fun cheering her each loop.

 
Now to the 100 milers. As was the case last year, the 100 milers had the best weather for fast times and fast starts. Gavin Woody and Arya Farahani ran the first 40+ miles together. Then Gavin pulled away and finished in the 3rd fastest time ever with 17:35. Arya had a great run and came in second with 18:51. Such a great finish only to find his car battery was dead after leaving his dome light on. No worries! RD to the rescue. Third male was Nick Paterno, who had a wonderful crew and group of pacers that got him to the finish line in 20:58.


Gavin making the turn around the cone

 
The women's race crowned a new champion. Hope Fox came back to defend her title but posterior tibial tendinitis proved too painful to continue. She did not want to jeopardize all the races she still had on her schedule. Even my brother-in-law, Cliff Richards, could not convince her to try walking and running after he taped her ankle up. Hope did stick around to see her friend finish her first 100 mile and come in second woman. Angelyca Gregory came in at 23:55. Her first 100 sub 24! Genia dominated with a win of 21:22 and looking totally comfortable the whole way. Third woman was Tracy Brown, my running partner on my days off. We go for a hike or run, depending on recent racing, and then go for coffee. I am so proud of my friend for finishing this 100 after so many days of doubt and recovering from injury. She finished in 24:37, a very solid time!

 
Some special mentions: Barb Macklow honored my race with her entry. She turned 80 not long before race day. I really wanted her to finish, but the miles and time on her feet proved to be too much. Sadly, her running partner Vicki Griffiths fell a few days before the race and she developed an infection in her knee bursa. It must have been hard for Barb not to have her running partner with her. Incredibly, Barb finished 71.8 miles.


Me and Barb

 
Karl Jensen has returned every year and at age 64, he ran his fastest 100 at Pigtails this year with a 22:47. It's so wonderful to see him each year!

 
Max Welker was our oldest finisher. He ran 26:57. Not bad for 71!

 
And to my final finishers. I know you had a long weekend but your finishes were the sweetest. Betsy Rogers, Andy Lin, Andy Larkin, and Ray Shaw, you are all tough cookies!


Yay Betsy!
 
 



See you next year!



Thursday, December 26, 2013

Pigtails Flat Ass 2013

Sean Celli Marathon Winner (Photo by Thomas Wagner)
 
Thanks to all who helped make the 8th Annual Pigtails Flat Ass a success! The weather cooperated, not too cold, not too wet. My volunteers were well seasoned and appreciated by all. Thanks Jerry Thayer (start/finish set up and take down), Jenny Hanna (Mary Richard's daughter), Heidi Perry (soup queen), John Pearch (my right hand man in setting up the un-manned aid station and turn arounds), Jill Hudson (time keeper), Ray Shaw (pig medal guy), Patty Randall Krebsbach (on crutches), and middle aid Betsy Rogers (Thai Butternut squash soup queen), Matt Hagen (multi-purpose man, Tracy Brown (gatekeeper to the marathon or 50K), and Ross Comer (photographer).
 
No course records set this year, but there were lots of milestones. Sean Celli in his first Pigtails took first in the marathon with a 1:01 PR running a time of 3:03:18. Wendy Graves took first honors for women in 3:56:56. She ran much of the race with Mary Richards, who took 1st female in the 50K with a time of 4:48:20 with her dog Emily. She still holds the Masters record for the women's 50K with a 4:28:07 set in 2011. She has also completed all the 50K runs since the beginning and holds that streak with Bruce Hoff. First in the 50K was Seattle Running Club member Brian Maher. He was only 8 minutes shy of the overall course record.
 
Todd McCrory set a 50K PR running in with Mary Richards (4:48:20). Clint Kaku ran his first 50K in a fine time of 4:35:33. It was also the first 50K for Roger Johnson, Matt Morrision, Mike Mutch, and Enoch Young. You can see their times below. Tabatha Collins and Stephanie LaBoo qualified for the Marathon Maniacs with this race. Jose Rodriguez celebrated his 20th marathon. Monte Pascual ran his 50-something marathon or longer distance just in this year. I have lost count. I am sure there were more special stories but can't remember them now.
 
Here are the final results: If you didn't get back to me with errors, sorry, too late!
 
50K
PLACE First Name Last Name Age               TIME             BIB
1 Brian Maher M34 3:45:20 162
2 Ather Haleem M33 3:47:40 93
3 Matthew Morrisson M44 3:48:04 166
4 Robert Bondurant M41 4:00:44 75
5 David  Spooner M45 4:19:41 178
6 Joey Gutjahr M43 4:21:50 92
7 Bruce Hoff M51 4:30:35 96
8 Jeff Rankin M40 4:33:50 171
9 Clinton Kaku M52 4:35:33 98
Bob Satko M53 4:35:33 175
11 Enoch Young M37 4:37:36 182
12 Todd McCrory M46 4:48:20 163
Mary Richards F52 4:48:20 172
14 Michael Mutch M44 4:51:51 167
15 Robert Lopez M43 4:54:22 160
16 Steve Walters M33 4:54:51 181
17 Ben Russell M35 4:55:35 174
18 Andrew Imrie M39 5:11:02 97
19 April Graves F36 5:12:49 91
20 Susie Ro F42 5:14:30 173
21 Mike Mahanay M58 5:22:20 161
22 Ted Eckert M46 5:24:51 90
23 RIchard Seibert M49 5:29:05 177
24 Mike  Kuhlmann M63 5:29:39 120
25 Jim Varner M28 5:32:45 179
26 Kimberly Kuhlmann F35 5:36:20 116
           
27 Hideko Opperman F45 5:46:30 169
28 Leslie Miller F33 5:51:15 164
29 Kristin Parker F28 5:58:10 170
30 Tricia Early F48 6:28:12 89
Roger Johnson M48 6:28:12 183
32 Christy Hammond F37 6:33:17 94
Steven Ferry M43 6:33:17 217
34 Tory Klementsen F48 6:37:27 110
35 Mary Bettelli F34 6:40:22 55
CR Men Steve Geertgens 3:37:11 (2012) and Women Megan Hall 4:08:03 (2012)
CR Masters Men Steve Geertgens 3:37:11 (2012) and Women Mary Hanna 4:28:07 (2011)
26.2
PLACE First Name Last Name AGE               TIME             BIB
1 Sean Celli M45 3:03:18 207
2 Cliff Richards M52 3:12:58 246
3 BJ Farish M40 3:38:24 216
4 Pedro  Infante M52 3:39:09 229
5 Damon Storey M48 3:42:45 254
6 Mark Casey M42 3:43:30 206
7 Ryan Whittier M29 3:51:01 261
8 Jose  Rodriguez M28 3:53:34 248
9 Wendy Graves F45 3:56:56 222
10 Craig Soper M62 3:57:01 253
11 Shawn Aebi M43 4:02:37 200
12 Karen Wang F41 4:07:27 258
13 Roger Chou M43 4:07:34 208
14 Steven Yee M54 4:09:28 262
15 Tabatha Collins F41 4:17:55 210
16 Ronald Frederick M46 4:21:45 218
17 Sabrina Seher F33 4:23:27 250
18 Vanessa Hills F26 4:23:45 227
19 Bill Barmore M61 4:24:59 201
20 Helena Detmer F31 4:25:13 212
21 Andy Fritz M47 4:27:29 219
22 Eivind Naess M43 4:30:29 238
23 Andy Lin M31 4:32:04 232
24 Dean Kayler M50 4:32:15 99
25 Chris Berry M26 4:33:36 202
26 Jacob Nichols M46 4:37:21 241
27 Amy Johnson F29 4:38:23 230
Jesse Rodriguez F43 4:38:23 247
29 Ashley West F27 4:38:38 260
30 Michael Shiach M63 4:39:04 252
31 Katrina Poppe F32 4:55:11 244
32 David Stout M59 4:57:34 255
33 Vivian Doorn F47 4:58:24 88
34 Lisa Morin F41 5:10:38 165
35 Margaret Gorog F53 5:12:42 221
36 Lee Newbill M32 5:17:50 240
37 Stan Nakashima M62 5:20:35 239
38 Chona Horton F49 5:22:02 228
39 Linda Walter F62 5:22:50 257
40 Sara Campbell F31 5:24:55 205
41 Lisa Eagle F33 5:24:56 214
42 Cara Best F50 5:27:59 203
Deborah Evdemon F45 5:27:59 215
44 Marie Zornes F50 5:28:15 263
46 Georgeta Gruescu F43 5:41:37 223
Monte Pascual M53 5:41:37 242
48 Rick Haase M68 5:45:00 224
49 Stephanie LaBoo F39 5:54:46 231
50 Rose Coates F46 5:55:26 209
51 Ric Hart M66 6:20:47 226
52 Crystal Richard F30 6:26:51 245
53 Rich Menzel M70 6:28:12 236
CR Men Uli Steidl 2:31:26 (2012) and Women Marlene Farrell 3:02:10 (2012)
CR Men Masters Uli Steidl 2:31:26 (2012) and Women Rikki Bogue 3:45:56 (2011)

Please note that Chris Bellevie ran the marathon and his time was 5:38:32. I was not able to figure out how to change it on the blog. It was too complicated. You would think I could just insert it but I had copied and pasted the results and now it is locked in a certain format. His rank in the marathon was 45, M41, bib # 35.