Archive | December, 2013

RIF 190 John Leighton

Extreme Racer Standings – November 2013

RIF #190 John Kent Leighton

There is a new leader in the Extreme Racer Standings! Here are the November 2013 Extreme Racer Standings:

RIF #190 John Kent Leighton is our new Extreme Racer Leader with 1845.7 points and RIF #159 Diane Bolton is now in 2nd with 1731.05 points. RIF #1 Joshua Holmes rounds out the Top 3 in 3rd with 1655.9 points.

There was no change in the Top 3 of either the Women’s or Men’s Leaderboards. On the Women’s Leaderboard, Diane is in 1st, followed by RIF #218 Carol Goslin in 2nd with 1261.6 points, and RIF #287 Carol Earles in 3rd with 1043.59 points. On the Men’s Leaderboard, John is in 1st followed by Joshua in 2nd and RIF #279 George Southgate in 3rd with 1408.07 points.

Through November, our RIF Club Members have raced 32,972.23 miles! That total is made up of 1315 races, including:

-20 100 Milers
-27 50 Milers
-68 50Ks
-503 Marathons
-157 Half Marathons
-71 10Ks
-244 5Ks
-225 races of non-traditional distances.

77 of our 300 club members have reported races through November. In total, 79 RIF Club members have submitted points and/or monthly miles so far for 2013 (only points count in the standings so only 77 RIF Club members are listed below).

Here are the full standings through November:

Top Ten Overall
1. John Kent Leighton – 1845.7 (RIF #190)
2. Diane Bolton – 1731.05 (RIF #159)
3. Joshua Holmes – 1655.9 (RIF #1)
4. George Southgate – 1408.07 (RIF #279)
5. Carol Goslin – 1261.6 (RIF #218)
6. Denis McCarthy – 1074.4 (RIF #263)
7. Carol Earles – 1043.59 (RIF #287)
8. Kerri Haskins – 987 (RIF #261)
9. Rob Distante – 979.63 (RIF #259)
10. Elaine Bickel Green – 769.1 (RIF #217)

Men’s Leaderboard
1. John Kent Leighton – 1845.7 (RIF #190)
2. Joshua Holmes – 1655.9 (RIF #1)
3. George Southgate – 1408.07 (RIF #279)
4. Denis McCarthy – 1074.4 (RIF #263)
5. Rob Distante – 979.63 (RIF #259)
6. Hideki Kinoshita – 727.4 (RIF #88)
7. Danny Staggs – 705.9 (RIF #186)
8. Jeff Le – 582.16 (RIF #248)
9. Eric Waterman – 408.7 (RIF #289)
10. Houston Wolf – 400.9 (RIF #254)
11. David Wingard – 333.9 (RIF #101)
12. Billy Cannon – 306.8 (RIF #169)
13. Anthony Ohrey – 293.6 (RIF #27)
14. Arland Blanton – 293.41 (RIF #290)
15. Kevin Brandon – 265.7 (RIF #214)
16. Nathan Bass – 250.2 (RIF #174)
17. Nicholas Norfolk – 238.9 (RIF #116)
18. Mark Ogletree – 234.9 (RIF #247)
19. Jeff Liu – 231 (RIF #275)
20. Steven Reagan – 215.9 (RIF #157)
21. Mark Watson – 194 (RIF #173)
22. Dennis Arriaga – 181.3 (RIF #140)
23. Jason Scott – 176.5 (RIF #265)
24. Rodrigo Jiménez – 158.32 (RIF #203)
25. Josh Liggett – 142.5 (RIF #147)
26. Robin Robbins – 139.6 (RIF #33)
27. James Krenis – 126.8 (RIF #67)
28. Kevin Ronayne – 108.4 (RIF #11)
29. Bill Baker – 106 (RIF #196)
30. Nikiah Nudell – 94.8 (RIF #234)
31. Charles Carmen – 89.63 (RIF #255)
32. Stephen Griffin – 89.6 (RIF #48)
33. Rick Thiounn – 79.5 (RIF #111)
34. Neil Dryland – 57.2 (RIF #252)
35. Naresh Kumar – 50 (RIF #2)
36. Stewart Crouch – 29.3 (RIF #89)
37. Brian Wooldridge – 26.2 (RIF #141)
38. Chris Haynes – 26.2 (RIF #223)
39. Brennan Thompson – 25.5 (RIF #274)
40. Daniel Escue – 22.4 (RIF #187)
41. Austin Coates – 22.4 (RIF #241)
42. Al Edwards – 13.1 (RIF #291)

Women’s Leaderboard
1. Diane Bolton – 1731.05 (RIF #159)
2. Carol Goslin – 1261.6 (RIF #218)
3. Carol Earles – 1043.59 (RIF #287)
4. Kerri Haskins – 987 (RIF #261)
5. Elaine Bickel Green – 769.1 (RIF #217)
6. Heather Zeigler – 763.9 (RIF #246)
7. Laura Raeder – 565.9 (RIF #20)
8. Christy Scott – 483 (RIF #231)
9. Robin Mancinelli – 480.8 (RIF #134)
10. Suzanne Spiceland – 468.2 (RIF #280)
11. Michelle Walker – 422.3 (RIF #124)
12. Katrina Mumaw – 399.5 (RIF #268)
13. Donna England – 370.5 (RIF #277)
14. Alicia Eno – 329.7 (RIF #126)
15. Amanda Staggs – 327.2 (RIF #210)
16. Lisa Gonzales – 319.26 (RIF #5)
17. Sandy Staggs – 274 (RIF #220)
18. Michelle Mitchell – 262.6 (RIF #133)
19. Heather Shoemaker – 261.8 (RIF #44)
20. Beth Hosick – 251.37 (RIF #219)
21. Marj Mitchell – 237.9 (RIF #4)
22. Shannon Burke – 236.8 (RIF #171)
23. Christy Bowers – 204.82 (RIF #60)
24. Michelle Lenahan – 192.08 (RIF #283)
25. Donna Pittman – 188.9 (RIF #181)
26. Jennifer Wood – 183.4 (RIF #243)
27. Melanie Casey – 144 (RIF #202)
28. Jennifer Whitley – 82 (RIF #160)
29. Natalie Torres – 81.7 (RIF #72)
30. Leigh Marsh – 61.7 (RIF #192)
31. Jill Hassen – 57.2 (RIF #242)
32. Marlene Deem – 52.4 (RIF #189)
33. Debra Jacildo – 28.3 (RIF #98)
34. Trisha Leonard – 26.2 (RIF #144)
35. Martine Kincade – 26.2 (RIF #260)

What a year we’ve had so far! I’m sure December was just as strong and just as amazing. Check back next month to see how the 2013 Extreme Racer finishes. Will John keep the lead? Will Diane take it back? Will Joshua be the dark horse in all this? Check back to see!

Now for some RIF Club business…

This month’s random drawing winner is RIF #134 Robin Mancinelli! We will be sending her a Gone For A Run sign and we are sure it will get a lot of use!

Don’t forget to submit your points/monthly miles next month for a chance to win! Anyone who submits races or miles or even to say they didn’t race/run because life got in the way is eligible for the drawing. We just want to hear what everyone is up to and it’s fun to see the race miles add up. :)

Details on joining Run It Fast – The Club

[Extreme Racer points are rewarded per each racing mile completed. Example: marathon = 26.2 points, half marathon 13.1 points, etc.]

[photo from Lisa Gonzales]

Posted in Extreme Racer, Running, THE CLUB0 Comments

Death Valley National Park’s Explanation for Ceasing Race Permits

Death Valley National Park’s Explanation for Ceasing Race Permits

We posted last week a hypothesis of why we thought Death Valley National Park might have ceased giving permits to running and cycling races within the park without notice/warning/discussion.

Our story gained national attention and created a honest and, at times, hotly debated discussion as to why this might have happened.

We believed that after radiation readings in the park tested extremely high 4 weeks ago that it might have been enough to sound an alarm within the park chain of command to cease permits to look into it more closely.


Death Valley National Park superintendent Kathy Billings has finally and officially responded to her reasonings as to why she made her decision. You can read her full letter of explanation by clicking HERE.

She states over and over in the letter that it’s about safety and park safety. Billings says there has been several close calls with spectators and motor visitors to the park on the road and highways.

We, here at Run It Fast, believe that 1. radiation education and the high amounts since the Fukushima meltdown are very important and 2. that transparency from government agencies is extremely important.

We are glad that Billings finally came forward to at least provide an explanation for her decision. She might be late to explain her decision but finally we have some transparency from her as to why.

As we initially stated, transparency serves everyone best.

Do you believe her explanation? She speaks of close calls, but AdventureCORPS founder Chris Kostman, stated in his initial response to the park’s decision, that there had not been any deaths or close calls at his events including Badwater 135. (Read Kostman’s statement HERE)

If in fact Billings explanation is the true explanation then her decision will likely be overturned unless she has a pure vendetta against either AdventureCORPS, Kostman, or endurance sports.

Is her answer/explanation still too vague?

While we are still devastated by Billings decision, we are glad that she finally came forward to at least offer an explanation.

RELATED: Badwater 135 Race Director Chris Kostman replies to DVNP’s Kathy Billings

Posted in Running0 Comments

Houston 12K of Christmas Medal 2013

Houston 12K of Christmas Medal (2013)

This is the medal the finishers of the Houston 12K of Christmas received on December 21, 2013 in Houston, Texas.


[medal photo submitted by RIF #48 Stephen Griffin – follow him on Twitter @stepheng73]

Posted in Bling, Featured, Medals0 Comments

Race Around The Lake Medal 2013

Race Around The Lake Medal (2013)

This is the finisher’s medal for the Race Around The Lake held on December 22, 2013 in Camlough, Northern Ireland.


[medal photo submitted by Mark Ramsey. – follow him on Twitter @Amarkramsey]

Posted in Bling, Featured, International, Medals1 Comment

Run Forest Run 10K Medal 2013

Run Forest Run 10K Medal (2013)

This is the finisher’s medal for the Run Forest Run 10K that was held on December 21, 2013 in Newcastle, Ireland.

Love the running tree!


[medal photo submitted by Mark Ramsey. – follow him on Twitter @Amarkramsey]

Posted in 10K, Bling, Featured, Medals0 Comments

Death Valley Closed to Endurance Sports – Joshua Holmes – Death Valley Trail Marathon 2012 – Run It Fast

The REAL Reason Death Valley National Park Has Suspended All Endurance Races?

[The following is what I’ve deciphered as the reason DVNP has suspended all permits for endurance activities within the park including the Badwater 135 Ultramarathon. DVNP has neither confirmed or denied my theory.]

Death Valley National Park Website: “Effective immediately Death Valley National Park will temporarily discontinue issuance of running and bicycling event permits. Future event permits will not be considered until a thorough safety evaluation of this type of activity has been completed.”

AdventureCORPS Website in Response to DVNP’s Decision: AdventureCORPS and Chris Kostman have hosted 89 events since 1990 under DVNP special event permits without ever being refused a permit by DVNP, the Department of Transportation, or Inyo County. There have been no deaths, no car crashes, no citations issued, and only a few evacuations by ambulance after literally millions of miles covered on foot or by bike by event participants.

Death Valley National Park is host to most famously the Badwater 135 Ultramarathon, along with The 508 (cycling), CORPScamp, Death Valley Trail Marathon, and several other endurance sports.

So why all of a sudden, out of the blue, would Death Valley National Park immediately suspend all running and cycling activities within the park without any warning or discussion?

The one word possibility – RADIOACTIVITY.

EnviroReporter, Michael Collins, tested the radiation at Furnace Creek in Death Valley National Park on November 23, 2013 (video below).

He measured the radiation at Furnace Creek at an astonishing 31.5x background via a water sample.

Collins states after the testing, “These are levels that far exceed what is considered safe. California Highway Patrol considers anything over 3x background to cause a hazardous material situation.”

Collins did tests over two days at varying spots across Death Valley. They read anywhere from 26.7x to 31.5x background.

It’s one thing for DVNP to let events proceed as normal with runners signing waivers from killing themselves in extreme heat, but it’s quite another to allow endurance athletes to inhale extremely high levels of radioactive air and dust for hours and days on end, with the dangerous possibility of said runners developing leukemia, thyroid cancer, or any cancer or damning health issue. It would truly be horrible and devastating.

Also, lawsuits would rapidly pile high in judge’s chambers from San Diego to Susanville and everywhere in between against DVNP and the government for (1) knowing of the radioactivity, (2) not disclosing it, (3) not taking extra precautions to protect the health and safety of citizens within the park.

Naturally, endurance athletes (in these great Death Valley races) would consume massive amounts of oxygen and dust filled with radioactive particles. Excessive exposure to extreme radiation for several days is a good bit different than Johnny B. Citizen’s one day journey to the park to take photos of the beautiful landscape of Death Valley.

Exposure in both cases though is dangerous. It’s a lot easier to deny a permit to race directors than to shut down the entire park to every tourist in the world.

So when you re-read the wording from DVNP about no race permits, “…until a thorough safety evaluation of this type of activity,” one may be able to piece together that something far more serious is happening than just the DVNP being cruel to ultra-runners.

Perhaps DVNP is actually doing tests and homework to see what type of harm can be caused by athletes being exposed to high levels of radiation in endurance events over many hours and days. They might also be running scenarios through it’s team of lawyers to determine what they can and should do to prevent potential lawsuits and liability.

Kostman eloquently stated in his response to the devastating news that there has been no deaths or serious health issues from any of the races that AdventureCORPS has held at Death Valley since 1990.

“It is unprecedented to place a one-year ban on existing sporting events within a National Park without any specific incident, accident, or complaint triggering such a drastic move. It is our contention that the events should be allowed to continue while the “safety review” unfolds.”

If there is extremely dangerous radiation levels currently in the park poisoning the air, dust, and water that likely could persist for some time.

Kostman has likely been left out in the cold and hasn’t been informed by DVNP officials of the exact reason. He comes across as sincerely befuddled by it all as would most of us after being blindsided out of the blue after many successful years hosting races in the park.

The radiation exposure and spike in California is of grave concern. For months those that were sounding off the dangerous siren regarding Fukushima were considered crazy or fearmongers.

Fukushima is an epic disaster that is eventually going to poison all of us in one way or another, directly or through the water we drink and food we consume no matter what coast we reside on.

Politicians and communities along the West Coast are finally waking up to the dangers from the Fukashima reactors.

The city of Fairfax, California recently drafted Resolution 13-57 in Support of Urgent International Rescue of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Facility:

“WHEREAS, this disaster presents one of the gravest threats and greatest technological challenges facing the international community, and as such demands an international response utilizing the world’s most accomplished experts as well as international funding on a level commensurate with humankind’s most ambitious efforts, in the interest of every nation; and,”

The resolution was signed by Fairfax’s mayor, John Reed, on November 6, 2013. Fairfax is northwest of Death Valley.

The radiation news coming out of Japan is not getting any better. It’s progressively growing into an even bigger and unsolvable problem that is killing ocean life and dropping radiation bombs all over the United States, mostly on the West Coast and California, but all over the country in different spots dependent upon various weather patterns.

Just today in Japan, TEPCO detected record radiation at reactor #2 of 1.9 million becquerels (bc/liter) up from the previous high of 1.8 million recorded just days ago on December 13th.

There is even a fictional book titled Badwater that is based on the theory of radioactive material being in Death Valley.

From the book cover: Forensic geologists Cassie Oldfield and Walter Shaws embark on a perilous hunt–tracking a terrorist who has stolen radioactive material that is hotter than the desert in August. He threatens to release it in America’s most fragile national park, Death Valley.

Coincidental…I think!

Running and endurance sports are an addiction and a lot of fun to many of us. Most of us have been inspired by other runners and in turn have inspired many others to take up running and endurance races.

I’ve applied to run Badwater the past two years and likely will try once again in February to get in to this prestigious race.

However, running and many other things become silly when extreme risks, like running in a radioactive hotbed of potential health issues become an added risk factor.

Is Badwater…….truly radioactive bad water, dust, and air?

I hope not! I hope the correlation I’ve tied above is totally not the reason and coincidental. I want Badwater to resume in July like it has for dozens of years. However, even if high radiation readings are not the reason for the suspension off race permits, it doesn’t mean that the extremely high levels of radiation in Death Valley National Park, and along the West Coast, aren’t legit and shouldn’t be taken seriously.

Hopefully, Death Valley National Park will come forward if the issue involves something as serious as high radiation levels within the park and be upfront with their reasons for denying the permits to Chris Kostman, AdventureCORPS, and other race directors.

Transparency is often promised but more often than not we get opaqueness.

[Read AdventureCORPS (Kostman’s) Full Response to DVNP and How to Help]

“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” – Andy Durfresne

-joshua holmes
(Follow on Twitter @bayou)

UPDATE: Response from Death Valley National Park

UPDATE 2: Badwater 135 Race Director Chris Kostman Responds to DVNP’s Kathy Billings

[Fukushima is spelled a couple of ways by different organizations/translations. I’ve seen it as Fukushima, Fukashima (Fairfax, CA), Fukishima]

Posted in Running, Ultra Marathon8 Comments


After the Flood

Running on what remained of Blackburn Fork Road

Josh wanted sixteen, and I had fourteen. That is, he wanted to go for a sixteen mile run, and I had a fourteen mile loop. My fourteen-mile loop went into Jackson County, a rural place where the dogs run free; and past Cummins Falls where the water runs wild.
The water of Blackburn Fork jumps off the falls and meanders down a narrow valley for ten miles before it joins Roaring River. You might call the valley a gorge; it is pretty narrow at the bottom and bounded by steep wooded slopes with some bluff outcroppings. A road surfaced with creek gravel, paved in places, follows the stream on its journey.
But I didn’t even mean to go there, down the gorge, I mean. The fourteen mile loop stayed above the valley. It merely went past the falls, staying on top. But, see, Josh wanted sixteen miles that morning.
The weather was hot, August hot. One bottle in a waist pack is not enough for such heat. The well-equipped ultra runner made preparations. I dug out the backpack I use for journey runs and such. It’s a tiny thing probably designed for the shorter torso of a woman. But it is just right. It is short enough to leave room for my regular waist pack below it. So I can go with both the waist pack for my bottle and still have a bit of cargo room in the little backpack.

Read the full story by Dallas Smith by clicking HERE

Posted in Running0 Comments

Carnival 20K Pin 2013

Carnival 20K Medals (2013)

This is the finisher’s pin for the Carnival 20K that was held on December 15, 2013 in Korolev, Russsia.

Congratulations to RIF #133 Michelle who was 2nd! These are her medals for 2nd:


[medal photo submitted by RIF #133 Michelle Mitchell – follow her on Twitter @runnerchickey]

Posted in Bling, Featured, Medals0 Comments

Kiawah Island Half Marathon Medal (2013)

Kiawah Island Half Marathon Medal (2013)

This is the finisher’s medal for the Kiawah Island Half Marathon that took place on December 14, 2013 in Kiawah Island, South Carolina.


[medal photo submitted by Heather Crittenden – follow her on Twitter @runningmommy08]

Posted in Bling, Featured, Half Marathon, Medals0 Comments

Run It Fast – Club Strava Leaderboard (Week Ending Dec 8, 2013)

Run It Fast – Club Strava Leaderboard (Week Ending Dec 8, 2013)

Run It Fast – Club on Strava Club Leaderboard from the week ending December 8, 2013.

Here is a look at how Run It Fast – Club members stacked up against each other on our Strava club page:

Total Distance:
1. Nick Nudell – 58.3
2. Alex Barrientos – 39.2
3. Dennis Arriaga – 34.6

Total Running Time:
1. Nick Nudell – 15hr 28min
2. Alex Barrientos – 6hr 21min

Fastest Pace
1. Dennis Arriaga – 7:57
2. Natalie Torres – 8:08
3. Matt George – 8:37

Longest Run
1. Nick Nudell – 50.4 mi
2. Alex Barrientos – 20.6 mi
3. Nathan Judd – 14.5 mi

Most Elevation Gain:
1. Nick Nudell – 10,413 ft
2. Dennis Arriaga – 757 ft
3. Matt George – 738 ft

If you are a Run It Fast – Club member then join our club on Strava (free) and see where you compare week to week:

Join Run It Fast – The Club HERE

Posted in Running0 Comments

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