Author Archives | Joshua Holmes

Ila Brandli 2017 Run It Fast Extreme Racer of the Year

Ila Brandli Wins Run It Fast’s 2017 Extreme Racer (Final Results)

Ila Brandli Wins Run It Fast’s 2017 Extreme Racer (Final Results)

Arizona’s Ila Brandli is the winner of Run It Fast’s Extreme Racer for 2017. Ila (RIF #644) ended the Extreme Racer year with an amazing 2,529.1 points.

She is the second female to win the Extreme Racer, and joins RIF legends Karen Vollan, John Leighton, Ed Ettinghausen, David Wingard, and Steve Hughes as winners of this year-long competition.

Ila completed 111 races in 2017 of half marathon distance (13.1) or longer for a total of 2,529.1 points. Extreme Racer awards 1 point for each race mile. She averaged 22.78 miles per race. Very impressive numbers. Congrats, Ila!

First place male and second place overall is RIF #263 Denis McCarthy with 2,172.39 points and third place Extreme Racer is RIF #638 Ken Fattmann with 2,002.5 points.

Run It Fast Members (who participated in Extreme Racer) ran 27,009.06 total miles for the year! If you are a RIF member and have questions on participating in Extreme Racer then simply message us.

Looking for races to enter? Be sure to check out the Run It Fast – Club Race Discounts in the Facebook group.

Top 3 Women for 2017: 1st Place, RIF #644 Ila Brandli – 2,529.1 points. 2nd Place, RIF #525 Karen Vollan – 1,762.8 points. 3rd Place, RIF #450 Patricia Klein – 1,644 points.

Top 3 Men for 2017: 1st Place, RIF #263 Denis McCarthy – 2,172.39 points. 2nd Place, RIF #638 Ken Fattmann – 2,002.5 points. 3rd Place, RIF #279 George Southgate  – 1,379.3 points.

Extreme Racer Final 2017 Standings

  1. Ila Brandli – 2,529.1 points (RIF #644)

  2. Denis McCarthy – 2,172.39 points (RIF #263)

  3. Ken Fattmann – 2,002.5 points (RIF #638)

  4. Karen Vollan – 1,762.8 points (RIF #525)

  5. Patricia Klein – 1,644 points (RIF #450)

  6. George Southgate – 1,379.3 points (RIF #279)

  7. Joshua Holmes – 1,197.5 points (RIF #1)

  8. Teal Clark – 1,077.4 points (RIF #473)

  9. Marylou Corino – 971.3 points (RIF #410)

  10. Andrea Kooiman – 903.5 points (RIF #404)

 

Extreme Racer Women’s Leaderboard

  1. Ila Brandli – 2,529.1 points (RIF #644)

  2. Karen Vollan – 1,762.8 points (RIF #525)

  3. Patricia Klein – 1,644 points (RIF #450)

  4. Teal Clark – 1,077.4 points (RIF #473)

  5. Marylou Corino – 971.3 points (RIF #410)

  6. Andrea Kooiman – 903.5 points (RIF #404)

  7. Tiffani Glass – 530.53 points (RIF #328)

  8. Greta Reed – 428.1 points (RIF #643)

  9. Cheryl Bryll – 413.3 points (RIF #432)

  10. Robin Brunet – 403.38 points (RIF #564)

  11. Christy Bowers – 387.8 points (RIF #60)

  12. Kit Brazier – 266.4 points (RIF #548)

  13. Diane Bolton – 259.2 points (RIF #159)

  14. Jill Williams – 202.12 points (RIF #521)

  15. Audrena Liu – 169.1 points (RIF #463)

  16. Marj Mitchell – 135.4 points (RIF #4)

  17. Taleighda Crowe – 120.4 points (RIF #628)

  18. Aimee Shilling – 101 points (RIF #418)

  19. Juleann Roberts – 88.08 points (RIF #623)

  20. Candice Graciano – 59.6 points (RIF #545)

  21. Michelle Talbott – 37.5 points (RIF #527)

  22. Sue Peterson – 37.2 points (RIF #648)

  23. Amber Huddleston – 31 points (RIF #626)

  24. Leslie Harwell – 16.2 points (RIF #417)

 

Extreme Racer Men’s Leaderboard

  1. Denis McCarthy – 2,172.39 points (RIF #263)

  2. Ken Fattmann – 2,002.5 points (RIF #638)

  3. George Southgate – 1,379.3 points (RIF #279)

  4. Joshua Holmes – 1,197.5 points (RIF #1)

  5. Shane Tucker – 814.8 points (RIF #337)

  6. Jeremy Reed – 731.4 points (RIF #642)

  7. Derek Tinnin – 635.2 points (RIF #637)

  8. Seth Crowe – 626.8 points (RIF #541)

  9. Calix Fattmann – 593.6 points (RIF #653)

  10. John Kent Leighton – 545.9 points (RIF #190)

  11. Eric Hunziker – 458.6 points (RIF #660)

  12. Mike Samuelson – 429 points (RIF #282)

  13. Steve Acciarito – 413.8 points (RIF #607)

  14. Chewey BK Lam – 402.8 points (RIF #679)

  15. Michael SK Mortensen – 305.5 points (RIF #553)

  16. Steven Smith – 250 points (RIF #387)

  17. Jean Aponte – 247.2 points (RIF #659)

  18. Jared Matsunaga – 222 points (RIF #665)

  19. Michael Dasalla – 188.6 points (RIF #411)

  20. Darrell Richardson – 173.1 points (RIF #625)

  21. Aaron Braunstein – 166.8 points (RIF #355)

  22. Aaron Smith – 161.1 points (RIF #640)

  23. Stewart Crouch – 120.3 points (RIF #89)

  24. Shane Beck – 72.4 points (RIF #585)

  25. Charles Roberts – 67.86 points (RIF #622)

  26. Matthew Berube – 50 points (RIF #651)

  27. David Essary – 6.2 points (RIF #475)

 

Past Extreme Racer Winners

2016 Extreme Racer Winner – Karen Vollan (Results)

2015 Extreme Racer Winner – John Leighton (Results)

2014 Extreme Racer Winner – Ed Ettinghausen (Results)

2013 Extreme Racer Winner – David Wingard (Results)

2012 Extreme Racer Winner – Steve Hughes (Results)

“Believe that you can run farther or faster. Believe that you’re young enough, old enough, strong enough, and so on to accomplish everything you want to do. Don’t let worn-out beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself.” –John Bingham, running speaker and writer

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

 

Posted in Extreme Racer, Running0 Comments

Andrea Kooiman and Marylou Corino HURT 100

7 Miles from Glory: Marylou Corino’s HURT 100 Redemption

7 MILES
Marylou Corino’s HURT 100 Redemption

7 miles- a run I can often do in the morning before work or even squeeze in during my one hour lunch break.  I fell 7 miles short of finishing the HURT 100 back in Jan 2017.  That was my first DNF (did not finish).   I took not finishing it quite personally. I have finished everything I had started up until that point and couldn’t leave this unfinished. I am just not wired that way.

As soon as I returned home, I was determined to go back in 2018 to finish it. Needless to say those 7 miles would fuel what would be my most intense year of training to date. In order to succeed the following year, I had to examine what didn’t work the year before.  I figured out three things:  a) I needed to move faster (especially at night). b) I needed to work on my hiking skills and c) I needed to stay fueled and hydrated properly during the race.

photo: Augusto Castro

I really wanted to find terrain that would mimic the race course as much as possible. Anyone who has done HURT knows that is not an easy task to replicate that twisted and grueling landscape.  The HURT 100 boasts 24,500 feet of climbing. It consists exclusively of technical, single track trail on surfaces that include (HUGE) roots, rocks and soil in a wide range of conditions from sun baked clay to mud of varying depth. Sudden hairpin turns and steep inclines of up to approximately two miles in length are a common occurrence. Very few sections of the course can be run with a consistent stride for more than several hundred yards at a time. There are a total of 20 stream crossings.

The Bruce Trail, here in Ontario, is filled with rocks and roots so I spent a lot of time on this trail getting my feet used to that type of terrain.  As a flatlander, I needed to improvise on trying to get some good climbing in. I spent hours doing hill repeats, climbing on the treadmill, stair climbing, and hill work on the elliptical. In addition, I was trying to make the legs even stronger through strength training. I spent morning, lunch hours, afternoons after work and at night getting the training in. Most days were double or triple workouts. I wasn’t even sure I was in the race yet.  (The lottery didn’t happen until August).

Simply put, from February to August I was training for a race I wasn’t even sure I was going to run. I woke up some mornings wanting to do nothing but sleep. But in the corner of my eye I could see the HURT 100 shirt from 2017 hanging in my closet (never worn) and that was enough for me to get up and out of bed. It’s important to ALWAYS remember why you are doing something so you continue to chase it.

I ran quite a few races in 2017 but I felt the following three would help immensely in getting me ready for the HURT 100. I signed up for the Cruel Jewel 100 (close to 110miles) , Barkley Fall Classic ( “50km”) and the Grindstone 100 In Virginia. All three were challenging in different ways. I spent 2 nights completing both hundreds and the BFC had its own unique climbs. I didn’t run any of them fast but with each race I was developing my mental strength and stamina which I knew I would need to complete the HURT 100.

Fast Forward to Saturday January 13, 2018. I was at the start line of my second attempt of the HURT 100. Dan, my husband, was right there by my side.  He has and continues to be my biggest fan and supporter.

As I was trying to soak in this second chance, I couldn’t help but feel nervous. So many hours of hard work and sacrifice brought me to this moment.  I knew there was nothing more I could have done. I had a great support system at the race and back home.  The race started and all those nerves went away.  I broke up the race in parts, just focusing on getting from one aid station to the next.  I finished the first loop in just under 5 hours and 20 minutes. I am not sure even now if that was too fast. All I knew was that I needed to be faster than last year. The course was just as beautiful and tough as I remembered it.

photo: Kalani Pascual

I had a quick bite to eat, changed socks, and started loop 2. It definitely got warmer and I seemed to be getting hungrier faster. I decided to eat every 45 minutes and eat large quantities of food at the aid stations because at HURT there is always a monster climb after every aid station. I got through loop 2 before dark and it was here where I took a few minutes to change clothes, devour a monster cheeseburger from Dan, and get ready for the night portion that would cover the jungle during loop 3.

Last year loop 3 was my race breaker. I lost so much time in the dark that I started loop 4 chasing cutoffs the rest of the race.   I made sure this year to have a good headlamp and flashlight and neither disappointed.  Navigating HURT during the day is hard but having to navigate it during the dark feels like you are running a completely different and more sinister race.  I finished loop 3,  1.5 hours faster than last year. This gave me a huge confidence booster although I wasn’t celebrating just yet.  I still had 40 miles to complete.  I was also very lucky to have shared some good miles with Joshua Holmes. We were never more than 15 minutes apart. I do believe without a doubt he helped push me through that third loop.

I was quite sleepy during loop 4 but needed to stay awake and focused on the trail to avoid a fall or injury. I never felt alone during the race. It always encouraging to see runners on the course and every aid station was lively and celebratory no matter the time.  I got to see Andrea Kooiman not only at the Nu’uanu aid station where she was volunteering but also at night when she paced Joshua. She had DNF’d and time out at mile 93 the year before I did. She returned last year to successfully finish the race. Our paths crossed many times and this always lifted my spirits.  I could often hear her from as far as 2 miles away. The ‘Nu’uanu Boom-Box’ as they called her on the trail.

Both Andrea and Joshua were a great source of support for me as I got ready during 2017 to attempt HURT the second time around. We bonded at several events including the Badwater Salton Sea where we were a 3 person team that had to stay together for all 81 miles.

During the 4th loop (80 miles in) I saw my second sunrise and finished that loop leaving about 9 hours to complete the fifth and final one. I just needed to keep moving to get that buckle. This is where the extra ounce of mental toughness I developed during training and running harder trail races came in.  A pacer ran with me for about 14 or 15 miles and this made the time go by somewhat quickly.  As I left the Nu’uanu aid station at mile 93 (one last time and with time to spare!)  I felt overwhelmingly joyous. I was going to complete those 7 miles that I couldn’t complete last year.  Although it was still 7 difficult miles to finish the race, it felt like a victory lap of sorts. The past 12 months of hard work had paid off.

Coming into the HURT 100 start/finish area for the last time is a feeling I soon will not forget.  I lifted my hands up, rang the bell and kissed the sign in a time of 35:40:15. I had done it…all that hard work…redemption!

And as the sign says  “We wouldn’t want it to be easy.”  That’s good because I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Marylou Corino (RIF #411)
HURT 100 Mile Finisher
35:40:15
January 13-14, 2018

Join Run It Fast – The Club

Posted in Running0 Comments

Steve Troxel, Whit Guthrie, and Joshua Holmes

Trail of Fears Race Recap from Steve Troxel

Trail of Fears Race Report by 2nd place finisher Steve Troxel

To put this report in perspective, you ought to know a few things about me.

I’m 58 years old with 10 grandkids.
I’m relatively new to running – been consistent for about 6 years.
I’m very new to this ultra world – first ultra distance was 50 miles at RUTS last year.

I ran TOF last year and made it 10 loops for an 8th place finish. This year I knew I was in better condition and said I would be absolutely thrilled to make it to the final 5 or 6. I have such great respect for the group that showed up for this race.

The intriguing thing about ultra events is that you really don’t know how your body will respond. There are so many variables with nutrition, gut, and muscle fatigue/strain that it’s difficult, if not impossible to accurately predict a specific outcome – too many things can go wrong, and they usually do.

My plan from the beginning was to run super easy and meet new people. The first several loops were great as I talked a bunch and was usually one of the last to finish the loop. By loops four and five I noticed my quads were a lot more tired than they ought to be. This was not a good sign. I had just run a PR marathon (3:17:01) at St. Jude two weeks earlier and figured I wasn’t fully recovered. I kept with the plan and the loops just kept clicking off.

On loops eight and nine, I had to run a little faster so I could change into my tights and different socks. This transition went well and I felt prepared as darkness approached. Loop 10 we had 13 runners and this was the first loop we had to switch on our headlamps. By the start of loop 11 we were down to 7 runners, and as we took the picture to start the loop I actually teared up. As I looked at the group I was on the line with, I just felt so incredibly blessed.

Now a side bar. One of the issues with getting a little older is with night vision. My vision becomes more and more blurry as the lights begin to fade. I knew this was going to be a problem so I ordered a new headlamp and some handheld flashlights. Loop 11 was great! I felt I could see as well as in the daylight. But on loop 12 my lights began to dim. What the heck!!? The rest of the loops became a lighting headache.

No one dropped on loop 11. On loop 12, I ended up behind Francesca Muccini and we power walked much of the second half of the course. This is actually not a bad strategy. Francesca is a fast walker and, if you stay focused, you can almost walk as fast as you can run over much of the course. Plus, walking behind allowed me to get some help from her headlamp.

I changed batteries after loop 12 and thought I was good. All 7 runners started loop 13 and I, once again, fell in behind Francesca. However, she was doing a lot of power walking at the beginning of this loop and I started to get concerned. By the halfway point, I felt we were too far behind to continue this strategy so I said I had to press ahead. Francesca just missed the cutoff for loop 13. That left 6 for the start of loop 14.

No one dropped on loop 14 but my headlamp problems continued. The lamp/flashlight combination would work for a short time and then begin to dim. As the lights dimmed, I became tentative in my steps and fell hard on both the 14th and 15th loop.

All 6 runners started the 15th loop and I started behind Randy Broadway. When we came out of the first side branch, he stopped and said he was done. I gave him a big hug – I really like and respect Randy – and continued. I really just kept plodding along. My legs felt good and I wasn’t having any major stomach issues. I still have a ways to go with proper eating in these longer races but at least I wasn’t completely falling apart. But as I already said, my lighting was not good and I fell hard. Marylou sprinted in with just 1 second left on the clock and Stewart Crouch said he was done. That left 4 runners to start loop 16.

Loop 16 was exciting since it was going to set a course record. I continued to fight my headlamp issue. I found that if I turned it off for a while and just used the flashlight I could then turn it back on for a while. This was working but it was draining me mentally. After completing the 16th loop, I asked if anyone had a headlamp I could borrow.  William Pinson let me borrow Megan‘s. This allowed me to step to the line on the 17th loop. I was surprised that Marylou decided to drop. Three of us started loop 17.

Though the borrowed headlamp helped, I really needed something brighter. I was able to run but had to keep telling myself, “Get ready to fall, get ready to fall.” Midway through this loop I decided this was no longer safe. I felt ok, but just knew I was going to get hurt. Again, this is more a mental struggle than anything, and I was getting mentally worn out. I decided I was going to line up for loop 18 but if Joshua Holmes started running I was going to stop.

All three of us lined up for loop 18. Josh said go, I took several steps and, to my surprise, Josh stayed on the line and said, “Have a good run.” I quickly ran up to Whit Guthrie and let him know Josh was not continuing. I said that if he would help guide me with his headlamp we could call this the last lap and he would win. Turns out, he was very ready to be done and was glad for the plan. We made it through the loop without incident and Whit is a true champion!

In my limited experience, I have found that competing at the ultra level is both physical and mental. I was definitely prepared physically and would not change anything in my training. Mentally, I learned a bunch, as we probably do in every race we run. I will NEVER be in this situation with lighting again – this is an easy problem to fix. The mental lessons are something I will take with me into my next bunch of races, including 2019 TOF, and will make me stronger.

My parting note to older runners: You can do more than you think is possible!

My parting note to all runners: I lost my mom to cancer when she was 43 and then lost by baby sister to cancer when she was 43. NEVER forget that what we do is a wonderful gift. Be determined to truly live each day we are given!!

Steve Troxel (2nd place finisher of the 2017 Trail of Fears)
December 16, 2017

Posted in Race Reports, Ultra Marathon0 Comments

Camille Herron Fastest 100 Mile Female Ever

Camille Herron Breaks Female 100 Mile Fastest Time Ever

Camille Herron Fastest 100 Mile Female Ever

At the Tunnel Hill 100 Miler in Vienna, Illinois, moments ago, Camille Herron just ran the fastest 100 miler by a female setting a world record.

She finished the flat rails to trail course in a mind-numbing time of 12:42:39.

Camille’s Tunnel Hill 100 Miler Splits

  • 10.9 miles – 1:18:21
  • 15.9 miles – 1:56:45
  • 26.8 miles – 3:13:03
  • 36.3 miles – 4:24:23
  • 40.5 miles – 4:56:05
  • 50.0 miles – 6:07:53
  • 60.9 miles – 7:28:46
  • 65.9 miles – 8:10:01
  • 76.8 miles – 9:33:16
  • 86.3 miles – 10:52:14
  • 90.5 miles – 11:26:56
  • 100.0 miles – 12:42:39

Camille was the overall winner of the race.

Congrats Camille on your World Record.

Posted in Running, Ultra Marathon0 Comments

Joshua Holmes Barkley Fall Classic TSD1

El Clásico de Barkley (a 2017 odisea de carrera)

IMG_5064

the barkley fall classic
frozen head state park
wartburg, tn
16 sept 2017

it is a race like no other
based on an even more insane
impossible event like no other
the barkley marathons
the race that eats it’s young

the barkley fall classic has grown quickly
to over 400 runners in just 3 years
trying to finish
wicked
gnarly
back mountain trails and hillsides
to get to laz
for a bonus loop
for a 50k – mile finish
for as advertised it is more
bang for your buck than just 31 miles
some say 48 miles
the lowest estimate was 40 miles

you see
no gps is allowed at the barkley
despite incessant cicadas beeping at mile 1 and beyond

before the race started
as i was getting my gear together
while downing my fourth organic pop tart of the morning

Joshua Holmes

a race vet
in the car next to me
told me that we were required to have a light
in our drop bag at mile 22…ahem 35
i had not even brought a light from the west coast
because i didn’t plan to run past the sun
but it was for sure more of a safety precaution
in case one got lost
as frozen head state park has been known
to swallow a wardian or two before
i had my phone flashlight
but RIF member cathy downes told me
she had an extra headlamp in her drop bag i could use if needed
her kindness stuck with me
as i thought about how many nice things
run it fast members have done for me over the past few years

Laz Lighting Up Barkley Fall Classic 2017

the race starts with the laz lighting a cigarette
just like he starts the big barkley in the spring
laz lit up and we all took off like any other race
yet we all knew we were about to enter a vast unknown

400 of us dashed down the paved road
taking advantage of the smooth surface and cool temps
about 50 feet in i hear some dudes behind me saying,
“someone is really going to miss that water bottle later.”
so i remember my soft flask i had stuck in my pocket pre-race
and check my pocket and it’s not there
so i immediately start swimming upstream
against a torrid stampede of anxious and eager buffalo
i finally see my bottle and runners stepping on it
oblivious to what was going on
they just saw this runner going the wrong way without a guide
i finally grab it and spend the next few min cleaning it with my shirt

so back to moving forward in the correct forward position
all of a sudden felt like getting shot out of a cannon
the first mile is on pavement before you reach the famed yellow gates
of frozen head made famous by the barkley
the race that eats it’s young
a sort of golden arches of sorts for ultra mile junkies

everyone was full of optimism and nerves
knowing that likely just 120 or so of the 400 starters would finish the 50k
i wondered who the other 119 would be myself

any race i begin
i visualize myself with only one outcome
coming out clean on the other side
no matter how ugly or desperate it might become

as unforgiving as little bark is
there is still some insurance knowing that you can
take a marathon
more like true 50k finish
if it goes to hell or you don’t make the cutoff at laz

the first few miles from the gate were on a single track trail
the climb was pretty gradual
and not too technical

Joshua Holmes Barkley Fall Classic TSD1

even though we were slowing climbing
i pushed the pace
i had gone out aggressive
to avoid massive conga lines
to find some space
to be able to operate
breath
find rhythm
the marvin gaye type
smooth
easy
effortless
and not over run
to avoid being over run
or be hung up
on the heels of whoever lay before me

i worked through this section
with rif member lisa van wolde
we would move past other runners
on this single track together
which made it easier for both of us
to get by quicker using less energy

you come upon the first aid station about 4 miles in
where the coalfield boys
high school football players held the jugs
that didn’t have moonshine
but had water and sword instead

i quickly refilled and kept down the trail
until coming upon a photographer
not my first in this life
a couple of us tried to run past her
continuing on down the trail
but she quickly said, “no, that way!”
as she pointed into the true wilderness
down a ravine into a giant lake
but it wasn’t a lake but just massive fog
onto of the moguls
this was testicle spectacle

quickly into testicle
i found a steep
slick
down where i could get no footing
i had put on my brush clearing gloves
as i knew i was about to be tested
my legs came out from under me
and i slide down the hillside about 20 feet
before i could get my legs under me again

this went on a few times
with some moderate climbs
for a mile and half or so
then we turned left into some low lying ground
and waded through a creek

IMG_4980

luckily i was behind dewayne satterfield
who has done big bark
because none of this was marked
there was for sure no trail at this point
just some creek funk thing
that looked a bit like the forked deer in west tn

well found a road on the other side of the marsh
then quickly over a wooden bridge
we ran
into a small white country church
that had an aid station to the right of it
as advertised it had water
sword
slim jims
and long elongated yellow fruits
this was also where we got our first bib punch
i think it was the letter i

testicle is an out and back
being near the lead of the pack it meant we were going to see
a lot of terrified faces coming at us
escaping testicle on the way out
is even more difficult than it was sliding down
into this foggy bottom

IMG_4977

as my mouth burned from slim jims
that were obviously soaked in tabasco
i quickly found myself on my hands and knees
trying to get up the muddy hillside
it is amazing how high your heart rate rises
when you are on all fours
trying to get any grip of the earth you can
to climb up

the two way traffic wasn’t easy
people were slipping and sliding into each other
but everyone was polite and understanding

once we escaped testicle
we hit that same photographer again
for the after ts photo
as i have told other runners
always know where the photographers are

IMG_5065

thinking we were getting a temporarily hiatus from the gnarly stuff
i took my gloves off
as we crossed the trail down into methlab hill
some parts of meth were worse than testicle
it could have been called testicle part 2
it included more butt sliding
and knocking other runners further down into the ravine
shortly after you bottom out on meth
you hit the prison

i hit it in 3 hrs 7 min 6 sec from the start

brushy mountain state penitentiary that is
an expired prison where james earl ray
the white supremacist
who killed the transcendent Martin Luther King was jailed
for many years
laz says he got the idea for barkley
back in the late 70s when ray escaped
it took several days for authorities to recapture him
but they did 58 hours later
he had only made it 5 miles in that time
due to the intense rugged mountains and lacking a garmin

IMG_5015

the prison looked straight out of shawshank
i went in the front door
and walked through the first building
then into the second building where most of the cells where located
a volunteer told me that cell 27 had been ray’s
as i walked by and looked into 27
all i could think about
was what a cowardly
loser
pos ray was for killing king
a man of peace

IMG_4992

after the cells it was out the side door
into the back yard behind the penitentiary
where we scaled a ladder over the back prison wall
and down the other side
where i got my second bib punch of the morning
the letter r

IMG_4999

the bib puncher
keith dunn
directed me to run around the back corner of the prison wall
and through a long
dark tunnel
the tunnel had a feint light at the other end of it
there was a slow stream of water flowing through the tunnel
more flashbacks to andy durfresne escaping from shawshank
it was pitch black in the tunnel
but i ran and trusted my footing would not be compromised

Prison Tunnel

then i took a sharp left
into some overgrown
green centrifuge
a couple min into it
as it started to climb
i asked another runner
if it was rat jaw
the infamous rat jaw
up the steep mountain side
under the power lines
the answer was in the affirmative

gloves back on
it was wildly overgrown
from a healthy rain season
i moved pretty quickly
up the first half of this rat’s nest
then i started to see a long line of runners stack up above me
stuck in the greenness
briars
thick
long
executing briars
that none of us could escape
i asked another runner if the half marathon was merging with us
as so many runners had grinder to a halt
stuck in the thick of it
it was so overgrown and thick with no where to go
a path had to be slowly carved
with human bodies

robert youngren
who moments before grabbed my feet below me
to give me a solid surface to climb up
as i couldn’t get a grip
started a new
revolutionary path he started blazing
with a mini train behind him
i was about the seventh car in this train
this was painfully slow but rob was taking most of the abuse
as the conductor of this train
our train was slow but steady
moving faster than the longer train
that seemed stuck in a paused motion
perhaps mighty casey had run out of steam
rob got us to the top
passing several in the other train in the process

IMG_5066

it took time but finally we reached the top of rat jaw
60 runners had stacked up behind us

rat jaw had been the great equalizer
almost like a nascar caution flag to bring the field all back together

quickly we climbed to the top of the watch tower and back down
quick aid station stop after the tower for refills
and then some downhill jeep roads
to garden spot
then to bald knob

most vets had underestimated how hard the back side
of the race would be
since rat jaw and testacle were knocked out earlier on

bird mountain was a formidable foe
it wasn’t gnarly or impossible
but due to not knowing exactly how long the course was
it seemed to go on forever

i knew we were many miles beyond what the map said
but as they say laz miles are way longer than actual miles
like 1.5x longer
the bird mtn miles seemed to go on forever
i kept thinking we had to be close to laz and dropbags

finally we come off the trail
back onto park roads
and after about 1/2 a mile later to our drop bags
and then laz
with an elapsed time of 8:03:30 to that point

IMG_4961

laz punched my bib
and made mention of how well i was doing
seeming a bit surprised
maybe it was because when i first met him on the ferry
in dorena landing years ago
at the start of the vol state
he looked at me and my crew
consisting of my high school cousin and his buddy
and told me
look to your left and your right
one of you will finish this race
i could tell his confidence was not in me being the one
i was very green then
i am just light
lime green now

other runners had warned me that the last loop was 9 miles
like 9 actual miles not laz miles

the climb up to chimney top was a long 5-6 mile climb
others had opted to grab poles out of their drop bags
i didn’t want to cheat my exercise routine with poles

early in the climb i was passed by a handful of hikers
i mean runners
as the climb wore on
i started to catch and reel in a couple of them
by being persistent and relentless

Chimney Top

i finally hit the top of chimney top
and you know how i knew it was the top of chimney top
because there was a mf chimney at the top of the climb
in the middle of nowhere
no house with it
no signs of a house
just a chimney and fireplace
no smoke
prevent forest fires
it was then i realized that i was at the top of chimney top
i did not need a sign to tell me

after chimney’s top started a gradual downhill
not many other runners were around at this point
another runner was in front of me
and after a mile and a sharp turn to the left down the mountain
we both started to get nervous wondering if we were on the right trail
or if we had become lost
and if so how lost where we and would we have enough time
to get back on the correct trail and make the cutoff
i pulled out my cloth map several times
and each time wadded it back into my pocket
unable to make sense of it
we both were running well
but simply did not see any other human beings
as more and more indecision began to set in

finally we saw another runner
and a volunteer
with a hole puncher and jugs of water
i refilled all 4 bottles i had with me
the volunteer punched my bib
and knew exactly how much of the course remained
he told us 2.5 miles back to laz
and about 3.4 total to the finish
and that it was all down hill

i took off running
knowing i needed to be perfect
if i wanted to break 11 hours
i knew i was about in 23rd position as well
however i didn’t know the terrain or the accuracy of the distance
but i ran hard smelling the barn
or perhaps it was myself
but either way it fueled me to another gear
that had been abandoned miles earlier

i caught a couple runners including youngren
who was probably simply tired
from sleepless nights with his new baby
and then shortly after there was laz and friends
i slowed just enough to ask if we needed another punch
laz said no and i turned it up knowing 10 hrs 52 min had expired
on the clock

1 mile
8 min or less
again was the distance accurate or not
i didn’t know
but i ran harder

another runner was alongside me
as i had caught him near laz
we were both chasing sub 11
we ran that last road like it was a legit 5k
i hit the pavement and emptied all my bottles
to get as light as possible knowing every second would matter

the other runner
nathan i believe
got a few feet in front and i followed in his wake
a couple turns hoping the end was in sight
clock ticking
a clock with no mind or mercy of what i wanted

i finally start to hear people
then i see the grassy field knowing to turn right
for the finishing arches
i see the clock at 10:59:30
i sprinted in comfortably over those 40 yards
crossing the finish line in 10:59:43

IMG_5007

a time that would matter only to me
breaking 11 hours that would only matter to me
but it had mattered to me for several miles
because it helped me stay focused and on point
it helped me prevent bad miles
and gave me something to focus on
and help drive me those last few miles to the finish

my last mile was 7 min 11 sec

the first person i saw after finishing was my good friend
rif member and bfc rd steve durbin
it was good to see him
he congratulated me and i thanked him for an amazing event
i was then presented with the prized
croix de barque for finishing

IMG_5104

i caught my breath
drank a few bottles of sword from the orange cooler
and then walked backwards on the course
to cheer in other runners
and root for my fellow run it fast members than remained on the course
slowly
one by one they found the finish as i had
some had made the 50k cutoff and finish
others had been turned in early
but all seemed satisfied with the effort they put forth that day

they knew they hadn’t don’t a normal race
and they were proud of the valiant effort they gave
they had been challenged in a new way
and had dug deep or discovered a new depth for the first time

after a few photos and hugs
i redeemed my post race meal card for a veggie burger
i am not even a vegetarian but it sounded like what my stomach
would agree with
and it was spot on

IMG_5099
i beat the rat

i traded war stories from the course and other battles
with other veteran ultra runners
from the past and present
the weather had been perfect
the course ripe
and i was pleased with my effort

my goal had been to finish in the top 20 and sub 11
i was 20th overall and 18th male
in a time of 10:59:43

Run It Fast Barkley Fall Classic 2017 Finishers 2

it was a good feeling to run well
and share in so many others achievements
i wore the rat bites and dozens of flesh wounds with pride
a very special running
epic event
race directed by my good friends durb and laz

IMG_4967
rif members before the lighting of the cigarette

congrats to all who were brave enough to toe the start
whether you got a finish or not
it takes a lot to take on a task like the bfc

thank you to all the volunteers
and football players
and friends
who were encouraging
helpful
resourceful
and made it possible to finish
marathon/ultra #197

and a special thanks
to all my Run It Fast friends
who continue to inspire and drive me
every race
step by step

joshua holmes
run it fast
2017

barkley fall classic results – 2017
photos: susan typert, daryl ann patton

Posted in Barkley Marathons, Race Reports, Running, Ultra Marathon0 Comments

Francois D’haene Wins 2017 UTMB – IRunFar

François D’haene Wins the 2017 UTMB (Top 10 Results)

Francois D'haene Wins 2017 UTMB - IRunFar

France’s François D’haene held off Spain’s Kilian Jornet to win the 2017 Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc with a time of 19:01:32.

Jornet finished 15 minutes back in 19:16:38. The first American, third overall, finisher was Tim Tollefson in 19:53:00.

Top 10 Finishers 2017 UTMB

  1. François D’HAENE (France) – 19:01:32
  2. Kilian JORNET (Spain) – 19:16:38
  3. Tim TOLLEFSON (USA) – 19:53:00
  4. Xavier THEVENARD (France) – 20:03:14
  5. Jim WALMSLEY (USA) – 20:11:38
  6. Pau CAPELL (Spain) – 20:12:43
  7. Dylan BOWMAN (USA) – 20:19:48
  8. Gediminas GRINIUS (Lithuania) – 21:24:19
  9. Zach MILLER (USA) – 21:28:32
  10. Jordi GAMITO (Spain) – 21:44:31

Spain’s Nuria Picas was the female winner of the 2017 UTMB in 25:46:43 barely holding off Switzerland’s Andrea Huser who finished less than 3 minutes back in 25:49:18. Third female went to France’s Christelle Bard in 26:39:03.

Top 5 Female Finishers 2017 UTMB

  1. Núria PICAS (Spain) – 25:46:43
  2. Andrea HUSER (Switzerland) – 25:49:18
  3. Christelle BARD (France) – 26:39:03
  4. Kaori NIWA (Japan) – 27:31:39
  5. Kellie EMMERSON (Australia) – 28:13:06

2017 UTMB Results and Live Tracking

[image: @iRunFar

Posted in Featured, International, Results, Ultra Marathon, UTMB0 Comments

Mary Keitany London Marathon Women Only World Record – Run It Fast

Mary Keitany Breaks Women’s Only World Record at London Marathon

Mary Keitany London Marathon Women Only World Record - Run It Fast

Kenya’s Mary Keitany made marathon history at the London Marathon on Sunday when she ran the fastest marathon ever in a ‘Women’s Only’ marathon with a time of 2:17:01.

The IAAF recognizes two world records for women, a “Mixed Gender” record of 2:15:25, set by Paula Radcliffe of the United Kingdom on April 13, 2003 at the London Marathon, and a (pending ratification) “Women Only” record of 2:17:01, set by Mary Keitany, on April 23, 2017 at the London Marathon. – Wikipedia

It is Keitany’s third time to win the London Marathon.

Mary Keitany London Marathon Time Women Only World Record - Run It Fast

Super fast and impressive job by Mary.  One day Radcliffe’s mixed women’s record will fall but the fact that it has stood for 14 years and has had little competition in that time is a testament to what a performance Paula but down back at the London Marathon in 2003.

Daniel Wanjiru London Marathon 2017 Winner - Run It Fast

Fellow Kenyan Daniel Wanjiru won the men’s race with a time of 2:05:48.

images: @LondonMarathon

Posted in International, London Marathon, Marathon, Running0 Comments

Geoffrey Kirui Wins Boston Marathon

Geoffrey Kirui Wins 2017 Boston Marathon Over Galen Rupp (Results)

Geoffrey Kirui Wins Boston Marathon

Kenya’s Geoffrey Kirui broke away from American Galen Rupp over the last 2 miles to win the 2017 Boston Marathon in 2:09:37.  Rupp finished 20 seconds behind in 2:09:57.

Both men broke away from a large pack of elites with about 10k to go. Many thought Rupp would outkick Kirui to the finish but that simply wasn’t the case as Kirui broke away with ease to secure the victory.

Top 10 Boston Marathon Men

  1. Geoffrey Kirui – 2:09:37 (KEN)
  2. Galen Rupp – 2:09:57 (USA)
  3. Suguru Osako – 2:10:28 (JPN)
  4. Shadrack Biwott – 2:12:08 (USA)
  5. Wilson Chebet – 2:12:35 (KEN)
  6. Abdi Abdirahman – 2:12:45 (USA)
  7. Agustus Maiyo – 2:13:16 (USA)
  8. Dino Sefir – 2:14:26 (ETH)
  9. Luke Puskedra – 2:14:45 (USA)
  10. Jared Ward – 2:15:28 (USA)

American Meb Keflezighi finished 2:17:01 in what he has said will be his last Boston Marathon as an elite competitor. His last race will be the New York City Marathon. Big thank you to Meb for all he has done for the sport and marathoning in the USA.

Congrats to Geoffrey and all the elite men on great performances today.

Posted in Boston Marathon, Marathon, Running0 Comments

Edna Kiplagat Wins Boston Marathon 2017

Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat Wins 2017 Boston Marathon (Women) – Results

Edna Kiplagat Wins Boston Marathon 2017
,

Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat dominated the 2017 Boston Marathon winning the 121st running of the prestigious race in a time of 2:21:51

She led nearly from wire to wire and over the second half of the race she had no one close to her.

Congrats to Edna on an amazing and dominant performance.

Boston Marathon Top 10 Women:

  1. Edna Kiplagat – 2:21:51 (KEN)
  2. Rose Chelimo – 2:22:51 (BRN)
  3. Jordan Hasay – 2:23:00 (USA)
  4. Des Linden – 2:25:06 (USA)
  5. Gladys Cherono – 2:27:20 (KEN)
  6. Valentine Kipketer – 2:29:35 (KEN)
  7. Buzunesh Deba – 2:30:58 (ETH)
  8. Brigid Kosgei – 2:32:48 (KEN)
  9. Diane Nukuri – 2:32:24 (BDI)
  10. Ruti Aga – 2:33:26 (ETH)

Amazing performances by all the lead women.

Posted in Boston Marathon, Marathon, Running0 Comments

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.51.33 AM

Laz’s Regret with Gary Robbins Near Barkley Finish

Lazarus Lake explains the hectic and chaos at the finish of The Barkley Marathons yesterday when Gary Robbins arrived at the yellow gate after 60 hours 00 minutes 06 seconds.

Here is what he said to clarify what happened at The Yellow Gate:

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.51.33 AM

 

Explained in a way only Laz can explain.

Congrats to John Kelly on becoming the 16th finisher of The Barkley Marathons. Big tip of the hat as well to Gary Robbins on an amazing effort that was just barely short. True #RunItFast Grit.

Posted in Barkley Marathons, Running, Ultra Marathon1 Comment


Run It Fast on Twitter

twitter button free

Archives