Tag Archive | "Death Valley Trail Marathon"

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

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Joshua Holmes – Denmark Dash 5K – Feb 2012 – Run It Fast

42 Mini Race Reports: Joshua Holmes’ 2012 in Review

42 Mini Race Reports: Joshua Holmes’ 2012 in Review

Here is a quick look at the 42 races I ran in 2012. That total is comprised of 32 ultras and marathons that averaged 50.50 miles and ten shorter races consisting of 10k’s, 5k’s, etc.

2012 Marathons and Ultras for Joshua Holmes

  1. Walt Disney World Marathon (26.2) – 3:32:23 – One of my faster marathons. Great training with James Krenis leading up to this race to help him to reach his goal of running a sub-4 hour marathon. If you had to train for one marathon and really wanted a big, grand experience with a lots of sights and people then the WDW Marathon should be on your list.  – January 8, 2012
  2. Maui Oceanfront Marathon (26.2) – 3:37:58 – I broke a couple of ribs surfing two days prior to this race. I could only take half breaths and rib cage/chest/arm became extremely painful the last 15 miles. Couldn’t lift arm afterwards without extreme pain in ribs. Always fun catching up with the speedy RIF #70 Chuck ‘Marathonjunkie’ Engle. Maui Oceanfront is a beautiful marathon with amazing views the last 18 miles along the coastline. – January 22, 2012
  3. Jackson Jackass 50K (31.0) – 6:29:29 – A race I decided to put together to help a friend run his first 50K. I was nursing a broken rib so I was cautious throughout the race, yet still slipped and fell 10x on this very muddy and messy course from heavy rains the night before. A very challenging yet fun day. – February 4, 2012
  4. Carl Touchstone Memorial 50 Miler (50.0) – 10:22:07 – This was a very muddy and wet course. Over 80 water crossings, most thigh high and extended for 20-30 feet at a time. A tough day with the conditions but solid performance considering the conditions. The joy from this one was helping RIF #3 Jonathan Bobbitt train for this race and successfully complete it.  I also enjoyed running part of the race with RIF #12 Kevin Leathers and RIF #24 Emily Conley.  – March 3, 2012
  5. Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon (26.2) – 3:59:41 – Drove down to NOLA immediately after finishing the MS 50 Miler the night before. Big thanks to RIF #38 JD Favara for picking up my bib for this one.  I was horrible, sluggish and not very good for the first 18 miles. I was on a 4:15 pace to finish yet came alive the last 8 miles to slide under 4 hours. I enjoyed catching up with several RIF members from Jackson after the race including RIF #35 Todd Shadburn. – March 4, 2012
  6. Land Between the Lakes 50 Miler (50.0) – 9:25:33 – A new 50mi PR after setting one the prior weekend down in Mississippi. I felt pretty good for most of this race. It was cold at the start yet bearable. I pushed hard at the end to go sub 9:30. It turned out to be a comfortable and beautiful day to run. It was good seeing my good friend RIF #2 Naresh Kumar before, during this race, and at our post-race meal at the po’chop place.  – March 10, 2012
  7. Savage Gulf Trail Marathon (26.2) – 7:25:52 – An inaugural event that no one knew anything about. The most difficult and most beautiful marathon I’ve run to date. Lots of the course was un-runnable due to intense roots and boulders. A must do for the serious marathoner than is not afraid of a challenge. You will only PR at SG if it’s your first marathon ever. Met RIF #18 Rick Jarvis during the early miles of this one.  – March 17, 2012
  8. Umstead 100 Miler (100.0) – 23:36:11 – This was another 100 PR for me, and I had the chance to share the course with good friends RIF #57 Trent Rosenbloom, Beth McCurdy, RIF #88 Hideki Kinoshita, RIF #92 Steven Lee, etc. I was strong for the first 50 then my legs started to fall apart a bit. I walked most of the last loop and was happy to finally have a sub-24 hour 100 mile finish. It concluded a crazy March of racing. – March 31, 2012
  9. St. Jude Country Music Marathon (26.2) – 3:34:17 – I have historically ran very poorly at this event in the past. It was my only race scheduled for April and maybe that helped me some this time. I was coming off some minor injuries from Umstead but felt semi-healthy. This is the first race I ran in Hokas. A lot of people faded during this one due to the heat, but I stayed pretty strong throughout. Ran into RIF #63 John Hudson and RIF #35 Todd Shadburn shortly after finishing. RIF also had a large number of members show up for the pre-race photo. – April 29, 2012
  10. 34th Annual Strolling Jim 40 Miler (41.2) – 7:34:43 – Another event I haven’t performed extremely well to date at. I was off to a good day as it was overcast and cool the first 15 miles to start this one. Then at my mile 15 drop bag I downed 3 Boosts and a couple of other things. At about that time the sun came out to play and my stomach was never the same. I spit up various things for most of the last 25 miles but pushed hard, especially the last 10 miles, to have a relatively strong finish. Always a great party after the race and I enjoyed spending time with several RIF members and friends. – May 5, 2012
  11. Scenic City Trail Marathon (26.2) – 3:57:31 – I ran this race in 4:27:34 the previous year. So I went in wanting to go sub 4-hours as my goal. I pushed the pace early on the first loop and was able to keep it close to the first loop pace on the second loop. I was strong until the last 2 or 3 miles but being so close to sub-4 helped me push to finish under my goal. A great race put on by the Rock/Creek people. – May 19, 2012
  12. Run Under the Stars RUTS (10 Hours) – 55 miles – My most miles put down at RUTS in my three years running this race. This is a great event and one of my favorites. It’s like a party within a race or a race within a party. About 20 Run It Fast – Club members ran this one and helped make it a blast. Enjoyed watching good friend RIF #151 Chris Estes put down 63 miles. – June 9, 2012
  13. The Jackal Trail Marathon (26.2) – 4:32:32 – Another event that I put together that went off really well. It was a very hot mid-June day in West Tennessee that upped the degree of difficulty a bit. I felt good throughout, finishing third overall, and used it as heat training in case I decided to run The Last Annual Vol State 500K in July. – June 23, 2012
  14. The Backass Jackal Trail Marathon (26.2) – 4:52:51 – I ran the previous day like it wasn’t the first of back to backs. I ran about 2 miles before the race as I was trying to set up water coolers and find Sulaiman before the start. My legs were tired from the prior day, but I was competitive as RIF #151 Chris Estes and I battled throughout the day for the win which he ended up with. Five of us finished this one after doing The Jackal Trail Marathon the day before.  – June 24, 2012
  15. The Last Annual Vol State 500K (314.0) – 5:17:04:04 – An epic race that I did for the first time last year. I wanted to just finish the race in 2011, but this year I wanted to be competitive and see how well I could perform over this grueling slugfest that covers 314 miles on hot asphalt in Tennessee and touches several other states.  The weather was a chill 85 degrees the first day, and I decided to take advantage of it and see how many miles I could put down before finding rest. I recorded 93 miles in 23-hours before heading to the hotel where naturally I couldn’t really sleep.  During the next day I covered 49 very slow miles. To make a long story short I was in fourth place after four days and ended up with a mad fury of miles on the last day and sped up Sand Mountain to finish second place overall with a time of 5 days and 17 hours.  Special thanks to RIF #13 Mikki Trujillo, RIF #2 Naresh Kumar, RIF #183 Kirk Catron, and RIF #143 Scott Flowers for helping crew me for all or parts of this epic race.  – My Full Vol State 500K Race Report – July 12, 2012
  16. Blister in the Sun Marathon (26.2) – 3:58:16 – A challenging race in Cookeville, TN that good friend Josh Hite has put on the last three years. It’s a 5-loop course on what is usually a very hot day. I was still recovering from Vol State but didn’t want to miss this one since I’d get to see many of my best marathon running friends.  I ran a bit better than I thought I would considering my Vol State rust. I originally thought I’d take it easy and run something over 4 hours. I got in a groove though among RIF #79 Dallas Smith,  RIF #196 Bill Baker, and RIF #186 Danny Staggs and pushed probably harder than I needed to but was honored to finish just a few seconds behind the great Dallas. – August 5, 2012
  17. Pikes Peak Marathon (26.2) – 7:59:23 – For a West Tennessee boy from the flathills this turned out to be quite the challenge. I’m sure I was a bit dead-legged coming in but this turned out to be a really tough, dizzy, and staggering day for Cosmo.  The run starts at around 6,500 feet and goes up to 14,115 feet at the halfway point before gravity pulls you back down to the starting line to finish. I did pretty well the first 10 miles going up but then the altitude gave me a headache, made me a bit dizzy, and I started staggering like a drunk. If you trip to the left going up then you fall several thousand feet to your death. I took it easy as I didn’t feel right the miles leading up to the summit and for several miles on the way back down. I ran pretty well the last 4-5 miles. It was a beautiful climb and view from the top of Pikes Peak, but from a running perspective I did nothing that day that should be put into a time capsule. I did enjoy spending time with RIF #83 Brad Box who had a good race.  – August 19, 2012
  18. Lean Horse 100 Miler (100.0) – 22:41:28 – Leanhorse happened to be just a week after Pikes Peak, but I felt pretty good going into it. This was my second time running this race so that was worth something. This race takes place in beautiful South Dakota.  I stayed at a hotel close to the convention center where the buses would depart from for the starting line at 5:30am. I mistimed walking over that morning and missed the buses. Luckily, I was able to hitch a ride with an older couple at the hotel next door that was going to the starting line 15 miles away to see their daughter start this one.  Leanhorse has the best running surface I’ve run on at any race. It’s a very finely crushed limestone/dirt mixture that is smooth and easy on the legs.  Being late to the starting line, I forgot to take a pre-race Roctane and a couple of other things. Luckily over the course of a 100 miles you have time to remember that and catch up without falling too far behind.  I ran well at Lean Horse for a majority of the race. My bottle went dry a couple of times during the hottest part of the day and my stomach got a bit upset, but a sweet woman from Canada and Lanier Greenhaw gave me some ginger during the race and it settled it down. My goal was to improve upon my 26:30 time from the year before and go sub-24 hours.  I tired over the last 20 miles but kept pushing and was able to finish LH with another new 100 mile PR of 22:42:28.  A great 100 I’d recommend to anyone looking for a new one or for a place to run his or her first 100.  – August 25, 2012
  19. Tupelo Marathon (26.2) – 4:05:33 – Tupelo was the week after Lean Horse, but I had signed up for it months before and wanted to run it again and see many of my running friends.  Tupelo is a rolling course with some minor hills that starts at 5am in the morning, in the dark, before it gets too hot and humid. However, the heat never really came this year but it was extremely humid from the opening bell.  I felt like I struggled and had a mediocre first half but after a quick pit stop and reversing direction for the second half I ran well and passed many people.  I realized I was pushing too hard to go sub-4 during the last 5 miles or so. I finally realized I would likely miss sub-4 by a minute or two so I pulled back a bit and played it safe to finish.  I was still really drained and tired but enjoyed the food and fellowship after the race as a few others and myself waited at the finish line for everyone to finish. – September 2, 2012
  20. Endure the Bear 50K (31.0) – 6:29:46 – This was a first year race that took place in Big Bear Lake, California, which is high up in the mountains in a very beautiful Gatlinburg-esque town.  I had no clue what to expect going in to this one. What’s new, right?  RIF #5 Lisa Gonzales met me at the start with some Roctane (since I was out), and we caught up for a bit before this one started. It was a straight up-hill climb for the first 5 miles or so then it had big hills up and down throughout the day. One of the more challenging 50K’s I’ve run. I was very tired at the end but pleased with my effort overall. – September 9, 2012
  21. Big Sur Trail Marathon (26.2) – 4:07:02 – I gave RIF #5 Lisa Gonzales a ride up to this race since it would be way too risky and dangerous riding with her.  Big Sur was a beautiful marathon that took you up towards the heavens for the first 3 miles before dumping you amongst the big trees with sneak peaks of the blue Pacific Ocean from time to time.  I ran stronger and faster with nearly every mile and with the intense descent back down to the finish for the last 3 miles I blistered a couple of sub-7 minute miles to finish 10th overall and with a pretty fast time on a challenging trail marathon course. I also tweaked or did something to my left knee during those last couple of miles as well.  – September 29, 2012
  22. Yellowstone-Teton 100 Miler (100.0) – 21:23:55 – This race was a lot of fun and amazing on several levels. It’s only the second race I’ve ever had a crew to help me out with. I was very thankful that RIF #5 Lisa Gonzales made the trip to Idaho/Montana to crew me for this one. She was really a great help outside of finding me a cheeseburger.  I have to admit it was a bit daunting at the start of this one. The race started in West Yellowstone at 6am. It was pitch black and 9 DEGREES. It was briefly overwhelming to be that cold, that dark, that early in the morning knowing I had 100 miles to run.  Three miles in my handheld was frozen solid. I ditched it and would only drink water when I’d see Lisa.  The sun finally did come up and the temperature did a bit as well.  It got up to about 46 during the warmest part of the day before dipping back down to the low teens once the sun hibernated again.  I was having a great day for about the first 30 miles then I tore something in my left knee that progressively got worse for the next 12 miles.  At about mile 42 it was so painful and uncomfortable that it was a struggle to walk much less run. I was about 98% sure I was going to drop when I decided to change shoes and put this compression sleeve around the knee. I then rolled the sleeve up and down until the pressure was so intense that I could barely feel anything.  The knee was still painful but with every step thereafter I was able to block it out more and more.  I then began to run more and walk less and thoughts of dropping started to recede from my mind with each mile I was able to click off.  I think the extreme cold helped once the sun went down. It was distracting and helped take my focus off my knee. I knew I likely could do serious damage to my knee and be out of commission for awhile, but I was on a PR pace and in the Top 10 for most of the day so as a stubborn ultramarathoner I kept ‘falling forward.’  I wasn’t fluid with my running over the last 60-70 miles, but I gave it everything I could.  I was able to finish with a new PR, a top 5 finish, and an age group win.  – October 6, 2012
  23. Javelina Jundred 100K (62.0) – 16:33:34 – This was by far my worst race of the year and perhaps my life.  I signed up for the 100 miler yet had only been hiking since Yellowstone since my knee was still jacked up and on strike. I think my meniscus was torn.  So my first step of JJ was the first I had run in almost a month. I didn’t know how my knee would hold up or respond until landing that first time.  I found out it wasn’t 100%, but it was never a concern for me on this day as too many other things turned out to be more pressing and depressing.  My first loop and a half (roughly 21 miles) I was great and ran extremely well. Then when I hit my second drop bag on the second loop everything went south. Like south of Hades south!  I drank a couple of Boosts, had some food, and switched water bottles since my strap had broken on my main one.  I don’t know if it was the JJ water or food poisoning but over the next few hours I visited the porta-potty about 15x and in a not to be shielded from the intense sun kind of way.  From that mile 22 point for the next 5-6 miles I was in a bad place.  I felt like I was getting stabbed in my stomach to the point I couldn’t even walk. Someone or something was holding me hostage within my stomach and they weren’t exactly abiding by the constitution. All I could do was bend over to my toes and wait for it to subside a bit so I could slowly walk some more.  At one point there was no porta-potty for at least 3 miles and I needed one bad so I wandered off into the desert (no trees) and finally found a small incline that would have to suffice as a prop.  From there, which was pretty low, I didn’t think it could get any worse but it did.  A few minutes later I was on all 4’s between two cacti puking once then twice. Dozens of runners passed, some laughing, as I was just happy to still be alive.  The puking helped a little. I was able to walk slowly after that. All I wanted to do was get to the aid station at 28 for porta again and then walk the 2 miles back to headquarters at 30 and drop. So I’m walking slowly towards 28 when I scoot over slightly for a runner to pass when I suddenly feel this piercing, striking pain in my right thigh. I look down and this cactus ball had jumped off the cactus and stapled itself through my shorts with over 100 of it’s barbed needles.  I had no words. I tried to pull it off and it wouldn’t come off.  I then decided to run with it before deciding better that I needed to get it out or it might cause some sort of infection or be poisonous.  So i finally grabbed the bottom of my shorts and ripped them away from my skin as hard as I could and it violently came off leaving 60-80 needles still lodged in my skin. I stopped to take them out one by one as I was literally shaking my head in disbelief.  Finally, un-barbed, I began my march again.  The Garmin data would later tell me I put down a 48-minute mile during this stretch. My stomach was still a mess, ginger wasn’t helping, and I was trying to get back to mile 30 so I could drop and go back to the hotel.  I finally finished the loop and I was still sick yet for some odd reason, instead of heading to the car, I took that first step onto the third lap (walking) as I did slowly for the next six miles. Finally, I started to feel a bit better and ran pretty well from 36 to about mile 50.  That is when the sun started to set. I also realized that due to my stomach that I had not consumed any calories in hours.  That reason along with the tricky footing in the dark among the rocks made me start to reevaluate my goal.  I didn’t want to injure my knee worse, and I also knew I’d have a hard time catching up on calories.  I then decided to make it back around to the headquarters and take the 100K finish that is offered for finishing 4 loops and count my blessings that I was able to push through for 40 more miles and finish 100k after my intense brush with the dark side earlier during the race.  I felt pleased with my effort and what I had overcome on this day to accomplish a meager 100k. One that will never come close to the personal record books but that will never, ever be forgotten. – October 27, 2012
  24. Catalina Eco Marathon (26.2) – 4:40:32 – This was a very beautiful race on Catalina Island. It’s a small island that takes 1-hour to get to from Los Angeles. If you can survive the ferry ride without losing your breakfast then that’s half the battle.  This was another race where we gained around 1,500 feet the first 4 miles before it leveled for some fun and scenic running. It was extremely windy throughout this one and it felt at times as if it was going to blow some of us off the cliffs.  I ran well until around mile 18 or 19 when I hit the Catalina Crush. I was already starting to be crushed before it, but the CC is a climb that can’t be run by us mortals. It’s extremely steep as you can only stare at the heavens as you walk up it.  I managed over the next 3 miles or so and then ran strong down the semi-technical trail for the last 3 miles back to the finish.  A must-do race if possible or within your budget. I’ll be back to this one at some point for sure.  I enjoyed meeting RIF #69 Nadia Ruiz Gonzales and Aaron Nowlin on the ferry over to Catalina. – November 10, 2012
  25. Malibu International Marathon (26.2) – 4:21:15 – RIF #5 Lisa Gonzales picked me up and hauled my tired legs and body to the start line of this one in Malibu. The first 10-12 miles is inland and boring. My legs were bored and tired as well from the beating they took the day before at Catalina. But around mile 12 we reached the ocean and ran on the Pacific Coast Highway along the ocean all the way back to Zuma Beach in Malibu. It was beautiful, scenic, and I saw a couple of dolphins jumping in and out of the water as I was running. It’s flat with a handful of medium sized hills near the end. – November 11, 2012
  26. Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon (26.2) – 3:49:30 – My favorite road marathon of the year and one of my all-time favorite races. I had to start with the early-starters due to a death in the family.  I missed out on some of the festivities having to do that but still had a lot of fun running this race on what turned out to be a cold November morning.  I was the first across the finish line (of the early starters 😉 ) Many more finished ahead of me from the regular field. This race is such a great homecoming of great runners and friends from across the South.. The post-race spread is worth the price of admission itself.  Big thanks to RIF #57 Trent Rosenbloom for all the hard work he puts into making this event great. Thanks to RIF #151 Chris Estes and RIF #5 Lisa Gonzales meeting me before the early start. – November 18, 2012
  27. Black Diamond 40 Miler (40.5) – 6:22:48 – Another race I put together that went extremely well according to those that took part. RIF #65 Jonathan Harrison set a blistering pace for the first 30 miles as I couldn’t catch him. Then as we approached Humboldt I started to gain ground and passed him once we made it into the city. I felt good for the first 34 and PR’d 50K and other splits.  I ended up winning this race by about 9 minutes (and a new 40 mile PR). I had such fun watching several RIF club members set PL’s (personal longs) in knocking back 40 miles for the first time. – November 23, 2012
  28. Death Valley Trail Marathon (26.2) – 3:57:02 – There was great weather this year for the Death Valley Marathon after the wind cancelled the official version last year. This race has a slow gradual climb up until about mile 12.5. From that point it drops from 5,300 ft down to sea level (0) at the finish.  It was all about the Quad City DJ’s on that intense downhill. I left everything on the course and ran it as if I didn’t have another marathon scheduled for the next day.  I’d highly recommend this one to anyone who loves a challenging race with unique and powerful views along the way. – December 1, 2012
  29. Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon (26.2) – 4:14:51 – Dead legs and just an overall cranky body from the Death Valley Trail Marathon the day before made for a miserable first 16 miles in Sin City. I ran into RIF #114 Rigoberto Tellez at mile 16 and seeing a fellow RIFer, that I was not expecting to see, among the masses picked up my spirits. We ran together and paced each other for the next four miles. I picked up the pace from there and finished with a decent overall finish. I had calculated around mile 15 I was on pace for a horrible 4:45 finish so I was pumped with how it ended up turning out. I also enjoyed meeting and talking to RIF #20 Laura Raeder before the start of the race. RNR did a great job fixing the problems with this race from the year before. – December 2, 2012
  30. Lookout Mountain 50 Miler (50.0) – 10:24:06 – LM50 was my first 50 miler a couple of years prior. I had no clue what I was doing that day back in 2010. Luckily, I’ve raced a lot since then and learned a lot along the way. I was curious to see how much I had improved since that first time on Lookout.  I came in with tired legs and a couple of nagging things but overall I felt pretty good.  Two years ago I ran this race in 13:02:23.  I ran well for the first 25 miles and had a nice split, but from 28-38 something didn’t feel right. I was off and struggled through those miles. However, I was able to sew it back together, and I finished strong over the last twelve miles and was very pleased with my time, knocking almost 2 hours and 40 minutes off my 2010 time.  However, my favorite part of this race was getting to run it with several RIF members including RIF #57 Trent Rosenbloom and RIF #65 Jonathan Harrison and  seeing RIF #83 Brad Box, RIF #221 Karl Studtmann, RIF #166 Nathan Judd, and RIF #185 David Pharr complete their first 50 miler.  It was a great event, and I hope to be back again next year.- December 15, 2012
  31. Trail of Fears (10 Hours) – 43.0 miles – A race I put together based on Laz’s Big Dog Backyard Ultra with a few tweaks and changes to it. The basis of the race being that runners have 60 minutes to complete a 4.3 mile trail loop. If they couldn’t then they were eliminated or if they didn’t toe the starting line for the restart of the race every hour they were eliminated as well until one runner remains standing.  The time was dropped by a minute after four loops/hours and eventually got down to 50 minutes for the last loop. I got in 10 loops/43 miles and was pleased with my effort. I could have done a bit more, but I wanted to take over as RD and cheer my friends along and enjoy the show.  A great day and event as I got to witness many friends and Run It Fast – Club members go further and beyond distances they had done before.  I was 85% sure it would be my last race of the year.  – December 22, 2012
  32. Across The Years (24 Hours) – 100.8 miles in 19:49:39 – Well it turned out I had one more race in 2012 to run. I felt like I needed one more long tune up before the HURT 100 in January so I decided to drive over to Phoenix for the ATY 24.  A race I’d been eying for several years. I had wanted to do the 72-hour, but I knew I needed to play it safe and run the 24.  This is a great event where a lot of really cool runners show up to hang out and put down a lot of miles. I enjoyed running with RIF #66 Robert Boluyt and RIF #121 Ed Ettinghausen. I put down some fast splits for the first 30 miles then struggled mightily from 30-40. Mostly it was just tired legs and a bit of fatigue. During this time, Vikena Yutz gave me some great advice that helped with my dead/tired legs the rest of the way.  For several miles from 30-40 I just hoped to get to 50 so I could call it a day, but I hit 50 and kept going. I was on a PR/sub-20 pace and I kept nailing my splits as I crept towards the century mark.  It helped drive me that I had never gone sub-20 hour before for a 100.  Long story short is that I had it timed perfectly to go sub-20. Then another runner reminded me for the math to work right I’d actually be going 100.8 miles.  So I pushed hard the last 10 miles to make up for that extra 0.8 and ended up hitting 100.0 in 19:39 and 100.8 where I stopped in 19:49:39.  I could have easily kept going or walked the last four hours and won the event (as it turned out), but I did well to keep my focus on the HURT 100 and not getting hurt at ATY. Another great event that I hope to be back at in 2013.  – December 29, 2012
All the Smaller Races of 2012

  1. Denmark Dash 5K (3.1) – 19:50 – Ran pretty well. Finished 8th overall, 2nd age group. – February 25, 2012
  2. Run for Haiti 5K (3.1) – 20:47 – Finished 3rd overall, 1st age group. – April 14, 2012
  3. Milan Glow in the Dark 5K (3.1) – 20:47 – Pretty warm nighttime 5K. Finished 2nd overall, 1st age group – April 19, 2012
  4. West TN Speech & Hearing 5K (3.1) – 21:50 – Cold and very windy. Ran poorly. 8th overall, small field. 1st of 2 races on this day. – April 21, 2012
  5. Leadership Jackson 10K (6.2) – 44:08 – Ran well after doing a 5K right before this one.  Finished 2nd overall, 1st age group. – April 21, 2012
  6. Strawberry Festival 10K (6.2) – 43:11 – Planned to take it easy. I was in 10th place after three miles then everyone in front of me peeled off for the 5K finish so I had no choice but to Run It Fast and win this one. – May 12, 2012
  7. Zoom thru the Zoo 4 Miler (4.0) – 28:25 – A very hot and humid afternoon in Memphis. I gave a strong effort and finished 31st out of about 1,200 runners.  – May 24, 2012
  8. Buford Pusser 5K (3.1) – 20:57 – One of my favorite 5K’s in West TN.  It’s always hot, humid, and very sunny for this one.  I finished 6th overall, 1st in my age group.  – May 26, 2012
  9. Milan Knock Out Cancer 5K (3.1) – 21:02 – Small field of 20 runners. I won this one. It was hot and humid and no one was close to me for the last 1.5 miles. 21:02 should never win a 5K though, even in the Sahara.  – May 28, 2012
  10. Bluesfest 5K (3.1) – 19:32 – Hot June day. I ran well and scored a new PR while finishing 4th overall and 1st in my age group. – June 2, 2012

I want to thank all the great people in the Run It Fast family, my friends, and especially my family for all of their support in helping make 2012 such a great success for me. Remember that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. The mind is stronger than the body. – joshua holmes

Posted in Marathon, Race Reports, Running, Ultra MarathonComments (1)

Death Valley Trail Marathon Medal – 2012 – Run It Fast

Death Valley Trail Marathon Medal (2012)

Here is the finisher’s medal from the Death Valley Trail Marathon that took place on December 1, 2012 in Death Valley, California.

A rather boring and simple medal, like all of the Enviro Sports events, but a spectacular and beautiful race.


[Medal photo submitted by RIF #1 Joshua Holmes – Follow him on Twitter @bayou]

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Where Run It Fast Runners Are Running This Weekend (Dec 1-2, 2012)

Where Run It Fast Runners Are Running This Weekend (Dec 1-2, 2012)

Here is a look at where everyone is running this weekend. We had 29 responses this week. Good luck to everyone and Run It Fast!

To join Run It Fast – The Club then click HERE to read more details.

Where Run It Fast Runners Are Running This Weekend (Dec 1-2, 2012)

Storified by Joshua Holmes · Fri, Nov 30 2012 09:56:02

@runitfast Death Valley Trail Marathon and Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon. #runitfastJoshua Holmes
@runitfast #StJudeMarathon Saturday! WOOHOO! #runitfastKristy
@runitfast Running the #DeathValleyTrailMarathon tomorrow. Hopefully. My 10th marathon. #runitfast #5Lisa Gonzales
@runitfast #stjudememphismarathon halfTanya
@runitfast winter wonderland run. 4 miles with the Christmas lights at PIR.Josh Liggett
@runitfast will be running the Kingston 10K here in South West London. The Tow Path will be flooded. It will be muddy, but hopefully fast.Runners Knees
@runitfast #Gingerbread5K in Katy.NaomiPipes
@runitfast Saturday -opener for the indoor mile series Sunday 2mi xc in lots of snow!Michelle Mitchell
@runitfast Running the full @StJude Memphis Marathon. With a finish, it will give me Marathon Maniac status. WooHoo!Darron A. Tytler
@runitfast #rif203i’ll resume my training for El Paso marathon on February 24th10 miles on Sunday…Rodamor VanPorbeers
@runitfast St Jude in MemphisNathan Judd
@runitfast Running 8 on Saturday and 8 on Sunday in Madison/Ridgeland MS. Going out for a short trail run now.Nathan Bass
@runlikeacoyote @runitfast working at the finish line at #stjudemarathonLeigh Marsh
@runitfast st Jude Memphis half marathon.Scott Gatlin
@runitfast I’m running the Memphis St. Jude Marathon Saturday morning. RIF#168Greg Smith
@runitfast Running in the Santa Hustle #Chicago on Saturday! #RunItFast #rif10 #runChiDianna Seda
@runitfast Memphis! #StJudeMarathonHolly Craig
@runitfast 15 miles on Little Miami River trail in Loveland, OHLarry Keister
@runitfast St. Jude Memphis marathon weekendBekah Gillespie
@runitfast #StJude Memphis 26.2!Karen Workman
@runitfast North Face Endurance ChallengeJulie Petrone
@runitfast Xterra Trail Run World Championship on Oahu!Larry Gill
@runitfast #StripatNight #RnRLV bound from Chicago! Good luck everyone!DANIEL ZEPEDA
@runitfast Running the Leslie Spit in Toronto with @DaveYona and others. 15km training run :-)Alex Flint
@runitfast Hollywood Half in Florida #runsistarunRunsistarun
@runitfast Annapolis Half Marathon on Dec. 1 at 7:00am!!!Bethany Burroughs
@runitfast savannah river bridge 10k and 5k, savannah, gaE.B.
@runitfast Santa 5k in Burlington Vermont on SundayLeah Morgan
@runitfast We’re running here. Register here: http://rdcrss.org/Qv4hci "@mia41cal: @joshduhamel @PrepareSoCal @RedCross Good luck with the run!"Team Lucas

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Death Valley Trail Marathon – 2011 – Front

Death Valley Trail Marathon Medal (2011)

The 2011 Death Valley Trail Marathon was technically cancelled by the race director due to 70 MPH winds up in the Titus Canyon. However, that didn’t stop a group of us from meeting and deciding to hold the marathon ourselves.  About 40-50 runners went over to the canyon there in Death Valley, braved the winds, and ran a memorable marathon that none of us will ever forget.


[Medal photos submitted by Joshua Holmes. You can follow me on Twitter @bayou]

Posted in Bling, Featured, Marathon, MedalsComments (2)

Endurance Athlete Lisa Gonzales

Making Lemonade Out of Lemons at the Death Valley Trail Marathon

Desert Racing Part 1 – Unofficial Marathon by Lisa Gonzales

This was supposed to be an epic running weekend for me. It didn’t turn out quite like I’d hoped and I’m still a little unsure of how I feel about it.

I didn’t work on Friday so I’d planned on leaving around noon so I wouldn’t have to drive in the dark through Death Valley and I could see what the landscape looked like. Well, that didn’t work out because my apartment complex decided to change my flooring on Friday and they didn’t finish until after 1 so I didn’t leave until 1:30. When I left my refrigerator and stove were still in the living room and I’m hoping they moved them back otherwise all my food will be bad. 🙁

There wasn’t much traffic so I was making good time. Then I saw flashing lights in my mirror. Damn it. Yes, I got a ticket and I never drive fast usually. So I ended up being even later and I was hoping this wasn’t a sign of how things were going to go for the weekend. Ha!

The desert was pitch black and the rode was just a two lane road so it was a little scary and I was nervous about breaking down or getting lost but I eventually made it to the hotel and checked-in. As I was leaving registration, I turned around and I recognized someone in line behind me. It was Joshua Holmes from Run It Fast (@bayou and @runitfast on Twitter and here on Facebook). I introduced myself to him and then left to put my stuff in the room. As I was carrying my stuff in, Joshua came by and we made plans to eat dinner together. So I dropped off my stuff, notified the family that I’d made it and headed back down.

The Furnace Creek Ranch has a restaurant, saloon, and a cafe. We decided to eat at the cafe. We had a 20 minute wait and sat outside. The night was beautiful and clean and a little cold. When we got to our table, we ordered (black bean burger for me) and talked while we waited. I noticed the man at the table next to us was wearing a Leadville jacket and looked closer and realized it was the FatCyclist! (@fatcyclist). When they got up to leave, I asked if he was Fatty and introduced myself. A little later, he came back and asked to take a picture with me. So last weekend, I got to meet Macca and this weekend I got to meet Joshua and Fatty. I am a total running geek, I know, but is that not cool or what! 🙂

So dinner was good. Good food and good company. Later that night I was thinking how if my day hadn’t gone awry, I probably would have gotten there early, grabbed a sandwich to eat in the room, and not met some very fun & inspiring people. Things were looking up!

I set the alarm for 4:30 and went to bed about 9:30. I slept pretty well that night. I woke up on time, ate, and started getting ready. I checked Twitter first and then finally checked my email. That’s when the things really went south. There was an email from the director that the race was cancelled. Cancelled! I swear I thought it was a mistake or a bad joke. How could it be cancelled? The director said it was because of extreme high winds along the route. It hadn’t seemed windy the night before so I couldn’t wrap my brain around it. I got ready anyway and headed down at 6 to check in to see what was going on.

At check in, we found out it was true. It was cancelled. We still got shirts and bibs but it wasn’t happening. I immediately started thinking about what I should do. I’d planned on running a marathon and that’s what I intended to do. I just didn’t know how or where. I finally decided to just head out from the hotel and run on the roads. It wasn’t the race I’d planned and certainly not the views I’d planned but I needed to get in 26.2 miles. I figured if I ran out 6.5 miles and then came back, I could refill my water bottle and hit the restroom at the hotel if I needed to. But that meant I had to be back before check out at 12 so I hit the road.

The run out wasn’t a whole lot fun. It was pretty windy and it tried to steal my hat quite a few times and there were a couple times when it blew from the side and pushed me so I was running diagonally but it wasn’t too bad. I did get to see the sun rise over the valley and that was beautiful. The road wasn’t very well traveled which I liked but also made me a little nervous. That was another reason I didn’t want to go too far from the hotel. If something happened, I didn’t want to be too far from help. Or get lost. Which I’ve been known to do. After I turned around on the first loop, I heard chimes. I thought “Oh my god it’s not even hot and I’m hallucinating in the desert!”. Then I realized it was my new phone telling me I had a message. Ha! It was a message from Joshua saying that some of the runners where going to go ahead and run a modified version of the race. Dang it! But I was too far to get back in time. I saw the caravan of runners go by me and some of them waved and honked. I waved back and kept running.

The run back after the turnaround for me was pretty nice because I had a great tailwind. Sometimes, it was even pushing me along. I figure the winds were about 30-40 mile per hour headwinds with some higher gusts. I still think they could have had the race though. As I got closer to the hotel, I heard bells and I thought it must be my phone again so I ignored it but it turned out it was a cyclist and I had to apologize for being clueless! Doh! Anyway, I made it back to the hotel, dropped off my jacket, refilled my water bottle, hit the restroom and headed back out. I was feeling pretty good but I have to tell you that I was thinking of calling it quits at 13.1 miles. I thought why not? I could so an easy run and then race hard at the R&R. But no, I signed up to run a marathon, I was going to run one! So out on the road again and back in to the wind.

I felt good as I started out for my second lap. It was still cool and the wind felt good but my head was playing mind games with me. You don’t have to run a marathon today. People will understand if you bag it at 15 miles. No one’s watching you, just walk a little. Seriously, what nut runs a marathon on her own? I gotta be honest and say that I almost gave in and quit at 15, then again at 20, and…I was seriously considering stopping at 22 miles. But once I hit 22, I thought “What’s 4 more?” and I kept going. My legs felt good. My left foot was bothering me a little because of the road camber I think but otherwise all other systems were good.

So I made it back to the hotel and my watch said 26.05 and I had to run around the parking lot til I reached a marathon. I looked down and it said 26.22 so I crossed my “finish line”. My first unofficial, unsupported marathon. I had my own mini celebration but it cut it short so I could shower and pack before check out time.

After, I checked out, I sat in the lounge chairs in the sun on the patio for a while, grabbed a bite to eat in the cafe (comfort food – meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn, and a roll…yummy) and headed out to Vegas and the expo to pick up my bib for the R&R. The whole drive to Vegas I debated whether or not to bump up to the marathon for Sunday’s race. I still hadn’t thought to much about the race cancellation but I was bummed not to have one more official marathon for the year. Dang it.

The Expo was CRAZY. So many people and it felt like I had to walk forever to get there. I got my bib & shirt and got in line to switch to the marathon. But I eventually decided to stick to the Half and left to explore the Expo. The only thing I really wanted to see in there was if they had any bibfolios and to stop by the Altra booth (@altrazerodrop). I saw Jeremy there and talked with him for a bit which was a lot of fun. I never found any bibfolios so I actually made it out of the expo without spending a dime! Miracle!

After the walk back to the car, I was pretty tired and ready to get to the hotel but it took me over an hour to get out of the parking garage. Insane! Made it to the hotel, checked in, went out to find some food, and then finally kicked back about 8.

Long, long day. Not the day I’d planned but not a total loss. I have some regrets but it is what it is. One good thing about the day was that the run wasn’t as fun as a real race and there was nothing to keep me from quitting, I DID NOT QUIT. I did not walk. I did what I planned to do. I think that was a good training run for the 12 HR. At least I’m hoping it was. 🙂

[originally posted on Lisa’s blog Run Like a Coyote]

Read the 2nd Part of Lisa’s Weekend Adventure: Desert Racing Part 2 – The Strip at Night

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