Tag Archive | "strolling jim 40 miler"

David Wingard and Joshua Holmes after the 2014 Strolling Jim 40 Miler

Strolling Jim 40 Miler Race Report (2014)

The Strolling Jim 40 Miler was the very first ultra I ran back in 2010. At the time I didn’t know another human on the planet that had run beyond the traditional marathon distance of 26.2 miles. I also didn’t know, in selecting The Jim, that I had selected one of the oldest and most historical ultras in the United States to attempt as my very first one.

This year was my 5th consecutive year running the SJ40. It’s held annually in the small town of Wartrace, Tennessee and consists of 41.2 miles on some of the most beautiful, scenic and rolling, green hills in the United States.

The race director’s for this year’s race were Steve Durbin (also RD for RUTS, Land Between the Lakes, Tunnel Hill 100) and Lazarus Lake (creator of the Strolling Jim 40, Barkley Marathon, and The Last Annual Vol State 500K).

The weather for this race is usually warm to very hot on the thermometer. This year, however, it was about 50 degrees at the start and only got up towards 80 degrees at the hottest part of the day. Most of the runners had already finished with temps in the mid 70’s.

I met many good friends before the start of the race including over 20 members of Run It Fast, posed for a few photos, used the facilities, and checked my two drop bags before the race quietly started at 7am.

I went in wanting to run well but also wanting to run smart knowing I had to run a 81 mile team race two days later at the Badwater: Salton Sea 81 Miler and do a double crossing at the Grand Canyon (R2R2R) two days after that. My plan was to go out at a strong pace and keep to it as long as all systems were in check.

Five miles into the race and then ten miles into the race I found myself in a large pack of very good runners consisting of Joe Fejes, DeWayne Satterfield, Dink Taylor, David Jones, Tom Possert, Jobie Williams and several others that was just a short distance behind the overall race leaders. 13-15 miles in to the race I was still in this pack and normally it would have been a sign that I had gone out too fast, but for the most part I had been running within myself and enjoyed the company and opportunity to catch up with several of the guys along the way.

Strolling Jim consists of rolling hills after rolling hill with four major climbs coming at mile 9, 19, 23, and 29.

Around mile 23 I was passed by the first female at the time, Natalie Pickett, just a few moments later I look behind me and realize I’m in the middle of a ‘chick’d sandwich’ as Aleisha Chaffin was on my tail. I was only in this spot briefly as the lower bun quickly passed and both pieces of bread left me in a carb free zone in their wake.

I struggled from miles 17 to 32. My stomach was a bit off, and I just felt a bit funny in general. I couldn’t really put my finger on what it was exactly. My ankles started to hurt in the new Hoka One One Conquests I had started the race wearing. My goal became to make it to mile 28 and switch into the Hoka Bondi Speeds.  This was unrelated to my stomach but did cure my ankles. A couple of miles after this I was able to use the restroom and things started to look and feel better while I was running in ‘The Walls.’

Most runners dread ‘The Walls’ at SJ40 that start at mile 29 and go on for several miles. I like the shade coverage the trees provide and the solace that those miles give as the field is usually extremely spread out at that point. I came alive around mile 33 and started to catch a handful of runners that had passed me 15-20 miles ago. My mile splits kept getting faster as I caught Possert and Michael Lepley around mile 38.

As fast as I was moving, it wasn’t fast enough to hold off Brooke McClanahan who passed me around mile 39 as the third female. She was moving extremely well and ended up finishing 4 minutes ahead of me.

When things were bad I had given up on a PR here or even breaking 6:30. My goal was to do what I could to hold onto a sub-7 hour finish that would get me my second consecutive red shirt. But as I felt better and better over those last miles my pace increased and I started to realize a 6:20 was possible, and if I pushed even harder and shaved more time over the last 3 miles I could potentially have a new PR.

I dug deep and finished in 6:12:35 with a new PR. I was pleased yet still curious what I could have done without that long rough stretch. Maybe if everything lines up perfectly next year a sub-6 might be possible.

Here is a look at my finishes over the past 5 years:

  • 2014: 6:12:35
  • 2013: 6:15:50
  • 2012: 7:34:43
  • 2011: 7:04:32
  • 2010: 7:38:00

One of the best parts of SJ40 is the post race feast. It always consists of bar-b-qued chicken, baked beans, and potato salad. It’s a place where war stories are told from years past and that took place over the previous 41.2 miles.

The Strolling Jim 40 Miler remains one of my favorite races. I hope to continue to go back year after year as long as it’s possible.

– joshua holmes

#runitfast

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Strolling Jim 40_20 Mile Medal 2014

Strolling Jim 40/20 Mile Medal (2014)

This is the finisher’s medal for the Strolling Jim 40 Mile/20 Mile Run that took place on May 3, 2014 in Wartrace, Tennessee.

Here’s another view of the medal:

MORE PHOTOS OF MARATHON/ULTRA MEDALS AND BUCKLES

[Medals submitted by RIF #4 Marj Mitchell - follow her on Twitter @marathonmarj and by RIF #1 Joshua Holmes - follow him on Twitter @bayou]

Posted in Bling, Featured, MedalsComments (0)

Barkley Fall Classic

Lazarus Lake Births The Barkley Fall Classic – An Epic 31-Mile Race

UPDATE: Inaugural Barkley Fall Classic Race Results (2014)

A few weeks ago I mentioned on Twitter that a crazy race was in the process of being created that would rock the marathon racing scene. Now comes the rest of that story…

The ultra-devil known as Lazarus Lake (Gary Cantrell) has birthed another demon spawn of a race that will shake up the endurance-addicted race world. Laz is the creator of the Strolling Jim 40 Miler, Big Dog Backyard Ultra, The Last Annual Vol State 500K, and the Barkley Marathons (the hardest race in the world to finish).

Laz, along with fellow race director Steve Durbin (creator of Land Between the Lakes and Run Under the Stars), have now officially announced The Barkley Fall Classic which will take place at Frozen Head State Park on many of the same trails used in the infamous Barkley Marathons. The race will be on September 20, 2014.

Unlike the Barkley Marathons (100 miles) that takes place in the Spring, The Barkley Fall Classic will be open to runners of all levels that register and signup. However, that doesn’t mean that you will finish.

The Barkley Fall Classic will be approximately 31 miles long and have over 10,000 feet of climb and 10,000 feet of descent for a total elevation change easily over 20,000 feet. Runners will have a time limit of 13 hours and 20 minutes.

Here is a description of The Barkley Fall Classic in Laz’s own words:

on september 20. 2014,
we will hold the barkley fall classic,
with an entry limit of 300 runners….

if you are one of those people who have followed the infamous barkley marathons over the years,
and had this secret itch to get a taste of those trails and that experience;

this is your chance.

if you have been trying to enter the barkley for years,
and just cannot get unlucky in the lottery;

this is your chance.

if you want to see some of the best scenery available in the eastern u.s.,
from the primordial woods of the “north boundary” where the sun never shines,
to overlook views that extend to the smoky mountains to the east,
and the big south fork to the west;

this is your chance.

the fall classic will be a little different.

it is all on maintained trails and will be clearly marked.
there will be aid stations…
but it is still the brushy mountains.

it will not be easy.

the trails are many of the same trails featured in the original Barkley.
the core race is roughly 31 miles (with about 20,000 feet of elevation change)

runners will have opportunities to opt down and have “fun run” finishes of 9 miles, 16 miles, or 24 miles.
the time limit will be the same 13:20 as a regular barkley loop. (23.3 mile cut off is (9:00 hrs)

obviously… no pacers allowed.

and the first prize will be a slot in the original barkley…
if the winner still thinks he wants to do that 5 times in 2 and a half days!

the entry will be first come-first served.
announcement of the opening of registration was made to the barkley list first, so those lucky souls had first shot at it.

better not delay…

something bad like this doesn’t come along every day.

laz

Laz has also been quoted as he will be surprised if 50% of entrants finish the race.

Do you have what it takes to tackle this epic challenge? Can you finish this 50K in 13 hours? Will you be one of the runners that has to opt down to 9, 16, or 24 miles?

The Barkley Fall Classic is 31 miles on paper but likely the equivalent of a 1ooK.

Oh yes, we should probably mention that the trail is likely more wicked, rough, and wild than what you’d find in the jungles of Cambodia.

You can sign up now on Ultrasignup by clicking HERE.

 

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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)

Meghan Vogel Shows Extreme Sportsmanship in Helping Injured Competitor Across the Finish Line (Video)

West Liberty-Salem (Ohio) high school runner Meghan Vogel won the 1,600 meter race at the OHSAA (Ohio High School Athletic Association) state track meet on June 2, 2012.  However, her most impressive feat of the day was stopping during the 3,200 meter race to help injured opponent Arden McMath, who was severely hurt, hobble across the finish line.

A West Liberty-Salem runner helps carry a struggling Arlington runner who collapsed just short of the finish line at the DIII 3200 meter race at the OHSAA state track meet at Jesse Owens Stadium in Columbus on June 2, 2012. The West Liberty-Salem athlete finished first in the 1600 meter race earlier in the day. She was running in last place in the 3200 meter race when she approached her opponent struggling to pick herself up from the track on the home stretch. Without hesitation, she scooped her competitor up and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. As the crowd roared, the incredible sportsmanship continued to the finish line…

Often we get too caught up in the competition to remember our fellow competitors during a race.  Meghan’s sportsmanship is a prime example to many of us, much older, that we should never be too consumed with ourselves to help out an injured or struggling competitor.

Meghan’s story reminds me of Chris Estes stopping at mile a mile short of the Strolling Jim 40 Miler to help a runner who had collapsed and fallen over a guardrail (full story).

I’ve found out that the longer the event, the friendly runners are and more willing to help one another out. This is one of the reasons I love running ultras.

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34th Annual Strolling Jim 40 Miler Ultramarathon Medal (2012)

34th Strolling Jim 40 Miler Medal (2012)

Here is the finisher’s medal from the 34th Strolling Jim 40 Mile Run that took place on May 5, 2012 in Wartrace, Tennessee.

The best medal they’ve had so far in the history of the event. The medal was large as you can see the outline of a quarter to the left of the medal.

MORE PHOTOS OF MARATHON/ULTRA MEDALS AND BUCKLES

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

Posted in Bling, Featured, Medals, Ultra MarathonComments (0)

Chris Estes Post Race 2012 Strolling Jim 40 Miler

Chris Estes Jumps Over Guardrail to Help Save Fellow Runner During Last Mile of Strolling Jim 40 Miler

The Strolling Jim 40 Mile run was memorable, to say the least. The thunderstorms early on, which has happened in the past, preceded extreme heat, sun, and pretty high humidity. We all heard that this heat and humidity would happen and prepared for it somewhat, but when you wake up in the morning race day and it’s foggy and getting ready to rain, it’s hard to imagine how hot it will really get in the later hours of the race.

LIke most others, even on the flatter sections of the latter part of the race, it was difficult to run and taking walk breaks or shuffling was imperative. No matter how much I wanted to push myself into a 8:30 pace, 10-11 minute pace was all that I could muster up. At the time, I thought that I was the only one who felt this drained by the heat-especially when I saw Chris Estes.

Even though Chris was taking walk breaks, he was still feeling strong and said the heat wasn’t bothering him that much. Over by the “manure” section, where huge stretch of land was being plowed with manure, I was having a difficult time running and smelling that stench. Chris made a point to ask me a few times if I was okay. I replied, “No but yes I’m fine”. If you are an ultra runner, you know what that means.

The final stretch of the 41.2 mile race is on a highway with fairly large shoulders to run on. The road is marked “Only 2 miles left” and “Only 1 mile left”. Around the time that I saw that I only had one mile left to go, I saw something that could have been a hullucination. I saw Chris jump over the metal highway railing down a significantly steep grassy slope. I was still about 1/4 mile away so I wasn’t sure exactly what I saw.

Honestly, I was thinking that maybe Chris suddenly wasn’t feeling well and needed to use the bathroom. What else was I supposed to think?

Shortly after, I saw cars stopping and people moving around quickly. What was going on? The closer I got,  it suddenly occured to me that Chris was needing help.

I stopped and saw Chris about 10 feet down the slope and asked him if he was okay. I got a little closer just as he was telling me that a runner was down and unconscious and I saw another man on the other side of the unconscious runner and they both looked worried. I also saw a local family of three dealing with the situation by calling 911 and responding to the situation.

The only thing that I did to help was close the door of the pick-up truck, in fear that the door would be hit by an oncoming car. I knew that the situation was being dealt with but it was hard to leave. It was hard to see my friend down there dealing with it after running 40 miles in the heat and humidity. But, at that moment, I was honored to know him.

This was Chris’s first Strolling Jim 40 Miler. He is a Boston qualifying runner and loves ultras. He wanted that “sub7 red shirt” that so many of us want. Chris was a few minutes ahead of me before jumping over that railing to save another runner. The truth is that Chris just happened to see the runner’s hat and saw him down the slope off the highway. The runner had been sitting on the railing and fell backwards after passing out. If Chris hadn’t seen his hat, he never would have spotted the runner, or anyone else would have spotted him, for that matter. The runner could have died.

I finished the race in 6:33. Chris was at least a few minutes ahead of me so he would gotten his 6:30 shirt. Instead he finished in 7:10, as a result of saving that runner’s life. The race director, Mike Melton, did give Chris a sub7 red shirt. What Chris did on this day was far more important than receiving the “red shirt”. Even though he was exhausted and getting ready to finish a 41.2 mile race under brutal conditions, he reacted to an extremely difficult situation and to me, proved how special ultra runners are as a whole.

We are not just out there for ourselves: to beat others, to get something out of this in a selfish way. We not only love running and running far, but we also love the community of runners and will do anything for them, expecting nothing in return. On this day, Chris was the perfect example of that.

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Strolling Jim 40 Miler – 2012 Winners – Kathy Youngren – Blake Thompson – Dink Taylor

Blake Thompson Wins 34th Strolling Jim 40 Miler (Results)

Huntsville’s Blake Thompson won the 34th Strolling Jim 40 Miler on May 6, 2012 with a winning time of 5:17:29 for the 41.2 mile course.

Thompson’s time was the slowest winning time in race history according to Race Director Mike Melton.  This was due in large part to the high temperatures and humidity that took a toll on all of the runners throughout the grueling hills of Wartrace, Tennessee.

Second place went to Strolling Jim veteran Dink Taylor (5:29:01) who has run 24+ Jims.  Third place went to ‘Bruce’ Sung Ho Choi (5:33:21) of Jacksonville, Florida.

Top overall female went to Huntsville native Kathy Youngren with a time of 6:04:35.

Second place female was Beth McCurdy (6:33:01) with third place female going to Kim Nosenchuk-Brooks (6:46:57).

Top 34th Strolling Jim Finishers

  1. Blake Thompson – 5:17:29
  2. Dink Taylor – 5:29:01
  3. ‘Bruce’ Sung Ho Choi – 5:33:21
  4. David Jones – 5:36:22
  5. Tom Dolan – 5:48:59
  6. Andy Bruner – 5:56:33
  7. Kathy Youngren – 6:04:35 (F)
  8. Christopher Cadotte – 6:10:11
  9. Timothy Pitts – 6:11:19
  10. Dwayne Satterfield – 6:14:00
  11. Robert Youngren – 6:14:50
  12. Carl Laniak – 6:25:40
  13. Robby Callahan – 6:27:17
  14. Evan Dare – 6:31:34
  15. Beth McCurdy – 6:33:01 (F)
  16. Gary Dawkins – 6:35:39
  17. Hal McClure – 6:38:23
  18. Orlando Baez – 6:45:20
  19. Kim Nosenchuk-Brooks – 6:46:57 (F)
  20. George Menyhert – 6:46:58
  21. William Arnold – 6:51:34
  22. Dana MacCorquodale – 6:58:37

One of the scarier and heroic moments of the race happened during the last mile when Chris Estes, who was on a 6:30ish finishing pace, jumped over a guardrail to help save a fellow runner who had fallen over the guardrail (full story).

[photo via Dink: Kathy Youngren, Blake Thompson, Dink Taylor]

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Where Run It Fast Runners Are Running This Weekend (May 5-6, 2012)

Where Run It Fast Runners Are Running This Weekend (May 5-6, 2012)

We asked on Twitter (@runitfast) where you were running this weekend and 88 of you responded!

Good luck to you all this weekend and Run It Fast!

Joshua Holmes – The Strolling Jim 40 Miler (41.2 miles) – The greatest and oldest ultramarathon in the south. #runitfast

Marcia Larsen – Pittsburgh 1/2 Marathon on 5/6. How can you pass up being named a Runner of Steel!

Lisa Gonzales – I’m running the Safari Park Half Marathon in San Diego on Sunday. #AnimalRacing

Kim Yates – Running @CapCityHalf in Columbus, Ohio w/ my friend@MLSwinehart #go us

Nicole Segalini – In a half marathon on Sunday in Providence RI@coxrhoderaces

Michelle – Lake Lowell Marathon in Nampa, ID!

don morris – Flying Pig Marathon, Cincinnati! My first full!

Tanjie K – Run for the Roses 10k in Madison, AL

Larry Medina#njhalfmarathon this Sunday. Looking for a PR.#runlarryrun

Corey Barton – Pacing the kzoo half on Sunday!

K7Lee – I am running Lincoln half marathon in good ole Nebraska. Yeah praying for no rain. No rain dancing at the moment.

Lexie Stempihar – Swamp Rabbit 5k Friday night in Travelers Rest, SC

smithcincinnati – flying pig marathon!! Squeal!

christopher russo – Broad St 10 miler in Philly

Erin Manzo – Expedition Everest Challenge!

Perry Ligon – The North Face Endurance Challenge 50k Bear Mountain NY Saturday :-)

tracie-lyn – just running in my neighborhood!

Alex Flores – I will be running the Whiskey Row marathon on Prescott, AZ.

Raezzelle – Oak Hall Run 5k for St. Jude !!!

Wade Anderson – Strolling Jim Wartrace , TN

Robert Boluyt – Whiskey Row Marathon, Prescott AZ

Ryan J. Copico – Cotton Classic 10k Greenville, MS

Kristi Puls – Lincoln half marathon this Sunday.

737 Guy – pandoras Box of Rox trail marathon in Burnet Texas on Sat.

Ike ¦) – I’m racing a 10k at Mt. Hood community college tomorrow @runitfast#ready #pumped #allornothing

Serg Aloma – OC Marathon

Anne Burke – Lincoln, NE! National Guard Marathon :)

Nayeli – Flying Pig Marathon @RunFlyingPig in Cincinnati, OH this Sunday! My first full!

Bob and Trish Evans – we will be joggling (running + juggling) in Vancouver, BC ;)

Nick Kane – Jersey marathon baby 26.2 #6

Rachel Zides – Providence RI half marathon

Steven Thorstenson – ONE AMERICA 500 FESTIVAL MINI MARATHON Indianapolis.

Azifikare#TorontoMarathon this Sunday. Just another long run..

Amy Hanavan – Wallis Sands half-marathon Rye, New Hampshire!

Nicholas L. Norfolk – No races. I’ll be at @BealeStMusicFes this weekend. Long runs still on deck though. As @MarathonJunkie would say#RUNMORE

Stephen G – the @HoustonDynamo Go for Goal 5K

Paul Sargent – Pittsburgh! I’m trying to become a #RunnerofSteel. My first marathon!

Trey Pittman – New Balance Uptown 5K in Shreveport, LA!

David W – Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon.

Dennis Arriaga – Western Pacific Half Marathon in Fremont, CA

Daniel – Long Island Half Marathon!

Kate Runner – 17 miles- nature preserve and suburban streets (8 miles out, then “run home”)

Stephanie Mary – broad street run in Philadelphia on Sunday! #10miles#runitfast

lindsay – 10-miler in beautiful Ann Arbor! Hoping this rain quits.

Sarah – Brazen Western Pacific 5K in Fremont!

Christie Jester – doing my first half in Kenosha, WI on Saturday!!

KFun – Oak Hall for St Jude on Sunday in Memphis!

Meredith – Diva 1/2 Marathon in San Francisco!

Mands!@PGHMarathon !!! Doing the half!!!!

Mike McCoy – OC marathon in SoCal this weekend to support autism and @TACAfoundation .

Gregory Wilson – The Western Pacific 10k Saturday at Quarry Lakes Regional Park in Fremont, CA.

Lea Boyd  – Flying from Toronto to Philadelphia to run my first race ever: the Blue Cross Broad Street Run 10 miler.

PerOla Axelsson – half marathon “Kungsholmen runt”

Amber Goetz – the Flying Pig Marathon (1/2 Mary for me) in Cincinnati OH on Sunday! :D

Lena Tamplin – Tricities 3rd Annual 10k Run and 5k Run/Walk, Sat. at 8 am.

Elle – Toronto Marathon this weekend!

Alvin Lee – Pittsburgh Marathon…Here’s to becoming a Runner of Steel!

Skip Keltner – running the One America 500 Festival Mini Marathon Saturday with 35,000 runners. #Indy

Laura Raeder – The Flying Pig Marathon cincinnati Ohio!

Robin – Pocono half marathon.

Amber Meranda – The entire @JonniesGoodguys team is running@500Festival #MiniMarathon Saturday in Indianapolis. Give us a follow!!

Robin Robbins – a little trail running and road running near home this weekend in Milan, TN

Courtney – Broad Street Run, Philadelphia!

Allie – Cincinnati Flying Pig, my first marathon and 26th birthday!

Adele Read – Toronto Half Marathon. Whoot Whoot!!

Jaclyn Janicky – NJ Marathon in Long Branch !!!

Kelsey Stevens – I’ll be running at my local park to train for my first 5 mile race in three weeks in Boston!

Nathan Kreeger – Hoping 4 a night training run for the ‘supermoon’ Sat. night. 30 miles for my 30th b-day with a 30% brighter moon to light my way

Kelley – I’m running the #Blend5k on the East Coast!

Jenn DeSimone – Frederick Running Festival, Frederick, MD. Half Marathon! :)

Joseph Raymond Ruiz – 2012 South Padre Island Jail Break 5/5/12

Colleen Hood – running in beautiful ann arbor – training for upcoming#annarbormarathon

Mark Sikkila – Kalamazoo Marathon for #RIF108 Damn worried about the heat, but first official run with the RIF shirt.

Terri Preast – Strolling Jim, Wartrace, Tennessee!

Meredith Marciano – New Jersey Marathon this Sunday. On the train now to the EXPO to pick up bib.

Brooke F – SMARM 5K (Sevierville, TN)

SKORA Running – Bloomsday 12k!

Jeff Courvoisier – Running the half at @OCMarathon on Sunday w/@mindfuljogger and I’ve got 100+ students running #KidsRuntheOCtomorrow! #KROC

California Footwear – the longest party in California, also known as The Relay. :)

Mary Jane Schriver – Pittsburgh 1/2 marathon. Runner of Steel!

Bill Ebersohl – Doing the #Greenland50K tomorrow between Colorado Springs and Denver.

Cordell Lewis – Track Conference at IWU tonight! 800m for me#wonderhowthatwillgodown

Frank S – I’ll be racing in the @BMOVanMarathon this Sunday, May 6th in #Vancouver

Kiki – I am running in the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon in Indianapolis, IN. Largest half marathon in the country!

Kristopher Gauson – racing at Hayward field this weekend for the twilight meet. Hoping for a fast 1500/800 combo. Place of my current 800 PR

Domenick P. Addesi@IBXRun10 Blue Cross 10-Mile Broadstreet Run in Philadelphia!! #cantwait

Scott Gorski – 8 mile run around Wind Lake.

Colleen F. – Here! View from packet pickup at the #DoorCounty Half Marathon.http://bit.ly/IJrhSd

Kelly Webb – the Mississauga Half Marathon.

Michelle Mitchell – Moscow International Half Marathon 6-May

Natalie Torres – I will be running around my neighborhood this weekend.

Naresh Kumar – RIF#2 will be at Strolling Jim 40 Mile

—-

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Naresh Kumar Ultra Mountain Man

Naresh Kumar’s Top 20 Most Favorite Marathons & Ultras

“I am addicted to long distance running. Never thought, even in my dreams, that I would run as many ultras as I have in the past two years. Ultra marathon is an awesome sport and I consider myself very lucky and blessed for being able to run so many races and meet so many wonderful people along the way. Some of the races, listed below are life changing experiences, taught me the real meaning of perseverance, to face my demons alone and ultimately making me realize that I can do anything.” – Naresh Kumar

My Favorite Races (In no specific order)

The Last Annual Vol State Road Race 500K: Vol State was a life changing experience. I hated talking about the race after finishing but a few weeks later I could never shut up once I start talking about it. The toughest thing that I have ever done in my whole life. Run, walk, eat, sleep …that’s all I did for 7 days to get to the finish line.

Foot Hills Trail Ultra: A 77 mile trail ultra from Oconee State Park to Table Rock State Park. I joined the FHT mailing list and after listening to countless number of adventure stories from runners who attempted this grueling race, I thought I will give it a try. This race, especially the Laurel Valley section, is the most beautiful and wild trails that I have ever run. Besides I earned the BMF title, and the wallet, by finishing it in 27+ hours.

Art Loeb Trail: The TOUGHEST 50K I have ever run to this date. The RD calls it as adventure run as opposed to calling it a race and he is right. Calling this 50K an adventure run is a joke. It’s practically a 2-3 day hike which was tagged as an adventure run with a 12 hr cut-off. No marked trails after mile 12. Compass and map is a must to navigate the course. Wild and beautiful trail that runs across the mountain ridges offering spectacular views. National Geographic has listed ALT as one of the thirty best North American hikes. My finish time for this 50K. 11:13:32

Big Dog Backyard Ultra: A very unique race with a very unique format. A death march on Big Dog Backyard Trail and the last man standing wins. Run 4.2 miles, start and finish by the hour. Pushed my limits and managed to answer the bell for 11 loops before finally giving in.

Bartram 100: My first 100 mile ultra that I ran and finished within my first year of running. 6.2 mile loop. Run it 16 times for a 100 mile finish. The year I first ran, the weather was miserable. It felt like 18 deg F with heavy winds, pouring rain and sleet. The second year, I shaved off almost 4 hours from my previous years’ time. One of the best 100’s that I have run.

Bloody 11W 100 mi: The highway was once known as “Bloody 11W” because of the frequency of fatal accidents along the route. Why not run 100 miles on the most haunted road in the US. That’s how it all started. Approximately 110 miles from where 11E and 11W splits in Knoxville, TN all the way to the Virginia state line in Bristol. A fatass style event. Beautiful yet brutal course. The longest 34:04:00 of my life. Mark your calendar for the Labor Day weekend. There will be blood. :)

Land between the Lakes 50 mi: My most memorable races are the ones where things went wrong at the very beginning and I had to put on the best fight against all odds to get to the finish line. My first 50 mile within 2 months of my running experience. My first race finish where I cried like a baby at the finish line, literally. This race also taught me that “You’re better than you think you are and you can do more than you think you can”.

Louisville Lovin The Hills 50K: This was the toughest 50K next to ALT 50K. Hills never end at LLTH 50K and they get steeper and longer by the hour. Also the most muddy race that I have ever run. Came so close to DNF several times. My buddy Trent and I pushed each other in all perseverance to the finish line. A very tough and a challenging course.

Mt Mist 50K: This one’s another one of my favorite 50K. Trail runners never die, they just thin out and it’s so true if you run the Mt Mist. Some of the sections are so steep that you would wish you had some rock climbing experience. The Mt Mist 50K course will literally break you.

Stump Jump 50K: My favorite race among the Rock Creek Series. Wild trails and beautiful course with amazing support. One of the 50K events that I would definitely run every year.

Hinson Lake 24Hr: Tom Gabell puts on the best 24 hr race in the country. The course is the 1.52 mile inner loop that circles the lake. The surface is a soft clay maintained trail through the woods. You will run over 16 small wooden foot bridges including an 300 foot bridge that crosses over the lake. The Volunteers and the RD makes he race the most memorable 24hr endurance run.

Cumberland Trail 50K: Another tough 50K. The race takes you on a challenging, out-and-back route on the rugged New River section of the Cumberland Trail.  This section crosses the high point of the trail, Cross Mountain, at over 3000’.  The climb up Cross Mountain is steep and slow. Another wild wild trail. RD Susan puts on a great race and the best race swag.

Oak Mountain 50K: Heart breaking hills, beautiful waterfalls, different terrain throughout with challenging ups-n-downs, rocky trail sections, crushed-gravel, and trippy rocks, Oak Mountain 50K has got everything a trail runner can ask for.  The finisher beer glass is well worth it and the ham burgers at the end of the race too.

Mt Cheaha 50K: The only time I thought I was going to die was during the last 3 miles of Mt Cheaha course. A race to the top of Alabama, literally.  A point-to-point trail run that finishes in the Cheaha State Park at the summit of Cheaha Mountain. At 2,407 feet this is the highest point in Alabama. Along the run you will experience scenic overlooks, creek crossings, lakes, waterfalls, and hardwood and pine forests.

Destin Beach Ultra: The most beautiful race that you will ever run. A 50K race along the Destin shore. A barefoot runner’s paradise. The race supports for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. My first 50K where I run the entire race barefoot.

Strolling Jim 40 Miler: This 40 Mile Ultra marathon is run entirely on paved roads in Wartrace, TN. The race is challenging, very hilly yet the course is beautiful offering spectacular view of the southern country side.

Run Under The Stars 10Hr: Another great race organized by Steve Durbin. This is a night time run. Run, jog, walk, rest, stop and start as much as you’d like. Really cool swags including a finisher’s Award indicating your total distance. Whether you are trying to race or want to have a party with your running mates, RUTS 10Hr is the perfect race.

Flying Monkey Marathon: As mentioned in the website, The Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon is meant to be an antidote. It is a marathon that is about running. Running hard. Running over big and memorable and painful rolling hills through dense woods. The Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon is about the joy and pain of running a unique, and uniquely challenging and a beastly–26.2 mile course in the beautiful and historic Percy Warner Park, nestled among the Middle Tennessee Harpeth Hills. Trent is the funniest and the best RD. The race is so popular that it got filled in under 3 minutes. A race where I got the nick name THE INDIAN MONKEY and I am so proud of it. The one marathon I will run every single year without fail.

Sweet H2O 50K: The moment I saw pictures of runners crossing a raging river holding on to a rope, I signed up to run this awesome 50K. A 50K Ultra in Sweetwater Creek State Park, Lithia Springs, GA.  Trails with creek crossings in and around the park, following the lovely rapids of Sweetwater Creek, and venturing past Civil War-era textile mill ruins. They had to reroute the course in 2011 due to heavy floods and I didn’t get to cross the raging river but I will definitely be back next year. You will get Very Wet.

Naresh’s Adventure Blog

Posted in Marathon, Running, Ultra MarathonComments (1)


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