Tag Archive | "ultramarathon"

Rob Krar – Leadville Trail 100 Run Winner – Run It Fast

Rob Krar Wins the 2014 Leadville 100 (Results)

Rob Krar, of Flagstaff, Arizona, won the 2014 Leadville Trail 100 Run tonight with a time of 16:09:02. It extends an amazing 2014 for Krar who won the prestigious Western States 100 Miler in late June.

Krar posted the following message on his Facebook page:

I was humbled by the ‪#‎LT100‬ course today. It was without a doubt the most challenging effort of my life, emotionally and physically. I’m so damn inspired by each and everyone out there, competitors, crew, pacers and volunteers, it’s a journey for all. Thank-you to so many for your love, support and encouragement—as the saying goes, it means more than you know. Final HUGE thank-you to my incredible crew Alicia Shay, @dougtumminello and Michael Smith, you guys rock!

Second place went to Michael Aish, of Arvada, Colorado, in 16:38:35. Aish led the race for a portion early on.

Defending champ, Ian Sharman, finished in third place in 16:41:38 just minutes behind Aish. Fourth place went to Zeke Tiernan in 17:35:13.

Top 20 Leadville Trail 100 Run Finishers

  1. Rob Krar – 16:09:02
  2. Michael Aish – 16:38:35
  3. Ian Sharman – 16:41:38
  4. Zeke Tiernan – 17:35:13
  5. Dave Mackey – 19:10:44
  6. Lars Kjerengtroen – 19:19:40
  7. Richard Airey – 19:27:15
  8. Emma Rocca – 19:38:04 (1st Female)
  9. Craig Howie – 19:43:31
  10. Liza Howard – 20:01:13 (2nd Female)
  11. John Wros – 20:17:47
  12. Bob Africa – 20:25:10
  13. Duncan Callahan – 20:27:19
  14. Daniel Verdi – 20:30:24
  15. Matthew Curtis – 20:38:37
  16. Michael Ambrose – 20:41:16
  17. Chuck Radford – 20:46:32
  18. Bob Sweeney – 20:51:11
  19. Marvin Sandoval – 21:20:00
  20. Fernando Gonzalez Diaz – 21:40:37

Other wins by Krar include UROC 100K, Leona Divide 50 Miler, Moab’s Red Hot 50K (2013), McDowell Mountain Frenzy 50K, Jemez Mountain, and Moab’s Red Hot 33K (2012)

Spain’s Emma Roca was the 2014 Leadville Trail 100 Run winner in 19:38:04. Second place female went to Liza Howard, who led for most of the race, with a finishing time of 20:01:13.

[photo: Rob Krar Facebook]

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Joe Fejes Six Days in the Dome Record Breaker – Run It Fast

Joe Fejes Breaks U.S. 6-Day Record at Six Days in the Dome

Georgia native Joe Fejes just set the 6-Day record with 580.3 miles at the Six Days in the Dome ultramarathon in Anchorage, Alaska.

The previous record of 577.75 miles was set by Stu Mittleman 30 years ago.

The race was the first competitive indoor 6-Day race since the 1994 race in La Rochelle, France.

Six Days in the Dome took place at The Dome which is an indoor track that measures 413 meters long, slightly longer than a traditional quarter mile track. The surface was harder than most participants expected, but the venue was flawless otherwise with it’s artificial lighting around the clock, restrooms right off the track, and ample infield area for runners to sleep and rest. Joe and others took their down time in RV’s they rented that were parked just outside a side door.

Fejes rose to national attention late last year at the Across the Years 6-Day race where he beat legendary ultrarunner Yiannis Kouros by putting down 555.36 miles to Kouros’ 550.157 miles. The first 6-Day defeat ever for Kouros.

Several other records were broken at The Dome including Traci Falbo running 242.09 miles in 48 hours to set the US 48-hour record and World 48-hour indoor record. Andrew Snope put down 136.98 miles to set the 24-hour record for most miles run barefoot.

[photo: Israel Archuletta]

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Badwater 135 Ultramarathon Buckle TM – 2014 – Run It Fast

Badwater 135 ‘World’s Toughest’ Buckle (2014)

Here is the finisher’s buckle for the Badwater 135 ‘World’s Toughest’ Ultramarathon that took place on July 21-22, 2014 in Lone Pine, California.


[medal photo submitted by Joshua Holmes – follow him on Twitter @bayou]

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

Mohican Trail 100 Buckle 2014

Mohican 100 Buckle (2014)

This is the finisher’s buckle for the Mohican 100 Mile that was held on June 21-22, 2014 in Loudonville, Ohio.

Very cool buckle! Congratulations to Larry on completing his first 100 Miler!


[medal photo submitted by Larry Keister – follow him on Twitter @royalkeister]

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Nathan and Melissa Judd Thunder Rock 100 – Run It Fast

Thunder Rock 100 Mile Race Report – Nathan Judd

Rock Creek’s Thunder Rock 100 Mile Trail Race

0-25 (Start to Reliance)

We began by crossing a long bridge across the Ocoee River with ACDC’s Thunderstruck blaring through the speakers. That was the perfect way to start the race. I made sure to start out very conservatively and to keep myself from getting caught up in the adrenaline at the start. The trail immediately started a climb, which was indicative of what would be upcoming all day. I felt very good for the first 5 miles and ran with a college buddy, Paddy Flanagan, for this stretch. It did begin to hail on us a couple of times in the first stretch. This made it actually kind of cold for a bit, but other than that, the weather was perfect for the start. Any more would have been too much. I came into the first aid station at Thunder Rock (mile 5) and had a quick refill before heading back out onto the trail.

I believe we were on the Benton McKaye for the next stretch. Again, this was a significant climb. I think it was after this climb that I decided to go ahead and push ahead for a bit. I met some interesting people along the way. I ran with a 17 year old girl for a bit, and she said it was her 4th attempt at a 100. It was fun talking to her, and I tried to give her some advice I wish I would have heard when I was her age. She was far ahead of her years. We reached the top of this climbing section probably somewhere around 15 miles in. There was an aid station here with some boy scouts who were playing. (I ran with a guy later who said one of the scouts hit him with a rock).

We had some muddy downhill for quite a while. I consider myself a strong downhill runner, and I really hit this section hard. It was downhill most of the way to mile 25, so I was able to pick back up on some of the time I lost on the climbing coming into 25 where I again met my crew. I rolled in there close to 4:30 pm I think. Just looking at the numbers, this was 1.5 hours ahead of 24 hour pace; however, they had taken into account inclines and things at various stretches, so the actual cutoff was at 6:00pm I think. Apparently, I was only 1.5 hours ahead of the actual cutoff. Either way, I was feeling pretty good for the most part. My legs were starting to feel a little tired which concerned me some, but mentally, I was strong and ready to keep going.

25-50 (Reliance to Servilla)

After Reliance, we ran across a bridge that crossed the Hiwassee. I saw Dawson Wheeler in a golf cart who commented on my Hokas. We ran east for a while following the Ocoee. We started off on a trail that was somewhat technical, and it eventually opened up onto the pavement for a long stretch. It was beating me up quite a bit, and I was really glad to come into the next aid station (Powerhouse at mile 32 I believe). The workers made sure we all had our headlamps. I didn’t stop long and headed out for the next stretch. This was the most difficult part of the whole course from what I can remember. There were two very steep technical climbs through this section. I bonked pretty hard for a while on these.

I simply couldn’t keep my heart rate down because of how steep the climbs and switchbacks were. Then, the trail would take a steep descent, but it would be too technical for me to make up any time on it. The only thing I could do was to keep moving forward. As I topped the second climb, some guys were walking back onto the trail from a small trail outcrop that was at an overlook. They told me to make sure to take the time to look at it. I was glad I did. I took a few minutes to sit down and to remember why I do trail running. I’m not sure how high the cliff I had been climbing was, but it had a beautiful overlook of the Hiwassee cutting through the gorge. To the right, the sun was starting to set. I took a picture, but it didn’t capture it (as most pictures usually don’t). I said a prayer of thanks to God for allowing me the ability to do this run and to see the things I saw, and then I began pressing on.

My anti-bonk was short-lived as I began to descend steeply and technically back into the gorge. At the bottom of the gorge, I heard a couple of voices behind me. I was about to cross a stream when I heard one of them curse behind me. I turned around to see someone fall off a large rock into the creek. I started freaking out telling them what I saw. They started freaking out looking for the guy around the rock. We couldn’t find him anywhere. This was my first hallucination of the day. The trail began climbing again for a very long time until it finally opened up to the aid station at Coker Falls.

I looked around for my crew, but the aid station workers said all of the crews were at the top of a hill. I went ahead and filled my bottles to save some time once I saw my crew. The sun had just set (right on 24 hour pace), but I had just enough light to get me to the top of the steep hill on the beginning of gravel road. It was roughly a half mile from the aid station to the top of this hill. I was happy to see my crew, and I let them know how hard that stretch was. They said I actually looked like I was in better spirits than most of the people who came out of that part. I think I stayed there about 8 minutes or so before getting up to head off into the night. Almost all of the night running was on gravel road. I met up with a guy named Benj. I ran with him almost the whole way to Servilla (from 40-50). We talked for a long time. He was a very cool guy. I think he said he was 25 (or about to turn 25… his birthday was on Sunday after the race. Happy birthday Benj). He began pushing on ahead right before we got to Servilla. This is where I picked up my safety runner, Alex.

50-75 (Servilla to Iron Gap)

It was nice having a little bit of company after being out in the woods and not knowing anyone. There wasn’t really a whole lot that happened between Servilla and the first stop at Iron Gap (mile 55 I think). There were some stretches of very steep climbing, from 50-75. I really enjoyed getting to the Pistol Ultra aid station at Bullet Creek. I don’t remember the exact mileage, but it was probably close to 61 or 62. Those guys know how to do an aid station. They had all kinds of crazy food. They had heaters blaring. There were Christmas lights everywhere. It was just awesome. It was a good way to wake up in the middle of the night. Alex’s wife, Cherri, was there to take care of everything we needed. I was wondering where my wife, Melissa was, and Cherri told me the roads had made her sick. I found out the next morning, that she had been very, very sick. I’m glad I didn’t know how sick at the time. It would have been a difficult mental barrier to cross.

After getting out of the aid station, we started a pretty major climb. The Pistol Ultra guys had signs on the side of the road with quotes of encouragement, funny one-liners, and things like that to keep the runners’ minds occupied as we climbed this “Heartbreak Hill” as the signs called it. Those signs helped a lot. Did I mention the Pistol Ultra guys know how to do it? (Their ultra is in January. I did it last year, and it was a lot of fun if you don’t mind running on some pavement). We were going to meet our crew again at the next aid station at mile 68, and Alex was going to jump out to take a break before starting to run with me again after the river crossing. That plan disappeared quickly when the crew wasn’t at the next station. It turned out they couldn’t find the station. Alex, by the grace of God, was able to get in touch with Cherri by phone (This was pretty much the only time he had cell phone service, and she just happened to have service at that exact moment, too). He told her to meet us at the river. This locked him into running more than 50k before he would even have the option of stepping out of his safety runner duties because there was no crew access at Iron Gap (the next aid station).

This was a very long 7 mile stretch. Again, it started on gravel road for a long time. Then, it went to single track for a while. This is where the sun started coming up for me. That was pretty cool. We could see Etowah (at least I think it was Etowah) off to the right side of the mountain as we ran. All the lights were on down there, and the light of the sun was just enough that we could see the structures of the city. It was pretty cool. After the single track, we got back onto a gravel road we had already run earlier. It was the stem of a lollipop section of the course. After finishing this stem, we arrived back at Iron Gap for the second time. I really had fun goofing off with the workers there. I was in very good spirits, and their positive attitudes helped bring me up even further.

75-100 (Iron Gap to Finish)

We started down the 8 mile horse trail to the river. This was mostly descending. There were some ups in it as well, but it kept steadily getting lower and lower. Alex and I got to see the view at the horse hitch on the left side of the trail as we headed south. The air was foggy down low, so it made for a pretty cool view of the mountains to our east. This was at roughly mile 78. We continued to move forward toward the river. This was a very long stretch. Every turn seemed like it should be the turn before we got to the campground, but we just kept going. Eventually, we saw our wives walking up the trail towards us. They were really a sight to see. It was also good to see Melissa feeling good again. Because they missed us at one of the aid stations, they were able to get to the river a little earlier to get some sleep. We slowly made our way to their car, and I laid down in the back for about 15 minutes while they refilled all of my gear. I didn’t go to sleep, but it sure felt good to get off my legs for a while.

I tried to get a little trot going on the way to the river crossing, but my legs barely worked. My parents were there to see me off across the river, too. It was cool to get some extra encouragement. It felt so good to put my legs in that water. It really did ice them, and they felt almost fresh once I hit the other side. I quickly got some grub at the next aid station (Quinn Springs, mile 83), and then I started the 2,200 foot climb over 3.9 miles up Oswald Dome. This climb was on my mind the entire time I had been running. I couldn’t help but ask myself the entire race, “What is it going to feel like to climb that after 83 miles?” Honestly, the climb wasn’t as bad as I had thought it would be. I’m not saying it was easy, but the thought of doing it on tired legs was much more difficult than the reality of actually doing it. The hardest part of this stretch was that it started to rain on me.

It was probably about 50 degrees if that at the time. I started shivering uncontrollably. Alex was still running with me, and he actually took his shirt off to give it to me. I said no at first, but he said, “It’s already off.” It helped a lot, but I was still cold. Once we got close to the top, I asked him to run ahead and to tell the people at the aid station that I was really cold and had to find a way to warm up. A guy met me before I got to the station, and he led me to a truck. The heat was blazing in the truck, and they had really warm blankets as well. They also gave me a blazing cup of Ramen. It all really hit the spot. The next stretch was about 7 miles, and I honestly think I would have been in big trouble if I wouldn’t have been able to recharge my batteries at that point. I gave myself 8 minutes to get warm, and then I got back out into the cold. Immediately, I felt cold again, but I pushed forward anyway. Alex and I moved pretty quickly for a long time. It was a steady downhill stretch for several miles on more gravel road. The sky started to clear some, and the sun started coming out helping me out significantly.

We got to the final aid station at McCamy Lake (mile 93). My wife was waiting to jump in with me, and Alex got to jump out. That joker ran with me for about 43 miles after doing basically no training. He is sort of a freak of nature. I had heard that this next section of trail was all downhill and was very technical. At first, it was very smooth, and there were little tiny stretches that had some rocks. I thought to myself, “Is this what they were referring to as technical?” It was perfect.

That all changed after a while. We got onto some single track that just kept going up and down, up and down. There were stream crossings and rocks galore. At one point, we climbed up a large hill, and the trail had jagged rocks that made each step a chance of rolling an ankle. On top of that, to the left was a steep cliff. One wrong step, and it could have been a game ender. I intentionally took my good sweet time through this part. I was not risking losing the completion this close to being finished. I had plenty of time in the bank, so I just made it worth it. Finally, I saw a man up ahead standing by a sign, and I knew I was close. Wait! There wasn’t a man by a sign. I looked harder and harder, but he just wasn’t there. This was my second hallucination. Of course, I eventually started hearing voices up ahead, and I knew I was at the end. I came down a hill and banked to the left to cross the line to see my parents and Alex and Cherri there waiting on me. What a course!


Going into this race, I had to make sure to prepare myself mentally. I attempted Pinhoti, and things just didn’t click for me there. My stomach went sour early on at Pinhoti, and I battled that up until around mile 70 before I felt it was getting dangerous to continue. I was afraid I would get stuck on that stretch, and a search party would have to come in after me. I figured out what worked for me nutritionally between Pinhoti and Thunder Rock, and I had absolutely zero vomiting issues this go around thanks to Tailwind Nutrition. If you haven’t heard of it, check it out. It is the real deal.

In preparation for the mental barriers of the race, I wanted to know my “why” as to my motivation for finishing the race. Ultimately, I want my story to inspire others, not even necessarily with running. I am a counselor as a profession, and I work with teenagers with addictions. Many of them don’t even entertain the possibility of staying clean, and many of the ones that want to try don’t think it is even possible. They think they are bound by their circumstances, and because all of their families have been stuck in the cycles of addiction, they are destined to continue in the addictive cycles, too.

I want my message to be this: If I, an average guy, can devote myself to finishing 100 miles, you, the reader, can do anything. You simply have to start telling yourself that you can. Then you can start figuring out how to make it possible. I’m not telling you this will be easy, but it will be possible. You can do anything. This is the message I want my clients to receive from my finishing this race. I don’t really want any recognition other than others being inspired to do what they think is impossible.

Figure out what your goals are, and go get them!

Nathan Judd (2014 Thunder Rock 100 Mile Finisher)
RIF #166

RELATED: David Pharr’s Thunder Rock 100 Mile Race Report

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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


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Umstead 100 Mile Buckle – Run It fast

Umstead 100 Miler Buckle (2014)

This is the finisher’s buckle from the Umstead 100 Miler that was held on April 5, 2014 in Raleigh, North Carolina.


[medal photo submitted by RIF #134 Robin Mancinelli- follow her on Twitter @robinmrr2]

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

Bandit 50K Course Profile – Elevation

Mugged by the Bandit 50K (Race Report)

Bandit 50K Race Report – February 16, 2014 

I decided a couple of days ago to run the Bandit 50K once again. It’s about 35 minutes away in Simi Valley, California. Last year it beat me up, ran over me, then spit on me finishing in 6:32:28. So this year I wanted to beat that. I was relatively fresh going in but aware that the temperatures could once again top 80.

The Bandit 50K is one of the toughest 50K’s in the U.S. and the toughest I’ve done to date. It climbs nearly 1,750 feet from mile 1.5 to 4.5. The total elevation gain for the race is around 6,500 feet with the same amount of descent for about 13k in total elevation change. The course is totally in the open without cover and really heats up the last 20 miles.

I ran and hiked pretty well for those first 4-5 miles up the first big climb before falling and hitting my left knee hard on the stone floor. It took a bit of time for it to feel mostly normal again. Naturally my fall happened while I was talking to a fellow a runner.

After the first aid station, you begin a steep descent that takes you all the way to the mile 9 aid station. It’s technical and a fast down hill. I kept misstepping here and there and turning my ankles and feet along the way yet nothing major.

For the next 2 miles you face another solid climb. Around this time the temperature started to become noticeable. I came into the race on the low side of being hydrated and the distance between the aid stations (more so just my lack of not having a big enough handheld/or two) quickly led to my dehydration.

The stretch from mile 11 to 15 is mostly down hill with a couple of smaller hills (relatively speaking to this race) before reaching the turnaround aid station at mile 15. I tried to down as much water as I could at this aid station along with some calories. I think those calories ended up being a Gu, an orange and a Rice Krispie Treat. I could tell by now I was dehydrated which impacts the body in numerous ways. I knew with the way my body was feeling that the climb out of 15, back up to mile 19, and down to 20 would be challenging and tough. Mentally I was also already thinking on the gradual climb from 20 to 24.5 and the massive climb from there to 27.5.

It took a lot of grit and grind, but I made it back to mile 20 and the aid station that was there. I was very dehydrated at this point, yet tried to smile and put on a good face while downing 7 cups of water, pouring one over my head, and downing a Gu and Hammer gel.

I knew the stretch from 20 to 27 was going to be brutal and steep especially the last 2-3 miles of it. About 1 mile into this segment I had to pee. I knew what to expect but it was still shocking to see my pee the color of Mello-Yello but as if someone had removed the water from Mello-Yello. Oh well, at least it was pee. My body was aching but the march continued, tattered, rattled and with an occasional 25-50 step jog. Yes, I counted!

Miles 20 to about 26.5 without an aid station during the toughest and hottest stretch of the race is very challenging (especially carrying just a 20 ounce handheld). I tried to pace myself with my fluids, but my body said drink now. So my handheld was empty and I still had about 2 miles to the aid station with about 1,000 feet of climb over those two miles.

Well that’s a steep climb and with my body aching and my head throbbing I had to sit down a couple of times on jagged half rocks to keep from passing out. I knew that I wasn’t going to quit, and I was hoping I wouldn’t get pulled. So I quickly realized that my hopes of finishing better than last year where over and to just finish the race. I kept hiking as fast as my body allowed and ran when I could even if it was for short spurts that might have been discouraging to others if it had been them. However, I found hope that with each pained and dehydrated step that I was a step closer to finishing this beast of a race. Then I could stop, lay down, and tell myself I’d never do this again…well at least not this race…maybe.

To speed up this race report so it doesn’t become as arduous and painful as the Bandit was for me (too late you say?) I’ll fast forward to when I hit that last main aid station. There I downed a couple cups of water, poured another one on my hair (it almost even soaked through it), and continued on knowing that the last 3.5 miles would have a lot of downhill but that it would be technical and tough on the feet and ankles.

I was cautious yet still running where I felt in control and moving forward at a good rate yet when I’d slow down due to technical dangers. I completely rolled over each ankle during this time. I knew that sub 6-hours was likely gone, but I kept pressing on.

With 2 miles left to go you drop about 700 feet within the span of a mile. It’s intense and technical! I was smart and remembered my #1 goal for every race, “To be alive at the end of the day!”

I was keeping an eye on my watch and knew I’d likely be around 6:02. With about 0.5 mile to go I realized that I could perhaps kill myself finishing and MAYBE break 6 hours. Death is not worth a finish in the mid 30’s overall at a race that most humans have never heard about. So I decided to run and finish as best as I could while feeling semi-comfortable (since comfortable left once the race started).

Around the last bend I knew I’d be 600 and change. I crossed the finish line in 6:00:40 and was never so glad to finish a race. I didn’t care about my time or much else at that moment. I went to my truck and laid in the bed of it for about 20 minutes.

As disastrous as the day felt to me I was very pleased with my finishing time. It was 32 minutes faster than the year before. I felt like I was battling for my life out there the last 15 miles and just tried to be smart but relentless to push through the discomfort and finish.

The Bandit 50K is a really good race. It’s very tough with 6500+ feet climb, the heat, sun, concrete like-technical trail, and distance in between aid stations. The RD’s do a great job hosting this race. It’s affordable (less than $100), nice medal and shirt, and everyone associated with the race is very pleasant. It has a very small town feel to it even though it’s in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Southern California.

I swore many times during this race that this was it and I’d never do the Bandit again, but i have this sneaky feeling that I’ve perhaps lied to myself once again.

joshua holmes (RIF #1)
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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 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.


Posted in Running, Ultra MarathonComments (0)

State by State Ultra/Marathon/Half Marathon Medals Library

State by State Ultra/Marathon/Half Marathon Medals Library

Here is a massive indexed state-by-state library of all of the marathon, half-marathon, and ultramarathon medals (and more) we’ve received over the past four years.

Enjoy and be sure to Tweet us your medals @runitfast on Twitter or email them in to us.

United States


New Hampshire
  • None
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
  • None
Rhode Island
  • None
South Carolina
South Dakota
Washington D.C.
West Virginia

Posted in Bling, Half Marathon, Marathon, Medals, Ultra MarathonComments (0)

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