Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Next Race: Big D Texas Marathon Double

This weekend is the sixth race in the "Race Against Prostate Cancer" series. On Sunday I'll be running the Big D Texas Marathon. But since my goal is to run one ultra per month I'll be running the race twice. I plan to start at 2:00 AM and run the course once on my own. Then I'll refuel and rest a bit before starting the official race at 8:00 AM. I'm only nervous about two things with this plan:

1. Finding water - with my running vest I can carry plenty of food/energy chews, but I can't carry enough water. I'm considering either stashing some water every five miles or asking a friend to crew for me and meet me every five miles with food and drink.

2. Getting lost - this race has a lot of turns! I'll have to carry directions and be very careful.

I'm pretty excited about running the first marathon solo. I love the solitude of running alone at night. Then I'll jump right in with the crowds and enjoy the cheering and excitement of the second race. I'm also excited because my dad, his wife, my brother and his wife and kids will also be there. My brother is running the half marathon. So it will be fun to see family this weekend and maybe on the course at some point.

On the fundraising front things are still going well, but I'm not finished yet! I've raised $3,747, which is 85% of my goal! I'm only $645 from reaching my financial goal, and that is the reason I'm doing this - it's not about the races, it's about saving lives. So please help me reach my goal! You can donate here.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Three Days of Syllamo Mini-Race Report

Due to an extremely severe ice storm in February a lot of the trail system was damaged (the number of downed trees is just unbelievable). The race director worked hard to provide chalenging and rugged terrain with much less trail available to him than in the past. He did a great job and the race was still awesome!

Day One: 26 miles in 4:55. Got lost for about ten minutes. Rest of run was great! About 20 miles of single track, 6 miles of hilly, steep jeep roads.

Day Two: 50 miles in 10:06. Last 10 miles were tough! At mile 5 we had to cross a COLD, waist-deep creek, twice. On the second trip I slipped and put my hands and arms plus my chest in the water, up to my shoulders. BRRR! Except for that I did not fall and I did not throw up! :) 38 minute PR for 50 miles. About 30 miles of single track, 20 miles of hilly, steep jeep roads.

Day Three: 20k in 2:12. At miles 5 and 7 we crossed the same waist-deep creek. Managed to stay on my feet this time but the route I took got me in water up to my belly button! Lots of mud on the trails today, sloshing and splashing. Almost lost a shoe twice. Overall a great day to be on the trails and alive. 11.4 miles of single track, 1 mile of hilly jeep road/highway shoulder.

Overall: 88.4 miles in 17:13 (unofficially). After day two I was 19th out of 39 stage runners. We'll see where I end up.

I'll follow-up with a more detailed race report once I get my head around the weekend and get pictures developed. Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Latest Update on Three Days of Syllamo

Received from the Race Director today:

Once again Mother Nature showed us who is in charge and just how really fierce she can be; she always wins!


As you may have heard we were hit with a major ice storm in early February causing total damage to the trails in the area. Since then a group of dedicated trail runners and mountain bikers have logged over 150 man hours working on the trail. The forest service has also logged many hours of trailwork, although the trails have not been their main priority. A lot of the trails are still closed due to safety issues. So with that in mind I must tell you that we do not the abundance of trails for our use.


At Three Days of Syllamo we change the courses every year. I always try to design courses without loops, overlaps or any significant sections on forest roads. This year we will be forced to primarily use the Sylamore Trail and forest roads as our courses for each days run. Do not be discouraged; the Sylamore trail is a world class trail that meanders along Sylamore Creek, over mountain tops crossing many streams. Along with the Sylamore trail we will utilize forest roads to get the distance needed. As always the runs will be fun and take you too many beautiful locations. The 50 mile course for Saturday will be somewhat short; mid forty’s, therefore we will be starting a little later.


Stage runners, there be could be a surprise! You should come prepared for any condition including water crossings and darkness; look close at Syllamo Man! “It’s dark down in them there hollers”.

Not sure what to expect this year, but I'm sure it will be fun!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Next Race: Three Days of Syllamo

Next Friday I will start my next race, Three Days of Syllamo.  This is my absolutely favorite race I've ever done.  I've completed it twice before and can't wait for next weekend to come.

The format is three days of racing:  50k on Friday, 50 Miles on Saturday and 20k on Sunday.  All races start and end at the Blanchard Springs campgrounds in Northern Arkansas, about three hours North of Little Rock.  The terrain is mountainous and challenging.  The Race Director does everything he can to incorporate lots of climbs and tough trail into the races.  For course maps and elevation profiles, go here.

I walked this race in 2005 (when it was 20k/60k/40k) and in 2007 (when it was also 50k/50 mile/20k).  Both races were awesome and I had a wonderful time.  My 2005 race report is very detailed and has lots of pictures so if you are interested in learning more about the race go here.

I don't expect this to be a fast race - I've got to save myself for the later days.  When all is said and done I will have raced 93.49 miles in three days.  Here is exactly what will happen:  Wake up, run, soak in either the ice cold river or an ice bath, eat pizza, sleep, repeat.  I expect these to be some very slow races, but I also expect to finish all three and have a great time doing it!

On the fundraising side things are looking good but I could still use your help.  I'm only $700 dollars from my goal!  That means that with your help I've raised $3,692, which is 84% of my goal.  So just a few more donations will get us over the top.  If you know anyone who has been affected by prostate cancer please feel free to pass on my website!  I'm not picky - I'll take money from anyone.

Thanks as always to all my donors and all my supporters.  This whole experience has been much more meaningful thanks to your generosity and encouragement.  Let's keep on going!