Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lets call it a Western States 100 Recovery Run.

Reminder, we are on for a group trail run tomorrow morning 5:16 AM. Meet at the very top of Squaw Peak Drive in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve north of Glendale Ave. Plan on a little over one hour run at a slow pace. If no WS runners than a moderate pace:) Runner of the Week: Chris Harrison is the unanimous decision. Chris completed the Western States 100 mile endurance run last weekend. This is one of those events that has many stories packed into a 24-hour period. Here is my attempt to summarize succinctly.

One of the lines from the morning paper after the event stated “This year’s race was especially difficult, as the mercury in the steep canyons topped 110 degrees – the hottest race conditions ever recorded”. “ It felt like someone had a hair-dryer blowing in my face,” said Koerner (race winner) “Even my eyeballs were hot.”

Out of the 399 starters only 238 were successful in finishing. 40.3% failed.

This was not Chris’ first 100-mile run but it was his first Western States. All of his other 100’s he never used a pacer. That was his plan again until the WMRC entourage inserted themselves.

Jason Klonoski and I were crewing and pacing for Cosmas. The Coury brothers, Jamil, Nick, and Nathan were also scheduled to pace other runners as well. Unfortunately all of our runners weren’t able to continue for one reason or another.

As the heat got more intense and runners dropped, Chris Harrison plugged away. He didn’t worry about the other runners and ran his own race. At mile 16 he was in 191st. The first time we saw him at mile 30 he was in 161st. At mile 50 he was 150th, mile 60 he was 132nd.
With all of our runners out, the WMRC entourage huddled up and came up with a new game plan to accompany Chris and have a pacer run with him from mile 60 to the finish. Jason was first up and both of them did an incredible job. They moved up to 117th place at the river-crossing mile 78. Later coming out of the river Chris smiled and said not bad for two guys, one who never had a pacer and the other who never paced before.

While Jason and Chris were jamming on the trail, Mark, the Coury Brothers and I went to the finish line to watch the leaders finish. It was also awesome to say hello to WMRCer Jamie Mieras who was working the medical tent. From there we all went and drove to the area above the aid station at mile 80. As Mark took a well deserved nap, Jamil, Nick, Nathan and I ran down the 3.5 miles or so to the river to await Chris and Jason’s arrival.
As we were watching the runners wade through the river waist and chest deep. I was lucky enough to have someone throw me a couple beers. I was in heaven. Better yet was watching Chris and Jason cross the river and all six of us jam up the 2-mile hill climb into Green gate aid station mile 80. Just image its about 1:30 in the morning and most of us are wearing WMRC shirts and flying up the hill. We passed 5 different groups in that short two-mile stretch. I heard one group yell out “what the heck was that!?” And another one say “don’t you know someone had already won the race??” We all laughed.

The next pacer up was Nick who would take Chris from Mile 80 to the finish. Even though Nick is only 21 he has made his mark in the ultra running world. Last year he finished 5th at Hardrock 100. So when I told Chris that Nick was taking him to the finish he had the look of fear and said “Great here comes the whip!!” I don’t know if the whip came out but they continued to pass runners and finish in 102nd place. 26:27:48.

A Big ROW Runner up to the two pacers: Jason and Nick!!

Great job Chris Harrison!!! Thanks for letting us be a part of it.

More Photos here: 2009 WS 100 Photos


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Forgot to mention. It was great to see Jamie Mieras working at the medical tent at the WS 100 finish. Mark and I looked for her before we left but we're sure she was putting that foot doctor education to use.
Good morning! Cos, klown and Higg are at the airport waiting for our 11 am flt back to PHX. Got a text from Harrison a little while ago. Finished at 26:26. It was a fun night. Jason ran with Chris from forest hill mile 60 to green gate mile 80. After cos and I watched some of the finishers we went to the top of green gate. I went with Jamil, nick and Nathan Coury and ran 3 miles down to the river to see Chris and jason cross the river and escort them up to the green gate aid. All 6 of us had so much fun. Chris flew up the hill. From green gate Nick took Chris to the finish. Jason took lots of video. Stay tunned Higgins

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Higg and the Coury brothers at finish

Going to green gate mile 80 to see harison and Jason. Should get there about 12:30 am. No phone service down there. Hope the battery holds!
Hey gang what a day. Very hot high drop out rate. Mark had to stop at mile 47. His foot was getting worst as the day went on. Harrison is still rolling. Jason is now pacing him from mile 57 to 80. From there one of the Coury brothers most likely will take him in to the finish. All the Coury brothers runners ended up dropping. We just watched the 2 3 4 and 5th runners finish all under 17 hours. The weather is now nice. Phone battery is about to die so this may be the last blog update but we shall see. have a great night!

Harrison arrived 5 after mark but left 5 min before mark at 11:54 min

Mark resting in Higg chair

It is big time hot out!!!

Mark is in Robinson 11:34 AM

My bad again. Bev was the 2nd female. Nikki just came through robinson. Btw nick Coury is pacing Dave James who is in around 15th
Krissy just left as the 3rd female around 19 min back from 2nd female.
Anita Ortiz 1st female throug Robinson at 10:02 am. Nikki 3 min bck. Jamil's guy went through also. Wild scene!!
My Bad Jamil is pacing Japan guy #M8 hiroki
The guy from Japan kaburagi number 279 just left Robinson at 9:50. I think he is in 6th. BTW Jamil is pacing him from mile 60.
Jurek just went through Robinson yelling and high fiving people as he left. Very cool. Only 10 min back from front. Remind me later about the story of Jurek and jaeger shots at the bar on thur!!!
Wow macky left Robinson at 9:28 and Hal koerner just 3 min behind. No one else through yet!

Macky first on through at Robinson flat

9:28 AM wow!

Game time 5 min!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What is the temp in PHX??

Off to a great start! Plane made a stop in LA that we didn't know about before hand then Mark waited in the car rental line for 20 min before he realized he was at the wrong company. Nice!

The team has arrived in Reno!

Mark already pulled a hammy!

Stay tunned for Live WMRC Western States 100 mile updates

San Juan Solstice 50 video

Check out the video that Jeff Jones did running this years San Juan Solstice 50 mile trail run.

San Juan Solstice 50 mile run 2009 from Jeff Jones on Vimeo.

WMRC Hardrock Training

Check out the video of Honey, Kirk, Joe G, Aaron and Debbie training for Hardrock with a climb up Agassiz on the way to Humphries:

Monday, June 22, 2009

WMRC Western States 100 Mile Taper Run

Reminder: We are on for a group trail run in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve Wednesday morning 5:15 AM. Meet at the very top parking lot of Squaw Peak Drive past the main trail head of Piestewa Peak. Plan on a little over one hour at a SLOW pace. Why slow, because this will be a taper run for those that are participating, running, crewing and pacing at the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run Saturday. If the slow pace isn’t intriguing enough to get you out early how about the fact it will be 106 degrees that afternoon. Runner of the Week: Congratulations Jeff Jones who ran the San Juan Solstice 50 Mile trail run in Lake City, Colorado. Very high drop out rate this year. Battling the cold, snow, altitude and climbs he had a real good time of 13:31:00. Good for 3rd place in has age group. I wonder if he received any swag?ROW runner up: is Randy Ohlinger who finished the Coeur d' Alene full ironman in Idaho in 13 hours 27 minutes. As noted above, this weekend is the WS 100. Good luck to Mark Cosmas and Chris Harrison. Cosmas will be crewed and paced by the stellar team of Higgy and Klown. Don’t let those names fool you, they take their jobs serious (between beers). This will be Cosmas’ 2nd time running WS. In 2007 he finished 39th with a time of 21:53:44. This will be Harrison’s first Western States.

WS 100 is run from Squaw Valley, California to Auburn California starting 5:00 AM Saturday. The main goal is to finish within 24 hours to get the silver buckle. After 30 hours you are SOL.

The 2009 race is incredibly competitive with a bunch of the best national and international Ultra Runners competing.

WS 100 has one of the best if not the best Webcasts. So follow the leaders including Mark (#169) and Chris’(#242) progress here: WS 100 Webcast

New this year you can follow up to 5 specific runners progress by getting an e-mail notification that they went through an aid station, finished or god help them DNF. Sign up for this service here: WS email tracking

Lastly, the WMRC Blog has been set up to Post with Text Messaging and Photos with portable web/phone devices. Check back frequently or subscribe for a RSS feed as we will post updates and photos instantaneously (Within seconds!) from the event.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Thanks Laura Plugfelder for updating the WMRC Blog Banner!!

Wedesday Morning Run Reminder 6/17/09

Reminder: We are on for a group trail run in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve tomorrow morning 5:14 AM. 6-minute rule shall apply. Don’t cry if you miss the train. Meet at the very top parking lot of Squaw Peak Drive north of Glendale Avenue (Drive until you hit the end). Plan on a little over one hour at a moderate pace.

Thanks Jamil for reminding everyone on Paul’s and Perry’s 50 mile run at the inaugural Blue Canyon Trail Race in Santa Barbara. (I wonder if they ran near Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. Never mind, stupid question.) Racing season is in full throttle. Good luck to Jeff Jones who is running the San Juan Solstice 50 mile race this weekend in Lake City, Colorado. Jeff has been preparing for the altitude by spending time in Taos New Mexico. Jeff Jones gets runner of the week because he sent photos in. Congratulations Jeff. Cosmas and Harrison are putting the finishing touches on their Western States 100 training. Race day is only 11 days away. Stay tuned for information on how to follow along.

Hardrock 100 training is also progressing. Honey, Kirk, Andrew and Pacers Liz and Aaron all spent 8 hours running up, down and around Humphries the past weekend. They had so much fun they will do it again this weekend. No info on Jamil's training other than he has been up in Silverton for weeks. Lucky Duck! (send us a photo to get our feet wet) I'm sure Jody has been getting ready and I'm sure Cosmas hasn't (just kidding) Race date: July 10-12.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Blue Canyon Trail Race

I thought I would give a shout out to Perry Edinger and Paul Bonnett (See bright orange shorts above) for running the inaugural Blue Canyon Trail Race near Santa Barbara, California. The race was on June 6th and they took 2nd and 3rd in the 50 mile. The race looks to have a lot of climbing (they claim 13,872 feet of elevation gain?), so hopefully they will give us a report soon.

50 Mile Results

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

WMRC Run Reminder for 6/10

Reminder: We are on for a group trail run in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve tomorrow morning 5:15 AM. Plan on a little over one hour at a moderate pace. Meet at the usual place, very top lot of Squaw Peak Drive north of Glendale Ave. We are in the midst of incredible running weather for this time of year. Don’t let it go to waste. The runners of the week are: Andrew Heard with he finish last weekend of the Squaw Peak 50 mile trail run above Provo Utah. Final results aren’t posted yet but Andrew finished with a time of 10:02:00. (See Andrew's race report posted below) Debbie Leftwich completed the Keetle Moraine 100 mile run in Wisconsin. Debbie finished first in the Senior Masters age group with a time of 26:20:45. Great job you two.
Family Runners of the Week: Congrats to the Cosmas Family, Mark, Katie, Blue and the Bun in the Oven for their climb up Humphries. They all look good at 12,000 feet.

Speaking of a bun in the oven, Congrats to the Latvaaho family for the arrival of their second child born early Saturday. Baby McKenzie and Mom are doing great.

Heard 2009 Squaw Peak 50 race report

Race went well. Kirk...Your advice was right on the money. Start was very fast! I think there had to be 25-30 guys running a sub 7:00 pace down the path to get to the single-track before the bottleneck. I tried to place myself somewhere in the top 15. Heres a brief recap...

Early climbs went smoothly and I felt really good. I was running with some local team runners (from The Runner's Corner running store in Orem) that I met at the pre-race dinner and I was feeling great. The views from the top looking back down over Utah Lake were awesome. Weather was clear and not too cold even at higher elevation. There was luck involved here, because leaving on Sunday morning there was light rain in the valley and you couldn't even see the tops of the mountains through the dark rain (snow?) clouds. I ran pretty hard on the downhill from 15 to 23 wile chatting ice hockey and Stanley Cup Finals with a dude from Michigan (I hate the Red Wings). I think I probably paid a price for this descent later on after Windy Pass. I made pretty good time on the road section at 23, but was glad to get back on dirt roads several miles later.

Gradual climb starts to get less gradual as you go from 27 to 30 and I was slowing down. AS#7 at mile 30, which was manned by the Wasatch Speedgoats Meltzer & Mason, was a welcome sight. A funny thing happened after leaving AS#7. I was running through Sheep Canyon for about 1/2 mile, and either Meltzer or Mason's dog had followed me the whole time. I stopped several times to try to yell at it to go back, but every time I started running again it would follow after me. Eventually I could hear someone calling the dog and it reluctantly turned back. I'd like to say that as fast as I was moving, only Meltzer could've caught up to me, but I'd be lying. Did I mention that the dog was a small Chihuahua! :-)

Just before I got into Little Valley-33m (AS#8) a guy with a Badwater shirt on was running the trail the other direction and yelled that I was in 11th place (I wouldn't stay there). Going through the first 6+/- miles of this next section and running past the evident work of a family of diligent beavers, I was expecting a steady climb the whole way. In reality there were more runnable sections than I expected and several times I caught myself in power-walking mode when I shouldn't have been.....YET. Then as promised (and expected) the climb up Windy Pass hit me like a tons of bricks. 1000' in 1.25M.....that is one tough climb! Paced up this climb with Brian, one of the Runner's Corner dudes I mentioned earlier on. Close to the top we were passed by 3 or 4 other runners.

After crossing thru the "pass" there was a brief snowfield to traverse and then we dropped down into the Windy Pass AS#9 at 40.5. After downing 1/4 of a PBJ, a homemade choc-chip cookie, and grabbing my water bottles, I was off down the hill. The next 6 miles were mostly steep down, and for me, it was the toughest part of the course. If my quads were not already shot from the earlier descents, then slipping and sliding out of control along the several snow sections in the first few miles after AS#9 really messed with me. As I lost all focus through this section...I couldn't help but think....maybe I'm only cut out to run in the low desert!....not this altitude and snow crap. Feeling pathetically sorry for myself, I was forced to walk several of the steeper declines and was passed by roughly another 8-10 runners.

Then as if the running gods could punish me no more, the trail mercifully leveled out a little just before AS#10 (46.5). I made a quick stop to half-fill my bottles and take one last GU and S-Cap before hitting the pavement for the last 3+ miles. The gradual descent felt great and soon I was hammering out 7:xx miles again. I even caught the last dude to go by me, and would've reeled in a few more had the finish line not auspiciously interrupted.

Haven't seen any results posted yet, but my time was roughly 10:02, and I'd bet I was between 20-25th place. Scott Jaime won it in something like 8:05!

I posted data from my watch here.... http://AndrewHeard.bimjournals.com. I found the elevation change by mile interesting!

See ya' Wed.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Kettle Morraine 100 / Squaw Peak 50

Good luck to Debbie Leftwich and Aaron Mascarella who are running the Kettle Morraine 100 mile race Saturday in Wisconsin and Andrew Heard who is running the Squaw Peak 50 mile race in Utah also Saturday. Good luck you three!

You can follow the Kettle Morraine 100 live through a webcast here: http://www.runrace.net/findarace.php?id=09157WI1&tab=a5 the WMRC race central is open for business!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Great run this morning. Little smaller crowd than normal. Craig Coppola and Brad Lemon showed up at the end of the run. Both are looking good and fit. Interesting that they both stayed and chatted longer than normal when Sheriff Joe’s “Chain Gang” was working near the trail head. Coincidence??