Monday, December 15, 2008

In Case the Hardrock 100 Just Isn't Hard Enough

Two new ballistic ultras launch this spring and fall in the Santa Barbara area. The DRTE 100 miler in early October 2009 has 35,000 feet of vertical. The Blue Canyon Trail Race 100k set for early June 2009 has 18,000 feet of climbing. Check out Hank's Run Junkie post for details and links.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Winter Training for 2009 Season Set to Start

As the snow and ice finally seem set to hit the Wood River Valley, SVBR runners will begin to coalesce in Sun Valley for weekend runs on the relatively clear Elkhorn paths. With some big early season tests on folks' race calendars, it's setting up to be a big year for winter running. So be sure to stay tuned and check the site for details on upcoming group runs.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Let the Off Season Begin: A nice constitutional through Adams Gulch

Saturday's conversation-pace group run out Adams Gulch was a great way to usher in the off-season.  After diligently adhering to training plans and nutrition plans and physical therapy plans, it was nice to leave that behind with the '08 season and just run for running's sake.  The group (Brad, Hank, and Jeff, with family duties calling AJW away at the last minute) ran Sunnyside, eventually hooking up with the Adams Gulch loop and then Harpers and back to the AG trailhead on a trail whose name is still under dispute.  All in all, about eight miles with some good, easy climbing and even better conversation.  

Be sure not to miss the next one.  Check the calendar for details.  

Friday, September 12, 2008

'Coyote Two Moon 100' Opens

Applications to run the challenging and off-kilter Coyote Two Moon 100 in Ojai, CA just opened. With 25,000 feet of climbing in the 100 miler, and 19,000 in the 100k, it's a true early-season tester for us mountain dwelling runners. If you can get in, it seems like it's not to be missed.

More info on C2M:
Run Junkie post
AJW's post
Karl Meltzer's post
Justin Angle's post

Monday, September 8, 2008

Results: AJW Second at Wasatch Front 100, Stevens Top Twenty

A strong showing by Wood River Valley runners Andy Jones-Wilkins (AJW) and Mike Stevens at this weekend's Wasatch Front 100. AJW battled hard to a quick second place finish (21:31), staying close to eventual winner Geoff Roes through mile 75, who went on to win in 20:01. Meanwhile, Mike Stevens posted a very strong 20th place finish in 26:28. We're proud of you guys!

Too see how things developed, see the Run Junkie reports for mile 53; mile 70; and the finish.

For a firsthand account, read AJW's blog post.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hank, the Teton 50, and a DNF

First off, let me start with the positive things that happened at this weekend's Grand Teton 50. I got to test, and was happy with, a new approach to drop bags that saved me a number of minutes during the race. I learned that I could in fact do some serious running in some pretty hot conditions and that at some smaller ultras I could actually play at competing for places. I had an uplifting, and experienced, crew for the latter part of the race (my wife and an unfortunately injured, Brad Mitchell). And, finally, I learned a hell of a lot.

You could also say I got schooled, which is what it most felt like right after I dropped at mile 45.

It all came down to calories, as it often does with me. My stomach fought me both in the lead up to the race (keeping me from loading like I need to) and during the race (keeping me from replacing the calories like I need to), which was too bad, because I felt like I had a shot at a decent time for a course like Teton.

I had good trips up Fred's Mountain both times and despite a general malaise for most of the first lap, finished the first 25 miles in around 4:25 (sadly, right after seeing an ailing Brad Mitchell at the tail end of Rick's Basin). It was then that I had a brief window where my stomach felt pretty settled, and I was hopeful I'd be able to pound the calories and come home pretty strong on the second lap.

Wishful thinking it turned out. My stomach began protesting again around mile 30 and just kept getting worse until around mile 42 where it totally shut down and wouldn't come back on line no matter what I tried (water, Ultra, S-caps). Meanwhile my blood sugar level dropped to subterranean levels, and it was all I could do to make it to the base aid station at mile 45, drop from the race, and shuffle back to the hotel room with tingling hands and labored breathing (as my wide-eyed crew will attest).

After an hour of blowing ketones and letting gluconeogenesis run its course, I was feeling much better and left wondering what I could have done differently - a question that will no doubt haunt a large portion of my off season.

That said, I have to take a step back and trust that the problem was largely just bad timing with a mild stomach virus. Forty-five miles at Teton is no mean feat, and I'll take that mental and physical training with me into '09. --Hank

Photos - before the fall
(click to enlarge)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Results: Mitchell 7th at Where's Waldo 100k Championships

Hailey's Brad Mitchell, continuing to show great form in the latter part of the season, took a strong 7th at yesterday's Where's Waldo 100k in 10:43:54.

For more on the race, see the recent Run Junkie post.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

If It's August, It's Time for Big Miles

The second half of the summer ultra season is here, and you don't need to look at the calendar to tell - the lean frames and fat training logs of the local runners are dead give-aways. With the Wasatch 100 and Bear 100 coming up in September and some high-test 100k and 50 mile races in August, folks are getting in some long and hard miles as the daylight hours slowly wane.

Check out Brad and AJW's recent blog posts to see their take on the final build up before the late summer/fall races:

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Results: Mitchell, Dart Run White River 50

Locals, Brad Mitchell and Hank Dart, toed the line in the shadow of Mt. Rainier for Saturday's challenging White River 50 Mile Endurance Run (race site). In his first ultra since a serious spring injury, Brad took on a stacked field and finished a strong 14th overall in 7:43:58, just three minutes off his top 10 pace from last year. Hank, in his first ultra ever, finished strong in 9:11:46, good enough for 48th overall. For more, check out Brad's blog post (post), the detailed USATF story on the race (story), and the select photos below, courtesy of Glenn Tachiyama.

Start (Photo © Glenn Tachiyama)

Brad blazing into Corral Pass (mile 16) (Photo © Glenn Tachiyama)

Hank coming into Sun Top (mile 37) (Photo © Glenn Tachiyama)

Beck at Corral Pass (mile 16) (Photo © Glenn Tachiyama)

Wardian into Sun Top (mile 37) (Photo © Glenn Tachiyama)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Fast and Furious 2008 Elephants Perch Backcountry Run

The annual single track speed fest that is the Elephants Perch Backcountry Run stayed true to form for 2008 (race site). Blazing fast times took both the 10 mile and 16.5 mile races. Though final results are still pending, US Nordic Team member, Morgan Arritola, won the women's ten miler in a dash over an hour, and standout Sun Valley Ski Education Nordic skiers, Mike Sinnot and Taylor Sundali took one, two in the 16.5 miler, with accomplished ultra runner Brad Mitchell showing good post-injury return to form with a solid third. To feel like you were there, check out Brad's Addicted2Running post (post).

Postscript: (7-23-08) Full results now posted (results).

Monday, July 21, 2008

AJW Takes Vermont 100

Andy Jones-Wilkins wins Vermont 100 for second year in a row. Check out his blog

Congrats Andy

Top 3 finishers and other observations posted on Hank's Run Junkie blog (post).

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Skaggs Wins Hardrock 100 in Under 24 Hours

An amazing performance this weekend by Kyle Skaggs at the Hardrock 100. See my Run Junkie post for details and a YouTube video of his finish. --Hank

Monday, July 7, 2008

Linking Local Trails

Good mileage and climbing this weekend by linking some popular local trails. Check out my post at

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Adams Gulch Trail

On part of my long run today, I did the Adams Gulch Trail, which is basically a 9 - 10 mile extension of the classic Adams Gulch Loop, and I have to admit that it was a bit of a challenge. Even though it's part of the high volume, tourista paradise of Adams Gulch, it is clearly the trail of least use. For a good chunk of the six mile climb from where it separates from the classic Loop, it was either overgrown and quite narrow or made up of loose shale that was not doing my already tired legs any favors. The payoff for the rough and slow climb, though, was a spectacular, football field-sized hillside of yellow and lavender lupin near the top of the climb, just before you connect to trail 142 to head back to the Loop. With Harpers and the Fox Creek loop added, I got in about 25 - 26 miles today - 20 of which were hard fought. But, I feel good right now, and think I'll even be looking forward to Saturday's long run out Deer Creek. Cheers. --Hank

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Western States 100 Cancelled Because of Raging NorCal Fires

Sure, the Shop to the Top was cancelled last year because of Castle Rock, so we know it can happen, but the scuttling of Western States seems nevertheless unfathomable, even as smoke from the NorCal fires brings haze to the Wood River Valley. It was, of course, the correct call. The unpredictability of wild fires, the huge length of the course, and the spread of competitors just made it a recipe for disaster, and the best thing to do was to wait for next year. Tough love, though, for the 400 athletes who were ready to toe the line, including the Valley's AJW - a consistent top placer who was making a more than realistic run at the Masters record this year.

For some links to blog posts about the Western States cancellation (including AJW's), check out my Run Junkie post (post).


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Randy Sighting

As I headed down Carbo for my second descent, a stocky bearded man was coming up the trail. I had to slow down and refocus, I wasn't sure I was seeing things correctly (especially since I had just taken a hard fall). It was Randy Geherke! I had been wondering what Randy was up to, especially with Hard Rock not far off. Randy has been training and was out for some miles in some good hot sun. It was good to see Randy, hopefully he will be joining our group runs as the summer continues.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tread Carefully: Snakes Out in Force

The snakes seem to be out in force in the south Valley now that the weather's finally turned sunny and warm. As usual, Democrat is a hot bed of rattlesnake sitings, with at least one dog on the losing end of a close encounter (Mt. Express story). Even out Quigley Canyon, one SVBR runner saw an intimidating 5 footer casually crossing the dirt road.

Watch your step.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Race Report: 2008 TVR One-Hour Distance Classic

There was a great showing at the middle school track this past Thursday for the yearly running of the Titus Van Rijn Invitational One-hour Distance Classic (see previous post for details). Runners healthy and injured alike took the start at 5:45pm, each waging a personal battle against the gale force north wind down the stretch. Though exact distances are still being gathered, AJW had a stellar performance cranking out approximately 15,700 meters (9.8 miles). Daryl Fauth came in with a very solid 8.5 miles. Hank Dart, Mary Fauth, and Brad Mitchell rounded out the crew who took to the wind-blown oval. Black cherry soda was enjoyed by all afterward.

Row 1 (l to r): Daryl, Brad, AJW pre-race; Brad stretching; The start.
Row 2 (l to r):
AJW; Daryl; AJW
Row 3 (l to r): Mary; Hank; Black cherry soda

(If distances are wrong, please let me know)

Saturday, May 31, 2008

2008 Titus Van Rijn Invitational One-Hour Distance Classic

In lieu of, or in addition to, Thursday's speedwork at the middle school track, there will be a special, slightly organized running of the Titus Van Rijn Invitational One-hour Distance Classic. See "rules" below, but basically it is a relaxed, but still serious, one-hour effort on the track: See how far you can run in one hour and then report your results to the national organizer of the event (contacts below). A select amount of black cherry soda will be on hand.

Postscript: (6-7-08) Click here to view race report.

# # # #

Titus Van Rijn Invitational One-Hour Distance Classic

What: A one-hour distance running event

Who: All comers welcome - slow or fast; injured or healthy

Where: Wood River Middle School track

When: June 5 @5:30pm


* Your performance must take place on a standard 400 meter/440 yard track. Include partial laps in your final total; estimate distances as accurately as possible within reason.

* Send results to <> by midnight, 30 June 2008. In your results, please note name, total distance completed (in meters or yards), age, date, and location. We encourage you to include a brief report of your experience for the official race report.

* You may run the event more than once if desired, but only submit your best mark.

* You are encouraged to invite others to participate in the event. In many cases, our address list of past participants is incomplete, so we especially appreciate your forwarding this invitation to past runners not included in the original mailing.

* Complete results and race report will be sent to all participants.

* 'And you can dance…for inspiration' --


World champions in football and baseball celebrate with champagne; the victor at the Indy 500 gets a bottle of milk. At Titus Van Rijn, the celebratory beverage of choice for all participants is black cherry soda. We encourage you to maintain the tradition.

One-hour track records

World, women: 18,340 meters (~11.4 miles)

Tegla Loroupe (Ken), Borgholshausen, Ger 8/7/98

World, men: 21,285m (~13.2 miles)

Haile Gebrselassie (Eth), Ostrava, Czech Republic 6/27/07

, women: 17,273m (~10.7 miles)

Nancy Conz, Amherst, MA 6/25/81

U.S., men: 20,547m (~12.8 miles)

Bill Rodgers (GBTC), Boston, MA 8/9/77

TVR, women: 12,800m (~7.96 miles)

Kate Jennings (WA), Winthrop, WA 6/2/2007

TVR, men: 18,115 (~11.25 miles)

Greg Crowther (WA), Seattle, WA 5/27/2006

Additional Questions?

Please contact Andy Roth ( or Mike Persick (, TVR Race Directors.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

What Trails are Giving You Spring Fever?

Trails are finally opening up fast and furious throughout the Wood River Valley. SVBR runners report that a lot of trails out Croy are great and Adams Gulch is running well. Corral creek has been fully open for a while. Now that Carbonate's not the only option for some good vertical, what trails have been haunting your thoughts when you should be doing other things?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Tales from the Track -- May 22

Another good turnout for speedwork this week, with Hank, AJW, Mike and Brad hitting the middle school oval for multiple laps. 6 x 1200 was the order of the day, and with AJW hitting full stride in his Western States build-up, speed was up and rest was down. Even Brad was caught in the zeitgeist, jogging some slow laps on the down-low in anticipation of his full return to post-injury training.

The more the merrier. Hope to see folks next week.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Triple Vorberg and a Wondergirl Confession

First off, I have to confess that I didn't do the Wondergirl 5k. I was probably one of the few SVBR runners not to toe the line on Saturday in support of this great community event, but the interest from the troops at home (our 2 boys) was near nil, and I envisioned having to carry our 50 pound six year old on my shoulders for most of the race after he decided he just couldn't go on. Soooo.....I headed out selfishly on my own for three laps of the Carbonate-Vorberg loop. And despite wilting heavily on the third lap and having to dodge the same mean dog on my first and second climbs ("he doesn't like men running at him" What!?), it was a great morning of running and marks the end of my first phase of build-up to what I hope is my first ultra - the White River 50 toward the end of July.

Just a reminder, Brad's return to the trails post-injury is early June. I'm sure he'll be turning the screws on us all soon after that. Hope everyone's been training.

Any other run reports from the weekend?


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Vorberg Gulch Clear of Snow and Mud...and It's Top Notch

This afternoon I took my first full lap this season on the Carbonate-Vorberg Gulch loop, and it certainly didn't disappoint. Despite heavy legs and waning good cheer, the climb up Carbonate was good, the run over the ridge refreshing, and the single track descent into the Vorberg gully clear of snow and downright transcendent. As many folks know who have done it, it's hard to believe you're minutes from Hailey when you're in such an isolated area jamming down some pretty technical, serpentine trails. It's waiting for visitors. Cheers. --Hank

Last Chance Registration Discount for SV Half Marathon

You may have missed the bigger discount earlier on, but directors of next weekend's Sun Valley Half Marathon are offering $5.00 off registration for a little while longer. Use the code LASTCHANCE. Now's the time (reg site).

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Thursday Workout

Thanks to Hank for joining me at the track on Thursday evening. I was there for my walking speed workout and to give some shouts of encouragement to anyone else that happened to show up. Hank was kind enough to join me. We walked laps and chatted while two new faces to the group, Kitty and Angenie, decided to show up and throw down some speed work. It was great to have them there. Hopefully, once summer gets into swing, they will join the group for some of our spectaculer backcountry runs. With their combined years of experience we could all gain some valuable knowledge from them.

Now get out and enjoy!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Running of the Blogs

Nice posts recently on the blogs of some of our local backcountry runners.
  • AJW recounts, and riffs on, his mileage-packed training weekend on parts of the Western States 100 course (AJW's Blog post)
  • Brad updates us on the travails of an ultra runner side-lined for 6 weeks due to injury, and the wife who has to live with him (Addicted 2 Running post).
  • Hank's Run Junkie blog favorably reviews the new Asics Gel-Trail Attack 4 (Run Junkie post)
Any other posts you like from local runners? Let us know: Send an email or leave a comment.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wondergirl 5K

That's right. I'm a man and I'm running in the Wondergirl 5K. I will be wearing my schwag Wondergirl t-shirt with pride around town because this event benefits the local chapter of Girls on the Run. Not only is this non-profit a great program, but my lovely wife is the program director!

Saturday, May 17th at 9:30am our community is invited to Heagle Park for the 4th Annual 5K fun run. This is a great opportunity for those of us with families to encourage the whole clan to show up and either run, walk or bike this great event.

I'll be there as 'volunteer at large' doing what my wife tells me to do. I encourage you all to get out and have fun at the race! See you then.

Toe of the Hill Trail

I have been in contact with the Becki Keefer of the Hailey Parks and Lands Board. Becki has informed me that the Toe of the Hill Trail will have an extension added to the south end. This addition will travel south from the Woodside Elementary trailhead to the southern City limits in the vicinity of the Woodside water treatment plant.This is great news for the trail users and hopefully a step forward to linking the trail with Bellevue to the south and Quigley Canyon to the north.

Also worth noting, I have been walking this trail as part of my rehab and can report the trail in good condition. A little dusty in areas but I find that nice to see after this slow start to spring.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

$10 Discount on Sun Valley Half Marathon Registration

Directors of the Sun Valley Half Marathon (race site) are offering $10.00 off registration until May 9. Use the code ILOVESV. If you're planning on running but haven't signed up yet, now's the time (reg site)

Friday, May 2, 2008

This Week in Running

This week in running was marked by training and, unfortunately, injury.

Brad, just back from a blazing Boston Marathon and PR of 2:40:11, suffered an unfortunate, character-building injury this weekend. We'll let him tell the story in his own words via his blog (addicted2running post), but it looks like he's going to be out for a number of weeks. Staying positive, he's looking to come off the forced rest and hit the fall ultra season with fresh, hungry legs, which means his competitors should be wary.

Mike and Hank scuttled Sunday's triple Carbo plan and instead climbed to the summit and ran the hard-crust snow on the ridge to the single track on the far side of Vorberg, which they ran pretty much down to the muddy gully, then climbed back up and down to the Carbo trailhead. The run highlight was Mike sharing the story of his spelunking dog, who had recently fallen through the snow covering the mine shaft at the summit, and had to spend a cold and lonely overnight but was rescued safe and sound the next morning.

Thursday's speedwork was a solitary but successful affair. Working against himself, Hank actually completed the planned 6 x 1200.

AJW's off on a hairshirt training weekend on the Western States course, beginning his big build-up to the Big Dance on June 28.

Key Upcoming Races
May 24 - Sun Valley Half Marathon; Sun Valley, ID (site)
June 7 - Shafer Butte Endurance Run 52m; Boise, ID (site)
June 20 - Big Horn 50m ; Seridan, WY(site)
June 28 - Western States 100m; Squaw Valley, CA (

Anything to include in this or upcoming editions of This Week in Running? Send your reports or thoughts to We can also send well-wishes on to Brad for those who don't have his email address.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tale from the Trail - Sunday's Group Run

This Sunday's planned triple Carbo turned into a great extended double instead. Buoyed by ample sun and warm temperatures, the group climbed Carbonate then ran the hard-crust snow on the ridge to the single track on the far side of Vorberg Gulch, which was mostly clear, soft, and dry. Mud took hold near the bottom by the pond, where we turned around for a nice climb back to the summit and descent to the trailhead.