Thursday, October 17, 2013

#11 Ultra - 2013 Dick Collins Firetrails 50 Accomplished!

Hi everyone!  It was a great day last Saturday, October 12, 2013 when I ran the Firetrails 50 Mile Ultra marathon in Oakland and Berkeley California.  What a day it was!  I even had my wife Lori help me out with my special foods I needed at some of the aid stations on the course!  What a treat that was! One of my friends from my previous employer even came out to greet me at the 18 mile aid station.  The Red Vines that were donated to the event were also at all the aid stations!  I thank American Licorice again for this fine gesture.

This was a beautiful course that went from San Leandro to Berkeley, California and back.  The course ran through some of the most beautiful redwood and oak forests in a lot of the famous state parks in the East Bay. Everyone whom I either ran with in the race, or just met in the general area were extremely nice and fun to be around.  I met and ran with a very nice guy for hours on end in the race.  His name is  Keith Bradburn.  He's a dentist in Concord and has his own practice as well.  He's a great guy to run with.  He ended up finishing right in front of me.  My chip time was 11:59:34.  This wasn't my most stellar 50 mile time, however I feel really good about not only finishing this very difficult race, but having a good time doing it!  What I really loved about this course was that it gave the runner a very scenic reward for running up every hill and mountain!  The views were astounding up every one of these climbs.  Beautiful views of the S.F. Bay and bridges and the never-ending views of the Pleasanton and Livermore valleys, and of Mt. Diablo.

This race had 9000 ft. of elevation gain and it seemed like most of the elevation gains were very steep, to say the very least!  Of course we had to run DOWN from all of the gains, and this is where after about 30 miles, my knees were starting to hurt.  I had to take very short steps down these grades to relieve pressure on the knees.  Lori met me at about the 48 mile mark and ran with me to the finish.  I was greeted to a fantastic array of great foods and drink at the finish line.  Also, what an awesome swag bag we got as well!  Kaa-chingg!  What a party!  Lori and I didn't stay a long time at the finish, as I was in need of a warm bath and a cold beer at the hotel room.  We had a great dinner at an Italian restaurant then I went straight to bed.  It was a fine day to be an ultra runner!

Another one down for 100 by 100 and Alzheimer's!

$100.00 Donated 10/16/13

Lake Chabot- start & finish

Lori at the 18 mile mark

Yes!  I'm done!

Keith Bradburn & I celebrate at the finish!

Lets go home Lor!

The Swag, Oh yeah  Lori gets her wine glass too!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

American Licorice and 100 by 100 Team Up!

NEWS FLASH! Former employer American Licorice Company and Red Vines have agreed and made a matching donation to the Alzheimer's Associationto help in the awareness of Alzheimers in the world! They have made a donation of $100.00 to match my last 100 by 100 Ultra donation in August! They will now make a yearly $100.00 donation to the cause! They have also agreed to help 100 by 100 by donating some Red Vine Jars to the aid stations of some of the Ultras I run in the future! Isn't this great news? I'm now having the logo of Red Vines and a slogan that reads, "Powered by Red Vines" on the back of my racing singlets! Pretty easy advertising for them too!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Great Success for the Walk for Alzheimer's!

The Walk for Alzheimer's on Sept. 12 was a great success! The Walk generated over $4000.00 of donations! This time, I didn't run, I actually walked (believe it or not) with my wife Lori and our dog Shady. Here is a picture of Stella Montago (the director of the event) and myself, and another of Lori and Shady! Thanks everyone for your support! 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Help The Cause, If You Can!

I will be walking (or running) the ALZ Association Walk to End Alzheimer's on September 12, 2013 in Sheridan, Wyoming with Lori. If any of you find it in your heart to donate to the cause, I sure would appreciate it! Thanks so much!
Just go to the click on the below link, then look for my name as the walker!  Thanks so much!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My Quest is now 10% completed! I hit double digits! 10th Ultra done!

This last Saturday I completed for the second time, the Hurl 50K Ultra in Helena, Montana on August 3, 2013.  All I can say about this area is "spectacular scenery"- but real difficult trails to run on for sure!  We had about 7500 ft. of elevation gain and I'm still feeling the pain in my quads!  I didn't have my family here to cheer me on this time around so I was dependent on the aid station people and other spectators to give me inspiration to keep going in this very difficult 50K.  They all were great and helped me a lot!  The race director Steve is a great guy and really marks the course well.  This is a VERY friendly race and low key too.

My time this time around was 8:19:27.  I placed 28th out of 64 total runners which was actually good for me.  It wasn't the best time I've ever had, but that's not the point of this whole quest now is it!  The point is to increase the awareness of Alzheimer's and to have fun doing it by completing these crazy lengthy ultras!  I was very proud of myself actually because in the last 5 miles or so I was feeling good (all downhill and a great running trail section) so I proceeded to run a good clip of 9 minute miles all the way to the end.

Crossing the finish line brought back the proud memories of completing my first Ultra - which was also in the exact place and race, 2 years prior in 2011!  My family was there cheering for me and I was VERY moved by the whole experience.  I have to say that even though they weren't there this time around, I felt their presence and my Moms presence at the finish.  It is a very warm feeling and I'm totally addicted to it!  Seeing the other runners coming through the finish finishing their first Ultra brings me huge feelings of joy for them!  It's a very wonderful, moving experience running an Ultra.  Every one of them is different for the runner.  There are so many great moments, and some very difficult moments a runner goes through.  Working through all of these can be a huge struggle sometimes, but it's so worth it in the end.  After now finishing 10 Ultras, I have even more of a huge love of running these crazy races!  Now, only 90 more Ultras to go!

Here are some pictures.  I didn't have my phone or camera to take pictures during the race, but rest assured, this was one very beautiful place!  You can go to the race website to view some pictures.  Here is the site:

Thank you all again for your support of my cause!  I appreciate it so much!

Donated:  $100.00  8/6/13

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

#9th Ultra Finished (with a little help from my friends) !

Well, it's been a long hard, cold, lonely road (winter) leading up to this absolutely superb Ultra in California.  All I can say is, "Wow", and I'm so glad I finished too! It all was worth the significant amount of training to get here for sure!

It was the Bishop High Sierra 100K (62 miles) of non-stop breathtaking views of the eastern Sierra Mountains outside of Bishop, California on May 18, 2013.  This is a visually stunning area of our country and I recommend anyone to explore this area.

I have to say that without the help of my wife Lori and an "angel" sent from the "ultra heavens", I would NOT have completed the 100K and taken the road of least resistance and finished the 50 mile instead.  The "angel" was a guy from San Diego named BJ and he ran with me for 4 hours on the last part of the 12 miles.  I can't say enough of how much this helped me finish the 100K.  Considering that up until the point of meeting my running angel I had bad stomach issues for about 20 miles.  I'm still working my nutritional needs out, that's for sure.  Anyway, when I reached the 48.5 mile mark my stomach had finally started feeling better and I was in a better mood.  At that point all I needed was a little coaxing to make "the left turn" to finish the entire race.  Seeing my wife cheering for me and her smiling face brought me back to reality and I was back in the game!  I suddenly had the energy to finish this thing no matter how long it took! Then, out of the desert, emerged out of a dust devil near a sagebrush, the angel "BJ" appeared and asked if I wanted some company!  At first I thought this guy was just a mirage.  But when he actually talked, I was instantly awoken.  I knew this was an opportunity I couldn't say no to.  We both took "the left" turn and we were off.  I have to say this was one of the best parts of the race for me.  We had a great time talking, joking, laughing, running, walking in the beautiful evening that unfolded out for us!  It turns out BJ is a real ultra runner.  He had finished numerous 100 milers and is in route to running the extreme of all extreme Ultras known as "Hardrock 100"! Bj is a great guy and fun to be around.  I now have a really fun ultra running friend to pal around with.

I finished the BHS 100K in 16:36 at 10:36 pm on May 18, 2013.  I didn't take my finishing t-shirt off for around a week.  I'm so proud of finishing this thing!  I know my mom helped me finish this race as well, so "Thanks Mom, Again" !

                                      The start
                                  At the Intake 2 aid station about 26.5 mile mark

                                   The trail up into the Sierra's!

                                  I'm on fire at the finish!
                                   Lori and BJ

                                  BJ and I at the finish!  My Ultra Angel from the Ultra Heavens!

                                  The other and real angel, Lori, my wife who is always supporting me at all races I do, wherever they are.  Thanks Hon.  I love you!

Thank you all for your support of this blog.

$100.00 Donated to Alzheimer's 5/28/13

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

100 by 100 50K Challenge Classic is completed!

Happy New Year everyone!  Thanks for all the support in 2012!  2013 will be even better for 100 by 100!  Well, I started the New Year off with an "ultra" ski race that I made up myself.  Since my schedule doesn't permit me to do an "official" ski race this year in February and March, I decided to make up my own!  What the heck, why not!

I call this race the 100 by 100 50K Challenge Classic.  This was done yesterday on Pole Creek Road in the Big Horn Mountains (basically a snowmobile route now), and Pole Creek Ski area.  The route consisted of 80% packed trail, 20% groomed, which was kind of tough to deal with at times, but I made it work.  I did the 31 mile "challenge" in 6 1/2 hours which had 2800 feet of elevation change.  I had fun in the sun for sure!  Temps were in the 30's which produced a little stickyness, but overall not bad at all.  Lori and our trusty ski dog, "Shady" met me at the 11 mile turnaround to give me support and badly needed water bottles (thank God!).  I didn't see a soul the whole day!  Can you believe that!

This is my #8 Ultra and I'm so proud to donate another $100.00 to Alzheimer's!

Here are some pictures of the event!  Thanks again everyone!