Thursday, May 29, 2008

Keep an eye on this kid ( Elijah Greer )

I'm just tapering right now so nothing exciting is really happening.... so I thought I'ld tell you about what transpired at the recent OSAA Track and Field championships....

Elijah Greer, a junior at Lake Oswego Highschool, who also happens to be a friend, ran an outstanding 800m race : 1:50.60 , which also happens to be a State Meet Record!

Here's the Video (he's starting in lane 4)

I contacted him after seeing the highlights on the News to ask what other races he was running that weekend.... his reply "Just running 4x400 and 800... Our 4x400 team got 6th at the finals with a 3:20.99. i splited a low 48 for my leg."

Crazy..... Keep an eye out for him.... I'm certain we'll be hearing much more about him in the near future (he is only 17 after all)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Karl Meltzer's Appalachian Assault

On August 5th 2008, one of America’s best ultrarunners, Karl Meltzer, will be embarking on an incredible journey. The goal: to cover all 2,174 miles of the Appalachian TrailAppalachian Trail within 47 days. (The standing record is 47days 13hrs 31min)

It may seem sheer insanity, but if anyone can do it, Karl’s your man. He has won twenty-three 100mile races to date, setting several course records in the process, he holds the record for the most 100mile wins within a year at 6, and he is the Rocky Mountain Slam record holder: Hardrock + Leadville + Wasatch + Bear = 88hr 53min!

But back to his Appalachian Assault…

This August, Karl will be taking off from the summit of Mt. Kathadin, Maine, supported by a small team from (who will also be in charge of all the IT gobbledygook) and will head south. The majority of the run he will be completely alone, but from time to time he will have some friends run along with him, NOT for the purpose of “pacing” or “muling” for him, but because “they get to run supported all day.”

“Okay,” you might be thinking, “that’s kind of cool, but has no bearing on me….” But that’s where you’d be wrong; the guys at Backcountry are turning Karl’s suffering into a game for the rest of us! (I think he got the worse end of that bargin :-) ) During his run, Karl will be wearing a SPOT Personal Locator Device, which will allow us to track him in real-time through (which, as we near go-time, will be transforming into Command Center for the run.) They’re going to turn it all into a contest in which we have a chance to win gear from if we can guess where he’ll be finishing each day!

There’ll be a lot of stuff happening at WheresKarl aside from the contest; during his run there’ll be a blog, forums, videos, pictures and podcasts to keep us up to date on the very latest. In the meantime though, you can sign up for email updates on Karl’s training leading up to his Appalachian Assault, some video teasers of what’s to come, feature additions to the site, and occasional discounts from and other sponsors.

I’ll be sure to post again just before the run commences, but for now, check out these related links…

Command Center
Karl Meltzer's Site
Itinerary (subject to change)
Backcountry Profile
La Sportiva Profile

Some other questions Karl was kind enough to answer…

What you do for rest?

“I have an RV for evening rest that sleeps 4... I'm pretty dialed with that… it has been provided by, they are also part of crew and will be handling details in the IT department. As you know they are the title sponsor and more info (as it accumulates) will be on the site as well as my own site.” – KM

Do you have any aspirations of later taking on the Pacific Crest Trail, and/or the Continental Divide Trail?

“That is also a common question. At this point it's hard to say. If this goes well, then maybe the PCT is next, but who knows, I really want to win more 100s too as 23 is nowhere near enough to hold that record till I you can see where I'm going with this. I plan to run at Mt. Blanc next year on fresh legs and no jetlag, that race is the primary goal for next year. I have to show those Euros I'm for real.... right?” –KM

Why do it?

“Why? To raise the bar. Challenging myself to run 100 miles is easy now, so 2175 miles should satisfy my need to go further. Also if I can have a good run at the record, it is possible that I could drop that record significantly. It could be a record that stands for a while. It's hard to say what will happen, but the challenge of not knowing is the real fun of it...not to mention as we promote to the media, it'll be fun for everyone to watch me suffer.” -KM

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Long Weekend: Oregon Track / Obama / (Almost) Clear Trails

After working the last 10 days in a row, I was in much need of a break, and it just so happened that I had been given tickets to Oregon Twilight, so as soon as work finished on Friday, I took off for Track Town USA.

I got to Eugene with about an hour to spare, just enough time to find a parking space in a university town, but I did eventually find a spot, and then my seat. I was seated right in the middle of the Old East Grandstands at Hayward Field (which also happens to be the logo for the ’08 Olympic Trials at the same venue) and I had a perfect view of the Track.

I was thoroughly enjoying the events (the Steeplechase is my favorite) and then something perplexing happened. It was the middle of the Women’s 5,000meter race, Tasmin Fanning of Virginia Tech was on her way to setting a school-record time of 15:47.90, and in this city of track lovers, all the camera men were rushing into the SE corner of Hayward field away from the action. I soon heard murmurs from those around me, “Barak Obama’s here!”…. “Barak Obama’s here!” Sure enough, upon the conclusion of the race, Obama entered the arena surrounded by a throng of cameramen, journalists, and secret service agents. Several of those around me rushed down to the track to get a closer look, and Obama continued onto Hayward field, first over to the East Grandstands, where I was, to shake hands, and then across the field over to the West Grandstands again shaking hands, meeting the athletes, and kissing babies. On his way out of the arena, he even “jumped” a hurdle. It was all quite a spectacle for the 5,000+ spectators present (Oregon loves its Track), and worth the 20min delay of all running events.

As exciting as it was to see Obama show up at the track, I don’t know that it equaled the excitement during the men’s 1,500meter. Oregon’s own Andrew Wheating, Sophomore, hung in the middle of the pack for the majority of the race, but with 200meters left, he took off in a seemingly effortless burst of speed and seemed to fly by his competition. The roar that rose from the crowd was deafening, and cheered him to a commanding victory. Wheating’s time, 3:38.60, is not only the sixth fastest on Oregon’s History, but also the fastest time, set by any American, so far this season. What a way to end a meet!

I spent most of Saturday and Sunday with family and not doing a whole lot of running, but come Monday, I was ready to hit the trails.

I got out into the Columbia River Gorge about 7:00am, and was running at about 15 after. I took off down the beautiful Gorge Trail headed out toward Cascade Locks and jumped onto the Pacific Crest Trail, heading south. I have no better way to describe the run than “fragrant.” Wildflowers were blooming, and I didn’t even have to stop to smell them. I also came across quite a few little creatures: snakes and salamanders, and evidences of larger creatures: elk tracks about 5 inches wide and about 7 inches long. Some animals where acting quite comical: a robin pecking at a worm who, every time I got within 10ft, would pick up the worm, run down the trail a little way, and resume pecking at the worm. I took it easy, I was out there more to enjoy the experience than to beat myself to a pulp, and when I got up to about 3,500 ft I got to play in the snow a little bit. I found out that above that elevation, the snow is still a good 4 ft deep, so it’ll be a little while before I can run my entire loop (climbing up to over 4,300ft in elevation) but I did get a good 30 miles in. After I had to turn back, I started to get an intense headache which made running excruciatingly painful, so I did the best thing I knew how: I got some fresh mountain-spring water, found a comfortable rock off the path a little ways, and took a 2hr long nap. I woke feeling refreshed and ready to run.

I spent about 10hrs up there taking pictures, playing in the snow, doing a little running, having lunch, taking a nap, chasing wildlife, and enjoying the sights and sounds of the wilderness. Only a couple weeks till 20th century 100k, and I promise to pick up the pace a little. Ha ha. My goal is to run a Spartathlon qualifier after all.

For all pictures I took during the weekend..... go here

Until next time,

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Self-Transcendence Multiday Races Finished

Congratulations to everyone who took part in this years Self-Transcendence 6 and 10 day races!
John Geesler, Kaneenika Janakova, Dipali Cunningham, and Wolfgang Schwerk
This years champions were....

Wolfgang Schwerk (Germany) is the overall Men's 10day Champion with a distance of 829miles!!!! This in and of itself is absolutly incredible, but taking into concideration his win at the Athens International Ultramarathon Fesival just last month (1.012,00km / 628.8mi in 7 days) he is an absolute machine!

He was the favorite going into the race. His resume includes holding 70 records for distances over 1,300mi including the world record for the world's longest certified race: 3,100mi in 41 days 8hrs! He has also completed 627mi within 6 days to become only the 13th person to break 600 in 6 within the last 150yrs! His 24hr PR is also outageously fast: 171mi in 24hrs! Congratulations!!!!

In second place with an impressive resume of his own is his countryman Achim Heukemes with 701miles! Heukemes has a 1,000 mi PR of 11 days,18 hours, and has run over 150 miles for 24 hours. He has even run 2838 miles in the Trans Australia Race Stage Race!

Vladimir Balatsky of Ukraine rounds out the top three men with 660mi. He broke last years Distance by 7 miles.

In fourth is Glen Turner of Boulder, Colorado with 647mi.... I just had to include him on here to tell you what is coming up next for him.... This summer, Glen will be embarking on a 3 year, 25,000mi run around the world.... you can check it out at

In the women's race... Kaneenika Janakova is the Women's champion with 667mi. Her previous PRs are 422 mi in the 6day, 700 miles in 10 days, 19 hrs, and 1,000 miles in 15 days, 19 hrs. Not only are these her Personal Records...they also are Slovakian national records.

Second place woman is Ivana Nemcova with 634mi. Her previous record was 507mi; 127mi improvement!

Lenka Svecova (Czech Republic) finished third with 465mi. Her bests include 1000 miles in 15 days 15 hrs, 635 miles for ten days (split), and 413 miles for 6 days - all national records.

In the 6day:

John Geesler (USA) is the Men's Champion with 433 miles! John's bests include the US record of 248 mi in 48 hrs, his age-group record of 157.9mi in 24 hrs, and in 2005 he ran 300mi within 3 days!
Igor Mudryk (Ukraine) came in second in the 6 day with 420 mi! His previous 10 day PR was 533mi.

Pranjal Milovnik of Slovakia finished third with 375mi. He has previously run 622 mi for the 10day and 392 in the 6 day. He also has completed the 3,100 mi race 3 times with a PR of 51 days 16hrs.

In the Women's 6 day....

Dipali Cunningham, an incredible runner and World Record holder from Australia, won with 467miles; she came out the overall wimmer in the 6 day.

"Dipali is one of the world's best women ultra-distance runners. She has won 19 of the 22 multiday events she has entered since 1992, including five overall victories. In the spring of 2001 she set a new women’s world record on the road for six days with 510 miles, defeating all the men in that race. In 2001 she ran 700 miles in 9 days 11 hours, the third fastest all-time for women. In 1998 she set a women’s world best on the road for six-days with 504 miles, despite heavy rains at Wards Island Park. In 1999 she won the 700 mile race overall in 10 days, 21 hours. She is ranked third in the world for 700 miles, and third for 1000 miles, having dominated the women's 1000 mile race in 1997 in 13 days, 20 hours. She has won all ten Six Day titles in our spring-time event. She is also the women’s course record holder for the Ten Day with 723 miles.In 2004,Dipali set a new women’s age group 45-49 world best for six days with 479 miles. Later in the fall, she won the 700 mile race overall, her eighth victory in that event.*" Excerpt From Race Website

Second place is Barbara Sorrell of the USA with 319 miles in her first ever Miltiday!

Third place is Uljana Jevdokimova if Finland. In this, her second miltiday, she finished 276 miles; 31miles petter than in her previous race.

For full results, check out the following links...
Race Home Page
Daily Results
Photo Gallery