Thursday, June 26, 2008


As I write this, I will express my remorse to all those to whom Western States did not pan out; and if you did not already know, I'ld like to bring your attention to the face that the Grand Teton Races will be offering discounts to some of those who cannot participate in Western States this year.

For more information about this, go to "Note To Western States Runners"

Now back to my post.....

Yesterday, the AUA (American Ultrarunning Association) announced the members of its 2008 National team, this is the article:

"The 6th Annual World Championship 24-Hour Run of the International Association of Ultrarunners will be held in Seoul, Korea on Oct. 18-19 of this year. U.S.
National Teams have performed well at the event, usually finishing among the top 5 national teams and making the team medals podium twice. The highest individual American finishes in the world title event's half-decade history were achieved by Stephanie Ehret (3rd in 2005) and Phil McCarthy (4th in 2007). This year will mark the second time the event has been hosted by an Asian city. The 2006 World 24 Hour was held in Taipei, Taiwan.

This year's National Team includes
the following members:

Connie Gardner, Medina, Ohio
Debra Horn, Shake Heights, Ohio
Jamie Donaldson, Freeport, Pennsylvania
Carilyn Johnson, El Paso, Texas
Laura Nelson, Woodstock, Virginia

William Allen, Prince Frederick, Maryland
Scott Jurek, Seattle, Washington
Dean Karnazes, San Francisco, California
Phil McCarthy, New York, New York
Roy Pirrung, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Alex Swenson, Vashon, Washington

John Geesler, St. Johnsville, NY


Dr. Andy Lovy, D.O., Kirksville, MO

Gardner, Horn, Johnson, Pirrung, and McCarthy were automatic team selections by virtue of their top 3 finishes in the Ultracentric National 24-Hour Championship in November 2007. Donaldson, Nelson, Jurek, Karnazes, Allen, and Swenson were selected by virtue of their rankings in non-championship qualifying events in the previous 18 months. Pirrung, at age 59, for the fourth consecutive year becomes the oldest athlete ever named to an open National Team in the sport of Athletics. He is the only runner to have been selected for all 6 of the 24-Hour Run National Teams since the World event's inception in 2003. Pirrung won the inaugural U.S. National 24-Hour Run Championship in 1988, then again in 1991, and has finished second in that event for the past 3 years.

The team's Medical Advisor, Dr. Andy Lovy, was recently honored by the American Osteopathic Association as one of the "Great Pioneers in Osteopathic Medicine."

The team is sponsored by apparel manufacturers Sport Science and Injinji. The team is coordinated and managed by the American Ultrarunning Association."

Monday, June 23, 2008

I told you so.... :-)

Quick update.....

I know this has nothing to do with Ultrarunning, but when I posted: Keep an Eye On This Kid (Elijah Greer), I had no Idea that just a few weeks later he would break the 800meter American Record for a 17yr old.... running 1:47.68

I know the video isn't great, but here's the Link

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mt Hood Scramble

Since I hurt my calf (see previous post), I've had to take some down time, and it has been difficult. I want to be out there, so I do smart things like sign up for races when I'm injured.

So the Monday after I injured myself at 20th Century 100k, I signed up for the Mt Hood Scramble, not just a race, but a brutal one at that. I couldn't run, but at least I had something to look forward to.

I tested out my legs a few days later, and something wasn't right; I wasn't feeling the kind of pain that I endured with the torn calf that weekend before, but my calf and the back of my knee just felt wierd. I dont know how to describe it.

I took it easier after that, but my calf continued in that manner for a while. Even when I went for a short three-mile jog the day before the Scramble, I wasn't feeling right only a mile into the jog. When I woke up the next day to get to the race, I still wasn't feeling right, and I was already favoring that foot.

So against my better judgement, I decided to run. I met up with a couple other runners at the Portland Running Company to carpool, and we were off to the Mountain. We arrived early, collected our bibs and I watched enviously ar others were warming up, I was afraid that if I were to try to warm up, I might injur myself (smart, huh).

I lined up in the back for the start of the race, and ran gingerly from the beginning. People were breaking through the snow, faceplanting, and falling into tree wells all over the place. My leg wasn't feeling horrible so I kept a conservative pace but passed several people with ease.

I had a great time, enjoyed the views, and kept a smile on my face, although I have to say, it wasn't all that hard to remain happy out there.

I was originally dreading the several ice-cold river crossings (I would guess probobly 10), but with every crossing, my leg felt better and better. Or maybe It was simply becoming more and more numb. (Photo Courtesy Brian Conaghan)... I need to get back into shape!
I eventually felt good enough that I even started kicking after the last turnaround and caught at least a dozen runners in the final treacherous downhill stretch.
The Red Lizards were well represented at the Scramble.
Beautiful Views! And as a testement to the difficulty of this 6.8 mile course, no one was able to break an hour. My time of 1:54:47 put me in the middle of the pack.
One of the guys who I carpooled with, Pat Fear, finished 4th overall with a time of 1:07:29, only 2:24 behind the winner.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Worst I've Ever Raced

I’ll begin with a question: If every bad run is just a good learning experience, why don’t I teach this stuff?

Everything at the 20th Century 100k began all right. I was running right at or just faster than my goal time up through the Garcia Station at mile 19.6 and was keeping very close to Tim Englund and Lisa Bliss. Up through Garcia I was averaging 9:38 per mile, right on track to achieve my goal of sub 10:30 or possibly a sub 10hr race. Everything was great, I was feeling good, I was healthy, and I was getting enough food and water in me, but then I inexplicably just died.

The next 5.6 miles up to Bandera were a battle. I wanted to run it, but I couldn’t. There were a couple points along the way in which my quads even began spasming, but I pressed on with people passing me right and left. It all was a little disheartening, but I was encouraged when Tim and Lisa, running the other way now, cheered me on telling me that I was sure to “resurrect” once I got to the Bandera turn-around. I finally made the 5.6mi to the Bandera Station in a time of 1:19:06, a 14:07 mile avg.

They were right, I sped way up once I made it past the turn-around averaging a 10:59 mile back down to Garcia, though I may have been helped a little by the couple of handfuls of snow I put in my hat. Ha ha. Over the course of the next 12.8 miles, I was running on a rollercoaster of highs and lows, at times slowing down beyond a 13 min mile pace, and sometimes running a sub 10.

I knew there was no way I would be able to run a sub 10:30 race from the way things had been going, and even an 11 or 11:30 would be a stretch, but I knew that there was no way I wanted to finish slower than 12hrs (my slowest 100k to date had been about 12:06, and that was with a broken leg) and the only way I was going to be able to complete the race within 12 would be to average a 12 min mile from that point on.

I pushed myself, and I was happy to see that I was staying just under a 12min mile up to the next aid station. Then the unthinkable happened; a mere 100yards before the Mt. Si Golf Course aid station, I felt an incredibly sharp, almost crippling pain, deep in the meat of my left calf. The pain was incredible. After tearing my calf, the next 2.8 miles took me an excruciating 56:05, and I wasn’t going to be speeding up very much beyond that. Less than a mile later, three more runners passed me. Soon after they passed me, an early starter, who I thought had dropped a while before, came up behind me and soon we were “running” together. This was by far the furthest he has ever run, and his hip flexors were causing him a lot of pain, so we limped on towards the finish line.

During the next 3 odd miles to the next aid station, I was able to speed up slightly, but I had to be careful because I was dancing that line between good and bad pain (the pain of working, and the pain of injury). I achieved that 3.8 miles in a blisteringly fast [tongue in cheek] 55:53. When we reached the next aid station, the volunteers there told us that the only people behind us had dropped, so we were it, last on the course.

We pushed the last 7.7 miles to the finish, cheering each other on and straining to continue, and we made decent time, all things considered. About an hour into the last stretch we were passed by someone sweeping the course, and we continued on at our labored pace envious of his fresh legs. When we reached the final turn off, only 2 miles to go, he took off with a surge of adrenalin, and I could muster nothing faster than I was currently doing. Trail markers were being picked up behind me as I continued over the last couple miles, the last one out there.

Finally I approached the suspension bridge, over which was the finish line. I wanted to finish strong, but as I attempted to run up one side, my calf seared with pain again and I had to walk. I was able to shuffle across and then a noise arose that I met with mixed emotions, cheering. I was 3hrs behind my target, and I almost wanted to slip in unnoticed, but at the same time, the cheering was comforting and it hurt that I couldn’t finish strong without doing further damage to my calf. I crossed the bridge, and as I came down the opposite side, tears of pain welled up in my eyes, but I continued the few yards across the finish where waiting for me was chicken noodle soup, hot dogs, and comradery. It was well worth it.

My time for the last 7.7mi was 2:06:55, for an overall finish time of 13:01:16.

As poorly as things went for me, I do still recommend this race. It’s a fast course with a lot of aid, and a whole lot of fun (as long as you aren’t injured).

Until next time,
Tim Lawson

Results Link