All posts tagged: Races

Rabbit Peak 2017

A few years ago, when I ran Rabbit Peak for the first time, I called it the most challenging run or hike I’ve ever done. At 22 miles, it’s not big compared to most ultramarathons, yet it’s incredibly challenging with roughly 8,000 feet of elevation ascent (and an equal amount of descent), technical terrain, jumping cholla cactus, and a route that is determined more by sheer cliffs than by an navigable trail. Joe and Nicole Decker of Gut Check Fitness have held Rabbit Peak almost every year since 2012, but because the race isn’t hard enough on its own, they decided to up the ante for the 2017 edition. This year, rather than start the race at 6 a.m., Nicole yelled “go” just before sundown at 6 p.m. The race would take place overnight.  Running at night can be beneficial: there’s less heat, to start…and that’s about it. Temperatures that day hovered near 90°F, but by 5:30 p.m. they had cooled down just enough that I figured I should bring a sweater. Who knew what …

Holcomb Valley Trail Run: My 33-Mile Race Report

In preparation for Cascade Crest 100 at the end of August, I’ve started incorporating higher volumes in my weekly training. While I was looking forward to a long solo run this weekend in San Diego, the appeal of running with others in Big Bear was too strong. So, like any sane person, I signed up for the race five days before and with a whole lot of mileage on my legs. After several weekends of travel, Nick and I opted to sleep at home the night before the race and set our alarms early to knock out the drive. By 3:45 a.m. we were stumbling around our apartment, pouring hot tea and scooping our still-sleeping dog, Cashew, out of the bed and into the Subaru. Nick drove, as usual. I’m lucky in that we’re both good drivers, and luckier still that Nick offered to drive so I could doze off as we wound our way up to Big Bear. By 7 a.m. we had arrived; I went to pick up my bib as Nick chatted …

Old West 50K: On Cactus, Friends and Rib Pain

As I sit here post-race, my legs propped up on a stool and a cold kombucha doing little to aid in reducing lactic acid build-up in my body, I can’t help but be slightly terrified at the prospect of running Zion 100-mile in three weeks. It will my first hundred. Part of the reason for my terror is because of the way my body currently feels (i.e., fatigued, stiff) and part of it is because 31 miles is not even a third of the way to 100 miles. But, I have three weeks to think (or not think) on that. Today’s race was a blast! I originally signed up after realizing that I needed one last long run in preparation for Zion. Running with others, whether in a race or not, sounded more fun by this point in my training cycle than running solo, so I opted to try Old West 50K. Nick and I awoke at 3:55 a.m. to drive the two hours out to Anza Borrego from Coronado. The drive passed quickly. I dozed as …

Race Report: 2014 Born to Run 50K

“What are you doing?” I asked Nick as he patted my back on the second loop of the 50K, 3-loop course at the Born to Run Ultramarathons. “Just brushing down your hackles,” he replied with a laugh. ———————————- Three months earlier Nick had traveled down to Urique, Mexico to run the Ultra Caballo Blanco with the Tarahumara and other Mas Locos. I admitted my jealousy of his trip when he returned and I think he read that as a sign that I needed to experience something similar. And so he signed us up (thank you, Luis!) for my first ultramarathon, the Born to Run 50K in Los Olvios, California. I was excited, sure, but also nervous; I had only run half marathons, courses that were too hilly and too hot and too much for someone who had only just learned about the ultra scene a year and a half before. But I would be out in Carbondale, Colorado for three months on an internship and had spare time: why not begin to train? And so …