Monday, October 31, 2011


A Nike throw back to the Fall of 2000. The ad was pulled from television for being too scary. Scary fast I'd reckon.

Jason vs. Suzy Hamilton

Happy Halloweeeeeeen.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The North Face Speaker Series

The Karakoram at dawn  - Cory Richards for Outside
Get an early taste of winter's snow capped mountains this evening with alpinist and photographer Cory Richards, guest speaker in this year's installment of the North Face Speaker Series. Cory will be presenting photos and details of his team's recent summit of 8000m peak Gasherbrum II. Q&A and athlete signing afterward. These guest visits have been a lot of fun the last few years, and this evening's iteration ought to dovetail nicely with the icy cold front moving in to the state. Bring it baby.

Free admittance. 7pm Wed 10/26 at the Armory for the Arts, Santa Fe. If you can't swing it fear not: Cory's photos and a recount of the expedition were published in the April edition of Outside Magazine.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Preparing for New York

Been building towards New York all summer. Marathon training was gangbusters up through August where I was ticking off 70mi weeks and hammering track workouts. A probable PR in the making. During a twenty miler at month's end, sudden tendinitis in my foot put an end to all of that. Couldn't walk without a pathetic limp for days, and had to take a couple weeks off. No trails, no running. Outlook was kind of like this:

          Bill Paxton's training goes to hell (nsfw)

After two plus down-weeks in September I regrouped and charted a new plan of attack. The decision was to bike and swim like some fitness obsessed freak so I could lay wood to at least a handful of slackers that show up for the race less prepared than myself. I would taunt them without mercy and dance a jig to their misfortune.

Staring at several pair of shoes that had seen no action, and only six weeks out from a marathon I needed an airplane to get to, the situation called for DEFCON 1 emergency measures. This included cutting all empty calories to balance the loss of a weekly ~4,000 net calorie burn. Out were nachos, chocolate, desserts, donuts and pastries (maybe the hardest to deny), and.. wait for it…,, … God help me. Outside of DEFCON 1, I would consider such deprivation to be some hocus pocus clean living non-gluten-eating load of bullshit. But the cold logic of numbers do not lie, so what needed to be done was done.

Well folks - let me tell you this - biking and swimming will whip a fellow into shape, especially when training am/pm doubles or stacking brick workouts. The foot is now rested and can handle moderate mileage (I cut away part of the sidewall of my shoes and lace them less tightly). Got in my last few long runs without problem and the body is keenly aware that a cold beer awaits in Central Park South on an approaching cold November morning. It will be the Lord of Beers. Three-and-a-half weeks into Operation Bill Paxton Is A Whiny Sack of Shit, and my outlook for New York has brightened to this:

If Burgess Meredith were a Bike

NYC Training Log

Aug wk16 70mi
Aug wk17 61
Aug wk18 70
Aug wk19 71
Sep wk20 12
Sep wk21 10
Sep wk22 15
Sep wk23 21
Sep wk24 36
Oct wk25 41
Oct wk26 50
Oct wk27 0
Oct wk28 0
Nov wk29


View New York City Marathon - Five Boroughs New York in a larger map

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Luminaries on the Rail Trail

The Santa Fe Rail Trail at Rabbit Rd.
Got in a great long run with Nunez on Sunday. We ran out 22 pleasant miles on the Rail Trail starting around sun up. Early on I was blabbing about the upcoming New York Marathon when Caroline Rotich comes by us, a possible top three finisher if she accepts an invite to run. Can't say that happens to me everyday. Later we saw another area pro running an out-and-back on the trail.

On our return trip James was talking about the upcoming Duke City Marathon. As we discuss the race we run into Chris Chavez who happens to have run all twenty-seven previous Duke City Marathons. Helluva streak. He's out on the trail getting in last minute training for number twenty-eight. Chris joins our run and starts rattling off a history of the race with a great anecdote about former Albuquerque runner and NYC Champion Ibrahim Hussein. Hussein won Duke City one year, yet does not hold the course record. The record belongs to former UNM star Pablo Vigil, son of legendary Adams State coach Joe Vigil. Quite a morning.

Santa Fe Rail Trail
22mi, 3hrs 5min

View Santa Fe Rail Trail (17mi point-to-point) in a larger map

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Moonlight Training Run on Canyon Rd

Moon, cloud, Jupiter, and ponderosa  photo: Matthew BeVirt
Canyon Rd. Loop
10mi, 75min., road/dirt/art

A gorgeous full moon was out sitting just over the foothills on Tuesday night. This happens once a month of course, and is a happy invitation for me to get out on one of my favorite runs. I head east toward the lighted hills, through and past the museums, then turn north towards town with the hills and moon now in profile. Down the quiet narrow streets of Monte del Sol, Acequia Madre, Canyon Rd, and De Vargas. No people, no traffic, just pale moonlight, footfalls, and awesomeness. Canyon Rd alone is like running through an after hours museum.

Running along with a goofy smile, I often get to thinking about whether any run could be better than this loop with a full moon. I also like to think, 'if a guy was charging $10 or $20 at the trailhead, would I pay for this run'? This is one that I would. The following is my very thorough list of best runs possible:

  1. Running in 2-3 in. of fresh snow
  2. Moonlight run over dirt roads
  3. Running in the rain
  4. Running a PR in some race
  5. Trail run at dusk (I'm fortunate to run this one 2-3 times a week)
An interesting insight, most of these runs don't work in combination.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

All Kinds of Upcoming Outdoors Events - Oct '11

Lots of fun stuff happening around town over the next few weeks, thought I ought to take note of them all in one place.

In conjunction with the Santa Fe Fat Tire Society, the National Forest Ranger District is holding its 2nd annual Moonlight Project, an evening trail maintenance event on the Borrego Trail up in Hyde Park. Allow me to translate: Trails, cool people, s'mores, b.y.o.b. (discretely of course). A combination that cannot be denied. As a Forest Service project, long pants, long sleeves, above ankle boots, leather gloves, and a headlamp or lantern are required gear. Friday Oct. 14th, 6pm-830pm, Borrego Trailhead, Free

The annual Santa Fe Ski Swap is scheduled for this weekend (.pdf), Fri 14th - Sun 16th at the Genoveva Chavez Rec. Center. Get rid of your old gear or find great deals on new or semi-new gear from around the area. Pick up discounts on area season passes if you haven't already done so, browse the silent auction items, all proceeds benefit the Santa Fe Ski Team. Oct 14th-16th, Genoveva Chavez Ctr, $25 Fri evening 7-10pm, $2 Saturday 9am-5pm, Free Sunday 10am-2pm

The fellas at NM Bike & Sport are hosting a Specialized Bike Demo this Sunday at La Tierra Trailhead-West (NM 599 to La Tierra, 1/4 mi north). There will be both road and mountain bikes to look over and demo, as well as breakfast burritos and coffee to accompany the riding. Sunday Oct. 16th, 10am-230pm, La Tierra Trails, Free

This one is a bit of a stretch but bears mentioning anyhow. It's Albuqueruqe's 4th Annual HopFest at Hard Rock Casino in Isleta, easily accessible via the NM Rail Runner (departing at noon, arriving 2pm, last returning train at 630pm). Loads of brewery reps will be on hand including Santa Fe Brewing Company, Marble Brewery, Il Vicino, Turtle Mountain, Ska Brewery, Pagosa Brewing Co., Odell Brewing, Left Hand, Deschutes, Sierra Nevada, Silverton Brewing, plus live music Cold delicious bee-yah. Saturday Oct. 22nd, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Isleta, $25

The weekly Sunday group run organized by the Santa Fe Striders will once again traverse the Dale Ball Buster, 12mi of hilly trail and climbing, over sections of Dale Ball, the Santa Fe Canyon Preserve, Picacho and Atalaya Peaks, and coming to an end at the Barrett-Arnold's for a barbeque and refreshments. The run is not competitive, timed, or charged for - a ton of fun though. Prizes have been awarded in prior years for standout costumes. Bring a bomber or box of cookies if you're feeling charitable. Sunday Oct 23rd, 9am, Dale Ball Trailhead-Hyde Park, Free

The North Face Speaker Series comes back through town in what I think is it's third year? Well it's my third year anyway. This year's tour brings American alpinist Cory Richards to talk about his most recent expedition on 8000m peak Gasherbrum II. Last year's speaker was Norwegian skier/base-jumper/Banff film star Karina Hollekim. Two years ago it was American alpinists/adventurers Conrad Anker and Jimmy Chin. This year's event is courtesy of Outside Magazine and REI Santa Fe. Arrive early to find parking. Wednesday Oct. 26th, 7pm, Santa Fe's Armory for the Arts, Free

Friday, October 7, 2011

Snowfall in the High Country

We're getting both a cold spell and a wet spell this week which together make for some early season snow! Christmas come early. I picked a lousy week to cut back on beer.

Ski Santa Fe at 5pm Fri. evening. The annual Santa Fe Ski Swap is scheduled for next weekend at Genoveva Chavez, Oct 14th-16th (.pdf)

The Creek at 5pm Fri. evening. That Cat was actually driving through the video plowing snow! The Creek is reporting 36" of new, and a 30" base. They're opening three lifts THIS weekend -as in tomorrow - with $33 lift tickets. God bless us all.

Powcam up at the Butte at 5pm Fri. evening. Looks like pretty good accumulation in the trees there but maybe they cleared the snow platform there. Don't clear the fresh snow already people. Leave it be.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Big Tesuque Trail Run Report - 2011

Big Tesuque 2011, Hadji, Eric and Mike lead out the field
Big T baby! Alright, what a fun morning. We had a damn fine group up there on Saturday, terrific weather and a whole lot of blue sky and scenery. From the looks of the pre-race crowd I figured we'd have a larger than normal field of racers but in the end we were about even with previous years. This preserves the ratio of coffee and burritos per racer so no harm done.

Well, it was obvious from the time of the starter's instructions how this thing was going to play out. Bernard Langat had come up to run and was the de facto champion before the gun even sounded. Former champion and trail racing royalty Rachael Cuellar as well as three time Big Tesuque champ Mike Ehrmantraut were in the field so there were the likely women's champ and men's runner-up. Eric Peters was lined up, Joachim Marjon was there, mountain-runner Jacob Waltz, Antonio Lopez, the esteemed Dave Simpson, Matt Dreier, and my ghost from last year Andres Santiago of Flagstaff was back. I talked with ultra-runner Ruthanne Hamrick, Caldera marathon runner-up Whitney Dreier, Erin Sindewald, Mariam Browne, Liz Jaramillo-Lopez, and Erica Micander. Who else showed up to run? You never quite know who's lurking at the start of one of these things.

Dale, supervising registration - photos by Max Mujynya
As for myself, I'd been off my feet a bit coming into the week but had my eyes on crushing the ascent. The downhill section would have to be a wait-and-see type of deal. A steep and technical downhill of pain and uncertain footing was not really going to help with the foot injury I'd been nursing. Last year the descent destroyed me, pretty much ending my running for several months. Ok, well with the gun, off we went. I eased on up the trail and found myself toward the front without much effort. I ran for a bit near Rachael and thought she might just be taking it easy over the first section, but we hit the first mile in 8:22 so it seemed we were both moving well. Feeling good, I just hammered away with my choppy little climbing stride at what felt like 200rpms. After the first couple miles Rachael had set up 50m ahead of me, Joachim was another 80m or so beyond her. The gaps didn't seem to move much the rest of the way up.
Liz Jaramillo-Lopez and William Ek leading a pack of runners at mile 1 - photos by Max Mujynya
Here's one of myself on the escalator lined in gold - photos by Max Mujynya

I was trying to get in a hard workout for the first time in several weeks and for that reason never did glance back to see what was behind me. I know that someone bridged a gap and ran up on my heels at around mile 3. It rankled that I was running slow enough to be caught so I boosted my turnover for a few minutes and the footfalls were gone. It probably took some work for whomever it was to move up onto my hip, and then when he arrived and could get a bit of rest I pressed ahead. That had to have sucked badly for him. However it made me feel like badass Clubber Lang handing out a beating. That happy thought carried me to the top and past the now descending front-runners. Bernard came jogging past near the chairlift. Mike came by at the steep hairpin. Joachim closer to the towers, then Rachel right up near the turn-around.

Assorted wildlife

At the mountain edge my watch stopped at 55m30s, my best climb by 2min. Fantastic except that I didn't think I'd be ahead of so many people at this point. If I could help it I'd rather stay ahead of them all until the finish. Quite the dilemma I'd found myself in. It started to slip away from me fairly quickly though. I lost my legs around mile 8, they just didn't have the miles in them to control the fast decent and I wasn't very confident that they could prevent a stumble or fall. I had to focus pretty keenly on the footfalls and keeping my strides and pace under control. Soon after, Mike Rahmer out of Albuquerque came blazing by with a long powerful stride and just disappeared. I felt an unpleasant bonk coming on and stopped for several cups of gatorade at the water stop at mile 9.5. Jake Lawrence and Andres Santiago sped by together as I stood there like a rube. Back on the trail I closed the gap on those two over the next mile, and then Andres jetted away out of view. As the trail leveled out a bit in the last mile I was able to sprint a few of the flat sections without the worry of falling on my face. I closed pretty well on Jake but ran out of real estate, but so did the guy behind me which I figured had to be Waltz. It was Waltz.

Bernard on the descent - photos by Max Mujynya
Rachael a few places back in fourth - photos by Max Mujynya
Whitney Dreier with the aptly named Aspen Peak in the distance - photos by Max Mujynya
Ok, good showing. My foot seemed stable and wasn't all jacked-up. I hadn't fallen hard on a bunch of rocks which is a big plus, and I had climbed strongly and avoided a complete tank on the descent. That's a pretty good hand son, maybe a full house. Mile splits on the way up were something like: 1/ 8:22, 2/ 10:00, 3/ 10:00, 4/ 9:30, 5/ 9:20, 5.9/8:18, descent/ 37:00.

Seeing that Bernard finished in a fast - but not record fast - time of 1hr 21min I asked him if he had been running hard. "No, no," he said (he's been running the trail all summer and reportedly put up a 1hr13m run in that time). He was getting in a workout for upcoming pacing duties at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in two weeks. 81minutes on that trail is quick (the quickest time in the last 10yrs is 78min), and he took home some pottery and a certificate for a free pair of trail shoes from Alpine Sports. Joaquim Marjon moved into second on the downhill section, Mike Ehrmantraut finished third. Rachael ran away with her second women's title in roughly the same time she put up in 2009, 1hr 31min which is near the women's alltime record. The turn-around at the towers has moved a bit since the '09 race adding an extra minute to course times. She also received a trophy and free pair of trail shoes. Albuquerque's Stefanie Tierney held on for second, and Santa Fe's Whitney Dreier closed for third.

There were a number of falls in this year's race and the EMTs had their hands full. I know that Chris Chavez took a tumble, as did Kevin from Carlsbad, as did Vince Hesch, as did about a half a dozen others. No broken bones it seemed but possibly a few scrapes requiring stitches. Hope everyone was feeling a bit better the day after. 

Pete Fant did another standout job directing the event, his 14th straight year, and our fine sponsors provided support, race donations, and awards: Alpine Sports, San Francisco St. Bar & Grill, Santa Fe Screen Printers, Souder Miller Engineering and Survey, Paseo Pottery, The Santa Fe Striders, The Running Hub, Java Joes, and the Santa Fe Baking Company. Race proceeds, as always, benefit WINGS of America running club. Hope to see you all again next year.

Annie McCoy, Melissa Smith, & Mariam Johnston - photos by Max Mujynya

                                        Overall Results - Big Tesuque Trail Run 2011
Finish Name Time
1. Bernard Langat, 1:21:39
2. Joachim Marjon, 1:27:07
3. Mike Ehrmantraut, 1:27:48
4. Mike Rahmer, 1:30:45
5. Rachael Cuellar (W1) 1:31:21
6. Andres Santiago, 1:31:42
7. Jake Lawrence, 1:32:22
8. Kevin Brennan, 1:32:27
9. Jacob Waltz, 1:32:49
10. Hadji Corona 1:33:39
11. Peter Vigneron 1:34:17
12. Eric Peters 1:37:13
13. Matt Dreier 1:38:24
14. David Schoenwald 1:39:32
15. Dale Hoskisson 1:40:00
16. Antonio Lopez 1:40:46
17. Kyle Dickmen 1:41:32
18. Dave Simpson 1:41:41
19. Robert Baker 1:42:06
20. Vinnie Kelley 1:42:51
21. Stefanie Tierney (W2) 1:42:54
22. Herman Agoyo 1:43:11
23. Chester Tepple 1:45:20
24. Philippe Muller 1:46:51
25. Jeremy Milligan 1:48:41
26. Dan Tallon 1:49:19
27. Alden Hoskie 1:51:01
28. Brandon Johnson 1:51:05
29. John Wilp 1:51:21
30. Ty Lujan 1:51:39
31. Whitney Dreier (W3) 1:52:17
32. Jose Nava 1:52:50
33. Laura McClellan 1:52:57
34. Erin Sindewald 1:53:53
35. Mariam Browne 1:53:58
36. Shawn Edwards 1:54:00
37. William Dearholt 1:54:23
38. Vine Hesch 1:54:56
39. Luke Washburn 1:55:56
40. Ruthanne Hamrick 1:55:58

Full results and Max's photo albums can be found here

Waltz has his race report up here:
2011 Big Tesuque Trail Run

Last year's race report can be found here:
Big Tesuque - 2010

View Aspen Vista Trail (Big Tesuque Trail), Santa Fe, NM in a larger map

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Big Tesuque Trail Run Preview

Myself, the triple chair, and the valley below
It's that Big Tesuque time of year. A fine time. My initial try at a race preview was defeated by Comcast and their network of doom. I'm good for a second effort though. A quick look back then before writing up today's race report.

Herman and I got up on the trail at the end of August. It was beautiful. Don't think we saw many people up high but the trailhead was packed on our return. I think it was Herman's first time up on Aspen Vista which sounded ridiculous to me. I just don't believe you sir! A conversation about the strange lack of wildlife up there was followed by a deer sighting, a little family of grouse (ptarmigan) that scooted by, and then a noisy group of wild turkey hanging out in the trees. It snowed up there the following weekend.

Deception Peak Agoyo
Herman at the summit, with (l-r) Baldy, Deception Peak, and Penitente

New Mexico Highest outhouse
New Mexico's highest outhouse, just below the towers (11,950ft). Reassuring to
know that that fellow stands guard up there just in case duty calls.

Good stuff. Well, we made it up there once again this last Sunday to make sure we were familiar with all the turns and rock-placements. No sign of the wildlife or the snow. We scouted the trail with a group of the Santa Fe Striders, Jim brought paint to spot and mark up the old mile markers stakes for Saturday's race. Chatted it up with Herman and Todd, Vinnie, Syd, Mariam, Sheila and her dog Kaya. We saw Vince Hesch up there on his way down. Made the summit in 1hr8min and down in 2hr which were the exact times Herman and I had done four weeks earlier. What are the odds of that happening? Pretty badass. Another nice day to be up in the Hills.

Tesuque Peak Towers Run
Striders crew hiding in a wind-shadow at the tower out-building

My man Uffe, originally from Denmark, rocking the minimalist gear at the summit. The guy is a seriously legit minimalist runner. He stood up there at the summit and gave us all grief about our weak-assed running shoes. Tough crowd.

Ok this was more a collection of recent Aspen Vista trail stories than a race preview. For a better preview head over to Jacob's writeup at SantaFeTrailRunner - Big Tesuque Trail Run Preview (9/25).

For last year's race report try:   
Big Tesuque Trail Run Report - Oct 2nd, 2010

For a list of recent top times, maps, and other stuff try here:
SF Striders - Big Tesuque Trail Run Page

random photo of wild turkeys

a grouse and its characteristic sinister disposition

View Big Tesuque Trail - Aspen Vista Trail in a larger map


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