Monthly Archives: April 2009

New Shoes Run!

Got my trail shoes that I am test running for Trail Runner Magazine. These are Scarpa “Alpine Cross”. I cringed when I checked the size…size 9. I thought for sure they would not fit, as I have been more comfortable in a size 10 these days, but these were fine, had plenty of room in the toe box.

It was raining when I left work, but the trail gods smiled upon me and ceased the rain as I entered the woods. I brought the camera in anticipation of some deer, but Trevor must have been up the trail in front of me, as no deer were seen on this loop.
We are just starting to green up these days.
My trail has a very good mix of single track, roots, and rocks. And a little mud from time to time.
You pop out of the woods here, and cross between the airport field on the left, and the golf course on the right.
You kind of have to know where the trail is here. Luckily, this tree blew down right on the trail so it’s easy to spot.

There used to be a bridge here. Until the storm last winter that brought the tree down, hence the bridge is no more. It’s a very steep little ravine here too. We (I) have an alternate crossing a few feet up the creek bed.

A bridge that isn’t broke…


heading downhill…I didn’t add the swirly to this photo, it just happened like this. Must have been running fast here(hee hee)

Fire Tower Aid Station Report

Actually, I guess the post is about the whole weekend. Regis and I took off about 1030 to go to Mohican…a strange time for us to going there. Usually it’s the crack of dawn. So we celebrated by having a beer. We don’t usually get to do that before going to Mohican either!

We got over to the race start/finish to find about a zillion bikers there! They were getting ready for a big group ride. Regis and I jumped right into helping Rob, Nick, and Terri. Tom Jenning and then Mike Keller and his girls showed up about the same time, so we got all the supplies split into the various bins for the various Aid Stations. Don and Roy returned from their earlier trail markings, and Don organized the trail marking supplies, and Reg and I left to mark trail.

I took advantage of Regis a bit; he started at the Covered Bridge and came toward the Fire Tower, while I started at the Fire Tower and worked my way mainly downhill toward him. It was a bit challenging to mark trail, because the mountain bikers were out in full force!
It was a nice change of pace to be mainly walking on the trails, got to look around in the woods a bit more than normal. Reg and I finished up, took a beer break, and then headed over to the Purple Loop. Since it was a beautiful day, there were still lots of folks out even in the late afternoon. We finished marking around seven and went over to the cabin for showers and food.

Mrs Baun had sent a lasagna over, and Amy Powell had spaghetti and meatballs, rolls, and salad ready! We tore into the food, with several more beers of course. Matt and Tom joined us before long. Rob was still out marking course-in the dark, on his mountain bike–his first time on a mountain bike, on trail, in the dark…. he eventually showed up right before the “worrying” cut off would begin. I reassured his wife that we knew the trail and could spot his body in a ravine if we needed to go out.

We all got up around 500 ish. Although Reg and I offiicial duties didn’t start until later, we decided to go over to the start in case there was any work to do. I didn’t do a darn thing but talk to all my friends as they arrived. Kind of a nice feeling, to be relaxed and able to just chit chat and not be thinking about what was ahead.

Rob gave a great speech bfore the race, that he wanted everyone to finish, and something about “if you drop, you’ll get a ride in about three hours so you might as well keep walking” that got a good laugh. He then introduced Regis Shivers Jr to say a few words.
For those of you that knew Regis Shivers Sr, he loved his Mohican, and Jr does too. Reg gave a nice speech about Regis, and then started the race. I had to smile at Paul; Paul is a veteran ultra runner, he was just walking out of the start as everyone bolted down the road toward the first hill. Paul knew what was in store for him!

Nothing to do now than head over to the Fire Tower. Wild Bill had introduced me to two friends, Tara and Arabella. Arabella wanted to run but had not registered in time. Bill proposed that she help out at the FT and I gladly accepted the help!

The rest of the volunteers showed up soon, the Gallion girls softball team and parents. It did not take us long to erect the canopies, organize the food and drink and then…….wait……we were ready for action about 930, and our first runner did not show up until 1115’ish? I am not sure because I forgot my watch, but I had delegated the timing to Kristen, who did a great job. Jay Smithberger was in and out very efficiently, and the volunteers soon had the AS duties down pat.

It was so fun to see people that you know come into your area! Trevor, one of the neighbor guys, arrived looking great, in about 8th place!

We really didn’t get the big crowd of middle packers that I expected, the runners were well spread out. I think the most we had was about 5 runners arriving, with 4-5 runners just a bit behind. We had enough food and drink at our AS for a 100 miler, but hey, better to have it than not!

My mom had made homemade potato soup, and we started pushing that to the middle pack and then the back of the pack runners. It went over very well, and the amount was just right, we used it up completely!

I think my highlight of the day was seeing Ruta come through. Ruta is an old time race director (although she’s not that old!!) She used to put on the Dan Rossi Race before I entered the ultra world. I met her at Umstead in 2007, where I found we’re practically neighbors. Ruta’s not been training that much lately, and she had said she was only going to run to the second Aid Station and stop. But Rob said there was no DNF’ing, and then Regis gave his speech…and Ruta kept going!!!!

We were down to 5 runners. Three came through. We were still waiting. Our cutoff was 245pm, and about 3 pm we began to pack up. Rob called from the finish line, and I told him I was short two runners. But they could have been missed. So after everything was packed up, I ran the course backwards down to the Covered Bridge to compare runners. It felt good to run!

I climbed up out of the Gorge Trail and ran toward the AS, and got a big cheer! (They didn’t know I wasn’t in the race.) That was cool! As it turns out all was well, my last three runners were the same last three that had left the CB coming to the FT. Regis and I caught a ride back to my vehicle, and then went over to the finish line. We stuck around long enough to eat some soup, say some goodbyes, and get on the road home as we were both rather tired.

Rob had some mad skilz as a Race Director. He did a very good job and I am very proud of him. All I heard was compliments on the race! Congratulations on a great inaugural race Rob!

Aid Station Report


Two wearers of the 1000 Mile Mohican Buckle-Ron Ross and Mike Jacolenne

guess the post is about the whole weekend. Regis and I took off about 1030 to go to Mohican…a strange time for us to going there. Usually it’s the crack of dawn. So we celebrated by having a beer. We don’t usually get to do that before going to Mohican either!

We got over to the race start/finish to find about a zillion bikers there! They were getting ready for a big group ride. Regis and I jumped right into helping Rob, Nick, and Terri. Tom Jenning and then Mike Keller and his girls showed up about the same time, so we got all the supplies split into the various bins for the various Aid Stations. Don and Roy returned from their earlier trail markings, and Don organized the trail marking supplies, and Reg and I left to mark trail.

I took advantage of Regis a bit; he started at the Covered Bridge and came toward the Fire Tower, while I started at the Fire Tower and worked my way mainly downhill toward him. It was a bit challenging to mark trail, because the mountain bikers were out in full force!
It was a nice change of pace to be mainly walking on the trails, got to look around in the woods a bit more than normal. Reg and I finished up, took a beer break, and then headed over to the Purple Loop. Since it was a beautiful day, there were still lots of folks out even in the late afternoon. We finished marking around seven and went over to the cabin for showers and food.

Mrs Baun had sent a lasagna over, and Amy Powell had spaghetti and meatballs, rolls, and salad ready! We tore into the food, with several more beers of course. Matt and Tom joined us before long. Rob was still out marking course-in the dark, on his mountain bike–his first time on a mountain bike, on trail, in the dark…. he eventually showed up right before the “worrying” cut off would begin. I reassured his wife that we knew the trail and could spot his body in a ravine if we needed to go out.

We all got up around 500 ish. Although Reg and I offiicial duties didn’t start until later, we decided to go over to the start in case there was any work to do. I didn’t do a darn thing but talk to all my friends as they arrived. Kind of a nice feeling, to be relaxed and able to just chit chat and not be thinking about what was ahead.

Rob gave a great speech bfore the race, that he wanted everyone to finish, and something about “if you drop, you’ll get a ride in about three hours so you might as well keep walking” that got a good laugh. He then introduced Regis Shivers Jr to say a few words.
For those of you that knew Regis Shivers Sr, he loved his Mohican, and Jr does too. Reg gave a nice speech about Regis, and then started the race.

Wild Bill

Fire!!





Well, glad I have recovered from the 100 Mile Race.

About 5pm, right as we finished dinner, someone stopped on the road, said it looked like there was a fire on our property..or behind it.
So we slipped the shoes back on, took the dogs, and headed out for another walk. Just a bit up the hill, behind the barn, we could see smoke, in our ravine. And we could hear a siren. Dennis went to the hilltop (to get a signal on his cell) and I sprinted downhill to get the key to the gate.
Got the key, and ran part way uphill (but then had to powerwalk) and got the gate opened. Walked over toward the fire, and was dismayed to see how much was burned. Then I ran the dogs back to the house, got them secured, and power walked back to the gate to wait on the trucks.
The local Newcomerstown Fire Department showed up, then the volunteers from Port &Gnade,and then the Delaware Valley FD folks. Excitement at the gate over, I then walked over to see the fire.
Most of the fire was out. There were some areas still burning, like the big pile of hardwood trees that were part of the clear-cut done two years ago. I walked my side of the property (our property and the neighboring property were both affected) to check out some spots still smoking.

I could tell where the low spot of the fire was, on our property, and then with all the wind, it went away from the house. (This all occurred at least 200 meters from the house). About one acre of our property burned, and 10 acres of the adjoining property.

Big props to the volunteer fire departments that responded-Newcomerstown, Gnadenhutten, Port Washington, and Delaware Valley. When they were at our place, some of them had to leave to attend to a brush fire near by. And when the fire department chief was getting our personal information, another call came in and off they went! Thanks for the quick response Fire fighters!!!

Mohican Training

Ok. Now that I have a successful 100 under my belt again, it’s time to turn thoughts to my second 100 of the year: Mohican 100 Trail Race. I DNF’d this race the two times I have attempted the 100 mile distance, both occurences due to timing out.
So, therefore, no big secret…I need to get faster at Mohican.

Aid Station Time

Aid Stations: The AS will not be the huge food spread that we had at Umstead. With Umstead being a loop, there was only the two AS (which you accessed 8 times each). Mohican is kind of a cloverleaf course. You do every Aid Station Twice, and the Covered Bridge, which is kind of at the center, multiple times.
I just went over the course, and the Aid Stations-19 aid stations! If you spend one minute in each AS, there is 19 minutes. I could have used a cushion of 19 minutes. You hit the Covered Bridge Aid Station 4 times. If you spend 5 minutes there-that’s 20 minutes used of your racing time. I am starting to see where my race time went in the last two years…..

Both years I have timed out at Mile 75. I hit 15 AS before that. Eliminate Landoll’s Castle, the first AS, which everyone just rolls through. Say I spent 5 minutes at each AS. There is 70 minutes! Holy cow!! One hour 10 minutes!!

Strategy: Roll through the AS. I think I will have my drop bags ready with food for me to eat. That way, I can eliminate the stopping, staring, and trying to figure out what I would like to have at the AS. If I pack the little baggies just right, I can grab the baggy, refill water bottles, and go.

I will try not to change socks or shoes unless it seems warranted. I will have them available, at both Rock Point and the Covered Bridge, if needed. Same with clothing, only if needed. I will have long sleeved shirts/hats/gloves available in drop bags.

Hills

Mohican is full of them. Unending. Not much flats here. Up and down. I need to get working on increasing my walking uphill pace. Right now, our field across the road is empty. (Sometimes we rent it out and there are horses pastured there). There is a great hill that I can do repeats on, so that is going to be a close to home workout!

The Blister Post

Well, the blisters continue. The feet weren’t as bad as 2007, but more than 08 at Umstead.

This year I have been wearing Drymax socks. Now, I’ve worn them since last September and been having great results. Most of the time my feet have gotten wet, and no blisters! And I am going to continue to wear the Drymax socks.

Drymax does say not to lube or tape your feet (I think it does.) But I was still afraid enough of blisters..so I taped my feet. I use tincture of benzion, and tape the entire bottom of my feet. Put my socks on, and go to sleep.

The first hot spot developed in a very familiar spot, on my heel, right where your foot curves, on the outer side of the foot. So this is not on the heel proper, but on the side. This area was not taped. (I’ve taped this before with no good results.) So I knew the blister was developing.
This blister burst around 25 miles….about 1/8 of a mile out of the AS!! Argh! No, I was not going to turn around and go back. I had a small piece of lambswool, which I shoved into the area of the blister, and gingerly limped on. By the time I got to the AS, 6 miles later, the pain had dulled down, so I did nothing to it.
Then I could feel hot spots developing on the balls of my feet, right under the tape. Sigh. When blisters develop under your tape, what can you do?
Well, I have a good pain threshold. They hurt, but they weren’t that bad.

However, I would rather not have them at all!

Some of the things that may have happened: I didn’t apply enough tincture of benzoin to get the tape to adhere on the ball of my feet, right where I needed it. My friend Bob Combs had a good summation of Umstead: “It’s not a hard course. Your legs get breaks from the hills. But your feet get no change at all, it’s the same pounding.”

I also wore a pair of knee hi hose over my Drymax. Maybe this interfered with the wicking ability of the Drymax socks.

What I will do for Mohican:
1. Wear Drymax socks. No taping, no lubing. There are numerous water crossings, but my feet seem to do better when wet! Bring spares in drop bags as needed.
2. I think I will look for those toe cot things. I usually do end up with some blisters of my toes because of rubbing against each other.
3. Keep the tape, bandages, and duct tape handy to take care of any problems if they develop!