Once a month we’d like to showcase the races for members courageous enough to spend a few minutes filling out a Google Form, and until we get that sick shout-out from the CEO himself on Twitter or, preferably, Instagram®, we will *NOT* promote Run Gum!
First-placers, mid-packers, sweepers, we want to hear all the tales: heroism, zeroism, and everything in between. And as you see below, your submission can be as brief, or *long* as you’d like!
Are you racing this September? Probably! Here’s an incomplete list of “races” I accept:
- Real races! (road, track, trail, relays, obstacle courses, chasing that teen around the track after his friend Todd dared you to race him)
- Not really races(?) (stair climbs for cancer research, color runs, certain Mario Kart levels)
- Strava CRs! (no bikes)
- Strava CR attempts! (definitely no bikes)
- Beer Miles (5% abv or even PBR beer miles!)
- Beer ultras (Fat Glass is coming 9/22!)
Let’s hand it off to AUGUST 2018’s, ONE BOSS HOSS and one other late hoss!
Member #: 1247
Race name: Beast of Big Creek Trail Race
When was this race? 8/4/18
How did you place?! I won
Race website: Shelton Harriers
*Your* website URL: I don’t know how
The following is a transcript from the Press Conference following the Beast of Big Creek Trail Race, held in Hoodsport Washington on August 4th, 2018.
Max Ferguson: Thank you all for coming, I’d like to share a short written message and following we can have a Q and A session for all in attendance.
Transcriptionist note: there are 24 empty folding chairs in a seemingly random campsite at the Big Creek Campground. Max has set up a podium he brought himself complete with a name plate. At the time of “beginning” this “Press Conference” there appears to be one lone person occupying the two dozen chairs available.
MF: Firstly I want to thank my parents without whom none of this would be possible. Their years of dedicated frugality forced me to spend many days wandering aimlessly in the wooded areas of the Cascade mountain range and the sprawling forgettable suburbs of unincorporated King County. This wandering skill I found critical in my athletic endeavors later in life. Not necessarily in high school. Or in college. Or even after college, now that I think about it. But a shit-load later in life. Right about the time I was missing my athletic prime, and had maybe one good year left in the ‘ol kickers. Yes, that’s when that childhood aimlessness kicked in.
I also want to thank the many fans in attendance today. I know that races such as UTMB receive far more gushing oration over their raucous all day fan brigade. But for my money, the homegrown ones here are the absolute best.
Finally, Id like to thank Keith Laverty for letting me borrow his watch today, and my greatest of apologies to his wife Elisa for being unable to “snag some of those fiery hot KOM monster vert climbs” for his Strava account.
With that being said, I’m more than happy to answer some questions from the gathered media presence we have here.
Note: There is no possible way the now 3 people sitting in the 24 available chairs is official media. One of these people simply appears to be a tired hiker who cannot find her parked vehicle. Also in ‘attendance’ is an unattended child consuming an entire roll of fruit by the foot and drawing frantically in a book.
Lost Hiker: I saw you running down that very narrow steep section with all the loose rock! I tried my best to move out of the way, but you still nearly knocked me off the trail coming past. Was that completely necessary?
MF: I’m afraid it may have been ma’m. I was in hot pursuit of some “gnarly AF descending Strava segs” and needed to test out all the running skills that slow motion footage from Salomon TV can teach an over the hill athlete such as myself.
LH: Well, you clearly could have just tried being safer, this is a public trail.
MF: Danger is my middle name.
Note: Max now puts on a pair of sunglasses. There is an audible groan from the now growing crowd of rather annoyed hikers.
MF: You there with the backpack and the “Short girls rule” tee shirt.
Note: Max points to a host of hikers annoyed by his trail maneuvering antics, one of whom has hand raised.
Annoyed Hiker #2: Did you at least have fun out there?
MF: I had an absolute blast. This is by far one of the great events in the Pacific Northwest that no one knows about. This race always puts a big smile on your face. Never immediately after, but like 2-3 days later, you’re smiling.
AH#2: It seems preposterously dangerous, who would you possibly recommend this race to? I see multiple people fell this year alone!
MF: I think the real question is not who should do this race, but only to weed out those who absolutely should not.
AH#2: Soo…who shouldn’t? Sane people?
MF: Well, hobby horses would find commiting to the entire event difficult. Self-identified triathletes would have issue not being able to legally purchase a ride to the upper trailhead. Politicians would have difficulty expending any effort to either climbing or descending the mountain based on the current media narrative being dissected at the time. Children under the age of 5 are much too small and weak, which is no good. Children over the age of 7 have too many wits about them, also not a skill-set necessary here at Mt. Ellinor. Classic rock DJs are forever living in the past and would be continuously talking about how ‘mountain races USED to be much more extreme…’
AH#2: Those all sound excruciatingly specific. These sentiments have clearly been brewing under the surface for quite some time.
MF: …Also! People infatuated with buckles, and who presumably have ill-fitting pants. This may not be your cup of tea as I’d recommend well-fitting clothing, and no clothing adapters are provided for finishing.
AH#2: So what do the finishers get?
MF: I know there are some sweet socks up for grabs and a stuffed animal of rotating species is handed out to the top men and women.
AH#2: The men and women both run the same distance right?
MF: Yes both men and women get to equally risk major injury racing headlong down a boulder field from the top of a 5900 foot mountain. Both receive the same trophy and equal shot at respective ascent and round trip records.
AH#2: So, how long is the race?
MF: That reminds me! People who need to know how long a race is should not do this race. This race is kinda a half marathon, but it’s most certainly not.
AH#2: So, it’s shorter?
Annoyed Hiker’s Extremely Tall Husband: So, it’s longer?
MF: Well, it could be.
AHETH: This man is an idiot.
MF: Idiots! They should also very much think twice about doing this race. You kinda have to have your head on a swivel on this race. Idiots most certainly are probably a net negative in this racing environment. Which reminds me, people who purchase individual tickets to Dave Matthews Band concerts. Not sure racing full speed down a mountain is up your alley–this isn’t the 7.5 minute rhythmically-beige saxophone solo of descents.
Note: There is a smattering of applause on this particular point.
AHETH: Aside from verbalizing your own insecurities, was there any point to this random gathering? Were there any amazing performances in the race aside from your own self congratulations?
MF: Hmmmmm, there was a 59 year dude wearing Wal Mart specials and tattered shorts that threw down an ass whipping on some youngsters. That was pretty neat.
AH#2: So how are you going to celebrate this run today?
MF: I’m most certainly going to have some finish line beer.
AHETH: Ohhh, do they have an IPA?
Note Surprisingly, the annoyed short female hiker with the shirt from Hot Topic circa 2008 is nodding in agreement.
AHETH: But I like IPAs, what’s wrong with an IPA?
Note: His wife is visibly ashamed of her husband’s poor taste in beer.
MF: I dunno, I guess the last thing I want to drink after turning my legs and feet into hamburger is a beer brewed solely for the purpose of attacking your mouth with reckless and near tasteless abandon. I appreciate that they brought beer to a finish line that is…ya know…drinkable.
AHETH: I guess that’s a fitting response for a man whose initials stand for –
MF: OKAY, I think that’s all the time I have, I’ll see you all again next year!
Shoeless Joe Sez!
I understand imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but being loathed by annoyed hikers’ extremely tall husbands is kinda *MY* gimmick, Max?
“Note: There is a smattering of applause on this particular point.“
I find Max borderline intolerable in most instances (avoid him at parties, is all I’ll say), but I have to say this report…..kinda ruled? But really, do NOT engage with him in any social+public situation.
I told my gf that I set a personal goal of including a Freaks & Geeks gif in every month’s race report, and I’m kinda running out of time here. Ummmmmm…here’s me an hour after I stupidly bought Max a birthday lunch once back in 2014:
SPECIAL ‘LATE REPORTS’ SECTION FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE LATE!
Member #: ??
Race name: White River 50
When was this race? 7/28/18?
How did you place?! ??
Race website: White River 50
This race is a summertime classic it has been around for 26 years. This was to be my 13th year running this 50 mile ultramarathon. For my 13th finish in a row, I picked lucky number 13 as my race number. The weather was hot, but that’s what it’s like most years. There was a massive forest fire at the end of the summer last year which burned half of the first loop of the course. The trail crews did a ton of work on the trails to get them ready for the race, but they were still much rougher than usual. I previewed the first loop a few weeks earlier, so I knew what to expect.
It was a really lovely morning on race day Saturday. Scott did his standard race day briefing. I have no idea what he said; I haven’t listened to it in a quite few years. If he ever changes the course, I might be in trouble. The race started somewhat normal. I usually run the mostly flat 4 miles to the first aid station at a brisk pace. It’s cool at 6 am, so I like to get warmed up. About halfway to that first aid station (2 miles into the 50 race), I started to get some calf cramps. I expected to get some calf cramps during the run. My training has been about half of what it is typically this time of year. I didn’t expect to get them until around mile 20 or 30. I knew, no matter what, I had to get these 50 miles done. I stopped using my calves and slowed down just a little. I relied more on my hamstrings for a couple of miles, and the cramps went away. This is a technique I’ve used in long races many times before. The longer the race, the more I need to focus on using different muscle groups.
At four miles the first climb starts. My energy level was high, but I wanted to continue to hold back a little. I alternated running and hiking, but I felt like I was running a little more than most years. About 2 miles before the next aid station is where the burned out forest starts. The burned roots created holes in the trail. Thankfully all the fallen trees were cleared. It was about then that my hamstrings started to cramp. I should have seen this coming. I had been drinking a lot of water in the last few days. Looking back, I think my electrolytes must have been out of balance. So I stopped using my hamstrings on the climbs and flats, this worked. The cramps subsided. I was drinking a lot and sweating a lot and didn’t feel hot.
After the Ranger Creek aid station we climbed up onto the ridge, and the views were impressive. Mt. Rainier was in full view but so were the mountains in all directions. Running the ridgeline was rather uneventful, I only saw three of the frontrunners on the out and back. I started second guessing my pace. Was I going that fast? I didn’t think so. I made it to the turnaround aid station in about 2:50, that was a pretty average time for me. I took an extra second at the aid station to make sure I had everything and then headed back up toward the start.
It’s a rolling downhill all the way back to Buck Creek where the race starts. I didn’t feel as smooth or as fast as most years. I began to realize the second half of the day was going to be a struggle. I started to eat and drink on a faster schedule to fuel up for the second half. I went through the Ranger Creek aid station again and turned toward the highway. I was looking forward to getting out of the charred trees. The trail was riddled with holes from the forest fire for about a mile, then turned back into the buttery path I’m so used to running. I picked up the pace and passed three runners. I was quite surprised to see them as I felt like I was plodding along. I crossed back over the highway and went into the Buck Creek aid station. I filled up my bottle with some extra calories, instead of just water, and headed out around the airstrip.
It’s flat for a couple of miles, so I jogged easy, again trying to fuel more and digest before the climb. I continued to struggle with cramping on the uphills. I was alternating between the muscles that weren’t cramping at the time. I’m fortunate none of them fully locked up. I think it would have taken a while to stretch them out. At the Fawn Ridge aid station, I was careful not to eat very much. This aid station is in the middle of a long steep climb. I’ve been sick a few times just a 1/4 mile out of the aid station from the combination of heat, climbing, and too much food.
I did a lot of hiking from Fawn Ridge to Sun Top. It seemed every time I ran something would cramp. A few times even my quads began to twitch like they wanted to cramp. That could end my day. I tried to just give a good effort on the climbs and coast on downs. I was really running out of gas by the time I made it to Sun Top. Once again, the aid station crew were great. All day the volunteers have been very helpful. Either I looked terrible, or they were just having a great day hanging out in the beautiful sunshine.
I started down the road, walking. I walked for about a minute trying to psych myself up. Everything hurt, I had no energy, I just wanted to be done. The run down the road sucked, it was dusty and my legs hurt. I tried to drink every half mile, but I don’t really remember if I did. Trucks kept speeding past kicking up dust. I stopped a couple of times to let the dust settle. I was delighted to make that right turn into the woods at the last aid station.
My spirits were lifted, a little as I started my last leg of the race. If I could make it these last 6 miles without falling, my number one goal for the race would be met. I had a bad fall the previous weekend, and my hand was still recovering. If I fell on it again, I’d probably end up in a cast. I don’t have time for that. I started to calculate my time with how many miles were left. I figured out I still had a chance to be under nine hours, but I couldn’t take too many breaks. I had zero energy, so any slight hill brought me to a crawl. Without a single stumble, I made it out of the woods and jogged to the finish. My time was just under nine hours. I even managed to be fast enough for first place in the over 50 age group, so I get a cool picture from Glenn.
I look forward to next year. Everyone involved in this race does such a great job, I can’t imagine missing it. Maybe I’ll make it to 20 years like David Dutton!
Shoeless Joe Sez!
“It was a really lovely morning on race day Saturday. Scott did his standard race day briefing. I have no idea what he said; I haven’t listened to it in a quite few years.”
“About halfway to that first aid station (2 miles into the 50 race), I started to get some calf cramps.”
🤔 Calf cramps two miles into a 50 mile? I don’t know about you, but I’d have pulled the plug at that first aid station. Let’s see if you do the same!
“The longer the race, the more I need to focus on using different muscle groups. “
Pretty sure I said the same thing on my blog back in 9th grade after a particularly rough off-campus mile during P.E.
“I started down the road, walking. I walked for about a minute trying to psych myself up. Everything hurt, I had no energy, I just wanted to be done. The run down the road sucked, it was dusty and my legs hurt. I tried to drink every half mile, but I don’t really remember if I did. Trucks kept speeding past kicking up dust. I stopped a couple of times to let the dust settle.”
This promotional copy for the White River 50 Mile provided by Arthur Martineau!
“My spirits were lifted, a little as I started my last leg of the race. If I could make it these last 6 miles without falling, my number one goal for the race would be met.”
I’m only 38 years old and already my #1 goal at *any* trail run is to last 6 miles without falling 🙁
“I look forward to next year.”
How? Everything I’ve read so far reads like torture porn. 🤷♂️
“Maybe I’ll make it to 20 years like David Dutton!”
Is that a character from The Office?
Congrats Arthur! Only 350 miles til #20! That’s only like, umm…one Bigfoot 200 and an…average performance at a 48 hour track race!