Saturday, September 26, 2015

Crystal Mt. Sky Marathon

On Saturday September 19th I ran

It was a lovely day for a race in the mountains although I was in no shape to race with my gimpy left hip and it being the end of a very heavy race schedule. I couldn't resist so ended up here on race day
Wearing these 
The course went up there, under the gondola. I watched a quarter of the field get there before me. Not my day for racing I thought. Just enjoy the day. I ran and chatted with 7 Hill Phil for a nice long jaunt. Then he took off and I fell in with Chris Barry and we had a great time talking and clicking off miles. Then the course went up up up and I lost Chris, found Phil, lost Phil and kept going now feeling a bit stronger as my endurance kicked in.
This is a bee. Bees are nice and make honey.
I did not see any bees on the course.
At about mile 19, I was feeling how sore my hip was when I tripped on a root and then it really hurt. I was in the midst of a pity party when I ran into these bastards
1,2,3,4,5 stings from these wasps all on my left leg. I sprinted down the trail. Suddenly my hip was no longer an issue. It stung, they stung. I was stung and mad. I ran fast. I started catching and passing people. Between mile stingo and the finish, I passed six runners. I ended up leaving it all out there as I was spent at the finish and only 30 seconds ahead of the guy behind me. This was good enough for
th place and
The next day my spirits were high from a successful run, my leg was red and my ankle was puffy with venom. 
Thanks are due to Scott and Leslie Mccoubry, Team 7 Hills, Merrill, Drymax, Julbo, Fuel 100, watermelon, the volunteers, friends and family and all the insects out there who watched the race and didn't feel the need to participate. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Squamish 50K View from a shoe

Hello. I am a shoe. A Merrell All Out Peak to be specific. I am, or, WAS bright blue. I am now dusty bright blue. Perhaps I should start at the beginning.

This man, Adam Hewey, is a monster.
He is an abuser of shoes. Sure shoes get stepped on all the time, kicked, scuffed, thrown in a bag. I was all set for this kind of a life along with nice walks in the forest, beautiful vistas, buttery single track trails and a lot of compliments on my design and performance. What did I get? Dunked in ice cold rivers! Dragged up and down serious mountains day and night with no stopping to dry out! Ice fields! Loose boulders! Post holing! It was enough to give up, blow out, lose my structure like so many of my peers but no, I chose to fight! I am an All Out Peak, not a Half Way Peak or a Meh Peak. I, good sir, am All Out. So I stayed fit. I stayed with the beast and took him on his 100 mile Hardrock trip from Silverton to Silverton over some of America's biggest mountains. We made it and I was finally allowed to air out. Mission accomplished and he said such grand things about me. "Best 100 miler shoe I've ever owned." "Amazing grip, look at these lugs." "Man I absolutely love this shoe." Then we got to go home and rest.

I was all set to settle into retired life when I was rudely thrown into a bag and dragged to Canada. "What the heck is a Squamish?" I thought as we crossed the border. I bet he wants to show me off to all his friends in the Great White North! How fun. I couldn't have been more right and more wrong. I guess I blame myself for being so well built. If I'd only lost my structure or delaminated my sole or compacted my foam at Hardrock I wouldn't have been strapped back onto that demon to be ridden for another brutal 31 miles over some of the burliest trails in North America. I was. It sucked. Oy, the pounding, the dust, the roots, rocks, sweat, even my tormentor seemed to be suffering. I heard him mumbling something about redemption for his first DNF here in 2013. Then, road, my least favorite and I was whipped to a sprinting pace for what seemed like miles until I was finally able to feel grass and then sweet nothing as I was slipped off and placed in the sanctity of the mini van after enduring 5 hours and 57 minutes of agony. He got 6th place, I got to rest.

Great news! I have been replaced! I don't know of many shoes that could survive both Hardrock and Squamish back to back but he found one. A new pair of Bright Blue All Out Peaks! It seems he raved so much about me that Merrell took notice and made him an Ambassador. My tormentor, Adam Hewey will now be representing Merrell for the coming year and I feel like I had a big part of making that happen.

I feel so sorry for that new pair of Peaks. I heard him talking about taking the poor guys out for a 70 mile adventure run next week. Should I tell them... nah, they'll figure it out on their own.