Tuesday, August 18, 2015

YOU have a voice

Yesterday I posted a blog post about the Leadville 100. (It is Leadville week after all.) Only 70 of you managed to find and read the post, which pales in comparison to the typical average of 500. It's not something I broadcast or shared as normal. I just typed and plopped it there. In short.. I posted MY thoughts on the continued issues that plague the Leadville Race Series. So in that post I touched on these points:

1.) There continues to be HUGE amounts of trash left behind on the Leadville Race Courses, and left mostly by the bikers. (PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE)

2.) The lottery this year, was too much a secret for a company that could use more transparency. Not only that, but they've introduced more changes to the lottery which affects those who have supported the race for nearly a decade or longer. (PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE)

3.) The new race insurance policy, and lottery entrance fee, are just more ways that LTF (Life Time Fitness) increases their bottom line. (PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE)

4.) Because of their mission to increase the bottom line, LTF has put runners, some traveling from sea level with little to no ultra experience, in dangerous high altitude situations while ignoring the concerns of more than one volunteer.

5.) The Leadville Race Series has never had to complete a NEPA study in its long history. That changes this year as the USFS is finally looking into doing so. (PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

RR: 2014 Bighorn 100

June 20-21, 2014
Dayton, WY
Time: 32:13:36

Road to Redemption
The say you measure a man not by how many times he gets knocked down, but by the number of times he gets back up. I vividly remember sitting at the Footbridge Aid station in 2012. I had slowly peeled my shoes off my feet to look at the maceration, to poke at the blisters, and decide if I wanted to continue. I was looking for someone to tell me it was OK to go home, and my crew had done just that. Normally in races, I make a list of what I'm willing to go through to reach the finish line. For the 2012 race, I didn't make that list. I didn't care. I was tired, worn out and ready to take a break from Ultra Running.. so I did.

After 4 months off in 2012, I rediscovered what Ultra meant to me and the role it played in my life. I got back into the swing of things, lost a ton of weight and strived to keep knocking off the BHAG goals I set for myself. Since 2012, it's been in the back of my mind that I need to return to Bighorn to finish what I started. I needed redemption.. this is that story.

Sick As A Dog
In the days leading up to this years Bighorn 100, my wife had a bout with Food Poisoning. I did everything I could to try and stave it off but it was no use. Thursday morning, the day before the 100, the day I was to drive the 6 hours to Sheridan Wyoming.. I woke up early to puke my brains out. It came out of both ends. My stomach turned and churned all day long and I struggled to keep myself hydrated and fed... and prepared to run 100 miles. Instantly, thoughts of doubt came into my head. I was so sick, I doubted I would make it past the first crew station. I knew I would start, but lasting was hugely in question.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The RD: Final Commentary

This is it, the final post in this incredibly long series of posts on Race Directing. My goal with this series was to offer up my own perspective on race directing. To share what I've learned and to hopefully dispel a number of myths that exist out there. I'll let you figure out what those myths are or are not. But ultimately, jumping back into Race Directing has continued to teach me about the changes in resource management, and the changes in ultra running. In this final post, I'm wrapping this series up with some thoughts, opinions, comments, and what-have-yous. Again.. this is a personal blog. It's a place where I get to share my thoughts and opinions based on my own personal experiences, and gained knowledge over time. You may not agree with what you read here, and I'm OK with that. To each his own.. take it with a grain of salt I guess and remember.. we as Ultra Runners have been encouraged for a few years now to "Vote with our wallets."

Monday, October 13, 2014

The RD: So How Did It Go?

On September 6th I hosted the first official race of the Human Potential Running Series. As part of "The RD" series here on my blog, I wanted to give an honest recount of how the entire event went from beginning to end. Any good race director should be able to take a huge step back, post event, and look at every little thing they endured. They should be able to honestly view it, addressing what went well and what did not, then suggesting changes for the next year based on their own honest feedback. Race Directors should also be compelled to ask their runners for feedback. Whether that comes from in e-mail form, or via Survey Monkey.

Even though I have been involved in race directing for a number of years... (Co-Directed some Peak.com Races in Vermont from 2007-2009, Directed the New England Ultras 50/100/200 Milers in 2008, and the HPRS Fat Ass Series here in Colorado) the race did not go off with a number of hiccups. There was a great deal that went well also, and at the end of the day I completed my goal. My goal was to direct a first year race that broke even or made money, and did not have the feeling of a first year event. We've all been to at least one first year horror story. This, was not one of them.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The RD: Bringing it all together

We've covered a lot in the previous 7 parts of this series on Race Directing, and you can find links to all of the previous postings at the bottom of this post. Again, this is just a synopsis of my experience in being a race director and I wanted to share the information because we as runners and constantly fed information that, well, just isn't entirely true. It is my hope that this post help dispel a number of myths and legends of Race Directing.

In this post, we're going to get right to it and bring it all together. You've made the decision to jump in, created a course, got your permits, purchased or borrowed most everything you need, incurred a huge amount of expenses, purchases insurance, shirts, obtained shwag and suckered volunteers to help. You event spent money on advertising and did what you could on a grass roots level to get the info out there. What else is there?! THE RACE!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Movie Review: "100: Head/Heart/Feet"

In 2013 I returned to Vermont to run in my 5th Vermont 100-Mile Endurance Run. In the months leading up to the race, I had caught wind of a documentary film that was to be filmed during last years race. The film producers had caught wind of my upcoming 5th Vermont and asked if I wouldn't mind conducting an interview for the film on race weekend. I was happy to help with their project. A year later, I was sent a link to view the film privately. I sat on it for a week or two, then finally turned it on. In this post, I'm going to try and find the words to tell you what I saw and experienced in watching the final product.

Hammer & Saw Films is an independent film studio in New Hampshire, co-owned by Mike Mooney and Will Peters. First, these two are some pretty creative cats with wonderful personalities. The way they talk to you is enough to draw you in. Or maybe it's Mike's voice.. he sounds like a real life Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs, Deadliest Catch). They have created some short films in the past but this was to be their first feature length film. As a documentary film-maker myself, I could tell that these guys were operating on a different level right out of the gate.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The RD: Advertising

Before I sink too far into today's post.. I want to make sure I add the following preface. What I am sharing with you all in this sort of "expose" series on Race Directing, is my own personal experience in creating the Human Potential Running Series. The thoughts, opinions, facts, and facets that I have shared with you in the previous six parts is in no way a sweeping representation of what all race directors go through in directing their own races. This is merely a representation of what I've discovered, what I've gone through, and in a way.. I'm trying to debunk a number of myths that I know runners have bought into through the years. Ultimately, I'll let you come to your own conclusions.. but just know that, this is just my own personal experience.

In this post, I want to talk about advertising. We've already gone through discussing the motions of bringing your race to birth. Now what? Now, you need runners. So let's be honest.. if you're a virtual unknown in the community and are starting from scratch.. you have a long climb ahead of you. If you are active in the running community (and by active I mean: You show up to a lot of group runs, you talk with people, you blog, you run in a lot of races, you organize other smaller events..) then this is going to be a lot easier for you.