Monday, October 31, 2011

Mental Lessons

In our last post (DNF 10/27/11), we talked a lot about why it is that we DNF in races. I'm hoping that those of you who read this blog and are not runners/ultra-runners can help tease out the parallels of what we're talking about here, in regards to running vs other activities.. and in some times.. even life. We often say that Ultra-Running is a metaphor for life and much of what we learn while adventuring, much of what we experience while "out there" can be transferred to some other kind of life meaning.

So, in keeping our last discussion in mind, I want to take another stab here at trying to clarifying the things that I was trying to express in that post. I wasn't purposely signaling any one person out when writing the last post and if you took it that way, then perhaps the post just really resonated with you or struck a nerve close to home. Take a few more moments to think about why it bothered you and then come back here and move forward with us.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


DNF is an acronym most lovingly referred to as "Did Not Finish." It's relatives include DNS "Did Not Start" and DFL (Dead F$@#ing Last). There is a difference between DNF and his brothers DNS and DFL and that typically include the concept of pride. Over the last few years, I feel like my set of DNF's continues to grow. As this years "official" Ultra-Season has come to a close, it's a good time to evaluate and to take a closer look at my DNF's and hopefully provide you with guidance in terms of how to avoid experiencing your own series of the dreaded Did Not Finish.

The Record (Finishes - # of Races) (Finish Percentage)
50K's: 6-6 (100%)
50 Milers: 13-15 (87%)
100 Milers: 10-14 (71%) (Barkley Not Included)
100+ Races: 0-2 (0%)
Overall Races: 29-37 (78%)

Journey Runs 50k-100mi: 5-5
Journey Runs 100mi +: 2-3
Fat Asses: 7-7
Overall JR/FA: 14-15 (93%)
Combined: 43-52 (83%)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Big Money Ultra's?

It was during this years Steamboat 50 Miler pre-race meeting that those in attendance were entertained by the thoughts of race director Fred Abramowitz in regards to a potential new 100 mile race in Steamboat in 2012. Even though Fred uttered a few "don't quote me"'s in his pre-race speech, I am one of those folks who live under the phrase, "if you don't want others to hear it, don't say it." I think Fred did want others to hear it because he wanted others to start talking. How else are you going to start hyping the potential of a new race which features big prize money for the front runners? That's right.. Prize Money.. for faster people then most of you who'll read this post.

That's what this post is about. Races offering big prize monies. How is it altering our sport? How does it affect all of us who enjoy doing these races as mere hobby and what is the true direction of ultra running?

Friday, October 21, 2011

A 30 Year Journey: Part 3

...The last year of my life has been the best year of my life. I finally exercised my demons and defeated my long battle with depression. I landed a job in Boulder, CO and my dream of living out West was about to come true. My long farewell tour seemed to last forever, but in a way, I loved it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A 30 Year Journey: Part 2

The beating continues on the eve of my thirtieth birthday. Ha, no actually, I really enjoy giving everyone an inside look at me growing up through the years. How many times do we really get to sit down and reflect on a life lived, through your own magnifying glass, pulling out pictures of yesterday and sharing them with the world? So let's continue

Monday, October 17, 2011

A 30 Year Journey: Part 1

Who knew that turning thirty would be so hard for me. The truth of the matter is, it has been. Yeah.. some of the readers here have passed the 30 year old barrier.. I don't want to hear it. You're not going to say anything I haven't all ready heard. But let's face it, we've all had very different experiences through the tale of time. I remember being 10 years old and people telling me I had the mind and body of a 40 year old. Perhaps some of that is true. Of all the 30 year olds I know, I'm pretty damn sure I've lived more life then all of them. I guess it's easy for me, on the eve of my thirtieth birthday, to reflect on my journey thus far and to find a way to share the tale of a still young man, named John Paul Lacroix. (aka. Sherpa John).

Thursday, October 13, 2011

RR: 2011 Slickrock 100

"You fall out of your mother’s womb, you crawl across open country under fire, and drop into your grave." ~Quentin Crisp

For Video of the 2011 Slickrock 100 CLICK HERE

Friday night, Runners arrive at packet pick-up which starts at 3pm. At3pm, RD Aaron arrives and is immediately hurrying to set registration up. He looks exhausted, flustered and.. is scrambling. A few of us stepped right in to lend him and Jenna a hand. Things were VERY chaotic and unorganized.. and the pre-race meeting started late. This is when we found out why and what eventually started a maelstrom of frustration from the runners. (NOTE: At this moment... Aaron stepped forward and offered to refund anyone their money who no longer wished to start their race. That's right.. before you jumped into what was about to take place.. you have a sweet offer to back out.. take your money and use it for a great weekend in Moab.)

Monday, October 10, 2011

VB: Slickrock 100

This past weekend was the first annual Slickrock Ultras held in Moab, UT. I had the pleasure of starting the 100 miler, a race I dropped out of at mile 52. Moab is one of the most incredible places I've ever been to on the face of this earth and I, for one, am incredibly excited about the idea of returning to these races in the future. During this weekends race, I took the chance to make a short film about my personal experience in the desert. Enjoy!

[Note: Check back later for the detailed written report on Sherpa John: Human Potential]

For more videos, visit Sherpa John Human Potential's YouTube Page!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Race Preview: Slickrock 100

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”   ~Steve Jobs

Welcome to October and as it were, the end of my Official 2011 Ultra-Running Season. You all voted for what I'd do for my 30th Birthday Adventure, we call it Adventure 30 and you voted for the Slickrock 100. No ultra-season would be complete without me putting up with the elements one last time. It sounds like the first major storm of the season is blowing into the Rocky's and Slickrock is taking place in the aftermath. For those who don't know, Moab is a sandstone environment. Heaven rains of any proportion drastically affect the landscape. No one knows, what we're about to handle out there, but I know with the Rocky covered in White, the views should be breathtaking.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A30 Interview: Jerry Armstrong

We're continuing to gear up for the Slickrock 100 and this years Adventure 30. Jerry Armstrong is no secret to ultra-running. A well accomplished endurance athlete with a popular blog, Jerry is looking to lace it up in the 50 Mile Option of the Slickrock Races. He took some time to speak to us about this weekends race and the current ultra-culture in general, here he is.

Name: Jerry Armstrong
Age: 34
Hometown/Location: Born/Raised: San Diego, CA; Currently: Broomfield, CO
Years Running Ultras: 6 years
100 Mile Finishes: AC100, SD100, WS100, 24hrs Boulder
Ultra Achievements: 20 ultras, Solo 281mi run for diabetes, Solo Kida Relay (150mi bike/36mi run), Ironman x2,

Monday, October 3, 2011

Rollins Pass Investigation

My current employer sent me up to the James Peak Wilderness area to get a closer look at the Wilderness boundaries along Rollins Pass Road. We're looking at putting on two races through this area on two separate days. Day one would be a Mountain Bike Race from Nederland to Winter Park and Back; and day two would host an ultra-marathon run. Both of these events would be 100K in distance and we're looking to put these on sometime in 2012.. if the stars align.

In this post, I'm going to introduce you to the issues surrounding the Rollins Pass Road that has made this section of Colorado Backcountry a major source of controversy. Then, I'd like to share with you the amazing day I had collecting information on the area itself from an "on the ground" viewpoint. By the end of this post, I'll make no attempt to choose sides or formulate an opinion on the issues, yet I do hope to have taken the chance to share this unique and wild place with you.