Sunday, April 29, 2012

VB: 2012 Collegiate Peaks 50


This is my video report from the 2012 Collegiate Peaks 50 Mile Ultramarathon. I finished the race in 11:36:22 and had an amazing time.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Race Preview: 2012 Collegiate Peaks 50

"A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others."


Well here we are.. the first official ultra of 2012. I can't believe I'm doing this for another year. This, my eighth year of running ultra-marathons, begins in Buena Vista, CO at the 2012 Collegiate Peaks 50 Miler. This is also my first official "test race" on the road to the Big Horn 100. This is my first opportunity to really see first hand how my training has pulled me along through the winter in preparation for Big Horn. While this race is indeed a training run, and I'm in no shape to race the distance, I do hope to push myself in the later miles to see what I've got in the tank.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Donate to "90 Percent"!!

"Ten Percent of running an Ultramarathon is the actual running, the other 90 Percent is mental."

Over the last decade, there have been many films produced and released that try and capture the essence of Ultra running. Most, if not all, of these films capture the grueling physical toll on running great distances itself, or put on the display the actual race itself. So few of these films truly capture the essence of the mental aspect of running one-hundred miles. Movies can show the course all they want and show you the beauty that one sees while running these grueling events.... it's a given. Movies have shown us the physical training and athletisism needed to endure the distance. But so few films have focused on the true  90 Percent running an ultra is... mental.

I've made the decision to go forward with producing my newest film titled, 90 Percent. This short film will introduce audiences to 2 or 3 ultra-marathon runners living in Colorado's Front Range; whom are all preparing for the 2012 Big Horn 100 Mile Endurance Run, the races 20th Anniversary Running. The film will then follow these runners as they take on the Big Horn 100 and will capture their most intimate and candid thoughts throughout the race, as they run with handheld cameras.

Ultimately this film, in it's entirety, will be available for FREE on YouTube after production is complete. It's important that this aspect of ultra-running be told and shared with as many curious folks as possible. I also aspire to submit it into the 2012 Boulder Adventure Film Festival. However, producing a film doesn't come without costs. Currently, almost everything needed in order to produce this film has been funded and purchased; with your support the remaining tools needed can be funded, purchased, and the film can get underway.

PLEASE CONSIDER YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT OF 90 PERCENT. Currently Stone Face Productions is $300 short of the funding needed to produce this film. To donate, please contact Sherpa John at Sherpajohn@gmail.com for more information.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

What The... Haeleum!?

About a month ago I was approached by a few folks at a company named Haeleum. They approached me  about a potential sponsorship with their brand as they begin to offer their product to athletes as a way to promote the benefits of their product. I'm pretty reluctant as of late when it comes to accepting new sponsors. Mostly because I've been burned by a few companies in the past. Nothing is more important to me, when it comes to sponsors, then there being an actual relationship. A close second, is ensuring that the product is actually something I can get behind and support, unequivocally.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Still Finding My Way...

No.. I'm not lost in life.. but I've discovered.... OK, I continue to realize.. that I'm still very much trying to find my way. I often look back at the last decade of my life and stack up all of the major changes my life has been through over that time span. It's actually pretty damn staggering to think about. Ten Years ago was 2002. I was a recent college fail-out at the time, working in retail chains and living in my mothers basement. I had dyed my hair blonde, wore tank tops to show my tattoos and even had my ear pierced. I was a recluse at best, living life my way without a care in the world. But then something happened..

I guess after so many people begun to hold the mirror up in front of your face, you start to see the reflection better and better each time. No matter how much the view hurts.. you have two choices. Ignore the image, or decide for yourself if the reflection is going to change. So I went to Professional Wrestling School.. then dropped out of that. I then earned my Associates in Radio/TV Production and Broadcasting from a mediocre (at best) community college. I made a documentary film on hiking. I worked at an ABC News Station and then deliberately screwed myself during the interview for the salaried position. I was getting married.... and then I wasn't. I found myself back in College working towards a Bachelors..

Sunday, April 15, 2012

CO Mountain Ninjas

It's been almost a year since I've moved to the Front Range of Colorado. Not a day goes by where I don't appreciate my decision to move out here, 2000 miles from family and "home." There certainly are things that I miss from back East.. very little more then my friends in adventure. I miss my East Coast ultra-family. I miss folks I used to hike with and reminisce about adventures with. It hasn't been easy making new friends while here in Boulder. Culturally, there are quite a few divides in what I'm used to vs. what is the norm around here. One thing I've found, and talked to many others about, are the kind of friendships one develops here in the Front Range. For the most part, people just don't develop the same deep rooted relationships that New Englanders do. Everything stays pretty much superficial. "These are my running friends, all we do it run.. thats it." Now. I don't mean to make such a sweeping generalization but.. there is some truth to much of what has been experienced here.

But then there is this new clan I'm a member of. At first it was just our Sensei, who ran with a bunch of individuals pretty often. He got it in his head to create a running group, and introduce all of these folks to each other. Then, magically, we'd all get together and run together and have these incredible adventures and stories to tell. It almost sounded too good to be true. Almost like my old Ultra-Family back East. I was leery at first, but I let sensei work his magic. He brought all of these runners together, who are a collection of some of the most positive and passionate people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting in my life. They're all super supportive, compassionate, friendly, loving, caring.. and they are so to complete strangers. Sensei call's our group, The Colorado Mountain Ninjas.

Friday, April 13, 2012

ATRA Race Grading Program

I recently read on ColoradoRunning.com that the America Trail Running Association has come up with and started to implement a new labeling system for races. Check out the first part of the Press Release from ATRA itself..


"Colorado Springs, CO --- The American Trail Running Association (ATRA) Board of Directors is pleased to introduce a new labeling program for events. After much discussion and many revisions, the ATRA Board of Directors zeroed in on 15 standards to address safety, course design and marking, terrain, results, awards, logistics, entry limits, entry brochure, delivery, environmental awareness, time limits, financial accountability, impacts, rules/fairness, dogs and music players that are intended to guide race directors through the planning and execution of their events. Should an event meet at least 12 of the 15 listed standards, an ATRA“label” can be included on entry materials and on the race website. Both the standards and label are available at ATRA’s website, www.trailrunner.com."
(Courtesy of www.trailrunner.com - To read the rest of the Press Release CLICK HERE)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

60 Hours...at The Barkley

Sixty hours is the time limit hopefuls have every year at the Barkley Marathons in Frozen Head State Park, TN. Sixty Hours is the time limit for completing 5 loops and 100 miles (some say 122+) of some of the most brutal and unforgiving terrain on earth. Of the more than 700 who have ever tried to finish this brutal course, only 10 had ever succeeded at navigating it in its entirety heading into this years event. There are no questions as to why this is considered, truly, the toughest ultra-marathon in the world. Those who have succeeded in the past include individuals whose accomplishments are needlessly amplified by their success here. All men, who have held the records for speed on such epics as The Pacific Crest Trail, The Appalachian Trail, The Long Trail, The Colorado Trail, The 14ers and 4000 Footers of NH and NY.. the list goes on. These same men; Horton, Cave Dog, Basham, Thompson, and others; are all accomplished and celebrated Ultra-marathon runners.

That all changed on Monday, April 2, 2012. Sixty hours is all it took. For 60 hours.. all of it, he circumnavigated the course known as the Barkley. As they talked about Maune's record and Jared coming in.. they also mentioned him. Who? Who is he? He flew under the radar. Told virtually no one that he was in the event. He has no sponsors and in turn, no shirt littered with the names of companies that support him. His race results show that he is indeed a mere mortal, a mid-pack runner, with an ample number of ultra-finishes along side his mortal peers. This wasn't supposed to be. For over 25 years.. only the front runners and elites, the celebrated, the sponsored, the heroes, the "named".. were those who completed this event. But in just 60 hours, this man broke the mold and changed the face of our sport forever.

Monday, April 9, 2012

RR: High Line Canal Fat Ass

Saturday, March 17, 2012
Denver, CO
Fat Ass Fun Run
High Line Canal Trail
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I planned a series of Fat Ass events through the winter season here in the Front Range of Colorado. The High Line Canal 100K, was my third and final planned event. The plan was to run the length of the High Line Canal from Chatfield State Park, South and West of Denver, to it's northeastern terminus in Aurora, CO. The High Line Canal Trail is the longest recreational trail in America. It's over 70 miles in length, but with the southern most 8 miles closed off, it stretches exactly 100k from end to end. Perfect.

Who is this kid?
I arrived at the trailhead just after 5:00am for the start of this epic run. In the dirt parking lot are quite a few folks. Dennis Durst showed up to run with me again, the ONLY person to have participated in all of my fat asses this winter season. Then there was AJ and Val and one other young man who I'll refer to as Zippy. A young man, all of 18 years old with only one 50K under his belt. In the weeks leading up to this run, he questioned if I was "serious about using gas stations and convenience stores for aid." Of course I was. His plan was to run the entire 100K at 8:50 pace. He showed up with a make-shift crew in a Ford Explorer and started running with his garmin watch on, and nothing in his hand but a water bottle. This would't be so bad except his crew had no clue where to meet him next and he wasn't wearing a head lamp.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Gear Review: Sport Science

I was approached a little over a month ago by the folks at Sport Science, when they asked to send me a few of their shirts in order to take them for a little test drive. Given my line of work and level of activity in the outdoors; I could't turn the offer down. It never hurts to receive some free gear, test it out, and then offer up a review from the perspective of an adventurer who is constantly in the field. I just wish I could provide something a bit more positive in the end. One thing is for sure when you're on this blog.. you're always going to get the honest truth in regards to how I feel about a product. I was very lucky to receive another companies product at the same time and was able to compare and contrast the two fabrics. The other companies apparel won me over.. while Sport Science was quickly forgotten.

Who is Sport Science?
From their website: "In 2005, we launched sport science™ smarter performance™ for the fun-having, sport-playing, running, walking, hiking, commuting, climbing, training, traveling, going, doing active people of the world.
Our mission is to create products that do more so you can do more (or less) in style and comfort. When true technical performance fuses with incredible comfort andversatility, smarter performance™ is the result.
At sport science™, we are committed to simplicity in design. The world-class performance of our products comes in clean and easy styles that are down for anything. You will not find sport science to be super tight fitting or wildly techy like so much of the performance apparel out there – that’s just not what we’re into.
Getting more out of your clothes so you can get more out of yourself. Being able to do anything and everything in what you are wearing right now. Being healthy. Being balanced. Being fit. Being sexy. Being comfortable.
This is better living through sport science™. This is our philosophy."

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"48" On YouTube

It was in 2004 when I took to New Hampshire's White Mountains to complete my quest to hike NH's 4000 Footers. 48 peaks that rise 4,000' above sea level, (an internal joke now that I live at 5,350') that have been gathered on a list made by Appalachian Mountain Club members back in 1957. Since then, it is estimated that over 9,000 hikers have ever "officially" hiked the list of peaks. It is estimated that there are literally thousands more who have completed the list and never applied for official recognition. Even more spectacular, less then 500 have ever completed the list in winter and around 50 have completed them in ONE winter season.

In 2004, I carried a video camera with me and documented my journey of finishing the list. I told the story of how the "48" came to be, who started the craze, how they started it; who climbs these mountains and investigated why. I shot over 5 hours of raw footage and spent nearly 4 months crafting it into a one hour documentary film. I toured all over New England with the finished product, selling over 800 DVD copies and donating over $25,000 of the net proceeds to diabetes research.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Vibram = SUED

I received an e-mail the other day from a running friend that talked about Vibram Five-Fingers LLC being named in a class action lawsuit. Here it is: http://www.examiner.com/wellness-in-chicago/vibram-fivefingers-shoes-named-lawsuit

I had to investigate more, and went to the best place I know to go to when news like this comes out. I wasn't disappointed. Ross over at The Science of Sport, crafted one of the most insightful, honest, and sensible posts on barefoot running that I've ever read. What excited me the most about this article, is that much of what he said is aligned with much of what I've said here over the last few months in regards to the barefoot craze. Though admittedly, his post is worded much more elegantly, touch home on the major points with poise, intelligence and with a zeal I couldn't even come close to. Check the link out below!