Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Jungle Ultra 2014

I'm just jogging around the farm roads of Michigan right now. Life is fine (if a little cold and snowy...WTF April?). I've got a few races I'd like to do around here, but I don't have a bank account yet so I haven't registered for them. I'm working at my favorite bicycle shop in the world once life is genuinely very cushy and lovely right now.

Here's another quick interview with a good friend and great runner, Daniel Rowland. Click the comments to see my amazing translating skills at work!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Patagonia 100K Tomorrow!

Not me, but some friends from Chile are gunning for (at least) a top 10! I added a translation to the comments section. Gotta practice my Español, after all... The Patagonia 100K is finally a legit mountain race in Central and South America that is ALSO a qualifier for Western States. I can't include the outlying Brazil 135 miler. Imagine if the only UTMB qualifier in the U.S. were Badwater? It wouldn't make any sense. There are so many insanely hard races south of the U.S. that get exactly 0 recognition.

I'm really happy for my friends down in South American that via this new qualifying race they finally are being recognized as the premier mountain runners that they are. I think it's great that the WS100 board finally did something about this oversight. I know they're busy, but I think they have been too "national" in their long-range planning. Don't worry USA friends, there are plenty of 100 milers for you to walk around! Let's be global and give everyone a chance to see our amazing country!

I'll be walking around as many 100 milers as I can in the next year or so, USA friends. I hope to see you all there! You can tell me I'm a dickhead to my face!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

God Bless The You Es Hey.

Señor Juan's cottony plume of deeply exhaled breath coasts across the open door onto the terraza, a tired ghost embarked into the morning dark. He thinks of the awaiting day without anticipation. Señora María Jose lifts the heavy cast iron lid of the Belgian waffle maker, each doughy pocket's profundity sighing a gentle wisp of moist sweetness. Señor Juan takes a long, patient sip of mud black coffee, his eyes' gaze twinkling, but then lost into another frosty dawn on the mesa grande. María Jose lovingly cups the hot waffle in her worn hands and carefully lines its interior with spicy ground beef. A pan of piping hot huevos impatiently pops and sizzles, seemingly eager to make its home in the gridded burrow of waffle and meat. Señor Juan isn't dreaming. Breakfast is here. The Taco Bell Waffle Taco, like his oldest and most faithful mula, will accompany him on this day. This day that always was to be. This day that forever is.

What the fuck is so everything blazing and truth.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Columbia Trail Challenge, Back to U.S.A.

As I lay here on Monday morning in a hotel bed, my desire to either A) write or B) get up is decidedly low. However, I'd like to write down a quick post before my flight back to the motherland, otherwise I'll put this off for weeks again.

My last race in Chile was the Columbia Trail Challenge, a two-day event in the mountains between Santiago and the coast. A quick summary of this course: You do the Speedgoat 50K (although not at altitude) on the first day and then you about half of that on day two. This was one also of those deals where they have tents set up for you and they provide all of your meals. It's like being at a low-end resort where all of your recreation options or sight-seeing tours are extremely tough mountain races.

All of the Boss Jogging boys went, so it was a blast. 

L to R: Max, Me, Matias, Moises, Daniel

Day 1 was reported to be 42 or 44K, but everyone's GPS had it at about 49K and little over 10,000 ft. of up. Luckily, the temperature hit somewhere in the low 90's, already difficult race was made extra fun by long, exposed climbs in the merciless sun. For the first time in my racing life, I actually had to lay down under a shrub for about a minute, just to stop feeling like I was going to faint or puke. Still, the first day I managed to come in 6th (6:35) and with about a 50-minute (ouch) deficit to the winner. Daniel came in ahead (6:17) and Moises just in front of me (6:30). Max came down with a cold and DNF'd the first day. He got worse after a night of sleep and decided not to run on Day 2.

Day 2 was just a joke. 25K (or 27K) and about 5,000 ft. of ascent. From the day before, my quads hurt so badly that I was hobbling down even the slightest decline. The pain eventually became so much that I was audibly barking "FUCK!" with almost every step. It was good enough anyway to maintain my coveted age-group lead. Gotta love those agegroupers. 

Much more interesting to me was checking out Daniel and Moises's results. Daniel, being a stage-racing expert, calmly conserved himself for the second day and comfortably placed 3rd overall in the standings. Moises, on the other hand, had secretly squirreled away a pair of rocket boots, as he not only made up a ton of time on the second day, but he placed 2nd overall in the 25k race. As in, he still beat almost all of the fresh-legged 25K'ers. I was pretty blow away with that one. Clearly, Hoka One One has the makings of a pretty solid team down here. Max, you're gonna have to carry the weight of TNF on your own, homie. ;) 

Well, I couldn't have asked for a better send-off after my nearly 3 years of living, running and working in Chile. I made some great friends, saw some incredible places, and feel very grateful and lucky to have been able to have this experience. I'm excited about running in the States again, but I have a feeling it won't be too long before I'm back in Chile, lacing'em up against some of the best mountain runners in the world.