Oregon Trail Series http://www.oregontrailseries.org Sat, 09 Jan 2016 16:43:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.3.3 Scoring Big at the OTS http://www.oregontrailseries.org/2013/04/scoring-big-at-the-ots/ http://www.oregontrailseries.org/2013/04/scoring-big-at-the-ots/#comments Mon, 29 Apr 2013 14:44:44 +0000 http://www.oregontrailseries.org/?p=838 Continue reading ]]> How do you win the Oregon Trail Series?  Past results tell us that winning the long races is key, but early results this year look like scoring in more races might work too.  Carolyn Hennessey has solid performances in three races to lead the women.  Jacob Puzey won two of the first three series races, and leads Josh Owen, who has crossed three finish lines this year, by less than a point.  Of course, in the 50k Series, men will need finishes in all fives races, and women in at least four.

How do you win the Oregon Trail Series?  You share some hours, dust, and GU with your friends on some breathtaking (literally) trails.

See you on the trail,


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Siskiyou Hospitality http://www.oregontrailseries.org/2012/07/siskiyou-hospitality/ http://www.oregontrailseries.org/2012/07/siskiyou-hospitality/#comments Wed, 11 Jul 2012 15:58:07 +0000 http://www.oregontrailseries.org/?p=759 Continue reading ]]> July finds the Oregon Trail Series heading South for a little Siskiyou Hospitality! The 14th Annual Siskiyou Out and Back Trail Runs will take place just outside of Ashland, Oregon. 650 anticipated participants ensure the starting line expresso cart should be plenty busy on race morning. All 3 runs begin and end at the Mt. Ashland Lodge.

150 plus hours of trail work was put in by over 20 volunteers to ensure the trails were ready for race day. (photo courtesty of SOB)

Runners will get to enjoy running along the Pacific Crest Trail with stunning views of Mt. Shasta, Mt McLaughlin, and the Siskiyou and Cascade mountain ranges. For those of you who like to get up and down, the total course elevation for the 50K is about 4200 feet. The new 50 mile will feature about 7000 feet of climbing and include some of the best single track the State of Jefferson has to offer. The 50K event is the 4th race in the 2012 Oregon Trail Series. The 50 Mile event will start at 6am, with the 50K following at 7am, and the 15K at 8:30.

SOB organized several training runs in anticipation of this years events. (photo courtesy of SOB)

Here’s a few additional race day details from the RD’s…
“T-shirt pick-up will be at Rogue Valley Runners, in Ashland, on Friday, July 13th from 3pm-6pm. They will also be available race morning. If you can’t make the race, please be sure to have someone pick up your shirt and/or mug if you bought one. We will not be in a position to mail them. If they are not picked up by noon of race day, we will sell them to people at the race. Know that the monies support the Pacific Crest Trail Association.

We’ve changed the food this year by hiring Fulcrum Dining out of the Applegate Valley, who specialize in locally sourced foods. You will have a choice of the following sandwiches:
· Pulled pork in Malaysian-spiced sauce,
· Braised brisket and kale topped with cheese
· Hummus with veggies

All will be served with a salad consisting of quinoa with zucchini, pickled Walla Walla onions, carrots and a white wine vinaigrette.

Fulcrum will also be there to offer food to spectators/crew of the runner. Their selection will consist of something similar to the following:
· Thai Sloppy Joe on cabbage $7
· Pork or potato and black bean tacos 2 for $5
· Chicken, blueberry, feta, and basil salad sandwich $8
· Three bean salad $4

As in the last two years, we will have an espresso cart starting to serve at 5am. For campers, please note loud music will also be served starting then. There is plenty of camping spots near the start/finish. When you come up Friday just don’t be within sight of the big tent. Just keep going past the parking lot for the best location. First Endurance will be providing their drink, EFS Drink, and EFS Liquid Shot. The SOB race directors use their product and it will be at all aid stations. We will supply all 50K/50M runners with a 5oz. flask of Liquid Shot at the beginning of the race. You will be able to refill the flask at any of our aid stations. You can try their product before the race at a 20% discount via their website. Use the coupon code run100 at checkout. EFS is also providing their recovery drink, Ultragen, for your post race enjoyment.

As a reminder, drop bags for the 50 Miler will be found at Jackson Gap (miles 19 and 34). 50K runners will find them at Siskiyou Gap (miles 12 and 26). Please be sure you place your drop bag in the appropriate location.

We will also be having a get together on Sunday after the race around 1pm. It will involve a keg of Southern Oregon Brewing Company’s finest. We’re trying to confirm the details, but mark your calendar.

Good Luck to everyone this weekend! We’ll see you at the Mt. Hood 50 Mile in two weeks.

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Have you been to Dimple Hill? http://www.oregontrailseries.org/2012/05/have-you-been-to-dimple-hill/ http://www.oregontrailseries.org/2012/05/have-you-been-to-dimple-hill/#comments Sat, 05 May 2012 18:14:05 +0000 http://www.oregontrailseries.org/?p=726 Continue reading ]]>

In 2007 Hippies took over the Dimple Hill Aid Station

When I say Woodstock, Hanz and Franz, The Dude and The Jesus; what does that mean to you? What about Robert the Bruce and Stephen the Mad Irishman? Okay, has your wedding guest list ever included more than one Dr. Rosenpenis? We can vouch that for the last several years in early May at the 1460 ft above sea level at the 17.94 mile mark of the McDonald Forest 50K these have all been part of a recurring theme at the Dimple Hill Aid Station.

The arrival of the Groom at the Fletch themed wedding in 2011

May 12th marks the 17th running of the McDonald Forest 50K. This year, the event is dedicated to memory of “El Condor”, Dave Bateham, who passed away this past spring from complications from Heart Surgery. Dave was a familiar face at the finish line timing table and a frequent participant in all the races in the Oregon Trail Series. Keep Dave in your thoughts as you’re enjoying the trails of the McDonald Forest, as his volunteer contribution to their building is measurable in the enjoyment you experience running upon them. We miss you, Dave.

"El Condor" manning the Timing Table at the Mac

Scott Leonard has taken on the task of Presiding over the Corvallis Little League, so we’d like to introduce Dennis Gamroth, who joins Ken Ward as co-race director starting this year. Scott will be manning the “water only” aid station at the Mac this year. When you guys see him, make sure to Thank Scott for all he has done in making the McDonald Forest 50K a successful event over the last few years.

Scott Leonard modeling the Mac 50K shirt while running the Tahoe Rim Trail 100

Thanks, Scott

So what will you see when you get to Dimple Hill this year? Since the Mac is known for it’s traditions, you should know that the tradition of Dimple Hill is that we never reveal the theme until you crest the top of the climb.

The Jesus and Donny wish you luck at the McDonald Forest 50K. It's a Series race, Smokey!

We hope you enjoy the stop as much as you enjoy the rest of the course! For those of you running the new 50K series in 2012, completion of the Mac marks the halfway point. Have fun out there.

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Getting Ready to Rumble, for the 10th time. http://www.oregontrailseries.org/2012/04/getting-ready-to-rumble-for-the-10th-time/ http://www.oregontrailseries.org/2012/04/getting-ready-to-rumble-for-the-10th-time/#comments Sat, 07 Apr 2012 06:08:15 +0000 http://www.oregontrailseries.org/?p=660 Continue reading ]]>

Beautiful Rumble Course Scenery. Photo by Glenn Tachiyama

The Rumble is very much a grassroots event with modest beginnings. It started as an idea to invite people and dogs over to Sisters to run some of Sean and Sascha’s favorite trails. So on May 3, 2003, 31 people and 6 dogs met at his house for the first official Peterson Ridge Rumble. After a little less than 2 hours, speedster Andy Martin had finished the 17 miler and the post-race party commenced! It had a BBQ, a keg of Beer, and some homemade goodies. The entry fee was only $10. The event ended up losing $250 that year, but it’s popularity stuck and Sean knew he had to keep it going. 6 months after that first event, Sean decided to put the wheels in motion to expand it to include an Ultra, hopefully be included in the Oregon Trail Series, with the idea to donate all proceeds to the Sisters High School Cross Country team. This was well received by the other OTS Race Directors, who openly welcomed the Rumble into the series. It was also very much welcomed by Cross Country Coaches Charlie Kanzig and Rima Givot. Also, Jeff Sims at the Sisters Ranger District was very instrumental in helping to secure the necessary permits.

Sean comments “From the beginning, I’ve leaned very heavily on friends for the Rumble. The two friends who have done the most for the Rumble are Gene Trahern and Jeff Browning. Gene is a Sisters resident and great training buddy of mine. He has helped with course design, trail marking, trail maintenance, race day logistics, and other random stuff that just comes up. Jeff has been the Rumble’s behind-the-scenes logo and website guy. He designed the super-cool Rumble logo (Sascha dancing), always gives great advice for the cool finisher’s socks colors, and has worked many countless hours on all website-related things. There are also many, many, many other friends who have donated many hours to the Rumble, to whom I am forever greatful (and will never forget). In this 10th year, there are only 2 people who will have run all 10 Rumbles; Sisters residents Gene Trahern and Don Hildebrand (Don will be 80 for this year’s event!). I am honored to have them both support the Rumble for so many consecutive years. There are also now about 15-20 runners every year who get their 5-year award, custom Rumble arm sleeves. They’re pretty cool.”

The Rumble course has changed almost every year. To some runners, this is kind of a pain because it’s inconsistent. However, for the RD, the main reason to change the course each year is because Sisters has an excellent trails committee (http://sisterstrails.com/) that keeps building and adding more and more miles of singletrack each year. So every year, a little more of the course is moved off of forest service roads and onto singletrack. The hard work of the trails committee helps make it possible for the Rumble to exist, so a small percentage of the profits are also donated to Sisters Trails, which the Cross Country Team supports. Of course, in addition to runners and volunteers, the Rumble’s sponsors are key to its success. The Rumble is proud to say that FootZone Bend is the one sponsor who has been with the race for all 10 editions. A few other long standing sponsors include CORK (Central Oregon Running Klub), Montrail, Mountain Hardwear, GuClif Bar, and Nuun. Sisters Dental, a local sponsor, is helping out again for the second year in a row.

Space is still available to get in on the 2nd race in the 2012 Oregon Trail Series. Also, check out a nice article on the Rumble from The Nugget. See you next Sunday!

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McKenzie Registration Opens April 1 http://www.oregontrailseries.org/2012/03/mckenzie-registration-opens-april-1/ http://www.oregontrailseries.org/2012/03/mckenzie-registration-opens-april-1/#comments Thu, 22 Mar 2012 22:40:59 +0000 http://www.oregontrailseries.org/?p=667 Continue reading ]]> The 2012 McKenzie River Trail Run is scheduled for Sept 8, 2012.

Registration will open April 1 and remain open for 7 days. In honor of the race’s 25th anniversary, this year’s event will include a 50 mile race, as well as the traditional 50K. The 50K will follow our traditional course (unless there’s another fire!) The 50 mile course to start across from the Ranger Station, then follow the trail upriver to Carmen Reservoir. From there it would continue on the 50K Course and finish back at the Ranger Station.

Only the 50K will score in the Oregon Trail Series.

Running Next To Waterfalls at MRTR

Registration process (both races): Registration will be online via UltraSignUp.com and with a printable entry form available on mrtr.org. Registration will open on April 1, 2012 and remain open through April 7, 2012. All entries received during that time will have an equal chance of being selected, with a lottery held after registration closes if entries exceed our runner cap. No wait list will be maintained for either event; we allow for an expected number of drops in the number of entries we accept. Should our estimates be wrong and spaces open up as we approach race day, an email will be sent to individuals not accepted in the lottery, and others in our database, inviting them to register on a first come-first-served basis.

50K Registration: If entry applications exceed the number or runners allowed under our permit (plus an estimated number of drops), a lottery will be held to determine who will run; 5 time finishers bypass the lottery.

50 Mile registration: To recognize and honor those who ran the race when it included a 50 miler from 1988-1997 and the 5-time finishers of the 50K MRTR, we are going to give them registration priority. Registration for the 50 Miler will be based on four priority levels below from applications received during our open registration week-April 1-7, 2012. Not knowing the number of applicants at each level, we will proceed to the lower level after accepting all applications received in the higher level as room permits. Should we have more applications than spaces available at a given level we will hold a lottery for all individuals in that level. To accommodate the expectations of the Forest Service and to manage race logistics, a 12-hour cut off (14:20 pace) will be enforced for the 50 miler.

The 50 Mile entry form will include an option to be considered for entry in the 50K if the runner is not selected for the 50 Miler. The database of finishers on our website will be used as a reference to determine prior MRTR 50 Miler finishers and 5-time 50K finishers. We will also include a buddy entry option, allowing runners to tie their entry with someone else, so either both get in or neither do.

50 Mile entry priority levels

Any individual that completed the MRTR 50 mile event between 1988 and 1987 and would like to come back to the course again, along with specially invited guests of the race directors. We ask these individuals to evaluate their condition to finish in the allotted time and be true to themselves and other participants in doing so.

Any individual that has completed the MRTR 50K five times and has, within the last two years, officially completed any 100 miler or completed a 50 miler within our cut-off time of 12 hours.

Any individual that has, within the last two years, officially completed any 100 miler or completed a 50 miler within our cut-off time of 12 hours.

Any prior finisher of the MRTR 50K who expects to be able to finish the 50 miler within the 12 hour cutoff.

Everybody else. Additional details will be available on our website. Please contact one of the Race Directors with any questions: mark.humphreys@comcast.net or putnambrd@aol.com

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Waldo and SOB registration open March 1 http://www.oregontrailseries.org/2012/02/waldo-and-sob-registration-open-march-1/ http://www.oregontrailseries.org/2012/02/waldo-and-sob-registration-open-march-1/#comments Mon, 27 Feb 2012 14:51:20 +0000 http://www.oregontrailseries.org/?p=646 Continue reading ]]> Two popular and very scenic OTS races, Siskiyou Out Back 50K and Waldo 100K, open registration on March 1 at 8:00am PST. Both races will sell out quickly on a first come first serve basis at UltraSignup.

Leif Rustvold leads runners through Pothole Meadows at Waldo 100K. Photo by LongRun Picture Co.

Also at SOB this year, Timothy and Krista Olson have stepped up to be co-RD’s for a new 50 miler.  While the SOB 50 miler will not score in the series this year, it looks to be a great addition to Oregon ultrarunning.  You can get more information from SOB Facebook page.

Denise Bourassa running SOB 50K. Photo by Tom Riley.

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Hagg Lake 50K Wrap Up http://www.oregontrailseries.org/2012/02/hagg-lake-50k-wrap-up/ http://www.oregontrailseries.org/2012/02/hagg-lake-50k-wrap-up/#comments Tue, 21 Feb 2012 19:10:17 +0000 http://www.oregontrailseries.org/?p=565 Continue reading ]]>

Post Hagg Shivering Contest. Photo by Long Run Picture Company

The website is HaggMud and Mother Nature certainly lived up to her end of the bargain at the opening race in the 2012 Oregon Trail Series. Congratulations to everyone who came out and enjoyed the weather.

Full results for the 50K are here: 2012 Hagg Lake 50K

Photos from Glenn Tachiyama can be found here

LongRun Picture Company was out capturing images as well. You can find those here

Thank You to the outstanding Race Staff, Volunteers and Event and Series Sponsors for outstanding support during the 2012 Hagg Lake race weekend. The next event in the Series is the Peterson Ridge Rumble on April 15th.

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Hagg Lake Trail Love http://www.oregontrailseries.org/2012/02/hagg-lake-trail-love/ http://www.oregontrailseries.org/2012/02/hagg-lake-trail-love/#comments Sun, 12 Feb 2012 06:16:56 +0000 http://www.oregontrailseries.org/?p=543 Continue reading ]]>

Moe Codino clears the way at Hagg LakeLess than 10 days out...

We are down to less than a week to go before the first race in the 2012 Oregon Trail Series, the Hagg Lake 50K. This past weekend we had 11 volunteers out doing some of the last of the trail work and the reports are that the trail is in great shape. Of course, we still have a few days for Mother Nature to change that condition, so come prepared for anything on race day.

Here are some race details that have been emailed out by the event directors.

Day of Race Schedule
Listen for the cowbell to announce that it’s time to move to the start line for race instructions. We’ll use cowbell again to actually start the race.
6:00 AM – DOR packet pick-up starts for 50k Early Start Participants (Regular start participants can also pick up, but Early Starters get priority)
6:50 AM – 50k Early Start instructions
7:00 AM – 50k Early Start
NOTE: If you want to switch to the early start please email us with “Early Start” in the subject line. Please don’t wait until DOR!
7:00 AM – DOR packet pick-up starts for 50k Regular Start Participants
7:45 AM – 50k Regular Start instructions
8:00 AM – 50k Regular Start
11:30 AM – Cut-off at Sain Creek (all runners not through Sain Creek by 11:30a will not be allowed to continue)
Awards will be given as those runners finish. There is no official awards ceremony.
IMPORTANT: If you arrive during the time when participants are doing the out-and-back portion of the run, volunteers will stop you if needed for safety reasons. If you do not stop, you will be disqualified from the race. Safety is the #1 most important thing about our race!
Parking Information
There are two parking lots that we use for the Hagg Lake 25k/50k.
The Sain Creek Parking lot is reserved for official race vehicles, volunteer check in, timing team, and medical vehicles, plus our 10-year+ runners and those who get a Superstar Parking Pass. Superstar Parking Passes were awarded by drawing among those who attended our training runs and worked at our trail work days. To see if your name is on the Superstar Parking Pass list click here.
A volunteer will be at the top of the Sain Creek Parking lot with a list of names of people who are invited to park there. If your name is on that list, just give the volunteer your name and they will usher you in. 10-year+ runners have reserved parking; others may park wherever there is not a cone. There be some additional spots available which will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Keep in mind, though, that the Boat Ramp A Parking lot is only about a quarter mile away!

Starting at 10a the trail between Boat Ramp A Parking and Sain Creek will be closed to all except runners still on the clock. Please help us keep the trail clear for safety by walking on the road instead.

Live results for the 25K and 50K  with  nspirelive.com and Twitter
We will be providing live results for both the 50K and 25K through  nspirelive.com. You can have your Facebook Page or Twitter account updated with your results and splits or have them sent out by email or text to whomever you choose. Just sign into  www.nspirelive.com with the email and password that you used to register for the race, go to the “Sharing” page and decide how you want to share your results.
If you forgot the password you used to register, just go to Sign In and select “Forgot Password?” to get a new one.
Your friends and family at home will also be able to watch the results in real-time at  nspirelive.com, which will provide a live results page and Twitter feed.  Spectators and volunteers who tweet about the race (#haggmud) will be able to provide updates, photos and encouragement for everyone to see!
Hagg Lake Goodies: Shirts, Socks, Raffle Prizes, Hall of Mud Glasses, Buckless and items for sale
Shirts: If the shirt size you ordered does not seem like the size you want to keep, you may visit the Trouble Table on race morning and ask to switch. The sizes we have right now are: Mens XL, Mens L, Mens M, Mens S, Womens L, Womens M, and Womens S.
Finisher Socks: This year’s finisher socks are black Fitsok socks with a grey and brown logo. They are pretty awesome. You will get some when you cross the finish line!
Raffle Prizes: When you finish, check the prize board to see if you have won any raffle prizes. If your name is on there, go to the prize table and let the volunteer know your name, so they can get you your prize!
Hall of Mud Glasses: We have a list of who will be in the Hall of Mud this year when they finish the race. If you are on this list, you can stop by the prize table after your finish to pick up your pint glass.
Buckles: If you ordered a buckle these will be available after your race at the prize table. We will have a list of those who ordered them.
Items for Sale: We are selling previous years’ shirts and socks, as well as Hagg Lake hats and a very limited number of kid’s shirts. These will be available for sale starting when packet pick-up opens. Prices are as follows:
Previous years shirts: 1 shirt for $20 or 2 for $30.
Previous years socks: $2 a pair or $5 for three pairs.
Hagg Lake hats: $15 each. We have fleece hats in red, orange, navy, and forest green with silver logo; black and navy with blue, green and white logo; and a limited number of blue or green hats with full color logo that are fleece inside and windstopper material outside.
Kids shirts: $10 each. These are white with the blue logo on them.
Hagg Lake Course Map

Hagg Lake Course Map

We hope this information is really useful! If you have other questions, please email them to us and we will get back to you. Note that after Thursday we will not be checking the email very frequently and you may not hear back from us before the event. If you have urgent questions on Friday, Saturday or Sunday we recommend you post them on the Hagg Lake Ultras facebook page to see if other participants can help you out. We also suggest you look at the FAQ on the website; where you can also find directions and a course map.
We will see you on race day! Let’s hope we get some more rain this week but that Saturday and Sunday are sunny and warm!
Thank you for supporting the ORRC Hagg Lake Ultras!
Your volunteer race directors,
Eric & Kelly Barten, Todd Janssen, and Marianne Jones
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The Hagg Lake Experience http://www.oregontrailseries.org/2012/01/the-hagg-lake-experience/ http://www.oregontrailseries.org/2012/01/the-hagg-lake-experience/#comments Fri, 13 Jan 2012 07:06:55 +0000 http://www.oregontrailseries.org/?p=533 Continue reading ]]> The start of the 2012 Oregon Trail Series is about a month away! Hagg Lake 50K has about 50 slots left for those looking to get an early jump on their off road endeavors

For those who’d like a little extra prep, the race is sponsoring a training run on January 21 at 8:30 a.m. Folks interested in participating are meeting at the big parking lot next to the dam. Check out the event Facebook page for additional details.

For those of you looking to spend a little more time at the Lake and would love to help make the trails a little more enjoyable for all of those who share in it’s recreation, Todd Janssen will be leading a Trail Work day on Saturday, February 4 at 8:30am at Henry Hagg Lake. Click on the link to be directed to the Facebook Page for additional details.


Laura Kantor was kind enough to share her race report from the 2011 event. Hagg Lake started her Ultrarunning journey in 2010 and since then she has gone on to complete most of the events in the  Oregon Trail Series. The 2011 event was unique in that it provided stunning race day weather, but lived up to the race’s billing with epic race day mud! You can read more of Laura’s reports at her excellent blog, Running in the World.

Hagg Lake 50K 2011- An unforgettable experience!

Just over a year ago, Hagg Lake 50k was my first ultra-marathon. I didn’t know what to expect other than a notoriously muddy trail around Henry Hagg Lake southwest of Forest Grove. I had hiked/run around the lake once during the summer several years prior when training for my first 1/2 marathon, so I knew what to expect in dry conditions. Although I finished my first 50k, I didn’t have a really good time and wasn’t sure I would return for a second year. Fast-forward to Fall 2010. I was watching the 2011 race fill up, when FOMO (fear of missing out) hit me. I was afraid if I didn’t sign up, I’d wished I had. So I signed up. Boy, am I glad I did; it was one of my best race experiences ever!

The day before the race was quite rainy, but race day dawned beautiful and clear. As I drove out to the lake just before 7am, the waning gibbous moon hung low in the western sky over the power-sugar-snow-dusted Coast Range. It was so beautiful! I already knew it was going to be an awesome day! Roads and parking lots around the lake were covered with a thin sheet of ice, making for a slippery race start, but it quickly melted as soon as the sun rose above the trees.

All that light brown stuff is deep, watery mud!

After a 3-mile out and back on a gravel road, it was onto the muddy trail for the next 28 miles (two 14-mile loops around the lake). The first truly exciting part of the route was a washed-out section of trail where we essentially ran up and across a stream bed where a bridge had been washed out in a previous year. There is a sign on the trail indicating that the bridge is washed out and that hikers should detour up to the road to go around, but we’re ultrarunners— we don’t need no stinking bridge, or even a trail!

I was feeling really good and strong the first half around the lake. I thought that perhaps the mud was not as bad as last year and that maybe, just maybe, I could run sub-6 hours. Ha! Little did I know what was ahead! During this stretch I got to talk for a few minutes with a couple different people. The first was April. She was just ahead of me the first few miles during the same race last year and pulled away as I slowed farther into the race. I had seen her at every one of the races in the Oregon Trail UltraMarathon Series that I ran last year. I did four of the races in the series. She did all seven. I want to be like her, and I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity to meet and talk to her! I learned that she had qualified for and applied to Western States 100 (yes, that’s 100 miles!), the grand-daddy of ultras, and her name was dawn in the race lottery for this year’s running in June! How exciting! Many people qualify and apply for years before their name is drawn! This is my big aspiration for 2011: to qualify for and apply to Western States for 2012. I believe in visualization and being able to draw those things to you which you desire. I’m not worried about qualifying later this year, but am already visualizing my name being drawn in the 2012 Western States lottery. Also, April is getting married at the Dimple Hill aid station during the McDonald Forest 50k (which was her first ultra in May 2009) on May 14th!

View across the lake looking west from the dam

Next I spoke with Robert from Southern California. A friend of his who had run this race several years in a row had convinced him to come up and run it. Like me, his goal was also to break 6 hours, but the mud was already beginning to get to him mentally. At this point, he said he was just hoping to finish. As we approached the Dam Aid Station at mile 7.63, I pointed out that we were well under a 6-hour pace. I never saw him again after the aid station. Looking through the race results, he had decided to cut it short at 25k.

Then I met a deputy police officer from Aberdeen, Washington. We hit it off right away. His wife was running the 25k and he was so very proud of her. This was also his first 50k race. He was doing really great. We saw each other many times during the next 20+ miles of the race. Our paces were very similar, so we traded places a lot. I couldn’t remember his name, so started calling him “Aberdeen” and he called me “mountain goat.” He was impressed with my uphill running ability. I would pull away from him on the uphills, and he would gradually catch up with me on downhills and flats. If he was anywhere nearby, I tried not to walk a hill. Once he saw me walking ahead of him up a longer hill and yelled “you’ll smash my impression of you being a mountain goat!” I replied, “that impression is all in your head, and I’m not stupid, so I’m walking this one!” We flip-flopped places over and over again during the race. He felt like an old friend already. I loved seeing his friendly face.

A stream runs down it!

The second half of the loop around the lake was a lot muddier than the first half. None of the hills on this course are very long, but there are several short steep ones, and many were difficult to navigate due to being covered with thick, slick mud. It filled the spaces between lugs of my trail shoes and built up on the bottoms, making the soles of my shoes look much wider then they really were. Pine needles, small twigs and grasses stuck in the muck and brushed against my lower legs. This piled-up mud on my soles and the thick, slick mud on the hills repelled each other. For every two steps I took forward, it seemed like I slid back one. Then there were the downhills. Under these conditions, it was a controlled slide down each hill. On flat muddy patches, if there was an easy way to avoid the mud, I did so. If there wasn’t, I just went right through it. There were many deceivingly deep puddles that swallowed my shoes and filled them with watery mud.

I was much more confident in the Hagg mud than last year, however, and did my best to not fight it, but relax into it. Relaxing on a steep muddy downhill is really difficult to do when your brain says “Danger! Must slow down and tense up!” I could feel my face, jaw, and shoulders tighten up when I reached one of these spots. I also caught myself holding my breath. I repeatedly reminded myself to relax and breathe. Sometimes tension does you no good. Your body will automatically hold tension where it is needed (this race was a lot of hip flexors, core, and glutes). I tried to just let go of the rest.

The first loop around the lake (plus 3-mile out and back) took me about 3.5 hours. I realized that there was no way I was going to run a sub-6, so decided to take some time on the second loop to snap a few photos for this blog post and not worry about my time, but still give my best effort. Most muddy sections were even muddier on the second loop, but a few spots in the sunshine began to dry along the edges.

The finish line is across the lake. So close visually, but still 9 miles away!

By the time I reached the Dam Aid Station again at mile 21.65, my legs were beginning to fatigue. Staying upright in the mud took a lot of work from my core, and the small stabilizer muscles in my feet, ankles and lower legs. There were a few times my calves felt on the verge of cramping, but I took an extra salt capsule and didn’t think anything more of it. I took the opportunity to sit in the porta-potty for a bit (no, I wasn’t just sitting there!). It felt really good to get off my feet for a couple minutes! I also drank a cup of cola, which perked me up. I looked at Aberdeen who had come in to the aid station right behind me, and told him it was time to go.

A sweet mud bog!

This course is very deceiving in more ways than one. My Garmin registered just 1,800 feet of elevation gain, but that’s a lot of small rolling hills over 31 miles. Being so muddy, it was also impossible for me to stay in a steady groove. Looking across the lake, the next aid station or the finish line looked deceptively close (just a mile or two away as-the-crow-flies), but since the trail goes around several arms of the lake, they were really 10 trail-miles way.

Just before reaching the Tanner Creek Aid Station (mile 26.77) I had passed several people. I could tell some people were beginning to tire, as more of them were walking. I tend to get stronger as I near and anticipate the finish line. (Only another hour left and I’ll be done—I can do that!) At Tanner Creek the porta-potty was occupied and I didn’t want to wait for it, so downed another cup of cola and pressed on. Pretty soon though, it was my bladder that was pressing. I stepped a few feet off the trail behind a bush to relieve myself. While I waited, I watched all the people I had just pass pass by me! Argh! I was going to have to pick up the pace again to re-pass them! After a minute or two of nothing happening, I decided my apparently no-so-pressing situation could wait until after I crossed the finish line.

I saw Aberdeen ahead of me walking up a hill. “Go Aberdeen!” I yelled. He acknowledged me with a wave of his hand. Soon I passed him again for the final time. Then I re-passed another guy, and a gal. A few minutes later my Garmin buzzed at me indicating it was time for another salt capsule and gel. Even though I was less than 30 minutes from the finish, I knew I should still take them, so I slowed to a walk and did so. Just as I started running again, the gal I had just re-passed came up right behind me. I offered to let her pass. She said no, she liked my pace. Then she said that I was a “phenomenal runner.” (Me? Really?) This floored me. I replied,“then you’re phenomenal too, because you’re right here with me. We’re both phenomenal!” She reluctantly agreed and went on to say that I was inspiring her to keep her pace up when she really wanted to slow.

My mind immediately thought back to a book my coach had me read recently, “Gerry Lindgren’s Book On Running.” It was written by Gerry Lindgren, one of the best high school distance runners of all time. In the book, Gerry tells how he felt it was his responsibility to always run his fastest and give his best effort in all races in order to elevate the performance of other racers. This girl I did not know had now offered the same opportunity to me, and I gladly took it. For the last two miles I had to elevate my race so that she could elevate hers and finish strong. I told myself that I couldn’t walk any more hills. I had to stay strong and pick up the pace for her. There were two short, very slick muddy parts that I walked through. Instead of zipping past me as she certainly could have, this girl stayed behind me. I splashed through mud puddles, and seconds later heard her splashing through them. She was hot on my tail. I was helping her, but I also wanted to beat her.

One of the more slippery slopes!

Together we passed more people that had been reduced to walking the final miles. As I passed each one, I touched them on the shoulder and said “Good work, you’ve got this!” For some reason, the late miles of a long race seem to bring out the best in me. I get outside of myself and just want to love and encourage everyone. The very first time in my life I realized I was truly a nice person was on October 16th, 2010, the day of my first 50-mile race. If you’ve read my first blog post this probably won’t surprise you.

During the final long muddy stretch, I saw another gal ahead of me and focused on reeling her in. She was alternating walking and running about every 20 feet. I passed her just before the last short hill that dumped us out onto the Boat Ramp C parking lot. From here it was across the parking lot, then another 1/4 mile of trail to the finish. I knew it would be just a few more minutes and I would be finished, so I poured it on as much as I could. I really wanted to look back and see how close those two girls were behind me, but I did not want them to see me looking. Besides, if had I looked back, it would have slowed me down slightly, so I just pressed on, imagining they were hot on my tail. My breath was labored, and my heart felt like it was beating out of my chest, but I was smiling and ecstatic!

Showing off my mud-splashed legs, not my butt

I passed through the finish chute and turned around to not see anyone immediately behind me. Those two gals finished 21 and 43 seconds behind me. Aberdeen finished 10 minutes later. His wife, who had earlier finished her first 25k distance race, was there waiting at the finish for him, and they shared a big hug. They were so proud of each other. It was so wonderful to see. I was so proud of Aberdeen!

I offered to get some food for another very nice fellow who had just finished the race (he had flown by me on a steep slippery downhill while I was hesitating, showing me how it should be done). He said, “no, you just finished a 50k too!” On my way to stand in the lake to soothe my aching legs, I stopped by the grill and picked up a grilled cheese sandwich. I offered him half, saying “I told you I’d get you some food!”

Later in the day, after results were posted online, I hesitantly checked my finish time. I had finished just 3 minutes faster than last year, but in much muddier conditions, so I was happy with that. In addition, last year I had finished 7th from last. This year I finished 41st from last! I’m getting stronger and moving up in the world! Best of all, every race teaches me more about myself and I am finally beginning to get comfortable with who I really am.


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WWDD? In Memory of Dave Bateham http://www.oregontrailseries.org/2012/01/wwdd-in-memory-of-dave-bateham/ http://www.oregontrailseries.org/2012/01/wwdd-in-memory-of-dave-bateham/#comments Tue, 03 Jan 2012 05:50:53 +0000 http://www.oregontrailseries.org/?p=511 Continue reading ]]> As John Liebeskind keeps asking, what would Dave do?  That’s the question a lot of us have been asking ourselves lately in our local community, since our friend, coworker, mentor, pacer and long distance companion Dave “El Condor” Bateham passed away recently due to complications from heart surgery.

Dave running around Mt Hood

Gabi named Dave “El Condor”, as she names all of us norawas (“friends” in Raramuri).  At first she called him Periquito, which means parakeet, since he was so agile and beautiful to watch running lightly and fast.  But Dave said “how about something a little less wimpy and flighty?”  So she thought of the tough and soaring Condor but said to him “Dave, it’s so UGLY up close.”  He just looked at her with that wry little smile and said “I’m just fine with that”, and so to us he’ll always be the Condor.

"El Condor"

The Oregon ultrarunning community lost a great deal with Dave.  He has run all the races in the Series and supported many of them by freely volunteering his time, not because it’s a requirement for Western States or Wasatch, just because he enjoyed helping.  Dave loved to give back to whatever lit him up, like many of us being extremely passionate about his obsessions.  You’d see him at the library Monday evenings after a full day at work.  “Whatcha doin’ Dave?”  “Oh, just shelving some books for awhile, somebody’s gotta do it.”  For many years, he’s been in charge of the timing at the Mac.  I’d always ask what kind of help he needed.  “Just gimme a couple of volunteers to work with and I’ll take care of it, you’ve got enough other stuff to worry about.”  He’d often have these little suggestions that never came across that way (not quite like Clem).  “Hey Ken, you ever thought about maybe having a different colored bib number for the early starters so we give them all the right times?”  What would Dave do?  He’d think about the runners of course, and whether we got the times right.

Dave timing many of you at the McDonald Forest 50K

Dave was known for a couple of running traditions locally.  He started this thing called Torture Tuesdays (kind of like Queen Wednesdays), back when he was fast, involving sick stuff like how many 800’s can you do (16?) with 400s under 80.  With Meghan and Linda, Dave also started the McCulloch Wednesday outings.  Every week at 5:30 we meet at Oak Creek after work to power walk up 1500’ to the site of the old Mac aid station on top, and then jog back down.  Quite different on the pitch black snowy January than in mid-summer, but there’s many a 100 mile runner around here that credits these Wednesday nights with improving their walking significantly.  So all of you readers out there, come out and join us, but we are changing to Thursdays at 5:30.  Details at the corvallistrailrunners Google group.  What would Dave do?  He’d get his butt out of work and get up there every week with his friends, that’s what he’d do.

Dave with Scott Leonard at the TRT 100

At work at HP, Dave was known as the guy who just got stuff done, scrounging up whatever was needed to pull it together.  A lot of Dave’s job was to break stuff, he loved that, and then figure out how to make it not break so easily.  Engineers at HP were known to change projects just so they could work with Dave, he was so fun to be around and made everyone succeed.  Dave is still the only person ever responsible a skinny dipping session at an HP “team building” event on South Sister, making his whole group vow to get to the top together, then abandoning them to run down with the Blender.  What would Dave do?  He’d build the team, whatever it took.

Dave at Peterson Ridge Rumble

Dave felt extremely fortunate to be able to run several OTS races with his son Erik, who holds the U19 record at the Mac.  Many of us would die to be able to run some ultras with our kids.  Dave used to claim he could beat Erik at any distance, but we think that might have been when Eric was still in the U9 age group.  If you get a chance, please check out Dave’s race report from running with Eric at the Mt Hood PCT 50 miler that I’ve posted at http://mac50k.org/dave.pdf.    “It was a special day for me… having this opportunity to share this journey with Erik.”  Here he is with Erik at the finish line of Waldo, not looking quite as happy.

Dave looking like he left it all on the trail at the finish of Waldo

We dearly miss our great friend, and Oregon trail running won’t ever be the same again.  We still remember losing our buddy Scott McQueeney at the Mac.  It’s been eight years and it still hurts but we’re lucky to be inspired towards “relentless forward motion” and running backwards across the memorial bridge at the Mac finish line.  Dave was also often at that finish line timing you all, and now you can choose to run backwards or run FAST across that bridge.  Just don’t run backwards fast please!

Dave’s motto was “run slow to run fast”.  Ultrarunners of course don’t need an explanation to know what this means.  For Dave it was doubly ironic.  First of all, unlike most of us, Dave really was fast.  Not many of us can run sub 40 in a 10K after age 50.  Secondly, like many of us, Dave never started ultras slow enough, burning out too soon at many a race.  Kind of like Clem, he was much better at suggesting great strategies and telling himself what he should do rather than just doing it.  This picture is him just doing it, enjoying a cold one prior to pacing at Bighorn.  For me, running slow means to attempt to enjoy every moment of my surroundings, every movement of being healthy enough to pursue this crazy passion we call ultrarunning.

Dave enjoying a cold one

We’re going to miss Dave forever, but try to carry him forward by our actions.  Caring about others enough to cheerfully pace them through the night, always being encouraging, contributing to our communities, trying to give back half as much as we’ve been given, doing our very best whenever we can, to our children, our work, our passions and our friends.  What would Dave do?  All that and more.  Here’s Dave after spending the night pacing Matt Nahorniak at Tahoe Rim.

Dave and Matt Nahorniak

So the next time you line up for your next race, remember how lucky you are, try to remember to run slow to run fast, and ask yourself every day, WWDD?


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