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    Thursday, April 29, 2010

    24 hour Adventure Trail Run Preview


    To cap off my early 2010 running season I am solo-running a 24 hour ultramarathon. The 24-hour Adventure Trail Run is held within the Prince William Forest Park, located just outside Washington DC. The course is in a National Park of rolling hills, 8.0 miles per loop with approximately 700+ feet gain/loss per lap. There will be plenty of roots and rocks on the trail, but generally this is single track adventure trail run with approximately 0.75 miles on a hard packed dirt road.

    Although I am a little undertrained in-terms of raw mileage in my long runs I am good at suffering. My goal is 100 miles in 24 hours, a very reasonable one. If I make this distance it will be a new PR in terms of distance ran during a single race for me.

    I am running this race because I can; in meaning that there are a lot of people who cannot be at the starting line of such an event and I push myself to excel because of them. I LiveStrong for my grandfather, John McLean, my grandmother, June Nicholson, my Aunt Joy, my Aunt Grace, my Uncle Terry, my friend Captain Raul Medrano, and Pat Ray, all close friends and family who have survived cancer. I am also running in memory of my friends who have been killed: Captain Russell Rippetoe, Captain Jason Galus, Captain Paul Minor, and Sergeant First Class Dan Scheibner. All of whom I served closely with in different units during my military career. I run for each and every one of them...

    Monday, April 26, 2010

    Recent addition to my commuter bike


    My daily commuter is a Novara Safari. All in all it is a good solid bike for my requirements. After my commuting days in Germany - three years straight on a Jamis Nova 13 miles one way in all seasons - I know a little about what I want in a daily commuter for urban mixed trails.

    My recent addition to the daily beast is the classy "Pine State" milk crate to haul my backback and assorted groceries. I was jealous of my wife's nice basket but couldn't bring myself to spend the money on one and was not about to leave panniers on the bike while locked up at various bike stands throughout DC.

    I dig it.

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    Trail Race Report Spring Backyard Burn Race #4 at Prince William Forest Park


    The fourth installment in this year's series proved to be quite different than races in the same park in the past. The majority of the course was double track or fireroads. However, EX2 saved the best for last and the final two miles were on some very fun and fast singletrack. Gone were the two rather steep and long climbs within the last half-mile, they were replaced by a gradual long climb in the last quarter-mile!

    The course ran very fast. The start included a six-tenths of a mile prologue on the road to stretch out the runners on an out and back loop. I re-crossed the start line with the lead group at something like 2:45 - very fast. Prince William Forest Park is comprised of a series of draws and hills based around some creek drainages which make for interesting racing. The downhills are sharp and quick and the climbs (generally!) short but steep. One of the interesting highlights is crossing the swinging bridge, you cross it twice during the race. It is much more enjoyable on the second crossing when less people are on it at once!

    I ended up placing fourth on the day with a time of 35:29 for five miles and change of racing. However, because I was able to consistently finish in the top two or three during the other races I was able to take the series prize. This was difficult because the competition was stiff and it only takes one bad race to blow your chances.

    The good thing is that I can now focus on long slow runs and not have to worry about a six day taper/train period. I have a few weeks before my next race - the 24 Hour Adventure Trail Run on 1 May, 2010; between now and then I will be out logging some real mileage.

    Thursday, April 8, 2010

    Final meters of my last trail race on video

    My wife shot this footage during the final few meters of my last trail race at Fountainhead Park. The trail climbs up a good sized hill from a lake and runs along a ridge for a short distance before turning out of the trees and finishing directly into the 'chute.

    video