Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Leona 2011 in da' history books!!

Leona Divide 2011 is now a done deal, and in the race history books! I honestly cannot believe it's over, and how fast time just flies by....what an awesome race week it was for me!! Above are the leg sleeves my dear friend Shannon made for every runner! Shannon I LOVE you so much, & I cannot thank you enough for all your support at Leona!! ;o)

Ok back to my crazy race week....
I left Orange County on Tuesday the 26th so I would have plenty of time to get ready for the race. Everyone up in the community of Lake Hughes is wonderful, and I was able to rent a cute little cottage from the mayor of Lake Hughes "Allaire". She is a sweetheart! My girl Carmella House cruised up with me for the entire week to be by my side, and help with race prep! On Thursday my friend Dorreen came up and we spent the entire day marking most of the course. Love this girl to pieces, and we had a blast!! Once Friday came Scotty Mills headed up and helped me finish marking the course. Scotty is my mentor, and his friendship means the world to me. He is always there to direct me in the right path when it comes to race directing, and I look to him for tons of advice and leadership. I cannot wait to work his Sweetwater aid station at San Diego 100 mile. He is the race director, and the absolute best RD on the planet!! We had tons of fun on Friday out on the course, and by Friday night all my other crew was up to help with race check in. LT & Steve Harvey(race director of Old Goats50 & Chimera) helped me with some last minute course markings, and stuff like that. What a total hoot those guys are!!! Saturday morning rolled around way to quick, and before I knew it over 400 runners were rolling into the Lake Hughes community center. To say it was insane is an understatement!! Nothing could have prepared me for the magnitude of people, and I was so happy to see all my preparation & stellar volunteers working like mad to get it all rolling. Hats off to all the amazing race check in volunteers!!

As the minutes got closer & closer I grabbed my Coyote Sauce(Jimmy Dean) & my babysauce(George Gleeson) to start banging the saw blade, and get the race rolling. Within a flash the race was off & rolling!! Below is a link to the movie trailer for the documentary for Leona Divide. Jessica is working tirelessly to get it all wrapped up, and I cannot wait to see how it turns out!!!! First link is to the actual trailer, and the link below it is to the site which will have all the updates as progress is made. This of course will be available for sale to anyone who wants to buy it, and is gonna rock!!

Quickly Jimmy got the race off to a great start, and all my amazing aid station volunteers started to set out to there aid stations. Below is a picture of MartiniSauce's aid station(Kate Martini Freeman). They were "alice in runderland", and what an awesome aid station she had!! Her hubby Jimmy Dean had quite the aid station to!! Love these two with all my heart~!! A HUGE thanks to all my rock star aid station captains: Jen Brickner, Tracy White, Scotty Mills&Buzz Owens, JimmyDeanFreeman, KateMartiniFreeman, & Karen Adams. Without this crew of amazing superstars Leona would be nothing..
Being on the other side of any race is always a blast, but being an RD, and an Ultra Runner myself the excitement of the front guys just overwhelms me. My eyes were on the 50 mile race, & right off the bat I knew Josh, Jorge, James.B, David, Fabrice, Evan, & Chris would be flying. I really could not even guess who was gonna take the win, but I did know that they were moving fast. I was so bummed to hear early on that Brimhall had dropped at the turn around(mile 29) due to an injury. My medic went & grabbed him, and we iced him all up. What an AMAZING athlete & person that guy is. I am positive he will be back in no time representing team Pearl Izumi well!(www.pearlizumi.com/) Once he was out of the running I kept thinking ok is James Bonnett gonna hold his lead over Jorge& Fabrice?? I knew the super fast Evan Hone was having stomach issues(he still killed it!), and then I was thinking ok where the heck is David James?? Shortly after he had to pull out also, and all I kept thinking was how crazy it would be if Bonnet pulled off this win. He had emailed me a week before the race, and wanted to use Leona Divide as a comeback race...wow did he make a serious comeback!! He ended up edging out my dear friend Jorge for the win, and they both had a stellar day. Fabrice grabbed the 3rd spot, then Chris Price(yippie go Chris), and Evan was next. All 5 of these guys are so wicked fast & talented it was an honor to see them all push so hard. When Price finished I thought he was gonna puke on me!! These guys are such studs!! Congrats to James Bonnett for kicking Leona Divide's butt! hehe...

The women's race was great to! Aliza Lapierre snagged the first place spot, and man she ran a great race! I cannot wait to see how she does at States. She is just so amazing. Next was Paulette Zilmer from AZ. She kicked my butt at Mesquite Canyon 50k, and is a little superstar. Following her for 3rd overall female was Maggie Beach. All 3 of these women are studettes! Good luck to all these ladies in there future races. ;o)

Throughout the day so many 50k & 30k runners were finishing long before the 50 mile runners. The finish line was such a blast, and it was great having Guayaki cold teas on hand for all to drink. Thank you so much to Guyaki and all my amazing sponsors this year: WICKED FAST SPORTS, MOEBEN, GU, RUDY PROJECT, UDO'S OIL, VITA COCO, GUAYAKI, & COMPETITOR MAGAZINE. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! Without your support Leona would be pretty dang boaring! You all are *awesomesauce*.

Race date for next year is Saturday April 28th, & registration opens up November 1st on Ultra Signup(thanks Mark!!). Mark your calenders fo' sure!!

As the race has winded down, and my life is somewhat getting back to normal(ummm...not!!) I have been having such a blast! On Saturday I ran all day up at Mt.Baldy, and it was great to see so many friends out there like Buzz, Wendy, & Todd! Love you guys! The best part of the day though??  soaking in the ice cold waterfall at the bottom of Mt.Baldy.  I am super excited to start gearing my training up for Angeles Crest 100mile, and a HUGE group of us will be hittin' the local mountains for some serious Memorial Day weekend training. Cannot wait!

In two weeks I am headed up to San Fran to race Ohlone50k. Pumped about this fo' sure!! Not really to worried about how I will finish as the talent on the entrants list is beyond me.

Congrats to all my Leona Divide finsihers!! You all did so amazing, and I cannot wait to see so many of you at my future races. Don't forget to mark your calenders for Leona Valley Trail races on October 8th(leonavalleytrailraces.com), Los Pinos 50k Oct 22nd(lospinos50k.com), Griffith Park Trail half marathon Nov 12th(griffithparktrailruns.com), and Ray Miller 50mile/50k Feb 25th(raymiller5050.com).



  1. Awesome job directing. I remember coming up to you and seeing the stress in your eyes before the start. I could tell you really cared about this race and wanted so badly for everyone to have fun out there. You have a love for this sport and it showed at this race. You should be proud of yourself.

    See you at SD100 next month.

  2. Thanks for putting on another great race Keira! Guess I looked just like I felt if you thought I was about to puke on you at the finish =)

    Can't wait to see you at SD100.

    And thanks for putting on a race in my backyard next year - I'm uber stoked for the Ray Miller 50/50.

    Happy training,


  3. Keira, you put a fantastic race, and I am pumping to go back - not to mention last year LD was my best race in a long time! And I am gthrilled to hear your life (the personal side of it) is kicking butt as much as your other crazy life(s) are!

  4. Hi Keira- thank you for putting on a first class race. All of our peeps from our group had a blast... you are the bomb

  5. Thank you thank you thank you!! What a fun, amazing race!! Such great vibes...and, um, see you at AC!!!