Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ohlone 50k and life!!

Ohlone 50k has come and passed, and I am super excited to report I had a great race!! It was very well organized, and such a top notch event. The course was marked extremely well, the aid stations were well manned with ample supplies, and the finish line was super fun. The course was hands down the toughest 50k course I have ever ran, but all in all I had a ton of fun!

The race is held on a Sunday so I was able to spend the entire weekend up in San Francisco before the race. I am looking forward to heading up there again in two weeks for Pacifica 50k. The temps were in the cooler range this year compared to most years. With this came and very muddy course! I believe the warmest it got on race day was 70 degrees? Perfect running weather, and just all in all an outstanding organized race!! I highly suggest this race to anyone who loves SUPER, SUPER tough 50k courses. Brutal and steep climbs coupled with brutal, steep, and loose gravel descents. It wasn't necessarily spectacular in beauty, but on a 1-10 scale I would give it about a 6. Tons of open exposed climbs, and not a ton of tree covered single track. A course I would give a 10 on beauty would be Jemez Mountains 50mile/50k or Where's Waldo 100k.

I spent the first few miles of the race really hanging back, and staying within myself. If there is one thing I have learned in this sport is no Ultra is EVER won in the first 10 miles. I just don't have the kind of speed and talent as those fast top tiered women so for me my strength and stamina is all I have got. Around mile 3 or so I had quite a mishap though!! I was not paying attention, and ran straight into a shin deep mud pit. All the other runners were smart enough to take the single track trail that scaled the outside of the mud pit to re-connect with the trail....but not me. I was the only dumb ass that went feet first into it. I got completely stuck, and it took me quite sometime to get out. My shoes got stuck, and came off, and I had to be helped out by some other runner. He was so amazing to stop & help me in the middle of his race!! Without him I sware I would still be there. What an angel! It took me another couple minutes to re-group and get my wet mud caked shoes back on over my completely mud packed socks. Ugh what a friggin mess I was! I of course had no choice but to keep on running, and before to long my shoes somewhat dried and I was back in business. I had to work a bit to move my way back up to the front, but before to long I was able to eye Bree Lambert, and was excited to catch her & chat. This woman is an absolute rock star, and if it wasn't for her little night out at Prince the night before she would have won no doubt. She explained she was just running to finish, and was focused on Tahoe 100 mile. She has won Tahoe 100 before along with a huge slew of other races so I am sure she will just kill it!! Go Bree go!! I told her I was gonna push on and try and track down the other woman in front of us. It was such a great day for me, and I definitely will run this one again if I can squeeze it on the calender. Below are the results:

When I crossed the finish line Jesse was there cheering for me!! He was so excited! It was only his 2nd 50k, and he finished 2nd behind Leor Pantilat. Below are great links to the first place, and third place men.


This past saturday myself and my baby brother Eric Wickland and a few other boys from our crew ran my Ray Miller 50 mile course(raymiller5050.com)! The pace was super strong for me as the first half Brian Polley ran with us, and I kept telling Dan. L I was going to die! He just laughed! We had so much fun, and man that course is a doozy!! TOUGH but so gorgeous! Monday myself, Jesse, and Wick ran my Los Pinos course(http://lospinos50k.com). Another tough day fo' sure with da' boys! Below are a ton of pics from Saturday's run. Thanks to my dear friend Dean Dobberteen for snatching all these great photos!

Griffith Park website has officially launched! Please check it out!

On, on, on with this amazing thing called life!!! Someone please pinch me cause I am having the absolute time of my life.... ;o)

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).