Monday, March 23, 2015

April trail racing in the San Francisco Bay Area

The weather certainly has been nice lately and as the weeks tick by we get offered more and more chances to get out on the trails. April has 12 trail races to choose from ranging from 5 to 50 miles. I'm going for the beer and massage offering over at the Sasquatch Scramble. Perhaps I'll see you out there. FYI, if you haven't signed up yet for the Sasquatch Scramble you may want to. It sold out last year! Speaking of sell outs, Grizzly Peak is already sold out and Lake Sonoma was sold out long ago. People are looking for races that aren't sold out and the consequence is that other races that may not normally sell out are doing just that. The trail scene is heating up for sure.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sasquatch is growing in the Bay Area!

Sun, 4/26 @ Redwood Regional Park in Oakland
 Every year or two a new racing company sprouts up in the Bay Area and rarely do they stick around for more than a year or two (RIP NorCal Racing). Sasquatch has broke that trend by offering great routes on the classic trails of the area and creating a commnuity vibe amongst racers that is similar to what you feel at a Brazen Race. Sasquatch Racing has grown their loyal following race by race to where they now can invest some money back into the events they host starting with the Sasquatch Scramble in late April.

Big Change #1

Chip Timing!
 I recently ran a race with a long standing race company and among the MANY things they did not offer, timing was one of them. I don't mind if all you provide is a big clock at the finish but when you can't even do that I have to question if you realize the very nature of the sport you are working in. It's me versus the clock and you didn't bring the clock???? Sasquatch started out with a big clock and now they are moving into chip timing. THIS IS AWESOME. Sasquatch just moved up the list of my favorite companies to race with.

Big Change #2

Finishers Medals!

The 5k & 10k finishers at this years Sasquatch Scramble will receive the Woodallion and the Half Marathon finishers will receive the metal bottle opener medal.

I love my finishers medals but I have  A LOT!!! and that makes it difficult to display them all so I have started to only display the very cool and the unique medals (think Lynch Canyon's artistic style medals!!)  Matt Forsman (co-founder of Sasquatch) & company has really out-done themselves with these medals. I love the metal bottle opener and will run the upcoming Scramble just to get one. Afterwards I will be in the parking lot offering cash to any 5k or 10k finisher that doesn't want their Woodallion because I need a rear view mirror ornament for my new mini van. These new medals are keepers for sure. I have the 100th year Bay to Breakers, the Ultra Half Series finishers coaster, 2 handmade medals from Lynch Canyon, a few spinners and 1 click together medal for running the spring and winter US Half back to back (which can never be done again!).

Big Change #3

New Registration Platform and a chance to earn $MONEY$
 Sasquatch has teamed up with race roster for all of your registration needs. It's similar to or in it's ease of getting you registered but it also pays you to spread the word. When you share the race to Facebook (or wherever) you get paid for people signing up off of your post. Lets put this to the test, Sign up for the Sasquatch Scramble by clicking this link and I will tell you how much money this brings in when the event is over ;-).

All of these new changes are in addition to the free Pyramid Beer, free massage from Psoas Bodywork and great Tech Tees. I hate to beat a dead horse but the well known race organizer that I spoke of earlier gave out cotton shirts (chaffing machines) and they couldn't be bothered with a start/ finish line, post race food, finishers medals or anything for that matter. It was a very expensive and yet bare bones event that left me feeling totally ripped off. Sasquatch on the other hand is cheaper and offers more than almost any other event organizer out there. The major players in the trail racing business are changing or more accurately evolving while others seem to be devolving. If you haven't tried a Sasquatch race I highly recommend you show up and experience it for yourself.

Monday, February 16, 2015

How exercise changes our DNA

The message of this study is unambiguous. “Through endurance training — a lifestyle change that is easily available for most people and doesn’t cost much money, we can induce changes that affect how we use our genes and, through that, get healthier and more functional muscles that ultimately improve our quality of life.”

Read the NY Times article here:

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

March 2015 Trail Racing Calendar for the San Francisco Bay Area

See the entire 2015 calendar here

March 2015
March 7th- Romancing the Island 12K & 25K- Angel Island via Tiburon ferry
March 7th- Sanborn Park Trail Challenge- Half Marathon, 9 mi, 4.2 mi- Sanborn Park, Saratoga

March 8th- Ilsanjo Classic 10-miler & Neo-Classic 4-miler- Howarth Park, Santa Rosa

March 14th- Badger Cove- Half Marathon, 10k, 5k- DelValle Park, Livermore- Read my review from 2014
March 14th- Zombie Runner San Francisco- 5k, 10k, Half Marathon- Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco

March 14th- Marin Ultra Challenge- 50mi, 50k, 35k, Half- Fort Baker,GGNRA, Sausalito
March 21st- Napa Valley Trail Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K SOLD OUT
March 22nd- Canyon Meadow Trail Run- 50k, Marathon, 30k, Half Marathon, 5mi- Redwood Regional Park, Oakland
March 22nd- Calero Resevoir- Marathon, Half Marathon, 9k- Calero Park, Santa Clara
March 22nd- Whiskey Hill Redwood Run- Half Marathon, 10k- Huddart Park, Woodside
March 28th- Brazen Goonies- Half Marathon, 10k, 5k- Lagoon Valley Park, Vacaville
March 30th- Golden Gate Headlands Marathon, Half Marathon & 7 Mile- GGNRA, Marin

Special Events in March

Run Rugged Trail Camp

March 27-29 2015
 Camp Monte Toyon is a beautiful camp adjacent to The Forest of Nisene Marks Redwood State Park in Aptos, California Educational clinics will include: Ultra running, Hydration, Nutrition, injury prevention, and more!! Meet and run with athletes from The North Face, GU, and Nathan. Vendors will be on hand all weekend with demonstrations and gear to try. Raffles and prizes throughout the event! Cost $349 prior to 12/31/2014 $399 after 12/31/2014 Cost includes all meals and lodging! Tentative Schedule of events: Friday 4pm til 6:30pm Welcome Reception and Camper check in at Fleet Feet Sports 7:00pm Dinner at Camp Monte Toyon 8:30 Nathan Light Up Your Night Hike to Overlook 10:00pm Lights out.....Long day ahead! Saturday 7:30am Breakfast 8:30 Seminar (TBA) 10:00am Trail Run!!! (Multiple distances and paces) 12:00 Lunch 1:30- 3:30 Seminars and group activity 4:00 Trail Run!! 7:00pm Dinner 8:30pm Campfire program Sunday 7:00 am light breakfast 7:30 am Trail run! (Multiple distances) 12:00 Lunch and departures.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Journey- Running through the National Parks

I just found this documentary about running through the National Parks. I really liked the camera work. The guy doing the voice over is difficult to understand at times but overall I really liked this and thought I would share it with you. Enjoy.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Gear Review: Saucony Xodus GTX 4.0 trail running shoe

The Xodus has been my go to trail shoe for 3 consecutive purchases. I did two pair of the Xodus 3.0 and now I have put several hundred miles on my Xodus GTX 4.0. This is the first time I have bought the more expensive GTX (Gore-Tex) model and I have only ran in rainy conditions once or twice so perhaps I don't really need the GTX feature. It does add weight via the added "booty" inside and the added overlays. The other thing that the Gore-Tex does is work. My feet stayed dry, all of the reviews I read said their feet stayed dry so if you're running in wet weather this shoe will keep you dry. The shoe pays a price for that GTX feature. It comes in at a hefty 11.9oz!!! but I suspect some of that is due to all of the protection this shoe offers beyond just the weatherproofing.

First off this shoe has a Vibram outsole with a very aggressive lug pattern. The protection and grip that this affords you in dry weather is exceptional but in wet weather the rubber starts to get a bit slippery. I've never had mud cake up the tread pattern or rocks wedge into the tread but the slippery aspect is a bit of a let down. This shoe also has a rock plate that runs the length of the shoe and it works! Roots, rocks or whatever you step on is not going to bruise the soft underside of your foot in this shoe. To lock your foot down to this bed Saucony has incorporated it's Pro Lock system that goes over the midfoot area to help lock the foot down to the shoe and give it that glove like feel. This is super important in my opinion when your bombing down technical single track. The shoe laces are those stretchy kind that I know nothing about other than they do not come untied. To back that up this shoe offers a lace garage on the tongue and to further protect you from trail debris this shoe has a gusseted tongue and gaiter loops at the toe and heel of the shoe. This shoe is the Hummer SUV of trail shoes. Most of the reviews I have read all agree that the weight of this shoe is less than stellar so that will take some getting use to for you but beyond that I have no reservations in recommending this shoe.

 I like the fit and feel of this shoe. It has a 4mm heel drop with plenty of cushion and protection for even the gnarliest of trails. The low heel drop is not the same on this shoe as it is on a minimalist shoe because the stack height is substantially different. 26mm at the heel and 22mm at the forefoot!!! When I said this shoe was the SUV of trail shoes I wasn't kidding. It's big and heavy but it works in all regards. Dry feet, protected feet, laces that stay tied and a lace garage on a gusseted tongue. You can not complain about this shoe other than it's heavy and I slipped out a little bit on some trail debris when it was misty out. I highly recommend this shoe although I may not go for the GTX model simply because I don't have a ton of wet run days or river crossings but if you do, by all means, get this shoe.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Gear Review: Saucony Ride 7

 The reviews I read when this shoe was brand new on the market were astounding. Trusted sites were saying this was the best version of an already great shoe. I read it was lighter with more cushion and could take a pounding for 500 miles. This sounded exactly like what I wanted for my fall/ winter marathon training and racing. Now that I have put 200+ miles on this shoe and I have done five 20+ mile runs on them I think I have my mind made up on these. In my opinion they are "uuuhhhhhh whatever". In other words I have nothing bad to say about them but for some reason I don't love them or feel the need to dump praise all over them. I am just middle of the road neutral on this shoe.

 Lets look at the stats that are being heralded as stellar by the shoe reviewers out there. First the weight of the shoe has been reduced from previous versions down to 9.3oz. That's great but 9.3 is not super light in my opinion. 10oz is where shoes start to get heavy and sub 9oz is where they start to get light. This shoe at 9.3oz is just okay. I will admit that when I first put them on they felt light and cushy and I was really impressed but as time went on I realized they didn't feel much lighter or much softer than my Saucony Xodus trail shoe. In reality they are lighter by about 2 oz! The second most praised aspect of this shoe is that it has been lowered down to an 8mm drop. That's great for people who are trying to work their way down to a more minimalist shoe. I highly encourage people to get out of the standard 12mm drop by starting with an 8mm and then going to 4mm and then to a zero drop. I'm running in 4mm or less 99% of the time and for me to go back to an 8mm was surprisingly strange. I did not realize just how different this higher heel would feel after an hour out on the road. Don't get me wrong. It's not a horrible feeling just different then what I am used to. One thing is for certain. When you shorten your Achilles tendon by raising your heel you risk Achilles tendinitis when you return to the lower heel height. So I'm not doing myself any favors by running often in this shoe, so I don't. I've owned the shoe since October and I barely have 200 miles on them.

 To sum it up, most of the reviews you will read on this shoe will convince you that it is a really great shoe and it is for some people but perhaps not me. It was Runner's World Magazine's Editors Choice award winner for whatever that is worth. I like the shoe. I don't love it. It's nice to rotate this in every once in awhile and if my legs feel beat up this is a good recovery shoe. I will probably explore other shoes in the future so buying a second pair is not on my radar for this model.