Ultra Retirement at the Speedgoat 50K

In the physical world, everything eventually has an end. And so it is with my motivation and my ability to enjoy participating in an ultra-marathon. It has ended. The 2014 Speedgoat 50K was my final Ultra.

Looking forward, I expect to keep participating in shorter trail and mountain races like the Bridger Ridge Run. But no more ultra-endurance fests that take nearly a full day to finish. They take more and more out of me. After Speedgoat, my legs were still heavy a few weeks later for the Ridge Run.

Why Speedgoat?

Ever since I started trail running decades ago, I’ve wanted to do a mountain trail race in the Wasatch Range in Utah. The Wasatch Range is where I spent a huge amount of my life in my formative teen and young adult years. That area will always have a place of love and admiration in my heart. Most of my time spend in the Wasatch was on skis. But a fair amount of summer outings way back then were spent etching the trails and peaks into my memory as I developed my mountaineering skills. A trail race in the Wasatch has been on my bucket list for a long time.

There are other ultra-trail races in the Wasatch, so why Speedgoat? The choice was obvious. 33 Years earlier I had similarly retired from competing in another sport in the exact same location – Snowbird Ski Area. In 1981, the sport was Freestyle skiing. The event was the World championships of the Pro Mogul tour. It seems fitting and more than coincidental to choose to do my last Ultra at the same place as my final ski competition.

Competition Bib and Shirt 33 Years Apart at Snowbird

Competition Bib and Shirt 33 Years Apart at Snowbird

The ski bib number pictured is from the 1970s but similar to 1981. In 1981, the number was cloth and with a bigger Budweiser label like that pictured below. In 1981, there were no Red Bull, Monster, Clif, or other various sport drinks and nutrition. There was Budweiser.

Budweiser Bib Pro Mogul Tour Circa 1981

Budweiser Bib Pro Mogul Tour Circa 1981

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Here is some old video from 1983 (I could not find any from 1981) but it captures the essence of that era.

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Sporting the Speedgoat Shirt at the Rut 12K

Sporting the Speedgoat Shirt at the Rut 12K

Different Reasons to Compete and to Retire

My relationship to running and skiing especially on the competitive side is very different. Skiing is the only sport I have ever had any smidgen of talent at. Running on the other hand is a sport that I enjoy participating in and challenging myself at, but have never shown any real talent for – especially at the national or world class level.

In skiing, I competed against others. In Running, I competed against my own limitations.

With skiing, I had gone as far as I could. Freestyle skiing is a skill and power sport.  Like most freestyle skiers, I had started competing in my early teens working my way up to pro status. At 24 years of age in 1981, I had already peaked in my ability. It became apparent that I was just not going to make it.

By 1981, I had just finished a year of skiing year round have spent the previous summer down in New Zealand. Skiing and competing in New Zealand had gone very well for me and was encouraging. Most likely my success there was because the competition was not as deep as in the States. Once back in the US, my results leading up to the world championships at Snowbird were just not very good. I could not advance very far beyond the opening rounds and get into the prize money. I came to grip with the reality that I was not going to make a living at freestyle skiing. Other life interests beckoned and the need to make a responsible living convinced me it was time to give up the dream of being a pro mogul skier. Not all dreams come true. With some, the healthy thing is to just let them go. It can be a relief.

Thoughts about the Speedgoat 50K

Going in, I knew that the Speedgoat 50K would not be your typical 50K trail race. The race director, Karl Meltzer, takes a sadistic pride in making the course as difficult as possible. So I was expecting some nasty sections, but there were some things that caught me off guard and made for a particularly difficult day for me.

Running around in circles at a ski area is not my first choice of an aesthetic course. But I had steeled myself for the course craziness that usually accompanies trail races staged at ski areas. The courses at ski areas usually wrap around going this way and that just to cover the allotted distance within the confines of the ski area. Like the cross country ski trials at Bohart ranch, they go back and forth and wrap around so much you lose perspective on which way you are going.

Speedgoat suffers from the affliction of being a very contrived course. There are some elegant ridge line sections, but there is also a lot of winding around on the maze of trails and roads that crisscross Snowbird ski area. My preference is for a race course that has an obvious line with little choices. Knowing where to go is better served by common sense then flagging. Speedgoat requires a tremendous amount of effort by the race organizers to mark and flag the course. And they did a darn good job. But I witnessed more than a few tired and unfocused runners going off course by taking a turn where they should of gone straight or continuing straight where a course takes a sudden turn.

Ellie Greenwood reminds me of Judy Garland playing Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz 

At Speedgoat, the only person I recognized was Ellie Greenwood. Earlier in the year, I had watched the coverage of the 2014 Comrades Race where she mounted a late surge and won. I recognized her from that and her interviews. At Speedgoat, as I watched Ellie, her mannerisms and looks reminded of Judy Garland playing Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Like Dorothy, Ellie exudes a certain blend of perkiness, friendliness, determination and wonder. As the race started, I found myself following Ellie up the ski area roads and trails. It was not a yellow brick road, more like a road with signature blue Hoka flags and tape. Either way, I was kind of feeling like the tin man stiffly hobbling up the trail after Dorothy.

Ellie Greenwood Speedgoat 2014, Follow the Blue Flagged Trail

Ellie Greenwood Speedgoat 2014, Follow the Blue Flagged Trail

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Judy Garland as Dorothy

Judy Garland as Dorothy

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Ellie Greenwood

Ellie Greenwood

There were a handful of people from Montana at Speedgoat that I should have recognized. Turns out, I never saw any of them. Mike Wolfe finished in the top five. I did not see him at the start and by the time I got to the finish line, Mike was long gone. Even Ellie disappeared from view after a couple hours as she got to the first aid at the top of Hidden peak and took off down into Mineral Basin. I chose to linger at the aid station and rehydrate.

For the Want of a Second Water Bottle

Carrying a single 24 ounce water bottle has served me well in every race I have ever run up until Speedgoat. Maybe it was the hot, sunny and dry conditions, or maybe it was because this year Karl the race director eliminated the first water stop, but my single bottle was just not enough for Speedgoat. On a warm day, I like to drink at least 24 ounces of water every hour. From previous year’s course descriptions and race reviews, I was expecting a water stop about half way up to the top of the first climb which for me would be about an hour into the race. Perfect. After I polished off my water bottle, I expected to come across a water stop at any moment. It wasn’t until I reached the top of Hidden Peak at around two hours before I could refill and rehydrate.

This put me in a bit of a dehydration deficit and overheating right from the start. I consciously dialed it back and became extra cautious monitoring myself for dehydration and overheating. Speedgoat was also the first race I ever used ice to cool off. At aid stations, I would put ice under my hat and let it melt deliciously cooling my head and back.

Feeling Old

From a quick visual survey of the participants at Speedgoat, you would come to the conclusion that Ultra Running is a young person’s sport. All the young super fit runners made me feel a bit old and out of place. One of the aid station volunteers even took notice of my grey beard and wrinkled face and gave me an extra cheer and encouragement as he recognized my rarity as an old grey beard in the roster of Speedgoaters. This sense of not quite belonging anymore in this crowd reinforced my sense that I was doing the right thing by retiring from doing these events!

My Second Lifetime Bonk

Way back about 20 years ago in the mid 1990’s, I experienced my first and last serious Bonk at the Fila Sky Marathon in Aspen Colorado. At the time, it was a very foreign feeling. I lost all my energy, became weak and light headed. I could not sustain a run pace, even when going downhill on a road. Fortunately, it happened near the finish line. I did not have to go very far on empty before I could stop and gorge myself on the finish line goodies. Miraculously, just as fast as my energy level had left me, they bounced back after eating.

A lot of time and miles have passed since that first Bonk in Aspen a couple decades ago. There is no excuse for me to Bonk, as I know how to fuel and stay out of trouble. But Speedgoat humbled me on the final climb back up to Hidden Peak before the long downhill to the finish.

The final big climb at Speedgoat goes up from Peruvian Gulch up along the ridge above the Cirque (for those that ski there). This section found me feeling pretty good and passing a couple people. There was a young guy that I recognized from earlier in the day. At one point he was probably 45 minutes ahead of me. He was now sitting on a rock on the ridge looking spent. As I passed him, I asked him if he was alright and he nodded he was just tired and OK. Feeling pretty smug, I picked up my pace and hurried up towards the top of Hidden Peak and the final aid station. Within minutes, it was like someone flipped a switch and I had no energy. All I could think was the question of what had happened. Did I catch this tiredness from the guy I just passed? Is it punishment for my sense of smugness?

Popping another Clif Blok did not satisfy. The aid station at the top was close and the thought of some easy to stomach Vitargo drink waiting in my drop bag gave me solace. But I had to negotiate the last little climb on a spectator lined road up to the top. As I shuffled up the road, I could hear one of the spectators talking to his girlfriend. He was pointing out a particular rock in the road and telling his girlfriend that nearly everyone trips on that rock. And dammit, even with the forewarning, so did I. There was nothing I could do about it. I knew I needed to, but could just not lift my foot high enough to clear it. Embarrassing.

Upon getting to the aid station, blaring rock music assaulted my fatigued senses and interfered with communicating to the aid station volunteers. I just wanted to grab my drop bag and sit down and so I did. Retrieving my bottle of premixed Vitargo shocked me with disappointment as it had gotten so hot from sitting in the sun for 7 or so hours that it was undrinkable. There were plenty of shade tents setup, I thought to myself, why did they leave all the drop bags out in the sun. Puzzling. Backup plan was to mix some more as I had packed a flask with Vitargo powder. So I did and spent nearly a half hour drinking, resting and refueling before setting off on the final leg.

Vitargo does effectively vanquish a Bonk. The last section to the finish line felt pretty good. Waves of nostalgia came over me as the course wound around the Gad II chair lift and all the old ski runs like Gadzooks I spent so many days skiing down more than three decades ago. Earlier in the day, the Speedgoat course traversed right above the Silver Fox run that was my final Pro Mogul ski run 33 years earlier. As I glanced down the run now overgrown in bushes and greenery, it did not seem so long ago. Time collapsed.

 

Snowbird Gadzooks

Snowbird Gadzooks

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2014 Bridger Ridge Run Results

Click here to see the 2014 Bridger Ridge Run Results.

Click here to see the Chronicle’s article about the race.

Enjoy this picture taken near Bridger Peak during the race by Eric Boswell a participant, sweep and the volunteer who was instrumental in putting the whole finish area venue and awards together. Thanks Boz.

Bridger Ridge Run Goat at Bridger Peak

Bridger Ridge Run Goat at Bridger Peak

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2014 Ridge Run Participant List with Wave Assignment

Below is the list of participants with their assigned starting wave.

Remember:

  • Wave 1 Starts at 7:00 AM
  • Wave 2 Starts at 7:05 AM
  • Wave 3 Starts at 7:10 AM
  • Wave 4 Starts at 7:15 AM
  • Wave 5 Starts at 7:20 AM

Check in and Bib Number pickup is in the Fairy Lake parking lot near the Start at the Sacajawea Trail Head.

Check in begins at 6:00 AM.

Bib numbers are assigned alphabetically by last name. The check in will have three lines broken up alphabetically to expedite the process. A – D, E – L, M – Z

Everyone that plans on running must check in and get their bib number so race officials know who is actually out on the course.

Aid station personnel check you off as you go through each aid station, so wear your bib number in front on your chest so it is visible and easily recognizable.

Best of success to everyone. Have a great experience!

Bib # Last Name First Name Wave Assigned
1 Acord Shane 2
2 Agenten Paul 1
3 Airheart Charles 1
4 Allen Brad 1
5 Allen Tamara 4
6 Allison Emily 1
7 Althauser Andrew 5
8 Anderson Jens 2
9 Anderson Peder 1
10 Anderson Sten 3
11 Aschim Annie 3
12 Aschim Brian 3
13 Austin Grant 4
14 Avis Charlie 1
15 Baker Daryl 3
16 baker dennis 5
17 Balian Kendra 2
18 Balian Lauren 3
19 Basse Bob 3
20 Bauer Michael 1
21 Bauwens Wendy 2
22 Berger Brian 2
23 Bergstrom Anna 4
24 Bigart Justin 1
25 Bigart Stephanie 4
26 Biggerstaff Betsy 2
27 Bingham Crackle 3
28 Bingham Don 3
29 Bird Robert 5
30 Bishop Michael 3
31 Blades Mike 5
32 Bloodworth Joseph 4
33 Bloom Erin 5
34 Boersma Krista 4
35 Bogenschutz Susan 5
36 Boswell Eric 5
37 Botzet Rika 4
38 Boyer Jan 4
39 Brady Branch 3
40 Braham Douglas 5
41 bricker james 4
42 bronstein corey 3
43 Bronstein Karen 3
44 Buchl Kurt 2
45 Buckner Mark 2
46 Burke Patrick 2
47 Byram Zachary 2
48 Caldwell Laura Lee 4
49 Callis Patrik 5
50 Campbell Dan 1
51 Carey Mike 1
52 Cargill Katie 3
53 Carlson Gary 4
54 Carr Joe 5
55 Chatzis Chris 3
56 Christensen Benjamin 2
57 Clark Britton 2
58 Clark Jason 1
59 Clark Rebeccah 3
60 Clarke Catrina 3
61 Collver Kari 3
62 Colton Scott 5
63 Connery Bryce 1
64 Connor David 2
65 Cooper Rick 2
66 Cowles Kalani 3
67 Creel Andie 3
68 Creel Scott 3
69 Cummins Jon 1
70 Curry Alison 3
71 Damon Kara 5
72 Danahey Patrick 4
73 Danenhauer Craig 3
74 Daniels Craig 3
75 Davis Kevin 1
76 Dayton John 5
77 Dayton Melanie 5
78 De Pril Wim 2
79 De Young Bret 2
80 dean kevin 4
81 DeGroot Bryce 2
82 DeHaan Megan 4
83 Deibert Lani 5
84 DelloIacono Thies Tara 5
85 DeNucci Andrea 5
86 Derry Aaron 1
87 Dewey Hannah 3
88 Dick Jim 5
89 Dickerson Will 4
90 Diekmann Alexander 1
91 Diekmann Lisa 3
92 Dillon Patrick 4
93 Ditto Jeremy 4
94 dixon charles 2
95 Dixon Justin 4
96 Dobler Bill 5
97 Duffy Bryan 2
98 Dumbrovsky Tomas 1
99 DuPont Alayna 4
100 Eby Douglas 3
101 Edson Sarah 1
102 Egelus Rory 1
103 ehlers josh 4
104 Ehlers Mark 4
105 Ekey Madison 4
106 Eliason Marcus 4
107 English Alan 5
108 Erickson Minde 1
109 Ersland Daniel 2
110 Fajardo Justin 5
111 Feliciano Joaquin 5
112 Fiore John 1
113 Flatlip Scott 5
114 Forrest Samantha 1
115 Fortier Rachel 5
116 Franke Thomas 2
117 Gaffney Carrie 3
118 Galbreath Chris 3
119 Gardner Kyle 3
120 Garroutte Erica 3
121 Garvine Steven 2
122 Gauthier Michael 4
123 Gebhardt Timothy 3
124 Gentile Paul 2
125 Gerenz Sue 4
126 Geyer Lukas 3
127 Giles Dan 4
128 Gingras Jonathan 4
129 Glynn Ken 5
130 Gonzalez Cristina 4
131 Graff Jenni 2
132 Gragnolati Kate 5
133 Graham Charley 2
134 Graham Richard 3
135 Green Steve 3
136 Groves Craig 3
137 Growney Elizabeth 3
138 Gustafson Derek 1
139 Hanson Earl 4
140 Hanson Kyle 1
141 Harrington Alyse 5
142 Harrington Angela 5
143 Harro Mark 5
144 Haug Heather 1
145 Hayes Marne 4
146 Heller Matt 1
147 Hewitt Travis 4
148 Hilgers Ross 3
149 Hill Robin 1
150 hines john 4
151 Holmes Patrick 3
152 Hopkins Walker 3
153 Howell Colleen 4
154 Hunter Daniel 2
155 Jackson Jeff 3
156 Jamison Ben 5
157 jinks alexander 1
158 Johnson Jackie 3
159 Johnson Lori 4
160 Johnson Patrick 4
161 Jones Emily 4
162 Jones Jeff 1
163 Jordan Cody 4
164 Kachmarik Daniel 2
165 Kane Courtney 3
166 Karath Lander 2
167 Kascht Dave 3
168 Kasten Angela 2
169 Keller Lacey 3
170 Kennedy Terry 2
171 kiel christopher 2
172 kimball nikki 1
173 Klickir Kyle 1
174 knarr joe 3
175 Knoll Jackson 2
176 Knowles Richard 2
177 Kociolek Angela 4
178 Koehler Emily 3
179 Kozicki David 2
180 Kryston Joshua 3
181 Krza Daniel 3
182 Kuhlman Dan 2
183 Lahey Lana 5
184 Landowski Claire 5
185 Larson Lucas 2
186 Layman Jamey 5
187 Layman Jay 2
188 Lee Daniel 1
189 Leist Terry 1
190 Leuschen Mariah 3
191 Lewis Kurt 5
192 Lewis Lonnie 5
193 Lichtenfels Christine 2
194 Lowe-Anker Isaac 2
195 Lowry Steve 2
196 Macdonald Kaitlin 1
197 Macdonald Robert 3
198 Mackenzie-Heyboer Mariska 1
199 Magill-Collins Anne 3
200 Majxner Andrew 2
201 malone joseph 2
202 Markey Shannon 2
203 Marsh Myriah 5
204 Marth Christopher 4
205 Martin Jeff 5
206 Martin Richard 3
207 Matas Dave 4
208 Maxwell Bruce 3
209 Maxwell Tyler 3
210 Mc Callum Bruce 2
211 McCammon Chad 2
212 McCarthy Chris 2
213 McCutcheon Elizabeth 5
214 McGlenn John 1
215 Metts Peggy 2
216 Migel Matt 4
217 Miller Jesse 5
218 Miller Seth 2
219 Minton Gretchen 5
220 Monasmith Ross 3
221 Moore Michael 5
222 Moore Roger 5
223 Morgan Cole 1
224 Nelson Bernie 1
225 Nordahl Zachary 1
226 Oberdorf Jordan 2
227 O’Brien Gary 1
228 Onstad Allison 4
229 Oostema Randy 4
230 Oostra Randy 4
231 Orrell Holly 5
232 overton mitch 5
233 Paterson John 2
234 Paul Weston 2
235 Peacock Dewey 1
236 Pilskalns Andrew 5
237 Ping-Kaim Kelly 3
238 Pudner Robert 3
239 Quintana Ken 2
240 Rainey Neal 3
241 Rastgoufard Babak 2
242 Rawlinson Anita 3
243 Reece Jeni 4
244 Rehm Kendra 5
245 reier tuck 4
246 Richards Joshua 2
247 Richmond Sierra 1
248 Robertson Holly 1
249 Rollefson Martin 3
250 Roots Roger 2
251 Rostocki Ben 1
252 Sacchetti Maria 1
253 Saporito Steve 4
254 Schaible Lucas 4
255 schloss carol 5
256 Schurk Christopher 1
257 Schwartz Bryant 5
258 Schweitzer Scott 5
259 Shelkey Kirsa 4
260 Shively Stephanie 4
261 Shows Bryce 1
262 Simanonok Michael 4
263 SIMONS JIM 5
264 Soulie Mathieu 2
265 Sousa Greg 5
266 Sprenger Krissa 5
267 Spyke Dustin 1
268 Stock Frank 2
269 storm tod 4
270 Stoy Damian 1
271 Strong Zack 1
272 Szymanski Luke 2
273 Tanner Danae 3
274 Tanner Launa 3
275 Terry Ginger 5
276 Thorson Mary 4
277 Tozier Josh 1
278 Twidwell Kevin 2
279 Van Cutsem Jo 4
280 Verwys Lisa 2
281 Virgo Timothy 2
282 Walker Matt 4
283 Watson Lindsey 5
284 Weiel Julianna 2
285 Weigt Tom 5
286 Werner Katherine 5
287 Werre Clarissa 2
288 White Jared 2
289 Wiezalis Amy 5
290 Wilfling Ellie 2
291 Wilhelm Jonathan 5
292 Wishnie Gabriel 1
293 Woyth Marilee 2
294 Wyatt Paige 4
295 Yenny Zane 2
296 Young Kevin 5
297 Zacher Theresa 5
298 Zemlicka Lucas 1

 

 

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2014 Bridger Ridge Run Registration List

Here are the people that are registered for the 2014 Bridger Ridge Run. At a later date, the race may add one or two more people from charitable auctions.

If you want to sort the list by age, sex, location or predicted time; click here to download the list as an Excel file.

Last First City State Age M/F
Acord Shane Bozeman MT 35 M
Agenten Paul Bozeman MT 37 M
Airheart Charles Jackson WY 28 M
Allen Tamara Bozeman MT 28 F
Allen Brad Belgrade MT 36 M
Allison Emily Bozeman MT 26 F
Althauser Andrew Missoula MT 38 M
Anderson Peder Bozeman MT 36 M
Anderson Jens Bozeman MT 27 M
Anderson Sten Bozeman MT 33 M
Aschim Annie Belgrade MT 31 F
Aschim Brian Belgrade MT 33 M
Austin Grant Helena MT 32 M
Avis Charlie Palo Alto CA 23 M
Baker Daryl Bozeman MT 58 M
baker dennis loveland CO 58 M
Balian Lauren Bozeman MT 20 F
Basse Bob Denver CO 59 M
Bauer Michael Bozeman MT 25 M
Bauwens Wendy Clyde Park MT 43 F
Berger Brian Bozeman MT 45 M
Bergstrom Anna Missoula MT 25 F
Bigart Stephanie Bozeman MT 37 F
Bigart Justin Bozeman MT 35 M
Biggerstaff Betsy Bozeman MT 33 F
Bingham Crackle Missoula MT 46 F
Bingham Don Missoula MT 43 M
Bird Robert Missoula MT 59 M
Bishop Michael Bozeman MT 36 M
Bjorklund Bridger Rochester MN 24 M
Blades Mike Bozeman MT 24 M
Bloodworth Joseph Prospect KY 30 M
Bloom Erin Missoula MT 34 F
Boersma Krista Big Sky MT 42 F
Bogenschutz Susan Bozeman MT 32 F
Boswell Eric Bozeman MT 45 M
Botzet Rika Missoula MT 45 F
Boyer Jan Bozeman MT 29 F
Brady Branch Great falls MT 67 M
Braham Douglas Livingston MT 52 M
bricker james big sky MT 44 M
bronstein corey englewood NJ 51 M
Bronstein Karen Englewood NJ 45 F
Bruno Stacie Bozeman MT 30 F
Buchl Kurt Bozeman MT 51 M
Buckner Mark Helena MT 30 M
Burke Patrick Bozeman MT 37 M
Burling Theron Belgrade MT 44 M
Byram Zachary Buffalo WY 36 M
Caldwell Laura Lee livingston MT 32 F
Callis Patrik Bozeman MT 76 M
Campbell Dan Belgrade MT 36 M
Carey Mike Bozeman MT 54 M
Cargill Katie Grand Rapids MN 36 F
Carlson Gary Bozeman MT 48 M
Carr Joe Miles City MT 51 M
Chatzis Chris Salt Lake City UT 39 M
Clark Jason Chittenango NY 36 M
Clark Britton Bozeman MT 30 M
Clark Rebeccah Bozeman MT 24 F
Clarke Catrina Great Falls MT 34 F
Collver Kari Livingston MT 35 F
Colton Scott Polson MT 47 M
Connery Bryce Bozeman MT 29 M
Connor David Gillette WY 30 M
Cooper Rick Bozeman MT 56 M
Cowles Kalani Bozeman MT 28 F
Creel Andie Bozeman MT 18 F
Creel Scott Bozeman MT 52 M
Cummins Jon Belgrade MT 41 M
Cummins Jon Belgrade MT 41 M
Curry Alison Bozeman MT 26 F
Damon Kara Bozeman MT 35 F
Danahey Patrick Bozeman MT 21 M
Danenhauer Craig Bozeman MT 41 M
Danenhauer Nicole Bozeman MT 41 F
Daniels Craig Bozeman MT 43 M
Davis Kevin Livingston MT 43 M
Dayton John Helena MT 43 M
Dayton Melanie Helena MT 42 F
De Pril Wim Outer 39 M
De Young Bret Pray MT 48 M
dean kevin bozeman MT 26 M
DeGroot Bryce Bozeman MT 27 M
DeHaan Megan Belgrade MT 28 F
Deibert Lani Bozeman MT 36 F
DelloIacono Thies Tara Alameda CA 40 F
DeNucci Andrea Bozeman MT 30 F
Derry Aaron Missoula MT 41 M
Dewey Hannah Bozeman MT 29 F
Dick Jim Bozeman MT 64 M
Dickerson Will Bozeman MT 37 M
Diekmann Alexander Bozeman MT 51 M
Diekmann Lisa Bozeman MT 51 F
Dillon Patrick Bozeman MT 58 M
Ditto Jeremy Bozeman MT 42 M
Dixon Justin Bozeman MT 31 M
dixon charles beaumont TX 45 M
Dobler Bill Bozeman MT 47 M
Doede Dick Spokane WA 59 M
Duffy Bryan Billings MT 35 M
Dumbrovsky Tomas Bozeman MT 43 M
DuPont Alayna Missoula MT 28 F
Eby Douglas White Sulphur Springs MT 19 M
Edson Sarah Redondo Beach CA 28 F
Egelus Rory Bozeman MT 27 M
ehlers josh Twin Falls ID 32 M
Ehlers Mark Twin Falls ID 54 M
Ekey Madison BOZEMAN MT 18 F
Eliason Marcus Houston TX 32 M
Erickson Minde Bozeman MT 36 F
Ersland Daniel Bozeman MT 33 M
Fajardo Justin McCleary WA 28 M
Feliciano Joaquin Davis CA 43 M
Fiore John Missoula MT 52 M
Flanagan Bill Bozeman MT 44 M
Flatlip Scott Bozeman MT 28 M
Forrest Samantha Bozeman MT 22 F
Fortier Rachel Victor ID 25 F
Franke Thomas Salt Lake City UT 32 M
Gaffney Carrie Bozeman MT 50 F
Galbreath Chris Colbert WA 43 M
Gardner Kyle Bozeman MT 29 M
Garroutte Erica Bozeman MT 29 F
Garvine Steven Bozeman MT 44 M
Gauthier Michael Chandler AZ 36 M
Gebhardt Timothy Boulder CO 44 M
Gentile Paul Bozeman MT 34 M
Gerenz Sue Coon Rapids MN 47 F
Geyer Lukas Bozeman MT 44 M
Giles Dan Shiremanstown PA 47 M
Gingras Jonathan Prosser WA 36 M
Glynn Ken Bozeman MT 44 M
Gonzalez Cristina Lander WY 31 F
Graff Jenni Missoula MT 33 F
Gragnolati Kate Jackson WY 25 F
Graham Richard Williston ND 27 M
Graham Charley Bozeman MT 34 M
Green Steve Portland OR 39 M
Groves Craig bozeman MT 59 M
Growney Elizabeth Bozeman MT 40 F
Gustafson Derek Salt Lake City UT 42 M
Hanson Kyle Bozeman MT 39 M
Hanson Earl Bozeman MT 68 M
Harrington Alyse Bozeman MT 20 F
Harrington Angela Evergreen CO 52 F
Harro Mark Bozeman MT 30 M
Haug Heather Bozeman MT 24 F
Hayes Marne Big Sky MT 44 F
Heller Matt Bozeman MT 41 M
Hewitt Travis Bozeman MT 39 M
Hilgers Ross Moorhead MN 47 M
Hill Robin Bozeman MT 26 M
hines john Gillette WY 45 M
Holmes Patrick Washington DC 33 M
Hopkins Walker Great Falls MT 19 M
Howell Colleen Bozeman MT 51 F
Hunter Daniel Bozeman MT 33 M
Jackson Jeff Bozeman MT 53 M
Jamison Ben Mica WA 38 M
jinks alexander bozeman MT 28 M
Johnson Patrick Bozeman MT 37 M
Johnson Jackie Bozeman MT 22 F
Johnson Lori Bozeman MT 44 F
Jones Jeff Townsend MT 28 M
Jones Emily Bozeman MT 22 F
Jordan Cody Saint Paul MN 37 M
Kane Courtney Livingston MT 40 F
Karath Lander Bozeman MT 22 M
Kascht Dave Bozeman MT 59 M
Kasten Angela Davison MI 28 F
Keller Lacey Bozeman MT 32 F
Kennedy Terry Bozeman MT 60 M
kiel christopher Fort Collins CO 28 M
Kim Christie Brooklyn NY 32 F
kimball nikki bozeman MT 43 F
Klickir Kyle Philipsburg MT 57 M
knarr joe bozeman MT 52 M
Knoll Jackson Tetonia ID 22 M
Knowles Richard Haines OR 65 M
Kociolek Angela Bozeman MT 43 F
Koehler Emily Bozeman MT 26 F
Kozicki David Bozeman MT 37 M
Kryston Joshua Bozeman MT 29 M
Krza Daniel Bozeman MT 43 M
Kuhlman Dan Lecompton KS 60 M
Lahey Lana Bozeman MT 49 F
Landowski Claire Mountain View CA 29 F
Larson Lucas Laurel MT 34 M
Layman Jay Breckenridge CO 55 M
Layman Jamey Sandpoint ID 48 M
Lee Daniel Bozeman MT 22 M
Leist Terry Bozeman MT 50 M
Leuschen Mariah Bozeman MT 31 F
Lewis Lonnie Helena MT 48 F
Lewis Kurt Helena MT 54 M
Lichtenfels Christine Lander WY 52 F
Lowe-Anker Isaac Bozeman MT 18 M
Lowry Steve Bozeman MT 27 M
Lund Lilla Belgrade MT 32 F
Macdonald Kaitlin Bozeman MT 26 F
Macdonald Robert Bozeman MT 57 M
Mackenzie-Heyboer Mariska Bozeman MT 43 F
Magill-Collins Anne bozeman MT 32 F
Majxner Andrew Denver CO 35 M
malone joseph Bozeman MT 28 M
Mandragouras Athan Bozeman MT 37 M
Manning Richard Helena MT 63 M
Markey Shannon Tacoma WA 51 M
Marsh Myriah Bozeman MT 33 F
Marth Christopher Bozeman MT 43 M
Martin Jeff TWIN FALLS ID 62 M
Martin Richard Bozeman MT 24 M
Matas Dave Livermore CA 56 M
Maxwell Bruce Bozeman MT 60 M
Maxwell Tyler Bozeman MT 32 M
Mc Callum Bruce Bozeman MT 62 M
McCammon Chad Bozeman MT 39 M
McCarthy Chris Belgrade MT 44 M
McCutcheon Elizabeth Bozeman MT 26 F
McGlenn John Bozeman MT 23 M
Metrick Dee Bozeman MT 38 F
Metts Peggy Wilson NC 44 F
Migel Matt Bozeman MT 31 M
Mikels Debra Roscoe MT 57 F
Miller SethC Billikngs MT 35 M
Miller Shannon Bozeman MT 30 F
Miller Jesse Bozeman MT 35 M
Minton Gretchen Bozeman MT 43 F
Missal Lydia Missoula MT 33 F
Monasmith Ross Chewelah WA 26 M
Moore Michael Helena MT 56 M
Moore Roger Twin Falls ID 59 M
Morgan Cole Bozeman MT 20 M
Nelson Bernie Bozeman MT 23 F
Nordahl Zachary Wichita Falls TX 26 M
Oberdorf Jordan Bozeman MT 32 M
O’Brien Gary Manhattan MT 40 M
Onstad Allison Missoula MT 38 F
Oostema Randy Belgrade MT 32 M
Oostra Randy Mount Vernon WA 36 M
Orrell Holly Belgrade MT 40 F
overton mitch bozeman MT 42 M
Paterson John Bozeman MT 35 M
Paul Weston Bozeman MT 32 M
Peacock Dewey Bozeman MT 34 M
Petersen Erik Clyde Park MT 38 M
Pilskalns Andrew Bozeman MT 51 M
Ping-Kaim Kelly Colorado Springs CO 30 F
Pudner Robert Bozeman MT 27 M
Quintana Ken Omaha NE 58 M
Rainey Neal Bozeman MT 33 M
Rastgoufard Babak Missoula MT 41 M
Rawlinson Anita Red Lodge MT 58 F
Reece Jeni Bozeman MT 36 F
Regnier Bryan Bozeman MT 37 M
Rehm Kendra Bozeman MT 32 F
reier tuck Bozeman MT 48 M
Richards Joshua Bozeman MT 29 M
Richmond Sierra Helena MT 28 F
Robertson Holly Bozeman MT 30 F
Rollefson Martin Bozeman MT 63 M
Roots Roger Livingston MT 46 M
Rostocki Ben Billings MT 27 M
Rotella Jay Bozeman MT 54 M
Sacchetti Maria NYC NY 37 F
Saporito Steve Boulder CO 54 M
Schaible Lucas Bozeman MT 31 M
schloss carol Bozeman MT 43 F
Schurk Christopher Jackson WY 33 M
Schwartz Bryant Bozeman MT 28 M
Schweitzer Scott Bozeman MT 45 M
Shelkey Kirsa Bozeman MT 25 F
Shively Stephanie Bozeman MT 24 F
Shows Bryce Bozeman MT 24 M
Simanonok Michael Bozeman MT 27 M
SIMONS JIM BOZEMAN MT 71 M
Soulie Mathieu Redondo Beach CA 34 M
Sousa Greg Durham NC 45 M
Sprenger Krissa Bozeman MT 35 F
Spyke Dustin bozeman MT 28 M
Stock Frank Belgrade MT 44 M
storm tod bozeman MT 53 M
Stoy Damian Bozeman MT 32 M
Strong Zack Bozeman MT 31 M
Szymanski Luke Bozeman MT 23 M
Tanner Danae Bozeman MT 20 F
Tanner Launa Bozeman MT 19 F
Terry Ginger Bozeman MT 28 F
Thorson Mary Ashburn VA 35 F
Tozier Josh Big Sky MT 31 M
Twidwell Kevin Missoula MT 50 M
Van Cutsem Jo Bozeman MT 37 M
Verwys Lisa Bozeman MT 29 F
Virgo Timothy Manitou Springs CO 60 M
Walker Matt Big Sky MT 26 M
Watson Lindsey Billinga MT 28 F
Weiel Julianna Tucson AZ 29 F
Weigt Tom Mankato MN 62 M
Werre Clarissa Bozeman MT 36 F
White Jared bozeman MT 35 M
Wiezalis Amy Big Sky MT 35 F
Wilfling Ellie Bozeman MT 37 F
Wilhelm Jonathan Belgrade MT 36 M
Wishnie Gabriel Belgrade MT 31 M
Woyth Marilee Great falls MT 27 F
Wyatt Paige Bozeman MT 43 F
Yenny Zane Bozeman MT 43 M
Young Kevin Washington DC 34 M
Zacher Theresa Manhattan MT 47 F
Zemlicka Lucas Bozeman MT 34 M
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Early June Update 2014

Trails

The latter half of May has seen more seasonable weather. This has helped clear the trails of Snow. The trail up to Baldy is nearly free of Snow with the exception of some easy to negotiate snow drifts in the upper meadows and woods.

If the snow continues to melt, expect the road up to Fairy Lake and the Sacajawea trail head to open around the first of July.

Training

There are only about two months till race day. Yikes. If you want to avoid pain and disaster on Race Day, it is time to really start focusing on race specific training. Think steep hills, both up and down! Enjoy the beautiful trails in the Bridger Range.

Registration

As soon as the registration people share the list of this year’s Ridge Run entrants, I’ll get it posted. It may be another week or so till that happens. Wishing everyone in the race successful preparation…

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Skechers GOrun 1 2 3 Comparison Review

Anyone who has read this blog knows that I have been a fan of the Skechers GOrun from their initial availability. In the few years since their introduction, the GOrun has gone through a couple revisions. So it is time to update my opinion and review of the Skechers GOrun. It is also illustrative to take a look at how shoe manufactures change features of their products for the better and for the worse.

Left to Right Skechers GOrun 1 2 3

Left to Right Skechers GOrun 1 2 3

A Tale of Three GOruns

I’m not sure of the exact dates, but to the best of my recollection, the Original Skechers GOrun (lets call it GOrun 1) became available in late 2011. The succeeding version 2 hit the market about a year later. Following the GOrun 2, version 3 became available another year later and is still the current version. Extrapolating into the future, expect version 4 late 2014 or early 2015.

Assigning a model year to each version

  • GOrun 1 (original) 2012
  • GOrun 2 2013
  • GOrun 3 2014
Left to Right GOrun 1 2 3 Label

Left to Right GOrun 1 2 3 Label

I picked up my first pair of the GOrun 1 in late 2011. It was not till late winter spring of 2012 when suffering some foot and ankle troubles that I discovered that the GOrun was, at least for me, the shoe that minimized my feet troubles. My review of the original GOrun written spring of 2012 is available here. It may be worth a quick look at the review for background information.

Left to Right Skechers GOrun 1 2 3 Outsole

Left to Right Skechers GOrun 1 2 3 Outsole

Skechers Magic Midfoot Strike Sole Profile or Hump in the Middle

Skechers really stumbled upon something revolutionary with their midfoot strike sole profile in the original GOrun. I’ve thought a lot about why this worked so well. Here is an idea, when you walk or run barefoot on a soft surface like sand, your foot makes an impression where the heel and fore foot is deeper and the sand mounds up under the midfoot. The original GOrun’s sole thickness mimicked this mounding up under the midfoot. This rocker like sole creates a gentle rolling midfoot strike. It is nearly impossible to heel pound and foot slap in the original GOrun.

The original GOrun feels a bit weird just standing or walking in. It is like standing bearfoot across a log or standing in soft sand. A lot of weight is in the middle of the foot, instead of the heel. The sole profile actually makes it difficult to put weight on the heel when standing. Most people complained about this feeling of a hump in the middle. It made the original GOrun unsuitable for anything other than running such as just walking or standing around. But once you started running, the magic of the hump made running a delight.

Thanks Skechers for Breathing New Life into my Running

I owe a lot of my running resurgence the last few years to the original Skechers GOrun. They allowed me to run again at a period in my life where chronic foot injuries were preventing me from enjoying running. The GOruns coached me into developing a lower impact running style and at the same time strengthened my feet. The Skechers GOrun was instrumental in allowing an aging (mid-fifties) runner like me to start setting PRs and feeling joy again while running.

Comparisons between the Versions

Version 2 Compared to Version 1

 

GOrun 1 Lined Inside

GOrun 1 Lined Inside

The GOrun 2 is significantly different than the GOrun 1. The most noticeable change is the removal of the thick midsole (the hump) under the midfoot. Skechers thickened the sole under the heel and thinned the sole in the midfoot. The GOrun 2 has a much more conventional feel to it.

The GOrun 2’s sole is also stiffer under the midfoot and heel area. The GOrun 2 fits a tiny bit looser and bigger than the original.

GOrun 2 Unlined Inside

GOrun 2 Unlined Inside

The GOrun 2 is also lighter. It looses weight by removing the liner that makes the GOrun 1 so comfy when not wearing socks. The sole is also lighter as it has less dense rubber material on the outsole. The 2’s sole does not wear as well as the 1’s, but the lack of deep lugs make the 2 less prone to the annoying problem of picking up rocks as the 1 suffered from. Unlike the original, the GOrun 2 comes with some very thin removable insoles.

Version 3 Compared to Version 2

GOrun 3 Unlined Inside

GOrun 3 Unlined Inside

At first glance, the GOrun 3 appears similar to the GOrun 2. But there are a some significant differences between them. The first is the upper. Version 3 has a totally different system of overlays and upper stiffeners. The 3 is wider and sloppier in the heel and narrower in the fore foot than the 2. The 3 also has more curvature (sickle like) to the last. This makes it feel narrower as the little toe area of the foot feels crowded. Running in the GOrun 3 rubs the outside of my little toe creating a hot spot.

Insoles 2 Over 3 to Show Size Difference

Insoles 2 Over 3 to Show Size Difference

The outsole is pretty much the same. The 3’s removable insole is wider and thicker than the 2’s. The 3’s insole adds 4mm to the heel height. The GOrun 3 fits tight in the forefoot and loose in the heel. You may want to downsize a half size or so, or definitely try them on before you go buying and assuming they fit the same as the previous versions.

Summary of Version 1 2 and 3 Characteristics

Weight (All Men’s Size 9.5):

  • GOrun 1 (7.2 Ounces)
  • GOrun 2 (6.3 Ounces, 6.8 with Removable Insole)
  • GOrun 3 (6.5 Ounces, 7.2 with Removable Insole)

Fit:

  • GOrun 1 Fits True to Size
  • GOrun 2 Fits True to Size, Stretchy Upper, Slightly Narrower in Forefoot than 1
  • GOrun 3 Fits a Bit Large, Sloppy in Heel, Narrow in Forefoot than 2

Last:

  • GOrun 1 Straight, Foot Shaped, Narrow Heel, Wide at Ball of Foot
  • GOrun 2 Slightly Curved, Less Foot Shaped than 1
  • GOrun 3 Curved More than 2

Flexibility:

  • GOrun 1 Very Soft and Flexible Sole from Heel to Toe
  • GOrun 2 Soft and Flexible but Stiffer Under Midfoot and Heel than Original
  • GOrun 3 Similar to 2 but even a Little Stiffer in Heel

Upper:

  • GOrun 1 Soft Compliant, Lined Interior, Comfy Without Socks
  • GOrun 2 Stretchy Fore Foot, No Liner, Need to Wear Socks to Avoid Irritation
  • GOrun 3 Breathable Power-Prene Mesh, Less Supportive Overlays, No Liner, Need to Wear Socks

Outsole:

  • GOrun 1 Deep Lugs Pickup Rocks, Durable Rubber Pads
  • GOrun 2 Shallow Tapered Lugs Shed Rocks & Mud, Not as Durable as Original
  • GOrun 3 Same as 2

Heel to Toe Drop and Sole Stack Height:

  • GOrun 1: 3mm Drop, Stack: 13mm Heel, 16mm Midfoot, 10mm Toe
  • GOrun 2: 4mm Drop, ?
  • GOrun 3: 4mm Drop without Insole, 8mm Drop with Insole, Stack 15mm Heel, 11mm Toe

Why did Skechers Change the GOrun?

Simple answer: Skechers changed the GOrun, not so much to make a better running shoe, but to appeal to the masses and sell more shoes. It reminds me of Adidas and their “Feet You Wear” shoe design of the 1990’s. It was a running shoe with a convex rocker sole. It was designed from scientific principles, not fashion or feel. Like the GOrun, it felt different or awkward while standing around, walking or when trying them on in the store. But they worked great when running. I set my Ridge Run PR in a pair of Adidas “Feet You Wear” style shoe. Adidas scrapped the “Feet You Wear” concept and went back to making clunky stiff flat soled bricks that felt plush in the shoe store.

Skechers has done the same thing as Adidas did; take a great running shoe suitable only for running and make it into a mediocre running shoe that feels more normal when walking or standing. They took a revolutionary shoe designed by out of the box thinking, tamed it and put it back in the box of convention. I am the first to admit that I may be in the minority opinion thinking that Skechers ruined the original GOrun. There are many that think the GOrun 2 and 3 are vast improvements over the original, I am just not one of them.

If you are looking for a single person to thank for the “improvements” to the GOrun, start with Peter Larsen the run blogger. He claims to have had a lot of input in the design process of the GOrun. But the thanks (or blame) also falls on the consumers that complained about the feeling of the hump. And of course you can credit Skechers for seeking a product that appeals to a wider audience; not just serious runners.

How to GOrunerize any Shoe

Now that the GOrun no longer has the magic midfoot strike sole profile, is there anything I or anyone can do other than to scour eBay for old shoes? Knowing the magic comes from a rockered sole profile that is thicker in the midfoot than the heel or toe, you can try to modify your shoes.

Built up Insole Bottom

Built up Insole Bottom

One thing I have tried that works pretty well is to mimic the GOrun midfoot strike sole profile using a padded insole. I have cut up some old insoles and made a built up insole that is thick under the midfoot and thin under the heel and toes. Putting this modified insole in a conventional shoe makes them feel more GOrunish. This built up insole is not like an orthotic or arch support. It is thick across the width of the foot, not just the arch.

Built up Insole Lateral View

Built up Insole Lateral View

Built up Insole Medial View

Built up Insole Medial View

If you really want to modify your shoe to give it more of a rolling midfoot strike promoting sole profile, you can also grind or cut down the heel area. This has higher risk and requires more skill than just playing with padding an insole. Anton Krupicka made cutting the heels off your shoes famous.

The Sound of Sole Silence

A telltale sign of foot strike gentleness or impact is the sound made by your shoes when running. A great testimony to the efficacy of the original GOrun is that it is nearly silent when running as compared to more conventional shoes. The new GOrun 2 and 3 are quieter than most running shoes, but not as silent as the original. Next time you are at a road race, pay attention to the foot fall sounds you and everyone around you are making.

A Good Feel Skechers Story

Meb Running in Skechers Picture from competitor.com

Meb Running in Skechers Picture from competitor.com

I find the story of Meb Keflezighi, his life and running career rather inspiring. Especially his recent crowning achievement of winning the 2014 Boston Marathon in a PR at the ripe old age of 38 (nearly 39) and in Skechers shoes.

Meb has claimed that Skechers have improved his running and helped him to avoid injuries. He is paid to say that, but there may be an element of truth to it. I find it interesting that another aging American elite marathoner has also just signed up to run in Skechers. As an aging athelete, Meb has had seemingly miraculous success since becoming a Skechers sponsored athlete. It would be doubly miraculous if Kara Goucher experienced a similar resurrection of her career while running in Skechers that Meb has.

Conclusion

Over the years, I have purchased 4 pairs of the original GOrun, 1 pair of the GOrun 2 and 1 pair of the GOrun 3. My favorite of the GOrun trio is the original GOrun. The GOrun 2 and 3 are nice light trainers suitable for the road or track, but they lack the revolutionary midfoot strike sole profile that the original had. I doubt, I will seek out buying the 2 or the 3 and instead will scour eBay for the old original model.

Locally the only place to buy Skechers is Famous Footwear. This looks to be changing as Schnee’s plans to carry them. Although, I have soured on the newer versions of the GOrun, I have been enjoying trail running in the Skechers GObionic Trail.

In my opinion the GOrun 2 was the beginning of the devolution of the original GOrun. The devolution continues as Skechers really screwed things up with the GOrun 3 as they unsuccessfully messed with the fit. The 3 has a curved last, a wide heel and narrow forefoot. What the hell were they thinking?

Although I prefer the GOrun 1 over the 2, I have had some success training and racing in the GOrun 2. With added insoles with the mid foot padded, the GOrun 2 is a decent shoe and is a better trail shoe then the GOrun 1. I actually set a PR on the NS direction in the Wulfman Continental Divide Race using the GOrun 2.

More Pictures

Here are some more pictures that verify the measured weights. I stuck them down here in this post to keep them from cluttering up the data above.

GOrun 1, 7.2 Ounces (Mens 9.5)

GOrun 1, 7.2 Ounces (Mens 9.5)

GOrun 2 6.3 Ounces (Mens 9.5)

GOrun 2 6.3 Ounces (Mens 9.5)

GOrun 2 with Insole, 6.8 Ounces (Mens 9.5)

GOrun 2 with Insole, 6.8 Ounces (Mens 9.5)

GOrun3, 6.5 Ounces (Mens Size 9.5)

GOrun3, 6.5 Ounces (Mens Size 9.5)

GOrun3 with Insole, 7.2 Ounces (Mens Size 9.5)

GOrun3 with Insole, 7.2 Ounces (Mens Size 9.5)

 

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Update May 2014

Trail Conditions

There is still lots of snow at higher elevations in the Bridgers. On the M to Baldy trail, once you get up past the Bridger Canyon overlook, the snow begins and is quite deep all the way to Baldy. Expect lots of snow for the Baldy Blitz on May 17th.  If you want to avoid snow, stay on trails below 6,500 feet and keep to south facing exposures. Lets hope that spring and summer show up soon.

Registration Opens Sunday May 11

Registration for the lottery opens Sunday May 11 at Race Montana and goes till Saturday May 17. Expect to be notified by email of your selection status around May 24. Those that are selected can then register for the race between Sunday May 25 and Saturday May 31.

Best of success with getting selected and registering for the race.

 

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