Bridger Ridge Run on Twitter as @BridgerRidgeRun #BridgerRidgeRun

If you use the micro blogging site, follow @BridgerRidgeRun for timely updates about the race. Twitter is an efficient medium for short tidbits of information and calendar oriented updates. Note, the twitter handle is not case sensitive. On Twitter, bridgerridgerun is the same as BridgerRidgeRun.

This blog contains an archive of information and advice on the Ridge Run going back several years. It will be updated less frequently than the Twitter account, focusing on content instead of time oriented notices.

It would have saved some typing to use the BRR acronym on Twitter to refer to the Bridger Ridge Run. Unfortunately the handle @BRR was taken and people use the hash tag #BRR to indicate cold. So BridgerRidgeRun it is!

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How to Calibrate or Check Accuracy of a Treadmill

Do you ever run on a treadmill(s)? If you have had to the opportunity to run on various treadmills have you noticed that running at the same pace on certain treadmills feel easy while others made running feel much more difficult?

I own a treadmill that made running always feel more difficult than running at the exact same pace outdoors or on a different treadmill. At first, I thought it might be just the deck and the cushion or lack thereof that took more energy to run on. But my curiosity got the better of me and I thought I would check its accuracy to see if it perhaps was actually going faster than the control panel indicated. We tend to have blind faith that the speed readings on the control panel are correct, but are they?

Does it really matter how accurate a treadmill is? Yes.

If you are training for a specific goal and some of your training is on a treadmill, it is important to know exactly how fast you are running.

Following is a simple procedure I came up with to measure just how fast a treadmill is going as compared to the control panel read out. It is a non-intrusive process. It only takes a few minutes. If you run on a treadmill that you do not own, such as at a fitness center, I recommend you first tell the fitness center employees what you are doing.

Materials Needed

You need the following readily available materials:

  • Light Colored Tape (that sticks well to the treadmill belt, masking tape, white athletic tape)
  • Marking Pen
  • Tape Measure
  • An Accurate Stop Watch
  • Person to Count Belt Rotations
  • Your Brain (to do some simple math)
Materials Need for Treadmill Accuracy Check

Materials Need for Treadmill Accuracy Check

Step by Step Process

Put a strip of tape on the belt near the edge of the belt near the back of the treadmill. Label that tape strip 1.

Tape Strip 1

Tape Strip 1

Put a second strip of tape near the edge of the belt near the front of the treadmill. Label that tape strip 2.

Tape Strip 2

Tape Strip 2

Measure the distance between the leading edges of strip 1 and strip 2.

Tape Strip 1 and 2

Tape Strip 1 and 2

Measuring Between 1 and 2

Measuring Between 1 and 2

Measure from Leading Edge of Tape Strip

Measure from Leading Edge of Tape Strip

Measure to Leading Edge of Tape Strip

Measure to Leading Edge of Tape Strip

Rotate the belt until tape strip 2 moves to the back of the treadmill. Tape strip 1 will become hidden

Measure from Tape Strip 2 to 3

Measure from Tape Strip 2 to 3

Put a third strip of tape near the edge of the belt near the front of the treadmill. Label that tape strip 3.

Measure and record the distance between the leading edges of strip 2 and strip 3.

Measure from Tape Strip 2 to 3

Measure from Tape Strip 2 to 3

Rotate the belt until tape strip 3 moves to the back of the treadmill. Tape strip 1 will become visible near the front of the treadmill.

Measure the distance between the leading edges of strip 3 and strip 1.

Measure from Tape Step 3 to Tape Strip 1

Measure from Tape Step 3 to Tape Strip 1

Measure from Tape Step 3 to Tape Strip 1

Measure from Tape Step 3 to Tape Strip 1

Add the three measurements. This is the length of the treadmill belt.

Remove two out of the three of the tape strips from the surface of the belt.

Get on the treadmill and start running at the speed you wish to check.

Once the treadmill is up to steady speed, have the person who is your counter start the stop watch when they see the tape strip come around and become visible as the belt rotates.

The person doing the counting then counts rotations (each time the tape strip becomes visible) for at least one hundred rotations.

When the tape strip comes around and becomes visible for the 100dreth time, the counter stops the watch and records the time.

The distance traveled in the measured time is 100 rotations multiplied by the belt length.

The speed is distance traveled divided by the time.


My treadmill belt length is 138.5 inches. With a treadmill control console setting of 7.5 MPH (miles per hour) it took 1:42.56 (one minute, 42 and 56 hundredths seconds) for the belt to rotate 100 times.

This converts to a speed of 7.67 MPH or a pace of 7:49 per mile. This is actually 2.3% faster than then the treadmill display console stetting. So when this particular treadmill says you are running at 7.5 MPH you are actually running at 7.67 MPH.

Calculation details:


  • 1:42.56 = (60 seconds per minute * 1 minute) + 42.56 seconds = 102.56 seconds
  • 102.56 seconds = 102.56 / (60 seconds per minute) = 1.709 minutes
  • 1.709 minutes = 1.709 / (60 minutes per hour) = 0.02849 hours


  • 100 Belt Revolutions = 100 * 138.5 inches per revolution = 13850 inches
  • 13850 inches = 13850 inches / (12 inches per foot) = 1154 feet
  • 1154 feet = 1154 feet / (5280 feet per mile) = 0.2186 miles


  • 0.2186 miles / 0.02849 hours = 7.67 MPH


  • 7.67 MPH = 60 minutes per hour / 7.67 mile per hour = 7.82 minutes per mile
  • 7.82 minutes per mile = 7 minutes and (0.82 minutes * 60 seconds per minute) = 7:49 per mile


  • ( (7.67 – 7.5) / 7.5 ) * 100% = 2.3%

Other Speeds:

  • 5 MPH Treadmill Setting was actually 5.12 MPH yielding an error of 2.4%
  • 10 MPH Treadmill Setting was actually 10.22 MPH yielding an error  of 2.2%

In the case of this treadmill and given the three distances checked, the error appears to decrease as the speed increases. With some confidence you can conclude the error will be approximately 2.3% faster for treadmill speeds between 5 MPH and 10 MPH.


Once you figure out the error or correction between the actual speed and the display speed of the treadmill you can then set the speed to what is needed to achieve the desired speed.

Example :

With my treadmill, if I want to run at precisely 7.5 MPH or an 8 minute per mile pace, I actually need to set the console speed to:

7.5 * (1 – .023) = 7.5 * .973 = 7.3 MPH


The error between actual and the console display speed unfortunately is not the same for every speed setting. Other factors that can affect the error are the incline setting of the treadmill and the runner. Each runner will interact differently with the treadmill because of the weight and the way they run. As a general rule, the larger (heavier) the runner the more potential for the treadmill to slow down as the treadmill motor works harder. Also there is more potential for the belt to slip with a larger runner causing error. Other factors that can affect accuracy are the lubrication of the deck under the belt, and the stretching and wear of the belt with use.

Consequently, you pretty much have to do a calibration for each different runner and over various speeds and inclines. This is why you need to do the calibration with a person actually running on the treadmill. Just operating the treadmill unloaded with no runner stressing the machine cannot be trusted to yield accurate results.

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How to Run a 3 hour Marathon, a Just Enough Training Approach

Running a Marathon under 3 hours is a very respectable goal. As a benchmark, it indicates that as a runner you have at least a little talent and enough dedication to training and hard work to bring that talent out. There is even a blog,, which has the sole purpose of helping people break 3 hours in the marathon. It is more than a few runners that are interested in breaking the 3 hour barrier for a marathon.

Why put this treatise on how to run a marathon in under 3 hours on a forum about the Bridger Ridge Run? In my experience, if you can run a standard marathon in under 3 hours, you are capable of running the Ridge Run under 4 hours. See the post on how to estimate your Ridge Run Finish Time.  A sub 4 hour Ridge Run garners a heck of a lot of respect in the local community.

After many failed personal attempts at trying to break 3 hours in the Marathon using various training plans, I finally succeed by focusing on the bare essentials. My purpose in writing this post is to share what worked for me. Consider the plan presented here a “Just Enough Training Approach“. No more, no less than what is required to attain the goal.

When I finally broke 3 hours for a marathon, I was nearly 50 years old and injury prone. My training approach was to train just hard enough to be able to run a 3 hour marathon, but not train so hard that I got injured. A delicate razors edge balance between training and recovering to avoid injury. I stripped out all running and training that was not exactly specific to the goal of running a 3 hour marathon. In the end, I realized, I needed only three different focused workouts a week, affording lots of recovery days.

A Sub 3 Hour Marathon is a “Local Class” Time

3 hours for a marathon is certainly not a “world” class time, but it is a “local class” time and an ambitious goal. If you can run a marathon under 3 hours, your local community will consider you a darn good marathon runner – not a world beater, but worthy of respect.

Just for fun, below is a list of some handy, but nonbinding, definitions of the notion of athletic class in regards to marathon ability. Notice there is a 15 minute shift between Men’s and Women’s times for the same notion of class. There is also a 15 minute decrease in marathon time as the notion of class widens from Local to Regional to National finally to World Class. The concept of National and World Class is easy to define by well-defined spatial boundaries. Local and Regional are a bit harder to pin down as their spatial boundaries depend on notions of population groups and what geographic area you are referencing. For the United States, you could consider local as a city or town and regional as a state, a large city or large portion of a state.

Class                Time Men       Time Women

  • Local                3:00                 3:15
  • Regional          2:45                 3:00
  • National          2:30                 2:45
  • World              2:15                 2:30

Prerequisites before you Attempt this Training Plan

Obviously not just anyone can run a marathon under 3 hours no matter how hard or long they train. There is a certain amount of running talent and experience that is required. Here are the two prerequisites that must be in place before you attempt to train for a sub 3 hour marathon.

1. You must be able to run a 5K in under 19 minutes

2. You must have a base of consistent endurance training (running) of at least 3 to 4 hours a week for at least the past year.

The 5K is the measure of your speed, cardio vascular ability or engine. The training history indicates your body is adapted to the long term rigors of endurance training. If you do not have these two prerequisites in place, then work on them first before you embark on training for a sub 3 hour marathon.

The Three Essential Workouts

The training plan I am going to detail here is very simple, boring and repetitive. But if you stick to it, it works. It consists of just three different training sessions (workouts) each week carried out over 14 weeks. The 3 training sessions are the same throughout the 14 week duration of the plan. The only thing that changes week to week is the duration of the individual sessions. The training paces remain the same throughout the 14 weeks. A significant portion of the training is at goal marathon pace. If there is a magic formula to running a 3 hour marathon, it is to do a lot of running at the pace needed to run a 3 hour marathon. Specificity is the key to success.

The 3 different training sessions are spaced out throughout the week. You never do training on back to back days. The rest day(s) between sessions gives your body a chance to recover, rebuild and adapt to the training. Training breaks your body down, resting gives it the chance to recover, heal and become stronger. The ideal and most symmetrical workout schedule is training on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Recovery takes place on Tuesday, Thursday and the Weekend (Saturday Sunday). Later on, I will discuss what to do and what not to do on the rest and recovery days.

Remember the Rules:

  • Only Three Days of Training per Week
  • No Back to Back Training Days
  • Other than Changes in Duration, The Workouts remain the same throughout the 14 week Plan

What are the three training sessions or essential workouts?

  • Workout 1 is a tempo run at marathon race pace, MP (Monday)
  • Workout 2 is Yasso 800s (Wednesday)
  • Workout 3 is a long easy run finishing with some marathon pace, MP, running (Friday).

Let’s define each of the three different weekly sessions or workouts in detail.

Workout 1 Tempo Run at Marathon Pace (Monday)

This is the simplest workout of the three. All you do is go out and run at your marathon pace. The only variable is how far you run. The goal of this workout is to get you very familiar, comfortable and efficient running at marathon goal pace. Marathon pace will become a like an old friend. Eventually your body will naturally gravitate to this pace even when you are tired.

Choosing Marathon Pace

In regards to Marathon Pace, a 3 hour marathon equates to a 6:52 mile pace. Obviously, to run under 3 hours you must run at an average pace faster than this. So how much faster should you choose for your training? I recommend a marathon pace for training of 6:40. Six minutes forty seconds per mile. This is equivalent to the nice round number of 9 miles per hour. A 6:40 mile pace for a marathon yields a 2:54:40 marathon; a time with a 5 minute cushion under 3 hours. Factoring in the slowdowns at aid stations, negotiating turns, traffic, clothing drops, etc. this is a reasonable cushion.

Commit it to Memory:

  • Marathon Pace for Sub 3 Hour Marathon is 6:40 per Mile, 9 Miles per Hour

How far to Run

This program consists of a 10 week build up and a 4 week taper. Week 1 you will run 3 miles at MP. During the buildup, each week add 1 mile. The length of this run peaks in Week 10 at 12 miles (1 hour 20 minutes). During the taper, each week shorten the workout by 2 miles. During Race Week (Week 14) this workout is only 4 miles.

Week   Distance          Time

  • 1          3                      20:00
  • 2          4                      26:40
  • 3          5                      33:20
  • 4          6                      40:00
  • 5          7                      46:40
  • 6          8                      53:20
  • 7          9                      1:00:00
  • 8          10                    1:06:40
  • 9          11                    1:13:20
  • 10        12                    1:20:00
  • 11        10                    1:06:40
  • 12        8                      53:20
  • 13        6                      40:00
  • 14        4                      26:40

How to Warm-Up for Marathon Pace Tempo Run

The warm-up for this workout will be the exact same warm-up as you foresee you will use on race day. The idea is to simulate race day with a minimal duration warm-up and to jump right into running at marathon race pace. The warm-up consists of strides, skips, dynamic movements and some plyometric movements. Just enough movement to loosen you up, get the blood moving, wake up the muscles. Figure about 10 to 15 minutes of movement for this warm-up. Static stretching does not warm-up the body and loosen you up and is not a part of this warm-up.

Another trick to simulate race day, is to schedule this workout to start at the same time of day as your chosen race. It conditions your body to perform under the same conditions and time of day as the race. If this is not convenient, at least do it for the last couple weeks before the race.

Think of this workout (with the warm-up) as a dress rehearsal for race day.

The idea is to find yourself at the starting line on race day, confident, relaxed and ready to perform.

Workout 2 Yasso 800s (Wednesdays)

This workout is simple 800 meter (half mile) intervals or repeats at your 5K race pace. The recovery between each is the same time as the interval. This workout builds strength and cardiovascular capacity. It consists of hard fast running and will make your marathon pace running seem easy.

Take your marathon time (in this case 3 hours) and call the hours minutes and the minutes seconds (3 hours results in 3 minutes). This formula will yield an 800 meter or half mile time that is essentially your 5K race pace. This formula works just as well for a 2:10 marathoner as a 4 hour marathoner.

For a 3 hour marathon, your 800 meter time will be 3 minutes. The recovery time between intervals will also be 3 minutes. On a 400 meter track, you will run 2 laps in 3 minutes. Then easy run 1 lap in 3 minutes for your recovery (6 minutes total). Repeat this.

Over the 14 week duration of this training program, you will start at 2 repeats and build to a max of 10 at week 9 and 10. You will then decrease the number of repeats by 2 each week until you do just 2 the last week before the race.

Week   Number of Repeats     Time

  • 1          2                                  12:00
  • 2          3                                  18:00
  • 3          4                                  24:00
  • 4          5                                  30:00
  • 5          6                                  36:00
  • 6          7                                  42:00
  • 7          8                                  48:00
  • 8          9                                  54:00
  • 9          10                                60:00
  • 10        10                                60:00
  • 11        8                                  48:00
  • 12        6                                  36:00
  • 13        4                                  24:00
  • 14        2                                  12:00

It is important to be well warmed up for this workout. Use a two mile easy run, followed by some dynamic movements like skips, plyometrics etc. Take at least 20 minutes to warm-up well. This workout is short enough that you will not need to do any fueling until after you complete it.

If you want to learn more about Yasso 800’s and hear marathon training advice from Bart Yasso himself, check out this interview. This Coach Jay Johnson interview of Bart Yasso is loaded with sage advice and training tidbits. It is pure marathon preparation gold.

Workout 3 Long Easy Run finishing with some Marathon Pace Running (Fridays)

This workout consists of a long run at a very easy pace followed by some running at marathon pace at the end of the run. The idea is to develop the ability to run at marathon pace when you are tired and have been on your feet for a long time.

The easy running portion needs to be between one and a half hours and two hours in duration. The pace is very easy. No faster than 8 minutes per mile. 9 to 12 minutes per mile is ideal. Even some fast hiking on hills at 15 minutes per mile is okay. The goal is to be on your feet moving for 1.5 to 2 hours to deplete your energy, but at an easy pace that does not beat you up. The actual distance traveled and pace is not important. The total time spent moving is important.

The marathon pace portion begins right after you finish the easy running portion. The duration begins at 1 mile the first week, increases 1 mile each week building up to 6 miles (40:00) by week 6. It then stays at 6 miles until week 13. The last week, race week, it drops it 4 miles. The length of the easy running portion decreases during the last 4 weeks of the program and is eliminated the last week of the program.

Week   Long Easy Time           MP Distance    MP Time         Total Time

  • 1          1:30:00                        1                      6:40                 1:36:40
  • 2          1:30:00                        2                      13:20               1:43:20
  • 3          1:40:00                        3                      20:00               2:00:00
  • 4          1:40:00                        4                      26:40               2:06:40
  • 5          1:50:00                        5                      33:20               2:22:20
  • 6          1:50:00                        6                      40:00               2:30:00
  • 7          2:00:00                        6                      40:00               2:40:00
  • 8          2:00:00                        6                      40:00               2:40:00
  • 9          2:00:00                        6                      40:00               2:40:00
  • 10        2:00:00                        6                      40:00               2:30:00
  • 11        1:40:00                        6                      40:00               2:20:00
  • 12        1:20:00                        6                      40:00               2:10:00
  • 13        1:00:00                        6                      40:00               40:00
  • 14        0                                  4                      40:00               40:00

No warm-up is needed for this workout. Consider the long easy run a long warm-up. The last week, week 14, this workout becomes identical as the temp marathon pace workout, so practice the race day warm-up just like the session.

This workout is long enough that you will need to hydrate and fuel during the workout. I recommend that you just drink water during long easy portion. Then after a mile into the marathon pace portion, you can start taking in calories if needed to avoid bonking. Take in enough calories to avoid slowing down and not being able to maintain marathon pace. The purpose of not taking in calories during the easy portion is to condition your body to use stored fat as a fuel and spare glycogen (muscle sugar). The idea is to avoid the adrenalin response to stress associated with fast running that kicks you into using muscle sugar (glycogen) instead of fat.

Workout Recap

This program consists of 3 different workouts each week over a 14 week period. The first 10 weeks are a gradual build up. The last 4 weeks are a fairly steep taper. The total training time begins at about 2 and a half hours of training the first week, peaks at just over 5 hours at weeks 9 and 10 and tapers back to under 2 hours for week 14, the week of the race.

Other Recommendations

There are many other important topics for running a successful marathon – such as fueling, activity on recovery days, choosing a marathon, what to wear. There can be a lot of variation of personal preferences on these subjects. I’ll just give a few brief recommendations based on my preferences and experiences.


Running a marathon at your full potential requires adequate hydration and fueling. During the race, strive to take in 16 to 24 ounces of liquid each hour. Obviously, drink more on hot days, less on cold days. Your drink should also contain enough fuel so that you will get 100 to 200 calories per hour. My preference is to have my fuel in my drink as that is an easier way to get my calories than eating a gel or food.

Drinking and fueling efficiently (time wise) requires practice. Personally, I gave up trying to get enough water or sports drink from cups at aid stations. I find it nearly impossible to drink enough from a cup while running. Notice that the top runners that get special treatment at big city marathons have their own fuel and hydration bottles pre stashed at aid station. If they grab a paper cup of water, it is usually to dump it on their head to cool off. As a general population runner, you can’t expect to have your own bottles waiting for you at every aid station. So what can you do? I recommend that you carry a small 10 to 16oz water bottle the entire race and drink on the run. You will need to stop and refill it every half hour or so at aid stations. You can either carry it on a waist belt or try one of the hook shaped bottles that you tuck into your running shorts.

Hook Style Water Bottle

Hook Style Water Bottle

What to do on the Rest Days, Tuesday, Thursday and Weekend (Saturday, Sunday)

Rest days are for letting the body recover and adapt to the training. These are low stress days. This does not mean just sitting around doing nothing. The body needs to move every day. Just don’t stress the body with too much challenging activity, especially running. Moderate walking, hiking, biking, yoga, golfing, swimming, dancing even a little weight training and stretching are appropriate as long as you do not beat yourself up. The three training days a week will already beat you up enough. You don’t need any more stress. If you do run on the rest days, run very easy on trails and soft surfaces. This means avoid the track, treadmills and roads.

Using this Program for Goal Times other than 3 Hours

You can adopt this program easily to other marathon goal times. All you have to do is change your marathon goal pace and your 800 meter interval times. For example, if your goal is to run a sub 4 hour marathon use 9:00 per mile. Run your 800 meter intervals in 4:00 with a 4:00 recovery. Everything else remains the same. Since you will be running slower, you will actually spend more time on your feet running during the workouts, but you will cover the same distances.

What Marathon to Enter

  • Pick a well-established marathon that has the basic amenities.
  • It is essential to have an accurate certified course with all the miles marked accurately. Pace teams are a nice bonus.
  • Choose a venue that is flat and low elevation. Pick one that has a history of cool and dry weather conditions.
  • Avoid marathons with gimmicky sales pitches such as a fast downhill course, scenic, winding, undulating, part trail, etc.

Meeting these requirements usually means a fairly large city Marathon such as Chicago, Houston, Portland. Some well-known marathons such as New York and Boston have a reputation for being challenging producing slower times. They may not be the best choice for trying to hit a goal time. Do a bit of research and Internet searching for a marathon that has a reputation for fast times and reliable weather conditions.

Doing a quick search for a flat, fast, cool, sea level marathon turned up this possible candidate that I was unaware of. Newport Marathon in Oregon. I’m sure there are plenty others.

Newport Marathon, Newport Oregon

Newport Marathon, Newport Oregon



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Ridge Run Training 2015

Right now, it is early March and the Ridge Run in August may seem a long ways away. Nevertheless, if the 2015 Ridge Run is in your plans, it is time to start dedicating a little time and effort to training.

As a minimum, 3 to 4 hours a week of endurance and strength (hills) training are needed to maintain and build a base of preparation. Remember, this blog has lots of advice on training. A good place to start is the Training and Preparation section of the Best Of Page.

If you are interested in finding someone to train with or getting a bit of coaching, check out the Training and Coaching Page.

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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


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




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


Judy Garland as Dorothy

Judy Garland as Dorothy


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.


  • 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
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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