Thursday, January 10, 2008

2007 in review: by the tagging questions

Ouch, I've been blog tagged by Mark (Tanaka), when I thought I was done with 2007... I didn't even know what it meant until I read his blog. I initially thought Scott (Dunlap), our blog guru and father of all our ultra blogs, would have started this chain, but, no, it's Paul Charteris! For the non insiders, the game is to pass a predefined list of 6 questions to the next ultra blogger(s). And, Mark, after answering all the questions, not half way, ok?

So, the nominee questions are...
  1. Most memorable moment on the trails in 2007.
  2. Best new trail discovered in 2007.
  3. My best performance of 2007.
  4. I don't know how I previously survived without...
  5. The person I would most like to meet on the trails in 2008.
  6. The race I am most excited about for 2008.
And the winning answers are...

1. Most memorable moment on the trails in 2007.

Only one? Better be a good one... Yet, I have so many good memories on the trails in 2007. Getting paced by Rob (Evans) at Western States. Finishing Ruth Anderson's 50-mile just before Dean (Karnaze). Seeing Karl (Andersen) and Ann (Trason) at Ohlone and Skyline. Running on the UTMB course with Karine (Herry), Bruno (Tomozyk), Pascal (Blanc) and the rest of the group (counts for many memorable moments). Training with Simon Mtuy and James Bonnett at the Western States Memorial Day Weekend training run. Being welcomed by Agn├Ęs at Robbie Point in Auburn on June 24th. Then by Tim Twitmeyer on the finish line (well, wasn't on the trail actually, but the track). Getting introduced to Vincent Toumazou, from France, and introducing him to Rancho and Black Mountain. Running an ultra in Normandy along the beaches of D-Day. Crossing the Badlands in South Dakota. And above all that and many others, I'd place something which may be even more unique: when Graham (Cooper), then in first place at Ohlone, asked me to take the lead. I thought that was foolish, and surely, foolish it was. You have to believe in yourself sometimes... ;-)

2. Best new trail discovered in 2007.

Only one again? That's too unfair to so many trails... Let's go with UTMB then! A race I hope to run next year and a trail I wish you discover too, some day.
3. My best performance of 2007.

Hmm, what about a PR on a 10K, how does that sound for a 43-year old ultra runner, kind of too short or too fast? OK, from an ultra standpoint, I was very happy to run 20:24 for my first 100-miler and Western States (18th overall, 4th masters). Great PR on 50K on a fast yet hilly Skyline course (3:48). 22nd masters at Boston was not bad either. Nor was my 5th masters place at the International Paris 20K. But I believe the best was the overall win at Ohlone, less than 2 minutes slower than the course record, and just ahead of Graham Cooper (although Graham had set a course record at Skyline the previous weekend, and biked 200 miles the day before!). Quite a year overall, quite a few "best" to pick from!
4. I don't know how I previously survived without...

Hmm, can you repeat the question? In 2007 specifically? Ultra ultra running (11 ultras)? Succeed's S-Cap (sodium)? Bananas? Jelly-peanut butter sandwiches? Rob's pacing at Miwok? My Garmin Forerunner 205 GPS? Tom K's grilled cheese sandwiches at Last Chance (photo credit: Jay Hansell)? 5. The person I would most like to meet on the trails in 2008.

In less than two years of ultra running I've met quite a few icons of the sport but not Anton Kupricka and Karl Metzler yet. Only one? Karl Metzler (picture from Shannon Farar-Griefer's website). And all the others, and you, of course!
6. The race I am most excited about for 2008.

Wow, again, many "most" to pick from. What about The Coastal Challenge: a 6-day run and raid through Costa Rica's rain forest? But, although there will be very competitive local runners, I'm not sure this can be considered as a race (small field, expedition style). I'm very excited to go back to Way Too Cool and Miwok, hopefully without exercise-induced asthma this time. Even more excited to finally run American River in April (I was in Boston last year, and got the rain too). And even more excited to go back to Western States, so that must be it!
OK, so that's it for 2007, although this is still such a quick snapshot. And now, let me introduce the next tagged bloggers... Jeffery Rogers and Dave Schoenberg, alias the Atlantan.


Dave - Atlanta Trails said...

Thanks for the tag! I shall commence work on this post today.

Your answers were (not surprisingly) very impressive.

Jeffery Rogers said...


If you didn't race so much, have so many wonderful moments throughout the year, and take a kid's like wide-eyed joy about the whole sport, you wouldn't have such a hard time picking a favorite from your long list of nominees.

And don't tag me, because I've already reviewed 2007 and am looking forward to 2008, which is starting of quite fast for me.

Have a great 2008!


Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...

Thanks for the answers, including lots of great pics. You hedged a lot of your answers--but I think that says a lot about our sport--lots of varied, great, experiences, and hard to pick just one best moment.