Sunday, January 21, 2018

2017 in review: part 2, of 2!

I know, 2017, it's time to move on, we are really way into 2018 already! But the fact is that I couldn't have totally wrapped-up all the statistics until the very end of the year, then I got caught into the 2018 running frenzy again... Indeed, as I showed in my previous posts, I have been significantly moving on already.

What I had posted in the meantime though at the end of December was a snapshot of my 2017 race artifacts, see again at the bottom of this post.

So, for the sake of continuity, let's start with the dashboard I've been using for several years already (2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013, breaking from the cool 2012 bubble chart).

Along with the companion headlines summary chart:

And, finally, one of the charts in my running log:

Now, although this definitely provides more control, I'm not sure I need to keep building these dashboards manually; see for instance that automatically-generated Strava movie with all the data I fed them with (directly on YouTube below, or redirect to Strava site), quite a lively and entertaining way to render analytics!

What can I say, they know a lot about how much and where I ran in 2017...

Yet, and on top of of all these colors already used above, and the quantitative data, let me add my own coloring to these numbers with some qualitative commentary.

Let's go with the classic theme, The Bad, the Good and the Ugly...


  1. This has been such a great year, it's hard to pick the number 1 but, ironically as I'm now focusing on ultra running, this has to be the age group podium at Boston, not an ultra. Taking 2nd in the M50-54 age group at 53 was so unexpected, especially a week after running the 100K Road Nationals, it was a thrilling experience to get back on the Boston Marathon podium 12 years later!
  2. In second place, I'm going with a group of 3 Masters national titles. Not even just M50-54, but 40 and above. Another unexpected fate although, I have to confess, mostly thanks to the lack of competition at the national championships. FOURmidable 50K Trail, MadCity 100K Road and Tussey 50-mile Road.
  3. My 6th overall win out of 10 participations at Ohlone 50K was definitely a thrill too. It helped that Leor Pantilat isn't racing anymore, but breaking 5 hours at my age is still quite an accomplishment. What can I say, I love the heat (read on...)!
  4. Taking 4th overall and 1st Masters at the 50-mile Road Nationals and discovering the challenging fire road course of the Tussey mOUTaiNBACK course.
  5. Taking 3rd overall at QuickSilver 100K and getting home this coveted gold mining pan!
  6. Breaking 3:20 again on a 50K road at Jed Smith in February, albeit by only a mere second! And a bit of bitter taste for taking second after propelling the winner to breaking our M50-54 record which I gave so much to break the year before when I got my stroke.
  7. Finally finishing the grueling Montagn'Hard 110K in the Alps, after a DNF 2 years earlier.
  8. The overall win at Ruth Anderson 50K, after I showed up the day before to run the 50-mile then realizing that I had another commitment the next day preventing me to run more than 50K. At least I had to do it fast so I clocked another 3:25!
  9. Not a race, but manning the GU Energy booth at both the Boston Marathon and the Berkeley Half-Marathon expos. And seeing people's surprise when I was spreading the word that GU is "Made in Berkeley" ! ;-)
  10. Finally completing my 10th Miwok 100K after 11 consecutive starts (and turning the page after last year's DNF, full of doubt after my stroke, 2 months earlier).
  11. Overall win at a local 5K (Cupertino Heroes' Run).
  12. Breaking 35 minutes at the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot 10K (although I suspect the course was 0.1 mile short).
  13. Taking 2nd overall, first Masters at the (non competitive) Trailblazer 10K.
  14. Running in South Africa (Cap Town, Johannesburg) and Namibia.
  1. A very disappointing 111 miles at RiverBank One Day, with way too much GI issues before getting too cold again throughout the night.
  2. Finishing 6th in the M50-59 age group at the Pacific Association XC (Cross-Country) Championships in Golden Gate Park. That's where I realize I'm not only aging, but also not that fast...
  3. More GI issues at Skyline 50K and being chicked and missing the M50-59 win by less than 3 minutes albeit to great competitors, YiOu Wang and Cliff Lentz respectively.
  4. Although I ran more miles in 2017 than any year before, that wasn't a goal. I actually wanted to run less, but I ended up being caught up in the 100K/week average quest. Also, with a poorly executed 24-hour race in February, and the super slow miles on the very technical trails in the Alps, my overall pace increased (as in slowed down) significantly.

  1. Unfortunately, I'm going to start with UTMB, although it debuted with the thrill of starting in the elite corral. But, with the horrible cold weather conditions, it turned out to a nightmare for me and a DNF just short of 100K. What a waste of an opportunity to circle such a mythical mountain in 2 days, but it wasn't worth all the pain and risk for me that weekend.
  2. In second, and although I ironically won not only my age group but the overall Masters division on that one, I'll place the counter-performance at the MadCity 100K Road Championships where I walked the last 50K after getting exercise-induced asthma kicking in again.
  3. In third, I'm going with my only running injury this year, breaking my left ring finger and spraining my middle (!) finger during a training run in Chamonix, the first day I was practicing running with poles, just 3 days before racing the treacherous Montagn'Hard 110K. They are still both painful and can't bend back to normal, 7 months later. Thankfully though, they don't impede my running, not even using running poles, phew!
Wow, what another year, I feel tired just going back though all these memories and... I also doubt you'll have the time and energy to read all these stories again, for those who are following my ultra running adventures. If you even read down this line of this second and last part of my 2017 in review report! I do agree with you, we'd rather spend this time running in the outdoors!! Ah, but why do I make the time for this then? Maybe to get back to it when I'm in  retirement... Counting on Google to preserve these memories!

To a great 2018 to all, my calendar is already packed like the previous years, and I hope you have great resolutions and expectations for yourself too!

PS: a reminder of the part 1 of my 2017 in Review which included this elaborated image web mapping in which you can click on each race artifact to get to the corresponding race report:

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