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Showing posts from 2013

Hyena Love

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"None. None less camera-friendly" 

Its a hyena, and if you're hating on it, you've just hurt its feeling! That's the mouth it kissed its mother with, by the way. Coyotes are positively GQ in appearance compared to hyenas. Of course, Chris knows where that QuoteBot®™ goes from here.

Hyenas are not popular with the Whole Paycheck set. Carrion, bone-cracking jaws, and culture-specific table-manners would be unnerving guests in vegan/paleo/bullshito precincts. Its just how they drag—"not good or bad, just different" [cf Dr Casino Bingo, with a DendroChronoShove®™ from Dr Rebecca VSF.

They don't write selfie-biographies, they narrate them. As befits an oral culture. So lean close, and they'll tell you shit you don't want to know, but desperately need to hear.

haiku for winter mountain trailrunning

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haiku for winter trailrunning by Sri Roshi Mahand Isfast.
Title in all lower case means its very sensitive and concerned. 
Trail snow is gnar, dude. Microspikes scrape ice — surprise! Airborne panic… why?
Sri Roshi Mahand Isfast flourished in the Late Hentai Period of the Gyoza Shogunate. He is believed to have lived and practiced in the Gojira Prefecture.

2014 WS100 Lottery Anxiety Explained

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The Western States 100 Lottery Anxiety, explained as a diagrammed sentence. 

I've tackled the problem of the WS100 Lottery head-on—this explains it all in a logical, calm manner. Let me know if I can be of any further assistance in this matter. In the meantime, don't applaud, just throw money.

[File under 'Diagrams and Charts/Weird Science]

Post-Modern Java Man

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The 1994 LA Earthquake came roaring out of the ground, the freight train from hell on January 17, 1994, at 04:31. Half the city lost gas and power. When I made it home from my girlfriend's just after dawn, my apartment was still standing. Gas, but no power. I was supposed to go to work, but that didn't happen. Jangled and suddenly very sleepy, I fell into a deep nap. 

Several hours later, I'm kind-of awake. Aftershocks are still rumbling through the city. I'd made a triple-espresso. Sitting at my kitchen table, half-awake, and watching my coffee cup dancing slowly around the table. I began to think—OK, I've got a camp-stove, Bialetti pots, water, coffee...what would happen if I didn't have any beans ground?Holy shit!

Being a swap-meet and flea-market devotee, I looked for hand-grinders. And in true swap-meet fashion, began seeing them. Then it was looking for complete blade sets. Eventually I found them— cutter blades what would grind from coarse to exceedingly f…

Twenty-Third Psalm For Hipsters

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The Dude is a Hipster; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down at Coachella
He leadeth me beside the fixies,
He restoreth my white-boy soul
He loadeth me in the tats of righteousness for His name' sake, and shit

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of norm,
I will fear no evil: For thou DJs are with me;
Thy 'pod and 5-bars, they comfort me.
Thou preparest kombucha before me in the presence of whatever;
Thou anointest my head with kale; My sideburns runneth over.

Surely PBR and 420 shall follow me all the daze of my life,
and I'll hang out in the House of the Hip, whenever.

The Once And Future Baldy Peaks 50k

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Relevant Race History: 1988-2004"A mildly disturbing event with a cult-like atmosphere" —Craig Holloway Originated byJohn Davis, with his sons Ken and Stan. With the artistry, precision and eye to maximal sensory overload that can only come from the mind of an aerospace engineer (John) and a classically-trained musician (Ken) the race was born. Stan provided SysOps support.
Joe Franko adds that "Actually, as I recall, the credit should go to John's son Ken, who laid out the course as part of a college project at Cal Poly, Pomona. We were students together then. He was an undergraduate in mathematics and I a graduate student." So who said that science, math and pain don't mix?
The Inaugural "Zero-eth" Baldy Peaks was run as a trial effort in December 1988. There was no snow that month on top of Baldy. When the day was ended they all came home and Phyllis Davis made the lads dinner. Phyllis was a key element of the race that ended only with her sudden …

Finding Shit Out

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An essential part of learning is finding shit out. Seems pretty obvious, but WTF—its not quite like getting married or invading Iraq.

I did my first 50mi 90 days after my first 50k—and had my head handed to me on a plate. I finished, but holy hell. My advice on when and how to do a 50miler is given with this knowledge. Your mileage may vary. Just one of my control issues, but you'll figure your own shit out. Or not.

All this is a different order of business than charging people money to run 25 miles per week and drag a tire while telling them its gonna get them to the finish line in an ultra, especially a 100-mile. There are people who do that, and should be flogged.


I'd gotten marathons cold-wired well before I even considered a 50k. My then-training level gave me 3-4 marathons a year. But I was getting bored. I did my first 50k at the long-gone Baldy Peaks 50k, and I got un-bored. I also learned that running from Zuma Beach to County Line did not constitute altitude training, d…

Now Is Tomorrow

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CHANGES IN THE ULTRA LANDSCAPEThe whole landscape of ultras have changed radically in the last 10 years. The day of RDs putting on races because they love the sport are giving way to corporate-sponsored series, with all attendant features and blemishes.
Runners themselves have changed since I got into all this back in 1989. I came from a backcountry ski/travel/mountaineering focus. You self-insert, and self-extract. Runners now reflect the widely suburban culture, that expects free parking, deep swag-bags, medals and probably buckles for their 10ks.

Races and their entry requirements are also part of this education process. A 50k is a different order of business than a 50-mile, 100k, and a 100-mile.


We have legacy 100s that have not significantly changed their qualification requirements since Day One. Gutting out a 50 on the flats is not likely to get you through WS or AC, but occasionally miracles happen.

The Day of The Lottery is well upon us, and is rippling outward as the sheer weight…

Wanna Be/Has Been

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Careless WhispersI was recently called an ultra wanna-be in an acrimonious email exchange. The accusation came about because a disgruntled group-member posted a come-on from The Clymb, which is Mary-Kay Cosmetics for dudes. I busted him, he got bent, and it all went into the weeds from there. 

The exchange ended abruptly before I could tell the young hot-head that I would kill to be a wanna-be.
I'm an ultra has-been

This past year was a yard-sale of health issues, which culminated in a sharp POP coming from my left-calf this past May. I tore something, and it could've been a lot worse. I went from running to a standing stop. Running in any form is off the table until that tear heals, period. 

Right now I do a lot of walking, and the diet got leaner because trousers were shrinking. Of course, I blame Obama, global warming, and gay immigrant whales. If I had my gun, none of this would've happened.

Let's review some footage:
Looking Back On The Last Golden AgeBack in 1997, I…

Hundo Newbie Asks For Tips

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Just before the 2013 Angeles Crest 100, Robert Whited,  as our Candide in the Best Of All Possible Ultra Worlds, asked the AC100 Facebook Page the following brilliant pre-race question: “I’m a newbie to hundos, do you have any tips?”
Sensing a deep need for enlightenment, men and a woman stepped up and shared out their wisdom.  Read on!

Marcus England: The whole course is runnable. Running the uphills is the key to glory. August 1 at 8:04am · Unlike · 7
Howie Stern: Slather yourself in salad oil. August 1 at 8:05am via mobile · Unlike · 4
Robert Whited: Slather and run all the uphills...check. I’m a finicky eater on a vegan diet. Will the aid stations cater to me? August 1 at 8:07am · Like
Marcus England: Make sure you follow the course markings, despite your obvious need to always go sharply to the right... August 1 at 8:07am · Unlike · 5
Rainer Schulz: take a lot of selfies to impress the ladies.... August 1 at 8:11am · Unlike · 4
Howie Stern: Wear little shoes August 1 at 8:12am via mobile · U…