Leadville Silver Rush 50 Race Recap

By Guest Contributor Cassie Cilli

Leadville, Colorado probably isn’t on your tourist destination list this summer. This one street town popular for mining and its lawless past lost its fizzle in the 50’s and ultimately pittered out in the early 80’s. That’s when Ken Chlouber came up with the now infamous Leadville Trail 100. Regardless of what sport you are in, even if you aren’t in running or can barely move at all, chances are you’ve heard of “THE Leadville”. They’ve created their own niche of events including mountain biking and ranging distances from a 10K to marathon to a 50 miler, you know, in case you weren’t feeling like signing up for a hundred. This past weekend, concluded the Silver Rush 50. A race the website claims “will leave your lungs burning, heart pounding and eyes completely amazed!” Well, I’m here to tell you it lived up to its description.

What I love most about Leadville besides the “Oh and Ah!” of the surrounding mountains, is the people. Nothing is more bone chilling than hearing Ken and Merilee, the original founders of the race, come say their epic spiel of how “you’re stronger than you think you are, and you can do more than you think!” At the end of it they scream at you to “dig deep!!!” and then gun goes off! I’ve heard this 3 times now and it still gets to me. Mind you, they come to every race and recite this motivating speech. That’s pretty amazing. There’s as many volunteers as they can dig up that are out there all day, all darn day! They’re feeding you, watering you, taking off your disgusting shoes to bandage your even more disgusting feet, they spray you with sunblock, and tell you everything is going to be ok! One aid station even had amazing eighties music blaring and men in neon tights! Serious dedication right there.

There’s more than that though. It’s the moment when you really do feel like your heart is about to beat through your chest over the last climb, and you come into a beautiful meadow of columbine flowers and your body relaxes and your heart calms down as you take in the view. Then you trip over your own feet and fall into a small stream and laugh your butt off about it cause it’s just so darn pretty out here nothing matters (sorry to the person behind me as this happened, I’m not crazy I was just giggle high!). It’s when you’ve hit the turn around and it dawns on you you’ve still got twenty five more miles to go, and someone comes up behind you tells you how strong you look! And you’re like “really?! I’m about to barf all over myself! But awesome, I’ll keep going!”

It’s that dreadful moment you don’t think you can really go any farther, and you remember a conversation you’ve had early on with a stranger. A conversation I will never forget. A young woman asked me if it was my first time doing this and I said it was, and it was hers as well. She was nervous as she had been pregnant and sick and hadn’t trained but only 5 weeks. I was slightly confused and asked about the baby. She had lost it unfortunately 5 weeks ago, that’s why she didn’t have time to train. “This can’t be as painful as burying my baby” she said to me. I immediately teared up and embraced her. If this doesn’t bring you to your knees and put things into perspective I don’t know what will. Her words echoed in my head all day. I saw her again around mile 40, she told me how fresh I looked and I yelled at her that I better see her at the finish. Which I did, as I was leaving, she probably had a dozen or so family with her to support her. One of the most amazing memories I will cherish forever. And that’s why we are all out here, to prove to ourselves we have the discipline, the determination and the desire to finish something like this, that we are able to dig deep.

At the end of the day we all are suffering. Whether you’re in the lead chasing that course record, or you’re struggling to put one foot in front of the other… it’s going to hurt. What makes ultra running, is the community. It’s that connection you share with someone even for a moment of mutual pain, a swap of your life story, a high five, an “Are you ok?!”. What makes Leadville special is coming in to that finish line and getting your medal and a huge embrace from Merliee, as if she’s your own mother, who’s also been there all day hugging 335 other finishers. And that’s the Leadville experience. What we all chase… a finish.

 

Drug testing comes to ultra running: Western States Will Have Drug Testing at 2017

From Runners World
Western States Endurance Run Will Have Drug Testing at 2017 Race – Runner’s World

Athletes who are lining up for the 2017 Western States Endurance Run, the country’s prestigious 100-mile race that starts on June 24, in Squaw Valley, California, better brush up on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) banned substance list. Officials announced Wednesday that they will be drug testing at the Placer High School finish line for the first time this year.
The Western States board of directors has been working on creating a policy and approved a protocol that the organization is comfortable executing and can afford, said John Medinger, board president, during a phone interview with  Runner’s World .
“It’s been kicking around for a while,” he said. “The activity of people in the sport and the number of sponsored athletes has gone up. There’s been more and more discussion, concern, and chatter among the athletes wanting to make sure that they’re competing on a level playing field.”
U.S. ultra and trail running has been grappling with a shifting environment for several years. The once laid-back, no frills culture has given way to one in which more corporate brands are offering sponsorship opportunities for top talent, thereby attracting faster athletes, some of whom come with road or track racing pedigrees. With the potential for financial gain also comes the temptation to cheat…

Read the full article

Related Story: Banned Triathlete races ultra under maiden name

Swimming Costume or Swimsuit? Linguistic and Behavioral Code-Shifting in Triathlon

By Lisa Ingarfield

 

On a recent call with a friend of mine, we got into a discussion about language and how our language has changed over time. We both have spent time living abroad; her in the UK and myself in the USA. The conversation started with accents, and how some people “lose” their accent when they move to a new country and live there for a while. I used myself as an example. For the most part, folks in the U.S.A think I am Australian. In the U.K, folks think I “sound American” and when I hear myself speak, I still hear a strong British accent. I have, admittedly, adapted my accent over time, code-shifting more routinely into U.S linguistic and behavioral culture as a means of camouflage. Not because I am ashamed of my Britishness, but because I am so darn tired of being asked where I am from, or being told that either my accent is lovely, or that I am not understood. For my friend, she reflected that while her accent didn’t shift significantly, the vernacular she used to “fit in” in the U.K did. She adopted terms readily used there, and strayed from North American terminology more frequently over time. She also expressed exasperation at being told her accent was cute, or having conversations interrupted or derailed because the focus shifted to the way she said a certain word. I can relate. It’s annoying.

I think what is interesting about all this is that rather than expecting our friends and colleagues to flex to incorporate us in our original state without fetishizing our accents, we shifted and changed to fit the new culture. In so doing, we lost a little part of our identity. Collectively, we realized that we made these changes because it was easier and more expedient. But at what cost?

Since we are both triathletes, our conversation shifted to athletic terminology and our need to code-shift depending on the nationality of our audiences. In the U.K, for example, a swimsuit is called a swimming costume, which here in the U.S.A seems like such an archaic term. When she and I have used this term in North America, the response is often laughter and puzzlement. The same is true for running machine (treadmill) and turbo (indoor bike trainer). There is the old adage that the U.S.A and U.K are divided by a common language. While both nations speak English they do so differently enough, leading to confusion and misunderstanding.

Triathlon is a global sport, and individuals of many languages participate across the world. My conversation with my friend led me to ponder just how much language and meaning difference is there within our sport and how much code-shifting happens for triathletes who routinely occupy international spaces. How much do they lose of themselves when they try to fit in, and what cultural norms dominate in the sport? Who is most at risk of needing to change to experience inclusion and success? What this line of pondering also highlights for me is the skill involved in existing in two worlds, two cultures, or more. It’s not easy, and takes practice.

Beyond linguistic code-shifting, there is also the reality of how women code-shift behaviorally to fit into sport. Sport broadly, occupies the domain of the masculine. Men’s sports often get more money and resources, more air time, and more sponsorships. Men’s sports are the norm, and women’s sports are often the add-on, or the afterthought. Systems, processes, and competitions are (historically) built for men around masculine norms. In sports where all genders participate, men are generally viewed as the main event, and women as the lesser “other” event. The 2016 coverage of the Ironman World Championship bears this out: women received 27% of the coverage as compared to the 43% for men. How much do women triathletes need to code-shift to be taken seriously in the sport? How much do they need to change who they are, to ensure their participation is featured by networks and taken seriously by sports journalists and fans alike? I don’t have any answers on this just yet, but I think it is worth consideration. What are we asking of women triathletes to “fit in” to the triathlon system as designed, versus being willing to redesign the sport and system so they no longer have to code-shift, losing a piece of who they are, to be equally recognized?

Dash-n-Dine Race Recap: Fun is Key

By Cheri Felix

Now that we’ve completed Dash & Dine #1, here is my race report. Mine might be different than the usual race report (as if anyone else went home to write in their Dash & Dine diary).

Easy. I signed up a long time ago so all I needed to do was pick up my bib. Keep your bib. It’s your bib for the series. That’s slick. Now all I have to do is show up. No waiting in line. Now I have more port-o-potty time.

Warmup. Matt from Revolution Running lead us in a FREE coached warmup. First we ran and then we did drills. It was my first coached warm up and I’ll admit, my first real warm up. Matt was nice and helpful. It was fun. And he’ll be there again next Tuesday.

Fun. I want to be very clear. I am not that person who says “I’m just out here to have fun. I don’t care about my time.” That’s not me. I do care about my time. I want to get faster and stronger. Of course, at some point I won’t get faster, things will level out. But for now, there’s room for improvement. But it does have to be fun. Even after childbirth they handed me a beautiful baby. Suffering is fine as long as it’s served with a side of fun. Friends, kind spectators, food afterwards and a welcoming finish line; all ingredients for a fun evening.

My time. Okay, here it is. My time was 14 seconds slower than my fastest time last year. Which means I am 14 seconds slower than my peak time which was at the END of the Dash & Dine 5k series. The good news is that my last mile was faster than my first two. Can I go out a few seconds faster on the first mile without losing it? Can I go a bit faster on the second mile if there is no headwind this time? Maybe. Or maybe #2 will just be slower. What then? Who knows. Perhaps that’s part of why we line up. It’s an unknown and in this life of immediately knowing whatever we need to know whenever we need to know it (goodbye microfiche, hello Google) we line up not knowing how it will all work out. And like when some of us get married or take our car into the shop, we hope for the best.

Honesty. I’ll be honest. There are some people out there that are fast. Like 18, 19, 20 minute 5k fast. You can’t see me, but I’m clapping for them. For the rest of us, we line up, we run and we finish. Our time is our time. It’s a number on a clock. It’s not a statement about who you are as a person. It’s not a determinate of how long you’ll live or how much you will be loved. It’s not a hint as to how nice you are or how you will be remembered. It’s a number and it’s your number.

I hope you’ll come out for the next Dash & Dine on Tuesday. I’ll be there and I’ll probably be talking loudly at the start and laughing at the finish. If you need a pep talk, come find me.

See you there!

Running Clinic 202

Centennial

 

Learn how to maximize mechanics and training in order to run faster and better even during fatigue.

 

In this free clinic we will set the stage for how to run to perform. Topics covered will help each athlete better understand how to maximize their mechanics and training in order to run faster and better even during fatigue. This clinic will set the foundation for the Run Better Series Level 2 class.
It is preferred if everyone who signs up has attended the 101 clinic prior to attending this clinic.
Event details and registration here

The FAST Lab – Better Running Series 2

The second half of our RUN series will continue to challenge runners and help each athlete get closer to the ideal run form. Each registrant will also receive a before & after video analysis of their run form (Save $150 off of video analysis)
Most classes will meet at the Fast Lab gym; with some classes run off campus at a local track or running trail.

Potential topics covered in the 4 weeks include:

  • Leg & Core Strength
  • Pacing: Controlling cadence & stride length & efficiency
  • How to properly perform speed workouts
  • Running up & Down Hills
  • Run Tests (field and intro to lab testing)
  • Running off the bike
Participants are allowed to schedule 1 make up session at an additional cost of $15.
Remember! Altitude Multisport and Rocky Mountain Tri Club can receive 15% off of this series using their codes on purchasee!

 

Event details and registration here

The FAST Lab – Better Running Series 2

The second half of our RUN series will continue to challenge runners and help each athlete get closer to the ideal run form. Each registrant will also receive a before & after video analysis of their run form (Save $150 off of video analysis)
Most classes will meet at the Fast Lab gym; with some classes run off campus at a local track or running trail.

Potential topics covered in the 4 weeks include:

  • Leg & Core Strength
  • Pacing: Controlling cadence & stride length & efficiency
  • How to properly perform speed workouts
  • Running up & Down Hills
  • Run Tests (field and intro to lab testing)
  • Running off the bike
Participants are allowed to schedule 1 make up session at an additional cost of $15.
Remember! Altitude Multisport and Rocky Mountain Tri Club can receive 15% off of this series using their codes on purchasee!

 

Event details and registration here

The FAST Lab – Better Running Series 2

The second half of our RUN series will continue to challenge runners and help each athlete get closer to the ideal run form. Each registrant will also receive a before & after video analysis of their run form (Save $150 off of video analysis)
Most classes will meet at the Fast Lab gym; with some classes run off campus at a local track or running trail.

Potential topics covered in the 4 weeks include:

  • Leg & Core Strength
  • Pacing: Controlling cadence & stride length & efficiency
  • How to properly perform speed workouts
  • Running up & Down Hills
  • Run Tests (field and intro to lab testing)
  • Running off the bike
Participants are allowed to schedule 1 make up session at an additional cost of $15.
Remember! Altitude Multisport and Rocky Mountain Tri Club can receive 15% off of this series using their codes on purchasee!

 

Event details and registration here

The FAST Lab – Better Running Series 2

The second half of our RUN series will continue to challenge runners and help each athlete get closer to the ideal run form. Each registrant will also receive a before & after video analysis of their run form (Save $150 off of video analysis)
Most classes will meet at the Fast Lab gym; with some classes run off campus at a local track or running trail.

Potential topics covered in the 4 weeks include:

  • Leg & Core Strength
  • Pacing: Controlling cadence & stride length & efficiency
  • How to properly perform speed workouts
  • Running up & Down Hills
  • Run Tests (field and intro to lab testing)
  • Running off the bike
Participants are allowed to schedule 1 make up session at an additional cost of $15.
Remember! Altitude Multisport and Rocky Mountain Tri Club can receive 15% off of this series using their codes on purchasee!

 

Event details and registration here

Women’s Wednesday: What to Wear for a 5k

From Dash-N-Dine

By Cheri Felix

Last week we talked about why you should do the Dash & Dine. Now that we’ve got that covered, this week I’m going to give you a bunch of free advice that will vary between sort of helpful to did she really say that? Let’s get started.

If you’re new to the Dash & Dine or to running or racing a 5K you should stick with me. If you’re totally a master and have the latest rage; a gear room and you run all the time, you should stick with me too. Okay, what to wear. I find that when I run I feel like I’m constantly on the verge of menopause. Meaning, I get hot easily. So it’s important to wear whatever you want and not get caught up in what everyone else is wearing and how much their clothing and shoes cost. It’s all about layers and keeping dry. Wear something you can take off and tie around your waist and yes, if it’s raining do not wear your puffy painted sweatshirt. You will be sorry if you do that. Final word; dress comfortably and know that it’s a 5k. You can wear anything for a 5k.

How serious will this be?

I’m going to be very honest because I think you can handle it. IT DOESN’T MATTER. This is like taking a test in high school; eyes on your own desk. If someone wants to act like they might get asked to join the NIKE running team, then great. For the rest of us, we are really just out there to push ourselves and to get some good photos to post on Facebook. What time should you get there? Well, race starts at 6:30. If you need to sign up on site, arrive early enough to to do that. Plan for time to warm up, which can mean calisthenics, push-ups, jumping jacks or running up the hill and back a few times. (Revolution Running will lead a FREE warm up with dynamic drills if you would like to join.) I tend to go for the Jack Black version; I talk a lot and try to look cool. And yes, you’ll need to pee. Do that when you get there, when the line is short(er).

In summary, the Dash & Dine is inclusive.

Whether your 5k time is 17:21 (yes, there are those people) or 49:19, you’ll fit in. You may feel a little like a fish out of water but that’s okay. It’s okay to feel a bit uncomfortable. It’s okay to wonder what you were thinking when you signed up. It’s okay to worry that all the other cool kids will be faster than you. When we feel uncomfortable and we still show up, that’s when the good stuff happens. Next time we’ll cover what it feels like to run a 5k and what you might want to start doing in order to get ready.

See you soon!