Friday, August 30, 2013

2013 IAU World Trail Championships - Rob Tranter: Race Report

Team Canada - Sebastien, Beverley, Stacie, Suzanne, Stacey, me and Coach Ryne

Conwy Castle - history from Llandudno, our gorgeous home for 4 days

Gwyneth, 3 months - Our team good luck charm in the aid station IAU tent

Course terrain / elevation - 50% single track (above), 50% fire roads and open trail (below)

In love with everything on the Promenade of Llandudno

Pont Fawr - Llanwrst bridge built in 1600 AD, our starting gate
My lovely family - The Tranterminators after enjoying Caffe Nero (background)

Opening Ceremony - Nations gather in groups (RSA in yellow/green)

Starting gates - A very narrow starting gate/bridge, the excitement builds 

Top American David Riddle and South African Charl Souma (we bonded on lap 4)

World Champ, Ricky Lightfoot - aptly named as he destroyed the Gwydir Forest course

Men's podium - R. Lightfoot, flanked by Florian Neushwander, GER (2nd) and Julien Rancor, FRA (3rd)
Holding form - at about the 70k mark, on top of Mt Snowdon holding 4:30/km
Women's Champ - Natalie Mauclair of France - ran away from me!

Flag Procession to Start - Led by Country alphabetical order (AUS, AUT, BEL, CAN etc), I am in white

Team Canada - Llandudno Pier
My Lovely Crew - Hilary and Gwyneth!

Team Crew - Dave and Ryne

Love to Hurt - finishing the 3rd lap (46k), turning right and Hurting for my wife & Gwyneth!

Dave James - USA 2x 100 mile champ, highly respected, but had a rough day

Final splash to final dash - at 69k the last aid station, I push for home

Last steps - sprinting, shouting "Canada!" and celebrating this opportunity!

2013 IAU World Trail Championships, Llanwrst, Wales

"What you do in battle counts, when the pain sets in." ~ John Short

First of all, it was an honour just to make the team.  After an extended process of ranking 603 Canadians at the 50 mile trail distance, I was 5th and then after our fastest 2 men were injured (Adam Campbell / Jason Loutitt), I was part of the fully funded A team, top 3 men.  Sebastien Roulier ranked 3rd (and fastest 100-miler) in Canada ended up the fastest Canadian (30th, 6:45:51) and myself 2nd Canadian, 16 minutes back (35th, 7:02:22).  I got quite fit in 12 weeks running to/from work and pushing long runs, steep hill running and mountain biking. You can imagine how supportive Hilary was!


The IAU (International Association of Ultrarunners) with the IAAF (World Track Governing body) and LOC (local organizing committee, Conwy, Wales) hosted a very professional world class, competitive race in 5 spectator friendly 15k laps.  After a flag procession with bag pipers to the start, an opening ceremony, closing ceremony in a luxurious Welsh conference venue, awards (teams and individuals), and post race dinner and party, with our daughter Gwyneth (Welsh name and nominated as the race good luck charm), my wife Hilary and I realized this was one of the best decisions we ever made!

I felt fortunate to be participating with the World's Best runners.  Despite full funding, the world's best marathoners (Kenya / Ethiopia) have never finished in the top 10 in the IAU trail championships or IAU World 100k (Commonwealth or Worlds).  It seems the IAU 50k World Trophy is where the transition between speed-endurance and strength-endurance happens as an even split of all cultures appears in the top 10.

A different type of athlete strives under the accumulated stress of 6 hours of mountain running, rather than 2 hours of flat road.  Somewhat resembling the build and fiber type of an Ironman athlete - muscled in all the needed areas, trail ultramarathoners are hardened by the ruthless and relentless terrain.  "Cycling hip strength" is critical for climbing and type I, fatigue-resistant fibers are preferred over the top marathoner type II b fibers (fast-twitch oxidative).

An IAU trail ultra is certified with a labelling system (created with the IAAF) to build the toughest courses on the planet. The result requires the athlete to push the body upward and downward constantly, just to move onward.  Alberto Salazar said the Comrades ultramarathon was a far greater challenge than his WR at NYC or the Boston Marathon Duel in the Sun.  According to the IAU labelling system, The Comrades is less challenging than all 4 of the IAU World Championships (2007, 2009, 2011 & 2013).

This was a "championship race", which meant pacing off the best in the world.  My Garmin broke off my wrist just past the marathon mark anyway! Tripping on a root and thrown amongst the rocks and roots near the river's edge, bloodied and a possibly fractured elbow, the tough love mantra began: "What you do in battle counts when the pain sets in".

Here is a description from 19th place, and 3rd American, Ben Nephew:

I’ll start by attempting to give you an idea of how competitive the fourth IAU Trail World Championships was. There are many ultrarunners who don’t know much about this race, and even some running journalists who think that the WMRA (World Mountain Running Assoc.) is involved in ultra trail races. The JFK 50 Mile (named after the esteemed creator of our sport) has 1200 feet of climbing, includes only about 10 miles of trail, is often run in ideal weather, and has a course record of 5:35 that is universally acknowledged as an outstanding performance by Max King (USA champ from IAAF steeplechase to 100k)

The IAU course in Wales had 8,000 feet of climbing, 25 miles of singletrack, and was run on a hot day. The men’s winner, Ricky Lightfoot, ran 5:36, and the top four were all under six hours. While the course was advertised as 48 miles, it was actually right around 50. Patrick Bringer, who was fifth behind Sage Canaday and Tim Olson at Transvulcania this year and was third at the halfway point in Wales, didn’t even end up in the top three on his French team. Julien Rancon, who was third in Wales, ran a 1:05 half marathon earlier this year and has won WMRA grand prix races in the past. The gentleman in front of him, Florian Neuschwander, is a 2:15 marathoner. At the end of the day, the differences between some of the medals came down to three or four minutes per runner.

The Journey

"Do the things you think you can not do".  ~Thoreau

The race was 80k in length, with 2.44k (8000') climbing, and 40k of this course was technical single track, riddled with rocks, roots, and some areas so dark and mossy, and steep from the thick foliage, at times you are pulling on the ground to move forward. The ascents were up to 22% and during these spots, power hiking would be adopted by most except Ricky Lightfoot (GBR, champion) and company.

Simply being in Wales was a gift realized with proper planning.  Working OT (10-12h days) and caring for a 3-month old baby (some sleepless nights), required patience and most of it came from my wife, Hilary! She granted me the freedom to pursue the World Team after first articulating the lofty goal exactly 365 days prior after finishing my first trail ultra, the Creemore 50k.

I went out with the Canadian women to be conservative, then stayed with a Greek "Leonitis" until lap 3, then a South African "Charl Souma" for lap 4 and finally Dave James "2 x 100 mile trail USA champ" in the final lap. I stayed within myself and accepted the pain, embraced it and negotiated with it.

Each lap was a blessing to see my wife and daughter (photos above) and receive aid from Team Canada Manager, Ryne Melcher (who had raced this course at the 2011 Commonwealth Champs) and Suzanne's fiancee.  Suzanne was joined by Beverley Anderson-Abbs, Stacey Cleveland and Stacie Carrigan on the women's team (all in former AC singlets, top photo).  We rallied each other before "battle" and pushed each other on the course.  

I was happy with the result in this gorgeous but torturous venue in the foothills of Mount Snowdon. I was humbled by the great Ricky Lightfoot (GBR), Florian Neushwander(GER), Julien Rancon (FRA), Iain Ridgeway (GBR), Thierry Brueil (FRA), and Fabian Antolinos (FRA) all finishing an hour ahead of me. 2012 JFK 50-mile champion, David Riddle was 7th (58 minutes up) and I deeply respect his pacing, professionalism and finishing as the best North American. The 2011 IAU Trail World Champ was Erik Clavery (FRA), finished in 6:20:46 - a testament to the tremendous competition and growth of our sport.  My team-mate Sebastien Roulier (Sherbrooke, QUE) finished in 30th, just 5 positions and 16 minutes up.

At the end of the day, this was a tremendous family experience.  Nothing can take away this 13-year goal achieved - representing Canada on the World's Highest stage, and being acknowledged by the ACU Coach as the 2nd best Canadian Trail Ultramarathoner.  It was a process of attrition, that can only be realized with intrinsic motivation, self-talk, goal-setting and most importantly spousal support.  Giving the car away was the best trade in the world!

Lastly, I would like to thank Director Gerry Slattery at Medix College enabling the time off and the "encouragement" to take on this once in a lifetime challenge.  A true champion coach, he role models accountability in staff development just as he developed champion rugby teams.  Also, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to my sister-in-law, Alison Innes in partnership with Kelly Newton at Montrail / Mountain Hardwear Canada (Columbia sportswear) for supplying me with a half dozen of the best trail shoes.

Note: Rob will be racing the Haliburton Forest 50 mile on September 7th, to finish the season.


1) Metro News - online

2) Official video - Check out the speed of the top men!!!  

3) 2011 IAU Trail World Championships, Connemara, IRE video -

4) 2009 IAU World Challenge - Sierre Zinal, FRA

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

ANSWER pain.

"What does it take to become the best at something?"

Common answers: passion, integrity, accountability, accuracy, discipline, focus, etc.

My answer involves the above, but can be precisely answered with three small phrases:

Enjoy Pain.  Pain only hurts.  Choose to live or die.  Many slowly choose to die each day with poor decisions disabling their mind, body and soul.

Learn How to Lose.  Have the patience and humility to understand you are small, but can become remarkable if you learn from the greats before you.

Do what you feel is impossible.  Expand your limits gradually by taking on tasks you may call crazy.  You have exposed your weakness when you judge someone as crazy for doing something remarkable.  Fix it - do it.

I am on an honest quest to become the best ultramarathoner I can be.  I just had a baby, I lead or co-lead two organizations 6 days a week (a college and coaching business) and enjoy creating happiness for/with my wife.  Being rationale promotes low risk, status-quo living.  I would rather break convention and take on the greatest challenges and show my daughter what a gift life can be when you PUSH LIMITS.  The day Gwyneth was born, gave me a gift - her life and my new life.  Seizing every moment.


 I have devised a plan involving 3 key races with nearly all training done as a mode of transportation to work or coaching.  Until 2011, I had convinced myself I was a natural half-miler.  Two years later, I have learned I was wrong by 100-fold!  I am a natural 50-miler.  I can ANSWER pain.

So ANSWER pain.  Accept it, Need it, Sooth it, Welcome it, Engage it, Reward it.  IT enables you to achieve beyond you yesterday.


I plan to run to work daily (15k average) and work my long run into coaching on Saturdays ~ approx. 105k.


I plan to ANSWER:

1) IAU Trail World Championships - July 6th, Llanwrst, North Wales,
2) TNF 50 mile (Wisconsin - hope for 6:20h),
3) Chicago 50 mile (PB - celebrate my hard work with a 6-6:10h PB).

Find your passion, work with integrity daily and ANSWER your call.

Return to your evolutionary roots, life's only necessary sport.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

TTC Pacing Analysis

Here is a pacing analysis of my "A-race" the DPR 50-miler trail race (from my last post).  This is an exemplar as I use this level of analysis with all Tranter Triathletes.  For confidentiality purposes the viewing of those analyses are only available for TTC athletes on our secure login webpage.



Velocity: Total distance (d) and time (t) allow a calculation for your velocity (v). This may be different than your chip time (and definitely gun time), though since I encourage certified events only, this should be very close to your time. Elevation (and altitude) change, terrain, and weather can vary the validity up to 100%! What I mean is if you compete in a triathlon on a very wavy, stormy and mountainous course, your time may double.

Pacing: Splits / km allow the most consistant and objective measurement, but again can vary greatly based on the elements. However, as long as we compare a similar course with similar elements we have a relatively valid comparison. Of course we can standardize this in my basement on the bike trainer with power and/or running on a treadmill, which is valuable, but it is still not real. Competitors, and the elements make racing what it is. You can't directly qualify for the national team in my basement or on your treadmill!

Simplification: breaking down the race performance in easily digestible chunks allows a valid pacing comparison (if elements above are constant) and a clear display of your strengths and weaknesses:

  • Start- 10k: (1st 10k): 4:04, 4:18, 4:17, 4:33, 4:23, 4:27, 4:32, 4:34, 4:37, 4:31 = 44:20
  • 11k to 20k: (2nd 10k): 4:30, 4:30, 4:26, 4:26, 4:30, 4:37, 4:35, 4:24, 4:28, 4:38 = 45:04
  • 21k to 30k: (3rd 10k): 4:34, 4:39, 4:36, 4:30, 4:33, 4:36, 4:25, 4:39, 4:41, 4:51 = 46:04
  • 31k to 40k: (4th 10k): 4:39, 4:37, 4:38, 4:35, 4:41, 4:48, 4:47, 4:45, 4:54, 4:35 = 46:59
  • 41k to 50k: (5th 10k): 4:33, 4:34 (marathon 3:10h), 4:42, 4:51, 4:59, 4:54, 4:59, 5:02, 5:13, 5:08 = 48:55
  • 51k to 60k: (6th 10k): 5:41, 6:11 (begin struggle), 5:53, 6:00, 5:46, 5:40, 5:38, 5:42, 5:27, 5:36 = 57:34
  • 61k to 70k: (7th 10k): 5:21, 5:55, 5:30, 5:36, 5:37, 5:58, 6:02, 6:02, 5:48, 5:44 = 57:33
  • 71k to 80k: (8th 10k): 5:39, 5:32, 5:47, 5:47, 5:45, 5:47, 5:57, 5:58, 5:55, 3:11 = 55:59

The DPR 50-mile trail race was not easy. However, after a simulation effort (60k London river trail unaided) I knew it was possible. Your TTC fitness tests measure general fitness parameters in BASE 1 phase (now), and then in BASE 2 specific fitness parameters and then finally in racing season TTC tests will be race simulation efforts like this one. My London trail network was the closest simulation possible and knowing this it is very important to select races that reflect your training environment.

Outcome goal evaluation: My ideal goal was to run under 6.5h (ideally 6:18h). Instead of running 4:40/km, I ran 4:30/km running through the first marathon in 3:10h. Considering fitness set-backs prior to the race (injury and motivation management), extra weight (3-4 kgs of handheld nutrition) and the soft surface (lots of rain) I was really pushing my luck! Nevertheless, you never know your limits unless you try to reach them, and my goal was to be ranked #1 in Canada. Up to the 42k split, I was on pace, but this would soon crumble at 50k, so I re-evaluated my original goal to finish within 30 minutes of it, clearly the most appropriate challenge. Quitting should never be considered unless your situation is life-threatening, or injury sustained would limit mobility for 3+ months!

Analysis summary: A contingency plan is ALWAYS part of TTC race strategy! Finishing in 6:47:59 (chip time) was one second under the contingency goal! My GPS time was 6:42:28 (total of splits above), including all "moving time", with the time descrepany used for aid (nature calls, refueling, and squats!). During a half-ironman or Ironman, these obstables must be practised, simulated and looked at seriously as they may impact your qualifaction for the National Team or just achieving a PB!

Please contact Rob Tranter (519) 619-0764 for a consultation.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Life Inspires Life

Are you looking for a fresh, fun and ingenious method of training for your 2013 triathlon season?  Scan the above QR code to enter Tranter Triathlon Coaching.  Be advised, Rob only encourages athletes to inquire if they are serious about commitment and dead set on a personal best 2013 season!

Just in case you are not familiar with Rob Tranter's philosophy, sit down with a warm drink, relax and get ready to vicariously enter a SOUL SEARCH.  Rob passionately believes in experiential coaching - practicing the committed lifestyle of endurance performance is a commitment to his athletes.  2012 allowed Rob to diversify his endurance coaching arsenal with the fastest growing outdoor sport of trail running and to allow the fullest challenge - ultrarunning.

2012 DPR Trail Race, Lincolshire, IL.

Results Summary

5th overall - 6:47h for 50.3mi (81km) a qualification time for the National Ultramarathon Team (ACU- Assoc. of Canadian Ultramarathoners) and funding to attend the 2013 World Champs in North Wales.  I paced to a 4:30/k 3:10h marathon split (Boston marathon Q-time). Considering roads are faster than a soft and damp trail with less gear to carry and one can speed up in the last portion, I was grateful for such a strong first half.  My proudest achievement was my 50k trail split of 3:42h, a top 5 rank in Canada for 2012. 

Professional Elites: The event was won by 40-year old Oswaldo Lopez (Mexico, Team: Sole to Soul) in 6:18h, followed by a Polish immigrant Piotr (41), now from the Chicago-area, only 22 seconds behind!  3rd place was Jordan Lafreniere (29) from Grand Rapids, Michigan and 4th was Zack Perry (38) from Memphis, Tennessee.  Our 7h drive no longer looked long; I was in some serious company!  What may also surprise you is how endurance is maximized around "middle-age".

Race Course Description: Race directors Terry Madl and Ed Kelly (ultrarunning veterans) hosted this 3rd annual event just after the inaugural G2G (Grand 2 Grand) Grand Canyon one-week ultrarunning adventure attracting runners from several continents.  The DPR trail was a wide, finely crushed gravel track, free of roots and rocks and quite flat, except for bridge and overpass ascents/descents several times.  It was fast in profile, but a bit slower than expected because it was soft and damp from a lot of rain.  However, puddles were almost non-existent as the moisture absorbed into the cushioned trail surface meandering between lush forests and open wetlands.  In my 23 years of endurance sport racing I rank it alongside with race venues in Stony Lake, ON and Halifax, NS.  Terry Madl attained an IAU (International Assoc. of Ultrarunners) bronze label to verify distance certification which enabled me to seek funding to attend the World Champs next year.  These are great people!

Just before the race with Hilary

Experiential summary

It went great! It was a soul crusher and a supremely rewarding experience.  Let's talk about what really happens in races like these, the part that is difficult to articulate - let me try.  Let's start with the lows so you can begin to comprehend why Tranter Triathlon Coaching utilizes PST (psychological skills training), specializing in MT (mental toughness):

As Rocky Balboa once said: "The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows... I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it... it ain't about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward... that's how winning is done... Now if you know what your worth, go out and get what your worth, but you got to be willing to take the hits and not point fingers because you're not where you want to be... cowards do that and that ain't you.  You're better than that!".  When you fall, you get up and finish what you started; that's what winner's do - they win.  A personal best performance in an IRONMAN or 50-MILER TRAIL is all about character.  Only you can pick yourself up at the 50k mark as your legs crumble beneath you, and if you try walking you can finish, but you won't win in your heart.  You must muster every molecule of energy and move forward at your TRUE potential.

I don't complete these races to demonstrate finishing; I compete in these races to represent the will to live.  When you are the most vulnerable you are also the most powerful.  This is how I understand attrition; being passed at 50k to fall back to 6th, but then 5k later I picked off a "champion-on-another-day" (a sub-2h30 marathoner) and willed myself to the finish through 31k of abyss.  My knees were seized up like the tin man (The Wizard of Oz), my left foot was swollen laterally and throbbed every midfoot strike and my right foot was cramping in the arch.  The most intense pain just kept relocating until finally physical pain was secondary to emotional challenges.  As a motivational speaker at my college, speaking to groups of 60 students, I ask them to perceive differently: "When confronted with a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, humbly acknowledge the answer exists, you just don't see it yet; faith in something greater than yourself will direct you through the fog to the answer - the finish line of your goal".

In this gorgeous landscape, the Des Plaines River Trail, I captured silhouettes of our baby in the clouds over and over again, still vivid in my mind from the ultrasound image the night before.  The final words from Hilary remained imprinted upon my mind: "Do this for the baby".  Now stop there.  If you are not motivated by that statement you won't become your best as a Tranter Triathlete.  Suffering in beautiful places is a challenge by choice, a transferable efficacy for something MUCH bigger than yourself - the ones you LOVE.

After an emotional spiral from 60k, I see Hilary at 72k

Yes, I methodically watched the pace drop, so I methodically revisited the well within.  Every 5k, I robotically and routinely performed the following: 5 deep yoga squats, a brief IT band origin / hip flexors massage, peel open and begin consuming another disgusting gel with water, stuff down PB and J sandwich quarters and shake out arms and refocus. After all, it is a privilege to be alive and extremely capable of managing this choice of character development.  If you have done it before, you know it isn't far off to do it again.  To truly live is to test your limits, to expand your awareness and enrich your perspective of life, to laugh deeply when you know it could be much, much worse.

At 60k I expected to see Hilary at the aid station, but unknowingly the I-94 traffic was terrible, so she waited for me at the last aid-station before the finish, at 72k.  I tried to prepare myself for the lonliness of the race (see 60k training run below), but nothing could prepare me for the intense withdrawl from my wife.  The 6-hour period wasn't long, but it was the intensity of the task that added magnitude.  My only source of strength from 50-60k was the anticipation for this reunion, but I had to overcome this hurt and refocus on my basic needs, simply administering the gels and water like an IV, and reconstructing the hope of our reunion at the next aid station, closer to the finish.

Capturing a glimpse of Hilary and having her run alongside me for 50 meters was intensely satisfying.  People were yelling: "You're in 5th place!" and I would respond "I don't know how!" and Hilary's smile and happiness were infectious, helping to rebuild my dismantled self-concept.  She effortlessly traversed the multiple-coloured freshly fallen leaves in bliss looking so beautiful and alive.  In retrospect, it is truly amazing to reflect upon this fragmented moment in time.  Now archived in my subconscious, I will replay this memory to counter any challenging times ahead. 

Sprinting and gesturing a kiss to Hilary in the final yards

It was difficult not to look back after moving beyond her, in that majestic scene, but it was time to go "boot camp" on myself and forge ahead to a personal best performance.  Physical agony began to revisit, now that my emotional needs were met, so I became grateful for the physical pain I felt, as I knew it was far less intense than the emotional.  Normally, in races like the 21k Springbank (London) I could sprint from as far out as 800m, but this task was different and similar to the Ironman.  I knew I could sprint from 400m out and so I did as I exited the main trail and began to circumnavigate the Half Day Road Park just like the backside of a track with the technique and focus but devoid of a true snap.  Someone yelled: "2/10ths of a mile to go!" and I shifted from 3rd to 4th gear and then with only 1/10th of a mile to go Hilary captured the photo above and I gestured a kiss in return, shifting into the final 5th gear.  Curving around the final bend and lunging for the tape and timing mats I knew I may break the minute mark and did - 6h, 47min, 59.6 seconds and just like that the task was complete.

The greater the risk in the challenge, the greater the reward

Overcoming Obstacles Prior to Race Day

Since September 1st, I had been managing plantar fascitis.  On September 9th, I managed to do well in the 21k Springbank race (1:19h), but then on September 23rd, I had to drop out of the 21k Hero's race in (Amherstburg, ON) and thought my dreams of making the ACU team were gone.  I tried to dispose of that thought, but my subconscious would not let it go.  I began cycling a lot and swimming occassionally in addition to maintaining my diligent strength and mobility workouts with my college students. 

After 12 days of absolutely no running, on October 2 (Hilary's birthday) I was inspired to try again.  Milestone celebrations can bring out the best in people, allowing a change in pespective, generating a more holistic picture.  Unable to sleep, knowing something was off, I decided to try running 20 minutes at midnight.  The mental clarity achieved post-run was exhilarating and profound, so I sketched out a plan to possibly attempt training for the 50-miler after my time off and having not run longer then 2-hours in the last 2 months!!  The secret to every risky decision you make comes back to HAPPINESS and I intuitively realized  I needed that race to be happy.  Bear Gryllis' (Man vs Wild) autobiography spoke to me.  So did the ACU National team member patch that arrived at our door with a Purolater package - a free pair of Montrail Rogue Fly (light trail shoes), thanks to my sister-in-law.  I needed to RUN.

Afterall it was the book BORN TO RUN, read for the first time one year ago, after finishing the Ironman that inspired this new personal quest of limit searching.  In times of stress we run; nothing is more satisfying to search and reflect for creative answers.  As a triathlete, I am fortunate to have worked hard to create a custom lifestyle to keep me fit and happy.  So what was stopping me from ultrarunning?  Specificity.  The extreme, never-try-this-at-home plan was devised: run only every other day (to maximize recovery) and increase duration rapidly!  So on October 4th, I ran 1 hour from work and watched Max King win the UROC 100k in the gorgeous trail of Virginia. 

On October 6, the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, I ran in the Montrail Rogue Fly for 2:04h of pure London trails!  Good turnover was necessary after running on previously strength training weakened legs (lunges, explosive leg presses and eccentric quad calf raises, push-ups, pullups, core drills, circuits and then golf ball rolls on foot arches, and finally heel walks and hot tub therapy). YES!! This dream will become reality!

Thanksgiving Monday - 3:42h (43k trails) and then 2 days off running with intensive therapy and self massage. I completed almost 2 laps of the last run.  Wednesday morning run was tough mentally, not recovered attempting race pace efforts, 2 (5k @ race pace) with a small rest holding 4:20 - 4:40/k (16k total).  Finally on Saturday, after 3 days off with nothing but active recovery (small swims, bikes, ice feet, hot tubs), and one week to race day, I performed a 6:30am dark, damp and freezing trail run of 60k covering the London trails in a massive T-shape unaided and race simulated.  5:20h later I was exhausted having consumed 7 gels, 3 bottles of water and 3 granola bars.  Off to the Spa with Hilary for our 2nd wedding anniversary treat - a pedicure for her and a foot/lower leg massage for me!

After 3 more days off in the same style, a mid-week massage (feet/lower legs) and a 20-minute run with strides and one more 20-minute run the day before the race.  Now it was time to go get the ultrasound done.  Afterall, I do these races for things greater than I, so Hilary and I watched the 13-week old baby rotate and move it's long arms (Hilary's limbs) and pointy chin (like mine) to and away from the transducer probe reacting quickly to the pressure - this one looks to be spartan!

The Classic Ultra belt buckle Sub-9 hr award


Name Age Sex Sex
Division Division
Time Pace
State /
Hometown Race Number
1 Oswaldo Lopez 40 M 1 M 40-49 1 6:18:03.8 7:33.7 CA Madera 2
2 Piotr Janczyk 41 M 2 M 40-49 2 6:18:25.2 7:34.1 IL Elmwood Park 46
3 Jordan LaFreniere 29 M 3 M 20-29 1 6:24:57.8 7:42.0 MI Grand Rapids 61
4 Zack Perry 38 M 4 M 30-39 1 6:34:12.4 7:53.0 TN Memphis 74
5 Roburt Tranter 35 M 5 M 30-39 2 6:47:59.6 8:09.6 ON London 96
6 Mike Geldean 50 M 6 M 50-59 1 7:12:33.4 8:39.1 IL Minooka 30
7 Brandt Ketterer 28 M 7 M 20-29 2 7:15:48.0 8:43.0 IL Chicago 53
8 Brian Rourke 35 M 8 M 30-39 3 7:22:11.7 8:50.6 LA St francisville 82
9 John Kiser 51 M 9 M 50-59 2 7:24:17.3 8:53.1 IL Grayslake 54
10 Siamak Mostoufi 38 M 10 M 30-39 4 7:28:48.8 8:58.6 IL Chicago 71
11 Justin Heinz 20 M 11 M 20-29 3 7:45:52.7 9:19.1 IL Geneva 40
12 Tracy Hixon 48 F 1 F 40-49 1 7:48:09.6 9:21.8 IL Chicago 43
13 MARK FINE 47 M 12 M 40-49 3 7:54:32.6 9:29.5 GA ATLANTA 25
14 Mark Konicek 50 M 13 M 50-59 3 7:55:44.9 9:30.9 IL Arlington Heights 60
15 Kenneth Smith 30 M 14 M 30-39 5 8:07:23.5 9:44.9 IN Evansville 89
16 Katie Koester 31 F 2 F 30-39 1 8:20:54.1 10:01.1 KS Prairie Village 58
17 Nick Pinto 45 M 15 M 40-49 4 8:32:42.6 10:15.3 IL Arlington Heights 76
18 Richard Plezia 54 M 16 M 50-59 4 8:35:30.2 10:18.6 Il Morton Grove 77
19 Matthew Tobin 26 M 17 M 20-29 4 8:37:51.3 10:21.4 IL Deerfield 94
20 Dave Caldwell 34 M 18 M 30-39 6 8:38:11.0 10:21.8 IL Chicago 12
21 Brian Pfister 40 M 19 M 40-49 5 8:38:11.8 10:21.8 IL Wilmette 75
22 JP Bordeleau 38 M 20 M 30-39 7 8:38:45.2 10:22.5 IL Chicago 9
23 Mungai Kamiti 60 M 21 M 60-69 1 8:40:24.7 10:24.5 IL Oswego 49
24 Terry Knull 44 M 22 M 40-49 6 8:40:44.4 10:24.9 IL Grayslake 57
25 Adam Kissinger 38 M 23 M 30-39 8 8:40:44.5 10:24.9 IL Grayslake 55
26 Drew Heitman 29 M 24 M 20-29 5 8:45:11.6 10:30.2 IL Shorewood 41
27 Uli Widmaier 50 M 25 M 50-59 5 8:55:13.6 10:42.3 IL Elmhurst 18
28 Scott Gold 25 M 26 M 20-29 6 8:59:23.2 10:47.3 IL Wilmette 32
29 Maritza Hernandez 29 F 3 F 20-29 1 8:59:24.3 10:47.3 IL Chicago 42
30 Anton Weyers 43 M 27 M 40-49 7 9:13:39.3 11:04.4 IL Chicago 97
31 Rita Thiel 49 F 4 F 40-49 2 9:22:09.1 11:14.6 Il Burr Ridge 93
32 Elliot Smith 29 M 28 M 20-29 7 9:25:19.7 11:18.4 IN Highland 88
33 Brian Leach 44 M 29 M 40-49 8 9:35:56.4 11:31.1 IL Algonquin 63
34 Mark Koester 32 M 30 M 30-39 9 9:35:57.1 11:31.1 KS Prairie Village 59
35 Therese Tomiello 30 F 5 F 30-39 2 9:42:47.0 11:39.3 IL Chicago 95
36 Susan Malnati 45 F 6 F 40-49 3 9:51:10.5 11:49.4 IL Chicago 67
37 Mark Hoogterp 53 M 31 M 50-59 6 9:51:52.4 11:50.2 MI Grand Rapids 44
38 Meghan Garvin 33 F 7 F 30-39 3 9:53:29.3 11:52.2 IL Cary 27
39 Richard Pye 53 M 32 M 50-59 7 9:54:39.6 11:53.6 IL Naperville 79
40 Alfredo Pedro 43 M 33 M 40-49 9 9:54:40.0 11:53.6 il Chicago 72
41 Steve Richey 57 M 34 M 50-59 8 10:03:59.1 12:04.8 IL Aurora 80
42 Randy Peoples 53 M 35 M 50-59 9 10:05:08.4 12:06.2 IL Naperville 73
43 Caroline Yasuda 50 F 8 F 50-59 1 10:07:54.4 12:09.5 IL Naperville 100
44 Joe Tennant 55 M 36 M 50-59 10 10:09:22.0 12:11.2 IL Elgin 92
45 Andrew Lausch 40 M 37 M 40-49 10 10:21:12.5 12:25.4 IL Libertyville 62
46 Kerry Knight 46 M 38 M 40-49 11 10:26:17.8 12:31.6 IL Arlington Heights 56
47 Tony Bierman 56 M 39 M 50-59 11 10:27:37.1 12:33.1 IL Effingham 7
48 Evelyn Santos 41 F 9 F 40-49 4 10:28:15.0 12:33.9 IL Des Plaines 84
49 Kevin Johnson 42 M 40 M 40-49 12 10:28:24.2 12:34.1 IL Glen Ellyn 47
50 Elizabeth Coll 50 F 10 F 50-59 2 10:36:39.1 12:44.0 IL Schaumburg 15


NOTE: If interested, I will be posting the 81k Garmin GPS file here when I receive it in the mail. I was so disoriented after finishing, I left the wrist watch GPS on the picnic table while Hilary and I were speaking with 2nd place Piotr about his experience.  Oswaldo was entertaining the crowd!  I will be posting the professional photos here soon.