Monday, November 10, 2014

Jones & Kimmel take USA Trail Marathon Titles

Competitors headed off the start trying to heat up the chill in Pritchett Canyon at the USA Trail Marathon Championships this past Saturday.  The championships were held in conjunction with the Moab Trail Marathon.  Trail runners traveled from all around the country to compete for National Champion titles in the Overall and 5 year Masters age categories.  The course traverses several cool canyons, climbs jeep roads or rugged trails to plateaus, and then returns to canyon bottom again on technical trails.  This trail marathon is not for the faint hearted, but a diehard trail enthusiast was in paradise complete with amazing expansive views of the cayonlands.

Men's winner Dakota Jones (Photo by Hunter Imagery)

The racing did not disappoint either.  Several guys provided the heat with a fast start.  That settled down to a group of about 7 by the first aid station around 5.6 miles.  By the out and back section in Hunter Canyon at 12 miles there was a group of three at the front consisting of Justin Ricks, Dakota Jones, and Mario Mendoza.  A long string of guys were close behind, but things were beginning to break up at the front.  Up the 1.5 mile Scorched Earth Wall climb, Travis Macy caught the group of three to challenge for a bit.  Those front three would pull away over the last 10 miles as the course would now be more technical singletrack than jeep road.  Dakota moved to the front to gain a small lead and once there resolved to not get complacent heading down the technical descent from mile 21-23.  Dakota hoped to build a lead that the others would not be able to overcome in the final 3 miles.  It proved be a winning strategy as Dakota claimed his first National Title in 3:03:09.  Mario and Justin continued to battle and try to reel Dakota back in.  They remained close throughout with Mario Mendoza taking 2nd in 3:06:46 and Justin Ricks taking 3rd in 3:07:30.  All three were under the previous course record.  The men’s master race was close as well with Jason Bryant overtaking Jon Brown ¾ of mile from the finish.  Bryant finished in 3:24:12 claiming his 5th US Masters Mountain Ultra Trail title.  Jon Brown followed closely in 3:26:01 and Chris Grauch the 3rd master in 3:27:05.

Women's winner Megan Kimmel (Photo by Hunter Imagery)

Several of the ladies were out quickly as well.  Megan Kimmel took the reins at the front about 2 miles in as the first climb got underway.  By Hunter Canyon at 12 miles, Megan had developed a small lead over Chris Lundy and Laura Tabor.  That lead would grow up the Scorched Earth Wall climb and on the singletrack trails after.  Behind her, Chris Lundy was building a small lead on Laura Tabor during this section.  Megan would continue to gap the other ladies all the way to the finishing in 3:27:52, just 4 seconds of the course record to claim her 3rd National Title.  Chris had built a 1 and ½ minute advantage going into the difficult final three miles with slickrock climbs and soft sand.  But that would not be enough to hold off Laura Tabor as she moved up to take second in the end with a time of 3:52:35.  Chris Lundy followed closely in 3:52:58 for third.  Chris Lundy did take the Women’s Master title, her 1st US Masters title to go along with a USA 10km Trail overall title in 2007.  Cate Fenster would come in just over 4 hours as the second female master at 4:00:23.  Timeless Anita Ortiz was 3rd female master with her time of 4:03:41.

Top female finishers (photo by Chris Lundy)

It was great day on spectacular and challenging trails, just what a Trail Championship should be.  Race director, Danelle Ballengee knows how to lay out a true trail course that does not disappoint.  The race becomes even more of event with excellent post-race atmosphere.  USA trail running is a massively growing sport with more and more runners looking to the challenge and beauty found off road.  It was a perfect choice as a qualifying event for the US Team for the 2015 World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships at the Zermatt Marathon in Switzerland.  For more information on USA Mountain Running, go to

For complete results click here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Max's Running Tip of the Month - November 2014

The following article was written by +Max King  and originally printed in The Footzone Bend's October e-mail newsletter.  Reprinted with permission from The Footzone Bend and Max King.

Max wins the 2010 USA 1/2 Marathon Trail Championships (Bend, OR)

I recently had a dedicated runner come up to me that has been coming to my Tuesday Performance Group workout for the past month and say "I'm a totally different runner than I was a month ago". That is a huge compliment to me and the main reason I do the TPG workouts. And she's exactly right. I've heard it again and again from people, a little bit of hard work and faster running can make you a whole different runner. And notice I say "faster" running and not "fast" running. I love to see everyone from 12min/mi pace to 5min/mi pace out there working out together and encouraging each other.

So, I challenge you this winter to add a little speed and hard work into your running regimen either at my Tuesday Performance Group or on your own. It will build not only speed and endurance but confidence that next year you'll be a better runner.

Be sure to email me at to be added to the TPG list so you know where the workouts will be each week.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Moab to host the USA Trail Marathon Championships

The Nation’s top elite runners will be competing in the November 8th USA Trail Marathon Championships in Moab, UT.  The race is full with over 1500 runners signed up for the Marathon, ½ Marathon and 5k events.  The Marathon, with its USA Championship title has drawn over 50 elite runners who will via for top honors.  Some of the top contenders to win are David and Megan Roche who have each won USA titles at Trail 10km and Megan also won the USA Trail 50km title.  Justin Ricks and Kalib Wilkinson, among others, will be ones to watch for contention at the front.  Dave Mackey will bring plenty of experience as a master likely to compete for the overall title as well.  Chris Lundy will be another of the women to watch for with plenty of trail and championship experience of her own.  Anita Ortiz will look be a top masters and overall contender for the women.  Participants will run a beautiful, rugged course that features trails along the Kane Creek Corridor such as Pritchett Canyon, Hunter Rim, Jackson Trail as well as some unnamed trails, and trails through Private Property including a fixed rope section.  The top runners in the Half Marathon will be recognized as National Champions in addition to receiving the $2500 prize purse.

Not for the faint of heart, the Moab Trail Marathon has a reputation for being one of the toughest cross country races around.  The course features a mix of Moab’s unique 4wd roads and trails; This course travels up, down, and through several stunning canyons.  Rugged terrain and spectacular scenery bring runners from around the World to compete on this course.  2014 is the 6th edition of this race. The course was designed by world class local runner, Danelle Ballengee, who is known to set challenging courses.  The course actually crosses the path of her famous fall in 2006 where she survived at 60 foot fall and two freezing nights with a shattered pelvis only to be saved by her dog, Taz and neighbor, Dorothy Rossignol.

Race organizers are thrilled at the response and looking forward to a successful event.  Moab is a wonderful host town to events like this.  And the course couldn’t be any better.  The scenery is absolutely stunning.  This year the race organizers have coupled with several local non-profit organizations that will also be helping out on race day.  Proceeds from the race will go to benefit these non-profit organizations including Community Rebuilds, Friends For Wheelin’, Humane Society of Moab Valley, Trail Mix, Young Life, Grand Mtn Bike Team, Grand County Search and Rescue, and others.

The race starts at 8:30am on November 8th.  Top finishers are expected to finish in less than 2 hours, and the cutoff is set at 8 hours.  It is recommended that those hikers, bikers, and jeepers wishing for solitude recreate elsewhere, although spectators are welcome.  The event is being held under permit from the BLM and SITLA.

For more information check out the website or call Danelle at 259-7844 or 970-389-4838.   The event is full, so they are not accepting registrations, although local Kids are welcome to compete in the ‘Kid’s K’, which features running through an arch and cave, going down a ladder, and through a bouncy house.  Parents need to sign their kids up. (At Milts Stop & Eat on Friday Nov. 7th, between 3:30-7:30 or race morning between 7 and 9am)