Saturday, May 19, 2007

070512 Quicksilver 50M - Love the Never Flat Course

Looking Fresh at the top of the climb. Thanks Alan

Date: May 12, 2007
Race: Quicksilver 50M
Location: Almaden Quicksilver County Park
Distance: 50 miles
Profile: 8,530ft gain/loss, highest: 2,000 ft, lowest: 360ft, start/finish: 5400ft (image/data courtesy of Stan Jensen's Run 100s and Quicksilver 50M)

Result: 9hr 8min, 22/76 overall, 17 drop, Complete Results
Photo: 070512 Quicksilver 25K/50K/50M, 2007/05/12 QuickSilver (Yuki Negoro)

Love Quicksilver

Quicksilver 50M has a special meaning to some of our Ultraholics. It is the third anniversary of ultrarunning to me and Yuki Negoro when both of us did the 50K in 2004. It is the second anniversary of ultrarunning to Rajeev Patel, who did the 50K in 2005. It is the first 50 mile trailrunning to our fast Ironman Alan Geraldi today.

Besides, why I love Quicksilver 50M run? I somehow like its Cytomax drink provided at the aid station - tasty but not too sweet. The juicy burger at the finish is also a motivation for me to get to the finish with all my best. How about its very affordable entry fee and convenient location with 45 min easy drive? I also want to mention its excellent course design to have a grand tour at every piece of the park. It may look like going back and forth from the course map, but they mostly on different trail or opposite direction of the same trail. I never feel bored. The infamous roller coaster hills near the start/finish shows its personality of ultrarunning. I first hate and fear it. Now I think I love it because it means that I can almost smell those perks at the finish.

I have been thinking coming back to Quicksilver 50M every year. I think maybe some years I can not go. This is because I found that Massanutten Mountain Trails 100, high in my wish list, happens to be on the same weekend as Quicksilver 50M. Hope there'll be better arrangement in future and I'll be happy to do both. Anyway, knowing there is a mining award for those done 10 times in Quicksilver 50M, I guess I need to wait for a few years until I get the same award before taking a leave to try Massanutten Mountain Trails 100.


I had a couple of hard ankle twists in Miwok 100K a week before. This is basically continued from those ankle issues in races early this year (see 070203 Woodside 50K - A Stumble Farewell PR and so on). Unlike the muscle soreness after running Diablo 50M, I don't know how to relieve the pains on my ankles and other joints in my legs. I guess I had to take rest. OK. No running for another week since I did not run a whole week a week before.

I was actually busy at writing Miwok 100K race report. It's kind of pressure because I don't have much time in writing. I need the time exclusive belonging to me so that I can bring up my recollections and every details in the race. I also had to give up thinking about the excitement of going back to Quicksilver 50M - just focus on finishing the Miwok 100K race report. I was happy to finally finish it (see 070505 Miwok 100K - Enjoy the Run among Ankle Twists and Missing a Turn) on Thursday so that I had less than two days to enjoy thinking to study the course and profile, which is part of the fun before a race!

On the other hand, I seemed a little tired in the race morning after weeks of tough ultra's. I almost slept through my alarm set at 3:30am until a few minutes later when I figured out I have a race today. Going through what I need to do for the usual race morning, I soon forgot all the nervous feeling but get ready for the whole day running.

Having been there for years, I was familiar with the highways to the race start. The traffic was always great in such an early morning. I thought maybe I left home too early and I could have more sleep. However, if I get there early, I'll have a nice parking spot near the finish. Yes, I did. The checkin tent is only 30 yards away.

Me at the checkin tent in the chilly morning. Thanks Anil.

I headed to the checkin tents to pick up my bib number. It was chilly but I knew it'd become warmer later in a day at south San Jose area. I met Rajeev Patel there. He looks so fresh and did not show any fatigue sign from his PR finish in Miwok 100K a week ago. Then I know later at the finish that he makes a PR again in 50K today. So is Anil Rao nearby. He made a Miwok 100K debut - a kind of PR. Now he comes for 50K and has another PR in Quicksilver 50K today. They have been making amazing progress these days!

When I get back to my car for some precious rest, I find out Chau Pham and Mylinh Nguyen just parked next to my car. They are a great ultra couple. They nearly ran every ultra together. They'll head for the great Tour du Mont-Blanc in summer. Yuki Negoro also parked close by. I can see his wife Miho still sleeping in the car. Miho always comes with Yuki in every race even she always feels sleepy in the morning.

Our Ultraholics - Me, Yuuki, and Rajeev

Alan Geraldi, an Ironman and sub 2:50 marathon runner, just arrives for the 50 miles as his first trail ultra after he finished the same in San Francisco One Day last year. Today will be his training for his first 100 miler - Tahoe Rim Trail 100M. He'll experiment all kinds of ultra varieties during the run.

Rick Gaston is there too. He has run a lot of ultra's but today is his first appearance in Quicksilver. He has a camera, so are a few other runners. Today there are many more runners willing to carry a camera on the run. Rick and I agreed that it is < href="" target="qs50m">Scott Dunlap who first popularize running with a camera and it brings us so much fun! Thanks Scott!

Mockingbird (Start) => Webb Canyon:6.4 miles , 1:01:49, 10:43 min/mile

The minutes before the race start is now getting shorter since I know more ultrarunners. There is hardly enough time to talk with everyone I know. As the race start, we will have to become more serious and focus on our running.

Race starts! Me, Alan, Yuki, and other ultra friends

Off we go. It begins with a steep downhill. Everyone is excited and is willing to run fast with fresh legs. Perhaps I forget my ankle issues among the excitement. I have a few very hard twists on my ankle within a minute. This is a bad sign, but I need to slow down and run in a gentle way. It's hurting, but the coming steep climb helps a bit because walking relieves the pain. Now I remember I planned to run with care on the first 6.4 mile section. It is single track with a lot of technical parts. But it's too late. I have to work on my ankle to avoid more twists and get away with the pain.

I pass a few friends - Wally Hesseltine, Rob Bryne. They are wise enough to run conservatively in the beginning. I just want to test my limit so I try to push myself a little. Yuki Negoro is not far behind. I also pass Michael Kanning, a nice young 15 year old ultrarunner. Very few teenagers are willing to spend long time in running. I love to see such a great young man there enjoy the run.

Wally Hesseltine (with a WS100 waist pack), Rob Bryne (in blue)

The course has very steep rolling hill, which I call "roller coaster", in the beginning. After a mile or so, we'll make a left turn where volunteer block the trail to show us the turn. I know going straight is the way to get to the start/finish when coming back. I'll get there twice a few hours later and finish....

As I feel better with my ankle, I speed up a little carefully on the single track. I run with Haiming Yu and we exchange our places a few times. He looks like a triathlete and is running 50K today. Since he can run better than his 5 hr 15 min training run on the same course, I let him go without burning myself too much.

Along the trail, I can see clearly how the trail work weeks before has made the trail easily runnable. I planned to join them, but decided to do the trail work at Mt. Diablo (see Trail Work at Mt. Diablo - Knowing Ultrarunning Friends and Poison Oaks) because I found a way to get there without driving. I always want to find ways to reduce greenhouse gas. They remove a lot of overgrown plants.

We are running in beautiful shade, but we can see the city on the right hand side. The daylight just come in and is not enough to for the day. Under such a dim light, the city looks like sleeping but is going to wake up in any minutes.

The trail is rolling, but stays going down. It does not take much time before I feel the first aid station is just ahead. It is right at the lowest in the canyon, as it is called "Web Canyon".

Webb Canyon => Dam Overlook:3.3/9.7 miles , 31:22/1:33:12, 10:10 min/mile

Web Canyon aid station. Courtesy of Yuki Negoro

I was very hydrated in the beginning, so I figure I might be able to run a few more miles without drink. I skip the Web Canyon aid station and say "Thank you".

Leaving the canyon means the climb coming ahead. It will go all the way to the next aid station at Dam Overlook, where we'll visit three times in the run.

It still single track trail. It seems that Alan Geraldi running strong 20 yards ahead of me, but I'm not sure if it is Alan. I don't want to distract him here where there are some technical, so I do not call him. The trail becomes wide open and there are early volunteer standing there showing us the route. Thanks for coming here. We need to make a left turn and continue the climb. It becomes a fireroad, so I call Alan. We run together, well sometimes walk, as we have to save our legs in the beginning.

Alan heads for the Dam Overlook aid station

At the end of climb, we are able to see Mt. Umunhum (3486 ft) bathing in the daylights. The artificial structure at the top is very shiny by the early sun light. This will a wonderful day to come.

We get to the Dam at the corner and the aid station is on out left with a 100 yard climb.

Dam Overlook => Capehorn: 4.8/14.5 miles , 46:55/2:20:07, 10:24 min/mile

Dam Overlook aid station

This is my first stop at the aid station after running 9.7 miles. I have my empty bottle filled up and leave. Alan wants to put some stuff back to his drop bag.

The course is a rolling hills slight climb to the next aid station Capehorn. Without wasting much time, I eat a Gel while leaving the aid station. I plan to eat another one near Capehorn.

Although there are some runners on the trail, I feel running by myself but it is nice to enjoy the trail without any pressure from peer runners. Maybe this is more single track in the beginning and runners have thinned out after 10 miles.

When the course becomes a little open, the city can be seen at the left hand side down below. The course runs along the mountain at the right hand side. It also gets to our first mining relic - Buena Vista Shaft. I know the aid station is not far.

Alan is catching up after dropping 2 pound stuff into a drop bag

Maybe my legs are still fresh after 10 miles, this 4.8 mile section goes so easy with nice view of the city and trails. Near Capehorn, I can see Alan is catching up from behind. He looks like running his fast road race (sub 1:20 half marathon) after dropping a lot of extra stuff at Dam Overlook - 2 pounds worth. He easily passes me right before the aid station.

Capehorn => Dam Overlook: 4.5/19 miles , 45:54/3:06:00, 10:36 min/mile

Here the 25K runner will make a left turn back to Mockingbird and the job is done. We'll turn right and continue on the hill. I feel lucky to always run the longest distance in an event to get all the best of it.

Alan at Capehorn aid station

I stay longer after Alan Geraldi leaves. I'd like to make sure my food and drink are enough for me to skip the next aid station. This will be a 9.2 mile section for me. Bob Bryne also comes in when I leave.

It starts with climb so all of us are walking. I remember I ran this part last year, so I try to run as much as possible. The trail then goes down after a mile or so until the mining relic Power House. After that, we need to run on a steep uphill all the way to the top to enjoy the long downhill to the next aid station. And great views there!

I run most on the second climb, but Rob Bryne and another 50K runner are even faster. They pass me over there. A great volunteer (an ultrarunner) standing near the top of trail show the route and cheer for us. This is also the place when we come back from the Dam Overlook and need to make a turn to Englishtown aid station. He is also ready for the front runners arriving in any minutes.

A great volunteer showing us the routes with cheers

It's great to get to the top and start to enjoy the speed and the famous view of Guadalupe Reservoir. I speed up but not too fast to hurt my ankles. The front runners are coming with Graham Cooper leading the 50 miles and the other one for the 50K. They both look great and have over 6 miles ahead of me.

A grand view of Guadalupe Reservoir

Dam Overlook => Dam Overlook: 4.7/24.7 miles, forget to press the lap button

As planned, I skip the second visit to the Dam Overlook aid station. I'll stop at the next and last visit after I finish the 4.7 mile Dam Overlook loop. Immediately the second place 50 mile runner Jeff Riley is coming - 4.7 miles ahead of me. I also spot Alan Geraldi 20 yards ahead of me, so I am able to catch up with him. I am surprise that he has run without a water bottle, but he said he somehow does not need a lot of water. Amazing!

Alan Geraldi

The course continue the downhill and Alan and I are running with nice speed together. Rick Gaston also flies by. He usually gets stronger as more miles. This has been proved in my experience last year when he passed me in Miwok at the turnaround and he passed me at the last few miles in Firetrails.

Runners come for the nice climb

At the end of downhill, there is a steep quarter mile climb. It is so steep that there is no way to see where is the top of the climb. Alan and I simply power walk with patience and we finally get to the top. Now it becomes a quarter mile steep downhill to the mining relic Senador Mine. Alan needs to do some stretch, so I just keep running with gravity pull.

Then the course stretch another 300 yards on a nice flat dirt path all the way to another park entrance at McAbee Road. Since this is near the entrance, there are more visitors and better facility with a water fountain and a bathroom.

The course turns right to an over two miles long climb back to the Dam Overlook. It is shady in the beginning and I am still running. After a quarter mile, it becomes steeper and exposed. I start to power walk and know it is close to the place where we ran in the beginning on our way from Web Canyon to Dam Overlook. I run with Sean Lang for a while and know he has run a few other PCTR 50K.

Again Alan comes closer from behind. He seems lighter on his legs after his stretch. We arrive the Dam Overlook together. I'll stop at the aid station for refuel as my bottle is almost empty after this 9.2 mile section.

Dam Overlook => Englishtown: 3.3/27 miles (8.0 mile, 1:32:24/4:38:24, 11:37 min/mile)

Since I skipped the previous visit of this aid station, I am very thirsty after finishing this 9.2 mile section. I'm glad that I am fine right now. Alan seems to stay here for longer time to work on his stuff. I leave the aid station after I make sure I have had enough drink and have enough water in my bottle. I plan to skip the next aid station.

From here, I have to run back on the hill and climb back to the highest. Last year I was able to run all the way and meet Rajeev Patel and Anil Rao there. This year I don't see them. This means they have run much faster than last year. They eventually set their PR's at the finish!

Since there are more runners coming down, I have my camera ready. Thanks to Dave Combs telling me names of some famous runners - 10th finisher Dan Marinsik and Carol Cuminale, ever-present Barbara Elia, and Christina Brownsen. Dave, managing the Ultrarunning List, is running his first 50K after a few years.

I have tried to take a picture for every runner, but later I seem to have some issue with my camera. This is first time to use it. I don't have time to figure it out. I think it's about battery, so I just put my camera back to the pocket and hope the battery will recover later (just like our running needs some breaks).

Rena Schumann and a 50K runners take a walk break after a long climb

As I work hard on the climb by patiently running it. Rena Schumann and another 50K runner catch up. Rena is running her 10th Quicksilver and receives the mining award at the finish. It's almost the top of the hill, so I am glad to switch to walk break when they also walk ahead of me. Shuffling between run and walk, I catch up and have a chat. I am pleased when Rena told me that the pictures I shot for Miwok 100K was put in Planet Ultramarathon. They run strongly, so I let them go and I just follow my pace.

When I get to a wide fireroad, I know it's about the marathon distance and the Englishtown aid station at mile 27 is not far. There are lots of pretty wildflower along the trail.

The wildflower lane at the marathon mark

Englishtown => Mockingbird (50K Finish): 4.5/31.5 miles , 42:58/5:21:23, 10:30 min/mile

Englishtown aid station

Since I have enough water in the bottle, so I just skip the Englishtown aid station. This is a bold move as I still have 4.5 miles to go, including some scary hills, and it'll getting warmer. Anyway, I want to give it a try about my thirsty limit.

It begins a downhill. Within minutes, the front runners coming and they already finished 50K! Jeff Riley leads the pace and Graham Cooper is only 1 minute behind. Mark Tanaka is about 5 minutes behind. They all working very hard on the exposed climb.

Mark Tanaka working hard on the climb. His 33 miles and my 29 miles.

Along the way I run mostly with 50K runners, including Erik Dube. I catch up with him at the roller coaster hill. I heard about his name for a while, but never saw him. It's kind of amazement that I can run with such a fast guy. Perhaps he is doing a training run for the Ohlone Wilderness 50K eight days later.

I catch up with Rena Schumann nearby. However, we can chat only a little at the roller coaster hill because we want to be more careful about running at such a steep hill. I remember I fell down over here when I ran Quicksilver for the first time. Now with trail shoes and good at downhill, I carefully speed up with gravity pull. Rena is more careful, so I pass her.

After passing a few other runners, I get to the place that we turn left in the morning, but we need to go straight. It is still downhill, but I know it's close to the 50K Mockingbird aid station. After easily run over a small uphill, the aid station is there. Some runners are happy to finish their run today. We 50 mile runners will stop the aid station for a while to continue the rest of 50 miles.

Mockingbird => Englishtown: 4.0/35.5 miles , 52:12/6:13:35, 13:43 min/mile

I think I'm slower than last year by about 10 minutes when I get to the 50K, but I feel better. I guess it is mostly because I have been running conservatively due to the ankle issue. I should be able to make it up later.

Rob Bryne has been there , so he is ready to leave. Kermit Curt Jr. is there too. I am excited to see him. He is very kind to help me a few things at the aid station. He is going to pace Linda McFadden and waiting for her. What intrigues me is that there is a free massage at the finish, as he said. I'm going to try it so I need to make my 50 miles finish. After drinking a can of Sprite and other fluid. Off I go. Rena Schumann just comes in when I take off.

The course re-trace the beginning run for a while - steep downhill followed by steep climb, i.e. pre roller coaster. I run carefully on the downhill, still remembering how I twisted my ankle in the morning.

I work hard on the climb. Rob Bryne and the other guy are about 20 yards in front of me, but I am getting closer. Different from the beginning that we made a right turn at the top of the trail, we turn left to re-visit the roller-coaster hills that we got there less than 30 minutes ago!

It's now a little bit crowded. We are going out after 50K, while there are runners coming back for 25K/50K finish or looking for the Mockingbird aid station at 50K to continue their 50 mile journey. Anil Rao is there, and he looks great and ready to finish around 6 hours and set his PR. I briefly check with him about Rajeev Patel, but he has no idea. Rajeev must be even faster and actually finishes under 6 hours - another PR! Amazing both guys keep making their leaping PR's in these weekly ultra's - American River 50, Miwok 100K, and today!

Obviously, a lot of runners are become very careful on the roller coaster hill. I no long fear about it, so I pass through it without any problem. It's noon time and Sun has come out high to greet us at the exposed trail. I pass a few runners, including Rob Bryne at the start of the last climb before the next aid station.

The triathelet Nan Nguyen takes it easy on her first ultra (50miles!) with her pacer

Since I feel better than last year right now, I keep pushing myself. Nan Nguyen is not far ahead running her first ultra (and 50 miles!) with her pacer. I catch up later and have a nice chat with her. She is a triathelet and would like to try some trail ultra's. This section is one of the toughest, but She looks amazingly great with smiles. We run together and arrive at the aid station.

Englishtown => Hicks Road: 2.0/37.5 miles , 24:10/6:37:45, 12:01 min/mile

I planned to skip Englishtown aid station but stop at the next at another 2 miles away. However, I have been a little torched by the climb from the 50K and wonder if I can keep the same strength for the next two miles, which is mostly exposed. I decide to stop and drink enough fluid.

Nan Nguyen and her pacer are gone, so is Rob Bryne. I soon follow them after I finish a can of Sprite. The course starts with a single track for less than a quarter mile. Within a minute, Jeff Riley just comes back fast. He has another 2.5 miles to go before the finish!

Jeff Riley comes back strong for his second place finish. 2.5 miles to go!

After the single track is an exposed wide fireroad. Mark Tanaka also comes back, but I am not able to take a picture this time as I had some technical issue with my camera (first time used). I hope I can meet him at the finish, but he is always fast and ready to go home at the finish.

I catch up with Rob and can see Nan at about quarter mile ahead of us. I run with Rob together till the quarter mile shady trail before the next aid station. Then he moves ahead. Rob and I arrive the Hicks Road aid station about the same time.

Hicks Road => Sierra Azul: 4.0/41.5 miles (3.61 miles, 44:27/7:22:12, 12:19 min/mile, No Battery!)

I quickly drink another can of Sprite so that I'll have better chance to complete the 4 mile climb to the turnaround. Rob Bryne is already gone and soon speeds away from me. I just stay with my pace instead of chasing him.

The course enter the trail once we cross the road and a small parking area. It is nice and shady with rolling hill and downhill from time to time. However, I know I need to face the exposed climb later on the trail. I can hear runners getting closer from behind. Rena Schumann and another runner pass me in minutes.

The trail slowly becomes climbing and I'm getting tired. I can tell by the fact that I mostly think about finishing the run instead of speeding up. In the mean time, faster runners keep coming down from the turnaround. I can tell the distance to the aid station at the turnaround by how fresh and happy they look.

Smiling after replenish at the Sierra Azul aid station

I envy them a little, but I'll be the same fresh when I finish the climb and get to the aid station. That's my hope. I also roughly count the number of them and think I probably at 20 something place, not better than the 10th place last year. I don't really care as long as I have always tried my best. All these thoughts bring me the image of finish area that I'll get to in an hour - icy drinks, chair, juicy burger, medal, going home, etc!

The trail is now totally uphill and exposed. Somehow my Forerunner watch has gone dead. It ran out of battery after 7 and half hours into the run. My previous experience is it can last over 12 hours, so I turned it on when I left home at 4:30am. This means the battery lasts only 9 hours today. I remember I fully charged it the day before. Anyway, I'll find out why; otherwise I'd rather carry my 150 laps Timex watch next time.

On the other hand, I can only counting the runners in front of me as an estimate of the distance. As I keep counting, I excitedly spot the aid station.

Sierra Azul => Hicks Road: 4.0/45.5 miles

Sierra Azul aid station

The aid station is the turnaround of the 8 mile out-and-back course. It's at such a nice and shady spot. It's kind of reward to take a break after 4 mile climb in the afternoon. Runners are stretching or fixing the feet.

I feel fine, so I take off after quickly finishing a sprite and have my bottle filled. It's great to turn around and enjoy the downhill. When going out to the turnaround, I did not feel how it will be so nice on the coming back. Perhaps I was suffering, or perhaps I was still in good shape to feel it like a rolling hill. Anyway, it is true that it's downhill right now and I am enjoying the speed.

One good thing about this nice out-and-back section is that not only can you enjoy seeing the speed of front runners, you can cheer the rest of runners when coming back. I can see runners coming up and happily tell them the distance to the aid station. Alan Geraldi also comes in a pack of three with Lon Monroe and Mario Jackson. Lon is in the film "A Race for the Soul". He claims stretching in the creek under the Deadwood Canyon before the dreadful Devil's Thumb climb is "better than sex" and it's worthy to lose 5 minutes (to stretch) in a long run. I am glad to see Alan get to this point. It is tough but I have confidence that he's going to finish it no matter how. Yes, he finishes his first 50 miles trail ultra. I have not seen Yuki Negoro and worry if he got some issues. I know later that he had to stop at 50K to avoid more injuries.

At the end of the long downhill, I expect a creek, but there is a small water flowing across. After this, it is a slow uphill. I am actually happy to see this because I know the aid station is not far.

David Jordan catches up and asks me how far it is to the aid station. My Forerunner is dead, but I have some memory about this trail. I say "half mile to go". He passes me. Within a minute, I can see the road and the entrance only 100 feet ahead. Hope he is not mad my wrong answer, but more glad to see the aid station not far away. Although I was wrong in telling the distance, I guess both of us should be happy to know the aid station is far less than "half mile".

Hicks Road => Englishtown: 2.0/47.5 miles

David Jordan prepares himself for the last few miles to the finish at Hicks Road aid station

I arrive the aid station seconds after David Jordan. He seems very tired and is grabbing food. I take a picture of the aid station. They are surprised and excited about me carrying a camera in running. Anyway, all of us have fun!

While David keeps staying the aid station, I decide not to stop because I have enough water for the next 2 miles. I know it'll be mostly exposed and uphill in the next 2 miles except the last 200 yards single track trail. Right now, I seem to have recovered and been "Running Through the Wall". I am able to run all the hills. Within a minute, Mylinh Nguyen comes strong and seems ready for the 8 mile Sierra Azul out-and-back. I see a few other 50 mile runners coming over the hills, including Barbara Elia, Carol Cuminale, etc.

I patiently run all the hills and feel fine. I am glad to get to the single track downhill and know the aid station is only 200 yards away. Suddenly, there is an engine noise roaring behind. There is actually a truck forcing through the single track from behind. With more fun over scare, I run faster and imagine that a truck is chasing me. Perhaps this is an easy way to maintain the single track trail from plant overgrowth.

Roaring truck forcing me to run faster from behind

Englishtown => Mockingbird (50M Finish): 2.5/50 miles

I could have passed the last aid station at Englishtown as it's only 2.5 miles to go and I have some water left in my bottle. But there is no hurt to have a quick stop and get myself ready for the coming roller coaster hills and run strong to the finish. Again, I ask for a can of cold Sprite to make sure I'll deliver my best where most of the next 2.5 miles is exposed and warm, although I can finish only half of it.

My Forerunner 305 is dead, so I check the time with a volunteer - 2:56pm. I am a little disappointed that I can not break 9 hours, but I am happier to get to this point and ready to finish the run.

Off I go with a victorious shout. One nice thing about Quicksilver run is 50 mile runners come back to the start/finish twice but on different route, so we never get bored but feel better that the finish is not far. The second time is shorter with said with breathtaking downhill. This motivates us a lot. However, newcomers may be fooled with this but forget some heartbreaking climbs. With four years in the run, I have mindset for this. Since I am going to finish, I'm not scared and ready to take whatever difficult trails ahead.

It starts with a nice shady downhill right after the aid station. After about than half mile on this Mine Hill trail, it gets to Capehorn Pass with the exposed climb that can be seen some distance away. I'm not scared and nor upset, but to run or power walk on it with patience. It's time to take one Gel to get some power.

There are no other runners around. I can run without pressure. I simply cover the climb with patience since my legs are not sore. I need to only be careful on the steep and slippery downhill for fear of ankle twists.

Imagine this roller-coaster hill. Or come to see it next year!

I take a picture of a climb, but my picture is still not good at showing the steepness of the climb. You have to be there to be awed by the climb.

It's great that I'm familiar with every scene along the way in the last stretch to the finish. I know how far it is. I finally pass the place we made the right turn in the beginning of the run. I am excited to know there are no more climbs.

Since I have run slowly, I expect that I'll spend 20 minutes on this 2.5 mile, 2 minutes slower than last year and my finish time will be like 9hr 15min based on the time given at the Englishtown aid station. No pressure on 9 hours, I run gently with gravity pull. With joy, I don't feel the time passing by and I get to the place we made the left turn to a single track trail in the beginning. I know it's a quarter mile steep downhill to the finish.

There is a final small climb before the finish. I don't push myself and easily pass it. Yuki Negoro is waiting there

I'm done and, most importantly, smiling! Courtesy of Yuki.

Other Reports

Rajeev Patel - Quicksilver 50K, Quicksilver 50K (May 13, 2006). Both have a poem each.
Dave Comb - Quicksilver 50K race report (need Ultrarunning List subscription)
Rick Gaston - Quickie at Quicksilver 50M
Scott Dunlap - Racing the 2007 Quicksliver 50k


Eudemus said...

Great report Chihping. I will never understand how you can remember so much detail from your runs. Quicksilver sounds great and I will definitely put it on my calendar for the future!

Peter Lubbers said...

Hi Chihping,
Another great accomplishment. Scott Dunlap was right; there should be a special award for those who finish miwok, quicksilver and Ohlone!

Thanks for the great report and congratulations on finishing another tough ultra.


Looney said...

Great job! I am amazed at how you do the races one week after another. How much training do you normally do mid-week?

Chihping Fu 傅治平 (超馬阿爸) said...

Thanks Steve. Hope to see you in Quicksilver next time. I believe you'll do great!

When writing a report, I really need some hours exclusively belonging to me to bring up my recollections. I admit that this is not easy among busy daily life.


Chihping Fu 傅治平 (超馬阿爸) said...

Hi Peter,

As a mid pace runner, I really love awards :-) However, I feel a little embarrassed when being mentioned doing these weekly ultra's. This is because I only signed up and showed up to finish it. There are simply a lot of great events in Bay Area.

On the other hand, I admire your speed at short distance while perform well in ultra.


Chihping Fu 傅治平 (超馬阿爸) said...

Hi Looney,

I did train hard early this year. However, I almost stopped running in mid-week when running ultras week after week. I mostly worked on recovering myself from previous race for the race coming in a few days. I was amazed how my body can be recovered so fast.

Perhaps you can try and see how your body responds. It may perform well beyond your expectation.


Addy said...

Great report, like always!

It's so amazing that you've been able to successfully run so many great and challenging ultras in the past few weeks. Congratulations on all your running successes!

Mark said...

Congrats on a great run, great photos (and thanks for catching me. One of these days you'll catch me going downhill instead of up).

Rajeev said...

Fantastic race. You are an amazing runner - you are almost indestructible.


Anonymous said...


Thanks for all your support, company and advice. It was a tough run for me. First, it was my first true trail ultra (SF One Day doesn't really count). Second, it was only my second 50 miler. I had hoped to crack 9 hours, but that darn head cold 4 days before the starting gun did me in. Oh well, the run was awesome - the views fantastic - and the experience a treasure. I love running with my friends from Ultraholics. See you at Tahoe Rim Trail 100.

Alan Geraldi