Monday, October 20, 2008

A Green WS100 Trip

Just thought a green way to do Western States 100 Miles in 2009 in case my family want to leave for the annual two month visit to Taiwan earlier and can not go with me. Then I have to leverage my pain tolerance level as an ultrarunner :-)

My Good Old Friend Amtrak

Nice Capitol Corridor Train

I can take Amtrak to Truckee on Friday and come back from Auburn on Sunday,
  1. Home (7:00am) to Fremont Amtrak (7:09am) - $1.75, AC210
  2. Fremont (7:09am) to Sacramento (9:45am)
  3. Sacramento (10:00am) to Truckee (12:45pm)
  4. Truckee (1:30pm) to Squaw Valley (1:54pm) - $1.5, TART
The Amtrak ticket costs $43. Without using drop bags, I should be more flexible on arriving time. I'll need to check the RD to confirm if I can check in late. Otherwise, I need to leave on Thursday noon, costing me half day of work.

On coming back,
  1. Auburn (1:50pm) to Sacramento (3:20pm)
  2. Sacramento (3:35pm) to Fremont (6:07pm)
  3. Fremont (6:16pm) to Home (6:26pm) - $1.75, AC210
After running 100 miles, coming back on Amtrak is cheaper - $34 :-) The total cost for the trip, including the local buses, is $82.

After the awarding ceremony, I'll have to walk a few miles to the Amtrak station from the Placer high school. If I crawl and can not make the 1:50pm Amtrak bus, I think I need to hitch a ride to Sacramento, where there is 5:40pm train.

I don't know if this is cheaper than carpooling. Both are GREEN. This is just another way to do it in case I have any difficulty.

Friday Night

To save money, I can just sleep outdoors at the start for the night before the race like my favorite way at Wasatch Front 100 Miles. Then I'll have to find a way to deliver my stuff to the finish. I'll check if I can give it to the race personnel to bring it to the finish. Hey, I have done this at Wasatch for the past two years :-)

My Friday night at Wasatch Front 100 Miles

Otherwise, I'll have to haul my stuff all the way to the first aid station at mile 16 of Red Star Ridge that accepts drop bags. I'll have to add the weight training into my schedule so that I can carry sleeping bag, clean clothes, etc on the race day for 16 miles without feeling too tired.

Not too tired? According to the WS100 Course, this involves 4,353ft gain and 1,327ft loss in elevation - not very gentle for this 16 miles. Plus there is altitude :-( I'm not sure how much time I'll lose. Thinking positively, I should feel flying after dropping the stuff at the Red Star aid station.

Ha Ha Ha!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Tagged - And I'm It (for now)

Sorry for copying some of Rajeev's (Patel) response (see Tagged - And I'm It)for my template :-)

Rajeev Patel (The Poetic Runner) tagged me a few weeks ago with the 5 questions below. I will try my best to be reasonably honest in answering them. Let's see.

Drumroll please.

1. How would I describe my running 10 years ago?

Last year was my tenth year of running, so I was really a rookie about running 10 years ago regarding this question.

I had my first job at Oracle in 1997. Oracle had the best Gym in the area. I started to use it as a way against the work pressure while improving my fitness.

I went on the bike path just outside the company for a run. Don't laugh at me, but I was able to run only 10 minutes. I found a group of runners (called Thuesday Runners) who also worked in Oracle. I joined them, but had to turn around after 10 minutes or so. Since then, I ran every day and kept a running log. In a few weeks, I was able to run 45 minutes. Then I reached one hour of running. After some time, I was able to run to San Mateo Bridge and back. This landmark used to be a remote artificial to me. This was 10 mile running. In a year, I ran my first half marathon. This was my running 10 years ago!

2. What is your best and worst race experience?

I love running and I really don't have bad experience. I do have DNF (Did Not Finish) and DNS (Did Not Start), even am proud of being in DNH (Did not Happen) for the prestigious Western States 100M this year (See Jean Pommier Western States 2008: DNH like... Did Not Happen), but I still enjoyed every second I was in any run. Almost every run was my best experience no matter if I had best performance or not. For example, I suffered in Cascade Crest Classic 100M and Wasatch Front 100M, but I somehow enjoyed them and love to do them every year even my time were not good enough (had 9 min to spare as an official Wasatch finisher last year).

If I have to find a run of fair experience, I'd pick Helen Klein 50M I did in 2006. Don't get me wrong. It's a wonderful run named after the great ultrarunner Helen Klein and hosted by her husband, the great RD Norm Klein. Check AMERICAN RIVER 50 MILER- THE NIGHT BEFORE for a visit by my friend Alan Geraldi (Endurazone) and Rajeev Patel (The Poetic Runner) the night before American River 50M this year.

Lots of buckles from Norm/Helen Klein. Courtesy of Alan Geraldi (Endurazone)

I did not plan to run it at the end of the calendar year in 2006. I thought I entered the rest period. However, I was notified (Thanks Mark Tanaka - Utrailnaka) that I'd better run it in order to win the FeltBelt Age Division. It was quite an honor, but I had to persuade my family to go with me as a family trip. I also found out the competition will be tough for me with the veteran Jack Meyer not far behind in scores. The course is actually an out-and-back 27 mile bike path of American River 50M, which is not my favorable surface to run. At the end, I ran faster than Jack Meyer and won the place. This was always a nice reward and honor.

I think I normally have no best experience if I can not find a lot of motivation in it.

3. Why do you run?

In the beginning, running was a way to go outside of my work space for a while. As I kept doing it, I found more and more improvement in my fitness as the reward. I set up confidence in myself. This was a joy coming all the way when I explored myself. The exploration began in my physical fitness, but became more on the mental strength. Dawn Infernal Bean said something in the film A Race for the Soul like that if she can run a 100 miles, there is nothing to worry when in bad situations.

Dawn Inferna Bean at PCTR Diablo 50M

Plus I am proud and glad to know a lot of friends at the trails. They are the best persons I've ever known. I can figure out that running requires the best performance of a person, so called dig deep, while presents the best personality of a person.

Therefore, running has become a part of life since long. Perhaps it's more like what Jean Pommier said Running, my second job and passion....

4. What is the best or worst piece of advice you've been given about running?

Worst piece of advice - don't run as it will hurt your knees. Or you'll take the consequence when you get older

But somehow I have strong knees. I can see a lot of runners older and stronger than me. I may not be at their level, but perhaps I can try a little to get closer.

Best piece of advice - "When devastatingly low, things will normally get better..." Gordy Ainsleigh, the father of 100 milers, said this in A Race for the Soul about the second half of Western States 100M.

This always broadens my sight and helps me see things positive. There is no help to be negative.

5. Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know.

Would rather be running in a swimming trunk

I guess it would be in the Old Dominion 100M this year. It was so hot and humid that all my anti-chafing tricks failed. It was usual that I had to tape my nipples. However, I also had to taped my inner thighs as the never-failed Vaseline I applied earlier were all gone from heavy sweating. There was already a hot spot of 3 inches in diameter. The industrial tape could no longer attach to it due to the sweating. I had to run with my short rolled up to avoid the rub on my thighs. I wished I had run with a swimming suit. I thought I looked pretty awkward so that I let go when approaching a female or an aid station.

Time to pass the baton, but I guess it's too late - every blogger seems to have been tagged. I'll find someone in the mean time :-)

Monday, June 30, 2008

Special Grand Slam for 2008

The details is here - Steve's email

The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning award is recognition for those who complete four of the oldest 100 mile trail runs in the U.S. The "Slam" consists of officially finishing the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, the Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run, the Leadville Trail 100 Mile Run and the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run all in the same year. The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning Award was established in 1986, when Tom Green was the first finisher.

The first one in the series Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run was canceled last week for this year because of the fire and smoke at the course. This raised a question how the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning can be continued this year.

Steve Baugh met with the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning Committee at Sunday night (6/29). They came up with the solution.

First grand slammers are allowed to withdraw by 7/16 prior to Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run and get full refund ($80).

For those willing to continue the pursuit,

"We are pleased to offer an alternative run which would be the 4th leg of the Grand Slam for 2008. The Arkansas Traveller 100 will be the official alternative for the 2008 slam. It will be held on Oct 4th & 5th, four weeks after the Wasatch Front 100. The Arkansas Traveller is a quality 100-mile run with a rich tradition and history. 2008 will be their 18th running. You can print off an entry form by going to We are appreciative of Chrissy and Stan Ferguson, the AT 100 Race Directors, for their willingness to allow any slammers to continue with their quest to complete the 2008 Grand Slam. They will also allow us to have time at their awards ceremony to recognize successful Grand Slammers on their accomplishment."

Arkansas Traveller 100 is not in my wish list of epic-like courses, but the course is only one out and back course. I actually would like to do it at least once in future. I should consider doing it now as part of my Grand Slam of Ultrarunning this year.

The problem should be more about race conflict, travel expense (for a Traveller), and family approval. I have Dick Collins' Firetrails 50M a week later, while there is Rio Del Lago 100M a week before. I have not signed up the latter yet, but it's the run I'd like to do year after year. Btw, today is the last day for the lowest entry fee of Rio Del Lago 100M. It will be $15 more from $210 right now!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

List of Epic-like (P2P, etc) Trail Races

Just like hiking, I am fascinated with such epic-like trail running without going through the same section of trails more than once. Don't know if there is a name for such running courses because point-to-point or P2P seems appropriate but might be be limited as seen below when some courses have loops.

Listers from Ultrarunning List gave me a few such races. Combining with those what I know, I compiled the following list. Most of them are point-to-point (P2P) and some others have non-repetitive loops.

090214? Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail 118 Miles One big loop
Alternates CW and CCW each year. (Thanks BMarysdad)

090404 American River 50 Miles P2P
From Sacramento to Auburn on the American River trail - 27 mile pavement and 23 mile dirt trail.

090425? Zane Grey Highline Trail 50 Miles P2P
Along Highline Trail around Payson, AZ 85541.

090516 Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 Mile Run Loops
"actually is a loop course but still quite epic" (Thanks Bedford W. Boyce, Jr.)
It is always on the same weekend as my backyard Ohlone Wilderness 50K (see below). Also after running part of its typical rocky trails in Old Dominion 100M last week, I found some difficulty to persuade myself to take on the ankle twisting challenge :-(

090517? Ohlone Wilderness 50K P2P
From Fremont to Livermore via Sunol on the Ohlone Wilderness trail.

090613? Laurel Highlands 70 Miles P2P
"The 70.5 mile race traverses the entire Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail in southwestern Pennsylvania."

090613? Pittsfield Peaks Ultra Challenge 53 Miles A few distinct loops
"Start will be at Amee Farm and the finish will be at Riverside Farm."
"Race course will be on country roads, logging roads, NFS roads, snowmobile trails, and rugged single track trails" with 14,005ft climb. (Thanks Sherpa John Lacroix)

080615-21 Desert R.A.T.S. 7 day P2P stage run
"Run from Grand Junction, Colorado to the world famous Moab, Utah along the beautiful 148-mile Kokopelli's trail. Distances will range from day to day between 9 and 50 miles." (Thanks Peter Bakwin)

080628 Western States 100 Miles P2P
From Squaw Valley to Auburn on the Western States Trail.

080711 Hardrock 100 Miles One big loop
Start/Finish at Silverton, CO. Alternates CW and CCW directions each year. In 2008, the course will be run clockwise - a big loop through the San Juan Mountains of beautiful southwest Colorado: Silverton - Ophir - Telluride - Ouray - Sherman (Lake City) - Silverton

080719 Damn Wakely Dam Ultra P2P
"...a trail run through the Adirondack Park Wilderness of New York State along a remote and uninterrupted section of the Northville Placid Trial between Piseco Lake and Wakely Dam. There are no cross roads. There are no aid stations. Runners must be prepared to complete the entire 32.6 miles (52.5K) of rugged technical trail unassisted. It's just you, the trail and the company of like-minded runners." (Thanks Mike)

080727 Escarpment Trail 30Ks P2P
But maybe a bit too short to be epic (IMO). (Thanks Greg Goodson)

080802 Burning River 100 Miles P2P with some small loops
Starting at Squire’s Castle in Willoughby Hills, the run follows the scenic Cuyahoga River Valley Corridor and finishes in Cuyahoga Falls. It travels Northeast Ohio through several of the region’s most scenic areas, including the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the Cleveland Metroparks and the Metro Parks.

080809 Laurel Valley White Water Run P2P
31, 35, 40 Miles. A "spectacular, quad-busting,
unsupported" run in August in SC. The entry fee is only $25 to cover all the cost. (Thanks Mike Day)

080816 Where's Waldo 100K Almost a big loop
I DNSed last year between Cool Night 12hr, long driving, and Cascade Crest 100 Miles (Thanks Peter Fish)

080823 Cascade Crest 100 Miles One big loop
Start/Finish at Easton, WA, featuring 10am start, Goat Peak, Rail Trail Tunnel, Trail from the Hell, Cardiac Needles, etc with only 15 aid stations.

080829 UTMB 166K One big loop
Ultra Tour du Mount Blanc

080905 Superior Trail 100 Miles P2P
Along the Superior Hiking Trail From Gooseberry Falls State Park to Caribou Highlands Lodge in Minnesota.

080906 Wasatch Front 100 Miles P2P
"The Wasatch 100 is a point-to-point race that traverses the heart of the central Wasatch Mountains, one of the most beautiful ranges of the Rocky Mountains."
"The run stretches from Layton, Utah to The Homestead in Midway, Utah and covers some of the most beautiful scenery the Wasatch Mountains have to offer."

080907-13 Tuscarora Trail 252 7 day P2P stage run
Start in PA, through MA, WV, and finish in VA. If it is 252 Miles, then its $500 entry fee should be fine based on the West Coast race fee standard, though East Coast usually has lower entry fee. (Thanks Peter Bakwin)

080913 Plain 100 Miles Two distinct loops (55 and 45+ miles)

080913 Angeles Crest 100 Miles P2P
From Wrightwood to Pasadena in San Gabriel Mountains, California

080920 PCTR Skyline to the Sea 50K P2P
On the 30 mile Skyline to the Sea trail in California, "from the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains at Saratoga Gap through Big Basin Redwoods State Park, the oldest park in California (est. 1902), and ends at the Pacific Ocean at Waddell Beach. It travels through tall redwoods and high chaparral along the way."

080927 Great Eastern Endurance Run 100K Loops
The name of the event tells everything! (Thanks Bedford W. Boyce, Jr.)

081101 Mountain Masochist Trail Run 50 Miles P2P
"The race begins at the James River Visitor Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway (mile 63.6) and finishes in Montebello. National Geographic Map #789 (Lexington / Blue Ridge Mts.) is the best topographic map for the area." (Thanks John Price)

081108 The Great North Walk 100 Miles P2P
On part of the 250K Great North Walk in Australia from Teralba on Lake Macquarie to Patonga on spectacular Broken Bay.

081108 Pinhoti 100 Miles P2P
Starting in Heflin, AL on the unmolested Pinhoti single track
trail and finish on the rubberized track in the Sylacauga High School
Football Stadium.

081122 JFK 50 Mile P2P
The largest ultrarunning event in USA with 1,078 finisher in 2007. Could not find the course details from the web site :-( (Thanks John Price)

081207 HIGH DESERT 50K One big loop
"Very run able desert course, some challenges but a very fast course." (Thanks Chris)

081207? Hellgate 100K P2P
66 Miles and 13,500ft climb according to Keith Knipling Race Report: 2007 Hellgate 100K. See how he decided that Garmin 305 for 50 miles or shorter and Polar S625X for 100 miles. (Thanks John Price)

Some of them are outside US. I think I might be able to afford to going some day.

I know there are P2P road ultras - Keys 100, Badwater 135 Miles,
Spartatholon, Mother Road 100 Miles. However, I prefer to stay at trails since I was an avid hiker before taking on ultra/trail running.

I marked my favorite with

Friday, May 9, 2008

Good Luck on 5/10 - PCTR Lake Merritt and Quicksilver

PCTR Lake Merritt

Courtesy of PCTR

Ron Duncan - possibly win the 6hr, going north from his place , while I'm traveling south tomorrow. Will we see each other on I-880? There is a Webcast

Quicksilver - The number of race entrants is at new high (314 last night!), but the race is not yet closed. Please keep coming over. Today is the last chance because there is no race day registration.

Courtesy of Quicksilver

Adam Blum (Course-Trained) - one of his weekly races,

Chihping Fu (Ultrailrunning Family Man (超馬阿爸)) - will listens to his injured body - stress fracture for 6 months and cold symptom after Miwok 100K

Alan Geraldi (EnduraZone) - not racing but come over-dressed for heat training?

Sean Lang (Bushido Runner) - upgrade from 50K last year and after great performance so far this year

Rajeev Patel (The Poetic Runner) - First race after helping Miwok 100K and RDing Ruth Anderson. Thank you!, I'll think of your buddy Anil Rao (Adventure Unlimited).

Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnaka) - I can see a lot of your competitors. Please beat them!

I'm excited to have the party of seeing all the ultra/trail friends over there. Then I'll think of the famous Quicksilver burger and massage during the run.

Btw, Quicksilver reminds me when the Thuesday leader Eric Belden first introduced me and Yuki Negoro, プロフィール this run back in 2004. We were so nervous about running 50K on hills when our longest distance was only a Marathon. To me, the training run with Eric and Yuki over Rancho San Antonio got me a taste of trail running. In the 50K, I was actually amazed that I was able to keep moving after the Marathon distance. Since then, both me and Yuki have got addicted to ultra/trail (ultrail?) running.

Good luck our Ultraholics and all the friends I'll see tomorrow!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ultrailrunning 2008 Ultra Costly (keep counting)

I'm glad that one truth still holds - the cost per mile in an ultra is less expensive than a road race. However, I have to admit that the cost of running ultra's is no longer ignorable that I thought before. As I participate longer distance of a race and the more number of races in a year, the yearly cost in races climbs up a lot.

Besides, running a race outside California incurs a great amount in traveling. It turns out that the total cost for a cheaper Eastern 100 milers makes me appreciate the once-complained $300 high application fee for the Western States 100M within 4 fours of driving.

Anyway, taking the "rare" opportunity of running Western States 100M this year for my first time, I decided to pursue the so-called Grand Slam and Last Great Race, which have a lot of out of CA races. I think this year will definitely set the record for expense in doing races, so I put down the expenses in this post. It's really painful with my wallet!

2008 Grand Slam
Entry Fee$80$80
01/05 Epiphany 50K
01/26 Fremont Fat Ass 43M
03/21 Coyote Two Moon 100M
Entry Fee$225$225
04/05 American River 50M
Entry Fee$95$95
04/12 Diablo 50M
Entry Fee$85$85
04/19 Ruth Anderson 100M
Entry Fee$40$40
05/03 Miwok 100K
Entry Fee$107$107
05/10 Quicksilver 50M
Entry Fee$65$65
05/18 Ohlone 100M
Entry Fee$75$75
06/07 Old Dominion 100M
Entry Fee$135$551
Car rental$76
06/28 Western States 100M
Entry Fee$300$500
Thu Hotel$86
Fri Hotel$104
07/19 Vermont 100M
Entry Fee$200$722
Car Rental$146
08/16 Leadville 100M
Entry Fee$215$554

Car Rental$108
Leadville Hostel
08/23 Cascade Crest 100M
Entry Fee$195$370
Car Rental (3 Days)$84
09/06 Wasatch Front 100M
Entry Fee$150$328
09/13 Angeles Crest 100M
Entry Fee$190$190
Car Rental (4 days)$94
09/27 Rio Del Lago 100M
Entry Fee$225
10/04 Arkansas Traveler 100M
Entry Fee$145
Airfare (OKC)$196
Car Rental (3 days)$55
10/11 Firetrails 100M
Entry Fee$85$85
11/08 Pinhoti 100M
Entry Fee (+ shuttle bus)
Airfare (BHM)
Car Rental (2 days)$48
Forthcoming / Paid Grand Total$5,310$4,070

I feel very guilty spending so much. I hope I can finish my goals this year and make up in future for what my family have sacrificed for me. I'm thinking to break my rule by looking for any chance to get sponsored though the success is very low.

[added 08/02/13]
No way! Forget about the money thing. Just go out and have fun. This is a great chance to see the country!

Removed the sponsorship words from the title.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Looking Back at 2007 (Trail Running Blog Tag)

My friend Alan Geraldi (a hell of an ultramarathoner and blog owner of: EnduraZone ) "tagged me" with this list of questions. So, I will try to respond below (and then figure out who else to tag):

1. The most memorable moment on the trails was…

Every race is special to me, so this is a tough question. Cascade Crest Classics 100M has the unexpected cold mountain rain at the night, the pierogies saving me from complete exhaustion, the rope rappelling along the steep muddy trail, the 3 mile rail-trail tunnel, the 2.5 hour effort on the 6 mile Barkley-like "trail from the hell", the cardiac needles dwarfing the infamous steep hills in Rio Del Lago 100M, and the unexpected "racing" with the 100 miler legend Hans-Dieter Weisshaar. These are the most memorable moments, while the nettle whipping, native American tribes, anti-oxidant rich huckleberry feast on the run, and bush whacking, are just icing on the cake.

On the other hand, Wasatch Front 100M has tough climbs everywhere and exhausted me many times. I sleep walked and fell down on my way to the Desolation. Those are great and miserable moments.

2. The best new trail I discovered in 2007 was…

I have run quite a few new races in 2007. Every trails was great, so this is another tough ask. How about the worst shape "trail from the hell" that I cursed all the way in Cascade Crest Classics 100M? Trails at Wasatch Front 100M course are also out of this world!

However, my best new trail in 2007 should be 11-12 miles virtually flat Alameda Creek Trail. It runs along Alameda Creek as a border of Fremont and Union City. It connects between the Bay and the East Bay hills. It has trail markers at every half mile showing two numbers for distances to Bay or the hills. I always run 1.5 miles from my home to get to mile 6.5/4.5.

At the south side of the creek, it is an 11 mile paved bike path, belonging to Fremont. I'd been very familiar with it. Its half mile painted trail markers were my training run for road races. When I got to the trail, I always ran to one end without any gut to run the entire trail out-and-back 22 miles, plus 3 mile home trip. I knew every bit of the trail, so this trail is not new to me.

Across the 100 ft wide creek from the paved bike path, I could see the dirt trail at the other side. Until I started to run ultras for a while, I had never tried the north side of the creek, belonging to Union City. Somehow, it is 12 mile long, 1 mile more than the south side. The painted trail markers are replaced with real trail sign posts.

This dirt path was completely new to me until I ran the inaugural Fremont Fat Ass in 2007. I was amazed at such a wonderful dirt path to a trailrunner's mind. I was also surprised why I had no temptation even to try it for so many years before.

Since then, the north side 12 mile became my training run area. I set my training distance record - 40 miles (See Finishing a 40 MileTraining Run). I was able to run the entire out-and-back 24 miles, which I never dared to dream about it. Getting to one end at Bay was such an inspiration that I felt like being the center of the Universe with sensible civilization surrounding me to the farthest.

Being easily accessible with 1.5 miles from my home and scenic with Bay, wilderness, City street, and convenient water spots, Alameda Creek Trail was the best new trail I enjoyed in 2007.

3. My best performance of the year was…

Although I was bothered by the frequent ankle twist issue in the first half of the year, I was fortunate enough to have one race that I was proud of. It is American River 50M, in which I made my 50 miler PR - 8:31:56.

I don't know how I signed up my first 50 miler in 2005 American River 50M. Being a mediocre road marathon runner (3:19 PR) usually hitting the wall at mile 22, I was really scared at the concept of "running 50 miles".

Me and a good friend Yuki Negoro, who was in the similar situation but a better runner, decided to do 10 min run/ 1 min walk. He had a timer, but we both agreed from our legs at later miles that the 1 min walk seemed getting shorter every time. Also being passed by many runners in the beginning was a hurt on our morale. Luckily, I seemed to turn on my engine when we hit the trail at mile 27. I kept passing people and was able to have a 9:39 finish.

After proving that we can finish a 50 miler, we would like to further explore our limits. Next time in 2006, we got rid of the run/walk by running from the start though at reasonably slow pace. We found we were still alive when the trail started. I loved the trail section and was able to do 9:01, while at the final climb talking with now Cool Night 12hr RD Nancy Warren about breaking 9hr.

Last year I ran alone and decided to push myself even more. I barely made my 4hr goal at the 27 mile bike path, and I was more tired than ever at the trail section. I found I was passed by more runners later. Still I was able to continue the streak of 30+ min improvement by finishing it 8:31:56.

Therefore, for three years in row, I was able to run more than 30 minutes faster each time - 9:39, 9:01, and 8:31. I should be looking forward to an sub-8hr in 2008, but it will be extremely difficult to continue the three year streak and make a sub-8hr at American River 50M.

This year I have no particular goal in mind (perhaps just finish it) since American River 50M is two weeks after Coyote Two Moon 100M. Also I'm afraid 8:31 is too fast and will be my fastest 50 miler for my lifetime. But who knows?

4. I do not know how I previously survived without...

This is the most difficult to answer of all the questions. I really had thought of quitting for a times, but I was able to keep going with my mental strength to the finish.

In Miwok 100K, I was bothered with too many ankle twists for the first 10 miles and nearly dropped. I kept faith and gave some chances to myself, while adjusting my footing and running style. I finally finished it, though missing a turn cost me an over-12hr finish.

In Cascade Crest Classics 100M, I was struggled and exhausted by the unprepared cold mountain rain at mile 30-ish. Knowing quitting was not a better solution under cold rain without shelter, I was grateful for a rest and some food (pierogies) that I was able started to walk and run again. I finished the run.

In Wasatch Front 100M, I felt very sleepy due to cold, altitude, and exhaustiveness on leaving Lamb's Canyon (mile 40). It was a very tough night that I sleep walked through it. My body gradually woke up as the daylight came in little by little on my way to the Brighton mountain resort. The rest 25 miles were not easy at all, but I was able to gut through them and finished it.

I guess my mental strength is a little tough to beat!

5. The person I would most like to meet on a trail in 2008...

Although there are still many ultrarunning celebrities that I have not met before, I don't have any strong desire to see any particular folks. Actually, I think I love to meet anyone running along with me or just us passing each other. Anything on the trail are fun enough and I'm very satisfied with these.

However, I found out the one I like to see at trail running after finishing this post. It is Yuki Negoro. Yuki and I have been training and racing for many years. He was one of those who inspired me a lot in running.

However, he has been bothered for injuries in past two years. He expects to recover in Spring and becomes our familiar fast Yuki. Just saw his name on the Hardrock applicant list along with Alan Geraldi and myself.

If I have to pick one particular person for this question, it will be Yuki Negoro! Go Yuki!!

6. The race I am most excited about for 2008...

Of course, it will be Western States 100M after three years of waiting. Since I'm pursuing Grand Slam and Last Great Race, I'm going to do some new races. I'm looking forward to have exciting thing on my trip and the courses that are completely new to me.

On the other hand, the scary Hardrock 100M, the wonderful Cascade Crest Classics 100M, the Grand Slam final Wasatch Front 100M, and the Last Great Race final Angeles Crest 100M, are all exciting to me.

Other Tagged Fellows

Steve Ansell (Mountain Man Steve) - I'm it!

Adam Blum (Course-Trained - Ultra) -
More 2007 Retrospective and 2008 Plan

Scott Dunlap (A Trail Runner's Blog) - Looking Back at 2007 (Trail Running Blog Tag)

Paul Charteris (Do more trailrunz) - Trail Running Blog Tag

Alan Geraldi (EnduraZone) - LOOKING BACK AT 2007 - TRAIL RUNNING BLOG TAG

Pete Lubbers (Run Lake Tahoe) - Looking Back at 2007 (Trail Running Blog Tag)

Rajeev Patel (The Poetic Runner) - Tagged! You're it!!

Mark Tanaka (Mark Tanaka's Trail & Ultra Running Blog) - My Running 2007 in Review (Tag Answers Part 1 of 2), waiting for his Part 2!

I'll try to tag the following friends and spread the tagging - Steve Ansell (Mountain Man Steve, Thanks!), Ron Duncan (sub-3hr marathon runner), Adam Blum (Course-Trained - Ultra, Thanks!), Keith Blom (, etc