Thursday, January 29, 2009

2009 La Sportiva USATF Oregon Mountain Running Series Announced

The La Sportiva USATF-Oregon Mountain Running Series is back again in 2009 - this time with 6 premium races around the state. The inaugural 2008 series featured scenic races on Mt. Hood, Mt. Bachelor, Mt. Ashland as well as a superb up and down challenge on the high ridges above crystal clear Applegate Lake. In addition to these 4 races the 2009 series adds a short but steep 2 mile challenge in the Columbia River Gorge and a new up / down format race in Oakridge, OR just East of Eugene. Great races also come with great rewards with one the top runners in the overall series winning a spot on the La Sportiva Mountain Running Team. Will Max King get a rematch on Mt. Hood against US Mountain Running Team member Joe Gray? Can Ashland speedster Erik Skaggs repeat his double victories at the Graniteman and Mt. Ashland? Who will win the 2009 series? It could be you!

For more information on the series visit:

Monday, January 26, 2009

White River Snowshoe Race Results

The good folks at X-Dog Events pulled off another superb event at the White River Sno-Park on Mt. Hood. Kevin Guiberson (Bothell, WA) won the 8k on the men's side in 33:55. The top women was Christy Runde (Brush Prairie, WA) who finished 8th overall in 37:20. This race served as a regional qualifer for the USSSA Snowshoe National Championships which will be held at the same venue on March 8.

For complete results from the 2009 White River Snowshoe Race go to:

You can see pictures of the race at:

Monday, January 19, 2009

Trail Factor Run Report - Hagg Lake, OR

Henry Hagg Lake 14 + mile loop

(Photo by Richard Bolt - 2008 Hagg Lake 50k, men in skirts)

Written by Shawn Bostad

This weekend was one of the first nice days that TRAIL FACTOR has had running in a long time.  The sky was completely blue and the winds were on the low side.  Temperatures were hovering around 38-40 degrees throughout the run and probably a bit cooler in some areas due to the icy nature of the trail.  

We were tackling the Henry Hagg Lake trail, which is a 14+ mile loop out near Forest Grove.  We decided to go out a run the Hagg Lake loop as a prep run to the Hagg Lake Trail Run.  This is one of the local trail races that kick off the beginning of the Oregon Ultramarathon Trail Series.  They have a 25K and a 50K race available for all to enjoy.  Most of us ran the course today and tentatively made the decision that we would most likely be entering the 25K.  Most of us have dipped our feet into ultra races many times, but this year some of us are considering focusing on shorter races.

We had six runners on the Trail Factor run.  Those who attended today included Jessi, Rick, Ruben, Shawn, Susan, and Aubree.  Susan and Aubree were both new-comers to Trail Factor and once again excellent additions to the run.  Susan has a track background and is new to trail running.  She is an RN and has an amazing personality filled with spunky energy.  Aubree is definitely a veteran runner with a background in track and cross country.  She is an accomplished marathoner and has also competed in several trail races.  She spends a good portion of her time at the North East Portland Therapeutic Associates Clinic working there as the head DPT.  She is also an amazing person and runs like an animal.    

We were running the course clockwise today.  This is opposite of what they do in the race, but we wanted to hit the trails first.  We had parked at the Elks picnic area and if you run it counter clockwise from there, you run directly over the Dam first, which feels really long.  We also wanted to experience the trail in the opposite direction to the real course on race day.
Everything started off nice and smooth.  We hit the trail and things looked pretty good.  There was some ice due to the very cold temperatures the night before, but this meant that all the mucky mud would be nicely frozen and hard packed.  Hagg Lake is notorious for being really muddy and cruddy.  In some cases you can actually bury your whole leg in a mud bog.  

We were moving along nicely and then we had a bit of a TRAIL FACTOR style ankle sprain on the team.  Unfortunately, Susan rolled her ankle over very thoroughly.  Susan is new to trail running, so this was one of her first trail running ankle sprains.  She toughed it out for a bit, but the swelling was settling in and she headed back for the car.  She got a good hour of running.  
This brings up a good point about trail running.  Although most of us run trail to get off of the road and hopefully prevent injuries; there are certainly cases when the trail can really bite you in the butt and cause some serious injuries.  Trails are unpredictable and require a tremendous amount of stabilization to run smoothly.  I spend a fair amount of time working on balance exercises off of the trails to prevent catastrophic ankle sprains and would recommend others to the same for both on road and off road running health.  

We all continued on with the run.  Jessi and Aubree running together and Shawn, Ruben and Rick staying together like a band of brothers.  

This trail bobs in and out of the woods.  It takes you through dense forest and even incorporates a fair amount of running on the road.  It’s a great combinations of fast trail running mixed with slow mud running.  This trail is also open to mountain bikes, so on occasion you will be sharing the mud with the two wheeled knobbies.  

The conditions of the trail on this particular run were fair to good.  There were many sections that were nicely packed down and free of debris, but we certainly hit some sections that really slowed us down due to downed trees.  This made for some pretty interesting running.

The ladies obviously had the trail figured out.  Even though we were ahead of them, there were two occasions when we took a couple detours that not only added time, but mileage.  We crossed paths with the ladies a couple times throughout the run.  They were always surprised to see us and so were we.  Even though this trail runs along the lake, there are many options that will either shoot you down to the lake or up onto the road.  The trails are marked pretty well in some locations, but in other locations lack markings all together.  Veteran Hagg Lake trail runners can probably navigate this trail with their eyes closed, but Rick, Ruben and myself have only run the course once before and therefore would not be classified as Veteran Hagg Lake Trail Runners.  
We kept on clicking off the miles.  We had a couple of near spills on some muddy sections of the course.  There were also several blackberry thorns in some sections.  By the end, Ruben and Ricks legs looked like they had just finished shaving their legs, but were first timers at the process. 

We did run into a couple of runners, but the trail was mostly clear.  We also ran into a few folks doing trail maintenance.  They were obviously involved in some way with the Hagg Lake Trail Run because they asked us if we would be racing.  We replied with a yes and continued on.  A big thank you should always be given to those who work hard at keeping the trails clear.  Also, if you love trail running, you should try at some point to offer a bit of your time up to trail maintenance.  It helps keep everything clear so we can run effortlessly and smoothly and enjoy the trail for years and years.

We finished up our run with the last road section of the day.  It crosses the Dam and runs you right back into Elks picnic area.  Shawn, Ruben and Rick finished 14+ miles in about 2:07 and the ladies finished shortly after in about 2:25.  

Overall it was a great TRAIL FACTOR run and only had one incident.  Even though Susan sprained her ankle, she was such a trooper and in such good spirits.  We finished up our day with a trip to Mcmenamins for some food and beer, which is nearly my favorite part of the run.
If you are ever interested in joining TRAIL FACTOR for a run, please visit our website at

Shawn Bostad

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mountain Running Report from IAAF Meetings in Monaco

WMRA Treasurer and President of the American Trail Running Association Nancy Hobbs was just in Monaco for IAAF meetings related for mountain and ultra running. Here are some of her notes from the trip:

Nancy Hobbs - January 18, 2009
1) Plans going smooth for Italy [World Mountain Running Championship] event. Funicular will be transport -- and bus -- from Campodolcino to the start area which is in a town with an M. The athletes will stay in two different locations (teams I should say). Some in Campo, others in another team with an M. Can not remember name right now. There WILL NOT be an open race -- at least nothing planned right now.
2) World Champs will be the 6th of 7 races in the WMRA Grand Prix. Smarna Gora Finale event again. Runners score with at least 4 I think it is. Points for Italy event same as Smarna Gora.

3) World Masters in Croatia coming along fine. Race course sounds fantastic.

4) Poland is bidding to host masters in 2010

5) Pikes Peak Ascent will be Long Distance Challenge in 2010

6) Bids from noone yet for 2010 WChamps, but hopeful for a venue in either Austria or Germany

7) For 2011 - Darbersham (sp) in England interested and also Germany I believe

8) For 2011 Long Distance challenge -- interest from race in Slovenia

9) Meetings went really well this year -- it is an election year in Italy by the way.

Nancy Hobbs - January 15, 2009
I ran in shorts and lightweight long sleeve and was plenty warm... and with my camera. I did just under an hour -- walking some to take photos...and running very easy. The waves were crashing on the rocks and spilling the mist over the sidewalk where I ran along the coast. My sunglasses got speckled with misty droplets. I watched the sunset. Climbed up the road a bit from the sea and took some photos overlooking Cap d'Ail -- the stadium, the soccer fields, the heli port. There wasn't a cloud in the sky.

I did a short walk tonight. Doing my speed hill work tomorrow perhaps with my friend Sharon. She is here with her husband Adrian who is on the council with me (they are from Wales and just spent two days in Nice before getting here). Tonight they went to the Circus with the president of our assoc. Danny Hughes and his wife Norma. I opted to stay in and catch up on sleep before busy days ahead.

Tomorrow we go to a new place with the IAU council and our group along with two of the IAAF XC/RR delegates -- Otto Klappert and Carlos Cardoza. Pierre and perhaps two staffers from the IAAF office will join us -- probably 25 or so. Saturday night we go to our favorite place on the water -- 12 of us for that one. Danny was happy to secure 30 euro per person for Saturday night. Of course I don't eat/drink that much, but the others make up fo r my lack of appetite.

Saw the movie Bottle Shock on the airplane -- decent movie related to the wine industry in France/Napa valley in the 70s -- timely. Did more listening to my iPod on the flight than anything else -- and hydrating, hydrating... I have to say, it is way nicer weather than I thought we'd have. It was due to rain today...the storm is/was coming from Africa but is headed east. Being in a mircro climate the weather here is almost always gorgeous. The driver who collected me at the airport talked about the toursits, the weather, his home on the hillside where he and his wife raise their two White Shepheard dogs and two Andalusion horses. He showed me a photo since I told him I had a horse. We also talked some politics and he gave me his insight toward the accident in '83(?) when Grace Kelly was killed. She was much revered in the area. Her daughter Stephanie is very active with the promotion/support of the circus and the driver said she is certainly not over/past the accident which killed her Mom. We got to the hotel in record time -- everyone drives wicked fast here.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Eric Blake Mountain Running Interview

I read a great interview with US Mountain Running Team member Eric Blake ("Quadzilla")  on  Eric was the US Mountain Running Champion in 2006 and 2008, and was a member of the Bronze medal winning US Mountain Running Team at the 2008 World Mountain Running Trophy in Switzerland this past September.  

"CRC: Mountain running courses. Can you tell us a bit about what the quintessential course is? It seems to encompass a real variety - up and down, longer/shorter, cross-country conditions to brutal paved ascents like Mt. Washington. Are there limits to the course design/layout that organizers must follow, or is the sky the limit?

Eric Blake: Most courses fall into two categories "up and down" or "uphill only." Most races are between 10 -12k. Some are on trails but I prefer races like Mt Washington: on-road and uphill only.
There are restrictions on the course lay out such as high altitude, too much pavement and/or stairs. The course in Switzerland was tricky. Some very steep parts mixed with other parts that were not too bad. It included muddy trails, roads, and even some stairs."

To read the complete interview click here.

Monday, January 5, 2009

2009 Oregon Mountain, Ultra & Trail Racing Calendar

The 2009 Oregon Mountain, Ultra & Trail Racing Calendar has been completed. According to my research there are 44 such races in Oregon this year. There might be more I don't know about so if you don't see one you know about, please let me know and I'll add it to the calendar.

Many of the old standby races are back in 2009 including the Mt. Ashland Hillclimb run which is now in it's 32nd year. Also back are the 7 ultra distance races in the Oregon Trail Ultramarathon Series which includes the Where's Waldo 100k which is also the USA 100k Trail Running National Championship. Another USA Trail Championship has come to Oregon in the form of the 2nd Annual Lithia Loop Trail Marathon. Organized by the Rogue Valley Runners, this race was designated the USA Trail Marathon National Championships last month by the USA Track & Field's MUT Council.

The Oregon MUT racing calendar with links to each race can be found at:

Below is a simple list of races w/o links:
1/3/09 – The Bad Ass, 9, 13, 22 miles or 50k, Bend, OR – Ultra, Trail Race

1/31/09 – Mad Ass Ultra, 25k & 50k, Madras, OR – Ultra, Trail Race

2/7/09 – Pier Park Trail Runs, 3 hour & 6 hour, Portland, OR – Ultra, Trail Race

2/21/09 – Hagg Lake, 25k & 50k, Forest Grove, OR – Ultra, Trail Race

3/7/09 – Barlow Trail Fun Run, 5k, Gresham, OR – Trail Race

3/14/09 – Tar N Trails Run, 6 miles, Ashland, OR – Trail Race

3/29/09 – Footzone Horse Butte 10 Miler, 10 miles, Bend, OR – Trail Race

4/5/09 – Peterson Ridge Rumble, 30k & 60k, Sisters, OR – Ultra, Trail Race

5/9/09 – Tough as Nails Mountain Run, 10 miles & 5k, Medford, OR – Mountain, Trail Race

5/9/09 – MacDonald Forest, 50k, Corvallis, OR – Ultra, Trail Race

5/16/09 – Deer Leap Half Marathon, 14 miles, Glide, OR – Trail Race

5/17/09 – Havoc at the hideout, 6 miles, North Plains, OR – Trail Race

5/24/09 – Forest Park Trail Runs, 10k, 20k, 50k, Portland, OR – Trail Race

5/25/09 – Ridgeline Ramble, 10k & 20k, Eugene, OR – Trail Race

5/31/09 – Run for the Hills, 8k, Corvallis, OR – Trail Race

6/6/09 – Silver Falls Challenge, 5k, Silverton, OR – Trail Race

6/6/09 – Granite Man Endurance Races, 11 miles, 30k & 60k, Jacksonville, OR – Ultra & Trail Races

6/13/09 – Steep Hill Chase, 5k, Eugene, OR – Trail Race

6/14/09 – Footzone Dirty Half, 13.1 miles, Bend, OR – Trail Race

6/20/09 – Cape Mountain Trail Run, 5 & 10 miles, Florence, OR – Trail Race

6/21/09 – Mt Hood Scramble, 6 miles, Mt Hood, OR – Mountain, Trail Race

7/11/09 – Siskiyou Out Back, 15k & 50k, Mt. Ashland, OR – Ultra, Trail Race

7/18/09 – Mt Tabor Challenge, 5k & 8k, Portland, OR – Mountain Race

7/19/09 – McCubbins Gultch Scramble, 6 miles, Bear Springs, OR – Mountain, Trail Race

7/25/09 – Mt. Hood PCT Ultramarathon, 50k & 50 miles, Timothy Lake, OR – Ultra, Trail Race

8/1/09 – Mt. Ashland Hillclimb Run, 13 miles, Ashland, OR – Mountain, Trail Race

8/2/09 – Tillamook Burn, 6 miles, Pacific City, OR – Trail Race

8/9/09 – Haulin Aspen Marathon & Half-Marathon, Bend, OR – Trail Race

8/16/09 – NW Mountain Running Championships, 7 miles, Mt. Hood, OR – Mountain, Trail Race

8/22/09 – Where’s Waldo Ultramarathon, 100k, Willamette Pass, OR – Ultra, Trail Race
Where’s Waldo is also the 2009 USA Track & Field National 100k Trail Championship

9/5/09 – Sunrise to Summit Race, 3 miles, Mt. Bachelor, OR – Mountain, Trail Race

9/6/09 – World Mountain Running Championships, 12k, Campodolcino, Italy – Mountain, Trail Race

9/7/09 – Wildwood Trail Trial, 10k, Portland, OR – Trail Race

9/12/09 – McKenzie River Trail Run, 50k, McKenzie Pass, OR – Ultra, Trail Race

9/12/09 – XTERRA National Trail Running Championships, 13.1 miles, Bend, OR – Trail Race

9/13/09 – Ole’s Assault Adventure Run, 6-8 miles, Astoria, OR – Trail Race

9/19/09 – Timberline Marathon, 26.2 miles, Mt Hood, OR – Ultra, Trail Race

9/20/09 – Timberline Half Marathon, 13.1 miles, Timothy Lake, OR – Trail Race

9/26 – 9/27/09 – PCT Ultra 100 Miler, 100 miles, Mt. Hood, OR – Ultra, Trail Race

10/17/09 – Sisters Poker Run, 34 miles, Sisters, OR – Ultra, Trail Race

10/19/09 – Pre’s Trail XC Challenge, 7k, 5k & 3k, Eugene, OR – Trail Race

10/31/09 – Autumn Leaves Run, 10k, 50k, 50 miles, Champoeg Park, OR – Ultra Race

11/7/09 – Lithia Loop Trail Marathon, 26.2 miles, Ashland, OR – Trail Race
The Lithia Loop Trail Marathon is also the USA Track & Field National Trail Marathon Championship

11/14/09 – Kevin’s Cup XVII, 8k, West Linn, OR – Trail Race

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Trail Factor Run Report - Portland, OR

TRAIL FACTOR Run Report 1-4-2009
Saltzman Firelane 1 Gasline 15.75 mile loop

Written by Shawn Bostad

Trail Factor had its first Sunday run of 2009.  Our plan was to complete a loop within forest park starting at the Saltzman Rd. access point.  The loop that we would be running would wind us through some of my favorite trail up in forest park.  It’s a 15+ mile loop with a couple of good climbs and low number of trails to remember.  

We had a low turnout this weekend.  There were only 5 TRAIL FACTOR folks at the trail head.  Those attending included Shawn, Jessi, Ruben, Mark and Ben.  Most were veteran TRAIL FACTOR runners with the exception of Mark.  It would be his first TRAIL FACTOR run, but certainly not his first trail run.  He has definite running experience and triathlon experience.  He has completed several marathons and half ironman events.  He is also getting ready to become a married man.  Congratulations Mark.

The run starts off on Saltzman road.  Saltzman road is a jeep road that basically climbs to the top of Forest Park.  We normally access forest park on the lower half of Saltzman road, but there is also an access point at the top of Saltzman just off of skyline rd.  

We started our run nice and easy and made sure to keep our eyes forward.  The recent poor weather has left roads and trails littered with debris and downed trees.  The trail is also still relatively icy in some sections and no one wanted to have a trail factor style slip early on in the run.  

We stayed together up Saltzman and took a left onto Maple trail about ½ mile up Saltzman.  Once on maple, we were in a nice little groove.  At this point the trail is single track and winds its way up to Leif Erickson.

We climbed up maple and promptly took a left onto Leif Erickson.  We were blown away immediately by the number of runners that we saw.  We were wondering why trail factor had such a low turnout with all of the Leif Erickson runners out and striding along.  We waved and greeted everyone we saw until we hit firelane #1, which would be our next turn.  

We took a quick right onto firelane #1 and started climbing.  Firelane #1 is a very, very steep climb.  It doesn’t last more than a ½ to ¾ of a mile, but it certainly doesn’t let you forget that you are climbing.  It must pitch up to over 20% in some sections.  We all stayed pretty close together and finished the climb just before turning onto Wildwood Trail.  

We took a right onto Wildwood Trail and decided to just get used to running Wildwood.  We would be on it for about 8-9 miles before heading back to the start of our run.  

Wildwood was in pretty darn good condition considering all of the snow that had recently fallen.  The trail was icy, muddy and debris ridden in some sections, but it was scattered and not consistent.  We were able to run pretty much unhindered and fluidly.  

The pace at this point was nice and steady.  We were probably running between 7:15-7:45 min/miles only slowing down for hills, debris and mud pits.  I actually had a mud pit almost claim my shoe as its own.  I wrestled it back and was back to running smoothly.

We continued on and stopped once to use the rest room and eat some Gu.  As the pace continued on, I felt that it was time for me to call it a day.  I took a shorter routed back to the car and finished with 13 miles in 1:48.  Ruben and Ben continued on.  They were determined to finish the loop.  

They continued running on Wildwood, but turned slightly early.  They accidentally turned right onto Oil Line rather than Gas Line.  They said it was steep a slippery.  They were now on their way down to Leif Erickson.  

They took a right onto Leif Erickson after descending Oil line.  They would run on Leif for about ¾ to 1 mile before hitting the other end of Maple trail.

They promptly took a left on Maple trail and followed its rolling terrain until intersecting Saltzman Rd for the final time.  Down Saltzman for another ½ mile and they were done.  Ruben and Ben had finished 15 miles in 1:58.  Nice run guys.

Not long after finishing, Mark and Jessi came bouncing along Saltzman back to the car.  Everyone was finished.  We were cold, so we kept the post run chat brief and headed home for some food and warm clothes. 

Thanks for all who attended.  It was a great run and I look forward to next weekend.  
If you are interested in joining TRAIL FACTOR for a Sunday run, please visit for more information.

Written by Shawn Bostad