Wednesday, February 25, 2009

TRAIL FACTOR Race Report 2-21-2009 - Hagg Lake 25k / 50k

Hagg Lake Trail Race-25k and 50K

Written by Shawn Bostad

TRAIL FACTOR Participants Included:
Shawn, Jessi, Mallory, Ruben, Rick, Steve, Mo, Andrea, Reed, Rusty, Aubree and Heather

Race Recap: Trail Factor and all of those participating in the 2009 Hagg Lake Trail run were treated to an amazing day of running and racing. With the conditions a little too nice for Hagg Lake standards, the racing was fast and the post run hanging out weather was great.

Over 200 people toed the line in the 25K and over 100 braved the 50K. Trail Factor had at least 12 people running the course and we were all looking forward to presenting the trails with our fitness and new homemade team shirts that said, “TRAIL FACTORED”.  To get “TRAIL FACTORED” is to bonk, trip, fall, get passed, or pass someone else. It’s a term that we have all come to know well in one way or another and I think this spreads beyond just the Trail Factor crew.  The 50K race started promptly at 8:00am; with an optional 7:00am early start time and the 25k started at 9:00am. For those of you who have not run Hagg Lake, it’s a great early season race. It’s mostly single track, but does incorporate some road sections to connect trails. The footing is typically very good, although there are some sections that can get really rutted out and sloppy with mud. This makes for some much more technical running terrain, but on this day it was relatively dry and forward progression was steady.  The 50K course includes a 1.5 mile out and back section and 2 loops of the Hagg Lake trail, which is 14 miles around. The 25k is simply a shortened version of the 50k.  We had 2 individuals participating in the 50k (Heather and Rusty) and 10 individuals in the 25K (Jessi, Mallory, Steve, Rick, Ruben, Mo, Aubree, Shawn, Reed, and Andrea). We had aspirations of doing really well and Trail Factor certainly did come home with some bootie.  Since Heather and Rusty were running the 50K, they were already started before most of us made it to the race. We were thinking wonderful thoughts about their performance and hopefully they would warm the course up nicely for those of us running the 25K.

The 25k started as most trail races do. No official start line and a simple countdown to the start.  The starting gun is one of the race directors yelling, “GO”. This is true trail style racing.  The 25K race was off to a great start. Ruben and Shawn were just behind the two leaders and pacing off of their rate. The race starts with a slight uphill, just to get you warmed up for the rest of the course.  Most of the Trail Factor runners took it out pretty conservatively and weren’t trying to break any records in the first 1.5 miles, which has you cross back over the start line.  By the time we all crossed the start line we headed onto the first single track section of the course.

There were a couple runners who took it out fast, but Ruben and Shawn just hung tight. Finally the course gave way to Ruben and he caught the leaders and on one of the early hills he took the lead.  Basically it was an early victory for Ruben. Once he took the lead, he extended it to over a ½ mile pretty quickly and held it the whole way.  A little further back the race was still undecided. Shawn was hanging tight in 3rd for most of the race, but was then passed by Kevin Cave to put him in 4th. This held for most of the race with a Red Lizard runner named Dean Giblin maintaining his 3rd place spot. With about 2 miles to the finish, Shawn finally caught the Red Lizard runner and passed him to go ahead and finish the race in 3rd.

On the women’s side of the house, the battle between Mallory Gordon (Trail Factor Runner) and Emily Kelenius was really heated. They were both gunning for the win, sticking together for most of the race.  Mallory took the Lead at about mile 10 when Emily stopped at the Aid station for some fuel. Mallory was hoping that this lead snag would hold, but during the last 2 miles Mallory was passed by Emily, who went on the snatch the win by finishing the race very strong.
In the end, the 25K top three places shaped up as such on both the women’s and men’s side.

Men’s 25K
1. Ruben Galbraith(TRAIL FACTOR)-1:44:35
2. Kevin Cave-1:48:15
3. Shawn Bostad(TRAIL FACTOR)-1:52:26

Women’s 25K
1. Emily Kelenius-2:01:09
2. Mallory Gordon(TRAIL FACTOR)-2:04:59
3. Mandy Giblin-2:07:32

25K TRAIL FACTOR Finishers with Finishing Times
Rick Kneedler 10th overall and 1st in Age Group-2:00:32
Aubree Swart 6th woman and 3rd in Age Group-2:12:09
Jessi Moroney 12th woman and 3rd in Age Group-2:20:12
Mo Chambers 17th woman and 1st in Age Group-2:25:22
Steve Gabel 65th male and 10th in Age Group-2:43:23

While I have a very clear perspective of what was unfolding in the 25K, my perspective on the 50K race is much cloudier.  One thing I do know for sure is that there was a pretty heated race between Rod Bien and Lanny Gower, who is a relative new-comer to the ultra marathon scene. In the end Rod Bien raced a PR on the course, but Lanny Gower held him off for the win. On the women’s side, Joelle Vaught ran away with the race by leading the whole way into the finish and setting a new women’s course record.

Men’s 50K
1. Lanny Gower-3:48:56
2. Rod Bien-3:50:24
3. Brendan Trimboli-3:59:05 He’s only 21 and it was his second 50K ever.

Women’s 50K
1. Joelle Vaught-4:10:54 and the women’s new course record by over 21minutes. Outstanding!
2. Krissy Moehl-4:16:21 Under the women’s course record by a ton.
3. Devon Crosby-Helms-4:24:12 Also under the women’s course record

50K TRAIL FACTOR Finishers and Places
Heather Daniel 4th woman and 2nd in Age Group-4:32:50-Her first 50K. YA YA!!  In the end, the race was a complete success for not only TRAIL FACTOR, but also the race Directors Stacey and Ronda. There were some great performances and fast times. We all look forward to next year.

Complete results can be found at:

If you are interested in seeing some post race TRAIL FACTOR video, visit:

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mountain runner Matt Carpenter featured in New York Times

Mountain running phenom Matt Carpenter (Manitou Springs, CO) is featured today in an article in the New York Times.  Matt was a member of the Teva US Mountain Running Team in 2000 and most recently has dominated several domestic races including the Pikes Peak Ascent, The Teva Mountain Games and the North Face 50 Mile Championship.

From the New York Times:
"MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. — The course follows old Ute tribe trails 20 miles up, down and around Pikes Peak, a narrow, gravelly passage rising 7,815 feet to crest 14,110 feet above sea level. Tourists with respiratory ailments are cautioned against making such an ascent, even by car. Motorists on nearby roads are advised to employ manual transmission. Promotional materials for the summit warn of altitude sickness, lightning, hypothermia, rattlesnakes and wild animals carrying bubonic plague.  Matt Carpenter expected to run it in about three hours."
The complete article can be found at

VAC Vail Mountain Winter Uphill Results

PR from Ellen Miller - Vail, Colorado – Wearing a pair of lightweight racing spikes, three-time Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team Member Rickey Gates, 27, bested a competitive field at the two-plus mile VAC Vail Mountain Winter Uphill Race by nearly four minutes to set a course record of 30:49. 
Said former course record holder Matthew Cull, a member of two mountain teams - 1993 and 1995 – and ninth place finisher today, “I finished faster than last year, but lost quite a few places (to faster runners).”

Coming from sea level, 2009 mountain team member Matthew Byrne, 33, Philadelphia, PA,  gave a great effort on the oxygen-deficient course to finish second to Gates posting a time of 34:00. Prior to the race Byrne contacted race organizers asking what type of footwear to use in the race having never done a race uphill on snow. He settled for Yak tracks as did third-place finisher and veteran snowshoe racer Charlie Wertheim, 46, Glenwood Springs, who posted a time of 34:10.  

On the women’s side, 2009 mountain team member Brandy Erholtz, 31, Bailey, finished seventh overall winning her division by nearly ten minutes with a time of 35:30. Second place was Carol Pattison in 44:02 with Lynda Andros in third place posting a time of 45:24.  In addition to the snowshoe/open division there were also track skis and heavy metal options. Vail Valley local Mike Kloser, 49, won the track ski category with a time of 36:28 finishing in eighth overall. Josiah Middaugh, 30, Vail, was the first finisher in the heavy metal division placing tenth overall in 38:12.

Marie-Christine Carel was the top track skier on the women’s side finishing in 53:26 while Katie Jones raced to a time of 1:01:26 in the heavy metal division.  There were 130 finishers of all ages and abilities competing in this second annual event which ran from the base of Vail Mountain to the summit at Eagle’s Nest and gained nearly 2,200 feet of elevation.

The event was organized by Vail Valley locals Ellen Miller and Hooker Lowe to honor the memory of Vail’s own Lyndon Ellefson who died in 1998. Ellefson was a foreman on the Eagle Bahn Gondola and was instrumental in starting the U.S. men’s mountain running program and was a member of the U.S. Mountain Running Team which is one of the beneficiaries of race proceeds. The event is also a fundraiser for Jack’s Place, a cancer caring house at the Shaw Cancer Center. 

Race results are at:

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hagg Lake 2009 Race Results

The 9th running of the Hagg Lake 25k / 50k Trail Races took place yesterday. The typically muddy course in the rainy Pacific Northwest was once again unseasonably "un-muddy" and sunny. The rolling course is primarily single-track trail but also features several paved & gravel road sections as it circumnavigates Hagg Lake in the foothills of Oregon's Coastal Mountain Range. Here is a brief summary of results:

25k Race (1 loop)
1 - Ruben Galbraith, Portland, OR - 01:44:35
2 - Kevin Cave, Milwaukie, OR - 01:48:15
3 - Shawn Bostad, Portland, OR - 01:52:26
4 - Dean Giblin, Portland, OR - 01:55:38
5 - Jeremy Mcwilliams, Lake Oswego, OR - 01:56:16
11 - Emily Kalenius, Corvallis, OR - 02:01:09 (top woman)

50k Race (2 loops)
1 - Lanny Gower, Portland, OR - 03:48:56
2 - Rod Bien, Bend, OR - 03:50:24
3 - Brendan Trimboli, Seattle, WA - 03:59:05
4 - Sean Meissner, Sisters, OR - 04:01:19
5 - William Swint, Aumsville, OR - 04:05:54
7 - Joelle Vaught, Boise, ID - 04:10:54 (top woman)

25k Course Record - Todd Braje, 29 - 1:40:54 - 2006
50k Course Record - Neil Olsen, 40 - 3:43:26 - 2008

Complete results can be found at:

Monday, February 9, 2009

WMRA President Danny Hughes Dies

According to Danny's wife Norma:

"Danny died suddenly this morning of a heart attack.  It is the way he would have wanted to go but of course a big shock to us all.  I have all the family here so am very lucky.  We will let you know the funeral arrangements etc. later.   Perhaps you could let everyone know the news.
Best wishes,

Danny was the President of the World Mountain Running Association and worked tirelessly to promote the sport.  This past September after over a decade of trying, Danny finally succeded in getting the IAAF to recognize the World Mountain Running Trophy as an official "World Championship".  

Trail Factor Run Report - Hamilton Mountain, WA

TRAIL FACTOR Sunday Run Report 2-8-2009
Hamilton Mt/Hardy Creek 7.5 mile loop

Written by Shawn Bostad
Photo by Reed Gillette

Trail Factor drove out to Beacon Rock State park and tackled the Hamilton Mt. 7.5 mile loop.  This is a challenging loop on the WA side of the Columbia River Gorge that climbs 2,100 ft in the first 3.5 miles.  

We had a great crew show up for today’s run.  Not only did we have some Trail Factor return runners like Andrea, Reed, and Jeff, but we also had some new Trail Factor runners that Mallory brought along.  

Kristin and Allie were new to TF, but certainly not new to running.  They both run competitively and were up for the big climb challenge.   

To round out the group Shawn, Jessi and Mallory were also out.  We were 8 runners strong and ready to get our hearts pumping.

Hamilton Mt. trail is located about 41 miles away from Portland, OR just off of Hwy 14.  It takes about 40 minutes to reach the parking lot located on the north side of Hwy 14.  It was very nice to get to the parking lot and see that there were restrooms at the trail head.  Especially after driving for about 40 minutes and having just previously finished some cafĂ©.  

We all piled out of our cars and were greeted by some very cold and windy condition, but the sun was shining and we knew the views were going to be spectacular.  

We had a quick TF trail brief, handed out some maps and we were off.  

This trail starts climbing right away.   There really is no warm up phase.  Even though this is fairly typical for Gorge trails, I still never get used to it.  I always seem to go anaerobic before settling into a nice running rhythm.  The trail has amazing footing for most of the way, so getting into this rhythm is a bit easier than on technical trail.

We climbed for about 1.6 miles before reaching our first trail juncture and a sign that directs you to the summit of Hamilton Mt.  One arrow points to one trail that they claim is difficult and the other arrow points you to another trail, which they claim is most difficult.  We chose the most difficult route.  

I prefer to run up the steep stuff instead of down the steep stuff.  Not to mention, the most difficult side of the trail has some pretty technical switchbacks, which would not be as much fun on the downhill.  

The most difficult side was certainly hard.  It is pretty relentless for most of the first mile and then offers up some rocky switchbacks.  Once you get through this switchback section, the trail starts to give in slightly.  It eventually dumps you onto an awesome ridge with an amazing south side view of the Gorge.  Since the ridge faces south, the sun was beaming in our eyes and warming up our bodies as the wind pelted our jackets.  We had just climbed to over 2,400 ft in just over 3.5 miles and it was awesome.

The trail then begins to follow a ridgeline, which on this day was covered in snow.  Luckily, there were footprints the whole way marking the trail, and the snowy section only lasted .75 miles. 

We were finished with the snowy section and now running on trail.  At this point, the trail leads you to a sign that directs you down a jeep road toward the picnic area.  The route finally started heading downhill.

The jeep road section was a great time.  The footing was fair to good, with some loose rocks.  It really allowed you to pick up some speed.  This section of jeep road is pretty short and only lasted about .75 miles before intersecting our next trail juncture. 
The last on the new trail that we ran on was named Hardy Creek trail and it was great footing, with only one obstacle.  It was a small tree, which each and every TF runner hurdled with ease.  This trail was only about a mile long and eventually dumps you back into Hamilton Mt. Trail, which is the original trail that we started on.  

Everyone picked up the gear that they dropped off at the trail juncture during the ascent and we continued on back to our cars.  It would only take us about 10-12 minutes to descend the last 1.6 miles of trail past all of the beautiful waterfalls.  We were finished running and we all felt great.

Originally when I sent out our route plan and had stated that the loop was 9.4 miles.  I used a resource that is typically accurate to plan the run, but unfortunately it was wrong.  I owe everyone an apology for claiming that it was 9.4, when in reality the loop was 7.5 miles.  Next time I won’t question Andreas Garmin.  

The total ascent time for Jeff and I to summit the 3.5 miles was 36 minutes and we finished the 7.5 mile loop in less than 1:15.  Everyone else finished the loop in less than 1:30.  It was a great day of running and we were happy to be done.  We were all hungry, so we went across the river and ate some breakfast at the Charburger.   

If you are interested in joining us for a future TRAIL FACTOR run, visit our website and subscribe to our e-forum.  

Shawn Bostad

Thursday, February 5, 2009

2009 IAU Trail Challenge - U.S. Team Qualification Guidelines

From USA Track & Field:

The US National Team to the World Trail Challenge will compete in the 2009 International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) World Trail Challenge under the patronage of the IAAF in Serre Chevalier, France. This 68 km trail race takes place on Sunday July 12th 2009. For more detaills see the event website:

The U.S. would like to send a team of up to six men and up to six women ultrarunners. The team and alternates will be selected by the USATF Mountain/Ultra/Trail (MUT) Running Council which was established in 1998 to help USATF administer ultrarunning in the United States.
Qualifying Window is January 12, 2008 - April 12, 2009. Team Announced by April 15, 2009.

Qualifying Criteria are available at: