Monday, December 17, 2012

If it hurts, see the doc!

About a year and half ago, I took a fall while ice climbing in some crevasses in the Elliot Gracier on Mt. Hood. As I fell I tried to arrest with my right hand axe, which caught, seriously yanking my right shoulder. The pain was not too bad and after a few days it seemed all was well. Last spring I started getting some serious aches in that shoulder and had a couple of steroid injections which helped temporarily. With the summer running season in full swing I was more worried about recurring calf and hip pains. Meanwhile I could no longer hold a carry bottle in my right hand for more than a couple of miles. Finally, a week before the USATF Trail Marathon Championships, I went in for an MRI. When I returned and saw the doctor, the news was not good. A massive grade II rotator cuff tear. I had surgery on November 30th. Because of the extent of the damage, it was an open surgery rather than arthroscopic  After repairing three tendons, reattaching one to the bone and using what looked like a dremel tool (luckily I was asleep) to clear out scar tissue, they detached my bicep tendon and rerouted posterior to its normal position. Here I thought I was tough, but after coming out of surgery, I cried like a baby. Anyway, 8 weeks in a sling with NO RUNNING. I should be able to start running again on March 1st. Meanwhile I can start riding my rollers (with a great fork stand attachment from the folks at Kreitler) on the 24th.

Moral of this story, if it hurts for more than a coupe of days, see the doctor! Had I heeded my wife's advice to do so sooner, the surgery would have been much less invasive as there would have been little scar tissue. I have always hesitated to go to the doctor for sport related issues. I started running in the early 70s back in the day when it seemed like doctors told their running patients to stop running whenever there was an injury. I've torn my ACL, and more, over the years and got tired of hearing the doctor tell me to stop running. Fortunately sports medicine has come a long way and most of us have access to doctors and physical therapists who have much better understanding of endurance athletes.

I want to thank George Eichen, my PT at SportsCare for getting me on the road to recovery. If you live in the Portland area and need a good PT who understands runners, see George at SportsCare!

Now that I can type again, I'll be posting updates on the upcoming USSSA Snowshoe Nationals as well as the 2013 Oregon Mountain Running Season.

USATF Trail Marathon Championships

Last month, on November 3rd to be specific, the USATF Trail Marathon Championships were held in Moab, UT in the famed slick rock region. This was the most technical course I have ever encountered complete with a couple of sections that required rappelling. The scenery was incredible as was the race organization and support. I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the race as well as meeting the locals and taking the opportunity to do as much trail running as I could. Jason Bryan of the USATF MUTS Council did an excellent job of representing the USATF going the extra mile which included a last minute verification for Kerri Lyons who won the women's division with a time of 3:21:46. The men's open division was won by Cody Moat in a time of 3:08:26. Jason Bryant was 3rd overall in the men's open and first in the 40-44.  I was fortunate to place 2nd in the men's 50-54 division.

In years past I have headed to southern Arizona in March to put in some early season long runs, this year I think I'll try Moab! If you get the chance to visit the area. Plan on getting in some great running. Trails abound, some leading directly from the town of Moab itself.

One particular out and back route, known as the Whole Enchilada serves up some awesome trail and incredible scenery. I ran part of that trail on the Sunday and Monday after the race.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Extra Benefit for USATF Members

You probably got one of those little key ring cards when you renewed with USATF. I did, and fortunately I put it on my house key ring. I ended up dropping that key ring and was set to get new keys cut or locks changed when I got a call from USATF HQ telling me that someone had found my key. The little card has the USATF logo on one side and the athlete number on the other. The person who found it called USATF and gave them the number on the card, USATF then called me. I just picked up the key (and dropped off a Starbucks gift card) and all is right with the world, for the moment. Thanks to USATF and the folks at Westlake Chiropractic who found my key outside their offices (I was on my way to Pizza Shmizza). I should note that USATF does not promote relying on the key-card-dongle-thingy as a key return service but the person I talked mentioned that they get a surprising number of calls from people who found keys where the only identifying information was the little card.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Registration for Hagg Lake Ultra is Open

Registration for the Hagg Lake 25K & 50K races opened yesterday. This is a poplar race and fills quickly. to register, go to

The 50k will be Saturday, February 16. The 25k will be Sunday, February 17 so the more motivated among you can register for the double!

Registration for the 25k is $50 for ORRC Members and $55 for non-members; the 50k is $55 for ORRC Members and $60 for non-members. If you'd like to join ORRC you can do so at the time of registration.

Shirt sizes guaranteed to those who sign up before 12/15 (keep in mind the 25k will likely sell out within a few days though, so you don't want to wait that long).

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Max King Dominates USATF 50K Trail Nationals

September 22nd, 2012, Bend, Oregon

Max King again proved that he has what it takes, comfortably winning in a time of 3:33:10 followed by fellow Bend residents Mario Mendoza (3:44:14) and Ryan Bak (3:44:58). 

Max King
Erica Baron travelled from Los Alamos, NM to win the women’s overall in a time of 4:11:28. Erica was also the fastest master’s woman. Emily Kalenius of Albany took second overall in the women’s division with a time of 4:53:26. 

Erica Baron

Complete race results can be found at

The venue for this years event was spectacular with incredible views of Mt. Bachelor and several other peaks in the Oregon Cascades. 

Dave Thomason of Superfit Productions did an extraordinary job of race management. The Pole Creek fire, raging less than 30 miles away made Dave’s job all that more difficult. It was not until the morning of the race that Dave felt confident that the race could be held safely. The fire itself was not the issue as by that point a perimeter had been established and was 45% contained. Dave’s main concern was how the smoke from the fire would impact the area where the race was held. In the days leading up to the race, the amount of smoke varied greatly depending on the speed and direction of the wind, in combination with the temperature. Fortunately for all, race day dawned cool and with relatively light winds that were blowing from the south, keeping the smoke away.

In addition to Dave’s Superfit Production Crew, a large group of local volunteers ably staffed the well-stocked and strategically placed aid stations. The author would like to again personally thank the crew at the 25-mile aid station who came to his aid when he bonked and DNFed, a new experience. The aid station crew made sure I was well taken care of and provided an exciting ride back down the mountain to the start area.

Thanks again to everyone who came to race and for all those who made this great event possible.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hello Oregon MUTs

Hello Oregon Mountain/Ultra/Trail Runners (aka MUTs),

I have taken on the role of Mountain, Ultra, and Trail coordinator for USATF-Oregon. Big shoes to fill with the great work Richard has done in getting things rolling!

I have been a runner since my high school cross-country days in the mid 70s. In the last 20 years I have focused on trail and ultra running with a few mountain races thrown in. I still race the cross-country season, which incidentally started last Saturday with the first of the Stumptown Series. 

In addition to USATF, I am a member of the US Snowshoe Association (USSSA). It was through snowshoe racing that I met Richard. I am also an avid randonee ski racer with the US Ski Mountaineering Association (USSMA).

I am fortunate to live near Mt. Hood (30 miles from Timberline Lodge) and train a couple of times a week up on the mountain.

While the 2012 season is winding down, there are a number of exciting results that I will share here. Over the next couple of months I will be working with La Sportiva and other sponsors to organize the 2013 Oregon Mountain Running Series.

Please feel free to contact me with ideas, news etc. My contact information is available by clicking the my link under “About the Author” on the right sidebar.

Best to all,

Robert Yerex 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Farewell........for now.

Hello Oregon mountain, ultra and trail running fans.

After 4 years of publishing "MUT" news & running info on behalf of the USA Track & Field Oregon Association I'm putting this blog on ice. You can keep up with USATF-Oregon happenings at:

Questions about USATF-Oregon programs can be directed to:
LDR Chairperson - Jonathan Marcus -
LDR Vice-Chairperson - Bob Latham -

I'm living down in sunny California for the foreseeable future but do hope to return to Oregon one day. You can following my running, racing, photos & travels on my blog:

...and follow my tweets on behalf of the US Mountain Running Team here:

Happy Trails!

Richard Bolt

[photo above from Smith Rock State Park - Terrebonne, OR]