Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Looking Back, Looking Ahead...A Trail Running Trek

Looking back, 2006 was a busy year for me and my "little trailrunning world."

I had a couple of setbacks to my running activities, though; once in June, and once in late August. Both times, I ruptured my left hamstring muscle. It was weird, the whole back side of my leg turned black, blue, red, brown, and green. The second time (in August) it happened during the CCC100-miler, and I tried "running through the pain" for a number of miles. I ended up severely pulling some muscles in my lower back, because of my stubborness (not to DNF). The back injury turned out to be worse than the torn hamstring to recover from. I got by, and I only missed 3 hours of work because of it...(I hate to stay home for "sickness").

An "active recovery" plan got me back to running both times within 8-12 days. I've got 4 wonderful people that help me accomplish this: 1) my darling wife (who's a R.N.); 2) my open-minded MD (Yutake Kuwase); 3) my gifted Chiroprator/Accupuncturist (Craig Lindner); 4) my awesome Personal Trainer (Igor Gantman).

Well, here's the skinny for all of my (and my group's) activities for last year:

In addition to scheduling & leading 4 group trail runs per week, these are the races that I participated in for 2006:

• Fat Ass 50 Kilometer Run, Wallace State Park, Cameron, MO, Jan 1st
• My 4th Rocky Raccoon 100-Mile Trail Run, Feb 4, I had a 100-mile PR!!! 22:04:42
• Race directed: Psycho WyCo Run Toto Run 50K, 20M, 10M, Feb 11
• Directed #9 Aid Station at Brew to Brew 43-mile solo and relay run, March
Rockin K Trail Marathon, Apr 1st more
• Race directed and ran in the “Red Bridge Ramble” 8-Mile Trail Run (Apr)
• Corporate Challenge 5K, May
Berryman Trail Marathon, May 27th
• Co-race directed and ran in the “Summer Intro” 7-Mile Trail Run, June
XTerra Stump Jumpin' Trail Stomp 10K, July
Mt Hood PCT 50 Mile, July 29th
• Race directed and ran in the “Psycho Night” 10K Trail Run
• XTerra Pain Terrain Trail Run 10K, Aug
Cascade Crest Classic 100 Mile, Aug 26 - DNF for injury
• Plan, mark the course, and run in the Xterra Dot Trail Trot 10K
• Race directed and ran in the Clinton Lake North Shore 8.5-Mile Trail Run, Sep
• Volunteer and photographer at the Flatrock 50K / 25K, KS, Sep
Sand Rat Trail Race (10-miler), Oct 1
Heartland 50-Mile, Cassoday, KS, Oct 14
• and set-up a “gypsy” aid station w/Raul Flores for the Heartland 100-miler,
• Race directed and ran in the Fall Fell Trail Race 10K, Oct
• Blue Springs Trail Marathon, 10/29/06
• Race directed and ran in the Veteran's Day 4-Mile Trail Run, Nov 11
Dude, Where’s the Trail? Fleming 50 Km, 11/26/06
• Clinton Cross Country Challenge 5-miler, Dec
• Race directed and ran in the The "Alternate" Chili Run 10-Mile Trail Run, Dec

In addition:
There were a few (paved) runs that I did "finish line duties" for, (for the KC Track Club). I'm on the board of Directors and Treasurer for the Track Club, and I also update their website's bulletin board on a continual basis.
I always put out 2 schedules of events per week on my "regular" Yahoo group running site, (with 830 members).
I put out a schedule of trailrunning events per week to my trail Yahoo group running site, (with 240 members).
I also continually update the weekly trail training run schedule on my main trailrunning website.
Good Ben and I update the Trail Nerds' activities on our blog.

A core group of the Trail Nerds (including myself), spent many hours maintaining and building trails in the KC Metro region in 2006. We also cooperated with other trail advocacy groups in the area to further our combined interest in sustainable recreational trails. For instance, I recently served on a board to help plan the future of all recreational projects at Shawnee Mission Park in Johnson County, Kansas. Kyle, Caleb, and Good Ben spent a lot of time at the public meetings, representing our interests.

Our Trail Nerd group also spent a lot of time planning races & race logistics, marking courses for our races, and everything else that goes along with planning multiple running events throughout the year.

Our Trail Nerd group also spent a lot of time planning races & race logistics, marking courses for our races, and everything else that goes along with planning multiple running events throughout the year.

2006 was also the year that Trail Nerds started to "shine." Caleb Chatfield made the Montrail regional team (thanks, Olga), won his first 10K, set a 50K course record at Flatrock (by 17 minutes), won his first 50-miler (by 22 minutes), and basically blew-away the competition in every short-distance and ultra that he entered. Kyle Amos placed in the top 3 of every race he entered, and took 2nd place at the Heartland 50-miler. Josh Pool ran well in all of his races and took 3rd place at the Heartland 50-miler. Good Ben Reeves and Shane "Crash" Jones won their Adventure Race Series by a landslide. They both did well in every race they entered. Greg Burger did well.
In shorter races such as a 10K trail run, I consider myself a middle-of-the-pack kind of guy. Although in 2006, I won the male 40-49 10K age group in the XTerra Trail Series, at the age of 49. I also tied with Caleb for having the most points in the series. (We could've gone to nationals in Tahoe, but went to Flatrock, instead). I also ran my 100-miler PR in February, and was in the upper 14% for that race.

I was very busy in 2006, but also had a VERY ENJOYABLE YEAR, because of it!

Looking Ahead:
2007 will be a little more fun, I suspect. Next month's Psycho WyCo race looks to be bigger & better than ever. We added a new ultra event in April, and still have lots of work to do to make it happen. Trailrunner magazine has put it in their trail series. Vasque shoes is sponsoring our expanded 2007 trail running series. I get to go to training camp for Western States, and will pace my friend Patrick Perry at the WS100. I plan on running just as many races as I did in 2006. And...I turn 50 next month. Woo hoo! A new age group! And I'm still having lots of fun.
Dog, Grandpa Ben, G-Son in Dec 2006. Buddies, fo sho!

Salt stains on my shirt, after I finished the Heartland 50-miler.
Kind of looks like Brazil, huh?

Now I know that I'm in my Element.

What's on the trail ahead? Nobody knows for sure.

Trail Nerds at the 7 am Start
Trail Nerds Caleb, Kyle and Stacey head out on the Blue Springs Trail Run.

Little Nerds
Little Nerds Win Da Big One at Sandrat.

Raul in Aid Station
Raul Flores, waiting for some 100-mile customers at our "gypsy" aid station at Heartland.

Yaarr! 3 Pirates at the Oregon Brewer's fest.

I appear to be outstanding on Mt Hood:


Dirt Runner said...

Looking forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks. Hard to believe it's been a full year. Rocky should be fun and the numbers are bigger than last year. We'll see if Jorge can break the record this year. Not too sure who's going to push him around the park.

Shane"Crash"Jones said...

Ben, Great year ! Thanks for all your time and hard work. It was a pretty good year. That 100 mile PR was pretty impressive. I did more races than I've ever done before. I'm psyched for Psycho!! Shane

Ben, aka BadBen said...

I ain't the man for pushing Jorge. Caleb got to run with Jorge in a race this past year. They ran together for about 30K. Caleb says that he's a heck of a nice guy. That was apparent last year when he would give encouragement to me and others on the out-and-back sections of RR100, even though he was trying to set a record. I felt like saying, "save your breath...don't cheer me on."

See you in a few short weeks. I've been reading the tea leaves. I see a dead raccoon in your future.

Ben, aka BadBen said...

You've had an awesome year! You will conquer Leadville!
And you aren't a "winter hermit" anymore!

Juls said...

Incredible list for 2006. Fantastic. G-son is adorable!

Ben, aka BadBen said...

Thanks, Juls. He is an awesome kid, alright.

olga said...

What a great year all around! Besides the torn hamstring, but you got up and bcak very quickly! Great deal, since I am still struggling with minor problems from it.
I could learn from you a trick or few on RDing, right? I'll send an email later, after RR and closer to my race. Are you coming this year?

Ben, aka BadBen said...

Coming to which race, Olga?

I'll be at RR100, for sure.

olga said...

Ben, I am co-RD for PCT 50/50 that you did last year. I'd love to finally meet you after missing out at CCC:)

Tim said...

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Basically, we know that there are tons of blogs focused on individual endurance athletes, triathletes, cyclists, etc., and our hope is to bring them all together in one place. We provide you with a blog, hosting, image hosting, your own subdomain (yourname.enduranceathletes.net), and support, all for FREE.

We are also able to import your existing blog into our system (for most blog services) - which we will do for you at no cost!

Plus, we'll even help you promote your blog, while opening you to a whole new audience of fellow athletes. We're even in the process of attempting to partner with companies that cater to your endurance sports needs. We hope to provide exclusive discounts and offers to our members through these partners, all without heaping a ton of spam on you.

So, check us out! What have you got to lose?

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Sam said...

Congratulations on a great 2006 Ben and best of everything to you this year.
You've built quite a team there running-wise and family-wise and know you're proud of all of them.
Happy trails!

robtherunner said...

What a great year Ben. You're a model for all of us to follow in the land of trails. Keep on leading the way.

Donald said...

Whoa - that's quite a busy year. Enjoy your 2007, and stay healthy!

Ryan said...

Wowsers….what a year! You’re doing so many wonderful things for the ultra/trail running community; you have a wonderful attitude and spirit! Cheers to another successful year, injury free ; )

Keep on truckin in 2007

Btw thx for stopping by Team Sherpa Blog, I hope it takes a form similar to the Kansas City Trail Nerds blog, you have tons of great content and information there. Have a good one.

runliarun said...

Busy year. Did you say you still have time to go to work :)?

Ben, aka BadBen said...

Work??? What's that?

Sarah said...

Wow..despite your injuries you quite a year in 2006. I hope that 2007 is even better! : )

Rae said...

Wow! What an awesome year. I hope 2007 is even better. We've got to make it to KC and run one of your great races this year!

Caleb said...

Great Year and Thanks for Everything! I predict a PR at Rocky Raccoon!!!!!!

Paul S said...

Ben, good luck at RR 100!!! Hope to get back out there soon with y'all! Have fun and get dirty!!!

Faithful Soles said...

My name is Robert Key and I am a runner from Houston, Texas. I saw your blog listed when I was looking through the RBF directory and very much enjoyed reading some of your entries. You have a great blog and your ultra-running is very inspirational.

I have a web site at http://www.faithfulsoles.com that is inspirational stories for walkers, runners and athletes of all ages and abilities. A new feature I have recently added to the site is a categorized and searchable Running Blog Database where members of my site can find a blog of interest to them based on other walkers, runners or athletes of similar abilities, goals and interests. To my knowledge it is the only one of its kind specifically for walkers and runners on the internet. I would appreciate it if you would take a moment to put a link to your blog in our Running Blog Database. Just click on "Link your running blog" under "Free Features" from the home page. If you want to learn more about my running background, just click on "Meet Robert" from the main menu , or to learn more about my involvement in the running community, click on "Faithful Soles in the news" in the left column under "Weekly Features". I also have a blog that I just started at http://faithfulsoles.blogspot.com, but most of my running information is on my web site. Also, if there is anyone else in your blogger network that you think would be interested in listing their blog, please feel free to pass this information along to them. Thanks and continued good luck in your training.