Thursday, March 17, 2011


I'm heading up to Bellingham this weekend for the Chuckanut 50k. Should be a great early season test of fitness. I think I'm in great shape as far as strength and endurance are concerned. I guess this weekend will show if that's enough for such a "fast" race. I've talked a lot in the past about how I think speed work for ultras is very over-rated, but Chuckanut might be one of the races that could prove this theory wrong. But then again, is a race that will likely take the top runners under 4 hours really an ultra?

On another note, there are still a few spaces open for my running camps up in Juneau this summer. I have had a few cancellations in the last few weeks, so as of today I have 1 space open for the June 6-12 session and 3 spaces open for the July 28-August 3 session. I'm going to be distributing almost 600 camp fliers in race bags in the next two weeks, so if you're wanting to sign up I would highly recommend doing it as soon as possible to guarantee a space. Here's the website with all the info.

I'll try to check in with a quick Chuckanut race report on Saturday or Sunday, but after that I'm heading to Southern Utah for a week of desert camping, in which I will probably make a point not to be anywhere near a computer. Lucky me.


  1. I think a race under 4 hours is certainly an ultra if you can run it that fast. Now perhaps it's a misnomer to consider it much of a trail race, or a technical challenge. I guess the definition of ultra if fluid here.

    Ultras can be nothing but technical climbs above 11,000 feet, or 72 hours of running in completely flat circles at sea level, or anything in between.

    Good luck with the Chuckanut!

  2. I have never broken 4 hours in a 50k. I probably could have at the Bulldog last year but I decided against it because I didn't want to hurt my rep.

    Have fun up north this weekend. It is a place that is warm. A place where the beer flows like wine. Where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I am talking about a little place called Washington.

  3. Good luck at the race Geoff!

    I came within 12 minutes of breaking 4:00 during the HUFF 50K back in 2004. At the time I considered it an ultra only because I had yet to move beyond that distance. 19 others finished before me. 4-5 were in the 3:35-40ish range. Now I consider 50K's as training runs toward longer races.

    You on the other hand should have no problem duking it out with the comp in that race. Depending on your goals of course.

  4. Anything that requires you to at least run through lunch. Sorry, Wardian's 2:55 50k doesn't count ;)

  5. It's certainly an ultra for those of us who are slow! :) I'm only 90 minutes from Bellingham and we have had a VERY wet and snowy spring so you might be looking at a lot of mud! Have an awesome race!

  6. Along those lines of logic, if a sub 4 hour race isn't an ultra, then anything over 4 hours can't be called "running" (for 99% of participants).

    Good luck this weekend.. wish I could make it.. and don't you dare walk a step.

  7. Yes a fast 50K should still be considered an ultra. I was thinking your comments about speed-work and ultras pertained more to 100's than to 50K or even 50 milers. Speed seems definitely to be a strong factor up front for shorter ultra's. Good luck testing the speed at Chuckanut then hurry up and come back to Alaska already!