Tuesday, December 27, 2011

River Mountain Trail Hill Climb

Let's change it up a bit this Saturday and have some fun. Josh had a great idea to do a hill climb up the River Mtn Trail to the benches. We are going to start at the parking lot off of Hwy 93 heading towards the dam. See the running calendar for directions. The route is 2.75 miles and gains 1100'. We'll post times and repeat this run occasionally so everyone can track their progress.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bootlegger 50k Times and Splits

Congratulations to SMUT Finishers:
Eric Swenson
Matt Koppenheffer
Joe Baumgarte
Casey Flanagan
Dana Clark
Paula Raimondi
Nick Gallagher
Jan Kendrick
Paul Daly
2011 Bootlegger Results

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Grand Canyon R2R2R October 2011

A group of six of us headed down to Grand Canyon for a double crossing on October 22nd. In the caravan were Shad, Shane (down from Portland), Casey Flanagan, Matt Koppenheffer, Brett Dawson, and Mike from Seattle. There were three double crossing virgins on this trip (Casey, Matt, and Mike), Brett-3rd, Shane-2nd, Shad-7th.

Regathering at the 1.5 mile marker

We took the South Kaibab to North Kaibab and back route for this trip making a 42 mile out and back. We started around 6:15 am to avoid needed a headlamp from the start. It was a bit chilly when we began, but it warmed up fast once below the rim. The decent down S. Kaibab went pretty steady and we enjoyed the sunrise lighting up the colors of Grand Canyon.
Train of SMUTs

After enjoying the bridge over the Colorado we refilled at Phantom Ranch and headed uphill.

Casey on the Suspension Bridge

Snacking at Phantom Ranch
I was utterly astonished at the number of people coming down from the North Rim. We guessed that literally bus loads of people were herded over and completing a single crossing to the South Rim. Since I started going to Grand Canyon a few years ago the number of runners has increased steadily. However, this was way beyond anything I had ever seen. 

In a way it was nice to see a large number of people getting out and enjoying nature; however, there were quite a few people that looked to be struggling. Additionally, at the North Rim there were several people attempting a double crossing that didn't think they could make it back. As the popularity of running in Grand Canyon grows I think we may see more of this. People read about it in Runner's World or some other magazine and think it would be neat to try not realizing it is a very difficult run and there are not aid stations to drop at.

Ahh....done ranting. Back to the adventure.

And Up.......

North Rim
It warmed up quite a bit as we descended back down. A couple of us had to slow it up a bit but Shane was thrilled to be running in warm weather again. Besides being long as hell the decent back to Phantom Ranch went smoothly and we ended up getting there in great time.

For the first time I finally remembered to bring a few bucks to buy some of the famous lemonade at Phantom Ranch. It was pretty darn good, but Shane and I also noticed they had Tecate also on the menu. We figured how often is it that you get to enjoy a beer in the middle of an adventure run in one of the Natural Wonders of the World and said ef it. I must admit it was one of the tastiest beers I've ever had.

We spent quite a bit of time hanging out and talking, and some rehydrating, and we started getting antsy to get going. We had pretty much all agreed it was a free for all on the way back up the South Rim. It is tough to stay together on that climb. Shane and I ended up heading up together, except for him outkicking me at the end.

Despite the beer and antics this ended up being my best time for a double crossing at just over 11 hours. Everyone did extremely well and everyone finished in under 13 hours which is great for a first time.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

St. George Marathon/Upcoming

Congratulations to Paula and Kathy on finishing the St. George marathon! For Paula, this was her first marathon finishing in 4 hours 22 minutes. We all know Paula trained very hard to get ready for this race way to go mademoiselle. Kathy finished in an impressive 3 hours 49 minutes. With a time like that she is going to pass quite a few people in her upcoming Ironman.

Also from Las Vegas, Erica Schramm finished in 3 hours 7 minutes.

This coming Saturday we will be running from Railroad Pass starting at 7 am. Unfortunately, the man is keeping me down again this weekend so I can't make it.

Next weekend we will be doing our final Bootlegger training run. We are meeting at the main Bootleg Canyon trailhead by the bathrooms/gazebo. People will be doing different distances, but many of us are planning on running one lap with a pretty solid effort.

Hope to see everyone soon and congratulations again to our ladies who ran at St. George.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

SMUT Weekend 10.1-10.2.2011

Just a heads up that Saturday's run will be out at the Cottonwood trails meeting at 7 am. We will meet at the paved parking lot on the right side of Hwy 160. 

Web address for Google Map: 


Congratulations to Joe Baumgarte. He finished the Run Rabbit Run 50 miler last weekend. While it is nice to finish any ultra, reading a couple of race reports made it sound like anyone finishing this race was made of nails. Snow in September just sounds like science fiction today in Vegas. Nice going Joe.

Lastly, good luck to Paula and Kathy out at the St. George Marathon this weekend. This race has been a long time coming for these ladies and I'm sure I speak for everyone wishing you a good race. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Forest Challenge/RR Twilight 1/2 Marathon

Quite a bit happened this weekend with two local races both on Saturday.

First, at the LVTC Forest Challenge Steven, Shad, Matt and Jesse ran. Steven won the 6 mile event in 44min 31sec. Pretty frigging sweet for a 61 year old. Nice going sir. Shad, Matt, and Jesse ran the 11 mile event in 1hr 25min, 1hr  33min, and 1hr 49min respectively. One pretty cool thing of note is that a woman, Maike Holthuijzen, kicked the hell out of everyone in the 11 mile event. 

On Saturday evening Peggy and Kathy ran the half marathon. Peggy won her age group in 1hr 54min and Kathy ran 2hr 6min.

Matt in Man vs Turtle at Cottonwood Sunday

Friday, September 9, 2011

September 9th Update

Just a reminder we will be running tomorrow at 6:30 from Railroad Pass. I can't make it but hope everyone has a good run.

Good luck to Jan at the Wasatch 100 this weekend. Hope you make it man.

Also Dana and some Desert Dashers are heading down to Big Bear for some trail racing there. Sounds like a lot of fun.

I'll be deciding after this weekend if I'm running the Track Club race up at Chaz next weekend. I know Paula said she is doing it. Anyone else going?

Lastly, I am planning on going to Grand Canyon the weekend of October 22nd. I'm doing a double crossing but some others may be going to river and back. If you have been thinking of going it would be fun to get a group together.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mt. Charleston

The post below is from Casey Flanagan who is planning on running up Mt. Charleston Saturday. The information is below if you are interested.

I planning to run the loop to Charleston peak this Saturday the 3rd.  I would like to start around 6:30 a.m. from the trail head.
If any of you are interested, let me know.
Casey Flanagan

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bootlegger 50k Training Run

We had about 10 people come out for the Bootlegger 50K training run. Dana and Paula finished the entire loop which was quite a run in the heat. Paul, Matt, and Erik nearly did the entire course minus the POW turn off. Several others were out and got in some miles.
Matt and Erik finishing their loop

Paul looked good after one of his longest trail runs

Paula just finishing

Paula and Dana were determined to complete the entire loop

Thursday, August 25, 2011

UTMB and Bootlegger Training Runs

Tomorrow the Ultra-Trail Du Mont-Blanc begins at 9:30 am local (6:30pm Chamonix). Josh Brimhall is running and is number 1543. Updates are going to be posted at http://utmb.livetrail.net/classentete.php?course=utmb. You can also track him individually if you either know French (native website language) or know how to use Google Translate to convert the page to English. I'll post updates on the SMUT Facebook as often as I can check. This race is being regarded as by far and away the most competitive ultra ever. 

For us mortals this Saturday we have the Bootlegger 50k training run. I'm still injured so I won't be running, but I'll be out there at 6:30am bringing a cooler if anyone wants to put anything in to have for after their run. 

We all know it has been ridiculously hot lately. There are no water sources on the loop so plan on carrying enough water to get you through the 15.5 mile loop. Another option is to take the Caldera cutoff and you'll be back at the bathrooms at about 8-11 miles depending on the way you come back.

Good luck Josh and hope to see everyone this weekend.


Good luck to Josh at the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. Here's a video about the Pearl Izumi athletes running in the race.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Upcoming Events

This weekend Dana and Glenn are running the Skyline Mountain Marathon up in Utah. It looks pretty brutal but sure to be scenic. Good luck to you both. We'll be eager to hear especially in light of the little wager between you two.

Coming up next weekend Saturday August 27th we are doing a Bootlegger 50k training run. We will be running one loop of the course. This will be a good test of our fitness and what needs work to be ready. There is no official start time. Just start when you think you'll be able to finish before it gets too hot. There will be no aid and isn't anywhere to refill water after you leave the Bootleg parking lot. I'd  recommend a pack to most people in order to be able to carry enough water. If I'm healed enough to run I know I will be wearing one. Either way I'll be out there at 6:30 am with a cooler and ice so people can have something cold after.

Also rememeber to keep Saturday September 17th open for the SMUT Pancake run at Bzoskie's house. We'll be running the infamous Northwest Passage Trail and having pancakes afterwards. Jeff has invited everyone to bring their families for the pancake feast.

Hope to see everyone soon.

Friday, July 29, 2011

SMUT 7/29/11

This is a pretty exciting weekend for SMUT. Hillary Brimhall will is running her first 50 mile trail race tomorrow at the White River 50 up in Washington state. Also attending for his first 50 is lone member of SMUT Portland Annex Shane Peterson. I ran this race a couple years ago and it is one of the best courses anywhere. Good luck to both of you; can't wait to hear how it goes.

Last weekend Peggy Paas completed the entire River Mountain Loop....in July. I know a lot of people were out there running sections and helping out. Nice going Peggy.

For the rest of us, we will be out at Bootleg Canyon tomorrow meeting at Railroad Pass at 6:30.

Also, put September 17th on your calendar. Jeff Bzoskie has something planned for us. A trail run and pancakes afterwards. Friends and families welcome. Stay tuned for more info to come.

Friday, July 22, 2011

July 23rd 2011

We are running at Bootleg Canyon tomorrow starting at 6:30 am. Meeting at Railroad Pass casino upper parking lot.

Good luck to everyone running the River Mountain Trail Loop tomorrow.

Monday, July 18, 2011

World Trail Championships

This past weekend in Ireland, I had the privilege to run for the US Team in the IAU World Trail Championship. Intending to make a nice vacation out of the trip, my family and I arrived in Dublin one week prior to the race. There, I spent the days leading up to the race, touring the city, which included many miles in the large and urban, yet, very runnable Phoenix Park.

I put forth some pretty solid training leading up to this race. A quick glance back at my Garmin stats displays nine consecutive 120-mile weeks or better. Additionally, with four weeks left to race day, I began to earnestly incorporate some speed and tempo sessions into my weekly runs. I figured the slightly higher than normal mileage would pay off with such a long build up to the race, but in hindsight, it may have been more than necessary.

Strangely, there was what I would consider to be minimal information available concerning the course layout and terrain. To be fair, the race organizers did supply some photos of the terrain and the distances on each type of terrain to be covered. Words such as “open grassland,” “bog,” and “crushed gravel” were prevalent and led me to believe that the course would be a nice compound of runnable terrain and technical terrain. Right.

The start of the race was nothing short of spectacular. Kylemore Abbey near Connemara National Park was easily the most amazing start atmosphere I’ve ever been a part of. It was evident from the previous night’s festivities that the European Teams (and to equal degree Canada) were taking this event very seriously. Multiple video cameras, helicopters (yes, helicopters), and ATV’s mounted with more cameras were there to see us off.

The course was a 70K run. This was decreased originally from the initially advertised 77K (not sure why). The race organizers chose to send us up over the misted Diamond Hill for two laps for what I can only imagine was to spread us out a bit prior to hitting the real fun stuff. The terrain up, down, and around Diamond Hill was all pretty runnable. Small sections of hiking were necessary on the stepped rocks near the summit and the precariously wet and muddy downs on the backside would be foreshadowing my day to come. I definitely lay on the brakes often on the downs, not having near the confidence of most of the European runners, who amazingly run down these sections nimbly as ever.

Concluding the second summit and descent of Diamond Hill, we were routed (by the Irish army no less) to what I soon learned was the “open grassland” section. Had my US teammate Jason Bryant not informed me of this, I would have sworn this was a bog section. Each foot strike would find itself sinking six to eight inches into what is easily the most sloppy, slick, and black muck I’ve ever seen. Seven-minute miles quickly became 13-15 minute miles (GPS watches were not allowed, thus estimating).

Luckily, there were only a few miles of this stuff, and soon we were back on to a rutty old dirt road. I was able to reel in a few runners who easily blew by me in the grassland, and estimated that I was roughly 20th place (out of 150 or so), at this juncture. One or two miles on the dirt road, and we then again came upon some nice Irish lads from the Army who directed us to run parallel to a fence line. At this point, I realized this might be a different type of running than I’ve ever been accustomed to.

Only a few steps into this section and I sink up to mid-thigh. Throwing both of my arms out in front of me for support, I’m able to pull myself up and out of what I now know is the bog section. This would go on for miles. No discernable trail, only flagging every quarter mile to follow. Run, run, run, and fall. Get up. Run, trudge, run, and fall. I was shocked at how slowly I was covering ground.

Knowing we had two hard climbs ahead, I kept my wits and plugged along in the bog until we came to the first major climb of the race. For someone unfamiliar with what I’m going to guess is considered fell running, this was a mind breaker. Craning my neck as far back as it would go; I noticed very small figures on all fours climbing up the face of a mountain. Again, no trail, but flags planted every 200 feet in a straight line to the summit. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little frightened. Alas, my handheld bottle was shoved in my shorts, knowing it would be a hindrance once the hard climbing began.

I felt I did pretty well going up. The few times I looked back down, vertigo would rear up and I quickly refocused my gaze at the rocks and grass in front of me. At the summit, I followed the flagging to what I soon realized would be a more horrifying decent. Sure enough, we would be heading straight down the other side of the mountain. I looked disgustingly at my racing flats and sighed. At this point many European runners are flying down the mountain in every direction. Apparently how you get down is totally up to you. Most ran down with no concern at all. At one point, I’m certain an elderly Italian woman passed me standing still (she went on to podium!)

I traversed down in all manner of fashion. Crab crawl, cut back and forth sideways, and at times actually scooted. Others were struggling, but it was rather frustrating seeing so many places go by me. After an excruciating amount of time, I reached the bottom. Here, I filled my water at the aid station, ate some solids and enjoyed one of the most runnable portions of the day around the lough. Unfortunately the out and back nature of this section only reminded me that I would have to repeat the death march that I had just undergone.

The return trip would ensue similarly to the outbound version, but with slightly more tired legs. At this point, I would estimate that I’d hiked as much of the course as I had run. Huh. While sliding on my behind the vast majority down the front side of Benbaun Peak, I laughed at myself thinking about last week’s speed sessions. My time would have been much better spent on a Stairmaster at the gym.

Finishing up, I chatted with a Greek runner about Yiannous Kouris, and he also lamented the difficulty of the course the Irish had provided us. A notable analogy that comes to mind when comparing this style of running to what we experience in the US, is akin to playing baseball your whole life, and then arriving in Europe only to find out that instead, you’ll be playing cricket. Yes, both use a spherical object that gets hit with a wooden object, but after that a lot of similarities are gone. To say I prefer a more “runnable” course is an understatement. However, it was the type of running that this geographical locale provided, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to experience it.

Ultimately, it took me 8:23 to cover the 44 miles (70K). I finished in 58th place and the US Team ended up sixth overall.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

SMUT Update

Hello Everyone,

We are running Saturday at Railroad Pass starting at 6:30 for those that are planning on coming out.

Next weekend we are heading up to Mt Charleston. Desert Dash is running and biking out on the Bristlecone Trail if anyone wants to join them. I am probably going to the peak looping the South Loop and Trail Canyon.

Good luck to Josh Brimhall this weekend. He will be wearing the USA jersey at the world 100k trail champions in Ireland.

Just a heads up that I noticed when I was in Red Rock Running Company yesterday they had quite a few shoes in common sizes on clearance for $30. Looked like mostly road shoes.

Have a good weekend and good luck again to Josh.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Free 5k at Sunset Park August 5th

I got an email today about this event. It is a 5k jog/walk at Sunset Park on August 5th. It is associated with a meeting of the American Association of Diabetes Educators. If you are interested you can register on the event site at:

Monday, June 27, 2011

Shad's 2011 Western States 100 Race Report

At the crack of crack Saturday morning I was lined up with about 375 runners at the start line. We were reminded why the Sierra Nevada mountains are known as the Range of Light being treated to a beautiful sunrise as we crested the pass. This was a massive snow year and we had to suffer 10-11 miles of snow in the high country. We don't get much snow travel here in Las Vegas and I was pretty miserable on this section. I fell probably 20 times and my legs got pretty tired managing the terrain.

Squaw Valley
By some miracle I finally made it through and was able to run again. My plan was to keep a good steady pace for the first half of the race and see how I felt from there. However, I started having some stomach issues pretty early. At about mile 25 I was almost an hour ahead of the 24 hour finishing pace which was my main goal for this race. But by mile 50 or so I lost that cushion and fell behind another 15 minutes.

Middle part of race
After pounding a whole can of Coke at the top of the big climb up Devil's Thumb I unleashed a deep guttural belch that would have made Booger from Revenge of the Nerds proud. I immediately started to feel a bit better and a bit later I evacuated the last of the stagnant volume in my stomach.
It was a huge pick up when I came around the corner and saw Shane waiting for me. I was also glad to have largely overcome the stomach issues I was having and was running pretty well. Time and miles flew by. Maybe my favorite part of the race was the decent down to and then the few miles running along the American River. The river was flowing several times above normal flow this year so we were boated across the river this year.

Foresthill mile 62
I was started getting a bit tired and probably could have used some solid food, but I didn't want to risk having more issues. From about mile 52 to the end of the race I subsisted almost exclusively on Coke, water, and salt pills. I don't exactly recommend this but it was working for me and I was feeling pretty good.
With Shane's help we made up a lot a time on my 24 hour goal. I knew we were making good time, but didn't pay too much attention until the last few miles. We reached the No Hands Bridge aid station at about the 20 hour 28 minute mark with 3.2 miles and one big climb to go. At this point I was pretty out of it and didn't really care about finishing times I just wanted it all to be over with. However, at the top of the climb from hell we saw the sign indicating 1 mile to go at 20 hours 50 minutes and some seconds. I said I didn't think it was going to happen but what the hell. The flat terrain helped and we picked up to what felt like a pretty good pace. Reaching the Placer H.S. track was a pretty cool experience and we crossed in 20 hours 58 minutes 10 seconds.
This was a pretty enjoyable race for me. The Western States Trail is quite stunning visually and is incredibly diverse. Beating my previous 100 best time by over 7 hours was pretty cool and it was fun to have Shane along to share the experience with.

Monday, June 6, 2011

June Running Bootleg

A few photos from SMUT runs in Bootleg Canyon

Heading up River Mtn Trail

Add caption

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Congratulations Josh

Congratulations to Josh Brimhall for being selected to represent the USA in the IAU World 100k Trail Championships. This race is being held in Ireland on July 9th.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Leona Divide Trail Races

Saturday April 30th, SMUT invaded Lake Hughes California and the Leona Divide Trail Races. The 30k, 50k, and 50 mile courses consisted of a combination of dirt roads and single track trail. The 50 mile runners were treated to almost 40 miles of Pacific Crest Trail bliss. While we suffered some casualties, overall we had some excellent performances.

Typical PCT view
Another course view
In the 30k distance Shelly, Paula, and Natalia all finished. Shelly placed second female overall with a time of 3:18. Natalia finished in 3:51 and Paula finished in 4 hours flat. Additionally, Eric's wife Cresen finished in 3:43. Way to go ladies and nice running.

Natalia, Paula, Britta, Josh, and Shelly

Paula post race 
Eric Swenson completed his first 50 mile race at Leona Divide finishing in 9:33. I saw Eric around the 33 mile mark and he was looking great. However, his ankle gave him troubles and had to walk in about the last 15 miles. Well done on sticking it out. It is important to get that first one under your belt.

Erik all smiles moments after finshing
Not having raced in over a year Casey was uncertain how this race was going to play out for him. Casey exceeded his most optimistic expectations. He trained hard to get himself back into shape and finished in 9:39. This ended up being one of Casey's best 50s so no more complaining about being out of shape.

Casey finishing like those 50 miles were no big deal
I ended up having by far and away my best race yet of any distance finishing in 7:28 and 8th overall. More importantly, I bested my previous 50 mile best time by over 2 hours.

It was fun to have so many of us at the race. Congratulations to everyone who finished and a speedy recovery to those who didn't