Saturday, July 20, 2019

Loon Mountain Race Report

Loony 
The Loon Mountain race has been heralded as one of the toughest races in America, and for good reason. The race has a slogan of "There's No Safe Word at Loon". This is a play on the masochistic nature of a 10K that climbs over 3,000' and ends with a quad searing final half mile on the infamous "Upper Walking Boss" a black diamond ski slope that takes souls in early July every year with its 48% grade. This year LMR drew well over 1,000 entrants from all over the US and some from abroad.

"Our Boss is Tougher Than Your Boss"

The race was split with males and females with the ladies going off about 45 minutes before the men. I arrived early to watch the start of the women's race and rub elbows with some of my old friends and teammates. Among them was Salming Athlete Jeremy Drowne of Plattsburgh, NY who was running Loon for the first time. We shared strategy and the best advice I could give him as a veteran of this event was "The shit isn't over after the boss". As it would turn out I led him astray with that because of the slight course variation this year which meant "The shit is over..exactly after the boss" I tried to conserve some gas going up and ended up finishing with a lot left to burn. This wasn't too big of a deal as I barely squeaked into the top 100. Jeremy however ended up taking home an age group and an impressive top 20! Even after my shitty advice!
Grinding my way up UWB

I felt great and PR'd the race by 3ish minutes, and I really am satisfied with that. My training base has been in preparation for Mountain 50 milers, so showing up and sending it in a short race like this was totally cool with me. 
"Steady Pace is the best way to get that PR"

This year with such a large turnout The Race Directors had their hands full, but they pulled off yet another successful LMR race to which I am grateful for. I am also very appreciative of the volunteers who came out in force to make this acidoticRACING event another for the record books. 

My shoe choice was pretty easy and Jeremy and I both toed the line in the Salming OT comps, a shoe that is currently dominating the OCR world. The deep Michelin Lugs on a light low and flexible platform make an absolute beast of a mountain racing shoe!
The Salming OT Comp is not only and OCR legend but also 
a mountain racing must have!

Moving Forward
Today was a training day in the White Mountains of NH, with Teammate and Mountain Goat Eva Johnson. She let me tag along on a 23 mi adventure with nearly 5,000' of vertical. We tagged all of the Bonds from Lincoln Woods even despite this heat wave!
Loving on the Bond Cliffs!
Happy Trails My friends.




Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Infinitus 88k...errrr.... Marathon Race Report & Mental Health

Well your boy is a bit behind on the blogging, but I have a short period of time to tell anyone who will listen about my follies at Infinitus put on by Andy Weinberg and The Endurance Society. I have been a member of The Endurance Society for a number of years (actually since their inception) yet never actually made it to one of these epic events. Not known for unreasonable hype, The Endurance Society puts on world class events in disciplines such as skyrunning, mountaineering, ultrarunning, and endurance cycling. My first attempt to race one of these events was the infamous Frigus snowshoe 50K, where I was fit, and ready, but left my snowshoes and race kit in New Jersey of all places by accident and missed the event. Needless to say I was pretty pumped to get to the line for Infinitus which draws a huge social media following with its 888K multi day event with finishers in the single digits.
88k err Marathon?

In the days leading up to the race I had numerous life challenges and obligations that caused me to drop from the 88k distance down to the marathon. My training had me prepared for 54+ miles of mountain running, having done a 20+ mile trail run once a week for nearly six weeks leading up to race day. Regardless of my physical prime my mental readiness was shaky at best. If you don't know, my mother is fighting a terminal illness, and I have been away from my family a lot more with a last minute schedule change for the summer, where I went from a seemingly normal 10hr Mon-Fri job to standing 48 and 72 shifts. Picture a high seas firefighter/EMT/cop and that's what I have been up to. Andy seamlessly transferred my name to the marathon for which I was very thankful. With a heavy mind I showed up on race day...

Race Day...SHIT!
As any anxiety sufferer will understand, I set all of my gear out the night before. Goshen, VT where the race is held is about an hour and a half from my home in Sandgate, VT so I wanted to roll out the door. My pre-mixed home made gel packs consisting of VT maple syrup, organic honey and sea salt were loaded in the fridge and mixed to perfection. My Hammer Perpetuem was in another water bottle, and my caffeinated Tailwind was in another...watch out...I'm ready.

My drive was more relaxed than ever because I had very few worries, I knew I could race marathon distance no problem since I was planning on double that distance. Arriving in the parking area at Blueberry Hill Nordic center I reached for my bag of race gear.....yeah...I left all of that shit on my counter top about 60 miles South. F U C K....it seems that leaving critical shit behind for these events is my favorite party trick. In full panic mode i raced around asking people for gels or whatever they could spare, and no one had anything. I ran to my truck and yanked my bicycles hard bottle out of the cage and stuffed it into my race vest, which is designed for nice soft flask bottles that wont bruise your ribs over the course of 50 miles. So I have a way to hydrate, but zero fuel. A marathon with 5,000' of climbing will require some fuel. I found an aid station that had a bunch of sticky twizzlers and scrounged up a ziplock bag....SEND IT!
"Better get on the road quick and forget all my shit!"


Confidence and Adaptation

So I was slightly shaken up by the events leading up to the start but tried very hard not to let it wreck my state of mind. I kept thinking about all of the real world problems that happen around me and this is merely a comedy show. At the start I went out extremely conservatively and didn't really know where I stood in the field since it was a mixed distance mass start. I found myself climbing extremely comfortably and losing ground on the descents. The race course was MUDDY and very heavily trafficked. I spent a stupid amount of miles avoiding wet shoes and after about 5 miles decided it was a waste of time to try to keep my shoes light and dry.

8K 


At the 8K mark I was greeted by the RD and volunteers and told that I was in second place in the Marathon, and first place was standing at the aid station next to. I took off trying to force him to leave earlier than he wanted hoping it would give me some sort of edge. he next several miles were relatively flat and the first place runner clearly had superiority over me in speed alone. I needed to catch him on the climbs, which I did and then lost again when a flat or downhill section came about. At ten miles, I knew I would have to really turn it on to try to hang onto the leader. Right as that thought crossed my mind I fell in a water crossing and really hurt my left hip. I walked for about a mile after that trying to loosen up the injury which eventually got better and I could run again. 
Into the 8K Aid Station


Taking the lead back even if short lived

Downhill 

I gave up second place on an extended downhill to a previous Infinitus winner who cruised past me like I wasn't moving at all. I shortly caught him on a climb and made what felt like a comfortable gap. Stopping at the final aid station around 22 miles he came in about 30 seconds after me. He pulled te same shit I did to the leader at the 8K mark and I never saw him again. I kept a steady and relentless pace to the finish and finished third overall. Andy told me this was an extremely close and quick race given the mucky conditions. I was pretty satisfied with a podium finish regardless. 


Wrap up

This race was awesome! The swag was on par with my buddies at Nor'east Trail Runs, and the course design was epic. I really am thankful that  dropped to the Marathon, even though I think I would've fared well in the 88k...If I had my gear! In hindsight, I would have utilized a better cleaning and draining shoe like the Salming OT Comp instead of using my trust Trail T5's. I suppose you live and learn.
Happy To Be here with these strong competitors


Mental Well Being

Over the last few weeks I have been under a dark shit cloud, and did something I have never done and sought after some help in the form of traditional counseling. While I am not an optimist in most scenarios, sometimes it's good to be able to bundle all of your life stressors for someone to review. While I won't elaborate on all of my complicated issues at home, work, and my other home I will say that we all need a little help sometimes. If that help doesn't come on a high summit somewhere, the bottom of a good bourbon, in the saddle of a bike, or whatever your poison is I strongly suggest you don't write off getting help. If this works out well for me I will likely be writing more about mental fitness in the future vice physical fitness.
Cedar Rock In Arlington, VT Short runs with a lot of value help the morale!


Onward!

Since my climbing legs served me well at Infinitus this year, I will be returning for my third Loon Mountain Race Presented by Acidotic Racing! REMEMBER THERE IS NO SAFE WORD AT LOON!

Happy Healthy Trails...

 My boy is pretty pumped his dad can still hang at the long distances.


Links








Sunday, March 3, 2019

Running Swedish in 2019 First Impressions of the Greyhound

After a few weeks of contemplation I showed up late to the party in re-signing a contract with Salming Running. My main reasons for being unsure as to whether I wanted to take on ambassadorship were my lack of real performance driven events in 2018. While Ethan Allen 24HR was surely my pinnacle talking point of 2018, the truth is I'm not extraordinarily competitive, except on Strava and maybe Words With Friends. With a slight nudge from fellow cold weather runner and all around stud athlete Jeremy Drowne (Co-Owner of Kinetic Running in Plattsburgh, NY) I agreed to fly the Salming flag this year, hoping that my contributions last year were worthwhile for a company I really believe in.


Infinitus 88K
The Endurance Society's Instagram page messaged me last week about their epic Frigus race, with varying distances up to 50k on snowshoes. Since I was reluctant to pull the trigger on Nor'East Trail Runs Snowshoe 50k, which was today (3-3-19) I figured I certainly wasn't fit enough for Frigus a week prior. I was fortunate to race two snowshoe series races with N.E. Trail Runs this winter and led the series standings in points for a short time with one win and one 3rd overall finish. 

Trying to stay goal oriented and keep myself honest with forward progress in training I signed for the Infinitus 88k, on June 1st of this year. The buildup period will be a steep ramp but I believe hat I am fit enough to show up ready on race day. Playing "Strava detective", I found that this course if 54 miles with around 9,000' of climbing. Training updates will likely follow this post in the near future.

The NEW Salming Greyhound
"The Master McGrath of Road Shoes"
Style Built for the Long Haul!

With minimal miles (5 to be exact) on these shoes I will be giving my first impressions, and will follow up further down the road with more details concerning durability, and how they perform on varying distances and speeds. As a trail runner I generally dont get too excited about the pavement pounders in my quiver, however these things are very sexy looking! The last is fully structured unlike the "sock like" fit that is more common in road shoes of late. The Recoil foam cushioning, coupled with the Vibram rubber outsole look to be ready for a large amount of miles. I am a very big fan of having a full rubber bottom, which seems to be one of the first things to go when a shoe company wants to shed weight. At 9.8oz. this shoe isn't necessarily a lightweight, but it seems to make up for it in the plush ride it offers. A 6mm drop and very thick stack height of 28mm keep you connected to the ground, but also make each step light and energetic. Additionally the toebox feels wider than some of the other Salming shoes I have worn (OT Comp, Trail5, Distance5, Enroute), which is helpful to not need to size up a half size or so, since Salming isn't widely carried in retail stores at the moment.  As my Greyhounds and I get acquainted I will continue to update those who may be interested. 

Style is Everything, right down to the insoles!

Five Miles on the sidewalks of Newburyport, MA tonight
HAPPY TRAILS!


BE SURE TO USE DISCOUNT CODE: HAMILTON20 at checkout 



Thursday, December 20, 2018

Maintenance and That Balance Thing

As with a lot of my posts about outdoor fitness, I'll start off again with something that sounds a lot like an excuse. The last few months since building up to the Ethan Allen 24 hour at the end of the summer I have been in  multi-sport low mileage rut. We all probably get here, holidays, family obligations, work obligations, and in my case one busted ass pickup truck.

I can't really complain about being on duty with this sunrise

With injured subordinates at work, I have been in a less than ideal scheduling conundrum however today I got a small amount of respite from the duty blues. I chose to tie up a few loose ends and take a longer run than I have in while. Pawtuckaway State Park is in a relatively convenient location for me and offers some challenging terrain and a good amount of climbing. Vertical has been more my focus of late and mileage has gone by the wayside (under 1,400 miles of running and under 700 miles of biking in 2018). Focusing on climbing seems to free up time and add intensity, though the pace and distance metrics aren't really very sexy.

The loop was about 10 miles and climbed just shy of 2k, which sort of checked two boxes for me. The third box being the one of satisfaction since I have been stricken to the duty rooms treadmill and Youtube entertainment. A lot of the technical terrain was smooth as glass ice and the skies were blue so today really beat the shit out of Youtube!

https://www.strava.com/activities/2027347255
Pawtuckaway 12-20-18

Ice So clear it looks like water (Pawtuckaway 12-20-18)

View From Middle Mountain (Pawtuckaway 12-20-18)


Maintenance
As Noted above maintenance is another goal of mine. Since racing has been hard to fit into a busy schedule, my goals are to hold onto some fitness so I can come back to some more competitive running with a little bit shorter notice. The Coast Guards Boat Forces has a slogan of "Train Maintain, Operate so others might live". I like to apply this but more like "Train and Maintain so Dave might not embarrass himself if he registers for a 50k".  In keeping with the maintenance theme, when I am not on the treadmill I have been able to get a few outdoor workouts in, most of which are slower paced hikes with the kiddos, or a bike ride or two around town. Of note is a quick run up Mount Monadnock via the Pumpelly trail, and a dream of a fat bike ride on some logging trails near home.
50 Yards out the door, view is of Pendock Hill, in Arlington, VT

Hometown Running on "Youth Hunting Weekend"....Spoiler alert...I survived it..

 Prospect Rock Hike with Libby and Brycen Manchester, VT
Monadnock Summit 12-5-18


Absolutely PERFECT day for an Uphill/Downhill Fatbike ride
These are local logging and sugaring trails in Sandgate, VT





In addition to maintenance of my fitness I felt the need to maintain this web page, and since there hasn't been much to report I thought I would share some photos! Happy Trails!

Monday, August 6, 2018

"The gods of the valley are not the gods of the hills, and you shall understand it."

"The gods of the valley are not the gods of the hills, and you shall understand it."
-Ethan Allen 


Ethan Allen wasn't talking about a track ultra when he made the above assertion, at least I don't think so, but it felt fitting in a quick write up about my experience at the Ethan Allen 24 hour ultramarathon, brought to us by Noreast Trail Runs. 

Signing up for a 24 hour being a perpetual "kids race" ultra runner (read that as 50 milers and less please) was perhaps overzealous with a minimal window of preparation time and a point in my life where responsibility is anything but minimal. Nevertheless, I took advantage of a generous registration offer and spent the next 10ish weeks scratching my head thinking "how the fuck do I prepare for something like this, let alone what is the goal here?" Circles around a track at my former high school in Bennington, VT was always sort of a punishment, one step up from the hamster wheel device collecting dust in the basement. I guess ultra running is a pass time full of "why's?" and "WTF's" so why should this one be any different. 

I took training for this as seriously as I could, but quite a bit less than other big races in the past. my peak weeks were minimal 30-40 miles at best, and a lot as trail and mountain (see Ethan's thoughts on that above...). Since preparing the human body to accept repeated steps over the entire cycle of the earth is relatively time consuming, I found the best way to manage it was to be in training all day. My key workouts incorporated my homemade commuter mutt of a bicycle, which took a lot of strain off of my joints and by the way, it got me to work and forced me to get up early...training all day, see the theme here?. While at work I am either functioning as a boat engineer, law enforcement officer, or straight up desk jockey. I made a conscious effort to remain on my feet from the minute I woke up to the minute I went to bed. The cycle commute conveniently passed by a high school track on my return trip home, this allowed me to do longer runs so to identify physical and mental challenges I may face in 24 hours of running. Here is what an average day looked like in my peak weeks of training:

0415: Wake up
0435: Mount the commuter mutt and pedal towards work
0535: STARBUCKS cold brew with a few shots
0545: Stand at my desk and answer every email in rapid fashion (thanks coffee and undiagnosed anxiety!)
0630: Eat hot sauce smothered breakfast sandwich and get back to work.
0800: Head offshore to do coast guard things
FAST FORWARD 
1600: Start pedaling in the other direction
1640: Stop at Pentucket high school and run in circles at a 9-10 minute pace for 2 hours or so
1800: Pedal to burrito joint
1805: Eat burrito while standing watching 24 hour news 
2300: Sleep
0415: Wake up
REPEAT

Race Day

I arrived to the venue about an hour and half prior to the start, and set up my minimalist aid station. doing so I met with Joe Viger, one of the premier race photographers in New England, and some other participants. I didn't exactly stack my home made aid station, and as it would turn out there were only a few key items;

Compression shorts/socks
Sunscreen
2 lb bag of swedish fish
2 lb bag of power pellets (Peanut M&M's)
2 ga of lean mixed tailwind
2 flasks of my maple/honey/sea salt concoction
Aleve
Hummus and crackers

Salming D5's
Salming Enroutes


Everything else seemed to just be an over preparation on my behalf. At the brief I was pretty excited to share the track with some legends of ultrarunning to include Ann Trason, Lance Parker, and Amy Mower. Also in the group were some extremely talented locals like Brian Teason. In addition to all of the awesomeness gathering at the starting line, I was joined by another Active duty Coastie and a Coast Guard Auxiliary member....in Bennington, VT, unlikely? perhaps. Cool? YES.
The Early Miles and Smiles 
Photo: Joe Viger

At the start I had a solid amount of encouragement from Bob Dion, a legend in his own right, and founder of Dion Snowshoes and Tim VanOrden another world class local and founder of Running Raw. My main theme for the morning was being self aware of what my limits may be and keeping my speed under control, as I would much prefer to trot at a quicker pace normally, and on the advice of friends I stopped early and often for walk and nutrition breaks. Going into a slower pace my hips are always my number one concern. My theory on keeping them loose was to run a quarter mile at a 7-7:30 pace whenever they felt tight and sore, this made for some funny sub 2 minute split times that left the timing folks confused.

The race had scheduled turn around times to switch direction, these were good milestones,and bolstered morale getting a face to face interaction with the other runners. Robert Kootz, a USMC vet and endurance extraordinaire, seemingly transformed on each of these laps and was by far the most enthusiastic person at those moments.

Carey Stoneking and I clicking miles off as the sun goes down. 
To the far right is the overall winner Emily Collins who covered 113+ Miles 
Photo: Joe Viger

Throughout the evening I had several highs and lows, and it was almost maniacal to be inside of my own head. I tried to take advantage of the high points and not dwell on the lows. Just before 9:00 PM Ashley brought me a burrito and I thanked her and apologized but got right back onto the track thinking that a 60/40 split would be fantastic for morale. So babe, here is an official "Thank You" you're the best for supporting my crazy adventures, and I Love You! The rest of the night consisted of constant grinding, and keeping myself moving forward relentlessly. At no point did I think I could stomach real food, so the Swedish Fish and Peanut M&M's served as my go-to.

At 22:46 hours I slowly hobbled to the triple digit 100 mile mark and earned myself an Ethan Allen 24 hour buckle. Despite my body not wanting to continue forward I was urged to keep adding mileage so as to not lose my slim second place position. Through the night I had progressively slowed down enough to ensure I would reach my goal of 100 miles but did very little else to go beyond that. In the final moments those of us still on the track were given a small flag with our bib # on it, and we placed them on the track when the final bell rang at 9:00 AM the next day. In all I covered 102.888 total miles in 24 hours, which was good enough for third place overall and second place male.
The Pile of swag from this awesome event, missing is the 
embroidered fleece pullover 

http://ultrasignup.com/results_event.aspx?did=57083

THANK YOU!

Ashley, Mom, Dad, Mike & Kim for coming by!
Adam Schalit & Eliza race Directors at Noreast Trail Runs
Joe Viger Photographer, and support crew
Salming Running North America (use coupon code HAMILTON20 at checkout)
Adam Schalit of Noreast Trail Runs and I celebratin' post race 
with a solid fist bump.

Moving Forward "Chubby Time"
Since my knees haven't been up to any sort of distance I have been keeping up with the bicycling. I have been mixing terrain, and added a new (to me) fat bike to the stable. Most of my rides have been road and gravel, but recently I have taken to the sand on the fatty! Happy trails!
 Plum Island Beach Ride, The New Fat Bike is a Mongoose Vinson
with Vee 4.7" Bulldozers and some other mods. Stay tuned for a 1X 
setup and studs.
The Multi Surface mutt amidst a 32 mile ride out to Great Neck, MA

"I'll see you somewhere over the rainbow"

Monday, June 25, 2018

PEAK Blood Root Ultra (30) Race Report, and "You're going to run for 24 hours?!"




PEAK
I am a little behind on this one but I think I ought to tell the story before I forget it. Well? 7,000+ feet of climbing, a wrong turn, hot weather and a podium finish are kind of hard things to forget. So back on Veterans Day I saw an offer for a race discount from Peak Races. Though, I have successfully distanced myself from most things Spartan, a good value ultra was hard to pass up. 

I got to the event held on Joe Desena's property around an hour before the race start. It was supposed to be a really hot day so I made a few adjustments to my carriage of water/electrolytes. The plan was about 70fl. ounces of water and to use Swedish Fish and my maple/honey/sea salt gu packs I have become a fan of. 
Image may contain: one or more people, sky, tree, outdoor and nature


Looking Old and Heavy at the Start of the Peak Ultra


At the start I bumped into fellow Salming Ambassador Matt "Iron Beast" Dolitsky. Matt is another few times over Spartan Ultra Beast, and we ran the inaugural 2012 event together (this blogs namesake). We both made the decision to run with the Salming Trail T5 which proved to be formidable against these mountains in the Killington foothills.  Soon we were off and I found myself in second place after a few minutes of uphill grinding. I seemed to make a lot of ground on the "powerhike" sections in the early miles. At this point I saw no other competitor in the 30 mile event, for about 16 miles. Going into the aid stations I got updates on the leader who was holding around 7 minutes ahead of me. I thought that I should just maintain and hopefully finish in this position.....and then....

Image may contain: 1 person, tree and outdoor

Two Salming Boys setting off on a 30+ mile 7k' journey

I entered an "out and back lolipop" to which a few miles was a COMPLETE BUSHWHACK with flags hanging from trees every 60ish yards. While making a steady pace I must have passed the point where the bushwhack started and ran about two miles up a nearby ridge After not seeing a flag for over ten minutes I decided to backtrack and found my way to the turn that I had missed.  When I finally exited this out and back section the aid station informed me that I was now in third overall and about 13 minutes behind second place. With that I tried to stay positive, and kept driving on thinking I may be able to close the gap between us. As the miles built up and my left knee started bugging me, I decided that I should dial the effort back and do what I can to hold on to a top three position. 

Course from The Blood Root Ultra 30 The Eastern Loop was done twice.
The far West "Out and Back" was my extra credit mileage while lost!


I ended up walking SEVERAL of the last 8-10 miles, with the idea that if somebody challenged me for third place I would respond to it. At approximately 31 miles on my GPS I was descending a switch back and I  saw 4th place not far behind. I decided that I should truck the last mile or two since I had essentially been resting and walking an easy pace. 


I ended up finishing third overall behind two speedy Canadians. The course was rugged, muddy, and thorny! Never have I left an event this beat up! Even after a barbed wire incident at the Amesbury, MA Spartan Sprint in 2012 that probably should've required stitches. In all the Trail 5's from Salming proved to shed mud quickly with the Vibram MegaGrip outsole, and the wide toe box made for a comfy ride especially in the later miles.

https://www.strava.com/activities/1552191765



UP NEXT: Ethan Allen 24hr 

After being electronically introduced (read: Facebook) to Adam and Eliza I had the brief pleasure of a fist bump at Snowshoe nationals. Since then we have stayed in contact and he has kept me apprised of his new event management company's plans. Nor'East Trail runs (https://www.netrailruns.com/) is bringing some serious trail and ultra events right in my backyard of Southwestern Vermont. Among these races, ranging from 10k to 24HR, are events at Bromley Mountain, Dorset Peak, and to the Mount Anthony High School track in Bennington, VT. At the moment, I am committed to the timed event at the MAUHS track. The Ethan Allen 6/12/24 hour is shaping up to be an awesome event, drawing the attention of some legendary ultra runners! 

I am lost when it comes to flat ground running and this will likely be the furthest I have gone in a single day, and a HUGE learning experience. My goal is to reach the coveted 100 mile mark, which doesn't sound too bad because you have all day to do it, however the logistics here are daunting, and the training is simply confusing. Since I am a complete stranger to this type of racing I have elicited the help of others. The advice I have received is as follows:

-Walk early and often
-train slow...and walk during training
-stay on your feet as much as possible
-stay healthy!

I believe I am disciplined enough to do most of the above, however staying healthy can be a challenge with children, long work hours on the ocean , and lack of sleep. Thus far my key training days I am doing this:
-Cyclocommute to work at 0430 AM 15mi
-Work 12 hours without sitting down
-Cyclocommute home 15mi stopping at a High School track
-10-15 miles alternating between 10 minute miles and walking on a track

Doing this workout usually gets me home at approximately 8PM

The Commute "Queen Slipper to Clipper Cities"
My Homemade "Do-everything" bike has been part of me "Staying Healthy"



In addition to these types of workouts I have been doing a lot of hiking with my son. Brycen is now around 25lbs, and luckily for me he enjoys the ride in our backpack. Most recently we hiked around 11mi. climbing about 3,000' through Hell Brook on the A.T. He's a good training partner since he seems fascinated with the sights and sounds of nature. 

Trail Name "Banana" got his first exposure to Through Hikers 



The Weapon of Choice for the Ethan Allen 24. 
The Salming Enroute is a clone of the T5 with a 
Less aggressive outsole.

Happy Trails!


Monday, March 19, 2018

Running Swedish, Deep Trouble in Woodford, and the Treadmill Grind


I am proud to announce that for the year 2018, I will be representing Salming Running as a brand ambassador. I was drawn to a shared Facebook post saying that Salming was on an ambassador hunt, and I thought that it would be fun to review gear and shoes, and share it with the large New England running community I am glad to be a part of. I didnt really expect to be selected and was pleasantly surprised when I got an email from the U.S. CEO David Field inviting me to be a part of the team. As time goes on I will be posting reviews on gear. Once I have an adequate amount of mileage on the three pairs of Salmings I own, I will be sure to share my thoughts. Salming is a Swedish based company started by former NHL star Borjes Salming and began with court sports like handball and squash.. Their shoes all adopt a 5 point design philosophy (Light, Flexible Flat, Thin, with an anatomical Comfortable fit). I have found that all of this is true, along with the "No Nonsense" trademark slogan. To learn more Visit:

https://shopsalmingusa.com/

20% COUPON CODE: HAMILTON20


My Current Stable thanks to Salming (Left to Right)
Trail T5
OT Comp
Distance D5


DEEP Trouble In Woodford


This past weekend, I was fortunate to participate in the Dion Snowshoes (link below) National Championship. Every four years the Snowshoe National Championships are held in my backyard (well sort of) in Woodford, VT. Woodford is in a snow lovers sweet spot, and typically gets exponentially more snow than lower lying Bennington. In the weeks leading up to the 2018 race, Woodford received upwards of five feet of snow. Race Director Tim Van Orden certainly had his hands full since he had to plan MULTIPLE races from a "Kids Kilo" up to a Marathon. The deep snow added a complicated logistical element, to marking and packing down fast racing trails. Tim, put a solicitation out and a ton of volunteers came forward to help make this race weekend a complete success! I had the pleasure of volunteering a couple of hours, which wanes in comparison to volunteers like the RD, and Silvia Cassano, a local rep for the Bennington Area Trail System (BATS) and all around outdoor bad-ass. I ran the 10K and was over-matched by some awesome talent and conditions that just whooped me!  The deep snow made passing difficult, and the first 2 1/2 miles were a tough trek to the summit of Prospect Mountain. This was my first time on the rackets this winter, and in hindsight I probably should've strapped them up a few more times when I had the chance! I finished in 1:37 which put me just behind the exact middle of the 100 man field. I did find out later on Facebook that I won the military division...Yeah...I beat the other guy.

https://www.strava.com/activities/1446270272

After a punishing 10k I got to stick around and talk to Bob Dion of Dion Snowshoes, who gave me a few pointers on how to maintain my snowshoes and set them up for deep snow! He suggested using candle wax on the cleats and rivets, and also upgrading to the deep cleat. Dion Snowshoes are modular and easy to customize. 

Early Stages of the 10k National Championships

The Grind
It is hard to look back at a "middle of the pack" performance and put a positive spin on it. I can make all the excuses in the world, but I honesty don't believe I need to and here's why; This was a hard race, with even harder conditions. The 10k had over 1,200' of vertical climb, and the snow was knee deep at some points, despite the female 10k runners stomping it down. The reason I am satisfied with a lackluster finish is because this race brought some of the strongest snowshoe runners in the country (Including some international competitors) to Vermont. I don't think being average among the fastest is too bad!
Some of the Hearty Volunteers packing the singletrack
The day before Nationals. Tim VanOrden is leading
the way on antique snowshoes, Tim would go on to 
Make another National Team the following day!

I have been stricken to the cardio room at work standing several 48 & 72 hour shifts lately. It is hard to stay passionate about trail running when you simulate it on an electric contraption in a climate controlled room. I use the treadmill out of necessity, and don't necessarily advocate for it to stay in shape. Will it work? Sure. 

Looking Forward
I am currently training for the Peak Bloodroot Ultra in Pittsfield, VT. This race is on May 5th, and should be a tough one. I am doing the 30 miler, AKA "The Kids Race" while I would prefer to do the 50 miler AKA "The Slightly Longer Kids Race". I say kids race because this race is held in conjunction with a 500 miler. 500 is not, and likely will never be a goal of mine however, that's pretty radical. 30 miles is about the max I am willing to commit to with competing demands, and I'm cautiously building mileage and experimenting with some new nutrition ideas (more to follow on that, unless I vomit a lot at Bloodroot. In that case I'll talk about puke rather than my silly nutrition idea). 

Luckily I am back on the dirt. My last few workouts were close to home, where I can get a solid amount of vertical gain with half mile repeats while my one year old (Brycen is one! Holy Crap that was fast!) sleeps. On Saturday I managed to get 2,300' of climbing under the stars on our dirt road, and promptly cracked my St. Patty's beer afterward. 

SLIANTE!
Ran 2,300' of repeats on St. Patrick's Day in the NEW 
Salming OT Comp. The Michelin outsole handled 
our sloppy un-maintained road for 8.5 miles


http://www.dionsnowshoes.com/

http://batsvt.org/ 

http://shopsalmingusa.com

https://peak.com/

http://www.areep.com/events/ssnats/2018/2018_sr_men.txt