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The Duel Trail Race

Angel Fire 50k Race Report: Moments

The Angel Fire 50k, a late June adventure, became a great opportunity for the entire fam to head to the mountains surrounded by beautiful views, sunny skies, green – lots of green, and the cooler air of northeast New Mexico.


With our condo window overlooking the start/finish area, we couldn’t have asked for a better family base camp. And with a 5:00AM start for all the ultra distances (50k, 50M, 100k, 100M), the 30 foot walk to the start was most groovy as my munchkins continued to enjoy some Zs.

After Jemez 50M (er 31M or so) run-n-ski event at the end of May, I was lookin’ forward to my second New Mexico trail adventure in about a month. Race morning showcased clear skies and mildly-cool temps as an intimate group of runners huddled near the start/finish area as we chatted briefly with friends and received final instructions.

The 50k scamper was segmented into a six mile relaxed loop of a bit of resort pavement then mostly open and wooded relaxed singletrack, followed by an 18 mile out-and-back that took you up and over the Angel Fire ski mountain along sweet singletrack, dirt forest roads, and doubletrack, and then repeating the six mile loop as a hopeful celebration loop.

Each race I participate in leaves its own unique imprint. Some stronger than others. This race shared some really strong moments that had this deep intensity and pin-point clarity. I couldn’t help but feel this sense of deep gratitude for the experience.

Here are some of these moments.

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2014 Western States 100 TALON Tribe Wrap-up and Reflections

It was a memory collecting Western States 100 weekend for our 17 TALON (TX, AR, LA, OK, NM) athletes as they traversed along this historic 100.2 mile course from Squaw Valley to Auburn, California. Our tribe covered the ages between 30 to 55 with all regional states but Louisiana represented. Texan, Paul Terranova, led our group to the Auburn track in 17:26:00 and Texan, Rob Ham was our final finisher to persevere and sneak under the 30 hour cut-off with a time of 29:54:47.

This year also witnessed Shaheen Sattar of Texas earn a highly-coveted top 10 female finish in her first Western States start. Shaheen’s training partner, crew, pacer, and boyfriend, Steve Henderson, shared a great Western States 100 report here on EB about their adventure. You can check it out here.

TALON Results

  • Paul Terranova (TX) – 17:26:00 (*13th Overall)
  • Shaheen Sattar (TX) – 21:20:49 (*9th female)
  • Ryan Holler (AR) – 23:24:42
  • Eric Zipfel (TX) – 23:25:49
  • Shannon McFarland (AR) – 25:49:13
  • Donald Zoch (TX) – 25:49:58
  • Matthew Searfus (TX) – 25:52:28
  • Brian Hill (TX) – 26:05:04 (*slammer)
  • Larry Pearson (TX) – 27:15:18
  • Daniel Murphy (TX) – 27:20:16
  • Amanda Alvarado (TX) – 27:25:43
  • Danny Ponder (OK) – 28:39:17
  • Steven Grossman (NM) – 28:56:28
  • Jennifer Kimble (TX) – 29:42:28 (race report)
  • Rob Ham (TX) – 29:54:47
  • Juan Escobar (TX) – mile 89.9
  • Jeremy Day (AR) – mile 62

Race Reflections

Enjoy as some of the tribe shares their strongest memories from the adventure.

Brian Hill of Texas


My question before the race was “does it live up to the hype?”

My answer post race is – “Yes it does and it needs to be on your bucket list!”

Western States lives up to the billing – the history, the race organization, the volunteers, the mixture of elite runners and “recreational” runners, the pre-race panels and festivities – it really has it all and the popularity of the race isn’t just because it was the first 100 – it really is a well executed, fun race.

Two examples that show how the race really is entrenched in the community Read the rest of this entry »

Savoring the Dance with Shaheen Sattar to a 9th Place Female Finish at the Western States 100: An Adventure Report by Steve Henderson

EB: Shaheen Sattar of Texas ran her first uber-competitive Western States 100 and finished in the highly prized top-10 women with a time of 21:20:49 and 9th place honors. Enjoy as Steve Henderson graciously shares his perspective of this journey as a supporter of many hats – training partner, boyfriend, crew, and pacer.

Steve and Shaheen (Credit: Shama Sattar)

Shaheen and I enroute to Western States 100 (Credit: Shama Sattar)

To start, this is the best race Shaheen has raced to date. Everything about the race went as close to planned and the outcome was more than she was hoping for. Her goals going into the race were from lowest (or easiest to achieve) to hardest.

  • Finish under 24 hours
  • Finish under 22 hours to have a finish time better than Leadville raced one year ago and a silver buckle.
  • Run the first 1/2 of the race conservative. At mile 50 try to be within the top 15 women in the race. Then race as much as possible to crack into the top 10.

I have trained with Shaheen for several years now. I think I’m about as good as anyone to understand what shape she is in and how she’s going to run. I knew she was very fit. She ran double runs two to three days a week in the June heat. Her next day workout, she would bounce back and complete with no complaints. The heat training would paid off.

She attended the training camp the weekend of Memorial weekend. Left Auburn, California that weekend a little worried. I call it a gained respect for the course. So we talked about her race plan after the course viewing and scaled back her first goal to make certain she would walk away Sunday morning feeling like a winner. But I knew if the competitive Stud Muffin that I know showed up, she would do a lot better than 24 hours.

The days before and the morning of the race I sensed a calm Shaheen. Absolutely she was nervous but not scared. I believe she respects the race as well as any runner that competes at the top level in this grueling race. It’s one of her strengths. We arrived early Thursday to a beautiful Lake Tahoe City area. While enjoying the sights in the area, we had some very good food and even scouted for black bears. The closest we got was the Black Bear Cafe with a super tasty breakfast.

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No Cow Left Behind: Gunnison 100k Trail Run Race Report by Jason Bousliman

Enjoy the scamper report by Jason Bousliman of New Mexico who traveled to Colorado for a 100km adventure at the Gunnison 100k Trail Run.

Overall: Fantastic 100K (62 mile race). Very well organized first year event by Ever Run Racing. Outstanding course, great field, and tremendous volunteers. Very satisfied to finish. Congrats to Duncan Callahan and Leila Degrave on their wins.

Take Away/What I learned:

  • Value of repetition (counting) when I’m extremely fatigued.
  • Checklist of simple tasks for hard to leave aid stations to avoid dropping.
  • Fire ants don’t care that you’re trying to sleep, port-o-potties are good shelter unless they’re about to tip over, and cows can run really fast.

Event held in Gunnison, Colorado. Incredibly pretty town with its own bistro and brewery. Home of Western State Colorado University.

The 62 mile race was made up of three 21 mile loops. Each loop was run in alternating directions. Runners were given the choice of starting at 4:00 AM or 6:00 AM.

Map of the 21 mile loop.

Map of the 21 mile loop.

Elevation profile. 11,638 total gain and loss

Elevation profile. 11,638 total gain and loss

After the six hour drive from Albuquerque, I found a motel and slept for four hours. Awoke at 3:00 AM and was out the door by 3:20. Found the start, checked in and kept warm in my car until the race briefing.

Race director Charles Johnson thanked everyone, gave updated course info, then said, “Have fun, be safe, and no matter what, don’t let any cows out of their pastures or this event will never happen again…ever.” I laughed thinking that was a joke…it wasn’t.

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Merrell All Out Fuse Women’s Trail Running Shoe Review

olgak_articles“Discover a closer connection to the world around you in Merrell Barefoot”

That was the statement that came along with the Merrell All Out Fuse shoes I received one day some four months ago, and it was love at first sight, second, and many more afterwards.

Let me backtrack a bit. Over a year ago I had tried for the first time and reviewed three various pairs made by Merrell – and while some were better than others, all of them got so much love from me, unexpectedly so, that only last week (a full year and half of wearing all three pairs) was I able to part with them, worn out to the bone. So, when I was offered a new version, I was excited – and when I got my All Out Fuse, they looked and felt similar to the two pairs of the previous Barefoot Collection: Bare Access Arc 2 and Road Glove Dash 2. This new one was claiming to be a fuse – of road to trail, or support and bare – and fuse it was.

Graphic: Courtesy

Graphic: Courtesy

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Mud, Miles, and Munchkins: Dirty Laundry

lmcgarraughartSomeone back in the 80s or 90s told women “they can have it all”.

I almost think it was a man who said it as a dare, but as most of us are finding out having it all is next to impossible. There are a lot of women who do a great job balancing everything and I envy those women who look like they have it together, but we all know something has got to give. Being a mom, wife and an ultra-marathoner in training, I knew I was going to have to put something on the back burner. Something in my life was not going to get the attention it needed. My priorities changed. I have a lot of “dirty laundry” figuratively and literally.

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2014 Western States 100: Taper Chat with the Texas Dirty Dozen

Enjoy our pre-race Western States 100 chat with many of the Dirty Dozen from Texas!


Juan Escobar #173


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