Monday, August 25, 2014

Sage "The Rage" Canaday talks about his Pikes Peak Ascent Victory and WMRA World Long Course Challenge Gold

Team Colorado caught up with the 2014 WMRA World Long Course Challenge and Pikes Peak Ascent Champion, Sage Canaday, and asked him about the race. Here is how it went.

Team Colorado: First of all, congratulations on your victory at the World Long Course Challenge at the Pike Peak Ascent in a time of 2:10:03, not to mention your Uphill Challenge at OR, Speedgoat…so many others that we don't want to have you sit through the long list…and I'm sure you know them all, you were there!

The last time your ran the Pikes Peak Ascent you struggled badly the last few miles. You were described as looking like a one of those collapsing animal toys that springs back up when you release the buttons on either side. Did you feel that way? Maybe we should make a Team Colorado collapsing Sage Canaday doll!? This time you got your piece of Pikes Peak. What was your nutrition plan for the race knowing what happened in 2012?

Sage: My nutrition plan was to fill my Ultimate Direction fanny pack full of gel and consume it in blobs. I was also looking to get in an Avery IPA near the top with about a mile to go, but no crewing was allowed out on the course. If I had that IPA in me I would've cracked 2:10 for sure!

Team Colorado: You mentioned that this was the first time you had to pee in a cup (aka get drug tested). That's a bit of a surprise since you have done a lot of other races with larger prize purses. There is quite a lot of money in some of the larger ultra races, which is starting to attract athletes trying to get their piece of the pie. What is your take on drug testing in mountain, trail, ultra running?

Sage: The more testing the better. For me it was an honor as know I feel like I've finally made it in the sport (since I got tested). I think to really catch people they need to do out of season testing and always make it a surprise, though!

Team Colorado: You did not "Pull a GR" like most Pikes Peak Ascent winners have done in recent years to win, but it sounded like you ran a smart, tactical race. Take us through it, especially when you went from 3rd to 1st in the last mile.

Sage: I don't have a high enough Vo2max to take it out hard like a lot of the guys so I was pretty forced to sit back and wait. I knew from some workouts that my strength this year was probably going to be the last 3 miles so I waited until then to make my move. It really wasn't a strong move as my motto in this section is "just don't walk," but at the time it felt intense. I got an extra boost of energy when I saw first and second place close together and I figured if I didn't give it everything I had to try catch up and win I'd regret it for the rest of my life. With about half a mile to go I put my head down and gave it everything I had...including a slow powerhike up the golden stairs (which was all I could muster).

Just before the pass, 400 meters to go            photo:

Team Colorado: If you could have any nickname, what would it be? "Rage" was a nickname in college, but you don't seem like an angry person. We also don't want to refer to you as a shrub or a philosopher, if you are not into that.

Sage "The Rage": You haven't seen the anger come out yet! Consider yourself lucky. The Rage gets going only after a six pack or two...

Team Colorado: You have been racing, nay, dominating races this year. What is up next for you?

Sage: I'm going to do the Rut 50km SkyRunning World Series Ultra Final. Killian Jornet is supposed to come so it will be an intense race!

Team Colorado: We know of this Kilian, he was in one of our blog posts once and was pretending to be Miley Cirus. You know, if you take out your time from this year's Pikes Peak Ascent but you keep in the The Prez's time, he has run a faster time than you did back in 2012 (2:21:16). How do you feel about that? Does it make you angry? Are you feeling the "Rage" now?

Sage: I'm happy for The Prez. He put down a solid race!

Team Colorado: We were just testing you to see if you turned green and got all muscly!

Sage: Nope, not yet.

Team Colorado: On a very important topic, what beer did you have after your Pikes Peak Ascent victory?

Sage: Avery's classic IPA.

Team Colorado: Ah, yes, lots of antioxidants in a good IPA. Tell us about your upcoming film, MUT Runner.

Sage "The Rage": MUT (Mountain-Ultra-Trail) Runner is a film project that I'm releasing at the end of next month. It's about a movement I see in the sport in terms of more competition, increased sponsorship opportunities, changes in training philosophy, the role of prize money and falling course records. I've interviewed a lot of top MUT Runners and gotten their take on things as well as included scenic footage from my travels around the world. It's going to be about 25-30 minutes long and will be available on DVD and digital download.

Team Colorado: I know, I know, you've been itching to do it, so go ahead, plug your sponsors!

Sage "The Rage": Naw, but everyone should follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @SageCanaday. That way you can see all the shameless product plugs from my sponsors!

Team USA Gold                                          photo: The Prez

Monday, August 4, 2014

Team Colorado Welcomes Jared "the Youngster" Hazen

Name: Jared "the Youngster" Hazen

Age: 19

Hometown: Titusville, PA

Current residence: Colorado Springs, CO

Sponsors: Altra Zero Drop

Personal Bests (or Worsts): Bests would probably be 3rd at Rocky Raccoon and 14th at Western States. I felt like I ran a close to perfect race at Rocky Raccoon and went about hour faster than expected. At Western I moved up all day and was able to run a fast last 20 miles and felt the best I ever have at that distance. Worst would have to be my first ultra, the Baker 50 miler. My nutrition plan going in was lemonade and bananas. It got up to 85 degrees and was super humid. I led the first 30 miles, then ran with my buddy who caught up for 5 miles before I started puking everywhere and cramping. I got lost for a couple miles, but managed to finish 2nd in 8:05. I then proceeded to puke a few more times before somebody called and an ambulance (not cool). Luckily I didn’t have to go to a hospital, but I was sick for about 2 weeks after the race. And the time I dropped at the Quad Rock 50. It seems I haven’t had much luck with the 50s.

Notable Achievements: Sub 14 hours in a 100 miler. And I’ve never had any real injuries, it’s a miracle!

Goals for 2014/2015/beyond: I just want to get better, explore a lot, and be able to run until I die.

Favorite trails: Cascade Canyon trail in Grand Teton National Park, Trail 666 in Colorado Springs

Favorite workout: Long runs. The ones where you get lost, run out of food and water, and wonder if you’ll ever be done running…those are the best ;)

Favorite races: Oil Creek 100 It was my first hundred and my hometown race.

Favorite Beer: I’ll get back to you in a couple of years. (He's 19 people, we are not in Europe!)

Why Trail/Mountain/Ultra Running? Because it’s a blast! My “training” is running on sweet single track in the mountains every day for long periods of time. That totally beats trying to sprint around a track really fast. And I’ve found that running 100 miles is one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life. I don’t know why but I like training for months at a time and then one day trying to bring everything together and nail a hundred mile race, it’s pretty satisfying.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Team Colorado Welcomes Hillary "Hillygoat" Allen

Name: Hillary "Hillygoat" Allen

Age: 25

Hometown: Fort Collins, CO

Current residence: Lakewood, CO

Sponsors: Swiftwick, Hammer Nutrition

Personal Bests: Running my first 50 miler this year (2014)! Getting to train and do what I love is the accomplishment for me.

Notable Achievements: 2014 Salida Marathon, 1st woman, 3:45; 2014 Cheyenne mountain 50k, 1st woman, 4:27:29, CR; 2014 Bighorn 50 mile, 1st woman, 8:56:39, CR; 2014 Speedgoat 50k, 4th woman, 7:03.

Goals for 2014/2015 and beyond: Place top 5 in the Run the Rut 50k. Top 5 in the Moab trail marathon. Next year I plan to run another 50-mile race (perhaps quad rock, or san juan solstice). I want to plan a running trip to the pacific northwest, run rim 2 rim 2 rim and go to new Zealand or Iceland to run!

Favorite trails: Mount Morrison, beaver brooke trail, bear creek trail (into Ouray)

Favorite workout: 3-5 min uphill repeats

Favorite races: Salida marathon, Speedgoat 50k


Favorite beer: Rampant IPA, New Belgium Brewery

Why Trail/Mountain/Ultra Running? : Although this is only my second year of trail running, it feels like a part of my soul. The mountains have always been a source of inspiration. I spent most of my childhood camping in the mountains near Fort Collins, CO where I grew up. It wasn’t until after college that I started to trail run, I had the endurance (I played tennis in college) and I discovered quickly that uphill was my favorite. Pretty soon I was logging long hours on the trails, the short distances never seemed to be enough, I always wanted to explore more trails. I decided to see how I was at the ultra/mountain running. Turns out I’m hooked and my favorite part about it, is that every day I can enjoy the mountains and trails, but there’s always more to explore!

I’m a total goofball. I’m very expressive and have a hard time smiling for cameras, instead I make silly faces. I love to be outdoors and in the mountains, it’s where I feel most connected to myself and the world. I giggle a lot too, so watch out, cuz it’s contagious.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Loon Mountain Race & Cranmore Hill Climb interview with co-RD, Paul Kirsch #NoSafeWord

Last year we sat down with the 2013 Cranmore Hill Climb and 2014 Loon Mountain Trail Race co-RD, Paul Kirsch. We also followed up with him about this year's Loon Mountain Race, which serves as both the women's and the men's US Mountain Running Championships, he insisted we do it while running up the Upper Walking Boss. Loon Mountain Race takes place July 6th in Lincoln, NH. BE THERE!

2013 US Mtn Running Championships podium
First of all, thanks for fixing it to make sure that our Team Colorado made the US Mountain Running Team back in 2013. Well, what I mean by that is creating the most difficult course you could imagine, not actually setting boobie traps or secret aid stations. You have put this race on in many different forms in the past, how did you come up with this course?

I always look for the World Champs course profile and then try and mimic the profile.  Some years that takes 4 or 5 potential course passes.  This year, the first course myself and Paul Bazanchuk (or Pavel X2, as we like to call ourselves) measured fit the profile pretty perfectly.  

What did you think of having a guy with a golden mullet in the race (we won't use any names here--just a photo)?
The pre-mullet look, where he had flowing golden locks my wife referred to as "The Mountain Running Bobby Brady". I am guessing he turned it into a mullet because he knew I had a Tiki like Greg Brady had in Hawaii and he wanted to avoid the curse. I know, I didn't really answer your question.

People always ask, some complain, about why the National Mountain Running Champs is always in the northeast. Why are you hogging it, why can't we hold it in Colorado?

It's not really all of New England hogging it, it's just New Hampshire. It's closely tied to the First in the Nation Primary. It's written into the New Hampshire constitution that "Our Primary will be one week before every other state and we will always host the mountain championships". Thanks to our forefathers for connecting the two important parts of our democracy. A lot of people know about the state slogan, "Live Free or Die". A lot of people don't know that the runner up slogan was "My Life is Going Uphill". That gets lost in the history books.

Besides that, one of the goals of the championship is to have a course that closely resembles the World Championship course. Team USA's results have proven why that is important. We want the best people for the World course representing Team USA. That being said, we would love to have the mountain champs in other places.  There is some potential to Bend putting in a bid for 2015. I hope that happens. I want this wonderful sport to get plenty of exposure across the country. If you know of race directors interested, tell them to contact me. I think sometimes people get intimidated at the thought of hosting a National Championship. I would love to help work with some other Race Directors to help support them hosting it as well. You will never find more appreciative runners than mountain runners.

I recall one irate person saying that a race at Cranmore is not a "real" mountain race because it does not have a lot of elevation gain and loss, no tree line, no high altitude. What do you have to say to that, other than a two word response?

Mountain Running can hurt you! Brandon Birdsong
shows off his battle wounds at Cranmore. photo: The Prez
Mountain running to me is a pretty big tent. That makes even more sense since a mountain is typically a tall pointy triangle shape, just like a tent is. There are a lot of different types of mountain races, some are much longer distances, some are much shorter. Skyrunning races tend to be much longer (they also have a Vertical K) whereas the ones that the US Mountain Champs are meant to mirror are ones that meet the guidelines of the World Mountain Running Association, usually around 12K total in distance, with some specific vertical ascent/descent. But to me, running up and down steep mountains, no matter whether it's rock or grass or road, it's all mountain running. I think sometimes people associate final elevation with level of difficulty. You can have a pretty killer mountain race that starts at sea level.  

It used to be 10 years ago that all trail, mountain and ultra running events were looked at as "not real running" like road races were. We've moved past that now with golden mulleted runners who can qualify for the Olympic trials and also excel in the mountains and trails so that mountain running is now "real running". So now, I guess we all get to debate which is the most "real mountain running". That's progress. For me, I just love all of the different mountain running events, short, long, rocky, whatever. I don't see the need to define one or the other as the real thing. They both are, in their own way.

Planning an event like this has got to be time intensive. I heard you can't speak for a couple of days after the race because you have gone hoarse. You also have a full time job…and two kids...two dogs...and a wife. How is that possible?

I believe you always make time for things that are important for you. Luckily I have a very understanding and supportive family who know how much I love organizing races. The dogs actually are not supportive at all and still require just as much exercise during race planning season. They do help me mark the course, I use flags and they use, um, well you know.

Glenn Randall and Joe Gray pushing the downhill
photo: Joe Viger
Mountain running truly has changed my life. It's why I started running. It's how I go to my happy place every day. I do hope that I am playing some small part in helping support these athletes in their own quests.That helps keep me going on the short sleep nights. I also love the adrenaline rush of directing an event. I'm a much better race director than I am a racer so, you go with your strengths.

MUT has come a long way, even in the past 3 years, with the likes of Stevie Kremer, Glenn Randall, Morgan Arritola, Max King, Joe Gray…I could go on. Where to you see the sport going in the future?

I think it will continue to go uphill- except every other year when it will go up and downhill.

We are going to see more people from "traditional running" and also from nordic sports give it a try. The success of the US Team and our athletes is opening up eyes. Look at the field at Cranmore this year- we had the usual suspects but we also had an Olympic Road Marathoner (Magda Boulet) and a recent college graduate who made the team in his first mountain race (Zach Ornelas). I think we are going to see a lot more of that.  

Do you know who "Ridin Heffers" and "A-licks Nix-holes" are? Apparently, they made the US Mountain Running Team.

Didn't A-licks just come in second at the Pikes Peak Descent? The other reason I got into mountain running is I got tired of being the least mature person in a room. With questions like this, I now know I am among my own kind.
Yeah, it's that difficult! A-licks wishes he knew the safeword.
photo: Joe Viger

Will you host the National Championships again in the future?

Yes, I hope so. Actually starting the process to organize a committee to try and bring the World Champs to Cranmore in 2017. It's going to take some major sponsorship money to do it but I am optimistic. How cool would that be? We need to bring the WMRC to the lower 48.

And finally, what is your favorite beer? Inquiring minds want to know.

I have two answers to that. The first is, my favorite beer is the free beer. It's always the best one. My second answer is much like the comment about what is real mountain running. I have lots of favorite beers depending on the situation so not a specific favorite. If I need cheap, light and fast (much like you) it's PBR. Otherwise, I tend to like either very hoppy IPAs, which covers a lot of New England or a good chocolate stout. If I really had to pick one, it would be Anchor Steam. I know that isn't from New England, a hoppy IPA or a chocolate stout so I guess I've failed at this answer. 

On a completely unrelated note, you may not remember but when I was hurt in 2005/2006, you gave me a pair of Pikes Peak Ascent socks that you won- kind of to inspire me to get healed up and running again. I still have those socks. That either means they meant something to me or I am a hoarder. 

On to 2014 and the Loon Mountain Race. It seems you are back again directing a US Champs, along with Chris Dunn of Acidotic Racing, but at a different race. So tell us about Loon. Has it been a qualifier before?

Yes, it was the qualifier for one men’s team spot back in 2006 and then was the qualifier for the women’s team in 2012. This year’s uphill race actually has a decent amount of downhill and Loon has some spots so it was the perfect course for it. I was psyched to be able to host again. Some people host big New Year’s Parties, I seem to host mountain team qualifiers.

I started the race back in 2006, planning it with Dave Dunham and Richard Bolt. But Chris and acidotic RACING took it over in 2011 and I stayed on to help out.

What makes Loon unique?

Technically, there is no other race called “The Loon Mountain Race” so I guess that is what makes it unique.

But in terms of the race, I have heard it described as the most like a European-style mountain race of any race in the US. It gets increasingly harder the further you go up the mountain. It is also the only race whose slogan (“no safeword”) provides some fairly offensive search results when you search it on Google or Bing, although technically no one not named Gates uses Bing, even William Frederick.

Where did “no safeword” come from?
I am now starting to get uncomfortable that you keep pressing me on this topic. Does Team Colorado have an HR Department? I feel I should report you. 

Did you change the course this year? Was there a safe word for that course?

Yes. Sort of. The women’s course will be the same as 2012 when it was last a qualifier. It will have little bit more at the very end. The men’s course has another 2 mile trail section that goes through the Nordic trails. It’s a cool addition, in my opinion. It has some mud, some single track, a few rocks and roots too. The World’s Course in Italy this year has some up and down variety on it, so this should be a good test for that course as well.

Did Lincoln grow up in Lincoln, New Hampshire?

He did not. One town over from Lincoln, is Woodstock, New Hampshire. That was named after Snoopy’s friend Woodstock.  Most people don’t know that.  This kind of ties the whole interview together as it is also the home of the Woodstock Inn and Brewery, which makes some amazing beer.

What is the Collegiate Running Association and what is their mountain championship?

TiVO, suffering on Upper Walking Boss
The CRA was started by some forward thinking people in the world of college running. Steve Taylor, the coach at the University of Richmond, helped spearhead it. Their goal is really to give college students exposure to all of their post-collegiate running options, including trail and mountain running. Chris Dunn and I are honored that they picked Loon for the inaugural mountain champs.

Steve and Richmond have sent us a lot of junior athletes for the mountain team over the years. It’s become a great partnership.

You may recognize the University of Richmond name as that is where singer/songwriter Bruce Hornsby didn’t graduate from. Coach Taylor is also friends with Howard Nippert, who starred in the original Smokey and the Bandit movies as Cledus.

Explain Upper Walking Boss…or do you just have the run…walk…CRAWL up it?

Gute: "Is that Upper Walking Boss!?" Eric: "Yeah, that's why
they call me Quadzilla."
Upper Walking Boss is the result of us needing more elevation in the 2006 qualifier. So we got to the top of Loon Peak and needed some more vertical so we shuffled them over to UWB to ascend the Boss. It really is the steepest thing I have ever been on. My calves and Achilles hurt just walking up it. Ironically, my own fastest running time on it is only a few minutes faster than when I hike up it to flag the course. There is something wonderfully mind blowing of blazing down Haulback to then suddenly making a hard right turn onto UWB.  People who are just ahead of you may in fact be a full minute ahead of you. I fully expect some dreams will be made and some broken on those last few spots on the mountain team this year- all taking place in the 1km of UWB.

Thanks, Paul! We all look forward to suffering on your behalf.

Some media from the Cranmore Hill Climb 2013:

Race video by Rich Bolt (no relation to Usain Bolt)


Colorado Runner Magazine

Endurance Sportswire

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Team Colorado Welcomes Kerrie Bruxvoort

Name: Kerrie Bruxvoort

Age: 37

Hometown: Omaha, NE

Current residence: Broomfield, CO

Sponsors: Salomon, Honey Stinger, DryMax Socks, Bliz Eyewear

Personal Bests (or Worsts): One of my favorite experiences was at Run Rabbit Run 50 in Steamboat this past year. It was one of those races that felt easy and was truly enjoyable from start to finish. That doesn’t happen very often! Also, my first ultra ever was the Mesquite Canyon 50K in Arizona in 2012. I felt amazing that day and managed a solid course record and third overall.
A tough race for me this past year was the UROC 100k. I was having a wonderful day until about mile 40 when I got behind on calories and could no longer eat anything. It was a 100% suffer fest for about 25 miles. I was staggering around in the dark dizzy and nauseated and talking to myself. It was rough!!

Goals for 2014 and beyond: I know I have lots of room for improvement when it comes to speed, so I’d like to work on that. I’ve been running a lot of longer, more technical races, so my strength and endurance have increased, but my speed has taken a hit for sure. I hope to improve my times over 2013 at Dirty 30, Speedgoat and TNF 50 San Francisco. H.U.R.T 100 in Hawaii and Hardrock 100 are both on my list. My main goal is to continue to enjoy and appreciate every experience and to hopefully inspire my two daughters to be strong and follow their dreams!

Favorite trails: Mt. Sanitas, Boulder Area Trails, Aspen Four Pass Loop, Mosquito Pass, Fish Creek Falls in Steamboat, - anything steep, dirty and rocky!

Favorite workout: Mt. Sanitas repeats. Mt. Sanitas is easily accessible and I know I can get a lot of great technical running done in a short amount of time.  It’s a staple in my training regimen!

Favorite races: The gnarlier the better. Anything with insane amounts of rocks, roots, altitude and climbs. I love Zane Grey 50 in Arizona, Speedgoat 50K in Utah and the Dirty 30 here in Golden, CO. I’d really love to run some mountain races in Europe to experience that whole different race scene.

Website/Blog: Not yet! I will be starting a blog very soon!  Until then you can follow me here and

Favorite beer: I like most beers, but right now in my fridge I have: White Rascal (Avery), and Orabelle by Great Divide.

Why Trail/Mountain/Ultra Running?:  Mountain running brings joy, freedom, balance and simplicity to my life. It’s a great time to be alone with my thoughts and find inspiration from my surroundings. I love running ultra trail races because the task is so primal and simple (one foot in front of the other), yet so very humbling. Living and running in Colorado is truly a privilege. And you can’t find a better group of people anywhere!

But really, who's Kerri?
  • I have two daughters, 7 & 9 and a husband who love to come and support me at my races. I couldn’t do it without them!
  • I also have a great group of friends to run and train with here in the Boulder area. I feel very lucky!
  • I’m a Girls on the Run Coach- Love those crazy kids!
  • I cracked the bone on the side of my right ankle at mile 4 at Western States in 2014. It grew back a bigger bump than before, now I have to cut the side of all my shoes!
  • I love Pina Colada Jelly Bellies
  • I’m afraid of getting devoured by a Mountain Lion
  • I love coffee almost as much as beer
  • I have a love affair with the stair climber at my gym
  • I do cheesy workout videos in my basement
  • I try not to take myself too seriously, especially when racing. It’s all about having fun and enjoying the experience!

Watch your back!  At the Stump Jump 50k in Chattanooga, TN it rained pretty hard all day making the roots and mossy rocks super slippery. At mile 2, I was crossing a wooden bridge and slipped sideways and got my leg caught under the crossed wood. I pulled it out, hobbled a bit and started running again. It was so damn slippery! I fell countless times. The most memorable fall happened as I was climbing a rocky, mossy ridge behind a group of guys and I lost control of my feet and lunged forward. To help break my fall, I reached out for the closest thing to grab, which happened to be the guy's ASS in front of me. With a good-sized hunk of his butt in my hands I continued forward and did a face plant on his ass as well. It was pretty embarrassing and I apologized profusely. He turned and said, "Thanks for the ass massage! Can I have another?".  You gotta love ultra runners. It's such a great crowd!