Friday, June 28, 2013

Altitude Project

Collegiate Distance Running Camp in Mammoth Lakes, CA

Schuetze loses his shirt in Mammoth

Team Colorado's Nick Schuetze will be co-directing the Altitude Project in Mammoth Lakes, CA, July 21st - Aug 4th, 2013.

twitter: @altitudeProject

Nick states, "We aim to grow people's understanding of running in many ways and give them the experience of training at altitude." 

Special guest appearance by Olympian and AR Holder, Ryan Hall.

Contact Nick Schuetze ( or for more information.

"Mammoth Lakes is a great platform for inspiring a distance runner looking to reach their potential as an athlete. With ideal altitude of 7500 ft, great soft trails, very diverse terrain from a northwest feel to the open desert, and great atmosphere with elite teams such as Team USA. I enjoyed all the diverse opportunities for the run with gorgeous views of the lakes, especially Lake Mary and Mammoth Mountain. If you want to get inspired there is no better place to train than Mammoth Lakes, CA." 

- Mike Sayenko, University of Washington

Monday, June 24, 2013

Randall runs USA Half Marathon Champs

When most of the mountain runners are getting into the mountains and trails, Glenn Randall is still honing his speed before he makes the delve into the season. This past weekend he ran the USA Half Marathon Championships in Duluth, MN and placed 79th is a deep field of talented runners, running 1:07:33

In true Randall fashion, he gave them a good "Randalling" by going out in 14:47 for the first 5K, and hitting 10k in 30:30. Wow!

Here is what Randall had to say about it:

Based on the times for previous years, I figured the leaders would go out no faster than 4:40, and probably slower than that, so I decided to go out with them and see if I could make it happen. Out of the start, I was like, "Wow, why do my legs feel so bad. I can't be going as fast as it feels like I'm going, because those guys are dropping me." Then I hit the mile and saw 4:38. For me. Apparently the leader went through in 4:08.  I talked to some guys afterwards, and it sounds like 4:50 was dead last. It was a long, painful slog after that.

As I was telling people, the good news was that I almost pr'd. The bad news is that the almost pr was for the first mile.

So the fact is, the leaders gave me a good Randalling, but they had the leg speed to keep going, whereas I, well, didn't.

Either way, someone got a good "Randalling"! And we always love a good "Randalling!"


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Team Colorado Welcomes Nick Schuetze

Name:  Nicholas Peter Schuetze

Age: 31 (Currently; it changes every year)

Hometown:  Hillsboro, OR  (it’s really not hilly in town, just out of town where I grew up)

Current residence:  Colorado Springs, CO

Sponsors:  None currently (yikes, what am I thinking!)

Personal Bests:  2:16:42 marathon, 66:30 Half, 14:12 5k

Notable Achievements:  Running @ the US Olympic Trials in the marathon (2007 NYC baby!  48th place), 1st place in my first marathon (St. George, 2007), 1 place NACAC mountain championships (2007).

Goals for 2013:  To get my legs healthy and pain free & to run the ascent marathon w/ a top 5 finish.

Favorite trails:  Most of the trails off of Highline Drive… they’re nice and wooded, rolling, and make for some great descents.

Favorite workout:  Of all time…it was running tempos @ Sauvie’s Island (Portland, OR).  It’s secluded, peaceful, with lot so wildlife and no hills so you can cruise.

Favorite races:  The NACAC mountain championships.  It was funny how everyone was braking on the downhill sections… it’s like they didn’t grow-up in a hilly area or something.

Website/Blog:  I don’t really have one; woe is me.

Favorite beer: Unlike Neil, I love wheat beer.  I love a good amber ale…. Anything that's not hoppy and I’m happy.

The craziest thing that ever happened on a run occurred just before my 18th birthday.  I was running a 5k loop in the forest with some friends out in Oregon near where I grew-up.  So halfway through the course you have to cross what normally is a pretty small creek.  On this day it was a roaring river due to all of the rain we’d been getting recently (coincidently, that’s why I moved… the rain and gloom had been getting me down for years).  There were two logs situated close together, one higher than the other that spanned the torrent.  So, we did what most high-school aged guys would do, we decided to use them to get across.  Halfway along the logs we stopped and sat down to admire the sheer power of the mighty water. 

Satisfied, we got up and started again for the other shore.  Then it happened.  My foot slipped off.  Mind you, this is Oregon. With the constant rains everything gets covered by moss & lichen & algae.  A slick substance coated the logs we were using.  As my feet slipped into the water I grasped wildly at the logs too hold me there, but wiry arms were not strong enough to hold me as my hands slid across the slimy moss covered surface of the tree.  I remember being told once that just 6 inches of water can knock you off your feet if it’s going fast enough.  Well, this water was definitely fast enough and it was carrying me downstream to a waterfall not 20 feet away. 

Oh, did I forget to tell you about that?  My mistake.  Those logs we’d been sitting on were 20 feet from the edge of a 25 foot tall waterfall with massive amounts of water cascading over in obedience to the law of gravity.  Now that your mental picture is more complete, remember that I am in the torrent of water, headed for the edge.  I tried frantically to stop myself, trying to grab rocks with my hands or wedge a foot against something to stop my progress.  I remember thinking “I hope this is a dream!”  As I approached the precipice, I knew I would go over. 

I read an article years after all this had happened regarding one’s perception of time during traumatic event.  Most people feel like time slows down.  The author had interviewed subject who had gone through traumatic events who had vivid, detailed memories of the ordeal. Scientific research had shown that people’s brains recorded a great deal more information surrounding the event than is common in daily activities.  Information from your senses and thoughts typically starts in short-term memory then a majority of it gets dumped and we forget it.  Very little information is stored away in our long-term memory.  In a traumatic event your brain is flooded with chemicals that enable you to remember “more" than you might normally.  Plus, traumatic events have originality going for them.  You remember things that are unique and new to you more readily.  That’s why you can remember more novel childhood experiences, but you “remember” less from each year because typically less of life is new and unique the older you get.

So, as I fell those 25 some-odd feet down to the ground below, I remember exactly what I though.  First I thought: “I am going to break my legs and never run again.”  I then felt that I was being selfish.  My second thought was: “What if I die?  My parents will be so sad.”  After that I don’t know how long it took me to realize the fall had ended.  Instead of moving with the water, as I had been all along, it now hit me with force, pushing me down.  I sat in the shallow water under the falls, maybe 10 inches deep.  I wondered if I could stand, or if I’d be able to walk, so I tried to get up.

I was able to stand!  Okay.  Well, maybe my legs weren’t broken.  Maybe I could walk then too!  I walked slowly out from under the falls to a boulder 10 feet away from the water and sat down on top of it.  I couldn’t believe what had happened.  I probably looked to see if there were any bones sticking out.  I can’t remember.  I probably was in shock: The water was around 40 degrees and I was wearing a long sleeve, polyester Nike running shirt and running shorts.  Plus, I have never had much fat to insulate me.

What I do remember was Sean, one of the guys on the run with me, yelling, no, screaming at the top of his lungs to see if I was alive.  He’d somehow gotten around the falls and was crazily looking for me in the water.  I just gave a half wave as I felt exhausted and managed to say “I’m over here” likely not much louder than a whisper.  He ran over half relieved, half still horrified at what had just happened.  Soon after, Brian, my other friend on the run that morning joined us.  Brian took my shirt off and gave me his dry one. 

The last think I remember that happened was Sean saying “Man, God must want you alive for something.”  Those words have stuck with me.  I left those falls with no more than a scratch on my right hip and a bruised tailbone (what a pain in the butt).  Sean told me later that day that just for fun him and some of his friends had cleared out all of the boulders from under the falls the summer before.  I fell in such a way that my feet were first and my head was last.  With all that happened it’s hard for me not to believe that God protected me that day.  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mt. Washington Road Race

The facial expressions say it all                                                photo: Joe Viger

At the 53rd running of the Delta Dental Mt. Washington Road RaceTeam Colorado represents...Colorado, of course!

With sunny and warm temperatures in the first half of the race, it quickly changed to blustery, cold winds as high as 50 mph in the second half of the 7.6 mile course that prides itself on containing "Just One Hill." It is a 4,727 foot climb in 7.6 miles, but, then again, it is just one hill. 

Sage taking a look back                                                      photo: Joe Viger

Sage Canaday coming off a 2012 American record of 58:27 at Mt. Washington and only a week after winning the 50 Mile National Championship, Cayuga Trail 50, placed 3rd in 1:03:39.

Sage enjoying the beautiful scenery...well, just trying to get tot he top, but the scenery is still there      photo: Joe Viger
Simon Gutierrez, who is just getting younger as he ages, placed 4th, out-kicking a boxing champion and past US Mountain Running Team member from Scranton, PA, Matt Byrne, in the last few meters of the race. He also pulled some large shoes up the mountain finishing in a time of 1:04:44. Gute was inducted into the Mt. Washington Hall of Fame the day before the race and is a three-time Mt. Washington Champion.

Gute stalking Matt Byrne on The Wall                                          photo: Far North 

Gute waits to out-kick the scrappy Matt Byrne of Scranton, PA (and guest star on The Office) until the 22% grade. Typical Gute!      photo: Joe Viger

Maksimow didn't win, but he sure did have the most colorful uniform and facial hair          photo: Far North
Peter Maksimow, who has only run a few times in the past couple of months due to an achilles injury, managed to put all of his cross training to good use and place 9th in a time of 1:07:26. Not bad with one achilles, eh?

Maksimow scales the 22% finish pitch lovingly known as "The Wall"                             photo: Joe Viger
The finishing times seemed to be approximately two minutes slower compared to last year. The outlier was race champion, Eric "Quadzilla" Blake of New Britain, CT, and now most exclusive club member in history, the American Sub-One Hour Club at Mt. Washington (only four American men have broken one hour at the race that contains just one hill--Matt Carpenter, Colorado Springs, CO, 59:49 in 1993 & 59:16 in 1999; Rickey Gates, Boulder, CO, 59:58 in 2009; Sage Canaday, Boulder, CO, 58:27 in 2012 (American Record). There are currently more living US presidents than American sub-one hour performers and Team Colorado is proud to have two of said exclusive club members on the team! There are now 7 men that have broken the one-hour barrier at Mt. Washington, most notably Jonathan Wyatt of New Zealand who holds the course record of 56:41.

Gute claims that he is among the American Sub-One Hour Club because he ran 28:02 for the win in 2002. He pauses before he tells you the race only finished at the halfway point due to severe weather. Such a joker!

The three amigos of Team Colorado, L to R, Maksimow playing lizard, Canaday with his new cereal bowl, Gute needing a nap after a hard race                                                           photo: Donna Garcia
After smashing the team course record in 2012 by 5 minutes 31 seconds, Team Colorado did not field a complete team this year, however, did manage to put the three that did run in the top 10 (3, 4, 9) and ahead of the winning Central Mass Striders first finisher. Not too shabby! Did I mention that it is just one hill?

On the women's side, Laura Haefeli, long-time mountain and trail runner out of Del Norte, CO won her first Mt. Washington in 1:18:05. She is following in the footsteps of Gute and proving that age (she is 45) doesn't slow her down.

Haefeli contributes her longevity to her family-owned honey farm,       photo: Joe Viger

Honorary Team Colorado member Brandy Erholtz placed 2nd overall with a 1:23:48 in the women's race. The amazing part is that she carrying a 4 month of fetus in her belly!!! Regina Loicano of Gloucester, MA finished 3rd in 1:24:45. Here Brandy shows off why she should have won the 2nd and 3rd place prize money.

 She's pushing it out!                                    photo: P-Max

Canaday making his way up the mountain in black & white                                   photo: Joe Viger
Special thanks to Joe Viger for the amazing photos that capture the essence of this amazing race. Mt. Washington is one of the most challenging races in the country, which you can tell by just looking at the faces of the racers. If you don't believe it for yourself and find out!

For more great photos check out


Post race press release

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Weekend of National and State Championships

Cayuga Trails 50 - USATF 50 Mile National Championships
This looks familiar                                                photo: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks 

Sage wins yet another USATF National Championship (add it to the list), this time it was the US 50 Mile National Champs, at the Cayuga Trails 50 in Ithaca, NY. His time of 6:47:48 bested second place by almost 5 minutes.

Congratulations, Sage...again.

Race report of

Start of the Garden of the Gods 10 Mile.
The Garden of the Gods 10 Mile, which so happened to be the USATF CO State 10 Mile Championships, turned into the Garden of the Kenyans 10 Mile race with Olympic finalists, international marathon champions and just plain fast people all around.

Team Colorado's Neil "Big McD" McDonagh finally skillfully dodges bodily emissions and places 12th OA, and 5th USATF CO, in a time of 55:29 in the highly competitive race.

"No bodily emissions" Big McD states.

Tommy "One Man Wolf Pack" Manning finishes in 1:01:09 for 25th place, taking some time to enjoy the belly dancers on the course.

Manning, in the background in green, approaching the belly dancing                   photo:

Peter Maksimow lead for most of the race...however, he was on a bike doing the filming.

Photographic evidence that shows Maksimow leading    photo:

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Colfax Marathon: A Reversal of Fortune

Recently, Neil "Big McD" McDonagh ran the Colfax Marathon. He witnessed a reversal of fortune. Here is his race review:

I’ll admit that I am a pretty cautious guy in life. No wheelies, jumping turnstiles or pirating the entire catalog of ‘Quantum Leap’ DVD’s for me. The one exception I make is deciding to run races I am wholly unprepared to successfully accomplish. The most recent example would be the Colfax Marathon, which I used the standard 10-day multi-tiered phased training plan.

Thinking I could be some sort of wizard of the asphalt by slyly going after a course record bonus, a week before Bolder Boulder 10k, was the gist. Just run 2:30, that’s it. Which happened to be the exact same thing Abraham Rutto thought, although probably on even less notice than I. Well I just give a sweet transcript mile by mile of the race.

1: I’ll just follow this ‘Marathon Guide” jerseyed Kenyan
2: “Ah crap we’ve gone through in just above 10:20”
3: “He’s not even wearing a watch! I’m screwed. I’m letting him go.”
4: Already more than a minute under my planned pace
5: “I’ll just cruise at goal pace and hope he implodes on his own.”
6: Totally solo in 2nd
7: (same)
8: (same)
9: (same)
10: (same)
11: (same) trying to not get lost on the course
12: (same)
13: ehh that was 75min, but I’m starting to feel a little queasy
14: little bit queasier
15: little bit queasier
16: little bit queasier
17: a bunch more queasy
18: super duper queasy
19: no longer in 2nd, three guys pass me. I try to throw up at an aid station without luck.
20: pretty slow running
21: same + some walking
22: 17th st downtown Denver, barf approximately 3 L of Gatorade on the sidewalk
23: Begin walking the rest of the course
24: continue walking. Lay down on a few lawns.
25: mile 25.5 a kid running the relay asks me if I was the guy in 2nd from the marathon. I confirm his suspicion. He asks what’s the deal. I inform him of my reversal of fortune a few miles back. He remarks on the grossness of the event. I concur. He continues his relay.
26: I jog the last 100m. You know, cuz.

I don’t know why I got sick out there. Safe to say, I may have out punted my coverage at the Colfax Marathon.

- Neil McDonagh