Thursday, August 29, 2013

Team Colorado Welcomes Kim Dobson

Name: Kim "Queen of Uphill" Dobson

Age: 29 years old

Hometown: Born in the mountainous region of Midland, Texas, grew up in Littleton, CO.

Current residence: Grand Junction, CO

Sponsors: Runners Roost (team supported by Mizuno, Honey Stinger)

Personal Bests:
5k – 17:41 (road)
Half Marathon – 1:20:32 (road)
Pikes Peak Ascent (13.32 miles) - 2:24:58 CR
Marathon – 2:45 (road)

Notable Achievements:
Ø  Trail Runner Magazine’s 2012 Trail Runner of the Year (TROY)
Ø  2012 Colorado Sportswomen award winner for trail running
Ø  2012 USA Mountain Running Champion (Mt. Washington)
Ø  2012 Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier
Ø  Two time Mt. Washington and Three time Pikes Peak Ascent champion
Ø  Pikes Peak Ascent course record holder

Future goals:
Ø  Run happy and healthy, strong and fast
Ø  Improve my personal best at Jungfrau and Mt. Washington
Ø  Run the Pikes double
Ø  Continue to coach high school and adults
Ø  Qualify for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials (sub 2:43)
Ø  Try new races outside of Colorado and the US
Ø  Qualify for the US Mountain Running Team

Favorite trails:  Nellie Creek Trail up Uncompaghre, Capitol Creek Trail, most trails up 14ers

Favorite workout: Running up 14ers, mile repeats, any uphill workout

Favorite races: Pikes Peak Ascent, Mt. Washington Road Race, Jungfrau Marathon

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Michele Yates joins Team Colorado

Name: Michele "Bomb 'chele" Yates

Age: 31

Hometown: Alpena, MI

Current residence: Littleton (Roxborough Village), CO

Sponsors: Pearl Izumi, Ultimate Direction, Icespike, GU Energy, The Simply Bar, Body Armor Super Drink

Personal Bests:
5k Its been so long I dont remember! 17 flat ish?
10k 34:17 Salt Lake City, UT 2009
Half Marathon  1:17 Ohio 2009
Marathon 2:38:37 (road) Seattle WA 2009
50 Mile  (trail) 6:53:25 Nueces Rocksprings TX
100k  (trail) 10:08:48 Bandera TX
100 Mile  (trail) 17:35:18 Indiana

Notable Achievements:
* 2x Olympic Trials Marathon Competitor                                                                                     
* USA Team - World Mountain Trail Championships 2011, World Championships Trail Ultra Team 2013
* USA Team-NACAC 2012, 2013
* 9 Marathon Wins
* 3x National Champion (50 mile Trail 2012, 2013-record holder and 100k Trail 2013)
* Overall winner - Indiana Trail 100 17:35:18

Win USA Marathon Trail Champs, Run Rabbit Run 100 mile, North Face Endurance Challenge.

Favorite trails: Is there ever a not favorite one?

Favorite workout: Any trail runs!

Favorite races: Nueces 50 mile, Pikes Peak Marathon, Cranmore Hill Climb


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pikes Peak Mile, Ascent and Marathon Week

Whew! It was a busy week on Pikes Peak with Team Colorado first taking on the High-Altitude Mile atop the 14,115 foot peak, next running up the mountain on Saturday, and finally up and down on Sunday.

Now you see why we are so exhausted!

The Inaugural Pikes Peak High-Altitude Mile
 McD, Axel and Gute race at 14,115 feet                       photo:  
On Tuesday, August 13th, an exclusive 1 mile race at the top of Pikes Peak was held and Simon "Gute" Gutierrez, Neil "Big McD" McDonagh and Axel Nichols were part of the exclusivity. It's like that exclusive lounge at the airport that you always wonder who they allow in. These guys got to use that lounge!

Special thanks to Dan Cockrell for his handy editing on the Team Colorado Pikes Peak Mile footage. For a rough edit, it came out pretty damn good!

In the competitive field that included the likes of 3:53 Bristol Mile winner, Daddy Long Legs and Lost Boy of Sudan, Dey Dey, Kenyans Sammy Kiplagat (winner of the 2012 & 2013 Dallas Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Half Marathon) and Leonard Korir (2013 Garden of the Gods 10 Mile champion), Boulder Running Company's Scott Dahlberg, among others, Team Colorado held their own with some impressive performances. Big McD and Axel battled it out on the final lap to place 5th (4:55) and 6th (4:58) respectively and Gute felt "flat" (not to be confused with "fat", as in fat shoes because he was wearing a slimmed down version of Hokas, the Kailua) but was able to pull out a 5:27.

This is like a fairytale picture: a giant befriending a hobbit with purple rabbit ears     photo: Dr. Seuss
Axel showing the guns!                   photo:
Big McD finishing with Axel in tow                                     photo:

Two feuding team members bury the hatchet on the mountain and made up in the same fashion that Rocky and Apollo did...with an embrace. We are all one happy team again!

Big McD and Axel Make Up slow mo'.

Pikes Peak Ascent
                                           Big McD attempting to "Pull a GR"                              photo:
On Saturday August 17th, Gute and Big McD take out the Ascent in true "Gute" gapping the rest of the field from the gun. Don't believe us, here is video evidence.

Gute ran a strong race and finished 3rd in 2:27:27 while Big McD, after working with Gute through Barr Camp, acquired some Big McCramps in his quads and finished in 23rd in 2:49:36.

    Team Colorado takes it out hard                                 photo:
Gute does the Hoka Shuffle in his Hokas             photo:
McD was quoted (1,000 meters into the race, in fact) that it would be a "race to tree line", and it was for him, as his quads seized up and he lost 20 places in the last 3 miles of the race. He teaches a graduate level course on how to hit the wall. He is currently working on his doctorate. 

Big McD still secured 2nd place overall in the Triple Crown of Running Series (Garden of the Gods 10 Mile that included "no bodily emissions", Summer Trail Round Up, PPA).

"It's a graduate level course that I teach" says Big McD            photo:

Gute giving some skin to the RD, Ron Ilgen                     photo: PikesPeak

Friend of Team Colorado Eric "Quadazilla" Blake of West Hartford, CT went on to win the Ascent in 2:13:45 (he had a flight that same night so he wasn't able to buy beer for everyone with his prize winnings like he did at Mt. Washington. We'll take a rain check, Eric!). Greg Ruckman of Breckenridge, CO placed 2nd in his first attempt that the Peak.

Kim Dobson, Lisa Goldsmith and Amy Perez represented Team Colorado for the first time and we can't be more proud of our ladies.

The "Queen of Uphill" keeps true to her bib number

There's gold in them thar hills: Goldsmith searching for her namesake atop Pikes Peak    photo:

Kim "Boo" Dobson frightened the shit out of our camera man before she went on to claim a Hat Trick for the Pikes Peak Ascent in 2:41:43 (see "video evidence" above). Lisa Goldsmith has been battling an unidentified injury recently but still placed 2nd in the 45-49 age group and 21st woman in 3:24:42. And our very own Chef d'équipe Amy "Half As Fast" Perez officially earned her nickname after her 3:45:44 finish. 

Amy, on her way to body checking a guy who cut the course        photo: Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette

The challenge was Amy's Ascent time vs. Axel's Marathon time. The verdict: Axel is victorious as he ran a 3:43:46 in the Marathon.

No stranger to breakin' the vinyl, Dobson takes her second straight win on the Peak              photo:

Pikes Peak Marathon

On Sunday August 18th, three Team Colorado members made the trek up AND back down the mountain in the Marathon.

It's all fun and games...for the first mile, at least                            photo:

Golden boy, Axel Nichols, has no more golden locks              photo:

Being no stranger to the mountain (but just looking like a stranger with his new haircut) Axel Nichols comes back from 3rd place and a 6 minute deficit at the summit of the mountain to catch and pass the Jason Delaney and pull up side-by-side with race leader Touro Miyahara in the last mile of the race. It came down to a kick and the Japanese runner used his speed as a road runner and his experience as a Mt. Fuji record holder to take the victory in 3:43:23. Axel finished 2nd in a close 3:43:46. Jason Delaney, 2012 Pikes Peak Ascent Champion, of Polson, MT finished 3rd in 3:53:45, after being the first to reach the summit in a time of 2:16:21.

Axel was crowned USATF National Trail Marathon Champion, although he placed 2nd, because, well, the winner was Japanese.

Also in her first appearance as a Team Colorado member, Michele "Bomb 'chele" Yates did just that and bombed downhill finishing 5th female in 4:56:09. She had some of the fastest downhill splits of anyone, men included, and was second in the nation behind Stevie Kremer (4:16:10) for the USATF Trail Marathon National Championship.

Watch out, she'll drop a bomb on you, I mean in the dance club sort of way (the Gov doesn't like when that word is used--hey maybe they are following Team Colorado now!).
Michele coming into the finish                         photo: Amy Perez

Peter "The Prez" Maksimow had the most colorful outfit of the day, with matching Inov-8 buff and TrailRoc 245's, but stunk it up in the marathon, running 3:29:54* 4:29:54 (you suck!) for 17th place for his debut PPM. The Prez sports a mustache worthy of a gold least he won something on Sunday!

The Prez, putting the Hip back into Hippie   photo:

PPA Article
PPM Article 
The Axel interview

*CJ Hitz wins a pair of Inov-8 shoes for pointing out how the The Prez tried to lie about his time. The Prez gets a "you suck!" and CJ gets a new pair of Inov-8 shoes!

Monday, August 19, 2013

How to Hit the Wall: A Graduate Level Course

Over the past five months living and racing in Colorado, I've amassed a cornucopia of mid-race implosions (or assplosions). Don’t bother trying to inform me of how I should ‘do this or stop doing that’ because I bonk in every variety of fashion on the suffer spectrum.

Pikes Peak Ascent is a race up to the top of Pikes Peak. I live along the course and figured running around here daily would substitute race specific training. As a self-proclaimed ‘soul runner’, I start races according to my mood ring on race morning. When I feel good, I just go, scoffing at future consequences for real-time actions. I’ve been running for over 20 years, so I am fully aware of the risks that I take.
Good vibes at the bottom                           photo: Gary Gellin

On a blow-up scale my Pikes Peak Ascent race was Haley’s Comet. I led the race up Ruxton Ave before the trailhead. Cruised through Barr Camp (technically the halfway point) in 2nd with fellow Team Colorado stud ‘Gute’. Roughly a mile and a half past Barr Camp I began to start cramping in my quads. Once at tree line my race faded faster than a Rick Perry/Herman Cain/Elliot Spitzer/Anthony Weiner campaign. The last three miles was NOT a mixture of walk/running. In layman’s terms, the front part of my legs did not work. Sorta essential to getting to the top of a 14er. I finished in 3rd……..woman that is. Losing over 20 spots in the last three miles as I peg-legged to the top of America’s Mountain was a blast. I crossed the line confident that there may be no better blow-up artist than I.

Fooling everyone by running the last 10 yards                            photo:

Hangin' with the Team Colorado ladies is a surefire way to cheer up                       photo: Amy Perez

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Team Colorado's movin' on up...and down! Part Deux

A preview to the 2013 Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon - THE MEN
Rickey attempting the "pull my finger" trick at the start of the 2012 PPA
Team Colorado members L to R: Sage Canaday, The Prez, Gute, Rickey Gates, Kim Dobson, Tommy Manning

Pikes Peak High-Altitude Mile Chumps

With the Inaugural Pikes Peak High-Altitude Mile in the books and the title of Drago (or McDrago) awarded to Big McD for edging out Axel by only three seconds, we turn our attention this weekend and the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon. 

Simon "Gute" Gutierrez and Neil “Big McD” McDonagh will toe the line of the 58th running of the Pikes Peak Ascent, a 13.32 mile jaunt up 7,815 feet to the top of Pikes Peak, 14,115 feet above the sea!

Gute, without question, has the experience and speed to land himself a top spot this weekend. 2013 will mark his 8th start with 7 finishes under the waistband of his running shorts, all top 10, THREE wins and a 2:13:29 PR, this guy’s has figured out how to defy gravity, or age, perhaps! 

Gute likes it fast
We tried to catch up with Gute on the Peak this weekend but he was too fast so we hijacked his car and forced him to drive us down the road. After getting pulled over (he drives as fast as he runs) Gute shared some thoughts on the weekend:

“I am going into the race with a smile and eager to run a strong up front "Gute" style race. (Translation: I’m going to run really, really fast, especially in the first a 5:25, don't tempt me!). Life is good, my heart is happy (no irregular heartbeats) and I am so excited to race with some of the best Ascent runners in the USA. My training has gone great. In July, I ran more miles than I have since 2008. I may even have some real racing flats from HOKA (so the Prez will stop calling them ‘fat shoes’), so that has got to help speed things's time to fly! Once I reach the summit, I'm heading back down the trail to cheer on all the wonderful people I know coming up, up up....” 

You had better bring some warm clothes, Gute…you are going to be up on that peak before some racers crack their first gel! 

Big McD was making some “JAM! That’s Good” jam for the team (boy, are we anxiously awaiting the delivery), so we fed Cricket McDonagh treats until she spilled the dirt on McD’s training. 

Cricket says "put me down you bastard, I'm not an insect!"
Team Colorado: Cricket, what are your expectations of Big McD this year?

CRICKET: I wake the brown haired man at 4:00 am every day and he feeds me breakfast. I expect to do that on Saturday.

TC: Any changes since Big McD’s been training for the Ascent?

CRICKET: I also bark at the brown haired man to feed me dinner at 5 pm every night. That has not changed.

TC: Cricket, what is your prediction for the Ascent?

CRICKET: The brown haired man better not be late with my dinner on Saturday.

Well, she was not helpful at all, not sure what we expected of a beagle.
"Expect this" cricket replys

Big McD will be at the front of the starting line at 7am on Saturday with 2,000 of his newest best friends for his first attempt at the Ascent. Living on Ruxton Ave., McD is no stranger to Barr Trail, Manitou traffic and the early morning chatter of runners heading up to the trailhead. He says “the scene on Ruxton lately is busy with folks doing fitness-y things. Tourists on the street often ask me how far it is to the summit, so I alternate between ‘2 miles or 35 miles one way.’ People are obviously prepping for the Pikes Peak Marathon weekend judging by the increased amounts of loud shouts of the F-word I hear early every morning from my bedroom window.”  Big McD predicts crossing the finish line in 2 hours and 30 minutes…we are suspect. 

…where’s our jam?!

BIG BOY PANTS! The Pikes Peak Marathon

Axel giving Max King a slap on the ass and a "Way to go kid!" as he passes him in 2012

Alex “Axel” Nichols and Peter “The Prez” Maksimow believe what goes up, must come down. Or at least that is what they are trying to convince themselves this week. The 26.21 mile trek starts at 7am on Sunday and will head to the top of Pikes Peak and then back down… ~15,630 feet of elevation change. 

This will be Axel’s second attempt at this distance (after five top 10 finishes in the Ascent) and the pressure is on. Taking second to Killian Jornet, the fearless and terrifically talented Spaniard last year, Axel is fit, healthy and looking faster than ever (we think the Inov-8 headband is the secret). We trapped Axel at Front Range BBQ, fed him a few of their fancy beers on tap and a full rack of ribs, and asked him about the upcoming weekend…

TC: Other than being in your backyard, why Pikes Peak?

AXEL: I keep coming back because Pikes is a big, bad mountain that can make or break you without a second thought. This year I expect a deep desire to stop running by the time I hit A-frame, just like every other year. My training has been a steady rotation of training really hard for a short period, resting for a few days, racing, and starting it all over again. In the past I've had a much more detailed training schedule for the summer but this year's tight race schedule seems to be working somehow. So, after Pikes I plan on getting in more training as soon as I can walk to get ready for the Mountain Running World Championships in Poland. Plus, Pikes has an amazing effect on my hair, it makes it look so beautiful!

TC: What is your most and least favorite part of the race?

AXEL: My least favorite part is definitely the section between Barr camp and tree line, it seems to last forever. But then my favorite part is finally getting out of the trees and hitting the flatter sections in the 3rd to last mile.

In case there isn’t already enough pressure on Axel, a new challenge was levied this weekend (I’m sure he’s terrified). Axel will try to beat TC’s Chef d’equipe, Amy Perez’s Ascent time in the marathon! We can only hope Amy makes this a true challenge. Axel’s predict is 3:38 for the round trip. Amy’s is 3:40 for the one way trek to the top! Ridonkulous!

Last but FAR from least (or close to it, depending on how you word it), Peter “The Prez” Maksimow, like most of Team Colorado competing this weekend, is no stranger to this mountain. With four top 10 finishes at the Ascent and a 2:26:39 PR, it’s safe to say The Prez is very comfortable with the uphill. Unlike year’s past, Peter will not be able to cross the finish line, find a cold beer and sit atop waiting on his friends to finish. Instead he will grab some water, head through the turn around and bound 13 miles back down to town, hopefully finishing in one piece.
"Yeahhh, I have a beer...and no pants!"
Or he may just do this...

TC: So, how do you feel about not stopping at the top like you have the previous 4 attempts?

PREZ: Well, you are wrong about one thing, it will not be water that I grab at the top, it will, in fact, be a cold beer--not that Ultra crap, either. I can’t stray from tradition. It should also make the run back down the mountain more bearable. I have never experienced the descent in a race situation and am not particularly looking forward to it, but it is part of the race and I must abide by the course. I wish I had a personal Killian Jornet. I would put a saddle on him (he would look so cute!) and I would ride him down the mountain!

TC: You have run only the Ascent in the past, why did you decided to take a stab at the Marathon this year?

The Prez's face was being eaten by something in this photo
PREZ: I don’t know what I was thinking! Bad life decision, I guess. Well, bad decisions and because it is the USATF Trail Marathon National Championships. Ok, that, and to see Axel’s flowing golden locks as he passes me on his way down. Back when I registered, I expected to be healthy, which is not the case now so I will run because I don’t want the past three weeks of training to be for nothing. Just as important as the race itself is the atmosphere surrounding the weekend and the amazing people that are involved. It is a huge celebration, just with a couple of races thrown in there. Oh, how I wish there was a Pikes Peak Beer Marathon this weekend. I might have a chance at winning that!

TC: Any predictions?

PREZ: Yes. I can guarantee you that my legs will be the sorest they have ever been and I will be walking like a cowboy afterwards, there will be beer a’flowin’ this weekend and the LA Raiders will win the World Series!

Good luck to everyone racing on the Peak this weekend and our friends at the Leadville 100 and the TransRockies Run. Fingers crossed for some good weather too…if for no other reason than Manitou Springs residents deserve a break*! 

*Due to recent flash flood damage in Manitou Springs, changes have been made to the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon, however, the show will go on...with some changes. Spend as much money as you can in Manitou Springs...Matt Carpenter thanks you!