Saturday, December 28, 2013

Stocking Stuffers: The North Face 50, The Ugly Sweater Run, Rock Canyon Half Marathon

On the weekend of the day that will live in infamy (December 7th, that is, if you are history deficient) Team Colorado took to the trails, the roads and the snow to show off their awesome swants.

The North Face 50 Endurance Run

She does it again! Michele "bomb 'chele" Yates captures another major ultra running title with perhaps the most competitive and highest paying race in the country, The North Face 50 Endurance Run in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (well, aside from that other $10,000 prize purse at Run Rabbit Run 100 in Steamboat Springs...which she also won). 

Bomb 'chele shows off her arm swants                                             photo:

The Team Colorado train of Megan Kimmel and Michele took out the women's race and kept it honest, mixing up the top three positions with eventual 2nd place finisher, Magdalena Boulet (there might be a Lewy in there somewhere?), but Michele was determined to keep the role as the engine, leading early and just pushing the pace up front. After a lot of details that have been left out here, Michele eventually crossed under the big red arch in a winning time of 7:21:51 and was $10,000 happier! 

Megan felt the pull of the ultra running demons but was able to finish in 10th place in 8:13:28.

Megan with her nipple-topped Ultimate Direction bottle showing everyone how it is done           photo:

On the men's side, Team Colorado's Alex "Axel" Nichols took on TNF50 again after a 5th place finish in the very confusing 2012 race and a mid-race sprained ankle in 2011 while leading. The ultra running demons caught Axel in their tractor beam early when an old injury reared its ugly head and he was forced to call it a day at about 17 miles

Sage Canaday was purported to have been at the starting line, however, we are not sure if even started the race. Rumor has it that he is still lost from his run from Moab to Boulder after the Moab Trail Marathon (he also had the flu).

Rickey "Heavenly" Gates was mixing it up in the top 10 early, but said he was steamrolled by the ultra running demons. Last year he was subjected to a DNF and soaked his feet in some nice Belgian chocolate, this year, he just felt flat. Rickey finished in 7:35:04 for 26th place.

Rickey gets his silicone water bottle filled with aquavit at an aid station                             photo:
Like 40 quarters
Like a yoga mat
Like Bali Shag
Like a spare tire
Like a gutter ball
I. Got. Rolled.
                        -Rickey Gates

Flagstaffer Rob Krar turns out another amazing ultra performance with his win at TNF50 and raises the roof once again. Have a beer on Team Colorado at Mother Road Brewing Co. in Flagstaff (we'll pay you back!). Friend of Team Colorado and Colorado College grad, Dan Kraft, one-upped his college teammate, Axel Nichols, with a 4th placed finish (6:35:56).

I am Rob, hear me Krarrrrrrrrrrr!                                                photo:
1. Rob Krar - 6:21:10
2. Cameron Clayton - 6:31:17
3. Chris Vargo - 6:33:33
26. Rickey Gates - 7:35:04
DNF - Sage Canaday
DNF - Alex Nichols

1. Michele Yates - 7:21:51
2. Magdalena Boulet - 7:31:12
3. Emelie Forsberg - 7:46:24
10. Megan Kimmel - 8:13:28


What all the competitors saw of Michele during TNF50                                          photo:

The Ugly Sweater Run

It all started in the Norway in the 1850's when some Norwegian brothers named Nils and Bjorn, or something to that effect, produced very warm and highly decorative sweaters to keep from turning into a popsicle in the cold northern winter climate and to look like a giant snowflake in the process. One early morning, after a long night of drinking Aquavit, Nils hears a knock on the door and quickly grabs whatever he can find and answers the door. The visitor says "Hallo, hvorfor har du på deg en genser på nedre halved?" which loosely translates to "Hi, why are you wearing a sweater on your bottom half?" 

"Uff da!" Nils replied...and thus the swants were born and so was the Ugly Sweater Run, a 5k in Monument Valley Park, Colorado Springs to benefit the Cerebral Palsy Association of Colorado Springs

Twerking with swants!                                             photo:

The race started along the mighty (mighty nasty, that is) Monument Valley Creek in Monument Valley Park, Colorado Springs, CO, at a whopping 5 degrees above zero! Luckily, ugly sweaters and sexy swants were donned to keep the runners cozy.

The Prez and godfather of, Tim Bergsten, showing off their frosty faces    photo: Amy Perez

Putting the "Ugly" back into "Ugly Sweater Run"                photo:

"Woah, did I really put these on this morning!?"                          photo:

And the race was started with Santa's doppleganger yelling "Ho, Ho, GO!"

Shorts...that's ridiculous, Dan, you should have worn swants!          photo:

What, no swants!?                                         photo:

Excuse me, I mustache you a does one thaw a mustache?                              photo:
Peter "The Prez" Maksimow, aka Swantsy Pants, out-uglied everyone in the race to cross the line first in 17:58. He also turned a year older, so he is 27 years old in Kenyan years. The wool and alpaca blend in his swants kept him from freezing his...well, you know. 

Amy "Chef l'équipe" Perez wore her swants and ugly sweater enroute to 8th place female but, mysteriously, we had a photo malfunction and are unable to find her image.

Sarah "Sock Monkey" Blakeslee promoting the neon...and penguins      photo:

The Prez and first lady, Nora, getting a photo with retired Santa and a copy of an ugly sweater citation (he had to appear in court later that day)

Race director and Team Coloradan, Brandon "Stapy the Elf" Stapaowich, not only saw some of the coldest temperatures, but also the largest field in the the five year history of the race. We think his promo video says it all. Strike while the Charlie is dancing.
RD Brandon "Stapy the Elf" Stapanowich (center) hanging out prizes to Shannon Meredith (1st-right) and Donna Garcia (3rd-left)  photo:

"Like Justin Timberlake, I'm bringing sexy back to swants", says The Prez          photo:

The spoils (in this case a 20+ lbs. turkey) go to the ugliest (sexiest???) swants          photo:

Rock Canyon Half Marathon

Justin Ricks gets frosty at the Rock Canyon Half Marathon in his old stomping ground of Pueblo, CO. You can call him Frosty Ricks! 

And for his win, Frosty received a new Subaru! What a great award!                photo: Mrs. Frosty Ricks

With bitterly cold conditions, enough for his mild mannered beard to turn into a lumberjack's beard, Justin didn't need water (he just ate the ice from his facial hair) en route to a win in a time of  1:18:46. He holds the CR at this race with a 1:09:34 set back in 2009.



  1. Stocking Stuffers: The North Face 50, The Ugly Sweater Run, Rock Canyon Half Marathon. On the weekend of the day that will live in infamy ...

  2. On the men's side, Team Colorado's Alex "Axel" Nichols took on TNF50 again ...