Pinned intro: I’m creating this blog of blogs here as a place to catch different things as they come up. In the past, I sent emails to the entire list of folks about each year, what happened and what I think about it. I’m not sure anyone reads email anymore (or blogs or websites for that matter), so I’ll just put all that stuff here.
I’m getting into New Year reflections mode. It was a really good year of running this year. Not the least of which was that my daughters Zoe and Julie both completed the first 50k AND their first 50-mile races this year. Both of them finished Skyline and Firetrails and I got to train with them some, which was a blast. Julie was youngest finisher at Firetrails actually and might have been at Skyline too. During the Summer the girls marked a lot of the Western States course with their mom, Jennifer, and Zoe and I pre-ran from Green Gate to Hwy 49 on race day. It was the first time I’d been on the course since 2010. We found and cleared a downed tree on the trail too!
All of the family running made me more energized for the races and training camps, for sure. It also made me more appreciative 1. of how great these event are, mainly because of the tradition and the volunteers and, 2. how much more there is to running and training there is than the races. I mean, I already knew this because personally I’ve always liked training more than racing, but 2023 brought that into higher relief.
On that note, I clued into how much folks were using the whole sequence of Skyline camp > Skyline > Firetrails camp > Firetrails as a way to train for Fall 100’s — specifically Rio del Lago. I know that Brianna Santos and Gregg Fergot did. So did my friend Carlo, who I paced for the last 24.
Looking forward to 2024, I’m trying to connect the dots between the different events on the running calendar. I think people can use runs like the Beer City Half in Santa Rosa and Napa Valley Endurance Run as training points for Spring racing and I also know that I’m going to train some for MUC and for Zoe to run Miwok. We did something like this with Run Your First Ultra many years ago. It was cool. Let’s see if it works for this year.
On our races, I’m excited that the Bay Ridge 100k will be back at Firetrails. This is a great race and the rhino buckle is something to covet, I think. I say in registration that the course is a little fluid until we get through the wet season. Provisional courses are all published though.
Scena Awards! We’re getting ready for the Scena Awards this week. We’re going to recognize Fred Liebes and Charlene Bayles with the award created for Christine Chapon. Originally, this award was meant to recognize younger runners who were just starting to be super active to encourage them to keep up the good work with Christine as a role model. But we felt like we had missed Fred and Charlene, and they’re super active. Christine said ‘We’ll get younger people next year.’ She’s right, though. There are more people to recognize than we have time and awards.
Steve Jaber is going to receive the Stan Jensen Award, which is meant to recognize people for a long history of relatively selfless work and giving to ultrarunning. I don’t want to call it a ‘lifetime achievement award’ because they it sounds like someone’s done or dying. The truth is for folks like Steve or Stan, the giving and volunteering long outlasts the amount of time that we give to running on its own. As Steve, Stan’s going to give some great thoughts and reflections, I’m sure, when we do the presentation (Sports Basement Presidio 12/8 @6pm.) My experience with him has largely been in his role as the keeper of the flame of Bay Area Ultrarunners (BAUR). I’m not sure that the younger runners even know what BAUR is and this is probably a bad way to describe it, but BAUR was a single organization that allowed folks to pool their resources to put on race. At one time all the local ultras and runners were members of BAUR and all the race equipment came out of the BAUR storage room, which for many years was just in John Medinger’s basement. Steve was the RD for Ruth Anderson and other races. I remember his being at the first Stan Jensen Award presentation.
I’m planning to return to this post with more thoughts about these folks.