Nuun Ultrarunner Mid-Season Update!

well, here we are in the thick of it all. i figured it was as good a time as any to send an update on how our amazing crew of nuun ultrarunners are doing.

Karl Meltzer: The year started out in January with lots of snow, and even more snow! I have been training on slick conditions since the beginning of December. February was the first race at the Moab “Red Hot” 50k on Presidents weekend. I finished this “training race” in 7th. My first race as a master I finished 2nd….ouch! Next up was the Coyote Two Moon 100 in mid March. I won the race in 19:24, second place finished more than 4 hours back, I was tapered and ready for this one, and ran a great time. Next adventure was the Crossing of Zion National Park in Mid April. Jared Campbell and I crossed the canyon in 10 hours. 13000′ of vertical and incredible scenery made this run extra special. We did some video that can be found on u-tube, just search Karl Meltzer. Next up the Jemez Mts 50 mile. This race was just a filler, and the first time I have run in New Mexico. Nate McDowell marks a stellar course and the terrain is technical and hilly with 12,000′ of climb. I finished second behind youngen Kyle Skaggs. It was a good run, not even phased afterward was the goal, and I wasn’t phased afterwards.

Western States TRack Meet, we know the deal there. I’ve been running around non stop preparing for the AT, the Speedgoat 50k and the drive across the country in the whereskarl.com RV. Backcountry.com is the title sponsor for this huge adventure and more info can be found at karlmeltzer.com. Matt Hart and I will be starting the AT in Maine on August 5th. LIve tracking of my progress can be found at whereskarl.com. Matt will run all of Maine with me….all 281 miles. From there I have a number of different crew friends and support all the way to Springer Mt. Georgia, 2174 miles away.

Devon Crosby-Helms: This season has been, from the start, geared towards training for my first 100 miler, Western States. I did several races throughout the early season to get my racing practice in including Pigtails 50k (which I shared 1st place female with Alison Hanks) and Orcas Island which I came in 2nd female. After I had built a solid training foundation, I set my sights on some key races to really prepare me for my 100 mile effort. I raced Chuckanut 50k in March, had a really stellar day and came in first female (race report here). I subsequently stepped up the distance and traveled down to SoCal for the Leona Divide 50miler. Good weather and pacing, as well as a great hydration (at every aid station I was telling the curious volunteers how great Nuun is) and fueling plan combined to help me finish 5th place overall, first female and only 2 minutes slower than the course record! My experience can be read about here. Western States was later cancelled, but I wanted to put my training to good use and satisfy my 100mile curiosity so I signed up for Vermont 100, one of the Grand Slam events. On July 19, I lined up for my first 100 mile and it turned out far better than I could have ever imagined. It was the hardest thing, by far, I have ever done. Through ups and downs, in a brutal year for conditions which included extreme heat and humidity, as well as terrible thunderstorms, I managed to finish on the same day I started in a great time of 18:31, good enough for 8th overall and first female! What an experience! I look forward to the rest of the season which includes pacing duties for two 100 milers, several training marathons and the WC100k in Tuscania, Italy in November!

Ty Draney: The season started with “3 Days of Syllamo” my first foray in a race back East. I entered the team competition withMr. Nuun himself, Matt Hart. Apparently no other teams wanted a piece of us so we ended up running as individuals.The relative heat (for me) and faulty route finding cost us the overall title but we ended up 3rd (Matt) and 4thoverall. (http://www.3daysofsyllamo.org/)

Nuun helped me tremendously in preparation and during the Bighorn 100. Spring is a busy time with work but I was able to pull of my best spring training ever with 2-hour trail runs each morning followed with running with my track kids in the afternoon. I drank 2-3 bottles of NUUN each day. Bighorn 100 went very well. The snow pushed us down to a slightly different course but the good weather and even better competition helped push me to a 100-mile best of 19:54:07(www.bighorntrailrun.com). Most of the race I ran with my Black Diamond Flash pack with 2 tubes of lemon-lime NUUN. I almost finished them both. (sidenote: I scored a little of the Gogi-Berry green tea “U” postrace-awesome!) For a complete race report check outhttp://www.elvaqueroloco.blogspot.com/Good luck with the rest of your races this season–let’erbuck with NUUN!

Bruce Grant: The season had a challenging start due to the fact that I was sick for six weeks, but the irresistible lure of the trails got me out to hit a number of races by March and April, trying to build a solid base before my main season goal, the Hardrock 100 miler. I managed some great results at a couple of key races, finishing 6th overall and an age group 2nd at Zane Grey, self-billed as “the toughest 50-miler in America.” I went through an entire tube of nuun during that race, ensuring that my cool northern body was able to handle the heat of this arid, rocky course in Arizona. Two weeks prior to Hardrock, I peaked with a 3rd place overall and 1st in my age group at the Scorched Sole 50k in Kelowna, BC.

Hardrock itself was an incredible experience, there is nothing like the mountainous environment of Colorado and the camaraderie of our fellow ultrarunners there. I felt really good through the entire race, balancing my hydration and electrolytes by drinking nothing but 34 bottles of nuun for the entire 35 hour run! I kept rotating flavours to keep it interesting. I had a solid 14th place finish there – maybe I could have been a bit faster, but it is hard not to break and take in the magnificent panoramas from the mountaintops after climbing them for three or fours at a time. You definitely have to stop and smell the flowers on a course like this!Up next for me in mid-August will be my first 6-day stage run, the MOOSE in Ontario, followed up with the Plain 100 mile in September.

Ashley Nordell: My original focus 100 for this year was going to be Leadville in August, but after battling some injuries from mid March through the end of May, I decided to swap 100s with my husband and do Angeles Crest this coming September instead. Its been a bit of a roller coaster season of running, but I am now injury free and looking forward to the rest of the year.I began the year with the Calico 50k (2nd woman, 4:58?) in January. Then in March, my husband and I traveled to Arkansas for Three Days of Syllamo (1st woman) with fellow nuun runners Matt and Ty. It was a blast and I plan to return next year for more fun memories. After Arkansas I had a lot of problems with injuries that kept me out of some planned races. It was a frustrating couple months of trying to get some training in with biking, hiking, and even hitting the gym a little. In early June, I ran the Holcomb Valley 33 miler (1st woman, 5:33) in Big Bear, CA. It felt rough after not much training, but still great being back on the trails. In July I had the opportunity to pace and crew for Jorge Pacheco as he ran an incredible race to win Badwater in the second fastest time ever. I ran with him from Lone Pine up to the Portal and it was one of the most inspirational events to witness and be a part of-I am still in awe of his performance and perseverance.

This Saturday I am running a 50 miler in Duluth, MN while I am out here visiting family. I think I will need double the nuun to survive the humid air we don’t ever get in Southern California. In August I am crewing for my husband at Leadville. We plan to spend two weeks prior to the race (the joy of being teachers) getting acclimated and hitting the trails of Colorado. Then, in September, it is Angeles Crest 100 for me. After that, Santa Barbara 9 Trails in November, and maybe one more race (not sure what yet) to finish out the year. Scott Dunlap: I’ve run 10 ultras/marathons this season so far, most of it training for the Western States that would not be. I recently placed 2nd at the Angel Island 50k (Ginger flavor Nuun) and had a good run at the Diablo 50m (12th) where I enjoyed “Berry Cola” flavor, a mix of Tri-Berry and Kona Cola that I concocted to keep my electrolytes coming in during the 90+ degree heat. I had an unexpected marathon PR of 2:47 at the Eugene Marathon (3rd in age group), much in thanks to the Kona Cola Nuun. Next up is the Where’s Waldo 100k in Willamette Pass, OR, which is the USATF 100k championships.

Kendra Ralstin:
Hello fellow nuun sponsored athletes,
Enduring the painful experience of testing our physical and mental boundaries, and more importantly being rewarded by that very experience, is what binds us together (and makes our saner friends and relatives look at us like we’re nuts). That and dropping a tablet of fizzy fruity refreshment into our water bottles and quaffing it down with a satisfied hiss, “ahhhh,” which may or may not resemble the exhalation of a thirsty French wanderer who comes upon a stash of sparkling cold champagne hidden in the clover off the side of the road.

Although lately my consumption has been limited to the electrolyte bubbly of nuun and not the mood altering kind (further research needed to substantiate this claim), I’ve become more and more reliant on nuun’s mild flavor—which is the main characteristic, in fact, that makes it possible for me to swallow it even when confronted with the ever growing sensation of nausea I have been unfortunate enough to be the ever increasingly frequent victim of. The latest example of this was in The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 mile race which I ran in Bellingham last May. Despite feeling very sick during (and after – oy vay!), I did place third (in the money, happily) behind Nikki Kimball (is there any other spot?) and Susannah Beck. I made some progress on Beck in the second half of the race but succumbed to the shortcomings of a less than robust training schedule in the past few months and settled for a respectably distant third, as I said. Word to the wise: if you want to make your 40th year and first year as a masters runner the highlight of your running career thus far, don’t marry, move, buy a house and look for your dream career (settling for nothing less in any of the aforementioned categories) all within the space of a few months.

To work on a little bit of speed, I also entered a 7.5 and 10.5 mile trail race which are part of the Seattle Running Company’s series happening every summer out at Cougar Mountain. Scott McCoubrey always does an excellent job of making everyone feel excited and happy to be there. My 6th place woman finish at the 7.5 miler as compared to first place woman at the 10 miler pretty much demonstrates the complete surrender of my muscle twitchiness to the kingdom of the slow (but steady!).

I hope everyone is having a beautiful summer and that yours is not going as heartbreakingly quickly as mine. Seeing which flowers have stopped blooming and which are just starting always makes for a melancholy awareness of how fleeting those endless summers become the older you get. “Thus runs life away.” (-Shakespeare).

For more ruminations and run-on sentences (loosely) related to my running , you can visit my blog at http://borgrunner.blogspot.com/ .

And thank you to Matt Hart, for inviting me onto this great team of folks.
Sincerely,
Kendra Ralstin

Olga Varlamova opted for the list.. and it’s quite a list!Results:
Hagg lake 50k, Feb 23 – 5:45
Old Pueblo 50M, March 1 – 11:09 8th female
Chuckanut 50k, March 15 – 6:35
Rumble, April 13 – 6:45
Miwok 100k, May 3 – 12:32
Jemez 50M, May 17 – 12:51 5th female
Forest Park 50k, May 25 – 5:50 8th female
Bighorn100, June 20 – 26:50 3rd female, 1st AG
Hardrock100 – July 11-12 (pace Mike 33:51)