Denise’s VT100 Race Report

A week from tomorrow, Bendite Denise Bourassa will be going for her 3rd 100-mile finish within 8 weeks.  After next weekend, she’ll have just ONE more 100-mile race until she becomes a Grand Slam Ultra Champ**

Denise pushing through at VT100

Denise pushing through at VT100

We only just read her race report from Vermont 100 and thought we’d share it with you. Denise is one tough cookie – but we knew this. And in her words, “Stupid Tough.”

**Our apologies – after reporting on Denise’s VT100 finish in an early post, we somehow miscalculated her number of 100-milers and said she had only one more to go.  She will run Leadville 100 next weekend, and then has one more after that – the Wasatch 100 in Utah.

Cascade Lakes Relay 2014: Course Record

This year’s Cascade Lakes Relay (CLR) brought out the very best in participants and volunteers, alike.  We were fortunate enough to participate for the second year in a row and finally got a taste of the heat that has been oft spoken of in prior years, which was thwarted at the finish by a heavy rain / hail storm, to our dismay.

Winning the overall relay their second year in a row were The Sole Brothers from Bend, including locals Mario Mendoza, Austin Baillie and Ryan Bak. They set a course record of 21:48 – bettering last year’s time by almost an hour. That’s a 6:04 / minute per mile average, over 216 miles, folks.

While our personal relay experience was much slower, we enjoyed the van camaraderie, the ease of the course flow, tireless volunteers, lack of sleep (we admit it), and stellar course views. Teams go all out for this event, as do the race organizers.  There is never a question of where to turn, everything is clearly marked, and all that’s left to do at the end of the day (or the middle of the night) is run.  216 miles from the start at Diamond Lake Resort, to the finish at Riverbend Park in Bend.

This year’s event brought FREE BEER from 10 Barrel Brewing at Exchange Point #33 (a 6-pack for each van), a new race app (that still has some kinks due to the lack of cell coverage), and many more fun perks from event organizers.

Where running is usually an individual sport, relays are truly a “team” effort, as no one comes away feeling like they are responsible for the entire 216 miles. This was most definitely another successful year for Cascade Lakes Relay. Congrats to all the teams who crossed the finish line!

Running on country roads.

Running on country roads.

Van Pride

Van Pride

Vans, vans, everywhere vans.

Vans, vans, everywhere vans.

Bend Grand Slammer Update & More

So we need to back pedal and catch up with y’all.  It’s been a busy couple of weeks – we’ll start with Bendite elite ultra runner Jeff Browning taking 4th at Hardrock 100 in Silverton, Colorado.  With 67,984 ft. of elevation change, this is one of the toughest hundos out there.  Jeff and other racers danced around lightening (Jeff was even held up for an HOUR waiting for the storm to pass and still placed 4th), and climbed up scree slopes and larger rocks to higher elevations around the 11,000 ft. mark.  Congrats, Jeff on your finish (26:58:59)!

Back in Oregon, we had quite a few finishers up at the Mt. Hood 50.  Our own Ryan Kaiser won the darn thing in 6:35, and Tonya Littlehales placed 3rd woman overall in 8:03. David Uri finished just 10 minutes behind in 8:13, and Kari Strang right after that in 8:35. Andy Stallings of Bend finished in 9:26, while Scott Rowley finished in 9:59. Rounding up the Bend finishers and making us proud, Dan Harshburger finished in 12:40.  Way to finish 50 miles folks – it’s our understanding that the weather conditions were warmer than average.

Now that we’ve got the previous weekend covered, let’s focus on this past weekend.  2014 Western States 100 finisher, Denise Bourassa, completed her 2nd of three 100-mile races.  Denise finished the Vermont 100 in 24:54:57.  If she completes her 3rd, she will be known as an official Grand Slam Champ in the ultra running world. We are so proud of you, Denise! Only ONE MORE TO GO!

Meanwhile, Lauren Fleshman – local pro / speed extraordinaire – placed 2nd in the Napa 2 Sonoma Wine Country Half. In a time of 1:15. Congrats Lauren! You are simply amazing…

Dan Harshburger Finishing Mt. Hood 50

Dan Harshburger Finishing Mt. Hood 50


Western States 100 Wrap-Up

Last night at the FootZone, we got to hear four amazing people tell their stories about running the Western States 100 Endurance Race.  Never have we been so captivated. These four people ran 100 miles in less than 20 hours (much less, in some cases), less than one week ago – and lived to tell about it.

All four – Scott Wolfe, Denise Bourassa, Max King and Stephanie Howe – were blinding us with their brand new silver belt buckles, but we didn’t notice as we all sat in awe while they told their personal stories of triumph to an audience who listened very closely.

Each story was different. And each story had its ups and downs. But we learned a few very important things last night – and these lessons are worth repeating.

- Prepare. Make sure you are ready to tackle a challenge both physically and mentally. There will be moments of doubt, but they will be brief.

- Know yourself. Stay in check with yourself and how you feel. This is the one time you need to be focused on you and you, alone.

- Thank your support team.  We heard nothing but gratitude for their crew from these champs.

- Trust yourself.  When you trust yourself and your ability, there is nothing you cannot accomplish.



Get Thee to the FootZone Tonight!

We are currently listening to an interview on with WS100 2nd place finisher, Seth Swanson. At 7pm we are going to head over to the FootZone to hear all the crazy-awesome stories from Max King, Stephanie Howe, Denise Bourassa and Scott Wolfe and their Western States 100 race experiences.

If you are still geeking out on Western States 100 news like we are, this might provide some closure. We hope.

Stephanie Howe – 2014 WS100 winner

Alright Alright Alrght

Not sure about you, but we were glued to our phone/computer all day Saturday, following the Western States 100 Endurance Run.

The day started at 5am for these amazing athletes (earlier, actually), up to Emigrant Pass and then down down down (with a few more ups) for the next 95 miles.

Bend ultra runners Max King and Stephanie Howe both took the lead early on – Stephanie held onto first, while Max was passed in the last third of the race by Rob Krar (1st), Seth Swanson (2nd) and Dylan Bowman (3rd).  Considering this was the first hundred-mile race for both Max and Stephanie, they did doubly spectacular.

Bendite Results:

Max King – 15:44:45

Stephanie Howe – 18:01:42

Scott Wolfe – 18:18:36

Denise Bourassa – 20:19:30

Both Scott and Denise also finished with stellar times – Scott placed 21st overall and Denise just 20 spots behind him – 7th woman overall.

Congrats to these four speedy ultra marathoners who continue  to push their limits.

Max on his speedy way in Western Sates 100. Photo: Gretchen Brugman

Max on his speedy way in Western Sates 100. Photo: Gretchen Brugman










Meanwhile, across the globe, Linsey Corbin of Bend was the first woman to finish Ironman Austria on Sunday. She finished in 8:42:42 – a course record and her second win at Ironman Austria.

Back here in Central Oregon – Bend’s own Matt Lieto won the Pacific Crest Long Course Triathlon in 4:05:39 in prep for Ironman Canada.

Lots of other Bendites participated in Pacific Crest and did really well – here are the results for all events.

And last but not least, professional triathlete Jesse Thomas came home with a 3rd place in Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake in Lubbock, TX in 4:02:54.

A huge congrats to all who raced this weekend.  You make us proud!

Pacific Crest Weekend & Dirty Half Update

This is the last weekend in June, which means it’s Pacific Crest Weekend.  Hundreds, if not thousands of people from all over the country come to Sunriver to participate in events like a half marathon, Olympic & Long Distance triathlons, Olympic Duathlon, 5K and 10K races and a marathon. There are other events including relays and kids events, as well.

While this event is not located in Bend, many Bendites will partake in the weekend’s festivities.


Runners take part in Pacific Crest










For those of you running in the rescheduled Dirty Half on July 6, please make sure to RSVP by emailing Super Dave: and let FootZone know you’ll be there.  The course will be run in REVERSE due to the recentdirectional changes at Phil’s Trail (Ben’s, specifically).