Another Inspirational Running Film

Movies about running are becoming more popular these days – with McFarland, USA on the big screen, Trail Film Fest touring the country and other small documentaries being made, interest seems to being growing faster than you can say fartlek.

Tomorrow night, you can catch Finding Tractiona documentary about pro ultra runner Nikki Kimball’s FKT (Fastest Known Time) attempt on the 273-mile Long Trail, America’s oldest hiking trail located in Vermont’s Green Mountains. Not only does the film give viewers a glimpse inside a female ultra runner’s ferocious courage and passion for running, but also encourages people to get outside and explore.

Nikki Kimball

Nikki Kimball

The film is playing at Recharge Sports – Bend’s amazing running recovery lounge which just expanded into a larger space a few doors down from their old digs. They offer recovery and performance services such as compression boots, ice baths, massage and acupuncture.  This place is heaven on earth for runners – and we highly recommend you stop by for a visit. Just make sure to RSVP for tomorrow night’s film, showing at 7:30pm. Recharge will thank you for it!

Surpises in a Box – Yes, Please.

There’s a cool company located right here in Bend, who puts together a monthly subscription box of super sweet stuff that runners will dig.  Subscribe to this monthly service for just $15, and it’s delivered right to your door.  Best of all – ya never know what you’re gonna get.  Who doesn’t love surprises??

It’s called StrideBox and the products they feature include nutritional bars, gels, drinks, snacks, apparel, gadgets, skincare, health, apps and music, as well as other accessories.

They recently posted a blog written by us – and we urge you to check them out.

StrideBox boxes

StrideBox boxes

A Little Love in 2015

Hey Everyone – since we’re a little late to the game for a 2014 year-end wrap-up, we have decided to send a little love to all our readers (it’s still February.. I think).  Bend has a lot of exciting running-related news for 2015, and we’d like to share it with ya – since that’s what we’re here for.

Bend Marathon and Half – April 26, 2015:  The Inaugural Bend Marathon has been drawing a lot of attention, given that Bend hasn’t had a true road marathon in the past few years.  The course runs along many of Bend’s well-known running trails including Drake Park, the Deschutes River Trail (First Street Rapids & Farewell Bend Park), the Haul Trail up to Seventh Mtn. Resort, Tetherow, and through downtown (twice!).

Marathoners from Bend's 2011 Marathon

Runners from Bend’s 2011 Marathon

USATF Mountain Running Championships – July 25, 2015:  Located at Mt. Bachelor Ski Area. These races will be the sole selection races for the U.S. Mountain Running Team, where the top six men and top four women to finish will earn berths to the team (provided they are USATF members and eligible to represent USA in international competition). The races are open to all USTAF members (click here on how to become a member).  There will be 3 races all held on a 4.1k loop course that climbs and descends 248 meters (12k championship for men – 3 laps and 8k championship for women – 2 laps, and a 4k open race – 1 lap).

Coming up in 2016 & 2017… USATF XC National Championships – Held at Rivers Edge Golf Course, these races will be back (they were previously held here in 2013) and promise to draw some of the top running talent from across the country.

If you’re ready to test your racing flats, here are a few local events coming up in MARCH:

13th Annual Grin & Bear It 5K & 10K – March 7, 2015:  A fun way to kick off spring and raise money for a good cause too.  Healthy Beginnings puts on this event to raise money for their amazing organization providing health screenings for pre-K age kids.

Mastondon Trail Race – March 8, 2015:  Sorry y’all – this 10-ish mile race is SOLD OUT.  Get on it, and sign up for next year’s event, as this is put on by Superfit Productions.  Yep – Super Dave.

St. Patrick’s Day Dash – March 14, 2015:  St. Patrick’s Day isn’t until the 17th, but we guarantee there will be plenty of Deschutes Brewery Beer and green running gear at this one.

St. Patrick's Day Dash participants

St. Patrick’s Day Dash participants

Gorge Waterfalls 100K – March 28, 2015: will be covering this race for  Lots of Bend ultrarunners will be competing, so stay tuned!

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.