Sunday, March 20, 2011

2011 Coyote Two Moon 100 Cancelled Mid-Race

AJW and Jared Campbell getting word
at Cozy Dell (mile 68( on cancellation.
For the second year in a row, the Coyote Two Moon 100 in Ojai, CA was dealt extreme weather.  Unlike last year, though, the weather won this time.

Heavy wind and rain on the valley floors and heavy wind and snow on the frequently travelled Nordhoff ridge caused the race director to stop the race for safety reasons shortly after midnight Saturday night (very early Sunday morning).  In the 100 mile race, Jeff Browning, Karl Meltzer and Justin Angle were in between miles 68 and 75 when word of cancellation came through. Ty Draney, Jared Campbell, and Andy Jones-Wilkins had just entered the Cozy Dell aid station at mile 68.

As conditions deteriorated and the night went on, the race director took stock, allowing fewer and fewer runners to continue the race unless they were well-prepared for the wet, cold, and snowy weather, eventually cancelling altogether.  Aid station captains and communication staff then began scrambling to account for all runners.

Rain is still falling heavily in the region and is expected to continue doing so through the rest of the weekend, which may affect to some degree Sunday's running of the LA Marathon.

Clark Zealand & Scott Wolfe beginning
Cozy Dell climb, before cancellation

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

2011 Coyote Two Moon 100m/100k - A Preview of Sorts

Through twist of kizmet and school break schedules, I get to do a little light crewing during the 2011 running of the Coyote Two Moon 100m/100k in Ojai, CA (March 18 - 20), and I'm pretty excited about it.  C2M holds a special place in my heart.  I did the 100k in 2009, and it was the first ultra I did that took me through the night, that took me well over 12 hours, and that had close to 20,000 feet of elevation gain.  Plus, it was my first exposure to the ultra-as-performance-art stylings of race director, Chris Scott, who puts on a premier event while also using the runners as actors who are there to amuse volunteers, race directors, and any standers by.  This is not Western States; this is not Wasatch (though it has as much climbing); this is its own beast.
RD Chris Scott briefing the troops

The first hint of that, apart from the amusing prose that makes up the C2M website, is the format.  Starts are staggered so that everyone finishes within a 2 - 4 hour window on Sunday morning.  Slower hundred milers will start Friday afternoon, and therefore, run through the night twice, seeing two full or nearly-full moons; faster hundred milers will start Saturday morning; faster 100k runners will start Saturday afternoon.  While being a late starter (as I was in the 100k) can make for some pretty lonely early miles, the convergence in the closing miles, and then right into the awards/breakfast afterward, is a unique touch that makes C2M stand apart from most other races.

Other hallmarks of C2M:
Bonus/Boner minutes.  Do something fun, interesting, or otherwise generally pleasing to the race director or volunteers and you can get bonus minutes that are deducted from you official C2M time.  Singing Sade's "Sweet as Cherry Pie" at the Gridley Top aid station could well be worth a minute per mile in total time.  Do something that irritates, and the boner minutes add to your time.

Leader beanies.  Yes.  Current leaders or whoever the director designates must wear a felt beanie with an honest to god propellor (see photo below).

Aid station pate'.  Or is it cat food?  Try it and earn bonus minutes.

Costumes.  Previous incarnations saw RD Scott on the Nordhoff Ridge in full Holstein and Eastern Bunny regalia (handing out Peeps).

Goody bag.  In addition to the best Patagonia race wear going, the goody bags are the most esoteric collection you will ever receive at a bib pickup.  In 2009, as I chronicled here, mine included among other things: golf tees, old iron curtain beer coaster, brochure from the Intercourse Canning Co, C2M labeled toothbrush, hotel soaps, and the romance novel, "And the winner gets...married."

Elevation gain.  Despite its good-natured ethos, C2M is a hard race.  The 100k boasts 19,000 feet of vert, and the 100m about 26,000 feet.

Bowling.  A near-must for all entrants is the bowling matchup the night before the race.  Meltzer's pretty good from what I hear, though, he didn't run the year I did it so I'm getting this second hand.  RD names teams and gives each bowler a special nickname - which may or may not (likely not) be too flattering.

Now on to some of the players at this year's event.  It seems a large chunk of the Patagonia Ultra team will be on hand.  Among the notables:

In the 100 Mile
Justin Angle, AJW, Jeff Browning, Jared Campbell, Ty Draney, Karl Meltzer, Brian Polley, Betsy Nye, and Wendy Wheeler-Jacobs.

In the 100k
Eric Clifton, Scott Wolfe, Clark Zealand, and Maggie Beach.

I'm excited to get out there and see some of the action in person.

Dan Waddle and Meredith Terranova on the line (with leaders' beanies) for the afternoon 100k starters (2009)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

From the Annals of Unlikely Places: Comic Strip Insight on Endurance Sport

Ever since I was in junior high, when my love for endurance sport really started to express itself, my father's been an ardent, if at times bewildered, supporter of my various adventures -- something I believe most of us could say about at least one of our close family members.  Being a long time lover of comics, he will occasionally send me links to comics he thinks might speak to me.   Two days ago he forwarded one along from the strip Frazz, which really seemed to capture not only how we as ultra-endurance athletes define happiness but also how many, likely most, others view us and our crazy sports.  It seemed like it was worth sharing, so here it is. 

Scene: Two people talking - an old teacher and a young student - while watching Frazz bundled up and riding his bike under dim light and falling snow.

Old teacher: That lunatic Frazz.  He'd be a lot happier home in front of the television.
Student: I don't think he's ever confused comfort with happiness.
Old teacher: How is he with bewilderment vs. admiration?
Student: Don't think he gets those confused with his happiness either.
Click to visit larger version on