Monday, June 3, 2013

How to Win an Ultramarathon? Drink a lot of Good Beer and Wear some Kick Ass Sandals. Good times at the 2013 Born to Run Fiesta!

Let me give you a little bit of advice?
"NEVER Listen to my advice!"

Enough is enough already.  I had been injured and gimpy for far too long.  Instead waiting my for my body to heal, it was time to start training, deal with the pain and face the consequences. Three steps forward two steps back will get you where you want to go, you  just have to take a lot of steps.

The best thing about being gimpy and cancelling my trek across the country meant I would be in town for the Born to Run Ultra Marathon. So three weeks before the race after returning from  the Death Valley Running Retreat (where I did more partying than running) I pretended that I wasn't injured anymore

Over the next 2 1/2 weeks I racked up the miles running for over 48 hours total.  For the first time in over 6 months I actually somewhat healthy.
  I'd been having a growing disdain for racing but I think thats just the ego's way of throwing a pity party about being injured.  As much as I hate to admit it I'm a competitive dude and I wasn't heading to Los Olivos to lose.

To further Illustrate this point the Wednesday before the race.  I went and got a haircut? (whoop dee doo right?) You see when I'm  serious about a race I usually get a haircut, you know so I can run faster?   
"A little off the top please?"
 The girl was kind of cute and when I get my haircut I tend to drift off into LaLa land (like cat getting it's head rubbed) when I awoke 
"Where the hell did my hair go?" 
It's the shortest my hair has been since 2nd grade.  And the bangs on my forehead looked like Hitlers mustache. (I could have just saved the $15 and shaved my head) Oh well, I guess I'll be fast,  and it's the perfect hair cut to where a hat with.
The big race was just two days away? My honor was at stake. I had never lost in competition and I wasn't gonna lose the  Born to Run "Beer Mile" without a fight.

My sister was kind enough to let me trade vehicles with me and let me borrow her minivan for the weekend.  Why did I need a minivan?
So I could fill it with Beer of course. Four cases of Stone ale and two 30 packs of crap beer for the Beer mile.  Since I still had a little bit of room left in the van I decided to pick up a few buddies from the airport as well.
First up:
On the the rings, the finest upside down beer drinker I know, hailing from Winter Park CO 
Next up from the topless beach state of Florida
AKA "Not your Mama's Lama" 
(I don't think anyone has ever called him that but maybe they will now)
Last but not least Scott "The Feisty Cat" Smuin
(You really have to see this got pop some bubbles to understand the magic he posses)

Let's Roll.
After a 2.5 hour drive up the coast we were there.
A Bunch Lunatics were  about to invade the Chambelan Ranch
Luis Escobar has been training me on how he gets such great photo's
Pretty amazing Huh?
Luis Escobar's Dad. 
If it were 30 years ago he would have been a shoe in to win the beer mile.
(especially since I wasn't a very good beer drinker at the age of  four)

We got camp situated had a few drinks and it was off to bed sometime before midnight.
Up bright and early the next morning it started with Frisbee.
Frisbee became Grab Ass.
 Grab Ass became Wiffle ball.
And then evolved into somthing very strange
I think thats beer # 4 before 11 a.m. the day before the 50km. You didn't think we came here to run did you?

Strange and dangerous 
(dangerous to those not wearing Luna sandals
Get your Luna Sandals right here!
(or click the link and buy online)
Krista Cavender was offering free shots Whiskey with purchase "Zap threads" T-shirt.
It was pretty easy to sneak a shot two when her back was turned, Just ask Mike Miller.
Zap threads always make me think of the 80's classic "Zapped"
We sat around enjoying eachothers company 
The beer mile was scheduled for 4 p.m. 
and things were gonna start getting weird
 Sooner than later.
 At around 2 p.m. Tyler and I decided to play some disc golf on the surrounding hills.
Groupies were everywhere but lucky for me Moeben had sponsored the race giving every runner their own ninja mask, so I could peruse the countryside in anonymity. 

Every finisher of the Beer Mile would receive a custom custom Sweeney plastic Shovel amulet (Amulet cause it's not metal) on a string.  I have collected these shovels over the countless miles I run on the beach everyday.  Much like the Belt Buckle has become synonymous with finishing a 100 mile endurance race I hope that someday all beer milers will receive a shovel on a string and that someday shall start
In case you didn't know I was the race director for the beer mile.  Also in case you din't know I was the favorite to win. I've never lost and have set the course record each time I have participated in one.  Although shotgunning a beer is not allowed having an actual shotgun start was pretty cool.
1/2 through the first beer it was anybody's race.
"Later dudes"
As I sprinted off My Sport Kilt started to fly up?
Uh-Oh :) I did my best to try it down a bit while I ran.
I'm not sure if the smiles from the girls on the sidelines meant I was doing a good job or not?
Is you want your own Sport Kilt go to
at checkout to save 10%
The competition was fierce.

I don't encourage drinking alcohol if it's not your thing.  If you prefer drinking hot wax be my guest.
There were some elite competitors but?
By the time I came in for my fourth beer I had pretty much lapped the field on my way to the win. 
Skirt guy ended up finishing second less than a minute behind me and Jim on the far right got the biggest balls award much to the pleasure and chagrin of the spectators.
About 30 to 40 people ran in the beer mile and we managed to raise about $500 for Norawas De Rarimuri  The shovels were a big hit and the event was a huge success.
Love was in the air
 I wonder who gave Whiskey Jerry that Beer? Probably the same guy who's posting this pic?
Next up Tarahumara Inspired 
Ball Racing
It's not your typical style Tarahumara Rarajipari which is team sport.  This ball race was every person for themselves where you would basically dribble a small wooden ball (rather than flick as the Tarahumara do) out and back past a couple of cones.  Luna Sandal's was sponsoring the event  and if you won your race ou would receive  a $100 gift card. So long as you ponied up at least a $10 donation to Norawas De Rarimuri to compete.
The key to winning is not kicking the ball far. It's staying in control. Well that and avoid getting bit by the Ghost dog of Sierra Madre.

I lost my race last year because I didn't have a good strategy.  I even thought about wearing shoes  this year and approach the race soccer player but that would be absurd!  How can I make my Luna Sandals work to my advantage.
A light Bulb went off in my head :)
 (it happens on occasion)
  Use the ground feel to my advantage! What does that mean you ask?  Instead of kicking the ball with the side of my foot (a very uneven surface) I would push the top of the ball with a high degree of top spin using the bottom of my sandal to provide stability and counter the unevenness of the terrain. I would sacrifice distance on each kick but it would more than make up for itself in consistency and control.
Luis had us line up with are back to the course after a shot blast went off the race had began.  Before turning around  I decided to execute a reverse backwards topspin push to start the race. By the time the others turned around My ball was already 25' ahead in the center of the fairway.
 Stone Ale in hand (it was hot out) I executed my plan flawlessly and went on to easily win my race and donate the Luna gift certificate to the 2nd place finisher.  I had redeemed myself from last year and was pretty stoked on the way things had turned out.
The night wore on the drinks kept flowing.  After standing in the fire for a little while it was time to go to bed.
Good Night!

Race day

As has become tradition at the Born to Run fiesta. Well before Dawn  "GUN SHOTS" filled the air followed by some God Awful  Mariachi Music blasting so loud you couldn't hear yourself fart.

I awoke feeling like crap but with a big smile on my face.  Throughout the night the night my body was cramping up (weird) I can't remember the last time that happened.  Maybe having 15 or so drinks the day before a 50km wasn't such a good idea?  
 I'm pretty good at making bad idea's work out for the best and I was excited about the race none the less.
I pounded about 30 Oz of coconut water, ate a tortilla with oozing with peanut butter, strapped on my Luna Mono Sandals and headed to the the starting Line.
Our fearless leader Luis Escobar.
After reciting the famous Micah True Oath it was time to Race 
"If get hurt lost or die it's my own damn fault."

The  50km course consists of two ten mile loops and you run the first one twice followed by a 1/2 mile out and back.
The first mile came and went in a flash at about a 6 min pace. I went out with future of Luna sandals Gregorio (who was running the 10 mile race ) along with Tyler (who would go on to finish his first 100 miler in Luna Sandals) I was just trying to get warm, my toes and fingertips were a bit numb from the brisk morning air.

Through the first few miles I was running faster than I should.  Part of me wished I was in the 10 mile race.  I was running in third place among the mixed field of runners but  before long I decided to drop to slower pace.  A couple runners passed and I could feel my buddy Pat Reed breathing down my neck.

I had to poop and I had to poop bad but it drives me crazy having to stop for anything other than hydration or food. At this point maybe 5 miles in I had no confidence, my body wasn't working very well and my legs showed signs that they were gonna seize up in cramps (the earliest this has ever happened to me in a race) All I could focus on was not crapping myself before finishing the first 10 mile loop. 

Pat was nipping on my heels, pushing the pace I guess this was good for my time but I had no desire to run fast. I also didn't want to get passed.  I charged hard down the the final two miles into camp finishing the first loop in the lead in a time of 1:06:52

On the first loop I carried 26 Oz of water but only drank 1/2 of it and skipped the two aid stations.I probably should have drank a bit more

Ain't Nobody Got time for that!
  I had set up 4 bottles a the starting line w/ 2 of them full of coconut water.  I switched to a full  bottle and was ready to take off but thought better of it.

It would be a gamble not to stop at the porta potty and I didn't want to to desecrate the flag nor did I want to defecate it.

During my 2 minute morning constitutional I went from having a 1 min lead to being 1 min behind.  I was'nt thrilled but I was okay with being in second and I still had a couple minute lead on third place. After a short a climb the course headed back down a hill where it intersected runners on the first lap going the opposite direction.  I like courses like this because although I wasn't feeling very good seeing the other runners gave me a surge of adrenaline.
Just as I felt I was gaining ground on the leader I got stuck behind a herd of cattle.  Maybe 80 of them in total.  "I guess I'm gonna have some company for awhile?"  For the next 3/4 of mile I was Cowboy 
(but not one of the wussy ones that needs a horse) 
"Hi -Yah!" 
Is that Cowboy or Karate lingo? 
Anyway I could I tried to steer them off the trail.  To their credit they were running a sub 8 min mile and slowly but surely I was nipping them off in groups of 5 to 10.  It was both extremly frustrating and fun at the same time.

Around Mile 15 I crested a hill and Saw Pat off in the Distance.  His lead was maybe 2 minutes but he was looking over his shoulder to see where I was, which I interpreted as a sign of weakness.

By the time I got to mile 17 I thought it was 2 man race and then up strolls Luis Escobar's protege Topher. We were running uphill and he looked  very strong.  In a strange coincidence both Pat in front of me and Topher were  part of the Death Valley Running retreat held a few weeks earlier.

As Topher passed me I was happy for the kid.  He's areal nice guy and I wished him good luck.  I watched his stride and although he was quickly leaving me in the dust it looked like he was wasting a lot of energy. He's in early 20's so maybe he could get away with it?

Just before the final descent of the lap I noticed Topher again off in the distance.  I charged hard and caught hill him as I finished the second lap in 1:23:29 (it's a much harder lap than the first loop.)

As was the case in the first loop I only drank 1/2 a bottle of water and didn't stop at the aid stations. Not the best of strategies for someone  who was probably dehydrated to start the race.  It took all of about 3 seconds to grab my 2 handhelds full of coconut water and took off thankfully not needing to stop and poop. 

To my Surprise there was Pat about 1/4 mile ahead of me.  He had ran a great 2nd loop but was now running out of steam.  By mile 21 I was in the lead again. (I might actually win this thing I thought). My goal was sub 4 hours a time I barely missed when I won last year.  If I could run sub 8 min miles down the stretch I would easily hit that mark.
Right as I start to pat myself on the back up comes Topher Pushing the tempo to about a 7 minute pace.  
I really didn't want to work that hard !
 About 30 seconds after this pic Topher took the lead.  I was pushing hard but he was running stronger and quickly had about 200' lead around mile 22.  As we approached the next aid station he stopped for water and I flew passed. I still had a full bottle of coconut water and I wasn't gonna stop until I reached the finish line.  I though maybe if I charged hard right here it might break him?
It only took another 1/2 mile for him to regain the lead.  and quickly put some distance on me .
By mile 24 he was almost out of site and I had pretty much conceded the fact that I wasn't gonna win and in all honesty I was pretty stoked for Topher.

I was still running below an 8 min average and looked like I would beat 4 hours and thats all I really came to do.  At about mile 25ish I saw Luis's wife Beverly and I gave her an over her a big goofy wave and an emphatic "Howdy"
I was trying to fool Beverly into thinking I wasn't tired.  What happened?
I fooled myself!
Just then I could see Topher off in the distance and it looked like he was starting to slow?  
Like a Shark smelling blood in the water I found another gear.  It looked like he was starting to cramp.  I snuck up on him and then took off like a  balloon someone forgot to tie.  
4 miles left 
It was now my race to win.  I didn't look back and I didn't slow down.  Would Topher recover or would Pat find a hidden reserve of strength? It didn't matter nobody was gonna catch me.
I finished the 3rd lap in 1:12:05.
As I entered camp I yelled at Luis "Where do we turn back on the final out and back?" I had noticed earlier that it wasn't marked, I had finished the 3 loop faster than Luis had anticipated and Luis had not yet marked the course.
"The WoodPecker Tree"
Luis yelled
I found the tree made the turn around and finished in a winning time of 
AVG pace 7:24 per mile
Over 13 minutes faster than last year
and over 19 minutes in front of Topher who finished in second.
Followed By Pat a couple minutes later in 3rd
 My Luna Sandals ended up being a great choice of footwear. I was proud of the way I ran It didn't come easy and I'm starting to get that desire to race once again.
Thank you to both Pat and Topher for pushing me along the as much it pissed me off to actually have to run at the time that's what I there to do  and my time was much faster than it would of been had you guys not been there.
The best part of the day was yet to come time to sit back and watch my friends achieve their goals many of which would go on to set new personal records for both time a distance 
Congrats to Georgio in the Red shorts for running his first 10 mile race and finishing in 2nd place running an amazing 1:00:29 in his Luna Sandals only to be topped by an even more amazing time of 58:10 by Ricardo Ramirez
 There had to be at least 30 or so people running Luna's
All of whom I consider family.
 Congrats to Vanessa on her first 50km
This chick is currently running across the Gobi desert as I type this Check it out
 Congrats to my favorite Hippie Marine Anthony on another 50km in Luna Sandals and congrats to his wife to for running the 10 mile race and then pacing Anthony on his final 10 miles.
Congrats to Kelley on her first ultra in Luna's
"Welcome to the tribe"
Congrats to me for getting Tattooed on her back and staying clear from Kelley's desire to wax my chest
 That's me in the center
 Congrats to Shawn and Steph on being in Love.
 Congrats to Scott on all the bubbles he popped.
 Congrats to Krista on persevering.
 Congrats to Manly on not getting kissed by any dudes.
 Congrats to Jake on flying through the finish of his first 50k
 Congrats to Colin on coring a new leg and a free pair of huaraches.
courtesy of of pinata that had just be blasted to smithereens.
 Congrats to Guadajuko on biting this dude in the ass as he balled raced
 Congrats to Maria on her amazing spirit
 Congrats to Sam for being Lovely
Congrats to Ethan on realizing its never to late to run the Beer mile

Congrats to Tyler on being such a positive dude as he finished his first 100 mile race in under 24 hours
 Congrats to Pat Muldowney on Scoring a beautiful wife.
Congrats to Crista on probably the most impressive weekend of all! Not only did she get her Masters degree, she finished her first Ultra Marathon.  
No to mention she made me this kick ass one of kind Bourbon Feet Ball!
Congrats to this girl on wearing two thongs
 Congrats to them for not using me as part of the base.
 Big congrats to James on running 100 miles at a sub 10 min pace!
Congrats to this dude who had no idea he was getting Hello Kitty tattooed on his arm.
Congrats to Jim on great 100 mile finish

 Congrats to all of us on our awesome dance moves.
 The Born to Run Ultramarathon  has become much more than just a race. . My only gripe is that there's so many cool people to hang out with it's hard to enjoy them all in such a little time.  Thank You to all my friends both old and new for letting me have one hell of weekend. I love all of you and can't wait to see you next year.
Mas Loco's
Thank you to the late Caballo Blanco for the inspiration.
Thank you to all the volunteers who made it happen and thank you to
Luis Escobar for bringing us all together
 You done good my Friend!
You done good!
 Run Free!


  1. Big smiles Patrick! It was a special weekend, wasn't it? Looking forward to the next one!

  2. If you are clear about two questions what are your goals and how you are going to achieve them .
    Then you can make a sincere efforts to achieve your goals .

    Mark Duin

    Motivational Speaker

    1. I am not a goal oriented person! I'd much rather see where the day takes me and make the most out of whatever happens.

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