Sunday, June 28, 2009

2009 Western States: Views from the Michigan Bluff Aid Station

Troy and I spent a nice day at Michigan Bluff, recording the times of all the runners who entered the aid station. It was a hot day on the trail, but everyone seemed to be having fun. Here are some of the pictures:

Hal Koerner made his move right after he came into the Michigan Bluff Aid Station. He came in in second place, just five seconds behind Dave Mackey, but did not waste any time. He left the AS immediately and never looked back. He went on to win the race in 16:24--his second straight WS100 victory.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Reno to Rim Trail Ready to Rock Next Summer

According to this article in the Sierra Sun, the Reno to Rim Trail will be ready by the end of next Summer (2010). The approximately 15-mile long trail will run from Mount Rose to Hunter Creek (South of Reno).

Can you say new speed record? ;-)

Speaking of speed records, Aaron Sorenson is heading to the Tahoe Rim Trail this weekend to start an unsupported TRT record attempt on the most beautiful 165-mile trail around. He's in great shape and has his sights set on my time from last year (57:54).

Good luck, Aaron, and don't forget to drink a milk shake at Echo Lake!

Interested in trail running speed records? Check out Peter Bakwin's great speed record site Fastest Known Time (FKT).

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lance Armstrong Rolls into Nevada City, Wins the 2009 Classic

Pretty cool to have Lance in our backyard! Unfortunately, I had a deadline at work that kept me glued to my desk, so hopefully he will come back next year.

Instead of the usual 3000 spectators, more than 20,000 lined the course today. The race runs right through downtown Nevada City (Broad Street), which is also home to the Run through the Colors 5 and 10K. Lance apparently cranked out the 1.1 mile loop in about 2.5 minutes!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The 2009 DeCelle Memorial Tahoe Relay

As you can see in the movie, we had a blast again this year at the DeCelle Memorial Tahoe Relay. Weather-wise, we had all four seasons in one day, but for the most part it was great for running. We managed to break last year's time by 33 minutes, easily breaking 11 hours (10:52 and 64th overall out of 116 teams). Next year, we'll try to go sub-10!

This year, we had the following leg assignments:
  1. (9.6 Miles) Sean--Started us out and ran nice and even to finish in 1:42
  2. (8.2 Miles) Chris--Blew by about 50 runners (a.k.a. bogeys) in an incredible 55 minutes and change on the steepest leg of the course
  3. (10.3 Miles) Rocky--Battled altitude sickness and cramps, but never gave up and finished in 2:28
  4. (12.3 Miles) Peter--The first of two--finished this sunny section in 1:30
  5. (10.6 Miles) Turi--Paced really well and kept passing people, finishing in 1:19
  6. (10.5 Miles) Peter--Back for more--finished this rainy section (including the infamous 'Hill from Hell') in 1:28
  7. (10.5 Miles) Hayes--Anchored the race, ran all the way up to Inspiration Point in the rain and then finished strong in 1:26
Check out the blogs from Chris and Turi for more pictures and stories.

Next Up: Volunteering at the Western States 100 Miler in two weeks.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sean's Eigth-Grade Valedictorian Speech

Last night, after a year of hard work and keeping a perfect 4.0 Grade Point Average (G.P.A.), Sean became the valedictorian of his eight-grade class at the Marysville Charter Academy for the Arts (MCAA).

During the graduation ceremony he played a very nice piece on the cello (Humoresque, by Dvorak) accompanied by his strings teacher and then he went on to address the crowd in his valedictorian speech.

Here is the full text of Sean's speech:

Hello and welcome families, faculty, and friends. I would like to thank you all for coming here today. My name is Sean Lubbers. I’m afraid I couldn’t find anything to copy from Wikipedia, so I’m just going to give you an original speech.

I would like to start out with my favorite quote from President John F. Kennedy (Watch it on YouTube).

We choose to go to the moon in this decade, not because it is easy, but because it is hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.

This quote relates to the choices we make in our everyday life. Whether it’s fulfilling a life-long dream, acing an Algebra test, or simply finishing a level in a video game. We should strive to take the harder path—the challenge—in whatever we do. Whether we succeed or not, ultimately does not matter. What is important, however, is that we try our very best.

Looking back over my last two years at MCAA, fills me with many good memories. We had some great performances, dances, and fun parties. I have great friends, teachers, school staff, and an amazing class.

I remember arriving at school on the first day in 7th grade. It took me about ten minutes to find the infamous “room 11.” The first thing I thought after looking at the class was “Wow.” It looked like a tornado had just touched down in 1st block History. There was such a diverse population—from the Goths, to the Nerds, to the Preps—that I could not imagine how I would fit in. Well, we are here now and I am friends with, or at least know, everyone in my class.

This year, I had to make a tough decision: leave MCAA and go to Nevada Union (NU), or continue with high school here at MCAA. Some of my older friends are already attending NU and some of my 8th grade friends will be heading to Nevada County next year for their continued education. I wanted to wait to make this decision at the very end, but my dad, being his usual self, gave me an ultimatum: I had only until the end of February to make up my mind. [Thanks, Dad!]

In the end I was leaning towards NU. What happened next was very interesting. I asked Brenda for my transfer papers and will never forget the reactions I received from all the people in the office as well as from my friends that were with me at the time. At that point, I realized how much the school really meant to me and I decided to stay—at least for another year.

When John F. Kennedy spoke about going to the Moon, he had an aim. He did not know whether he would succeed or not, but he started with a lot of determination. A few years later, astronauts landed on the Moon and since then, many more great things have been accomplished.

I think we should continue to strive for great things to happen and we should set bold goals and give it our best shot. My dreams are for wars to be over, to end global warming, and to find a cure for diseases such as aids and cancer.

Once you have a breakthrough or when you accomplish a great goal, it is easy just to kick back, relax, and say “Well, I think that’s enough. We don’t need to go any further.” Is that the right attitude? No! We have to keep discovering, keep learning, and, most of all, keep asking the hard questions. We have to take a step further and move forward from where we were standing before.

What we could hardly imagine just ten years ago in science and technology is reality today. We don’t know what the future will hold, but we do know what attitude we have to bring to it.

8th grade graduation is a big step for all of us. We have finished a great part of our schooling, but this is really only the beginning. We will now be moving on to high school and we look forward to it eagerly—willing to accept all the challenges that await us.

Before I go, I would like to thank my family for their support, all my teachers for opening the doors to my education, Mr. Pimentel, Mr. Skeffington, Bonnie, and Brenda for always being there and doing such a great job.

Thank you for your time.

And of course I have to mention that Rocky did a great job in his sixth-grade year, too. He was the only one to graduate to 7th grade with three straight trimesters 4.0 GPA (Principal's List) and he will be attending Sean's school next year.

Well, we are really proud of Sean and Rocky's academic achievements. The kids are, of course, excited that Summer vacation is finally here and to start it off right, we're all going to run the Tahoe Relay this weekend with their friend Hayes and Chris and Turi!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Auburn Trail 50K and Fitness in the Foothills

Rocky Wins the Fitness in the Foothills Triathlon!

On Saturday (D-Day!), we decided to use a divide-and-conquer race strategy, Vicky was taking our youngest son Rocky to the first annual Fitness in the Foothills triathlon, our oldest son Sean, was studying his brains out in an effort to become valedictorian of his eighth grade class (we'll know the results of that on Wednesday), and I would run the 5th straight series race--the Auburn Trail 50K.

Let's start with the least impressive result of the day: mine. I had not been feeling too well all week and if it was not for my insatiable appetite for grand prix points and the fact that I had already preregistered, I probably would have stayed home. When I stopped at Starbucks at 6 a.m. for a much-needed extra jolt of caffeine and it felt like an effort to just walk 50 feet from my car to the store, I knew this was going to be a long day...

Winner Van McCarty and Thomas Reiss (4th) Before the Start

I had run the Auburn Trail 50K race last year, but the course had been changed significantly. This year, the race would start at Overlook Park in Auburn (Not at the Cool fire station), bomb down the hill for 4 miles to No Hands Bridge, then do a double loop of the dreaded "K2" climb and the Olmstead Loop, and finally head back up the steep hill to the finish at Overlook Park. This course change also made the race quite a bit longer than 50K. In the end I measured the course to be 33.62 miles. Maybe this supposed to be payback for the very short Jenkinson Lake 50K course--ouch!

Before the start, I caught up with lots of running friends. Thomas Reiss and his friend (and ultimately the 50K winner) Van McCarty, Gretchen Brugman, Lainie Callahan-Matoon, Matt Thau, Jethro Smith, Austin Violette (crewing his friend), Joe Palubeski, Greg Bomhoff, and many others. Many runners were doing a last training run before Western States (some sections of the course run on the WS course) and others were simply taking advantage of the unseasonably cool weather to go for a nice long run.

Jethro Smith With his Very Supportive Parents Before the Start

In an effort not to completely kill myself, I settled in at about 15th place and just kept a steady easy pace. To save some weight, and because it was so cool, I decided to run without any water bottles. This strategy would have been foolish on a normal day in June, but it worked out pretty well this time. I just stopped a little longer at the aid stations, but enjoyed running blue-tooth style. If this weather stays like this for another three weeks, we could see a new course record at Western States!

I ran a few miles with Gretchen and even the downhill miles felt like work; I was just not feeling it. Yet, I did get the sense that breathing the fresh air and being outside was actually doing me some good and I felt re-energized and quite a bit better the next day.

After about seven miles I caught up with Lainie, the women's leader in the series. Lainie is now running for Team Inov-8 and I am sure she will make a great addition to their team. We pretty much paced together for the rest of the race and finished together, which was fun and it made the miles go by quite a bit faster.

That's the great thing of the ultrarunning community: you go out and enjoy the day, and meet interesting people like Lainie, a mother of four, who had some excellent stories to share and even gave me tips on how to save a bundle of money on my favorite Starbucks drink (Iced Venti Mocha)--yes, the one I have been buying for the last ten years!

The course was extremely well marked and the aid stations were close enough together for my bottle-less approach. In the final miles, we passed another five runners. As expected, the last 4.2 miles were tough and it was a long grind up the hill from No Hands Bridge. Lainie and I finished the race together in tenth place overall in 5:55, with Lainie finishing second female just ten minutes behind Gretchen who won the women's race.

As far as the ultrarunner points go, I picked up another handful of points, further increasing my overall lead in the series. Matt Thau started the race, but unfortunately had to stop halfway through the race and Jethro Smith, who finished strong despite having some stomach issues during the middle miles, moved from third to second in the overall points division. Note, however, that a new race (The Jenkinson Fall 50K--this time a real 50K) has been added to the 2009 series, so it ain't over till it's over!

Rocky on the Home Stretch

After lounging around for a while, enjoying Linda's great barbecue, I headed home (stopping at Starbucks on the way) and called home to see how Rocky had done in his age group in the triathlon. Great news: he had won! Using a smart race strategy, Rocky had paced himself on the bike, coming in second place after the bike leg. He then floated by the bike leg winner who was throwing up from going out too fast, and went on to finish the obstacle course in first place.

Part of the Obstacle Course

Due to a lack of clean swimming water, the swim leg of this race had been replaced with an obstacle course. After that, the kids had to run a mile and Rocky ran pretty much all the way and completely blew away the competition in his age group, winning by about a half mile! Next year, we'll come with the whole family!

The Bike Ride

And Sean? Well, he studied for his finals the entire weekend, so let's hope he can keep up that 4.0 GPA for a few more days!

Next Up: The Tahoe Relay with the Sean, Rocky, Hayes, Chris, and Turi this weekend. I'm already looking forward to it.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Run for the Community 10K

Hayes, Sean, and Troy Ready Themselves for the Race
After the Jenkinson Lake Trail Race, work took over and I had to travel to London to give my first three-day training course, which went very well. After that, I went to visit my parents and some friends in Holland. I was able to get one nice run in around the Bosbaan in Amsterdam, but that was about it for training. I did, however, enjoy lots of the great food and drink that Europe has to offer...
Larry and Maxson Defeyter--Larry Placed 2nd in the 5K and Maxson Ran the Kids' Run
The Run for the Community 10K would be my first race after a few weeks off. Sean and Hayes ran the 5K as a training run for the upcoming Tahoe Relay. Troy came out to run the 5K as well. The race was, once again, organized superbly, with tons of volunteers helping out. This year also featured a delicious post-race barbeque for all the participants.
"Run Lake Tahoe" Spotted in Grass Valley...
It was a hot day and I was still recovering from jet lag. After some initial positioning, V "Neel" Neelakantan slowly pulled out of sight, and won the 10K. I started out conservatively, which paid off in the end, but I could not quite keep up with Neel. Surprisingly, I was still able to hang on to a second-place finish, just ahead of Mike Buzbee. In the 5K, Dominic Castro-Wehr won, just ahead of Larry Defeyter and Thomas McAtee.

Next Up: The Auburn Trails 50K
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