Gear Review: OAKLEY Flak 2.0 XL “Prizm” Sunglasses

21 01 2020

Gear Review: OAKLEY Flak 2.0 XL “Prizm” Sunglasses

I am a sucker with sunglasses! There was a time that I bought 3 dozens of sunglasses during my visit in the United States which I gave most to some of my running friends with the intention of giving them as a gift. These are cheap sunglasses that any runner can use in trail running or road races without the thought of being broken or lost along the route. In a sense, they are disposable! Up to this time, I am still using three pairs of these sunglasses alternately during my heat training workouts.

In my collection of sunglasses, they are categorized as either fashion or sports sunglasses. In my early days of running in the 80s, I would use the Sports Sunglasses of Ray-Ban until my favorite “Olympic Model” just vanished from the market. What I have now are the Classic Aviator, Classic Clubmaster, Classic Wayfarer, and the Classic Round Metal Classic but I only use them in my casual wear and local & foreign trips. I never use them in my Sports activities.

When it comes to running and hiking/outdoor activities, I would prefer to use my Oakleys. Actually, I have five (5) pairs of Sports Oakley Sunglasses and they are in different styles: Turbine; M2 Frame; Frogskins; Half Jacket; and Flak 2.0. Except for the Flak 2.0, the rest were assembled and bought in the United States.

For the past two months, I’ve been using the Flak 2.0 XL Prizm Polarized Sunglasses which I bought at Sunglass Haven in Metro Manila.  This is the second most expensive Sports Sunglass in my collection and it is worth the price of more than Thirteen Thousand Pesos! 

For the past two months that I have been using the Oakley Flak 2.0 XL Prizm Polarized Sunglass, I have observed that it is very light due to its lightweight O Matter™ stress-resistant frame which sits snugged on my nose and ears and I did not feel any movement of the whole sunglass in every step and stride I made during my runs and hikes. I did not have to make any adjustments on the sunglass once I used it from the box. I have observed that the lower portion of the lenses don’t touch the upper part of my cheeks as compared to my other sports sunglasses.

The design of the frame and the lenses are for lasting comfort and performance. The lenses don’t touch any part of my face that may cause irritation or marks to my skin. The shape and configuration of the lenses also allow some air to get inside the space between the lens and the eyes preventing the lens from getting any mist due to my warm face and perspiration. There are some sports sunglasses that have holes on the lenses to prevent such mist but in this particular model, there are none. The frame is also fitted fully well on my ears that I could not feel that I am wearing the said sunglass. The rubber stirrups are well designed not give pressure and marks on the skin above my ears.

The optics is high-tech as it is called “Prizm” which is a High Definition Optics that sharpens the vision and highlights the elements often not clear when using other lenses. Aside from seeing my surroundings in the outdoors clearer than other lenses, they are not tiring to the eyes. During day time, I use it while I am driving my car and I feel alert seeing the details of what I see in front of me  and on my side and rear mirrors.

OAKLEY Flak 2.0 XL On Top Of Mt Roosevelt

I am really amazed with the performance of this sports sunglasses as I used it for the first time in the The North Face Hongkong 50K Ultra Trail Race. It was hot and sunny day in the Wilson Trail during the event but my eyesight was very clear and refreshing that I did not have a chance to remove it during daytime. What I observed in the lenses was that my perspiration does not leave any mark once it is dried. My sweat just simply slide on the surface of the lens leaving no trace at all. During nighttime, I just simply clipped the sunglass on top of the visor of my cap and it stays snugged on my cap. I really appreciate the versatility of this sports sunglass.

The Oakley Flak 2.0 XL Prizm Polarized Sport Sunglass provided me with much comfort, clarity in my vision around me, protection from dust, elements and whatever things that would harm my eyesight, and I guess, it gives me good looks, of course! I highly recommend this product as a casual wear when you are exposed to sunlight, when you are driving, and when you are engaged in any outdoor sports. It is worth as an investment for a healthier and clearer vision and protection to your eyes.

(Note: I am not Sponsored By Oakley)





Life Expectancy

20 01 2020

Life Expectancy

Life expectancy is defined by Wikipedia as the statistical measure of the average time an organism is expected to live, based on the year of its birth, its current age and other demographic factors including gender. Life expectancy is commonly confused with the average age an adult could expect to live. Life expectancy differs from maximum life span. Life expectancy is an average for all people in the population, including those who die shortly after birth, those who die in early adulthood, and those who live unimpeded until old age. Maximum lifespan, on the other hand, is an individual-specific concept—maximum lifespan is therefore an upper bound rather than an average. 

Various factors contribute to an individual’s longevity. Significant factors in life expectancy include gender, genetics, access to health care, hygiene, diet and nutrition, exercise, lifestyle, and crime rates. Japan has the longest life expectancy of 82.84 years in 2010 while Mozambique has 41.37 years in 2010. The rest of the list of life expectancies of each country can be searched on Wikipedia or Google.

The reason why I thought of writing in this blog about this topic is when I saw a Facebook post in one of the FB Groups where I am a member. This FB Group consists of Retired Officers and Soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, of which I joined in the later part of 2019. In the said FB post, with the premise that the Life Expectancy of Filipinos is 68 years old, attached in the post is a List Of Retired Generals and Senior Officers who died before and after reaching the age of 68 years old. I was surprised that some of my Seniors, as well as, my Junior Officers had joined the List. May their Souls Rest In Peace! I am just sad that they did not enjoy their Retirement Benefits to the fullest.

As I am few months away, actually 4 months, from reaching the age of 68 years old. I feel good and happy that I am blessed to be healthy and active. However, as I “googled” the Life Expectancy of the Philippines, I found out the latest statistics/survey as seen in this picture that I grabbed:

Life Expectancy Of The Philippines

It is indicated that the Life Expectancy of the Philippines was 68.73 years old in 2000 and had steadily been increasing through the years up to 71.28 years old for the current year 2020. It appears that I still have an additional 3+ years “bonus” to live to reach the age of 71 years old.

It is very easy to say that I can project myself to reach this age and still be standing, healthy and active. But there are things that could be done to ensure that I could reach this age. In my past experience, I could say that the following reasons or tips made me as healthy and active as of today:

  1. Exercise everyday: My exercise consists of running or hiking on a daily basis for a minimum duration of one hour. 80-90% of my workouts are easy runs just to be able to perspire and let my heart do some cardio-vascular effort. I purposely hike with a weighted backpack once a week to strengthen my leg muscles, see the scenery/outdoors, and the best and quick way to perspire.
  2. Eat Simple but Healthy Real Foods: Most of the time, I eat a cup of steamed rice and one viand that has soup, vegetable, and meat/fish/chicken, all in one soup bowl. I end up eating a bite of chocolate or any fresh fruits available. If there is a chance that I could eat fresh vegetable salad, I would gladly grab the opportunity.
  3. Hydrate: I regularly drink water before, during and after my daily exercises. I even drink water regularly whenever I am reading some articles on the Internet, reading a book, or simply watching the Netflix. I make sure to take my body weight before and after my workout and closely monitor how much body liquid I have lost during the workout. I would immediately drink the equivalent weight that I have lost.
  4. Sleep Eight (8) Hours Every Night: Whether I sleep late or not, I should be able to sleep 8 hours during nighttime. If I can not make it or lacking for one or two hours, I would take a nap after lunch during daytime.
  5. Do Some Strength Training Exercises: Simple Dumbbell exercises with Light Weight; Leg Squats; Push-Ups; Sit-Ups; and Step-Ups are my main strengthening exercises which I do, at least, three times a week.
  6. Do Some Stretching Exercises/Yoga/Pilates: I usually concentrate my exercises with the strengthening of my Core Muscles through planks; some Yoga and Pilates poses. I usually do them as additional exercises during my Strengthening Exercise workouts.
  7. Take A Crap Ever Day: This should be a daily habit for me. I can not go out to run or hike or get out of the house for some errands if I can not sit “on my throne” once I take my hot coffee in the morning. My mood for the day depends on this habit. Every thing is light/easy and positive if this is done early in the day.
  8. Ignore Bad Vibes: There are lot of things to read on the Social Media that promotes Bad Vibes or things that are negative in nature. Most of the time, the sources of these negative stories and comments have nothing to do but spread such lies, inuendos, fake news, and information without any basis or evidence. These people are just happy to say bad things to other people and I really don’t understand what is in the mind of these people. There is only ONE Strategy to adopt in order to deal with these people: IGNORE! 
  9. Always Stay Positive: Because I ignore those Bad Vibes and negative comments, I always make it a point to think the positive way. What is important is that I know myself, I know my strengths and weaknesses, and I keep to myself my plans for the future. All my posts in Social Media are facts, my activities, and things that I like. Always staying positive leads to the next topic. 
  10. Don’t Stress Yourself and Simplify Things: For the past days, I have been reading the comments and exchange of comments among the members of a FB Group whose members are all AFP and PNP Retirees. The topic is about the delay in the availability the Monthly Pension for January 2020 in the ATMs. Some of the members are patient and understanding but most of them are angry of the situation. I just smile as I read the comments. In situations like this, I always say that “this is not yet the end of the world, why worry?” Politics? I don’t even dip my finger to politics. I really don’t care! As long as I receive my monthly pension, get my dividends to my investments & rentals to some properties and push through with my running activities, I really don’t care what is happening around. It is not yet the end of the world! How to simplify your life? Don’t mind the business of other people. Never dip your finger to the life or problem/s of other people. As they say, things happen for a reason! If something happens to you, deal with it. Don’t broadcast it on Social Media.
  11. Plan Ahead: Last November 2019, I have already made my schedule for 2020 and beyond, hoping that I am still healthy and active by then. However, they are still categorized as “Secret”. Hahaha!
  12. Enjoy What You Have: What else can I ask for? I am trying my best to control myself looking for places and running events where I could join in the future aside from those events where I have already registered. I am also controlling myself looking for things to be added in my collection of watches, pocket knives, business suits, and boots. I guess, I have to stop collecting them now and invest in precious metals that have the potential to increase in price in the future. 
  13. Drink and Eat Rich In Protein: As my muscles are shrinking as I grow older, I need to drink more fresh milk, soya milk, and eat more eggs! It is noteworthy to say that I don’t have any medication or maintenance medicine. Having said that, I could eat anything in moderation and make sure that I monitor my body weight regularly. I drink beer during occasions and social events but never I would allow myself to be drunk. Instead of paying for my medications (which there is none), I would spend for the service of a Professional Sports Coach to my Running as he closely monitors my training to include my Rests and Recovery. I think this is the best investment where my money is going as I am getting better, stronger, more active, and healthier.
  14. Socialize From Time To Time: As I am writing this post, one of my classmates in the PMA just died due to heart attack. We were born in the same month of May and year (1952). He should be 68 years old this coming May. We were both long-distance runners when were cadets and he was a good rival in our cross-country events as he was a member of another Cadet Company. During our early career as Officers of the AFP, we would compete each other in our Annual PMA Alumni Athletic Meets and would saw him in weekend road races in Manila in the early 80s. I have been faster than him since we were cadets. The last time that saw him was in the middle of last year during a meeting with a group of Retired Generals of the AFP in Camp Aguinaldo and I personally warned him of his “heavy” weight, thus, encouraged him to bring back his running days through walking every day. I really don’t know if he followed my advise then. I might have socialized much with my runners for the past years but I would meet my classmates and contemporaries from time to time. Most of those Generals whom I have worked with and had worked under me are now the “bigwigs” in the present administration. I guess, it is about time to visit them one by one and say “Hello” to them! In essence, I have the young ones and the old ones as my friends. And that makes my life a better and a wonderful one. 

I am A Trail Runner & Hiker

 





Gear Review: Uniqlo Heat Tech Crew Neck Long-Sleeve Shirt

17 01 2020

Some of my subscribers to this blog have requested me to feature Gear Reviews on the Apparel/Running Kit that I am using in my races, running workouts and hikes. And so for this year 2020, I am featuring my first Gear Review whose brand name is not so popular as a Sports brand name and it is considered as a brand for Casual Wear. This is the UNIQLO brand which had been introduced in this country few years ago and had expanded in almost all the key cities in the country. This is a Japanese brand and it suits to us as Asians.

For this post, I am featuring the UNIQLO HeatTech Crew Neck Long-Sleeve Shirt which I bought few weeks ago purposely as a casual wear, an inside shirt, for my Business Suit/Coat which I intend to use during my International Flights outside the country. Actually, I bought three (3) pieces of this shirt. I got the Dark Green, Red, and Blue colors. Each has a tag price of P 790, a price which is very much cheaper than any of the long-sleeve shirts with a popular sports brand name.

UNIQLO Red Long Sleeve Crew Shirt

It says in its item specification that the shirt is light and warm but not bulky. It has cropped sleeves and stay hidden under shirts or jacket, if used as an undershirt when wearing under a jacket, coat or another buttoned shirt. The comfort features include bio-warming, insulating, moisturizing, moisture-wicking, anti-static, anti-microbial and self-deodorizing. The material of the shirt is stretchy and has a shape-retaining material. I got size SMALL and it feels comfortable to my body as it is not fitted like a compression shirt.

At noon time today, I went out from my house for a two-hour hike into the hills and along the slopes of Mt Roosevelt (the highest elevation in my Playground which is almost 2,000 feet above sea level). As a part of my training, I was carrying a backpack with a weight of 24 pounds of water bottled in four 2-liter bottles and an additional frozen water in one 1-liter bottle. I was carrying also some trail foods and a cellphone.

Having started at noontime, the sun was hot and the sky was without clouds, I was surprised that I started to perspire after two kilometers of intense hiking on a continuous uphill terrain. I usually start to perspire after running for one kilometer. But with the heavy weight I was carrying, I thought I would perspire after hiking a few meters from the gate of my compound. The shirt was very comfortable as I started to perspire as I was going up to Mt Roosevelt as I passed the distance of two kilometers. Even if the color of my shirt was in dark green, the feeling of my skin from the shirt was not too hot but it was cooler than what I expected. It was only after I reached the peak of a hill where the base of an electric power tower is located that I felt that I was drenched with perspiration. I reached this peak in 1:05+hours and I decided to have this place as my turn-around point.

I decided to bring down my backpack and bring out the trail food and my cellphone at the base of this electric transmission tower for some rest, hydration and ingest my nutrition. My UNIQLO shirt was entirely wet from my perspiration but I have observed that the damp of my shirt provided me the coolness to my body. After a few minutes of eating, drinking and taking some “selfies” from my cellphone, I started my hike again and back to where I started.

Even if it was too hot while I was on my way back, I still feel that my body was so fresh and refreshed by the damp shirt. The wet shirt has a cooling effect to my body and I felt I was not perspiring while I was hiking on the downhill and uphill. I finally reached the gate of my compound after 2:17+ minutes. As I removed the shirt from my body, I have observed that the shirt did not retain much moisture and it was very light as compared to other moisture-wicking shirts from popular sports brand names where they are very heavy once they are drenched with my perspiration.

With the price of 790 Pesos, the shirt has  eight (8) colors: White, Light Gray, Dark Gray, Black, Red, Dark Green, Blue, and Navy. I am planning to look for a white color for this Uniqlo shirt in my next visit to their store.

With its cheap price, comfortability, and lightness when wet, I am highly recommending this Uniqlo shirt for Ultra Runners, whether they are on the road or trails.

Mountain Hiking With UNIQLO Dark Green Long Sleeve Crew Shirt

(Note: I am NOT a Sponsored User of UNIQLO Products)

 





Running Predictions For The Year 2020

14 01 2020

Running Predictions For 2020

Based from what I have been reading on Social Media and other written articles about running for the past days since the start of the year 2020, I have the following personal predictions about running in the local setting in the country as well as in International Running Events:

  1. Running Events will steadily increase in numbers: With the positive results of the 30th ASEAN Games where the country became the Host and the Overall Champion in the Medal Tally Results, running as a basic sports will be embraced by the citizenry as a form of exercise; as an endurance sports; as a part of training for other sports discipline; and as a part of a healthy style of living. Almost all the weekends of the year will be filled with scheduled “fun runs”; long distance running events, such as half-marathon, marathon, and ultramarathon races. Short and Middle distance races like 5K and 10K races will always be there and it is predicted that more “newbies” will join such races.
  2. Trail Running Events will increase throughout the country: As per my observation with the scheduled races at the Facebook Group “Trail Running In The Philippines” (TRIP), trail running events, whether they are short in distance or ultras, have increased in numbers and I think for 2020, more events will be staged in almost all the regions/provinces in the country where there are mountain trails. However, trail runners will tend to choose which one to join due to financial constraints or depending on what would be their goal in this selected sports. Some competitive trail runners will be joining the Local Trail Running Events with ITRA points for them to qualify in International Trail Running Events. With more of trail running events for this year, the “old” trail running events will have a decrease in participants not unless the same people who have finished the event will continuously support the said event.
  3. MILO Marathon & MILO Regional Qualifying Races are still the Number ONE Running Events In The Country: Aside from its stature as the Most Prestigious Running Events In The Country, it rewards our Local Elite Runners with Cash Incentives and Travel Expenses support for the MILO Finals Marathon Race. MILO/NESTLE as a MultiNational/Foreign Corporation in the country had been promoting Running as a Sports for the longest time for the local populace. Nobody from our Local Business/Corporate Brands or Institutions had the courage to dig deep from their “pockets” to provide a constant and continuous goal to promote healthy lifestyle through running to the local populace. MILO Runners will also increase in  number despite the fact that schools are required to bring their students to join the shorter races. For the competitive and average runners, there will be an increase in the number of runners who would like to qualify for the MILO Finals as it is becoming a symbol status for runners to be a part of the said event. Qualified for the MILO Finals had been a “bragging rights” for the average and competitive runners in the country.
  4. With more Running Events, Runners Will Remain With Slow Finish Times: With the advent of the Social Media, runners will be satisfied in joining and finishing the race event that they have joined. Pictures of runners with their Finisher’s Medal will be the usual post/status on Facebook without mentioning their Finish Time. Actually, this practice had been with us through the years and more “newbie” runners will follow this practice.
  5. Slow Finish Time Runners Will Compose Most Of The Runners In International Marathon Events: It is common in my observation that Slow Finish Runners (Sub-5-Hour & Sub-6-Hour Runners) in Marathon Races will consist most of our Runners who will be joining the World Marathon Majors Events. Their reason could be “Bragging Rights” to have joined these events as they would post their Finisher’s Medals on Facebook and other Social Media platforms. I could not understand why these average and slower runners are the luckiest persons in Race Lotteries in World Major Marathon Races. This prediction is the main reason why the Runners from the Philippines remain as one of the slowest finishers in Marathon Races as compared with other nations.
  6. But More Average and Competitive Runners Will Try To Qualify For The Boston Marathon: It can not be denied that the Most Prestigious Marathon Race In The World is the Boston Marathon and its qualifying times had been faster than before and there is a number of minutes as buffer time if a runner just qualified for his time, to make sure that he is in for the race. Hopefully, more of our Local Elite Runners will be able to qualify for the said race. For those slower runners who are active in the Social Media, they will take the window of opportunity to get in to the event as Charity Runner/s as they have the money and influence to raise for the funds needed.
  7. UTMB Races Will Remain As The Goal Of Local Trail Runners: Through the past years, the number of Pinoy Runner (Local and Foreign-based) Applicants for the UTMB Lotteries had been increasing and as a result, more Filipinos are joining the UTMB Races. The creation of Trail Running Events in the country with ITRA points had considerably increased the number of qualified Trail Runners for the UTMB. It is predicted that more Trail Running Organizers/Race Directors will advertise their races with ITRA Points as a “come-on” for those runners who plan to join the UTMB Races, as well, in other International Races. However, with financial and logistics constraints, there will still be qualified applicants to the UTMB Races who would not be able to join such events.
  8. More “Copycat” Ultramarathon Races Will Be Created: There is a tendency of Local Ultra Race Director/s to copy or outdo other RDs Routes for Road Ultramarathon Events. What is worse is when they do a “Reverse” version of what other RD had adopted as his route in his events. This bad practice will continue showing disrespect to the other Race Director/Organizer. Some RDs will also conduct farther distances for their Ultra Events with the purpose to outdo the performance of other ultra athletes. With the popularity of “Fake News”, there will also be “Fake RDs and Fake ROs” who will spend money for advertisement, send Personal Messages to invite their FB Friends, promise Prizes, Raffles, and other Incentives for the Podium Winners, attract runners with Commercial Sponsors and give “Free Kits” to Runner-Influencers.
  9. Ultramarathon Races and Popular Running “Trends” Will Continue To Be Copied By Local Race Organizers: I think I am the Race Director that started the famous “Beer Mile” in the country and since then, it was copied by others as a “fun run” and it did not prosper to come up with a some sort of National Course Record among the runners. A Fat Ass Road Run was introduced every January and it became popular for runners and I guess, there will no more of this event this year. I also introduced Fat Ass For Trail for a single edition and I was not able to get more participants that I have stop the concept. As the Backyard Ultra in the US is becoming popular, some Local Organizers had conducted their own version of this event. Hopefully, this event will thrive and grow within this year. As for the IAU concept of “loop runs” to establish Record Runs in 24 Hours and other Running Timed Events, these races are not palatable to the liking and taste of Local Runners as compared to other Asian Countries and if we have some races of this kind, I predict that we could not be able to compete and be at par with these countries.
  10. More Ultra Race Organizers and Race Directors Will Be Dreaming That Running Events Are Lucrative Business: This is “self-explanatory”.
  11. Lastly, there will always be a “Cheater” in Every Race! 

One Of The Famous Logos Of BaldRunner





Refused!

10 01 2020

For the third time, I was refused to join in one of the UTMB Races for the year 2020. I pre-registered for the CCC (101K) Race where my prevailing earned ITRA points for the past two years are qualified. After looking for the list of accepted/registered runners from the Philippines at the UTMB Website, I found out that there are 14 Runners for the UTMB (out of 50 applicants); 6 Runners for the TDS (out of 7 applicants); 4 Runners (out of 15 applicants); and 1 runner (out of 5 applicants) who will finally join the UTMB Races for this year. I am one of those 11 applicants who were not lucky enough to be included among the CCC participants.

In the formal notice that I have received from the UTMB Race Organizers which was sent to my e-mail address, they have stated that they have implemented an updated entry process for the year 2020. The bottomline is that I have to apply again for the year 2021 with a bigger chances to be included in the list of participants. There is also another option where I could join without going through the lottery if I can finish the 100-mile or 100-kilometer races in their UT Races in China (actually, 2 races in China), Spain, and Oman. Since these UT races are qualifiers for the longer UTMB race, they will not be part of my option as I want to join the CCC in the near future, if qualified and accepted. But for now, Chamonix is gone in my mind as I have to wait for the pre-registration for the 2021 UTMB Races this coming December 2020.

My plan for 2020 is to make CCC as my A-race and the rest of the trail races that I have scheduled and planning to join are part of my ITRA points accumulation; preparation/training for CCC; and a way to visit other places where I have never been. As they say, “If Plan A did not materialize, there are still remaining 25 letters in the Alphabet!”

As a teaser, I have already registered to three (3) International Trail Running Events for the year 2020 and these races will be revealed as my blogging progresses from day to day. Of course, there are also Local Trail Running Events that I am planning to join as part of my training/preparation for these International Events. My non-acceptance to the CCC Race had given me a lot of options to travel to other countries and places that I have never been before. Hopefully, Chamonix will be good for me in the year 2021, if I still have the strength at the age of 69 years old.

For those Pinoy Runners who are accepted for the 2020 UTMB Races, congratulations and wishing you the best of luck. Train properly. Enjoy the journey!

2020 Ultra Trail Mont Blanc (UTMB) Poster





Oldest Finishers Of Famous Ultra Races

13 09 2019

Through my research on the Internet, I have the following data on the Oldest Finisher of the famous Ultrarunning Races in the World:

At the Leadville 100-Mile Endurance Race in Colorado, USA, Charles Williams holds the record of the oldest man to ever complete the race, which he did at the age of 70 in 1999. He was featured in the August 1999 issue of GQ magazine, which compared his training for the race to that of a professional football player. The race has a cut-off time of 30 hours. (Wikipedia)

At the Badwater 135-Mile Ultramarathon Race which is considered as the “Toughest Footrace In The World” in California, USA, the oldest male finisher ever was Jack Denness, at the age of 75 years old and he is from United Kingdom. He finished the said race in the 2010 edition of Badwater 135. The race has a cut-off time of 48 hours. (Wikipedia)

Christophe Geiger of Switzerland, the Oldest UTMB Finisher

“Battling a 46:30 cutoff, 73-year-old Christophe Geiger of Switzerland crossed the finish line with just five minutes to spare. It was his fourth consecutive—but first successful—attempt at completing the race. The only participant in the Veterans 4 division, he became the oldest finisher of UTMB in its 13 years of existence, and was arguably the most admired and beloved person in the Chamonix valley this week.” (Runners World Magazine)

Nick Bassett, 73, finish before the 30-hour overall cut off at the 2018 edition of the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, he became the oldest finisher of the iconic 100 miler, crossing the finish line in Auburn, California, in 29:09:42 hours. Ray Piva set the previous Western States 100-Mile record back in 1998 at the age of 71. (Runners World Magazine)

Nick Bassett @ The 2018 Western States 100-Mile Endurance Race

Looking on the above mentioned data/information on the Oldest Finishers of famous Ultrarunning Events in the World, it is observed that all of them are at the age bracket of 70 years old and above. Obviously, the background of these runners are very impressive being myself as a marathon and ultramarathon runner. They are better, stronger and faster than me during their peak days and years as compared to my capability when I was younger. However, with the proper training and preparation, I could also have the goal to finish some of these races, maybe, one or two of them before I finally end my career in running. God permits.

I will let these ultra runners as my inspirations in my future endeavors in ultra running, whether on the road or trail. I am now 67 years old and I hope to run more years and be able to reach the 70s. It is time to be more healthy, more smart in training, improve on my nutrition, and consistent in my workouts. It will be a tall order to follow the footsteps of these Old Finishers but I know I can do what they have done. The process will be long, hard and challenging but it takes some guts to start and do something to attain such goal. I expect that there will be some failures and lessons to be learned from them but the goal to finish these races will be a priority. You will read my progress in this blog.





Repost: Top 3 Hot Takes From The 2019 UTMB, CCC, & TDS Races By Jason Koop

4 09 2019

The following article is a repost from what Jason Koop, Head Coach of CTS Ultrarunning, had published in their CTS website and shared in the Social Media outlets. I have received a copy of this article in my e-mail as one of the CTS Athletes for the past two years. (Note: I am on rest and recovery up to the end of this year). I hope this article will be of help to future trail ultra runners who have plans of joining this iconic race.

Repost: Top 3 Hot Takes from the 2019 UTMB, CCC and TDS Races

By Jason KoopHead Coach of CTS Ultrarunning

As has been the case for the last few years, I spent the better part of a weekend following athletes around the (newly revamped) Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie (TDS), Courmayeur – Champex – Chamonix (CCC), and Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) races. The races were packed with drama, success, failure and everything in between. From the front of the field through the final finishers, the mountain teaches us common lessons – sometimes the hard way – about how to prepare for and execute a great race.

Lesson #1- To win the race, you can be reasonably bold or just grind it out.

UTMB winners Pau Capel and Courtney Dauwalter days played out in seemingly opposing fashion, yet both ended up taking the top step of the podium. Pau took the lead early and never relinquished it, looking spry and springy all the way around the 170-kilometer course. Courtney on the other hand, quite frankly looked terrible the whole way. Normally a smiling and happy runner, she muddled, grunted and grinded her way to a 24 hour and 34 min winning time (which from a historical perspective is quite good).

As a quick comparison, go take a quick look at Update #8 and Update #9 from the final climb to Tête Aux Vents here- https://utmbmontblanc.com/en/live/utmb. It’s an easy compare and contrast of the styles from the winners of both races on the exact same climb.

What all runners can learn from this: There are several different pathways to the exact same result. If you are having a good day, take it and roll. Don’t get greedy with your race plan, but at the same time, if you are having a good day enjoy it and ride out the goodness, hopefully all the way to the finish line. On the other hand, if you are not having the best day and you have built up enough good fitness (as Courtney had), you should have enough resources to simply grind and tough it out. The day might not be all you hoped of, but you can still reach the finish line (and maybe surprise yourself along the way).

Lesson #2- Everyone has a bad day. The harder the race, the more the bad day is exacerbated.

Many of the top runners in the UTMB, CCC and TDS races did not have their days go to plan. Some of these runners ended up dropping out, while some ended up forging on for a respectable finish. Similarly, many of the mid- and back-of-the-pack runners we work with, and several I witnessed out on the course, were simply not having their best days. Although there is no easy ultra, the UTMB race in particular presents a wider variety of issues to contend with. The difficulty is compounded by the event’s length, starting at 6:00PM, running through the entire night right from the get go, copious amount of elevation gain, and the sheer energy of the Chamonix valley that drains the runners in advance of the starting gun. Generally speaking, athletes who got themselves into trouble in this race simply had a harder time bouncing back than those in the shorter (but still ridiculously hard) TDS and CCC.

What all runners can learn from this: If you are in a ridiculously hard race, do yourself a favor and play some defense early on. Aside from entering the race fit and ready, runners can do themselves a favor by running conservatively, taking some additional time at aid stations, having a good attitude, and – if there are any weather conditions ­– making sure you have enough gear to stay comfortable. All of these will give you a bit of downside protection for races where the penalty for failure is high!

Lesson #3- Multiple mistakes have compounding effects

Every runner wants to have a perfect race. Sorry to tell you, but those are rare. In a lifetime of running if you are able to scrape together a small handful of perfect races, consider yourself lucky. More often, ultramarathons are a series of problem solving exercises. Encounter some bad weather, move through it. Then, you will have a big, quad thrashing descent. After the descent, maybe your legs are giving you trouble. Your legs feel a bit better, then you have a monster climb ahead of you. Most runners can take each individual battle head-on in sequence by solving one problem and then moving to the next.

When issues pile on top of issues, the effect is greater than the sum of all the individual parts. I saw this unfold at the Beaufort (91.7 K) aid station during TDS. Nearly every runner from the front to the back of the field was tired at this point. CTS coach and eventual 2nd place finisher Hillary Allen (coached by Adam St. Pierre) even had the 1000-yard stare as she entered the aid station. As the day transpired, the runners arriving at the aid station complaining of one singular thing (I can’t eat, for example) would move in and move out quickly to tackle the next climb. The runners with a laundry list of issues (I can’t eat and my feet hurt and my quads are shot) took at least four times longer in the aid station and were moving at half the speed, regardless of where they were in the field. In this way, the runner who can’t eat but deals with it, then has their feet hurting and deals with that, and then has shot quads and deals with that, will finish far faster than the runner dealing with all three issues at once.

What all runners can learn from this: Dealing with issues during ultrarunning is inevitable. They are long and hard enough to present a host of problem solving opportunities. When these ‘opportunities’ creep up, don’t compound the problem by creating another one or not addressing the first. Address each issue as it comes up, when it comes up. ADAPT when necessary and slow down if you need to. It is far better to take a bit more time as issues creep up than continue to plow forward and create compounding issues.

I have always relished the opportunity to attend races as a coach, fan and support crew. These opportunities have always been ‘learning by observing’. The UTMB, CCC and TDS races were no exception. If you are reading, I hope you enjoyed the wonderful coverage of the event and some of these on the ground takeaways.

Carmichael Training System








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