Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Interview : Heli's sub three marathon PR and BQ

Runner Background

Name: Heli Carrillo (HC)
Age: 38
Location:Los Angeles
Occupation: Programmer Analyst for Kaiser Permanente

Race History
Running Since: 2004
Total # of Races: 38
# of 5k's:5
# of 10k's:7
# of 13.1's: 14
# of 26.2's: 12

Dirty Trail Shoes (DTS) first interview with a badass runner, friend and colleague, Heli.  Heli has been trying to Boston Qualify (BQ) for sometime but with his young age and gender a 3:15 is a real tough bar to reach.  His last BQ attempt was LA Marathon back in March of this year and he came in 3:35.  However, after doing more strength training, loosing 5 pounds he killed his goal time of 3:10 with a 2:58:35.  Here is how he smashed his goal.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Race Report : ITR Mt Tam Half Marathon, Nov 15, 2014

Before you remind me...I know I said I would never run Dipsea again and this year I sorta did.  However, Inside Trail Racing's 'Mt Tam' race isn't the entire Dipsea down to Mill Valley just the Stinson Beach side.  So, I only half lied!

This particular half marathon is by far the most scenic, most lush, challenging and fun I've run to-date. Period.  I had so much fun on this run that I think I'll just run this next year instead of Dipsea/Double Dipsea for the following reasons:
  • Registration was $45 for the Half Marathon
  • Half, 30k, 50k to choose from
  • Weather was cloudy with temperature range from 45-65; low 50's on course
  • Course limited to just 400 (as opposed to the 2000 that get crammed on Dipsea).
  • Lush course across babbling brooks, redwood trees, lichen/moss and Ferns
  • Challenging workout over rocks, exposed roots, steps and one vertical ladder.
  • Lots of volunteers at well stocked AS 
  • Fast finish
 I took several shots before the 30/50K went out at 8:30AM but didn't realize my iphone was down to 1% battery and didn't have enough time to charge; so, no on-course pictures!! Ugh!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Race Report : Berkeley Half Marathon : 2nd year New Course!

Last years (2013) Berkeley Half Marathon (HM) course was a point to point race where you either had to wait for a bus ride back or just walk it.  There were many complaints including:
  • the long wait for bus line back
  • how the half and 5K runners/walkers weaved between each other
  • residential area switch-backs for no reason
  • course didn't take in enough Berkeley high-lights: no Bears, no college spirit, no blue and gold!
  • the big hill which proceeded the finish

I though the race was fine and really enjoyed the beer garden at the finish - then again I normally do.
To the Race Director (RD) credit they listened and we had an even better course this year.

  • loop course that started and finished at park near parking and places to eat
  • 5k and half marathoners started at different times and finished different places
  • fewer residential switch-backs
  • several bands, golden bears and decent crowd support
  • much better course including Shattuck Ave, campus and some hills
  • no hill at finish
Like last year I bought a parking ticket online at GoPark and parked at same parking garage near the start as last year. We had roughly 5000 runners in 2013 and I was expecting more this year after the course change so I arrived ridiculously early (6:30AM).  The HM started at 8AM (actually wave 3 at 8:10AM).  I knew going in that I was not going to PR and not run faster than last years 1:54 cuz I just finished the Morgan Hill Marathon the prior week and wanted to concentrate on supporting Michelle's very first half marathon (more on that later).

Attire for this years race - no I only used two not four Hammer Gels.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Race Report : Morgan Hill Marathon, Nov 2, 2014

Maybe it was because I entered into the MHM with such low expectations for the event (not my performance but will get to that later) that I really enjoyed the race.  A fellow running friend by the name of Andrea had a bad experience with the course last year for a number of reasons:
  • It was two weeks earlier and warm that day
  • There was little wind and her nose was assalted by the shikate mushroom and horse ranches smells
  • Local residents weren't too happy about runners clogging their rural roads
  • There were few vendors at the expo and not very much of a finishers table
  • Too many switch backs on the course 
  • She placed 3rd in her age group but didn't get her bottle of wine because staff said you had to be present to receive the wine and she had left before the winners were officially announced.
This year (the race companies fifth year) I think the RD et al had made a number of important changes including creating a bib mailing option for $10 where your bib was mailed to you the week of the race and you were able to pick up your tech shirt (and bag) at a special VIP tent.  Very cool.