Prompted by an internet blogging "tag" to divulge my 2009 racing plans, I return to posting. Although I haven't done any recent racing, I did finish out the year with a couple of crewing roles for friends at races in the Bay Area. These events gave me a newfound appreciation that I hope to carry forward when people are crewing for me in the future. Furthermore, both Erik's and Kyle's performances were inspiring for the kind of racing I hope to be doing in the coming year.
I'm heading into 2009 with a thought to learning some lessons from my (lack of a real) 2008 racing season. Basically, I hope to focus on a few key races where I have a good, long, gradual build-up in training for each one instead of constantly always cramming trying to get in shape. Hopefully, with a few less miles and some smarter decisions on my part, I will be more consistently healthy. In 2008 I ran 5162 miles, which was only about a dozen miles less than the year before, but I was, yet again, almost completely out of running for four of the 12 months of the year. That has to change.
Because of the possibilities of injuries and other life circumstances, I've only 100% committed financially and mentally to one race so far this year: the Western States 100. Barring any natural disasters (and injury) that should be one heckuva fun day of racing. Plenty of prognostication has already occurred elsewhere on the Internets regarding that event, so I won't go much further than to say I will be completely focused on running as well as possible there this year.
Other semi-focus races I am considering are either the Leona Divide 50 or the Zane Grey 50 in April. The main determining factor there will be whether I will have moved back to Colorado by April or not. Running and working in Ashland is pretty hard to beat, especially this time of year when most of Colorado is suffering through snow and cold temperatures. Right now there is more than 3000' of snow-free, singletrack vertical out my front door (woodchip paths within about 2 minutes of jogging) and the daily highs are typically in the 40s or even 50s. However, I love Colorado and once the weather mellows out a bit there, I know I'll be itching to get back to the higher altitudes.
I would also love to return to the Leadville 100 again this year. I still feel that faster times are still waiting to be had there, and hopefully a return to Colorado for graduate school in the fall will make Leadville a logical race choice (assuming post-WS recovery goes well).
Other than that, I'm really just going to play it by ear. In the meantime, I'm going to keep enjoying all that southern Oregon has to offer.
Good stuff. Thanks for the update. Ashland appears to be the new ultra-running capital.
Would love to see you guys race the Lithia Loop Marathon out there next year as it's the US Trail Marathon Champs.
Don't discount the weather here (Boulder, CO) so quickly. It's been mainly in the 40s-50s, even reaching 60 for the majority of the time.
Good to read fresh stuff on your blog; stay with the consistent running and writing and good luck to you in this year.
Bah, Ashland is for softbellies who like it easy!
Erik might run it, but that damn midget Max King will crush it and make any of us look silly.
Believe me, after seven years I know and love the Front Range weather. It's honestly my favorite in terms of year round climate. I miss COS quite a bit.
You may be right...take care of that hamstring!
anton i completely agree regarding colorado. i go to school in seattle after growing up on the front range; and while the mild winter months here are great for training, i can't wait to once again taste thin air.
are you planning to go to CU for grad?
Gonna be fun watching WS this year!
CSCO misses you, nobody knows what to do with their day old bagels anymore!
anton: thanks so much for the update. i read through all your archives and was awaiting an update. cheers to an excellent year of injury free running.
Are you having 1 day in the week doing core strength work - On your centre and upper body??
Good luck at WS mate...
Anton, I actually started a WS topic on kickrunners and can say this year's race has an incredible field. One only hopes that each and everyone gets there healthy to gives a great show. That includes you. Push the core work, go hard when you need to, but treat the easy days. well "easier". You are blessed there in Ashland. Take advantage of those clear trails. COS will be there. Good luck!
Anton, I am very glad you are focusing on Western States as the big priority race for this year. It will be an honour for me to to line up at the starting line of this event knowing that this will truly be a race for the ages.
Cheers, Paul Charteris
anton...good to see you are running with the wisdom of the great horned owl, the serenity of the banana slug, the fluidity of the man of war, and the homosexuality of the fruit bat.
You have started posting again.
Thank you for doing so.
Why don't you run a real race against real runners like the one in Hawaii against runners like Matt Carpenter and Uli? You would be crushed! You aren't that fast.
Why don't you run a real race against real runners like the one in Hawaii against runners like Matt Carpenter and Uli? You would be crushed! You aren't that fast.
Sounds like someone needs a nap.
Who needs a nap? It's true. Why do so called top ultrarunners always shy away from real competition. Runners like Jurek and Anton always hide from real competition. Why doesn't Anton run against Max King? He's afraid to embarassed and then no one will like him? The good runners like Carpenter, Uli, Kyle Skaggs, Karl Meltzer, Dave Mackey never shy away from world class competition.
I'm not going to start a war on someone elses blog, but apparently "redmaize" you have neglected to see who Anton has run against during his races. If he shys away from competition then why is going back to WS to run against what will most likely be the strongest field "ever". And by the way, I not sure many runners out there could run with the likes of Uli or Carpenter. They are who they are.
Too bad Carpenter and Uli aren't there. Nonetheless, lets be objective about the matter here. I predict Mackey or Jurek to win it. In all honesty, Anton will NEVER be at the level of Carpenter or Uli. Simple as that. It seems that some people shy ways from real competition. And beating Carpenter or Uli when they are 50 years of age doesn't really count as beating them per se. You have to beat them in their prime.
I know many runners that could run with Carpenter and Uli: Bekele, Tergat, Gebreselassie, Wanjiru, Hall...Paula Radcliffe. Enough said!
We ultrarunners neglect that fact and on purpose that our sport is very shallow. We assume that the winner of the WS 100 or whatever other ultra merits world class status. I'm not ashamed to admit that ultrarunning is not as deep as road marathoning. If it was deep we would have more Carpenters and Uli...People like Jurek, Anton, or Skaggs would be nobodys.
I agree with you on some main points. I blankly stated that I feel Mackey would win ws (on ajw's blog). I totally agree that the overall talent of running ability is shallow in our sport [for now]. But looking at or sport and competitors as it stands today, Anton is a main player. I think it will play out at ws this year. In road running all the races for the most part are predictible in terms of terrain and difficulty. As Dave Mackey lucidly pointed out to me, there are ultra runners suited to certain distances, terrain, altitudes and climates. That, I feel, is what sets our sport apart from road racing.
Bring Gebrselassie to ws100 and I'd bet that Anton not only wins but sets a course record. We're talking about 100 miles in tough terrain. I have friends who eat me up in 5k's but I own them in 50 miles or 11,000 feet altitude.
Anton lacks training smarts (sorry Anton) but he's earned respect in races.
Gebreselassie would destroy Anton and everyone else at WS100. With the proper training. We ultrarunners need to stop trying to make our sport bigger than it really is along with it's best runners. Either way, you look at the top road marathoners in the world and their is no predictability whatsover. Ultrarunning may never reach the caliber of road marathoning and you know what? Who cares. Besides, most people who run ultras are affluent and white. What does that say? It's a rich white man's hobby. People like Anton or Jurek will NEVER beat Paula Radcilffe or run 2:15 for the marathon. Lets give credit where its due. To each their sport. Most trail runners but down roadrunners. Why? Because we can't run as fast as them! I rather win the Olympic Marathon than WS100. This bs nonsense that trail running is this and that is because we can't run that fast. If Anton had the genetic ability to have run at a Division I school and be successful he would not be doing ultras right now per se. Think Josh Cox.
The formats for running marathons and trail ultras are completely different. Marathon runners train to run 2 and bit hours and 100 feet is a serious hill. Ultra runners train to run for many more hours over much more difficult terrain and usually high up.
In my own (very average) experience, trail running has hardly made me slower on marathons, but on tough technical mountain trails, I'm hours ahead.
I think a better comparison would be with 100k and 100 mile races where I think trail ultra runners are competitive.
Ultra running is also in a growth phase now, and people like Anton (whom I don't know, but has inspired me) are lowering records, running in competitive fields and pushing our understanding of what can be done.
Were Geb or other greats to take to ultras, they'd probably do great, but they'd have to want to. Ultras are also a lot about mental strength, and that is where the hours really start to add up.
Ultra running is hardly the only competitive format where people "avoid" each other... Geb...?
Anton, hope your training finds a good balance this year.
I whole heartedly disagree with you that ultrarunning is a rich white man's sport. I don't make much money, I can't think of anyone I respect in the sport who makes much money.
I think we're say the same thing two different ways. I love this sport because people run it for diffent reasons that marathons and shorter distances. I think most people do the same in ultrarunning. Run a couple insanely difficult races and you start to understand there's more to it than times, splits and medals. Meltzer's understood this for a long time. Running 100 miles is fucking hard. Add in 25k of vert. and now we're talking a whole different world. I don't understand why or how people try to compare the top marathon runners to the top ultra runners all the time. It's like comparing the 100 meters to marathon. It's different and the athletes who do well in one or the other know and respect this. At sub 15 minute 5k runner does not make a badass 100 miler. They ARE DIFFERENT and excel in seperate sports. I'm not saying running a 15 hour 100 mile race is harder than running a 2:15 marathon. I'm saying they are BOTH hard and different people are capable of doing one OR the other. There are few people who cross over. The only one I can think of who comes even close is Howard Nippert, but he is NOT the best ultrarunner and NOT the best marathoner (2:19). But he is very good at both (26.2 miles and 62 miles), as long as the terrain and vertical climb don't get too crazy.
If there are so many marathoners who could beat Carpenter, why didn't they show up at the North Face Champs for $10k.??
-Because they are different sports.
We like to believe they are different sports. Fundamentally they are not. They are the same. Just like math and physics, if you can do math you can do physics...If you can do physics you can do math. Elite marathoners didn't show up at hawaii because $10k can be made at a fast 10k race. I'm an ultra trail runner and I realize that if I could run a sub 2:10 marathon I'd be running against Hall, Wanjiru, Dos Santos etc. No need to put down road marathoners. Josh Cox proved us all wrong years ago.
Elite marathoners didn't show up in San Francisco because they would have been curled up wimpering on the side of the trail after running 5 min miles for 29 miles, while Carpenter glided by.
We obviously disagree and there's nothing wrong with that.
Carpenter yes...Maybe...Hall and Wanjiru...Are tough. It's obvious you have never ran for a Division I school or competed against olympic caliber runners. It's ok though. Not all have.
Redmaize sounds like a troll. Wikipedia: "An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the intention of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion."
I have the right to say what I want. Just because I don't worship Anton or try to live vicariously through anyone...America is full of followers. In the Army they taught to be leaders. I have no need to follow anyone. I even laugh at our politicians. I think they should make every female and male serve in the military for at least 2 years! Just be yourself and don't copy anyone.
Redmaize (are you able to disclose your identity?)
I'm not quite sure I can find anywhere in this string of comments where anyone said anything negative about road racers. One of my good friends ran 13:50 5ks, 29:00 10k and went to the Olympic trials. I'm in awe at his ability. I also think Anton stands out in ultrarunning. You're original comment just blurted out of contxt that Anton should run against better competition and that he's not that fast. Anton's stated his focus on WS. He gives lucid and realistic accounts of his races in his reports without belittling other runners.
Putting down other people unprovoked is not being a leader. And the Army is one of the worse places I can think of to glean any leadership abilities.
I agree the WORLD is made up of mostly followers but there's a similar weakness in criticizing without point or purpose.
About the only thing you've written that has any weight is that you have a right to say what you want. It doesn't make it worthwhile though.
Thanks for responding to the tagging, Anton! Glad to see you back active in the bloggosphere and more importantly, so bullish and focused on Western States.
I'm just sorry that you couldn't fit a trip to France as we discussed. Next year? Also, sorry to see how some comments turned out about the competitiveness (or lack of for some!) of ultra versus road marathon.
BTW, I believe Uli and Matt could still get in WS if they wanted through one of the upcoming Montrail Cup events, right? There is still room in AR.
Well, ultra is surely evolving. Like for instance, UTMB which has not filled yet when it was used to fill up on line within minutes, like WTC.
All the best for a great 2009, Anton, and to the pleasure of seeing you on the trail, from behind! ;-)
How has Anton gleamed? Look at the shallowness of ultrarunning. If he was beating the Carpenters and Ulis then I would shut my mouth up! I'm willing to give Anton $100,000 if in 3 years he runs a sub 2:10 marathon.
Ok, you're right redmaize.
Anton: please just stop running and writing about it because you are a worthless human who has nothing to offer and should thus crawl under a rock and wither. As a matter of fact every runner, other than the handful in the world who can run under 2:10 marathons (because that's the only meaningful goal in running), should throw out their running gear and go beat their kids, then watch The Price Is Right reruns.
This has been a thriving and useful discussion, like explaining worm holes with a six year old (no, not the worms in the dirt).
You remind me of the idiot in Harlem who used to blog about how road runners are superior to trail/ultrarunners (in fact, your poor grammer is very similar to his). That's why I enjoy trail running; it's more about the people and environment and less about putting others down.
Not only are you stupid but a racist! How's the KKK? I bet you voted for Mccain and Palin huh?
Footfeathers> That's why I enjoy trail running; it's more about the people and environment and less about putting others down.
Anton putting people down?? Geez, what has this thread turned to? Let go back to running, and stop putting others down with your comments. Please...
Redmaize, in case you failed geography as well as English, Harlem is a real neighborhood in a little town called New York City and that's where the blogger I was referring to is from, you moron.
Jean, before shooting your mouth off, read the string of comments completely. I was not talking about Anton when discussing people putting others down; I was talking about the dimwit, redmaize.
Sheez, no wonder or country is in bad shape.
I have been to Harlem you hillybilly. Yes you are a racist!
CORRECTION: Redmaize is a troll. And a bully. Ignore him and he will go away.
The day they give out million dollar contracts to ultrarunners Anton will indeed deserve some of your criticism (red maize) Until then sign your name and PLEASE try to come up with a topic that hasn't been covered.
You sign your name and I'll do the same. I can't go away...I'm inside all of you...
redmaize, what ultra runner pissed in your cornflakes this morning?
LOL! You people are so pathetic. I'm an ultrarunner.
redmaize, what races, dates, times and places did you get in these ultra races?
You point is? I won them. You point is?
Anton, I'm looking forward to seeing you crush the WS100 course record this year!
By the way, redmaize, I think Gebrselassie could probably narrowly win WS100 with the correct training, but I GUARANTEE that if you put him against Yiannis Kouros in ANY race of 100 miles or longer, no matter how hard Haile trained, he would get crushed. Yiannis has SPLIT a marathon nearly fast enough to gain an olympic entry in a 100k event, so I doubt VERY highly that Haile could come close to touching him. For example, look at Lance Armstrong in the Leadville 100 bike race. In normal endurance bike events, Lance was like the Haile of biking. However, put him out to 100 miles on trails and he can't win, even if he was in very good shape. 100 miles in running is definitely more serious than in biking, so IDK why you think Haile would be so amazing. It's a completely different race. Speaking of Haile vs Anton, though, I think that even if Haile did get into his best endurance shape possible, it would be extremely close. 13:32 on trails is pretty much insane and it's only 16 minutes off the trail world record. Very few runners would be able to pull that off no matter how good their training was. I bet that if Anton went back to Rocky in a year or 2, he might be able to nail that 13:16 WR performance. As Arthur Lydiard said, it's not the best athlete that wins, but the best trained. So, no matter what, your point is essentially irrelevant. If Haile trained for and ran in a 100 miler, we could talk about it. Until then, it doesn't matter.
Anton can't beat Matt Carpenter's record! You must be on meth! Lance wasn't in shape when he got beat on the mt. bike race! Haile or Bekele...Shit even Ryan Hall would destory not just Anton but Jurek!
This is all quite entertaining, but who really cares who would win a hypothetical race. What difference does it make.
Redmaize, if you feel that Anton is such an inferior runner, why do you waste your time reading and posting on his blog?
this discussion, (if you can call it that), reminds me of the move "Stand by Me", where the kids were arguing about who would win in a fight between superman or mighty mouse. This is pathetic.
The best of luck in WS100. I will be at the finish line volunteering. Hope to see you come in first place.
I never said Anton was inferior. I just said our sport of ultrarunning is blown out of size. I respect Anton for not pressing the delete button on my comments for that I now like him. That's what democracy is all about! Kick ass at WS100 Tony!
ok redmaize, i'm going to be one more sucker to take the bait:
Being "the best" at something has nothing to do with he (or she) who has the most potential to perform at the highest level and everything to do with he (or she) who HAS PERFORMED at the highest level. Tony has proven that he is one of the best ultra runners in the country right now. That doesn't mean that there aren't hundreds of people out there who could beat him, but until they do he is better than any of them.
as far as talking about him ducking competition with the likes of Matt C. and Uli S. that seems a bit ridiculous considering that in the past two years Tony has run about twice as many ultras as Matt and Uli combined, and in the one ultra that Matt ran this year he was unlisted on the roster and few knew he was running until the morning of the race. I don't mean this as a knock on Matt in any way, but it'd be pretty hard to accuse anyone of ducking away from competing with someone who runs one race (or less) a year and no one even knows he's going to be there. and the fact that tony's planning to line up at western states this year should make it pretty obvious that he has no interest in ducking competition. in fact a couple of the only "elite" guys not (at least as of now) planning to line up at western states are the names that you mention as the guys who tony tends to avoid.
Yes geoof or goof...You came too late to the discussion. Go back to your coffee shop where you argue green eco-philosophy but at the same time drive a big SUV and run ultras...No one exact for your opinion hillybilly. Quiet! Out of here boso!
in other words you have nothing to refute the points that i raised. that's kind of what i figured.
Sure goof whatever you say.
Apparently this troll(redmaize) knows nothing about ultra running at all. He just steps on Geoff who recently won the HURT 100, and apparently knows what he is talking about. I mean this dude has probably never toed the line of an ultra event in his sorry life, let alone a 5K race. Like everyone else in contention as WS, Tony will give it his best shot to win the thing. I hope there are 5-10 guys shooting for the win covering the last 25 miles. That is what will be exciting. By the way, isn't maize typically referred to as this: "The color maize or corn usually refers to a shade of (yellow)".
Yes, I have run a few ultras. Sorry for not having too much machoman in me typical of people who feel in less...typical of men. In college I ran for a division I school...I was the 4th-6th man person on the team.
If Haile had a blog, redmaize would be there telling Haile he's a good for nothing because he couldn't beat Anton at a 100 mile race
Haile Gebreselassie doesn't have a blog...Could be that he really is the real deal? Unlike we ultrarunners who make our semi-top runners bigger than they actually are?
how do you reconcile Anton's 2008 American River 50m result? Sub 7min miles, breaking Uli's CR.
@ redmaize : you claim to be an ultra runner or whatsoever but let me tell you one thing, the amount of stuff you've posted highlights one thing, you are NOT a trail runner and I'm afraid will never be.
There is no easy way to says that but there is much more than pure performance in trail running. The spirit of trail running itself is way beyond anything you could ever experience in track and field, cross country or road racing.
There is this love of the outdoors, this enthusiasm in sharing about our passion (because believe it or not it quickly becomes a passion) and listening to each other's experiences and stories about trail running.
During a trail running race, no matter how competitive you are, you will always do a little something to assist anyone in need, cheer for the people you overtake or who overtake you…
Have you ever found this in any of those faster road running or cross country running guys? NO and that’s a fact.
I’m not trying to blame anyone here (I totally admire road/XC runners too) just trying to make a clear statement that practices are totally different. You, trying to compare those disciplines, are just like as a kid wondering who from an elephant or a hippopotamus is stronger; this doesn’t make sense at all. You have to understand that you’re totally missing the point here and I feel sorry that your quest of performance gets you so angry, but let it go…
I will not waste my time arguing with you so this is my first and only post but please give us a break…
You just don’t belong here.
Anton, keep on riding the wind, you rock at it.
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