Saturday, December 31, 2011

MHM Race Report Kim Love*Ottobre

“Some of the world’s greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.” -Doug Larson

The start of the Monkey Hills Marathon was cold. I grabbed my hydration vest, since that's where the car key was, and my gloves and ran across the field to find the trail.
Which was a bit hard to do, as I don't approach it from this angle, but Scooby and Erin's lights were coming back at me, so I began my long journey of the day, the first downhill on Pinball Ridge.

The Monkey Hills Marathon is a very simple premise.  Run the 0.9 mile section of trail that has been christened the Monkey Hills, for a total of 29 laps, to make a marathon.

3 Hills on the course, 6 climbs per lap.  6 x 29= 173 climbs.

452 feet of gain per lap, so 452 X 29 = 13,108 feet of gain.

Mike Dobies, the genius who dreamed up this idea, was also smart enough to not attend the MHM for the second year in a row.

It was dark at 6 am, so I had the light on my head. I climb the last hill at the north end of the loop, and begin to run, and then WHAMMMO! I hit the tree branch and fall on my ass.

Yes, I ran head on into this branch. It hurt quite badly, and for a brief moment I was scared my day of running was over. And all this in the first loop! The pain subsided, and I gingerly got up, and continued down the trail. At least I didn't damage my light.

With this very short loop it was easy to see the other runners-the early starters were Jim, Bob, Jonathan, and Erin. The trail at first was slick and greasy, and I thought for sure it would deteriorate as the day went on, with the myriad of runners on the trail.

It began to snow after the sun came up

and the wind increased. This actually seemed to help the footing on the trail; the mud dried out a bit.

Running-if you could call it that-this was more like climbing a marathon was simple. It was easy to step into the zen and be a little startled to see Scooby passing me yet again. (He passed me alot!)

Dan Kuzma showed up, and the time passed more quickly with him. Erin, Dan and I stayed together for quite a few loops, chatting the entire time.

Todd "Cheesburglar" Hanks showed up at 1pm with the promised fast food, and the cheeseburger tasted pretty good!

But around this time, I hit my low spot of the day. I was slowing way down. I was also wet on the top, and starting to get a good chill. I made a trip over to my car and changed my entire top, which did help.

I did not eat and drink properly for this effort, despite passing the aid station twice on the loop. The short distance made it deceptively easy to think, yeah, I will grab a cookie next time through... I should have actually been eating more and drinking more.

We were keeping track of our splits on the clipboard at the Happy Hill Aid Station
and it was good to start actually noting what lap I was on.

Bob and Slim joined me for their last few loops, and then Todd accompanied me for my last two loops, so the end of the Monkey Hills Marathon did not suck as bad as I thought it would. I cheerfully said goodbye to the tree that tried to take me out, way back in the beginning of the day.

I finished first female-or first broad, whatever, and also DFL. 10 plus hours for a marathon? Believe it. I was just beat. I have not been that tired from a run in a long time!

There were four finishers from the December 28 MHM, which brings the entire MHM finishers to five. Slim is the only runner idiot to have repeated the marathon effort. 

Resolve to Volunteer

A good 2012 resolution would be to get involved on the other side of the aid station table-consider volunteering for a race!

All race directors need volunteers, and cannot manage a race without the people who are giving their time on race day to direct traffic, issue bib numbers, mark trail, stuff schwag bags, mix up Gatorade and Heed, stand in the cold-or the hot sun-for hours, refilling water bottles, cajoling and scolding runners to go on with their race.

Volunteers can be found the day before the race, loading totes with aid station supplies, sorting shirts according to size, sorting Excel spreadsheets with bib numbers.

Race morning they are up early. They are sitting in the cold, checking runners in, grabbing the right size shirts, making sure runners have safety pins, answering questions about the course, where the portopotties are.
Volunteers are standing in the road at intersections, making sure runners are aware of the road crossing, motioning cars to slow down, pointing runners in the correct direction.

Volunteers are at the Aid Stations..for hours. They are cutting up sandwiches, fruit, monitoring water and Gatorade levels.  They are refilling your water bottles, making sure you eat, making sure you have water.  They are keeping an eye on you, assessing your condition, maybe suggesting they get the hell out of your aid station and get down the trail.

Some races now have a volunteer requirement in order to enter the race: Western States, Vermont, Wasatch, Buckeye Trail 50K.

If you are new to running, trail running, or ultras, consider volunteering. You will certainly get pumped up as you see these folks filter through your aid station.

A seasoned runner who has never volunteered? Maybe this is the time for you to sit out a race, and help on the other side of the table.  See what the volunteers are doing for you.

And you bring education to the table. You know what that runner is going through on the other side, whether it be a 50K or a 100 miler.
You know what they need-salt, food, a pep talk, a "4 miles to the next AS" speech, how good they look. You know, by a look, when to suggest they sit down down in the chair for a moment to regroup and rehydrate.

You've got the knowledge of 'them' and know what they help them.

NEO TC will need volunteers for the YUTC Race in September. We will be sending out an email, in the summer months, asking for some additional help.  If you are not running the race, please consider putting in a few hours of volunteering.  It's a little work and a whole lot of fun.

Friday, December 30, 2011

MHM Race Report Jonathan Bolha

I wasn't really sure how i would do in the MHM, but i know i love running and hiking up mountains and this would almost be a mixture of both.  I ended up getting spoiled with some snow too.  I began going at a good pace with Erin, but realized i like to walk faster up the hills so i went ahead after a few laps.

  I liked how there were lots of us out there and we got to cheer each other on as we passed by every lap.  I also liked not having to carry water since i have access to it twice every mile.  My garmin died after about 23 laps, so i spent some time looking for another watch in the car.  It was my fault as i forgot to charge it the night before.

I enjoyed getting to talk to most everyone a bit about some of their running experiences or plans for the upcoming year.  I don't have any 100s planned yet but I would be up for trying one someday, probably after i have a couple more 50s under my belt.

  I never really hit the wall either until i began my 33rd lap then decided i had enough.  My 29th lap, i ended up standing around and talking to Lenny and Kelly for a few minutes not realizing that this was a timed event.  I made up for it by running the 30th lap harder than the rest.  30 was my goal anyways, so i was glad to have fun that one the fastest.  I slowed down for sure for a few near the end to more of a comfortable pace.  My feet actually hurt a bit after 25 laps and i thought about switching shoes but then someone they felt better and i forgot about them. 

In conclusion:  I enjoyed this event much more than i thought i would.  Going out and back 30 times up the toughest trails in mill creek wouldn't have sounded like much fun last year but to no surprise i just loved it!  Thanks for letting me participate with you on such a unique and crazy event.  I've learned quite a bit and know there's still much to learn,


Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Monkey Hills Pics

Race day dawned, cold. About 30 degrees.

Scoobi and Gombu once the sun had come up. We started the race at 6am.

Conditions were greasy on the first three or four loops. Then it began to snow, and the temperature dropped. This helped the footing on the hills.

Slim on the trail

Gombu heading uphill on the north end.

The Monkeys! Aid was staged out of the Happy Hill Aid Station.

Bob Combs and Dan Kuzma heading out of the HH AS.

Dan Kuzma, Kimba, Erin Schumacher.  She is really not that short.

The Maheau Family joined us after a few hours.

Ultra Kellie looking cool!

Audrey did the most running out of everyone on the trail. She made it look easy.

Lenny coming through! Look out!!!

Trail got a bit congested in the afternoon.  Showing proper etiquette for the downhill runner.

More trail support for Slim.

First female. Also DFL.

We sent our splits to our data analyst, who promptly gave results:

Times and race reports forthcoming.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

King of the Miles-Paul Lefelhocz

The dust and dirt has now settled from NEO TC "King of the Miles" 2011 contest, and one person ran away with the clear title of King of the Hill Miles.

That would be Paul Lefelhocz, who ran, in "races" 1085.2 miles.  These were all ultra events, including 8 100 mile-or longer-events for Paul.  Out of his 100 mile-or longer-races, Paul finished 4 of 8, a good 50% finish rate.  It should be noted that one of his 100 mile races was The Barkley Marathons. 

His longest race was the Last Annual Vol State Race, 314 miles across the state of Tennessee.

A comparison on what a huge accomplishment this is:

Trail Runner Magazine also holds a Trail Running Trophy Series Contest, with a point structure far more convoluted that the Rules Committee KOTM contests.  Their 2011 series has concluded.
In a contest, which is open to runners all over the North American continent (that means Canada too), their Mile  Mogul winners were only able to cover 677.4 (for males) and 429.5 (for females).  Paul almost beat their combined mileage!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Mike Keller Race Report East Port of Spain 10k - 18DEC2011

The pressure was on me, from me. I PR’d in the 10k last weekend and felt like I could PR again, with this Sunday’s race starting earlier (630am) and being cooler. I did take note that the humidity is actually HIGHER in the morning though as the air temp is cooler, so I expected it to be a struggle to PR if I even could.

This race was a great deal at just 5 dollars US! I reminded myself of that before I got carried away with any disappointment in the race...the only two things that even irked me were the 32 minutes late start (due to the assigned police officers all showing up late) and there were less water stops than I was told. (3 vs. 4) Still...FIVE dollars!

Once we started it was two laps around Memorial park (1.6 km) and then one lap around the larger, adjacent Queen’s Park Savannah (beautiful!) before entering city neighborhood streets for the last 5.5 km or so. The humidity showed early and I was drenched by only 3km in or so, holding a nice early pace of about 5:00 per km...I didn’t think this would hold throughout though.

The sun and heat were killing me (715 am here) already by 5km and once we entered the neighborhoods I found more downhill segments, and much more shade and got a few kms of relief. Soon I was just hot and working hard again though, and I began the second half job of walking down runner after runner. A few obliged just as I reached them and switched to a walk, making me blow by them. A few put on a spurt, only to die out minutes later and have me pass them. Down the home stretch, I could literally see the finish line when the urge arrived too strong to deny.

I always said I wanted to be able to puke on the run, without stopping or breaking stride, because then I would be so tough. For now, I am not. I found I instinctively HAD to pull over, and after three strong dry heaves, I hurled three more good wet pukes to the hot sidewalk. A few hard spits for good measure, and I raised my head to find three guys I had passed in the last kilometer had snuck by while I tossed chunks.

Well, that just gave me the chance to pass them AGAIN! Two of them anyhow.

I bore down, hit the pavement hard and passed two of them again to hit the finish line in 52:12, another new PR (notably in my Forget the PR tshirt, always a special added bonus.) As soon as I crossed the timing mat, I pulled over to a spot away from the chute and broke another PR right there. TEN more vomits. (yes I am stupid enough to count.) A total of 13 Vomits in the last half km broke my previous PR of 10 vomits just after the Lake Chelan (WA) marathon! Who gets to set two PR’s all within the same few minutes!!! Only a true NEO Trail member in my opinion!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

"..And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.'"

"...And that's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Crooked Road 24 Hour Race December 3

Sometimes the Facebook stalking pays off.  I just learned that NEO TC member Dan Kuzma ran the Crooked Road 24 Hour Race December 3. This was held in Rocky Mount, Virginia.

Dan finished in second place, with 109.29 miles in 24 hours. Congratulations to Dan!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Club discount for Fools Trail Run

Fools 50k & 25k Trail Run is set for April 1, 2012.

NEO Trail club members in good standing (dues paid through 2012) are eligible for a $20 off discount to the event.

To claim your discount, ensure your name is up-to-date on the club roster and if necessary renew your membership:

Then send an email with your first and last name to:

The race director will send you a promotional code to claim your $20 off.

Entry opens on January 3, 2012 at Noon ET.


Monday, December 19, 2011

URINEO Trail Fest Recap 2011

This was the 6th Annual URINEO Trail Fest for NEOTC.
There was again, good weather, and snowflakes to complement the beautiful trails of Mill Creek Park, Youngstown.

As always, great trails and great Camaraderie in the Cabin.
If there is anyone who didn't enjoy themselves at URINEO, please let us know.

URINEO 2011 Results
17 December 2011

*Rich (Monkey Spanker) Vrboncic – MHM 9:43 (+1 Monkey Mile)

Cam Baker – 6 loops (+1 Monkey Mile with Rich)
*Jonathan Bolha – 6 loops (first 50 mile run)
*Jeff Musick – 6 loops (first 50 mile run)
Todd Hanks – 6 loops

*Kellie Maheu – 4 loops (first Ultra)
Aaron Shoemaker – 4 loops (plus a few extra)
Cindy Sanchez - 4 loops
Jeff from Pittsburgh – 4 loops
Jim Harris – 4 loops (+7 Monkey Miles with Rich)

Shannon Fisher – 3 loops
Tara Schweitzer – 3 loops
Wild Bill Wagner – 3 loops (wandered aimlessly throughout MCP wondering where he was)
Grandpa Mike Kazar – 3 loops
Lenny Maheu – 3 loops
Bob (President for Life) Combs – 3 loops (+ some more)

Lloyd Thomas - 2 loops (+3 Monkey Miles)
Kimba Love*Ottobre – 2 loops
Audrey Maheu – 2 loops
Barefoot Johnny O – 2 loops
Pepper – 2 loops
Taylor Sowers - 2 loops?

Cyrus Taylor – 1 loop (+5 miles)
IronVal Watson Sweeney – 1 loop
Gary Glitter – 1 loop
Nick Tripi – 1 loop
Kelsey Dickey – 1 loop (first Trail Run at MCP)
Eric Harris – 1 loop
Heath Harris – 1 loop (FKT? 64:24)
Joe Moose Novicky – 1 loop
Jayne from Salem – 1 loop
Megan from Steubenville – 1 loop
Tim Knapp - 1 loop
Bekah Billock – 1 loop (with Lake Newport)
Marjie Billock – 1 loop (with Lake Newport)
Jim Billock – 1 loop (with Lake Newport)
Nick Billock (the Admiral) – 1 loop (with Lake Newport)
Patrick Fisher - ? (5 hours total time on feet)

Beth Harris – no loops (8 road miles)
Allison Holko - no loops
Shubi – no loops

"THE King" Lefelhocz - 15 MHM laps (plus Cabin to south end of Monkey Hills and back)
Brian Musick – 12 Monkey Hill laps

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Monkey Hill Marathon

Rich at the beginning of his marathon

Congratulations to Rich Vrboncic, 2nd finisher of the Monkey Hill Marathon, which was held at URINEO.

Rich still looks pretty good after his ordeal!

The next Monkey Hill Marathon is being held Wednesday, December 28,  2011.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Race Report: Mike Keller Mayaro Triathlon 10k

Knowing I would be in Trinidad on vacation for almost three weeks, I looked for a race to run, hoping for a marathon (there was one in Barbados, but I didn’t want to leave Trinidad.) So I found the Trinidad RoadRunners club site advertising a 10k race in Mayaro which is on the far eastern side of the island, along the coast. Signed up right way, it was 40 dollars TT, which converted to USD is just under 7 dollars to run a 10k. No tshirt, but who cares?

I tried to train somewhat leading up to the race, and did run 60 miles over the two weeks leading up to the race here, but wouldn’t say I “trained” like some kind of goal race. I was happy to do those miles though just to be prepared for the heat and humidity. Come race day, the start was at 4pm, and we started about 5 minutes late.

I knew ahead of time I was going to suffer with the heat and humidity (86 degrees, and high humidity along the coast) but would do my best. I also had the misfortune of stubbing my second toe pretty badly about two hours before the race playing barefoot football (soccer) with some young kids from my girlfriends family. I would just have to deal with it, it’s not like I haven’t ran countless miles before with my toes throbbing from my messed up toenails...:)

Started out near the back of the pack which gave me the always happy result of only passing people throughout the race. I passed probably 30 people over the first 5k, and only one lady passed me back at around the 7k mark, and I just couldn’t recapture her. There was a water station every 2km and I took one at the first two, but after that, I resorted to taking two at the 6k, and 8k marks, and pouring one over my head, and drinking the other. Unlike the states they had no trash bins for the bottles of water they handed out, so people just tossed the bottles to the curb.

I really hurt to keep my pace up over the last 3-4 km, but I just had to refuse to back off, and before long the turn into town and the finish line were in sight. I know I used up all I had in that weather, but had hoped to be down around 50 minutes. In any case, I still PR’d by about 4 minutes over my older and weak 10k PR and came in at 53:28 for a pace of like 8:37 per mile.

After the race I found another 10k to sign up for in Port of Spain, Trinidad and even bargained the race fee down to 30 dollars TT from 40 since I was signing up “early.” So I get to do this one for 5 bucks USD equivalent. (6:1 exchange rate.) Let’s hope for another PR, even if just a small margin...this next race starts at 630 am, so it will be cooler, although that also means the humidity will be higher....

Also after the race, I approached the woman I couldn't catch and told her how well she did holding me off...we got to chatting, and her husband (who was there as well) is an ultrarunner with UTMB, Marathon De Sables, Badwater, and many other races under his belt. I bumped into that couple twice more again since the race (on the other island no less, over in Tobago) and we exchanged info, so I have a running friend if I go to Barcelona.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hellgate Results

Results are finally posted for Horton's Hellgate 100K.

Congratulations to Eric Deutsch, who finished in 14.07!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

9th Annual Firefighters Frozen 5K

Several NEOTC participants toed the line for a non trail event on Saturday Morning, the 10th of December.
The McKinley Heights Fire Department have put on a small local 5K for the past 8 years, and they also have a 1 mile fun run as well at this event.
They had record numbers this year with over 200 finishers in the 5K.
Baby Sasquatch has toed the line for every race over the past 8 years, and was happy to fit the race in again this year for his 9th finish at this event.
Joining him to represent NEOTC was Slim and Coach Hanks.

Baby Sasquatch made top ten with a 17:54 effort.
Coach Hanks had the pleasure of chasing his younger brother for the entire distance, but was not able to close and pass him at the end with a 18:57 effort, just 7 seconds behind the younger Hanks.
Slim had a front seat to the battle between siblings, which was one sided as far as the running went, but the trash talking was in full bore up to about the half mile point when the effort to maintain pace became too much to also verbalize any longer.
Slim trailed Coach Hanks into the finish with a 19:08 effort.

Good day of racing with all NEOTC representatives placing in their age groups.

Full Results are here.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

NEO TC Runners are Lucky Runners!

The Western States 100  Lottery was held today.

Congratulations to Dave Peterman for being selected for the Western States 100 2012!!!

And if you are in NEO TC, it wouldn't hurt to play a money $$ lottery right now. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Hellgate 100K

Good Luck to NEO TC runners Gary Sexton and Eric Deutsch as they will be running in the Hellgate 100K.

This race begins on Saturday, December 10, at 12.01 am.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Results of the MMT Lottery

The Dow Jones finished down, with an ending number of 11,997.70.  According to the VHTRC website, it would make 770 the beginning number, with lottery numbers 766 down through 269 are in.

All NEO TC Members-except for Dave Peterman-are in via the lottery:

David Peterman 018
King Lefelhocz 394
Jim Harris 419
Kimba Love*Ottobre 483
Mike Dobies 516
Bill Losey 539
Bob Combs 551
Todd Hanks 554
Roy Heger 561
Shannon Fisher 680
Brian Musick 687
Wild Bill Wagner 715
Brandon Russell 750

Dave, being the steller and repeat offender of finishing MMT five previous times, will be high on the wait list. Dobies calculates him at # 11.  So no worries for Dave, he'll be running MMT in May.

Out of the lucky 13 NEO TC runners to kick rocks, there are three who are new to the Virginia Race:

Bill Wagner
Todd Hanks
Shannon Fisher

About four months to train! Run hard!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lottery Closes tonight for MMT

There are 413 entrants for the lottery for the 18th MMT 100 Race as of 530 pm December 7. Will yours be one of the entrants? Will the closing of the Dow be lucky for you?

Application for entry closes at 9 pm Thursday December 7.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

2012 MMT Lottery Numbers

The following NEOTC members have expressed interest in running the 2012 MMT 100 in Virginia next May.
The number after their name is the random number they were assigned after they registered for the lottery.
That number will determine how they fair in the lottery on December 8th when the DOW closes.
More info here.

David Peterman 018
King Lefelhocz 394
Jim Harris 419
Kimba Love*Ottobre 483
Mike Dobies 516
Bill Losey 539
Bob Combs 551
Todd Hanks 554
Roy Heger 561
Shannon Fisher 680
Brian Musick 687
Wild Bill Wagner 715
Brandon Russell 750

Good Luck to all in the 2012 MMT Lottery.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bigfoot 50K

Several NEOTC members were out on the trails at Salt Fork yesterday.

Christine Tokarz finished with a win in the 30 - 39 age group, in 6.32

Eric Harris and Jim Harris were both slowed by the mud and ran 30+ minutes slower than last year, but still managed to finish top 20 overall. Their splits: Eric 5.26.12; Jim 5.26.14

Old Man Heger got the distance in, but did not come through with his usual negative splits that we are all accustomed to seeing from him, finishing in 6.38.

Shannon Fisher is training hard for a coveted MMT spot and got the distance in as well, with a nice finish in 7.22.

The Russells were out for the distance also. Brandon finished in 6.44, and Courtney finished in 7 hours even.

Kimba was seen out doing hill repeats and cheering the runners on.
Special Thanks to Ron Ross for supporting the runners at the start/finish aid station as well as cheering in the runners as they finished in the Lodge Parking lot.

Complete results here.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hardrock 100 Lottery Results

The lottery odds seemed to spin in the favor of NEO TC for 2012.

Five NEO TC members were selected in the lottery:

Cam Baker
Jim Harris
Roy Heger
Bill Losey
Kim Love*Ottobre

Hardrock 100 At a Glance

100-mile run with 33,992 feet of climb and 33,992 feet of descent for a total elevation change of 67,984 feet with an average elevation of 11,186 feet - low point 7,680 feet (Ouray) and high point 14,048 feet (Handies Peak).

Start training!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fool's Race!

The 4th annual Fools Trail Run will be held on April 1, 2012.

Registration is set to open on January 3, 2012. Save the date.

Registration details will be posted on the website by mid-December. We will have both mail-in paper entry as well as online registration.

Looking forward to another great day of trail running.


Lloyd Thomas, Race Director