Monday, October 19, 2009

2009 LONG BEACH 1/2

With only few more days to go before we run the Javalina Jundred I thought I would post an update on what we have been up to in the last few weeks.

A few weekends ago to take a mental break from the back to back long weekend runs; we ran the Long Beach 1/2 marathon. We arrived early before the sun rose to make sure we missed the pre-race chaos, which includes closed streets and jocking for parking. Long Beach has become one of our favorite local 1/2's to run, not only because the course is flat and fast, the the beach atmosphere and the crowds cheering the runners on is great.
This was the events 25th year so the organisers were expecting record numbers of participants and spectators.
Our goal was to run an easy pace and to just have a fun time.
We did, we also saw a number of running Friends which always makes the day great.

At the parking lot nice and early. Penny and Tanya eating breakfast and making a last check on gear.

After taking some time off from running Penny is back and ready. Let's go have some fun.

Still smiling coming around the final corner just before the finish line. You go Penny. Welcome back.
Wait, who is that? That's the dynamic due of Emily and Ivonne looking all fly! You say "1/2 marathon" and they say "when and where!"
We had a fun morning the weather was perfect, and I can't think of to many better ways to Spend a Sunday morning than running a few miles with friends.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Javalina Jundred 12 hour training run

McDowell Mtn Park the location where the Javalina Jundred will be held on October 31, 2009.

Trying to relax at the campground Friday night, but it was still close to 100 degrees. What an uncomfortable night trying to get some rest.

Saturday morning brought clouds and plenty of lightning, then the skies opened. Much needed relief to the overnight HOT temperatures.

Did I say this was a night time 12 hour training run. Tanya and Jeannette resting before the 6PM start.
Here we go. The temperature was cooler than Friday but still a balmy 89 degrees. 120+ people showed up, what a great way to spend the night, running through the desert.

One lap down (15.4 miles) 3 hours 10 mins, good pace but much faster than I wanted to go.

Hey Mon!

Jeannette is the Coffee ready, we have a 6 hour drive back home!
See ya in October Javalina

Thursday, August 27, 2009


The Sequoia National Park home of the Giant Sequoia tree's. Tanya and I had the opportunity to visit the park last weekend,we spent a few hours hiking the miles and miles of trails. Words can't express what it felt like to walk among these 2000+ year old giants.
I think the pictures will help explain my loss of words. Visit them if you can!

Get out there and explore this incredible world.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

We climbed Half Dome

Two weekends ago Tanya and I jumped into the "Ghost Ship", our van. Yes, I am one of those guys who names his vehicles. Lets see, there was Betsy, Goldie, Peaches, Sharky, and now Kota. But, anyway, ...Tanya and I drove up to central California to visit Yosemite National Park and climb "Half Dome".
I'm going to let the pictures talk for themselves, and even though they are incredible. Pictures can't truly give you the perspective of what this place is like. I must say the park was one of the most beautiful and amazing places my travels have taken me thus far. If you are an outdoor enthusiasts and have not visited Yosemite yet, put it on your list.
Tanya and I arrived at the trail head at 6:30am we wanted to get an early start, plus we read this trail is extremely busy later in the afternoon. We wanted to get ahead of that traffic. The hike to the top of Half Dome is approximately 17 miles round trip, at the trail head a sign read it takes on average 10-12 hours to complete. When I read that I said to myself " Not me, not today, I do not plan on being out here for 10+ hours".
The hike starts on a paved trail for the first mile or so. Then it turns to challenging stairs and single track trail for the rest of the way, until you reach the cables to climb to the top of the Half Dome.

The place where the trail begins, and many thru hikers of the John Muir trail(JMT) also start here. If you can see the bottom the sign, the distance to Mt Whitney Via the JMT is 211 miles. We have added that epic trek to our bucket list!
The first few miles as I mentioned are paved and relatively easy going. The terrain consists of rolling hills. This section is handicap accessible, so bring friends and family who may not be able to walk the trail. I say this because I think everyone should experience this place.

Then the stairs begin, for any Lord of the Rings fans. I felt like I was climbing the stairs into Mordor. Challenging, but the scenery takes away or should I say puts the effort in the back of your mind.
Another spectacular view, the outdoors are so beautiful. The stress of life and the pollution of the world just fades away. If more people would get out and experience and visit places like this their perspective of life might change. The little things we let control our life's would fade away.

The Yosemite valley, forged by glaciers 10,000 years ago. Pictures don't do it justice, you must see it yourself.

There it is, that's where we are going. To the top of Half Dome.

Yes, those little spots are people climbing the cables to the top. It was much much steeper and more challenging of a climb than I expected.

At the top, all smiles now! We weren't smiling a few moments ago half way up those cables. As you can imagine going back down the cables was very interesting, but we survived to write about it. We jammed back down the trail, and about that 10-12 hours. It took us 6 hours and 15 minutes for the round trip.

Get out there and live people, the world is waiting.

Marc and Tanya

Monday, August 17, 2009

Race Report: Mt Disappointment 50 miler '09

Tanya striking a pose and looking all color coordinated, and cute.

Tanya caught me watering a tree. To run ultras you must be well hydrated!

Powering up, yet another hill.

13:06 not bad for 50 miles. Another great day with my best friend.

Me and Thomas recovering with a cup of hot soup!
Short report, but we had a whole lot of fun. Mt. Disappointment is a must do run for anyone who wants to challenge their fitness.

A taste of the fun you will have!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Garden Update: Aug' 09

Even with daily temperatures exceeding 100 degrees, our garden continues to push out God's vegetable goodness.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

3rd Time was the Charm

Actually over a week ago.
Just made it back home from hiking Mt. Whitney yesterday(Sunday July 19), and my stomach is still not back to it's normal self. This was our third trip to Mt. Whitney over the years, and the 2 previous trips for me ended without reaching the summit of the highest peak in the lower 50 states. On our first attempt Tanya reached the summit without much trouble; it wouldn't be the same for me. When we reached the 12,000 ft. mark elevation sickness hit me like a sledge hammer. I tried to push through it, but the nausea, headache, and dizziness was just to much. I made it past what are called the windows, but turned around.

On our second trip, I made it past the windows and was pushing for the last mile or so to the summit. Tanya again was doing well, but a fast moving storm was coming from the west, we could hear thunder and lighting in the distance so we decided to turn back. Very dangerous place to be, especially with unstable weather. But its was for the best, I again was feeling terrible. The storm saved me, because I had a pounding headache, and nausea again. This time the headache lasted until we reached Lone Pine,Ca.
After our second trip I said to Tanya "Mt. Whitney is not going to see me again". I had had enough! An incredibly beautiful place, but the elevation was just to much for me. I am not going back!
Well, I had to eat those words. After being invited by Ray, Tanya and I went back. Here is my story. To hike the Whitney trail you have to enter a lottery to get passes. Our group date assigned was Sunday July 19th. On previous trips Tanya and I arrived at the Whitney portal the day before and hiked the next day. This time we decided to arrive Friday and camp at the portal for 2 nights hoping that would help me acclimatize to the elevation; being that the portal is at 8300 ft. It is about a 3.5 hour drive to the Whitney portal from our home. We arrived there late Friday afternoon and were greeted by Mark and Dave, two other guys in our group,who had already set up camp.
We went to our campsite to set up our tent where we met David, who was from Yuma, Az. He was a very interesting fellow, who had spent the winter in Alaska working with Iditarod race dogs. You can imagine our conversation, he seemed to intrigued by us; being that we have run races of 100 miles and beyond. Then which he told us how his work had studied the metabolism of these ultra endurance dogs of the Iditarod. These ultra dogs run and pull a sled 1000 miles in 10 days! Can you say "Ultra Marathoners"!! Crazy!! Very interesting stuff.
After chatting we crashed early, hoping the thin air would get me ready for Sunday. Our tent was near a stream, and we were put to sleep by the sounds water rushing over rocks. To be honest it sounded like we were at 30,000 feet flying in a jet. None the less I slept soundly, though I think Tanya kept an ear open for the bears that roam around the camp looking for any food that may not have been stored in the bear lockers.
We woke up early Saturday morning, and decided to go for a short hike to the portal store, and then a short distance up the Whitney trail. From the trail head you are allowed to hike 2.5 miles before a trail pass is required.
We returned to our campsite, and soon after Ray, Bobby, and Reynold arrived, the hiking party was complete. For the rest of the day we all relaxed and prepared our gear. As a group we decided to all leave together at 2:30am and separate as each one's pace dictated.
2:30am came quickly, everyone was awake and excited about heading to the summit. We weren't the only ones. When we made it to the trail head there was at least 15 other hikers leaving at the same time. Hiking the first few hours in darkness was going to be fun, and seeing the sun rise in such an incredible place was going to be priceless. When you live close to the city the lights drown out the stars of the night sky, but in this place the stars are so vivid and clear; millions upon million of them.
For the first hour or so we hung together as a group, and then we began to break into sub-groups. Ray and Bobby stayed together, Dave, Mark, and Reynold, and then Tanya and I. As the sun rose so did the temperatures. That would soon change as we reached trail crest when we had to put on extra layers. If you have been to Whitney you will know the hike is about patience and perseverance. There are switch backs after switch backs, the famous rock face above base camp has 99 of them. I just wanted to get to the summit, but Tanya kept me focused. She kept reminding me to slow my pace and control my breathing. When we made it to the top of the 99 switch backs (Trail Crest 13,700 ft) the Whitney trail intersects the John Muir Trail. I was so excited, but also knew this was the point when the elevation sickness had begun on my last two trips. So far so good, but I did have a slight headache that was beginning to worsen, and the last 2.8 miles to the top are not easy. Tanya led the way and I just focused on one step at a time, the thin air had slowed our pace considerably. The panoramic view is incredible, the glacier lakes, Sequoia National park in the distance, just spectacular. We kept trudging, with about a mile to go the Hut at the summit came into view, this was also the point I had turned around on previous trips. "Keep moving Marc", Tanya, said" try not to focus on your discomforts, use your "Chi" (good energy). I listened to her and kept moving, finally the top/hut was in sight; thank you LORD. I was so happy, Tanya was so happy for me, but I was not feeling to good. Tanya took a few pictures of me, then I said "I'm out of here". It was a tough 11 miles back, and my stomach was starting to feel queasy, my head was beginning to feel light and painful; this was no time to hang out. So, I not spending much time at the summit, I slowly headed down the mountain.
I was about a 1/4 mile from the top when I ran into Mark, Dave, and Reynold. They had made it also, but I could tell the mountain had taken it's toll. We said a few words of encouragement to each other, but I was on a mission to get off this mountain top.
Tanya caught up to me and we headed toward the windows. We approached a fast moving cloud passing over. In the distance we heard thunder saw lightning. We picked up the pace but to no avail, my legs were weak and wobbly. The elevation had robbed me of an appetite for food and water. Though I knew I needed fuel, my stomach and my mind wouldn't let me eat. This would last for the entire trip back to the portal, the only thing that saved me was Tanya gave me a hard candy to suck on which helped a little.
After 13 hours and 45 minutes, we made it back to the portal. The trip back down the mountain felt like a never ending, miserable journey. But I must say the victory of making it to the top after 2 failed attempts was sweet. I am not in a hurry to return to Mt. Whitney I must say!
"Been there done that!" Ray and Bobby decided to trun back a base camp.
View slide show here
Marc and Tanya

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

Am I still and Ultrarunner?

On the fourth of July Tanya and I ran a 5K. Tanya took it easy, but I pushed the envelop and PR'd. But I am and ultra marathoner, what am I doing running in 5K's. Running hard for a few miles hurts so much more than running easy over a lot of miles. But never the less I enjoy running and love the atmosphere on race days.

I have heard that runners as they age get slower, I must be breaking that trend. This year I have PR'd in the following race distances:

50K: 5:16:55 Orange Curtain
Marathon: 3:56:41 P.F. Chang

1/2 Marathon: 1:39:12 Fontana Days

5K: 23:07 Claremont Days

Why do I write this? It's for those people who think they are past their prime, get up off the sofa and get out there and do something. You never know what you may be able to accomplish.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Summer Garden Update

I haven't posted about our garden lately, but I thought for those who may be interested I would give an update. Though I don't have any pictures, our camera was on the blink for a few months. Incredibly it just started working last week after Tanya dropped it purposely. Anyway, our winter crop did great and tasted delicious! We grew collard greens and kale, carrots, beets (love the beets), and cabbage. We actually still have kale growing and about 3-4 heads of cabbage still growing.
Now to this years summer garden of which I do have a few pictures.
I thought this was a great shot of morning dew on a squash leaf.
Look at the Roma tomatoes, last year we had cherry tomato's this year Roma and Big Beefy.

Our Avocado tree, which are the branches on the left, is doing incredibly well. It's less than 2 yrs old.

Tending to the yellow zucchini squash, and Brussel sprouts that are growing in the distance. We are also growing cucumbers and butternut squash. I can't wait until they begin to harvest to share and to enjoy. Nothing tastes better then the natural fruits and vegetable's God has provided for us.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


After a training run on Mt. Baldy Sunday, as we were driving home Tanya caught a glimpse of this guy in a yard off the side of the road. I turned around and we got some shots of him. He was sneaking around looking for some easy food to munch on most likely. He stood still while we took these pictures then ran behind a shed. It was so cool, this was the first bear sighting we have had in all our years running in these local mountains.

On Friday, during another training run in Claremont Tanya and I can across a large rattlesnake in the middle of the trail with a ground squirrel in his mouth. The wild like you see on the trails. I LOVE IT>>>I wish I had my camera then.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

You will not be Forgotten

You touched so many hearts for so many years, I can't believe you are gone.
The BEST entertainer EVER!!
Rest in Peace, Michael.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Running: It a Family Affair

The month of May was incredible, Tanya and I where home in Bermuda for a fun filled time with family, friends, and of course running. Take a look at that picture above, that crystal blue water and pink beach's are what you wake up to everyday in Bermuda. Doesn't it make you want to jump in? May is a fun filled month with walking and running events just about every weekend which leads up to one of the islands biggest Holidays/Event "The Bermuda Days Half Marathon".
The first event we participated in was the Catlin End-to-End walk. The event starts in the Historic town of St. George's and travels by road and railway trails to the Royal Dockyard which is at the other end of the Island. It is approximately 24 miles, just under a marathon. For those individuals who my not be able to complete the entire island, the event has an option of middle-to-end were participants will begin at the half way point in the City of Hamilton. Tanya and I of course wanted to run. When we found out there was going to be a number of others also running... Well the rest is history. It was a big family affair Tanya's sister's Sherry, Zina, and Paula did the middle to end walk. So did Brother-in-laws Bails and Danny, Uncle Kingsley, cousins Llyod, Wanda, and Chelito. Riding the course was niece Mahtorie, cousin Tracy, Bird and friend Rochelle.
Next Tanya and I ran in the "Sir Stanley Burgess 5K" ( pictured above). Mr. Burgess is a Bermuda running Legend, winning the Bermuda Days race and incredible 10x's in his 60 year running career. (hit that link above to read about him). The 5K race had a very competitive crowd, with many of the Marathon Day front runners participating. 5K's are not the distance we usually participate in, so I knew it was going to be fast and heart pumping. The morning was warm and a little humid but Tanya and I both had good runs. Tanya ran a 23:02 and I ran a 23:14. I believe that was a PR for me at that distance. Yes it was heart pumping.
May 24th Bermuda Day (celebrated on the 25th this year) came and what a big event for the island. This was a special year commemorating 400 years since Bermuda was discovered and the 100th year of running the Bermuda Days Run. Record numbers signed up for the run, no body wanted to miss the 100th year, and also record numbers camped along the course to cheer the runners on. As I have said before, I have run many races over the years some very big and some very small, but none have matched the crowd participation and love that the people of Bermuda give on that day. From start to finish people are lining the course yelling and screaming helping and encouraging you. When the race is over the day has just really begun, then comes the parade of parades. Along the final miles of the running course the parade follows and people picnic along the route until sundown.
The Race starts in Somerset and travels East along middle road to Hamilton, and again it was a family affair. I didn't have pictures of everyone but below are some.

Uncle Kingsley at 72 years young, making it look easy.

Cousin Sabrina keeping as cool as possible with her sponge in hand. That's what you have to do on those hots days.
Sister Sherry looking pretty in pink, and representing the Baily crew, BIG UPS! YEA!!!

Hey Rochie Girl, looking good and cruising to another Bermuda Day finish.

That's my hero, Tanya. Always making it look easy. I love the skirt!

That's me, sweating like a hog. Can somebody say HUMIDITY!!

The Young Buck Coolie, he is running so cool I don't even think he is sweating.
Not pictured from the family was Patrice and Tracy who also braved the sun and hot and humid temperatures to run. I know they would all agree what a wonderful day we had running and experienceing the best of what Bermuda has to offer. Much love to everyone, and keep those feet moving.