I'm retired from racing. Really.

Mt Mitchell Challenge 40 mile trail race

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Member Since:

Feb 24, 2007



Goal Type:


Running Accomplishments:

I also maintain a blogspot running blog. Check it out. 

5k- 16:01, 1/2 marathon- 1:11:37, marathon- 2:34:16, 50k- 3:58, 100 mile- 15:19

Former World Record holder in 100 x 5k relay 

Ultra history:

8-100 mile, 1-100k, 9-50 mile, 2-40 mile, 14-50k-ish

12 wins, 5 CR's, plus four 2nd, five 3rd, 4th, 4th, 5th, 5th, 9th, 16th, 20th, 28th, 38th, and 62nd place, with 1 DNF 

Short-Term Running Goals:


None for now

Long-Term Running Goals:

Unretire at some point

Run a sub-6 hr 50 miler

Win a 100 mile ultramarathon


I have five cute kids. And I have some rockin short green racing shorts- I wear them mainly because it embarrasses my wife so much. I like ultimate frisbee, trail running, reading, and cheering for the Denver Broncos!   And I have the absolute best wife in the world.  And I used to run for the now-disbanded national Team Pearl Izumi- Ultra!

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 16.50 Year: 551.50
Fastwitch Lifetime Miles: 82.50
Trail N1 Lifetime Miles: 86.50
Road N1 Lifetime Miles: 31.00
Stinson Lifetime Miles: 541.50
Trail M2 2 Black Lifetime Miles: 418.50
Trail M2 3 Lifetime Miles: 495.60
Trail N2 2 Orange Lifetime Miles: 418.00
Road M2 3 Orange Lifetime Miles: 333.50
Road N2 Purple Lifetime Miles: 260.50
Race: Mt Mitchell Challenge 40 mile trail race (37.5 Miles) 05:24:35, Place overall: 3
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesCrosstraining milesTotal Miles

Quick report- placed 3rd overall at Mt Mitchell Challenge. Had felt a bit "blah" all week leading up to the race and was worried it would carry over. It did, a bit. Legs felt flat on the initial 3 road miles, but then I found I could climb ok once on trail and I moved from about 10th to 4th by mile 13, well behind the lead pack of 3 runners. The Toll Road was muddy and had lots of flowing water but minimal snow.  Then we started towards Mt Mitchell on a trail with intermittent snow- I had a bit of a low patch and tried to just stay relaxed, moving, and save my energy for the downhill. The last climb to the summit was nuts- it was 900 feet up in 1.4 miles over technical trails that are most comparable to an ice skating rink. Seriously icy- took me 30 min. Paul flew by me here. I summited and enjoyed the views for a minute, then ran down the road back to the Blue Ridge Parkway (normal singletrack path closed due to ice). I was surprised to see previous race leader Jason Bryant just ahead - he started walking down the road, never a good sign. I then played leapfrog with Paul for the next 2 hrs, battling it out for the final podium spot- I passed him, then stopped for a pit stop, then passed him again but he stayed just behind me. I yielded again with another pit stop at mile 31, then pressed hard to catch again, finally passing him at mile 34 just after the 23% grade paved road leading into Montreat. I put a few minutes on him in the last 5k. It was fun to race against him, though- it's been a long time since I had such a back and forth battle for an entire race. I finished the 37.5 miles with 4800 ft climbing in 5:24. Dane finished in CR 4:46, Shaun Pope was just under 5 hrs. Even if I had felt better, I couldn't have caught either of them.

Had a good time eating food and talking to some of the great runners before heading home to my supportive wife and kids.

I've been awake since 3:45 am and it's almost 10 pm. I'm going to bed now. After some ice cream, of course.

Trail M2 Miles: 38.50
Weight: 0.00
From Rob Murphy on Sat, Feb 22, 2014 at 20:08:25 from

Nice report Jon and great race. Enjoy your down time.

From jtshad on Sun, Feb 23, 2014 at 08:34:26 from

Yet another great race. Congrats on the performance.

From Dale on Sun, Feb 23, 2014 at 12:19:36 from

Nicely done!

From Cody on Sun, Feb 23, 2014 at 17:04:36 from

Sounds like an awesome race! How did the spikes work? Were they worth hauling all over?

Jon and his pit stops....

From Steve on Sun, Feb 23, 2014 at 20:43:55 from

900 feet in 1.4 is steeper than the Mt Logan climb up Dry Canyon, I think. On ice. Pretty cool! There will be a day when I get enough guts to try one of these races. Great run!

From Jake K on Sun, Feb 23, 2014 at 21:02:54 from

Nice race Jon. Way to battle.

Why does a 23% road even exist!?

From Jon on Sun, Feb 23, 2014 at 22:08:14 from

Steve- the bit at the end is even steeper- 1100 ft in 1 mile. Painful to run down.

Jake- it goes up to a water tower and trail parking lot, from the looks of it. It's crazy steep, that's for sure.

Cody- RD said wouldn't need spikes, so I didn't take them. If I had, I'm sure they could have saved me 10 minutes on the last climb. Oh well.

From J Cole on Mon, Feb 24, 2014 at 06:43:15 from

Congrats! I wonder if I can set a treadmill to 23%...

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