Monday, May 11, 2009

The “Comedy of Errors” Canyon Run and the ongoing shoe crisis

So as the pictures in the previous post show I was invited to run the canyons this past Friday with a very cool group of people. It was myself, Matt Keyes, Derek Semanski, Karalee Morris, and another runner who’s name escapes me, (SORRY). Sufficient it to say the un-named runner has been doing WS100 since I was in HS, (yep he’s that fit).

So this was an interesting run. Since almost breaking my ankle in my Nike Moto’s I knew I needed new shoes for States. Most people know I think most road shoes work fine for trails. But since Nike F^&% up the Pegasus I’ve been unable to find as versatile a shoe for trail and road.

I decided I needed to go back to some trail shoes for WS100. The shoe on most trail runner’s lips and feet is the Brooks Cascadia. So I bought a pair and did a short 10 miler on the bike trail shoulder to break them in. This run would be the first test. I’ll admit I was worried; I usually like more cushioning in a shoe, but people seem to rave about them.

The Run

I don’t know what it was, I was a bit tired, but I did some goofy stuff Friday. For example, on the trip to Michigan Bluff I was slaughtering words like “masochist”. Just so it’s clear I was talking about the new Montrail shoe.

I forgot my Garmin so I had no idea how far or how long I’d be out running. Not to mention no HR monitor, (I’m such a geek).

Knowing how long this run would be I didn’t factor the time needed to run and get home for a dinner with my mom that evening.

For the run I brought my Gregory pack and one hand held. I hate packs but I was unaware of the other water sources beside the Pump. Once we hit El Dorado Creek I hid my bottle like I had done on my last trip out to the Canyons. OOPPSSS I was running farther this trip and most of the calories I brought were drink mixes, uh oh.

Not to worry I brought a lot of extra gel. Even better I brought the brand new plain Powerbar gels I had just bought Tuesday, (my new favorite). I figured worse case scenario I’d resort to bumming some food, yeah I was going to be THAT guy.

So as I grab gels for the climb to Last Chance I notice an uncharacteristic clump in the gel packet. As anyone who uses gels knows with temps in the high 80’s the gel should be like warm runny snot, no clumps. This sucker and all the rest had clumps, not good.

Being the detective I am, (I really am). I checked the expiration date on the packet, the words Sept 08 stared back at me, and the hits just keep on coming, oh yeah I’m THAT guy.

So of course I start a sweet bonk on the ascent out of El Dorado Creek. I was actually ok with this since I was surprised I didn’t bonk earlier in the run. Matt Keyes gets the MVP so giving me the sweetest, coldest Pepsi EVER at Michigan Bluff.

So bonk ended I bummed a ride with Karalee back to Auburn since I would not have made dinner with my mom. Karalee told me we did 25 miles, can’t complain about 25 miles in the WS100 Canyons. The guys kept going and did 30+ miles.


Ok the Cascadia’s, great low profile shoe made for trail running. The fit for me was off, I bought them too big. If I had the right size I think the fit would be great. But the overall and forefoot cushioning is not good enough for me. I’ 6’3” 183lbs and I tend to need more cushioning for long runs and downhill’s, so the Cascadia’s are going back.

Next up on the shoe front the shoes which worked in 2007, the Asics Trail Attack. I’m also going to try the Montrail Mountain Masochist, (there’s that word again).


So for this run I learned when I decide to do goofy stuff I do it in spades.

Including my goofs this was a great run with really great people. Life is always busy, but days like this on the trail remind me just how sweet life is, goofs and all.



  1. Do the stupid stuff now man, so you can avoid it on race day. I am using lumpy gels too. I know they expired months ago but I am such a cheapskate I'll keep on using them.

    Don't worry, lots of good runners have done really dumb things on those canyons.

    Cheers, Paul

  2. What's your shoe plan? I'm a big fan of road shoes also, but I have noticed the same thing when going downhill. I'm much faster at getting down when I'm in my NB790.


  3. I bought a pair of Asics Trail Attack 5's last week. I used the 4's in 2007 WS100, they work well. They have a road shoe feel, but for me they are good for only 30miles. I have noticed these are a little warmer than the last. I'm going 20+ in the afternoon today, this will be the true test. I'll let you know

    I plan on trying out some Inov8's Derek has also.


  4. What about the Montrail Masochist, they look low and like they may have a little stability.

  5. Funny you ask, I was planning on picking up a pair next week to try out. Had to get the bosses approval for ANOTHER pair of shoes to try, it becomes expensive.


  6. Ha, Yeah I like to "try" lots of shoes also. Let me know how they are. I like the Nike Zoom Elite 4, but I feel they are too high for getting down sketchy downhills.