One foot at a time | One sole at a time | One hell of a good time


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon - Week in Review

The above slideshow complete with Phillip Glass music was put together using photos from taken by several members of the Grupo Animales otherwise known as Club Mas Loco.

These photos cover the beginning to the end of the trip, including the hike over from Batopilas to Urique the pre-race ceremony, the race and post-race celebration.

Results from (www.CaballoBlanco.com) : The Ultra Marathon had 38 starters and 20 finishers.

1) Scott Jurek (33)--El Venado--Chumari'--Washington-- 6:32
2) Arnulfo (27)--Chepatare--Batopilas canyon 6:50
3) Billy Barnett (22)--El Rana Lobo--Wolf Frog--Virginia 6:59
4) Jenn Shelton (23)--La Brujita--Little Witch--Virginia 7:00
5) Manuel Luna (42)--Gavilana--Batopilas canyon 7:47
6) Arnulfocito (18)--Santa Rita--Batopilas canyon 8:00
7) Nacho Palma (42)--Quirare--Batopilas canyon 8:03
8) Martin Gallito (21)--Chepatare--Batopilas canyon 8:10
9) Leonardo Cleto (22)--Piedras Verdes, Urique canyon 8:12
10) Jose Hilario (22)--Piedras Verdes, Urique canyon 8:13
11) Sebastiano (37)--San Jose, Batopilas canyon 8:16
12) Mike Adams (38)--El Perro Grande-Big Dog-Washington 8:48
13) Micah True (54)--El Caballo Blanco--White Horse--???? 8:58
14) Barefoot Ted McDonald (42)--El Mono--Monkey--California 9:44
15) Charlie Crissman (38)--El Buho--The Owl--Washington 9:54
16) Chriss Labbe (37)--El Cabro--The goat--Colorado 10:02
17) Jamil Courey (22)--El Carnero--The Ram--Arizona 10:16
18) Deborah Bezanis (49)--La Cebolla--The Onion-Chicago 11:33
19) Samuel Warren (38)--El Girafa--The Giraffe--Washington 11:33

20) 36 miler: Leah Jurek (30)--La Venada--Dear--Washington 8:20


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Monday, November 13, 2006

Mother Road 100 Completed 27:38:47

78 Miles Barefoot, 22 Miles Vibram FiveFingers

At the Start (Thanks Robin)

Running Route 66

The Mother Road

The Finish Line

Much more to come as I have time.

Looking forward to adding photos as friends that I met on the course send them.

Send to: ted@barefootted.com


My goal for this race was very simple: to finish. I had no pre-set time or strategy. I wanted to feel 100 miles of road. This year I have successfully accomplished my goal of tasting both a tough trail 100 mile run and a 100 mile road race. I know what to expect in the future.


1. Hillbillies Bed & Breakfast in Arcadia, OK

2. Drinking my complimentary Choc Beer at 6 am thinking that it was non-alcoholic.

3. Running 78 miles on Route 66 barefoot, the last 22 with my barefoot shoes called FiveFingers.

4. Getting lost...nearly impossible, but possible, with Jon Hulsey. He had a map!

5. Seeing the Carl's Jr. sign at the race finish.

6. The smiling faces and friendly folks found all along the Route.

7. It being so cold at night the water in my Camelbak tube was slushing up.

8. Lots of animals die along Route 66: skunks, armadillos, birds, raccoons, possums, snakes...

9. Meeting up with Louise Mason. Her MOJO helped me tremendously.

10. Running with Tom Christell and having his wife tell me to put on my shoes.

11. Getting a ride back to the airport by the Canadians John, John and Vincent, whom I met briefly at the Round Barn the morning of the race. Thanks.

12. Crossing the finish line with Fred Davis.

13. One can live off Hammer Gels and HEED if one chooses to do so.

14. Big thank you to Cynthia for making some KILLER pecan bars and date bars from scratch for the pre-race POWER. I fed on them all day Friday as I made my way to Arcadia. Thems were GOOD.

My email to the race director:

Howdy Thomas

Thank you for your crazy vision of putting on the Mother Road 100.

That was one unforgettable 24+ hour dose of Oklahoma that I will never forget.

I want to say thank you to all who made this possible. It is truly hard to believe how well everything went for a first time mega-event. Congratulations.

I have some incredible stories. As you know, I ran barefoot. I ran 78 miles barefoot and was feeling great out of the Bristow check-point.

Then we started going along those old sections of Route 66. I must admit, they were by far the biggest challenge for a barefoot runner, but still doable.

Just as I was coming up to the turn where Red and Sharon's BBQ is located I ran into Jon Hulsey who was looking at course maps. I figured this guy knows the way. By the way, out of Bristow, I passed at least 20 runners. I was feeling REAL good and running kept me warm.

Well Jon and I made a terrible mistake. Instead of going up 181st, Jon thought that we had yet another parallel section of old road, so we went left. There were no arrows pointing one way or the other, so I accepted his logic.

Remember I told you how I hated the old road, well this road made the old road sections that we ran on seem like butter. I was in agony, but figured it wouldn't last long as I cursed the texture of what I thought was the old route. On and on and on we went, up and down hills (20/20 tells me that would have been unusual for the Route). Each step draining me. Well, what seemed like miles later, the road finally became a field! We had gone terribly wrong. It was very depressing. My goal of running 100 miles totally barefoot was crushed. Now we had other problems. We were lost, we were cold and we had to go back on the same road. I had to put my back-up shoes on and accept my fate.

Finally, we got back to the intersection of 48 and 181. The police car with the Doc had been looking for us, but Jon was not able to explain where we had gone wrong. We were messed up. I was shivering uncontrollably and luckily got into an official's car and blasted the heater.

From that intersection, we were driven to Taturs by a race official. At Taturs, the Doc took care of my foot and Jon and I regained our composure. It took some persuading, but I was convinced that it was still doable. After sucking down a couple Hammer Gels, we were off again. Much worse for the wear, but not defeated, and I wanted my name on that shirt!!!

Thankfully, the motor started running again, and I was able to make it home. A Carl's Jr. sign never looked so good.


PS. I just finished doing some Google Earth measuring. It turns out that the road Jon and I took dead ended after 1.8 miles (so 3.6 miles out and back), plus, we tried to take another road out and had to turn back, so that added yet another 0.2+ miles. Finally, the road we were on was MUCH more difficult than the highway. At times it was turning into a sandy, rocky, hilly nightmare. My wife said that my favorite dog, Hercules, was whimpering for no reason around the same time I was suffering. I do not exaggerate when I say that that was the toughest stretch of running I have EVER done as far as pain goes.

Photo by Melissa (Warwick Aid Station- Mile 30)

NOTE: A huge thank you to SOLAR COMMUNICATIONS INTERNATIONAL, INC. for helping make this adventure possible.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Crewing at the Badwater Ultramarathon 2006

"GAWD is in the desert...and he wants to KILL you so that you will rediscover that you are ALIVE!" BFT

Crewing for Luis Escobar | 2006 Badwater Ultramarthon: The Toughest Foot-Race in the World | Death Valley, CA

Spent the last three days in crewing for Luis (El Coyote)

El Mono and El Lobo | Badwater, CA | 2006 Badwater Ultramarat

On top of crew vehicle pointing...navigating.

At Whitney Portal with Ben Jones, Badwater Legend

At the finish line after 36 1/2 hours

With Luis the morning after the race.

With Deb Clem at Whitney Portal

Big Pancake from Whitney Portal Store.
Thanks CHP Scott!

"Chop wood"

Thanks to everyone for an unforgettable experience.

Been there and seen that. Amazing.

Geof, Tyler, Jen, Billy, Sunny, Randy and Christopher...thanks.

More thanks still to Luis for giving us a chance to push ourselves to our own limits. Watching the particles break off as atoms smash and then miraculously recombine. An honor.



Video of Badwater

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

50 Mile Ultramarathon - Completed in FiveFingers™

After the race, me, Leah and Scott Jurek
Howdy Folks

I know it sounds crazy, and maybe it is a little, but here's the deal:

As you know, on Monday the 17th I ran the Boston Marathon (see story and photos below). I was hoping that I would be able to recover in time to run a famous 50 mile ultramarathon on Saturday the 22nd.

I rode up to Palmdale with Scott Jurek and his wife Leah along with Brian Morrison. We all Indian food for dinner at a restaurant that Andy Kumeda and I found last year on our way up to Mt. Whitney. Hal Koerner and Ian Torrence joined us along with Luis Escobar and his friend. Great food and conversation.

These FiveFingers are tough. They got dirty, but the soles are looking new

Woke up a 4:30 am the next morning, got a ride with Luis Escobar and friend to the start line, and off I went at 6 am, 50 miles before me.

Well, to make a VERY long story short, I made it in a little over 11 hours. Naturally, I could have been fresher, my legs were still stiff from Boston from the very start, but I knew I had the energy and the will. Thanks to Xy Weiss for keeping me company for the last 20 miles. My unofficial time: 11:16:01

Please do not ask why I was unofficial in this race. It is too embarrassing.

I feel fine today. Thanks to FiveFingers my feet are fine too.

Best Regards, Barefoot Ted

PS. I needed to get an official 50 miler under my belt in order to qualify for the Angeles Crest 100 which I hope to do this year.

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Saturday, April 08, 2006

Malibu Backbone 100k Trail Fun-Run - Aid Station

It was time to give-back a little more to the running community that I have grown to love.

Ona and I volunteered to take care of the aid station in Andy and Jeff's 100k backbone fun-run.

Leigh, Vicki, Jeff, Ona, Ultra Suzy and Barefoot Ted

Everyone loved the food...

Ribbons awarded made of trail markers and leaves
Kyle, Ona, Vicki and Leigh

We had a great time hanging out in the Dead Horse parking lot in Topanga Canyon. Lucky for me, my old friend Urs lived near by, so Ona had a chance to meet some new friends.

Ona did some video interviews. For a funny look at the race, listen to Ultra Suzy's interview here. QuickTime Required

Best Regards, Barefoot Ted

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Sunday, March 05, 2006

March 5, 2006 Copper Canyon Run and Ultra Marathon

Scott and Arnulfo

Photos by Luis Escobar

March 5, 2006 Copper Canyon Run and Ultra Marathon:
Course description: Urique canyon version

Photo by Luis Escobar

Find more about this year's race here.

Race Director Micah True from http://caballoblanco.com writes:

In an effort to get more runners to come down and run with us, and allow for a quality experience for spectators, we have eliminated the previous EXTREME element of this run, which was a hard, very gnarly, potentially dangerous [and beautiful!], point-to-point, canyon-to-canyon run. I will still be offering this hike to back-packers, fast-packers, and runners, on private trips. No racing please!

The run will now be on a combination dirt road and single track trail beginning and ending in the plaza of the old town of Urique, running on rolling dirt road up and down the Urique river with diversions on single track trail up and down beautiful, lush arroyos [side canyons]. The race will consist of a 17 1/2 mile out and back loop up-river, followed by another 18 mile loop down-river, then continue up-river again on rough dirt road on another 10 miles out and back to the Tarahumara village of Guadalupe Coronado, before ending in the plaza of the town of Urique.

The Ultra Marathon version of the race will be about 45+ miles. There will be the shorter 17+ mile version and the 35 miler as well for those of us who may be a little less "hard-core". With this format, runners and spectators will have the opportunity to see the progress of the race as it unfolds, and the run will be much safer and easier to manage aid stations, with better access to emergency vehicles, etc.

The two separate trail sections will be beautiful, rolling single track, each climbing around 1,200 feet in about 3 1/2 miles, then descending the same, back to what would be considered unimproved dirt-road, beginning and ending in the town plaza of the deep canyon town of Urique, where we will meet in the evening for the awards presentation. The turn-around points will be the Tarahumara village of Guadalupe Coronado, up-river; then back a few miles across the river on a suspension bridge, diverting a few miles up the lush arroyo Mescalera on lovely single-track trail to another smaller suspension bridge before looping back to the town plaza of Urique; then following the dirt road down-river for almost 6 miles before crossing the river [IN the river], running cross-country up a rocky arroyo with minimal trail until spotting the narrow dirt trail leading up another 3 miles or so to the beautiful rancho "Los Alisos", where sweet, vine-ripened grapefruit abounds!

Runners will check in at Los Alisos, which will have radio contact to Urique, take aid and return [carefully!] on the trail to the river where they will cross and run back up-river to Urique at the 35 mile mark, take more aid, and continue 5 miles to the village of Guadalupe Coronado again, returning on what could at this point be some pretty good "death" hills, to the cheering finish of the race in the plaza of Urique.

Cerveza and Frijoles!

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Saturday, September 17, 2005

Angeles Crest 100 Idlehour Aid Station

Joe Franco, Don Merten and Barefoot Ted setting up Aid Station

This biggest and the smallest drop bags at Idlehour Aid Station

Deb Clem, Joe, Don and BT early evening

Idlehour Group Assembled

Tarahumara Guests

Tarahumara Guests

Tarahumara Guests

What an day/day. Start up to Mt. Wilson at 1 pm to meet up with Joe and Don at 2 pm. Drove 5 miles down to Idlehour Aid Station and began setting up. First runner came through at around 7 pm. Ran back up to car a 3:30 am to get home in time to run the Hansen Dam 10 Miler.

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Saturday, April 16, 2005

San Gabriel Mountains 50K (31 Miles) -- SURVIVED!!!

On Saturday April 16th 2005, I ran an Ultramarathon in the San Gabriel Mountains. It took over 8 hours to run 31 miles. We ran from Sierra Madre to the top of Mt. Wilson and back. Awesome.

A big thanks to Andy Kumeda and all the volunteers. We had a great time.

Freddie Perez (64), Mario Sanchez(36) and I(40) ran together. We are all members of the Wild Mountain Runner Club.

PHOTO: Mouth full of PB&J, banana and M&Ms at the mile 17 aid station (notice I was wearing prototype AEI shoes which fell apart with 4 miles to go, so the last 4 miles were barefoot).

Chillin' at the finish

Note Added May 31, 2005:

Sad to report that one of the runners who particpated in this run died 10 days after the run. I remember him quite well. He looked a lot like Barefoot Ken. His name was Dan Kelly. He died at 58. He told me that this 50k felt like a 50 miler. Dan's the bearded guy in the middle of the photo below.

Dan Kelly (middle with beard), Rest in Peace

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