Monday, August 31, 2009

Erik Skaggs Update

Good news! Good news! Erik Skaggs was released from the hospital this morning (Tuesday). His kidneys have regained some semblance of function. Erik is up and walking, but still very fatigued. He still has a lot of water weight gain and his blood enzyme levels are still far from normal. He will be reporting back to the hospital for daily blood tests. His life is still far from normal. He says he's looking forward to a fitful night's sleep after having been poked and prodded for the last seven days straight at regular four hour intervals.

You can help defray Erik's mounting medical bill by sending a check to Umpqua Bank, 250 N. Pioneer Street, Ashland, OR 97520 made out to the “Erik Skaggs Medical Fund.” Any assistance that you could provide would be much appreciated by Erik. Please note that the Fund name should be on the outside of the envelope.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Erik Skaggs

As you may already be aware, Erik Skaggs is currently in Rogue Valley Medical Center in Medford, OR. Erik ran and won the Where’s Waldo 100 Kilometer Ultramarathon last Saturday in record time but began having medical difficulties later that day. After being treated with IVs in the emergency room earlier in the week, he was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday suffering from nausea and pain. His kidney function has not improved during the last few days.

Erik remains his usual good natured, positive self. He has been surrounded by many of his friends during his hospital stay. His brother Kyle arrives from out of town on Friday to be by his side. At last report, he was timing his splits as he walked around his hospital wing. Jenn, his girlfriend, has been supplementing moldy hospital food with treats from home.

Many friends throughout the ultrarunning community have already asked how they can help. One of Erik’s biggest concerns is the mounting medical bill. Erik does not have health insurance. He may be eligible for some assistance through his membership with USA Track and Field, but will no doubt require monies for the deductible and for the expected costs well above the coverage. An Ashland runner and friend of Erik’s has opened a bank account at Umpqua Bank in Ashland, Oregon to receive donations that will be used to help defray these medical expenses. You can contribute by sending a check to Umpqua Bank, 250 N. Pioneer Street, Ashland, OR 97520 made out to the “Erik Skaggs Medical Fund.” Any assistance that you could provide would be much appreciated by Erik. Please note that the Fund name should be on the outside of the envelope.

Updates on Erik’s medical condition will be posted to the blog at Rogue Valley Runners’ website, at, as it becomes available.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Transrockies Continues to Roll

Darcy Kleiman and Amy Nagle finish Day 4 of the Transrockies Run.

Got another update for you folks straight from Colorado and the Gor-Tex Transrockies Run.

Team Nike/Rogue Valley Runners (Martin & Koerner) and Team Hot Chicks (Kleiman & Nagle) are still moving right along. Everything looks good for strong finishes for both teams. After today's stage they only have one more stage to complete. Team Nike/RVR sits in a solid second place standing overall. Talented Team Run Flagstaff has all but "run" away from the rest of the pack. Barring any odd mishaps they should have the overall win wrapped up. At the conclusion of Day 4 Team Hot Chicks sits solidly at 9th place in the Open Women's Division. Keep it up ya'll!

Got a small report from Hal this morning, after his Day 5 finish:

"Everyday is a race! It's hard to continue and go out and hammer day after day. Andy likes to stand on the podium each day and so he pushes hard to finish in the top three. I'm near my breaking point, and I don't really care for or need another Nathan backpack. Today I ran a 5:50 mile at over 9,000 feet. I was getting passed while doing it! I'm ready to be done!"

A story, Taking the High Road, was written by Daniel Newberry and can be found here at the Mailtribune.

Hal Koerner leads the pack through the rugged Colorado mountains.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Transrockies and our Waldo Heros

Andy Martin (left) and Hal Koerner cover ground on Day 1.

150 Teams of two. Six Days. 113 miles. Colorado mountains, 12,000 foot passes, valleys, more mountains. $20,000 in prize money. The Gore-Tex TransRockies Run.

Rogue Valley Runners' store owner, Hal Koerner and RVR employee, Darcy Kleiman entered this year's race. Hal is teamed with Bend's Andy Martin. They are known as Team Nike/Rogue Valley Runners. Darcy is teamed with Ashland's Amy Nagle. They are known as Team Hot Chicks. Follow the action each day here.

Via phone Hal described the events of the last two days:

"Andy and I are feeling good after two days of hard running. We still have 83 miles to cover in four days, lots can happen. I'm really noticing the altitude...once we cross over the 9,000 foot level the lack of oxygen is very noticeable. The weather has been cooperating thus far, it could be really cold here now. They have a pretty cool tent city set up at the end of each stage. There are like ten massage therapists ready to help the runners recuperate. Team Run Flagstaff has been running fast! When they hit the flat terrain on Day 1, they just turned it on! Today (Day 2) we had a tight pack running over Hope Pass. One guy fell and broke his tooth, he's at the dentist now! It was one hell of a run this morning!"

As of Day 2, Team Nike/RVR sits in second place overall, roughly four minutes behind Team Run Flagstaff. Team Hot Chicks sits in 11th in the Open Women's Division.

The Where's Waldo 100K Ultra

Some photos (courtesy of Richard Bolt) from the Where's Waldo 100 Kilometer Ultramarathon of Rogue Valley's finest:

Your 2009 USATF Trail 100K Champion, seconds after finishing. Erik Skaggs, 9:11:05!

Your 2009 USATF Trail 100K Masters Champion, Neil Olsen, 10:02:39. He'll have his ice cream and eat it too.

62 years young, Mr. Ben Benjamin, 16:17:17. Still will show you how to get it done!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

BAM! BAM! Short but Successful Waldo and Leadville Reports...

This just in: Skaggs kills Waldo! Olsen wins Master's race and finishes fourth overall!

Also, following the Waldo report, a report from lofty Leadville, CO and the 100 Mile footrace that just happened there.

Rogue Valley Runner Erik Skaggs wins the 2009 USA Track and Field 100 Kilometer Trail Championships at the Where's Waldo 100K Ultramarathon.

At the finish line of the centrally located Oregon race, an exuberant Skaggs was heard commenting about his run, "It was a sweet but hard course. I had a tough section in the middle of race. For 15 miles I just wanted to quit, I wasn't having fun anymore. Things came around though and I pushed hard the remaining 15 miles to the finish. When I past each of the three Rosary Lakes near the finish I had to really fight the temptation to stop and go for a swim each time."

Erik not only finished first, he also set a new course record. 9:11:05! He took almost an hour off of fellow Rogue Valley Runner Neil Olsen's winning time from last year. Neil is running this year as well and was last seen fighting for a top five finish. Go Neil!

Update: 4th - Neil Olsen - 10:02:39 also under his old course record! First Master!

Check the Waldo web site or Craig Thornley's (the Race Director) Blog for more results, photos and reports from Willamette Pass.

Congratulations Skaggs and Neil!!!

Now to news from 10,000 feet and the Leadville Trail 100 Mile Footrace:

We just got these words from Jody Waters, crew and pacer for Ashland's John Price (SOB 50K race director):

"Ashland's very own John Price rocked the incredibly tough Leadville course, deciding that a sub-25 buckle wasn't quite adequate to his abilities or aspirations, and went sub-24 instead at 23:52. He was the 37th finisher and the 2nd in his class. We had an uncharacteristically warm day and tough conditions, and while he felt tested for a few minutes towards the end, his overall demeanor and general race execution were textbook. We were very proud and impressed. He did Southern Oregon proud and his pacers are quite elated to have been there to witness his oxygen-starved glory."

Hats off and congrats to you John!

***Stay tuned for more race updates from the Trans Rockies Run as our very own Hal Koerner and Darcy Kleiman battle it out over six days and 113 miles in the mountains of Colorado. The race started today...we'll try and keep you updated as it rolls along this week.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

2009 Lithia Loop Trail Marathon Entrants Update

As of mid-August, here is where we stand for entries for the Lithia Loop Trail Marathon; 2009's USA Track and Field National Trail Marathon Championship. Don't see your name? You can enter the race here on Here are the 54 entrants thus far:

Trombly, Jim 43 M Ashland
Evans, Ben 28 M Portland
Bryerton, Marcaila 25 F Portland
Anderson, Andre 50 M Talent
Acker, Kasey 50 F Ashland
Abraham, Larry 59 M Steilacoom, WA
LaFrance, Toby 39 M Tigard, OR
LaFrance, Laura 31 M Tigard, OR
Rodriguez, Gabriel 31 M La Porte, TX
Mauldin, Bruce 62 M Anaheim Hills, CA
Merrit, Jasmine 20 F Medford
Mosley, Joe 55 M Eugene, OR
Mosley, Sharon 47 F Eugene, OR
Norvell, Lisa 43 F Ashland
Wolfe, Scott 36 M Eugene, OR
Robinson, Sam 24 M Berkeley, CA
Callans, JC 42 M Eagle Point
Callans, Jennifer 37 F Eagle Point
Ali, Shahid 24 M Ashland
Hitz, CJ 36 M Findlay, OH
Diboun, Yassine 31 M Ithaca, NY
Dunlap, Scott 40 M Woodside, CA
Suvak, Stephanie 36 F Carmel, CA
Goodbbody, Win 42 M Portland, OR
Saft, Aaron 32 M Fletcher, NC
Arnold, Cynthia 25 F Lexington
Vander Stucken, Richard 70 M Torrance, CA
Brucker, Kevin 30 M East Peoria, IL
Ullrich, Sarah 39 F Glendora, CA
Ries, Phoenix 48 F Corvallis, OR
Young, Mike 51 M Corvallis, OR
Knox, Linda 46 F Philomath, OR
Alaman, Henry 47 M Philomath, OR
McCoy, Randy 48 M Philomath, OR
Donald, Linda 60 F Corvallis, OR
Sniffen, Carl 57 M Grants Pass, OR
Duringer, Timothy 33 M Brownsville, OR
Foster, Christopher 43 M Medford
Thorpe, Andrea 33 F Corvallis, OR
Lewis, Nicholas 23 M Memphis
Rubinstein, Ilene 47 F Ashland
Feinberg, Joanne 49 F Ashland, OR
Mick, Bobby 37 M Klamath Falls, OR
Meadows, Rebecca 39 F Boulder, CO
Livni, Kat 43 F Ashland, OR
Fuller, Christian 34 M San Francisco, CA
Weed, Ronnie 34 M Chapel Hill, NC
Whalen, Patty 36 F Eugene, OR
Harris, Brian 55 M Eugene, OR
Martin, Bonnie 33 F Eugene
Whiteley, Chuck 52 M Medford
Barnett, Crissy 53 F Ashland, OR
McConnell, Keith 65 M Eugene, OR
Bergmann, Dolores 37 F Chester, CA

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Haulin' Aspen Trail Races

Well, we've certainly found out what you all love to comment about! Running with alcohol or winning Western States: Both worthy topics indeed!!! For now, we're going to return to our more typical content.

Aaron Brian on his way to a 16th place finish in the half.

Last weekend several Rogue Valley runners traveled to central Oregon to partake in some trail racing. The Haulin' Aspen Half-Marathon and Marathon sends runners across some great single track trails and dirt roads not far from Bend's city central.

The half marathon was part of the La Sportiva Mountain Cup thus increasing the amount of participants and competition. More than 410 runners finished the half. The challenging (in distance, terrain and elevation gain) marathon had 117 finishers.

Maria Clementi bounces her way to a 1:48:47 finishing time in the half.

Jen Miller-Brian "walks" a 2:23:36 in the half.

Ian Torrence (leading, from Ashland) and JC Callans (Eagle Point) worked together for much of the marathon. JC finished third in 3:08:24. Ian followed in fourth in 3:10:43.

Jennifer Callans, from Eagle Point, finished the marathon in 4:19:41.

Full results for both races can be found here.

Friday, August 07, 2009

A Southern Oregon Beer Mile

**Warning** Some the images below are graphic. It's advised that you do not try the following activity at home alone.

The official rules can be found on The Beer Mile website. We won't go into the specifics. All that can be said is that you drink a can of beer before each of the four laps you run. Sounds simple enough doesn't it? But as many folks found out last night, it's not easy to keep it all down. Not easy at all!

Roughly 40 folks started the August Beer Mile in Ashland, OR. Most finished. So how did folks fare? There were three unofficial, official finishers under seven minutes. Hal Koerner in 6:50.7, Todd Ragsdale in 6:55.0 and Erik Skaggs in 6:57.0. Rob Cain and Heidi Bosworth recorded the slowest, but still respectible time of 16:38. Thanks to all those who put aside their vices, egos and doubts to participate this year. Nice work eveyone! On to "some" photos...

Our Beer Mile Logo. Look for it coming to a theater near you.

Leland and Renn get their groove on pre-race. Costumes are encouraged.

Tim and Aaron pose pre-race.

The first beer is always the easiest.

Maria and Heidi drink up. A hand on the forehead was a position often assumed for this event.

The contenders down their tasty beverages.

Worse than running the event is the clean-up after all the carnage. They were ready! Thanks!

Ragsdale puts it down! Has he done this before?

More than drinking was done. Bree Ray sprints to finish her mile. Looks as if most of her beer ran down the front?

The lead pack on lap one. Are those spikes Hal?

The chase pack.

Torrence loses his on the fourth lap. Penalty lap assessed.

That'll be a penalty lap for you too, Jenn. Does anyone have a mop?

Ixel likes the foam and won the women's race (no time recorded though). Heidi still has her hand on her forehead!

Your 2009 Beer Mile Champion. Hal Koerner, 6:50.7

The Faces of Agony.

It's simple. It's just you, the track and your beverage. Don't miss out next time. Right?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Mount Ashland Hill Climb: The Year of the Smoke and Heat

The Bull Gap Trail, three miles to go.

As the temperatures climbed into the triple digits in Medford and the thunderheads built on the horizon, the competition on Mt. Ashland mimicked the weather and got just as hot and serious. A sell-out crowd gathered at The Plaza in downtown Ashland, OR for the 32nd Annual Mt. Ashland Hill Climb.

Traveling down from the state to our north Joe Gray entered onto the picture with some serious credentials. He's the US's 2009 Mountain Running Champion and boasts PR's of 14:15 in the 5K, a 1:07 for the half-marathon and a sub 30-minute 10K.

This excited last year's Mt. Ashland Hill Climb winner, Rogue Valley Runner's Erik Skaggs. He welcomed the competition with open arms noting that he's always looking forward to being pushed to new limits. Also in the picture were the ever fast cross-country skiers from Bend, 2006's Hill Climb winner RVR's owner, Hal Koerner and last year's runner-up in the ladies race, Jenn Shelton.

Smoke from fires to the north and soaring temperatures made this year's Hill Climb one of the hardest ever. 191 intrepid souls pushed through the humid conditions to the summit this year, most likely the highest number of finishers ever.

When the dust settled and the final, steep scree slope was clear of runners Joe Gray had found his way to the top first in a blazing time of 1:47:29. Erik Skaggs followed in 1:51:30. Hal Koerner finished fourth in 1:59:17. Ashland's Tim Olson and RVR'er Ian Torrence both finished in the top ten in 6th and 8th places respectively.

In the women's race, Bend's Stephanie Howe lead the way in 2:13:17. RVR'er Jenn Shelton finished second for a second year in a row in 2:25:28, almost five minutes faster than last year. Talent's Amy Smith, RVR'er Darcy Kleiman, Eagle Point's Jennifer Callans and Ashland's Lisa Norvell also finished in the top ten in the ladies race.

The race was a great success. Congratulations to Race Director Torsten Heycke and all the other wonderful volunteers that staffed the aid stations, "summit party finish area" and drove runners safely down from the summit. The Mt. Ashland Hill Climb was the third of five races included in the Oregon Mountain Running Series.

Here are some photos taken by our Mountain, Ultra & Trail (MUT) Running Coordinator for USATF Oregon, Richard Bolt.

Mt. Ashland Hill Climb's Race Director Torsten Heycke.

Suprise of the day! Ashland newcomer Tim Olson runs a 2:04:46!

Lady's winner, Bend's Stephanie Howe.

Runner's await the "GO!" word.

Mike Sotos.

Skaggs enjoys his post-race beverage.

Adam Seibert, Skaggs, Joe Gray and JC Callans run a little pre-race warm-up.

RVR'er Todd Ragsdale loves to be done!

So fast, even the camera can't catch him. Joe Gray, your 2009 Mt. Ashland Hill Climb winner.

Jeremy Eisen.

Jenn Shelton.

Hal gives the thumbs up.

Greg Mueller.

David Jordan.

Chad Wikander.

Bob Julian.

Aaron Brian leads "the train."

Born to Run!

Here's the press from the Mailtribune written by Daniel Newberry. Nice work everyone!

Andy Atkinson's mile 1.5 and summit photos can be found here.