The Ultra Triple Triple

Posted by Inside Trail Racing in Blog, Commentary, Race Profiles, Uncategorized on May 12, 2017

“Hey what’s your next upcoming race?”

You are probably hearing this all the time amongst your running friends these days, especially with everyone’s race seasons taking off. My response, “I have the NorCal 100K Triple then the California Ultra Triple Crown,” is not always understood correctly. Yes that’s three 100K races in three weeks followed by three 100 mile races in the next 3 months. 486 miles of racing with 116,000’ e.g. in 15 weeks. To most it seems like a daunting task to run one 100K or even a 100K and a 100 miler in one year. So why would anyone want to do this?

My name is Christopher Thomas and one of the newest members of the Inside Trail Racing Team. I have always seen ITR runners at races and have dreamt about one day sporting the gray and orange singlet and shorty shorts. Two of my Ultra heroes, Bob Shebest and Victor Ballesteros, started there racing with ITR in their earlier days. The racing kits were quite different then, cut up t-shirts with Inside Trail racing iron-ons. Yes pre-Walmsley crop-tops. So for this to be happening is a dream come true.

I may not be the fastest, I like to consider myself towards the front of the middle of the pack. I don’t have formal running background. In fact I only lasted 2 weeks at XC in high school. What happened was I fell in love with trail running after joining a gym that ran OCR races, Spartan Races to be exact. I found out very quickly I was good at them and eventually began to podium in the Master’s division. I raced competitively for 2 years and injured my shoulder which ended my OCR career. I was quick to find out that it was the trail running that brought me joy, not the obstacles.

My first Ultra was the Montara Mountain 50K 2015. Lining up I was cocky and didn’t know what I was doing. Sizing up the line-up I thought I had a good chance of winning, after all I was an OCR racer. Some short bearded guy, some other faster looking young bucks and me shirtless and pumped. I really didn’t know what I was doing. When we arrived at the ½ marathon distance I wondered why the runners in front of me were turning towards the finish line. I knew we had another two loops. Later I found out I would have finished 10th overall in the half. Well you guessed it at the Marathon distance I blew up and basically walked it in. Lessons learned all distances start together in Ultras, pacing yourself is very important. Come to find out said short bearded guy was Chris Denucci, winning one of his first Ultra races when he first moved to the Bay Area. Chris has been very supportive since then remembering me at aid stations and encouraging me to push harder. I love the Ultra Community. I was hooked.

Since then, last year I worked my way up the ladder, a couple of 50K’s, three 50 milers, a 100K and a 100 miler. I have realized that the Ultra race scene is opening up to some really fast young guns. Just look at our team with Skipper Crocket, Chris Vizcaino and Jeff Quinn. The master’s division is full of all the guys the young guns are trying to catch, Bob Shebest, Christopher Wehan and Michael Jimenez . just to name a few. My chances of winning are slim to none. So what should I do? I am 48 years old in the best shape of my life, can run 100 miles in the mountains, which I enjoy the most. ENDURANCE. That’s the answer. ENDURANCE.

So here we are, 2017, the year of ENDURANCE.
• The Canyons Endurance Runs 100k April 29th
• Miwok 100k May 6th
• Quicksilver 100K May 13th
• San Diego 100 June 9th
• Santa Barbara 100 July 14th
• Angeles Crest 100 August 5
• Castle Peak 100K August 26th

Follow my journey here for training updates, pictures and race reports. Look for me at the races sporting the ITR gray and orange, I love to meet new people in the community or follow our running club on Strava and Facebook – ReddAntler Running for group runs in the North Bay and Sonoma County.

#runtilifalldown

Chris

IG @burroslocos
FB @RestNChaos

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