Saturday, 15 December 2018 09:22

2019 Desert RATS Racer Ann Trason

The 2019 Desert RATS Kokopelli 150 stage race is so excited to welcome the legendary Ann Trason to the field this year! Ann is a truly inspiring runner and we can’t wait to enjoy the incredible trip across the Kokopelli Trail with her. Not only is she an amazing athlete but Ann is also passionate about helping other runners achieve their goals through her coaching services. From her website, Ann Trason Coaching:

If there’s one thing you can say about me, it’s that I love running. A lot.

I love kicking up dust along a coastal trail on a sunny day with the ocean sparkling in the distance, or stepping out of my front door for fifty miles through the oak-forested hills, once in a while, just because.

I love running with my dog, Zooey, and, before she passed over the rainbow bridge, Wasatch, the sweet abandoned puppy whom I first met in the mountains of Utah.

I love running with and crewing friends during difficult races or pacing a complete stranger through the cold night of their first hundred-mile ultra marathon.

My passion is helping others find their own passion through running!

Check out her website to learn more!

Check out the original article by Andy Dubois posted on the fantastic

Studies have shown that less flexible runners have greater running economy. With so much focus on the importance of stretching you may be wondering how this makes sense. Why stretch if it decreases running economy and why is running economy improved if you are less flexible? Is stretching making us slower runners?

Running economy is how efficiently a person uses oxygen at a given pace. So two people may be running at the same pace but the person who is more economical will be using less oxygen.

To understand why flexibility can be detrimental to running economy we need to understand what is meant by flexibility and how the elastic property of muscles and tendons can be taken advantage of to improve our ability to run.

Studies in this area measure passive or static flexibility. Static flexibility is what most people think of when they think of stretching – i.e. reaching forward and holding a stretch. Passive range of movement is where somebody moves your limbs for you to see how much range of movement you have.

It is obvious when watching middle distance runners on a track that they have good flexibility. Their large stride length and the way their heels come up and almost kick their butts indicates flexibility greater than average. The flexibility they possess is dynamic and is very different to static or passive flexibility.

Elasticity in Running
Muscles and tendons can be stretched in a similar way to a rubber band. Once they have been stretched they can “spring” forward in the same way a rubber band does when released. In running the energy required to stretch the band comes from momentum, gravity and landing forces so is essentially free, i.e. at no cost to the body.

However unlike a rubber band, the time between stretching and release must be short. The more time between stretching and release, the more energy lost via heat mechanisms and therefore less “spring” occurs in the muscles and tendons. This is why being more flexible can hurt your running economy.

A very flexible runner has muscles and tendons like long skinny rubber bands. These take time to stretch back far enough to store enough elastic energy to fly forward. Unfortunately when we run we have very little time for the stretch to occur as our foot is only on the ground for 0.1-0.3 of a second. The stretch must occur quickly or the potential to store and use elastic energy is lost.

So ideally we would like to train our muscles and tendons to become like short fat rubber bands – needing very little stretching to generate enough force to fly forward.

If you watch a fast runner compared to a slow runner you will see what I mean – the fast runner seems to skim the ground, feet barely touching whereas the slower runner will crash into the ground with every step and then heave themselves off again with great effort. The faster runner is in fact using less energy ( more economical) since much of the energy required is coming from elastic energy.

Can we improve the ability of our muscles and tendons to use elastic energy?
There are two forms of training that can improve the body’s ability to use elastic energy – plyometric training and dynamic stretching.

I have discussed plyometric training in an earlier blog.

How can dynamic stretching be of benefit when I have just mentioned that less flexible runners have greater economy?

Dynamic stretching is not designed to increase the passive range of movement in a joint. It is used to either increase dynamic flexibility and/or increase the elastic recoil of muscles and tendons and therefore will improve running economy.

A good dynamic flexibility program will train muscles and tendons to work dynamically, storing and releasing elastic energy through the range of movement required in a particular sport.

Read more of Andy’s musings over at Mile27.

Monday, 15 October 2018 10:20

2018 Race Season – Favorite Feedback


We love our racers & volunteers, and greatly appreciate all the feedback you share with us. It helps us constantly improve our races and your experience. We’d like to share some of our favorite feedback from this year’s adventurers:

“This was my first half marathon and first trail race. I lost over 45 lbs this year, and this was a huge event for me and my only race. Everyone who worked it was amazing and everyone competing was amazing. I had such a perfect time. Thank you so much. I will be back to every Gemini event I can make!”

“Course marking 10+++ Every time my brain needed a little reassurance i was on course a marker would be on the trail.”

“This was my first trail race with aid stations so I have nothing to compare it to, but I was blown away at the selection of food! I was very sad to walk away empty-handed everytime bc I didn’t think my stomach would appreciate all the unfamiliar foods! Volunteers were always extremely cheerful and supportive!”

“Incredible aid stations! Staff was SO friendly and helpful! Food and drinks were incredible choices–great choice on the tailwind.”

“Absolute STUNNING course and area!!!”

“To the Race Director, Thank you for putting on such an amazing race! The scenery was stunning, and the course was challenging and fun. Your staff did a great job as always, and all the volunteers I met were very helpful and pleasant!”

“This was my 3rd Gemini event and I cannot say enough good things about your events to enough people.”

“You may have the best trail 1/2 marathon course in the game!”

“2 weeks before this race I sprained my ankle pretty bad. Reid and Kyla were very helpful and I decided if I got the green light from my doc is run it. The organization was noticeable from the start! I loved hearing my name called at the finish!! I live in Utah and wish more races there could be done as well as this one. Cheers!!”

“You all are great. I will never run a large commercial event again. The staff and runners you attract are great people. This was a wonderful experience.”

Thursday, 11 October 2018 10:19

2018 Wrap-Up

What a fantastic season! With 12 races spread over 5 events, we got to see and celebrate so many different amazing runners and bikers. It was a pleasure to share the trails with you, and see the tremendous effort each individual exhibited.

Some highlights & fun facts:

  • Over 30% of our racers set personal bests for distance, stepping up to a new longest race
  • Nearly 100 volunteers joined us this season, adding amazing energy to our events (and each earning a free entry in a future event)
  • 1028 Dog Tags and 266 Cowbells were earned, and 16(!) new Course Records were set
  • 3000lbs of ice, 33 watermelons, 541 bananas, 128L of ginger ale, and hundreds of pancakes with whipped cream were served
  • 70% of our total event waste was diverted to Recycling & Compost
Monday, 08 October 2018 10:19

October – Letter from Reid


Often we refer to the Autumn as the end of an era (i.e. the autumn of your life). In the race world it’s actually the opposite. Yes, we’re closing up the races for the year. And yes, we had our last event in Eagle, CO earlier last month. This is a great time to reflect on the year and begin planning for next year. Racer surveys are reviewed, budgets are planned and the creative juices begin to flow.

Not only do we have a chance to improve of this year’s events, we get to think about what we want add to next year’s schedule. Bringing new and exciting events to racers, allowing them to explore new trails and challenge themselves is what we love. We have some ideas that we’re hoping will get off the ground in time for next year’s calendar. We can’t make any announcements yet but…who doesn’t like long distance and the desert?!?


Gemini Adventures

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