Wednesday, 10 September 2014 08:27

Gemini News – 2014 Spring Season Recap

Overall Female Winner of Desert RATS 2014, Becky Kirschenmann

The 2014 Gemini Adventures spring season was one of the best we’ve ever had the good fortune to experience. The season kicked off in March with perfect weather and strong finishers at the 24hrs of Utah, everyone is always so happy to get back to the desert! After a year’s lay off, the 10 person team of Monkey Love was back in full force and had a strong showing. Deaf Kid (Ryan Guldan) kicked off his Gemini season at this race and won the 50K. For the first year the 100K category was an option and had some fast times. Yo Adrian (Adrian Stanciu) won it for the men in 11:48 and Team Junko (Junko Kazukawa) won it for the women in 12:42. This course is not easy.


In April the Desert RATS Trailrunning Festival was dedicated to the memory of Marcy Servita and had the most runners for the Festival to date. The addition of the 50K was a big hit and despite the mud on this year’s course, runners loved the new five miles. Once again Ryan Guldan showed up and placed first in his age group for the Double Marathon and second overall. Duncan Callahan had a strong race in difficult conditions and was able to win for the fifth time at this race. We were also happy to welcome back Rich Neslund, Karen Helfrich and Terry Schmalz, who all toed the line for the 10th time at this race.

In May we had a change of pace with the challenging new singletrack for the Desert RATS Classic MTB Race, the bikers loved it. Not only did this new section add a treacherous downhill it also added a dificult uphill. Shane Ozment from Golden, CO was able to pull out the win for the men while Rachel Milsop from Carollton, GA was able to win it for the women. Approximately 1/3 of the racers finished in under six hours to earn a Gonzo award. Both Patrick Nash and Bracken Christensen missed the Gonzo cut-off by less than a minute and earned themselves the Enduro finisher’s medal- so close. Riders also enjoyed the new non-time 50K. A great way to kick off the summer with no pressure.

In June we closed out the season with the 6 day Desert RATS Stage Race and the runners were incredible this year. We had the highest percentage of finishers and many course records were broken. Becky Kirschenmann, Jorge Rufat-Latre and Ryan Guldan, all earned sub 30 hour awards-Ryan earning his second win.

We’re all looking forward to the 24 Hours of Boulder in October and wishing Ryan Guldan good luck as he completes his Gemini season with the 50K there.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 08:26

Training – Taper Tips

Glen Delman Photography
This month running coach Jeff Cooper of 2RunForever gives tips to get the max out of your race taper so that you can get the max out of yourself on race day…



1 – Drop your volume progressively over the last 3 weeks pre-marathon, or 2 weeks pre-half marathon (as per your plan). This slowly stores up latent energy so that come race day you’ll have more in reserve than you have for months!

2 – Review the race weekend info EARLY (on race website or mailed materials), so you can plan carefully, manage last minute details calmly, and not find yourself with a pre-race crisis
3 – Daydream about race day! Start to visualize your race experience (a little bit 2-3 weeks out, a lot more in the final few days), with positive, constructive, realistic ideas of what it’s going to be like, what it will take to do well, what it means to do well, and very importantly, how you’ll react if certain things beyond your control don’t go as planned (weather, early pacing, re-hydrating and refueling, etc.). This process will raise your psychological commitment and readiness level so you’ll be much more likely to achieve your goals on race day when the going gets tough

4 – Keep busy, in NON-PHYSICAL ways with the extra time you now have on your hands. Reading (for pleasure, ideally non-running related), movies, game playing, spending time with family, visiting friends, catching up on backlogged (but not emotionally taxing or physically risky) odd jobs around the house, etc. This is one of the rewards of the training process, so embrace and enjoy it!

5 – Think about (but don’t dwell on) what’s NEXT. Develop a clear idea or two of what your “next big thing” will be after you’ve finished the race. This is a very important step that helps mitigate the severity of (or avoid entirely) PMS–Post Marathon Syndrome–a perplexing protracted malaise or depression which can follow in the days, weeks and even months after completing a RBD (really big deal) event. If you haven’t given it some serious thought beforehand, when you’re motivationally up, no matter how well your race day goes (and that includes “unbelievably well”!) then you can be hit VERY hard by the daunting question “So…Now what?”


1 – Drop the frequency or intensity of your run workouts. You need to keep those aspects up as you pull back on volume, in order to feel sharp and not fall into a funk (physical, mental or emotional) in the days before your race.

2 – Cram. Avoid the powerful temptation to put in “1 more zinger” during the last week or two (above and beyond your training plan), either to make up for training you may have missed, or because you feel so rested, ready and sharp (thus blowing the benefit of the taper itself!)

3 – Strength train right up till race weekend. Ideally you should drop your workout frequency back a little over the final 3-4 weeks (to only 1 or 2 sessions per week if doing more), and then remove it entirely over the last 1-2 weeks. The risks of a freak accident or fluke muscle or joint pull FAR outweigh any insignificant gains you might make in strength over those last few days.

4 – Freak out over “ghost pains or sickness”. It is amazing how many runners experience the onset of a curious malady (pain or sickness) with a week or less to go. 90% of the time these are perfectly NORMAL, largely subconsciously-triggered phenomenon in response to the coming challenge. If you don’t let them consume you with doubt, worry or fear, by race day, they will be a non-factor. I’ve gotten to the point where I almost welcome them, as they give my “problem-solver/worrier” attitude something to keep busy with instead of fretting aimlessly during race week!

5 – Try something physically new, like getting a race week sport massage, trying a yoga class or other seemingly non-demanding sport or activity. Keep things BODY BORING during during the taper–especially during race week. Trust us (from experience!), or come race day, you may well be lamenting your spontaneity. The time for trying “new stuff” is post-race (once you’ve taught your body how to walk again, that is ;o)

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Wednesday, 10 September 2014 08:24

On The Trail – 24 Hours of Boulder Team Profile

At least one of the teams at the 24 Hours of Boulder race on October 11 will be running for a cause! Joel Vander Kooi is the International Director for The School of Promise in Thailand. Joel and some of his family and friends are running to raise awareness and funds for Hope International Schools. Their goal to give at risk children in Thailand a chance at a better life through education is a noble one. The team is really looking forward to the race, make sure to give them a cheer when you see them on the course!

Here’s what Joel has to say about his team’s goals:

We started the School of Promise with a view to providing hope and a future to local kids and their families, especially those at risk for human trafficking and other forms of poverty-related oppression.

  The School of Promise is a Christian school for local children, and we provide scholarships to students at risk, seeking to enroll one student on a scholarship for every one student paying full tuition.  Really, the cost of educating every student is covered significantly through donations to HIS.  Even students paying full tuition only pay about 50% of the cost of educating them.  We are using a 24-hour relay run at 24 Hours of Boulder to get the message out to new supporters and to raise some more of the money we need to keep the School of Promise going strong.  We are getting in shape to keep the school in shape!
Find Hope International Schools on their website or Facebook
Death Valley, CA (PRWEB) July 22, 2014

Renowned ultra-distance runner Lisa Smith-Batchen finished a 584 mile run in California’s Death Valley last week, becoming the first female ultramarathoner in the world to cross the famed Badwater-to-Mt. Whitney course four times back-to-back in an effort to fundraise for cleaner, healthier water across the world.

The run lasted a total of 14 days, with temperatures reaching as high as 127 degrees Fahrenheit. Smith-Batchen was forced to deal with prolonged bouts of wind and sand storms as well as flooding, thunder and lightning. Smith-Batchen and her support crew began the Badwater4GoodWater run on July 1st. The run included not only two out-and back circuits of the traditional Badwater-to-Mt. Whitney course, which is 135 miles, but also two trips to the summit of Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the Continental United Sates at 14,505 feet and an estimated 96,000 feet of elevation change. 

Portions of the proceeds from Smith-Batchen’s fundraising from the run will go to Waterkeeper Alliance, a global movement of on-the-water advocates who patrol and protect over 1.5 million square miles of rivers, streams and coastlines across the world.

“There have been very few moments in my running career that compare to the difficulty and anguish of this run,” said Smith-Batchen. “But there is also very little that compares to the elation and sense of accomplishment. During the most difficult moments, I reminded myself of my reliance on clean drinking water and thought about others who lack even basic access to good water.”

“We are amazed by Lisa’s endurance and humbled by her commitment to ensuring access to clean water across the globe,” said Marc Yaggi, Executive Director of Waterkeeper Alliance. “While there are scarcely any people capable of this type of athletic achievement, we’re all capable of doing just a little more to help those in need of clean water.”

Smith-Batchen, an Idaho resident and accomplished runner, has previously completed the official Badwater Ultramarathon nine times and won the race twice. In 2010, Smith-Batchen completed a tour called “Running Hope through America,” in which she ran 2,500 miles through the United States, running 50 miles in all 50 states in two months to raise money for orphans.

Donations can still be made to Waterkeeper Alliance and the Badwater4GoodWater project at Badwater4GoodWater.

For photos from Smith-Batchen and her crew during the run, please visit Badwater4GoodWater on Facebook.

For more information about Lisa Smith-Batchen, visit


About WATERKEEPER® Alliance

Waterkeeper Alliance is a global movement uniting more than 200 Waterkeeper organizations and focusing citizen advocacy on the issues that affect our waterways, from pollution to climate change. Waterkeepers patrol and protect more than 1.5 million square miles of rivers, streams and coastlines in the Americas, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa. Waterkeeper Alliance was founded in 1999 by veteran Waterkeepers and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to insure our global waterways are swimmable, drinkable and fishable. Learn more at: or follow @Waterkeeper on Twitter and Facebook. 

Gemini Adventures 24 Hours of Utah team competitor Regina Daly is a volunteer firefighter with Four Mile Fire Department in the Boulder foothills. The Four Mile fire department lost a fire station and an engine in the 2010 Four Mile Fire and suffered flood damage to it’s station in 2013. This year they’re raising money for a new fire station and community center by putting on a new event, the Fourmile Firefighter Challenge, in Boulder on September 7, 2014. This is the only hill climb race in Boulder county with more than 2500ft of elevation change over 10 miles!

It is a 10 mile run or walk from the base of Fourmile Canyon to the top and the historic town of Gold Hill. The road is partially paved and part dirt. The course goes through the quaint town of Salida which was the site of some of the worst destruction from the floods last year and still wears its scars.  The race ends on the main street of Gold Hill with a finish line party at the rustic Gold Hill Inn. All proceeds go to benefit the Four Mile Fire Department.

For more information or to register, see the website at  Any questions? Send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For a $10 discount, use the code runcolo4mile when registering.

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