Thursday, December 1, 2016

Red Rock Trail Run 2016 California Edition

Thank you for coming to read this blog post and Thank you for being my friend.

Black Friday
I packed up the PatCave for a two hour drive up the coast  to the
Red Rock Trail Run.
The two hour drive took 4 hours I arrived around 3 PM.  I was hosting a beer mile 4ish so it was time to find a course?
Run out to the carins and turn-a-round.
 The course was rocky, single track, uneven, longer than a mile, with blind turns and a bit confusing.  In other words it was perfect.
Let's get it on
My buddy Frankie  (who is about to get knee surgery) had his son Drew run for him.  The little dude was tough to catch.
As we were holding our  fearless leader Luis Escobar up for the finishers pic he joking mentioned that  his shirt should be off. 2 seconds later it was ripped open.
Congrats to Jubilee  of (Aravaipa Running) on being F1.
Huge thank you to Tracy Thomas of Marvelous Mud pictured centers above for making these beautiful  amulets
I don't usually take the first place award at the Beer Mile
 It would have been rude to say no.
The next few hours  are kind of blur. filled with good friend's, good times, and a very adult version of the hokey pokey.
It's cool that there is race and all the next day but I was here to hang out with my friends more than anything else.
Trolling through Ultra sign up a few days prior.
 I saw that their were a few good runners in the 1/2 marathon.  I have never ran a half marathon on trails before. Usually in an Ultra I have plenty of time to lolligag. But on this day I would have to go
"Balls to the Wall"
"Bo Knows"

5:45 a.m. Race day
I woke up thinking what the heck did I do with my keys? Did we finish that Lechugilla? Where is my cell phone? I was hoping to get lucky poop out but that was not to be..
Despite the lack of mental clarity. I knew what I had to do.
I actually felt surprisingly good.  I put some shorts, slipped on some sandals and  had a few Mas Korima Korimalitas for breakfast as I stumbled over to the starting line.

6:00 AM
Current Temp about 35 degrees with 100% chance of rain in the forecast
All there distances (50 mile, marathon and 1/2 marathon) started together and would run out an back.

 I came out like a wrecking ball.
 The song was actually stuck in my head at the start although I only know 1 1/2 lines I sand them for  a good 5 minutes straight and then each time I started to charge on a downhill.

The first mile was on the road and I quickly jumped out into an early lead.
Next time i'm bringing my TEAM TROT floaties

Almost immediately after leaving the road their was an 80 foot wide thigh high water crossing.  It kind of sucked and was kind of fun.  I was thankful for my Luna sandals which would dry out pretty quick. I crossed the water before anyone else go there but I was still close enough to hear both cursing and laughter as other runners got wet.

I have rather poor circulation and. I had forgot to wear gloves.  As I type this now a few days later I can still feel a lingering  tingling in my finger tips.
My hands went numb.  I took off my singlet and began rotating  it from hand to hand.
I was pretty sure blood would start circulating to my finger tips shortly.  If it didn't I was in trouble.
It looks a lot warmer in the picture?

The next two miles were a steady uphill climb. I was working hard and would guess my heart rate got up to to 200.  As I neared the top I was passed by the runner behind me

Damn it!
I thought I was doing better than that
Oh well, on the bright side my hands were starting to warm up.
It's very rare that I try and run fast downhill on single track.  The combo of running in sandals and only running trails during races hasn't really built my confidence up over the years.
Since this was only a 1/2 marathon I had no choice. Running as fast the trail would allow me I retook the lead during the third mile.  Knowing that I could run faster than the other dude downhill I needed to put as much distance in front of him  before the turn around..

Getting a little bit full of myself I got to the turn around point in first place. What I thought may be a two minute lead however was only about 30 seconds with other not far behind. It was tough trying to keep a good pace while dodging the 200 or so other runners going the opposite direction while I climbed back uphill.
 However I did receive a ton of encouragement from both friends and strangers
(thanks for that)

 I held on to the lead through mile 10. While on a steep climb, I started to run out of gas and my legs were cramping. I was soon  passed and with in a few minutes the new leader was out of sight.

I charged hard down the hill for the last 2 miles of trail with little hope of winning giving it all that I had. I needed a miracle?

What I got was Mr Hanky..  I had no time to take a dump. I hoped some of that cramping in my legs would got to my sphincter
(My friend Erica taking a plunge at the water crossing)
I crossed the water with no sign of third place behind me.
I had at least a minute lead on whomever was behind me and the dude in first was at least a minute in front of me.

One mile to go.
Now the only question was can I beat 2 hours. It was gonna be close.
The course ended up being about 14 miles with close to 3,000 feet elevation gain.
"The suspense is killing you I know."
2nd place 1:58:42

I crossed the finish line congratulated the winner on running a better race. Even though I got second I felt no shame it grabbing a blue ribbon off the table.

It was delicious.

I gave it all that I had which isn't nearly at much as I would like.  I am happy with my effort. My left Achilles heel is pretty messed up and although I can fake it through a race I can't fake it through multiple days in row of training hard. Lack of quality training showed it's ugly face.  Whether I take a week off or month off I can get a very limited amount of quality running before pain sets me back another week.

At this point it's not a rest issue it's pain threshold VS getting surgery issue which I have needed for over 4 years.  Right now my training consists of daily 4-8 mile soft sand trots.  The rarely break a 13 minute mile unless it is during a race.
Suck it up Buttercup!
life is pretty damn good and I'm thankful that I can do what I can and second place aint that bad. Plus  I won the beer mile.  Since breaking my ribs at Leadville in August   I have a Marathon win, a second and a third at the 1/2 marathon,  a win at the 10 km and  a second place finish at the 5km.
2 beer mile wins and 2 second places.

I'm going to stick to shorter races for the month of December and reevaluate my status come the new year.
I had lost my cell phone during the prior nights shenanigans. So I don't have any more pics from that day.  While the weather held off for the 1/2 marathon it started dumping rain as the first marathoners came in.  As for the 50 milers?  They were in for a long day and I was so glad not to be out there.
I spent the rest of  the afternoon hanging out with some of my favorite people.
Woo-hoo found my cell phone.
It was still raining the next morning when I woke up.
I packed up the Patcave and hit the road early to avoid the Sunday traffic.

I am collecting Medals for the Caballo Blanco Kids Race coming up next March In Urique Mexico. The event is free and we expect over 1,000 Kids. I put the word out on Facebook last week and received about 140 at the Red Rock Trail Race  It's a good start but i'm along ways away from 1,000.
Since then many people have said they want to help. I am pretty sure I will reach that Number but I would rather deal with the problem of too many medals than too few. Any extras will got to the 2018 Kid's race.

I am collecting "Medals" "Please do not give any that are ceramic or breakable" They are going to Children and I want them to last.

f you want to help Please send medals to:

Patrick Sweeney
3408 Pacific Ave
Manhattan Beach CA 90266

Or you can give them to me in person at:

12/4 High Desert Ultra Ridgecrest CA
12/10 Brazos Bend Houston TX
12/26 Operation Jack Marathon Los Angeles CA
12/31 Across the Years Phoenix AZ

More dates to come.

If you have any questions Please email me at


Friday, November 25, 2016

2017 Ultra Marathon Caballo Blanco, Mas Korima Trip

Last week I went down to Urique Mexico to chat with the New Government about the upcoming "Ultra Marathon Caballo Blanco" and it's equally important "Corrida de los Cabalitos" Kid's Race. 
 Everything looks good.  The race is set for March 5th 2017 and sign ups for international runners will be available soon via

Here's how the trip went down
First stop Phoenix to meet up with close friends and business partners in Mas Korima Michael and Kimberly Miller
I ate a few Korimalitas ran my ass off an won  the 10km.
(Shameless bragging but that's what blogs are for)

Soon it would be off to Mexico. Next stop Creel
As usual I was warned by friends about the dangers of Mexico and then experienced a very peaceful drive with zero check points along the way. After driving all day we found some guacamole and sotol (Wine) for Kimberly.
Up early  the next morning we went for a jog up into the hills while temps rose from about 30 to 40 degrees. This dog I named KJ (Kimberley Junior) followed us for over 7 miles and was beyond stoked to taste a few Korimalitas.

 Eventually Mas Korima will be making a more dog specific snack  "ANIMO"but for now every dog I have met has really dug our Korimalita Heritage Pinole bites.
We stopped by the divisadero for some gifts and some Gorditas
 I saw the Super Luna While wearing some super Luna Sandals
We stayed at the San Isidro Lodge about 30 kilometers from Urique at the top of the Canyon
Our friend Mario Made us some beautiful Canyon Crafts that we will be selling soon.
Can you say  Lechugilla Margarita
My buddy Tyler fell in love with this Cat  (Frank) last year when it was just kitten. "Good to see you again little kitty.
Up early the next morning joined by Miguel Lara "El Campeon" we went on trot to his home about 6 kilometers away
A few steps into our run out of nowhere came my favorite canyon dog "Sherlock" A few years ago  in Urique I got up to take a leak 3 a.m.  While peeing on a tree this dog came out of the bushes wanting to play.  I spent about 10 minutes playing with him and we have been friends ever since. He is not a young pup and over the years I have probably ran or hiked at least 50 miles with him.
While Michael and I huffed and puffed at the 7'500' plus elevation Miguel glided along effortlessly
Eventually we got to home which he built in part from money he has made racing around Mexico and USA .  There we met with his beautiful wife Maribel (who is also an awesome runner) and his little boy Hector.

Mas Korima Pinole already comes from the Canyons. We use a lot of corn and were trying to find another way we could use a smaller farm such as Miguel Lara's to purchase quality ingredients from a friend.
Chia and Amaranth both grow widely here and are Ingredients in Mas Korima Korimalitas. Hopefully our next batch will come from Miguel's farm.
We then walked over to Miguel's mother's home where this woman was hard at work grinding corn.  This awesome lady runs and finishes  the 50 mile Ultra Marathon Caballo Blanco every year, usually faster than most gringos.
It looks like someone was making some Huaraches.
Miguel and his family couldn't have been more kind or inviting and I am thankful for their friendship. 
What a cool afternoon.
We headed back to the lodge where I ad to play with Frank the Cat one last time before leaving.
The final 12 mile drive  down to the bottom of the Urique Canyon, mostly unpaved and steep is always beautiful, always scary and always makes the beer taste extra good when you get down to the bottom.
 Cerveza,  guacamole, chips and chiltepin salsa at Mama Tita's
There I found another cat to share some love with.
Scouting out some land with the Miller's for a a possible Casista?
Miguel Lara staring at the Urique river
That evening I mad most expensive purchase of the trip
The town of Urique does not sell hard alcohol. But if you know where to look you may find some Lechuguilla Mezcal.
Basically local agave based moonshine over 100% proof similar to Tequila with strong smokey bite to it.

The next morning we got up bright an early for a jog 
Morning traffic
 I had brought a couple of soccer balls with me drop off at School 5 miles from town near the church at Guapalina .  A spot on the race course you run to twice. Over the years I have came played  frisbee many times and even had  mini rarajipari
 (Ball Race)
I love these kids and what I look forward to next March even more than the Ultra Marathon is the Caballo Blanco Kids Race.
Over the years this race has grown from about 400 kids to 800 and this year we expect over 1,000.  At this years race each kid (they all run for free) will receive a snack, a T-shirt (courtesy of the 100 Mile Club) a hat or a bandanna.  After the race they will get lunch and cake and hopefully there will be clown to entertain them.
On this trip I saw 4 kids wearing their shirt from last year

Luna Sandals will be providing not only sandals for some of the winners,
We will be giving sandals out to kids who either broke their shoes or didn't have any to begin with.
I am currently collecting discarded race medals and hope to bring at least 1,000 down so that we can give one to every kid.  If you have a few that you don't care about I would love to re purpose them to kid that does.

I am also hoping to collect and buy around 100 deflated soccer or basketballs to give to the local school's

I really hope for this to be an unforgettable event for the kids
(I know it is for me.)

Back to my trip.
This place holds a special spot in my heart. View from the race course.
On the way back I decided to splash around in the river.

Time to meet the new Presidente
No It is not this kid.  I had given this this nino a little twirly gig toy.  He was pretty stoked and promptly joined Kimberly for about 20 games of Tic-Tac-Toe  while we waited for our meeting with the Presidente
(Kimberly won exactly half)
The new administration has a lot work ahead of them to put on this race.  They seem motivated and I am optimistic that they will do a good job.

I am getting sick of typing, i'm running out of time and my proof reading is gonna suck anyway but I'll try and do a little. Not much more happened on this trip so I will post a couple pics and end this post.
It's pretty down here
I picked some Guava's
 Stocked up on wild Chiltepin and Pequin peppers.
 If you want a taste of canyons at home from a company that is doing it's best to give please try

Stuff I use while off the grid.

 We waved good bye to friend Caballo Blanco painted on this mural on our way out of town
Just like that we were gone and after 17 hours of driving we were back in Phoenix

If you are at all interested in running in the race or just going down to watch the kid's event.  It is a life changing experience.  MAKE IT HAPPEN! and if their is anything I can do yo help you, don't hesitate to ask.