The mostly true story of putting together an ultramarathon...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

El Scorcho Dos is done. Official race photos are online at Cowtown Camera Girl's site (click on the "proofing" link and look for El Scorcho).

Results are here.

Here are some links to what other folks had to say about our midnight jaunt. (I'll update this post with other links as I become aware of them. Feel free to e-mail me with blog posts, articles, etc.).

Byron said -- "Nice race. Thank you to the organizers and all the volunteers for all the hard work."

TexMom said -- "I thought the race was very well organized, great New Balance singlet for the race shirt, lots of post race food and plenty of volunteers. . . . Overall it is a great race if you are up for running at that hour."

Eddie said -- "I just wanted to let you know how much fun I had running ES2. This was my first ultra and... I am now officially ”hooked.... Thanks again for the race—it will always be my first and therefore very special."

dblack1801 said -- "Once again, El Scorcho was a blast! . . . I love El Scorcho and will be back next year. 50K????"

KHS said -- "WOW! This race was FUN! I found my heaven! Running at night, with my music playing in my ears. I LOVED IT! I felt amazing. . . . I have to say, if you like being up at night, this is the race for you! Tons of fun. I can't say enough about how great it was. . . . This is only the second year they have done this race, but it was organized nicely. Lots of wonderful volunteers."

Bad Budha -- "[T]here’s just something about running around with a crowd of people in the middle of the night that lends the whole thing a sort of unique party atmosphere. . . . El Scorcho is a lot of fun, and I highly recommend it."

BWG said -- "The event was well-organized and they had a good idea of how to cater to the running crowd."

GeekGirl -- "This was a nice course, surprisingly well attended and volunteered for a race that starts are midnight."

Just12finish -- "El Scorcho is a first class event.... The volunteers, the course, water stops, food, timing, parking, all worked flawlessly literally in the middle of the night. Ryan, dude - I'll be back next year for sure!"

Welsh Runner -- "I have to say that the organization was spot on - everything was running smoothly, which was an amazing achievement since this race is only in its second year, and has grown up really quickly (they sold out with 400 runners this year)."

5ksandcabernets -- "Great finishing medal. Good support. I'm going to run it again next year."Kevin said -- "Dude, Just wanted to say that that was an awesome race, absolutely awesome."

Abilene Runner -- "Very good race considering the demanding conditions.... Overall this was a fun adventure like none any of us had experienced. I'll keep this on a list of runs to do again. It was well organized."

Lake Grapevine Runners and Walkers -- "This was RAW’s second trip to El Scorcho, and once again, both co-race directors Ryan Valdez and Jason Costantino, along with Jim and James Newsom of the Fort Worth Running Company, the flagship sponsor, did an absolute wonderful job organizing this event. Participants definitely got their money’s worth both in terms of fun and running in extreme conditions."

Pat W. commented -- "You guys put on one heck an event. This was my first ultra (with no marathon exp). Your volunteers were AWESOME!! Not once did they stop cheering."

Page said -- "As a spectator cheering on my daughter I can say the weather was great and the music was great and I really like watching my daughter go by every 28minutes or so."

Derek -- "The first thing I have to say, is that was the hardest thing I have ever done."

Running Through Time -- "It's over, what a run.... Overall this is a nice race. It's different with it's midnight start...."

Abilene Online Reporter News -- "Area runners compete in El Scorcho. Abilenians Andy Blessing and John Ring posted Top 10 finishes Sunday in the 50-kilometer race at the El Scorcho Run in Fort Worth."

Fort Worth Star-Telegram -- "In order to get their schedules in sync for the midnight jaunt, runners did everything from weeks of late-night training to sleeping late on the day of the race or just taking an afternoon nap. For others, caffeine was a necessity."

Monday, June 30, 2008

Hotels are booked pretty solid in and around El Scorcho. We tried to negotiate a special rate, but the hotels aren't budging. Not sure if there is a convention in town, but they are being pretty tough. If you're looking for a place to stay, we'd recommend anything downtown/Sundance Square, the Museum district, TCU, Ridglea, or even the Stockyards. All of these areas are no more than 5 miles from the race site.

p.s. It is much, much hotter this year....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Anyone out there interested in or still in need of a hotel for El Scorcho Dos? I have contacted a few of the local hotels, but I want to hear back from you El Scorcho crazies before I start negotiating for an El Scorcho discount. The more people we can get on board the better the room rate will be. Let us know if there is still a need for lodging and we will see what kind of rates we can get for you.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

El Scorcho Dos is SOLD OUT!

That's it, amigos. El Scorcho is done. No more runners. 400 is our limit and we're there. If you didn't register and make it, we're sorry.

Since we reached our field limit, I've gotten several e-mails asking if folks can come out and run the race anyway without registering.

Unfortunately, we cannot allow you to do so. We have very specific requirements that allow us to use Trinity Park after hours.We have insurance and permits and City Codes and you-have-no-idea-how-much beaucracy. There are serious liability issues with having unregistered runners participating in El Scorcho.

"Banditing" the course (i.e., running without registering) puts the entire race in jeopardy. If you care about the future of El Scorcho and Fort Worth ultrarunning, DO NOT "bandit" El Scorcho. If you didn't get in this year, come out and volunteer and run next year.

If everyone plays by the rules and has a good attitude, then El Scorcho will be around for many years to come.

Friday, May 30, 2008

El Scorcho is the feature article on The Final Sprint!

Check out the article here. Special thanks to Cheryl Lowe for interviewing Jim, James, Jason, and me.

The Final Sprint article is great, but I want to emphasize that Jim and James Newsom are also co-race directors, and Jason and I couldn't put the race on without their expertise and help. Fort Worth Running Company--Jim and James' store--is, in my opinion, THE best specialty running store in Fort Worth. If you find yourself in Cowtown and are in need of anything running-related, you should definitely stop by their establishment.

Here's what the article had to say:

The 2nd annual El Scorcho “Dos” 50K and 25K races are being held in Fort Worth, Texas on July 20, 2008 at midnight. Runners will complete a 3.1-mile crushed gravel loop on the Trinity Trails a total of five times for the 25K (15.5 mile) race, and ten times for the 50K (31 mile) race.

Yes–you read that right–the race starts at midnight. Don’t expect the runners competing in the event to lay down their heads for sleep anytime earlier than 7:00 AM that morning. Ryan Valdez, the race director, does not expect to catch any shut-eye for hours that weekend, either. “Body rhythms are going to be off. Most runners are used to going to bed early and waking up early for races,” said Valdez.

Valdez, along with fellow race director Jason Constantino, are working hard to deliver a fun and slightly crazy ultra-endurance event.

“It is a fun concept, and that’s why the running community has embraced it as much as it has,” said Valdez. “It’s crazy and not your typical run by any stretch of the imagination. The feel of the race is tongue-in-cheek. We don’t take ourselves too seriously.”

Last year, Ryan Valdez’s 30th birthday was coming up on July 16. Valdez had a list of things he wanted to accomplish before that day, and on that list was completing a run of at least 30 miles.
He and his friend Jason Constantino brainstormed the idea when they went for a run together, and then the thought struck Valdez that they should team up and organize an actual ultramarathon race. “We thought it was crazy, nuts, and it was never going to work,” joked Valdez.

Valdez and Constantino worked hard to gather resources, sponsors, and race management support and – before they knew it – they had a race. Over 200 individuals from all around the United States signed up for the inaugural event. Even more were on the waiting list.

“We thought at most we’d have 20 to 30 people sign up,” said Valdez. “We ended up having 226 runners last year–much larger than we thought.”

Valdez and Constantino contacted Fort Worth Running Company for organizational support. Father-and-son duo Jim and James Newsom, co-owners of the local specialty running store, agreed to help sponsor the event because they thought that it was unique and off-the-wall.

“The whole idea of the race is to have fun. If it wasn’t fun, we wouldn’t be doing it,” said Jim Newsom. “We know that for eight hours we’re not going to have anything but laughs.”
Newsom helped Valdez to establish a charity for the race. Part of the proceeds go toward the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

According to Valdez, the race course is unique and safe. Just like last year’s event, a full medical staff will be ready to treat any ailing runners. Spectators and friends watch all along the race course and nobody gets left behind and lost in the dark. This year’s race course will be adequately lit, and many participants still bring their headlamps just in case. Both races are restricted to a trail loop that runs within Fort Worth’s Trinity Park.

“The course is unique. It’s in a city park but parts of it feel like a trail race,” said Valdez. “This race has an all-night party feel to it. People come to hang out and cheer each other on, and there is music playing all night.”

This year, there are already near 400 runners signed up for the race which will be held on July 20. Even though the entry size has doubled since last year, there are still people on the waiting list.

Monday, May 5, 2008

What's new? 275 registered entrants, amigos. Wow -- 25 more spots and the price goes up. Whaddayathink? I think you ought to sign up today!

Friday, March 28, 2008

If you signed up early, good work. We're in the second tier (and have been for awhile now). Sign up soon before the price jumps again. Put that economic stimulus tax refund to good use.