Monday, October 26, 2015

Estes Trail Ascent: 3rd Annual US Trail Running Conference, Estes Park, Colorado

Wow... so I just had a tremendous opportunity to attend the US Trail Running Conference in Estes Park, CO on Friday/Saturday October 9th and 10th. This event was at the historic and beautiful Stanley Hotel, which was really awesome. This is the 3rd annual conference, hosted by Terry Chiplin and Active at Altitude (which looks amazing by the way, I need to learn more!)  The event ran from 7th to the 10th, with the first two days designed for Race Directors, and the last two days for trail runners of all levels.

As an ambassador for Fuel 100 Electro-Bites, I was fortunate to have been invited by co-founders, Andrea and Michelle, to attend the conference and also to help run the Fuel 100 booth during the Expo times.

I LOVED working at the booth!  I got an opportunity to talk to a number of folks about Fuel 100 and to share samples and goodies with them.  I worked the booth with fellow ambassador Chuck Radford, and co founder Michelle Halsne.  And when we weren't working at the booth, we got to listen in on a number of great panels/discussion on all kinds of aspects of trail running.

I also got to meet some great folks at the other booths as well, representing Altra, Pearl Izumi, Honey Stinger, VFuel, and RecoFit.  Speaking of RecoFit, I was happy to meet Susie Walton, owner, and learn about some super cool compression gear she created.... stay tuned for a review coming soon!

Below is the schedule of events from the last two days, and I wanted to share it so you could see the kinds of things discussed, and the panel of great folks that were there!

  • Friday October 9

    • 7.00 am Fun run presented by Altra – Lumpy Ridge Trailhead, off Devils Gulch Road
      With Golden Harper, Josh Arthur, and Ashley Erba
    • 9.00 am Doors open – expo time
    • 9.45 am Welcome to Conference
    • 10.00 am Trail running shoe development & future direction – live on YouTube – view at this linkMichael Thompson, Scott Jaime, Sage Canaday, Joseph Gray, Josh Arthur, Golden Harper
    • 10.45 break
    • 11.15 IMBA presentation
    • 11.30 Creating trail running opps in our communities & grow the sportHeath Kirschner, Reid Delman, Ellen Miller, Jeremy Duncan, Nancy Hobbs
    • 12.15 expo time
    • 12.30 lunch & fun run
    • 2.00 Trail running & FKT’sScott Jaime, Joseph Gray, Dr. Dumont, Jeremy Duncan, Paul Cuno-Booth
    • 2.45 break
    • 3.15 Running form workshop with Josh Arthur & Golden Harper – presented by Altra and VFuel
    • 4.00 break
    • 4.15 Stretching & flexibility workshop with Dr.Florence, presented by Estes Park Medical Center
    • 5.00 expo time
    • 5.30 doors close
Friday evening film festival at Reel mountain theater
  • Saturday October 10

    • 7.00 am Fun run presented by Pearl Izumi – Lumpy Ridge Trailhead, off Devils Gulch Road
    • At fun run – 3 time US Mountain Running Champion Joseph Gray’s clinic on blister prevention and blister care with Spenco Medical 2nd skin products
    • 8.30 am doors open – expo time
    • 9.00 Nutrition & hydration strategies – live on YouTube – view at this linkJoseph Gray, Ashley Erba, Sage Canaday, Jeremy Duncan, Dina Griffin
    • 9.45 break
    • 10.00 – 12.00 Beginner trail runner track – with Nancy Hobbs & Lisa Jhung
      • sessions on trail running 101 / myths
      • how to start trail running
      • technique, gear,
      • training & racing…
    • 10.00 Effective training & remaining injury freeAnita Ortiz, Sage Canaday, Josh Arthur, Dr.Florence, Golden Harper
    • 10.45 – 11.15 break
    • 11.15  Lifelong runningGinny Landes, Dr. Dumont, Nick Clark, Terry Chiplin
    • 12.00 expo time
    • 12.30 lunch & fun run
    • 2.00 Women’s panel & trail safetyAmanda Lee, Susan Farago, Amy Plummer, Ashley Erba, Anita Ortiz, Lisa Jhung 
    • 2.45 break
    • 3.00 workshop – Uphill & downhill running technique – with Sage Canaday
    • 3.30 – 3.45 expo time
    • 3.45 ATRA presentation
    • 4.00 Trail maintenance, advocacy and sustainabilityDanny Basch, Paul Cuno-Booth, Joseph Gray, Nancy Hobbs
    • 4.45 – 5.30 Expo time / close

I arrived Friday afternoon, and after spending a little time at the booth, Michelle and I attended the Running Form workshop that was presented by Golden Harper (founder, Altra Running Shoes).  While I thought I knew good things about proper form, I learned a lot of new tips/tricks here which was great.  Best part was the other guests at the Stanley wondering what all these folks were doing, running around looking goofy :-).   But I took away some great stuff from this session.  Later that afternoon we also got some great info on dynamic stretching with Dr. Florence. 

That evening the Fuel-100 team enjoyed a nice BBQ steak dinner (once we got the charcoal lit with some Fireball :-) ) and spent most of the evening talking trail and ultra running... I mean, what else is there right?  We stayed at a cool little cabin right above downtown Estes Park... and although right by town, Michelle had already run into a mama bear and her cub less than 100 yards away from the cabin door!  So much for that run :-).  

The next morning we were back at it... working the expo booth, and then got to hear some great panel discussions on Nutrition and Hydration, Effective training to remain injury free, and one of my favorites, Lifelong Running.... great for old folks like me!  

After a nice lunch, and meeting some other great folks, including Terry Chiplin, Nancy Hobbs, Golden Harper, and Joseph Gray, it was time for me to get on the road home.  Although only there for part of this conference, I came away from it energized, educated, and excited.  Getting to network with and meet so many great people in the trail running community was priceless.    I can't wait to get back there next year for more great stuff, and I encourage anyone who loves trail running to attend as well...  so much good stuff you don't want to miss!!

Happy trails!